Definition of Gynecomastia

Breast enlargement in a man. Gynecomastia may be a symptom of obesity or hormonal imbalance such as may occur during puberty or with various endocrine disorders that affect the production of testosterone.

Advanced Cirrhosis, liver cancer, and chronic alcoholism often produce gynecomastia because the resulting dysfunction of the liver alters how the adipose (fat) cells metabolize estrogens.

Estrogen levels in the blood circulation tend to rise with chronic liver disease or damage to the liver. Gynecomastia is also a characteristic side effect of hormone therapy to treat prostate cancer, again because the balance of estrogen in the blood circulation increases.

Treatment depends on the underlying cause.

See also MASTALGIA.

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