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Man boobs

What are they? Man boobs (gynaecomastia) is a common condition that causes boys' and men's breasts to swell and become larger than average. It's most common in teenage boys and older men.

What causes them?

Hormone imbalance The condition can be caused by an imbalance between the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen.

While all men produce some oestrogen, they usually have much higher levels of testosterone, which stops the oestrogen from causing breast tissue to grow.

Obesity Being obese can increase levels of oestrogen in boys and men.

Birth Gynaecomastia can affect newborn boys because oestrogen passes through the placenta from the mother to the baby while in the womb. This is temporary and will disappear a few weeks after the baby is born.

Puberty During puberty boys' hormone levels vary. If the level of testosterone drops, oestrogen can cause breast tissue to grow but usually clears up as boys get older.

Older age As men get older, they produce less testosterone. Older men also tend to have more body fat, and this can cause more oestrogen to be produced.

Rarely medication, alcoholism, kidney and liver disease, and tumours of the testicles are implicated.

What's the treatment?

Surgery to remove the excess breast tissue


Breast reduction surgery isn't usually available on the NHS.

Always see your GP if the area is very painful or there's an obvious lump. Sometimes, the lump may need to be removed.

Gynaecomastia isn't related to breast cancer, but if you're worried about breast swelling see your GP as soon as possible.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 18, 2019
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