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This information provides a general overview on this topic and may not apply to everyone. The information is NOT a substitute for you visiting your doctor. However, as Medical Science is constantly changing and human error is always possible, the authors, editors, and publisher of this information do not warrant the accuracy or completeness of this information nor are they responsible for omissions or errors as a result of using this information.


What is Gynaecomastia?

Gynaecomastia is a common condition in teenage boys where firm, tender breast tissue grows under the nipples. It is usually caused by an imbalance of hormones during puberty and usually disappears without treatment within a couple of years.

In rare cases, it could be due to taking anabolic steroids, taking certain medicines (prescription or over-the-counter) or using cannabis. Very occasionally gynaecomastia is due to a tumour or disease.

If the condition occurs in an adult man, he may need tests to find out the cause of the problem. The problem may be linked to the pituitary gland, the liver or the testicles and treatment may be necessary. Treatment options include medication to reduce the extra breast tissue or, in rare cases, surgery.

Some men and boys have fat on their chests that makes it look like they have breasts. This is ‘false gynecomastia’ and is helped by losing weight. The best way to do this is with a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise.
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Last modified October 2015