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Do Men with Gynecomastia Have a Higher Risk for Breast Cancer?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about one percent of all breast cancers occur in men. Gynecomastia, a condition characterized by the overdevelopment of male breast tissue, has never been shown to be associated with an increased risk for breast cancer. Nevertheless, it is important to discern the differences in glandular tissue in gynecomastia versus male breast cancer.

Gynecomastia due to glandular tissue overgrowth presents as a smooth, firm growth underneath the nipple and/or areola. This condition may be present in one or both breasts and often is associated with tenderness in the area. Contrarily, male breast cancer typically appears as an irregular growth with a rubbery or hard feel. The tumor can form anywhere on the breast, including underneath the nipple, but breast cancer is more likely to be confined to one breast as opposed to both.

Ultimately, if you are concerned about any irregularities that you find on your chest, it would be quite prudent to have them evaluated by a qualified medical professional. When detected early, the success rate of breast cancer treatment for men can be dramatically increased. As for gynecomastia, when male breast reduction is skillfully performed by a board certified plastic surgeon, the outcome can be quite dramatic and rewarding – physically and mentally.

Dr. Steven H. Turkeltaub

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