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Gynecomastia

What is Gynecomastia?

The word Gynecomastia comes from two Greek words, Gyne meaning Woman and Mastos which means breast. A loose translation would be “woman like breasts”. They are also know as steroid breasts or bitch tits as some people unkindly call them.

Gynecomastia actually describes a condition whereby breast tissue builds up in a male's chest creating what appear to be female breasts. These breasts can be quite tender and sensitive.

The condition Gynecomastia is very common in adolescent boys, however, in about 90% of these cases, the condition disappears naturally as their adolescence follows it’s course.

For the remaining 10% though, it remains and can be quite a social handicap causing significant psychological damage to the patient The feelings that this condition can generate can be shame, embarrassment and humiliation commonly. A lot of this can be brought about from teasing and jokes made about their breasts by their peers.

Other than the tenderness in the chest which is associated with Gynecomastia, there are no other medical problems with this condition other than the psychological problems that it causes.

For some men and boys who appear to have Gynecomastia, may actually have a condition called pseudogynecomastia. This describes the fatty build up on their chests. This is not the same thing as Gynecomastia.

Interestingly, it is possible that this condition may affect only one breast or both.

By Mike Mansell