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.
With gynecomastia, tissue inside the breast glands grows. This can cause female-appearing breasts. Gynecomastia guy-nuh-koh-MAS-tee-uh is an increase in the amount of breast gland tissue in boys or men, caused by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. Gynecomastia can affect one or both breasts, sometimes unevenly. Newborns, boys going through puberty and older men may develop gynecomastia as a result of normal changes in hormone levels, though other causes also exist.
Although many people only associate breast problems with women, men can also be affected. If you have noticed changes in your breasts or nipples, follow this chart for more information. Do you have a hard, painless lump under your nipple, and have you noticed any breast changes such as skin dimpling or puckering, redness or scaling of the nipple or breast skin, or have you had any nipple discharge?
While we usually think of women when we talk of breasts, men have breasts, too. And like women, they at times have to cope with breast pain, breast enlargement, nipple pain, and even breast cancer. Unfortunately, in our breast-fixated society, it can be embarrassing for a man to bring up concerns he has about his breasts. And, most of the time, men don't sip a cup of tea and talk to other men about their breast pain. Let's take a close look at some of the potential causes of breast pain or swelling in men, including when men may need to be concerned about male breast cancer.