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What are the Most Common Causes of Male Breast Pain?

Autumn Rivers
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Men may experience pain in their chest tissue at some point, in which case there are a few common reasons. One of the most common causes of male breast pain is gynecomastia, which is inflammation of male breast tissue. Certain medications can also cause this issue, including diuretics, steroids, and drugs taken for hypertension. Finally, liver damage can also result in pain in the male breasts as excess fat accumulates in the liver. Fortunately, male breast cancer is not a common cause of breast pain.

Gynecomastia involves excess fat in the chest area of males, often resulting in tenderness and swelling. Though fat is not naturally supposed to accumulate in that area in males, this condition is quite common, especially in those going through puberty. It is usually attributed to hormone imbalance, which tends to occur either during puberty or during old age. Fortunately, it is usually temporary, and typically requires no treatment. As soon as the hormones balance out, the male breast tissue should return to normal.

Male breast pain is also sometimes caused by the use of certain medications. Steroids are responsible for some cases, as they may cause both breast growth and tenderness. Diuretics can also result in breast pain in men, which is why patients are typically advised to talk to their doctor before taking over the counter medication that may feature side effects like this. Of course, some prescription medications also lead to pain in the breast tissue. For example, methyldopa, which is used to treat hypertension, can cause tenderness in the chest tissue of some patients.

Liver damage is another somewhat common cause of male breast pain, as fat tends to build up on the liver with this condition. The excess fat can then result in pain in both the abdomen and the chest. A fatty liver is typically caused by alcoholism, obesity, or a diet high in unsaturated fats, and can lead to liver failure if not treated quickly.

One of the first conditions that may enter the mind when dealing with breast pain is breast cancer, but this is not typically considered a common cause of male breast pain. This is partly because breast cancer is much less common in men than in women, which means that men are very unlikely to get it. Additionally, few cases of male breast cancer involve pain in the chest, as most are diagnosed after the observation of a lump that is not painful.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Autumn Rivers
By Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for The Health Board, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.
Discussion Comments
By anon999257 — On Nov 22, 2017

I had been having pain since 3/4 days on my left chest around nipple, and also I can feel something like a lump (cyst).

Could you please advise ?

By anon958535 — On Jun 27, 2014

I have had a burning sensation in both my breasts, especially in the nipples for almost a month now. I am a 46 year old man. I went to a GP and was given an anti fungal treatment, but it has not helped. Kindly advise.

By anon929231 — On Jan 31, 2014

I have been having pain in my left breast for around one year now. I went to see a GP who advised an ultrasound. The US results were OK and the GP advised me that the pain is due to some hormonal imbalance which could be resolved by taking an antibiotic. I was on the antibiotic for two weeks and unfortunately the pain hasn't gone away.

I do suffer from digestion issues and have quite severe stomach acidity episodes. I am regularly taking Pantoprazole for treating this acidity. I don't drink and used to smoke casually in the past - I don't smoke anymore.

Can you please provide some advice on my symptoms? Thanks.

By anon332398 — On Apr 29, 2013

Check your liver function and test your prostate.

By anon154474 — On Feb 21, 2011

I have been having pain in my left breast for around 10 months now. I went to see a GP who advised an ultrasound. The US results were OK and the GP advised me that the pain is due to some hormonal imbalance which could be resolved by taking an antibiotic. I was on the antibiotic for two weeks and unfortunately the pain hasn't gone away.

I do suffer from digestion issues and have quite severe stomach acidity episodes. I am regularly taking Pantoprazole for treating this acidity. I don't drink and used to smoke casually in the past - I don't smoke anymore.

Can you please provide some advice on my symptoms? Thanks.

Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for The Health Board, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.
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