A lot of men are confused between gynecomastia and pseudo gynecomastia and without knowing it, already start to embark on various treatments. Gynecomastia is the enlargement of male breasts due to development of glandular breast tissue. However, pseudo gynecomastia is enlargement of male breasts due to fat deposit and there is no risk factor.
You can perform this simple examination to detect gynecomastia by yourself. Firstly, lie down on your back. Place your thumb and forefinger facing out from your breast like a forceps. Gently, press the areola (the circular colored skin area surrounding the nipple) using your thumb and forefinger only. If both of your fingers can meet each other, then it is pseudo gynecomastia and no worry. Otherwise, if you discover there is a small rubbery or firm mound of tissue symmetrical to the nipple, then it is could be gynecomastia or breast cancer (very minimal cases). Certain breast cancer can cause nipple bleeding, discharge. Gynecomastia can be painful if the lump or glandular tissue becomes larger.
Another test for gynecomastia is to check your testicles sizes and consistency. Look for any sign of feminization. This test is to determine the production of hormone testosterone or androgen is at normal level, as low level of hormone testosterone can cause gynecomastia. Look for any nodules on the testes or any enlargement of testes as this may indicate testicular cancer. Body hair distribution can also indicate your hormone testosterone level.
You also may want to find out from your parents or grandparents for any history of gynecomastia. If there is a genetic history, then it may be a sign of Klinefelters syndrome. The carrier of this syndrome has an extra X chromosome, which causes insufficient production hormone testosterone in his body. Therefore, the development of male organs is affected, causing feminization and may cause gynecomastia.
You may also want to review your past medication as some drugs can promote gynecomastia. For example, drug for prostate cancer, anabolic steroid and antidepressants. Exposure to the usage of estrogen cream or gel by your female partner may cause this gynecomastia.
Therefore, it is advisable to check with your doctor or physician if you feel tenderness or suspect it is gynecomastia. Your doctor will perform blood tests, mammograms, chest x-rays, tissue biopsies and testicular ultrasounds. Once you have known the cause of it, then only you should proceed with treatments if the doctor find it is necessary to do.