The male breast is much smaller than its female counterpart, and it cannot produce milk. Because of this smaller size and simpler structure, breast disease is much less common in men than women. Still, men can develop important breast problems, both benign and malignant. Early detection is the key to a successful outcome, so every man should understand the basic elements of male breast disease. Pain, redness, and even bleeding of the male nipple are fairly common complications of intense, prolonged exercise — hence the common names "jogger's" and "marathoner's" nipple.
Retrieved November 5 th :. American Family Physician. Anti-androgens and estrogens pose the highest risk. Breast Development. Men can get breast cancer, too. This growth in breast tissue—known by Breast cysts men medical term gynecomastia —may also occur in men who are older, especially those over the age of 50, and has many possible causes. About one in to 1, boys are born with Klinefelter's syndrome Taylor swiff naked photos presence of an extra X chromosome, the female sex chromosomewhich can cause gynecomastia.
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Males and females are both born with breast tissue and mammary glands.
- Benign simple breast cysts are commonly seen in female breasts and can present as palpable masses.
- Though boys and girls begin life with similar breast tissue, over time, men don't have the same complex breast growth and development as women.
- If there is a chance you have breast cancer, your doctor will want to get a complete personal and family medical history.
Forward to 4A on atypical hyperplasia Back to 3C on fibroadenoma. Benign they say! The mesenchymal and skin-associated tumors described in the female breast may also occur in the male breast. All breast lumps should be taken seriously and examined by a doctor to exclude breast cancer in males Section 5e. Male gynecomastia is a benign proliferative condition of the glandular tissue of the male breast.
Male gynecomastia is now believed to be caused by an increase in estrogen activity. Gynecomastia may be unilateral or bilateral. It presents as a palpable mass of tissue, up to 0.
The mammographic features of male gynecomastia are distinctive and are described as a fan-shaped mass below the nipple, that blends into the surrounding fat. The diagnostic histology of gynecomastia shows glandular proliferation of varying amounts, but which changes over time. There is no atypia or malignancy. References Braunstein, G. Clinical practice.
N Engl J Med 12 , Retrieved November 5 th :. Fitzgibbons, P. Benign breast changes and the risk for subsequent breast cancer — An update of the consensus statement. Arch Pathol Lab Med Male Gynecomastia and other Benign Conditions: Section 3.
If you have trauma around a hair follicle within the skin, an epidermoid cyst may occur. Cancerous breast tumors in men are rare but do occur. In at least two studies reporting radiologic features of their consecutive cases of male breast disease, no case of breast cyst was reported 11 , What kind of impact does stress have on breast cancer? Find your local Affiliate. While there is a very low risk of breast cancer in men under the age of 60, there are risks. Depending on the cause, further treatments may include: Surgical removal of any tumors that are solid Needle aspirations and drainage of cysts If the fluid shows infection, you may be given antibiotics Suspicious lumps may require further surgery and treatment If a lump is cancerous, the doctor will discuss treatment options with you and refer you to a breast surgeon.
Breast cysts men. Breast cancer in men
Male Gynecomastia - A painful breast lump for men - Moose and Doc
The male breast is much smaller than its female counterpart, and it cannot produce milk. Because of this smaller size and simpler structure, breast disease is much less common in men than women. Still, men can develop important breast problems, both benign and malignant.
Early detection is the key to a successful outcome, so every man should understand the basic elements of male breast disease. Pain, redness, and even bleeding of the male nipple are fairly common complications of intense, prolonged exercise — hence the common names "jogger's" and "marathoner's" nipple. The cause is not running itself but the mechanical irritation of the runner's shirt rubbing up and down against his chest, especially in hot, humid weather.
You don't have to give up running to cure jogger's nipple. Instead, apply some petroleum jelly to your nipples before you run. Plastic Band-Aids are even better; round "spots" are particularly handy. Or simply run without a shirt when it's hot or humid. Breast enlargement is never welcome in men. Fortunately, though, gynecomastia, enlargement of the male breast, is usually benign and is often reversible.
Some men have prominent breasts simply because they are overweight. But true gynecomastia is caused by an enlargement of the breast's glandular tissues, not by an excess of fat.
The glandular tissue is concentrated under the nipple, but fat is spread around the whole breast area. Male glandular tissue is under the influence of two groups of hormones.
Testosterone and other androgens male hormones keep the breast tissue small; estradiol and other estrogens female hormones stimulate the growth of breast tissue. Every normal person produces both hormones. In men, the androgens are dominant, while estrogens have the upper hand in women. But even a slight shift in the balance between testosterone and estradiol — a by-product of testosterone metabolism — can lead to gynecomastia. Two-thirds of the cases involve both breasts.
The breast enlargement is usually mild and painless, but about a third of men complain of tenderness.
Liver disease. One of the liver's many functions is to break down estrogens. Liver disease, especially alcoholic cirrhosis, impairs that function, so high estrogen levels and enlarged breasts may result. By impairing liver function, congestive heart failure can sometimes produce gynecomastia. This gynecomastia will resolve only if liver function improves which rarely happens in cirrhosis.
Many drugs have been implicated as occasional causes of gynecomastia. Other drugs that may be implicated include phenothiazines, isoniazid, phenytoin, and imipramine. Herbal remedies that contain phytoestrogens are also responsible for breast enlargement. Since the body converts some testosterone to estrogen, high doses of the male hormone can lead to breast enlargement. Street drugs hardly belong on the same page as prescription medications.
Breast enlargement due to medications or drugs will resolve once the offending drug is discontinued. Treatment of prostate cancer. Because prostate cells are stimulated by androgens, a prime goal in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer is to reduce androgen levels.
This can be accomplished by surgically removing the testicles, by administering anti-androgen drugs such as bicalutamide Casodex or flutamide Eulexin , by giving injections of goserelin Zoladex , leuprolide Lupron, Eligard, Viadur , triptorelin Trelstar , or histrelin Vantas to reduce testosterone production, or by administering estrogen.
All these treatments can be helpful for prostate cancer, but all can produce gynecomastia. Anti-androgens and estrogens pose the highest risk. All in all, many men who receive androgen deprivation therapy develop gynecomastia. Fortunately, it is usually mild and acceptable, and it can be controlled by radiation or surgery if it's troublesome. Tamoxifen, an anti-estrogen medication used for breast cancer in men and women, is very effective for benign breast enlargement triggered by prostate cancer treatment and other causes.
Some men with testicular cancer particularly choriocarcinomas develop gynecomastia. Although it's not common, every man with gynecomastia should have his testicles checked. Recovery from malnutrition or from a serious chronic illness may be associated with breast enlargement. An overactive thyroid gland can also produce it. Old age is another occasional cause, probably because testosterone levels tend to decline over the years. About one in to 1, boys are born with Klinefelter's syndrome the presence of an extra X chromosome, the female sex chromosome , which can cause gynecomastia.
Much less common causes include testicular failure and, rarest of all, various estrogen-producing tumors. These diverse disorders have two things in common: low androgen levels and high estrogen levels. But competitive athletes and other men who take Andro or abuse male steroid hormones can also develop gynecomastia. That's because a portion of everyone's androgens are converted to estrogens, and men who boost their androgens to artificially high levels get abnormally high estrogen levels in the bargain.
About 2, American men will develop breast cancer this year — actually quite a small number next to the , cases that will be diagnosed in American women. While it's a far cry from the 41, breast cancer deaths in women, it's a reminder that the early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer can save male lives, too. Breast cancer in men produces a firm, painless lump, usually under the nipple. The nipple itself is often ulcerated, but bleeding or discharge is rare. The lump that signals breast cancer is much firmer than the tissue of benign breast enlargement; in fact, gynecomastia does not increase a man's risk of developing breast cancer.
Although the causes of male breast cancer are not known, risk factors have been identified see "Risk factors for male breast cancer". Heredity and age play important roles. Men with a strong family history of female breast cancer are at higher than average risk. Men who have been treated for prostate cancer have twice the risk of breast cancer, but that risk is still very small.
Many of the other risk factors involve abnormally low testosterone levels. Except in men with the BRCA2 gene, breast cancer is rare in men. Formal breast self-examination is not necessary, but breast awareness certainly is.
If you notice an abnormal thickening or lump in the vicinity of one of your nipples, ask your doctor to check it. He may order a mammogram or ultrasound. Surgery modified radical mastectomy is the standard treatment for male breast cancer. Radiation and chemotherapy also help, just as they do for female breast cancer. Breast cancer may not be a guy thing, but prostate specific antigen PSA sure is. The protein is produced by prostate cells — but is it truly specific to the prostate?
Interestingly, it is not. A report notes that sensitive tests can detect very low levels of PSA in the blood and breast tissue of healthy women. Women with breast cancer tend to have even lower levels, but women with overactive adrenal glands tend to have higher levels. When men think about breasts, they are not likely to focus on themselves. Indeed, breast disease is not a "guy" thing. But men should listen to their bodies, and that includes noting any changes in their breasts.
Asymmetrical enlargement, bleeding, or milky discharges from the nipple require immediate attention. Still, a medical examination can reassure many and provide life-saving treatment to some.
Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. Harvard Men's Health Watch. Updated: June 19, Published: November, E-mail Address. First Name Optional. Risk factors for male breast cancer Advancing age A family history of breast cancer, particularly involving the BRCA2 gene Obesity Jewish ancestry Treatment for prostate cancer Klinefelter's syndrome Infertility Testicular abnormalities Radiation exposure Alcohol abuse.