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What Happens If Gynecomastia Is Not Treated In Early Stages?

What Happens If Gynecomastia Is Not Treated In Early Stages?

You might have heard about a condition in men called “man boobs”. This condition is medically known as Gynecomastia or male breast enlargement. It may prove to be highly bothersome to many of the men who are affected by it. 

Particularly in young men and teenage boys, it can result in significant distress and make them more self-conscious. Therefore, its timely treatment is crucial. Thinking of what happens if you don’t treat this problem in early stages? You will get to know the answer below.

But before that, let’s shed some light on what exactly is Gynecomastia and how do men develop this condition? 

Defining And Explaining Gynecomastia: 

Gynecomastia is a condition in which there is an abnormal enlargement of male breast tissue. This results in men having enlarged breasts that may grow unevenly. Notably, it is a common condition that affects between 50% to 65% of boys and men worldwide.

In young teens, it can happen due to the hormonal changes going on during puberty. It can also occur to newborn babies and adult males as they age. 

In fact, the degree of this condition can vary from person to person. Some men notice a small enlargement while others suffer from extensive enlargement that may even resemble women’s breasts.

The Symptoms Of Gynecomastia:

The main and most obvious symptom of gynecomastia is the enlargement of breasts. Other symptoms may include:

  • Growth of button-sized lump underneath the nipple.
  • Swollen breast tissue.
  • Breast tenderness.
  • Pain in breasts.

Gynecomastia usually affects both breasts, but the breasts may grow unevenly.

The Causes Of Gynecomastia:

Hormonal imbalance is typically the main cause of breast enlargement in men. Actually, a decrease in the amount of testosterone (male hormone) compared with Estrogen (female hormone) triggers gynecomastia. Some other factors that can cause gynecomastia are as follows:

  • Obesity
  • Puberty
  • A decline in the production of male sex hormones, especially testosterone, in men at an older age (known as Andropause).
  • Effect of mother’s estrogen after birth in infants and nursing babies.
  • A side effect of certain medications (e.g.: Chemotherapy, anti-ulcer drugs, ADHD and anti-anxiety medication, medicine for heart disease)
  • Certain health conditions (e.g.: Hyperthyroidism, Tumors, Kidney failure, or Liver disease)
  • Genetics.
  • Excessive use of alcohol.
  • Use of illegal drugs (e.g.: Anabolic steroids to build muscles, Marijuana, Heroin)

Diagnosis of Gynecomastia:

Your doctor will assess the symptoms and will perform a physical exam. Your doctor will also ask questions about your as well as your family’s medical history. 

The diagnosis may also include blood tests to check your hormone levels, and an ultrasound to check for any abnormal growth in your breast tissue.

Treatment Of Gynecomastia:

In most cases, gynecomastia doesn’t require any treatment and goes away on its own. Especially in infants and adolescents, the swollen breast tissue will go away without treatment within few months to two years. 

However, only your doctor can decide whether you should adopt a wait-and-see approach or go for the treatment right away. Gynecomastia can be treated in the following ways:

  • Adopting Healthy Lifestyle:

Improving your lifestyle habits can help improve your hormonal imbalance, and thus gynecomastia will go away without the need for any treatment. Overweight people having symptoms of gynecomastia should consider losing weight. 

Moreover, avoiding alcohol and illegal drugs such as Anabolic Steroids, Marijuana, Heroin, etc. is also essential in the treatment of gynecomastia.

  • Medications:

If you are concerned about breast tissue growth, you should discuss the treatment options with your doctor. If your doctor thinks that you need treatment through medications, he may recommend medicines to adjust hormone imbalance.

  • Male Breast Reduction Surgery:

Male Breast Reduction Surgery is for men who have gynecomastia that has not responded to other treatments and is causing considerable pain or distress. It removes the excess fat from your chest and sculpts your upper body to create your desired appearance.

Before you go ahead, be sure to speak to your doctor about it, and take time to think about your decision. Choosing a qualified and experienced surgeon is also extremely important.

Male Breast Reduction Surgery involves incisions and removing excess fatty tissue with a surgical knife or using liposuction to suck it out. Your surgeon may also use a combination of both techniques depending on the case. Generally, patients can go back to work 2 weeks after the surgery.

Now, let’s come to the point.

What Happens If Gynecomastia Is Not Treated In Early Stages?

Breast enlargement in men usually does not indicate cancer or another serious condition. Gynecomastia is related to breast cancer in extremely rare cases. Even then, you should see your doctor right away if you develop some serious symptoms such as:

  • Breast pain and additional swelling
  • Firm or hard lump in the breast
  • Nipple discharge
  • Unusually itchy breast
  • An open sore developed over the breast

Periodic self-examination to check for any new lumps or changes and following the recommendations of your doctor is essential to avoid these complications.

If gynecomastia is left untreated in the early stages, it might cause chronic pain or discomfort and skin ulcerations of the breast. In addition to this, it can also have severe emotional and psychological consequences. So, it is best to consult with your doctor as soon as start seeing the symptoms.

 

 

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