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18 Jan 2003

Swollen breasts in teenage boy
My son turned 14 2 months ago. For the last year he has had swollen breasts. I just want to know whether this is normal and can be put down to hormones due to puberty. I am worried due to the fact that this has been swollen for more than a year or so. He claims that it is not sore. He however is embarassed by it and will not swim without wearing a t-shirt.

Could you please advise.
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Expert
CyberDoc
CyberDoc

01 Jan 0001

Leah, it sounds like he might suffer from gynaecomastia. Gynaecomastia is enlargement of the male breast during puberty. Gynaecomastia is normal and transient during puberty. It can occur in one or both breasts and the pain/discomfort is not a sign of something serious. It can also be due to liver diseases, drug treatment, marijuana use, trauma to the breast, testicular and other oestrogen secreting tumours, and sometimes, endocrine diseases. If these causes are excluded, the best thing to do is to wait. If you’re in a hurry, the excess breast tissue can be removed surgically, but be warned, it can leave ugly scars. Good luck.
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