Font Size
A
A
A

Gynecomastia (cont.)

Exams and Tests

Gynecomastia is usually diagnosed by a physical examination. The presence of breast tissue greater than 0.5 cm in diameter is characteristic of gynecomastia. In addition to a physical examination, a careful medical history is also important to help assess the cause of gynecomastia.

The doctor may order tests, such as blood tests or imaging studies, to help establish the reason for gynecomastia. Mammography is indicated if there is any suspicion of male breast cancer.

Gynecomastia Treatment

Treatment of gynecomastia is not always necessary since transient gynecomastia, such as occurs during puberty, generally resolves on its own without treatment within three years. If medications are the cause of gynecomastia, stopping the offending drug can be effective in reducing gynecomastia. Treatment of any underlying medical conditions is also important. Both medications (see below) and surgery have been successfully used to treat gynecomastia.

Self-Care at Home

A variety of chest compression garments and vests are available to help minimize discomfort and/or improve cosmetic appearance if desired.

Medical Treatment

Medications are most effective when used in the early stages of gynecomastia, because the enlarged breast tissue often becomes scarred after about 12 months. Medications are not likely to be effective at reducing scar tissue, and surgical removal is the only possible treatment.

Medication

Treatments for gynecomastia have not been extensively studied, so data showing their effectiveness are limited. No drugs have yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of gynecomastia. In general, two types of medications have shown promise for the management of gynecomastia:

  • Testosterone replacement: This therapy has been effective in older men with low levels of testosterone, but it was not proved to be effective for men who have normal levels of the male hormone.
  • SERMs: The selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) tamoxifen (Soltamox) and raloxifene (Evista) can help reduce the amount of breast tissue, although they are not able to entirely eliminate the problem. These medications are most often used for severe or painful gynecomastia.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/8/2014

Must Read Articles Related to Gynecomastia

Alcoholism
Alcoholism Alcohol problems vary in severity from mild to life threatening and affect the individual, the person's family, and society in numerous adverse ways. Despite al...learn more >>
Testicular Cancer
Cancer of the Testicle Testicular cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the testicles. The testicles are the male reproductive organs (gonads), where sperm are produced. The ...learn more >>
Kidney Disease
Chronic Kidney Disease Twenty percent of people over the age of 20 years will develop chronic kidney disease in their lifetime. Chronic kidney disease causes are diseases of the kidne...learn more >>




Medical Dictionary