Gynecomastia is Normal and Typically isn’t Dangerous
Have you looked in the mirror lately and noticed your chest is a little bigger than the other men around you? You’re not at all alone. Many boys and men are plagued with “man boobs” or a puffy chest caused by gynecomastia. While the name of this condition may sound a little scary, it’s nothing to get too worried about. Let’s go over what you need to know about your gynecomastia and clear up some misconceptions.
What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is a condition that causes excess fat, excess breast tissue and enlarged breast glands in male patients. This condition is common among boys going through the first stages of puberty and older men who are experiencing changes in their body chemistry. That being said, there is no specific age at which boys or men experience gynecomastia. Men who have gynecomastia experience enlarged male breasts that may become swollen and tender, however, this condition is generally not painful.
What causes Gynecomastia?
There are many causes for gynecomastia, including:
- Hormone fluctuation through puberty or andropause
- Use of specific medications including anxiety medication or calcium channel blockers
- Use of anabolic steroids for improved athletic performance
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Regular use of marijuana
- Obesity or lack of proper nutrition
The most common causes for gynecomastia are genetics or hormone fluctuation through puberty or andropause. While gynecomastia may come and go on its own as the body’s natural chemistry balances out, gynecomastia may be permanent and need the assistance plastic surgery to go away.
Can Gynecomastia Turn into Cancer?
Because gynecomastia is caused by hormone changes in the body and not an irregular multiplication of breast tissue cells, it’s very unlikely that gynecomastia will turn into breast cancer. In fact, although gynecomastia is common, male breast cancer is pretty rare. Of the approximately 200,000 cases of gynecomastia reported in the United States every year, there are only 2,000 cases of male breast cancer. That being said, it’s still a good idea to do periodic self-exams to stay proactive.
What Type of Doctor Should I See for Gynecomastia?
This answer really depends on what you’re looking to do with your doctor about your gynecomastia. Of course, we always recommend seeing your general physician to find the underlying cause of your gynecomastia and to ensure you’re in otherwise good health.
However, we recommend seeing a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Morrissey or Dr. Wilcox if you plan to undergo surgery to get rid of your gynecomastia. Drs. Wilcox and Morrissey have more than 20 years of experience and have performed more than 1,000 gynecomastia procedures with a world-renowned technique that minimizes visible scarring. Only an experienced plastic surgeon will be able to rid your chest of unwanted fatty pockets and extra tissue and glands while giving you a natural male contour to the chest.
Are you ready to do something about your gynecomastia? Call our office today to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Wilcox or Dr. Morrissey today. He’ll sit down with you, evaluate your condition, listen to your concerns and develop a fully personalized treatment plan to help you get your confidence back.