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Gynecomastia is a common disease of the male breast where there is a benign glandular enlargement of that breast at some time in the male's life. It usually consists of the appearance of a flat pad of glandular tissue beneath a nipple which becomes tender at the same time. The development may be on one or both breasts. There is rarely a continued growth of the breast tissue; ordinarily the process is of brief duration and stops short of the production of permanent enlargement of the breast.
Gynecomastia is found only in males, and the signs can appear any time in a male's lifetime. It is the leading breast disorder in males and it accounts for 60% of all disorders of the male breast. About 85% of male breast masses are due to gynecomastia and 40% of the cases affect pubescent boys.. Approximately 40% of normal men and up to 70% of hospitalized men have palpable breast tissue. Active gynecomastia in autopsy data is between 5 and 9%. In one study, more than 80% of hospitalized patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or greater had gynocamastia. About 70% of pubertal males required no treatment. If the threshold for judging that the breast is enlarged is set at 2cm in diameter, the incidence is 32 to 36% in normal aged men 17 to 58 years.
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Androgen: Any steroid hormone that increases male characteristics.
Benign: Literally: innocent; not malignant. Often used to refer to cells that are not cancerous.
Chronic: Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.
Estrogen: One of the female sex hormones produced by the ovaries.
Gynecomastia: Occurs when the male breast is enlarged. The size can vary from a slight puffiness to full female-like breasts. It literally means "female-like breasts".
Hyperthyroidism: An abnormal condition of the thyroid gland resulting in excessive secretion of thyroid hormones characterized by an increased metabolism and weight loss.
pH: A measure of an environment's acidity or alkalinity. The more acidic the solution, the lower the pH. For example, a pH of 1 is very acidic; a pH of 7 is neutral; a pH of 14 is very alkaline.
Testosterone: The principal male sex hormone that induces and maintains the changes that take place in males at puberty. In men, the testicles continue to produce testosterone throughout life, though there is some decline with age. A naturally occurring androgenic hormone.