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Topic: Male and Confused. Symptoms don't match Results

Forum: Male Breast Cancer — For men who have been diagnosed or are at high risk.

Posted on: Nov 10, 2019 07:26PM

Superman17 wrote:

First off let me say I haven't been diagnosed infact the opposite and that's why I'm here. I need help. Right breast enlarged along with right areola and tender in nipple area when touched. Went to ER diagnosed via ultrasound and diagnosed with Gynecomastia. Fast forward 2 weeks later things have changed. Right neck is tight, shoulder blade pain and numbness, shoulder numbness and pain, bicep and tricep tightness and numbness, forearm tightness, extending into hand and fingers at times. I saw a doctor at breast center did a diagnostic mammogram and had another ultrasound resulting in same diagnosis of Gynecomastia. He seems certain. I fear the diagnosis is wrong. Is there anyone who can help talk me thru this?

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Nov 23, 2019 06:49PM wallycat wrote:

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this.

For us gals, when ultrasound is inconclusive, we can do a breast MRI. I'm not sure if that is offered/available for men.

Did the doctor indicate what may be causing the gynecomastia? New meds? New supplements?

The numbness and tightness sound nerve related and swelling could be pressing on nerves. I wish I had more to offer. Short of a second or third opinion....maybe someone else will post. Virtual, gentle hugs.

Dx 4/07 1 month before turning 50; ILC 1.8cm, ER+/PR+, HER2 neg., Stage 1, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes. Onco score 20, Bilateral Mast., tamoxifen 3-1/2 years, arimidex-completed 4/20/2012
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Nov 23, 2019 09:53PM MinusTwo wrote:

Superman - sorry for your new fears.

It works better if you continue posting on your original thread rather than starting another one. Lots of people could continue following that way.

But like all your previous posts, your docs seem very sure you do NOT have breast cancer. As Wallycat says, your only option is to find and pay for a different doctor as a second or third opinion. That or find a doc to discuss your health fears.


2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Nov 24, 2019 05:17AM Spoonie77 wrote:

Hi Superman Im sorry for the stressful time you are going through. Hopefully others will stop by with ideas and their own experiences soon.

In the meantime, have you looked through the Mayo Clinic page on Gynecomastia? I'm sure you have as we all Google the heck out our worries but it seems to have a great list of causes for this condition.

Do any of those reasons make sense in your case?

Sure hope you can get further answers and a sense of assurance from your doctors that this indeed is what you are dealing with.

Please keep advocating for yourself with them. If this is truly Gynecomastia it seems blood tests could help confirm since it appears directly related to elevated Estrogen levels, maybe ask for lab work too?

-------

From Mayo:

Health conditions

Several health conditions can cause gynecomastia by affecting the normal balance of hormones. These include:

  • Hypogonadism. Conditions that interfere with normal testosterone production, such as Klinefelter syndrome or pituitary insufficiency, can be associated with gynecomastia.
  • Aging. Hormone changes that occur with normal aging can cause gynecomastia, especially in men who are overweight.
  • Tumors. Some tumors, such as those involving the testes, adrenal glands or pituitary gland, can produce hormones that alter the male-female hormone balance.
  • Hyperthyroidism. In this condition, the thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine.
  • Kidney failure. About half the people being treated with dialysis experience gynecomastia due to hormonal changes.
  • Liver failure and cirrhosis. Changes in hormone levels related to liver problems and cirrhosis medications are associated with gynecomastia.
  • Malnutrition and starvation. When your body is deprived of adequate nutrition, testosterone levels drop while estrogen levels remain the same, causing a hormonal imbalance. Gynecomastia can also happen when normal nutrition resumes.
Herbal products

Plant oils, such as tea tree or lavender, used in shampoos, soaps or lotions have been associated with gynecomastia. This is probably due to their weak estrogenic activity.

Risk factors

Risk factors for gynecomastia include:

  • Adolescence
  • Older age
  • Use of anabolic steroids or androgens to enhance athletic performance
  • Certain health conditions, including liver and kidney disease, thyroid disease, hormonally active tumors, and Klinefelter syndrome

Medications

A number of medications can cause gynecomastia. These include:

  • Anti-androgens used to treat an enlarged prostate, prostate cancer and other conditions. Examples include flutamide, finasteride (Proscar, Propecia) and spironolactone (Aldactone, Carospir).
  • Anabolic steroids and androgens, which are prescribed by doctors for certain conditions or are sometimes used illegally by athletes to build muscle and enhance performance.
  • AIDS medications. Gynecomastia can develop in men who are HIV-positive and receiving a treatment regimen called highly active antiretroviral therapy. Efavirenz (Sustiva) is more commonly associated with gynecomastia than are other HIV medications.
  • Anti-anxiety medications, such as diazepam (Valium).
  • Tricyclic antidepressants.
  • Antibiotics.
  • Ulcer medications, such as the over-the-counter drug cimetidine (Tagamet HB).
  • Cancer treatment.
  • Heart medications, such as digoxin (Lanoxin) and calcium channel blockers.
  • Stomach-emptying medications, such as metoclopramide (Reglan).
"Spoonie" who entered BC World @ 41. DXd w/MS & Thyroid Cancer @42. Treatment: LX/SLNB/RADs. Plan A: 5mg Tamox = 0 QOL. Plan B: OS/AI = Rare allergy to OS meds. Plan C: Only option left,  Diet & Exercise. PS: Not a dr, just a Googler. Dx 7/20/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 8/29/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Dx 8/30/2018, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2 Radiation Therapy 9/30/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 3/29/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/1/2019 Zoladex (goserelin)
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Nov 24, 2019 10:38AM moth wrote:

I think the thing the gynecomastia diagnosis is that at this point for you, it seems almost like a description of a syndrome and not really a diagnosis yet. You will need to do investigations to determine its *cause*. And then develop a treatment plan & then see how you respond. Diagnosis is often just sequential trials of exclusion so as you go on you might be able to cross more and more things off your list of differential diagnoses. The fact that a diagnostic mammo and 2 u/s and 2 different docs are all pointing to gynecomastia would make me think this is a reasonable starting place and now take the next step and figure out why it's happening and what to do about it. You may want to consult with endocrinology as a starting point.

best wishes

Dx at 50; Left, IDC, 1.7 cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, very weakly ER+, being treated as TNBC Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/14/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 24, 2019 10:40AM Superman17 wrote:

Yee I'm obese and have discovered I have diabetes and hypothyroidism. They have ruled out breast cancer according to the doctor's. So I should trust them right?


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Nov 24, 2019 10:42AM Superman17 wrote:

Yee I'm obese and have discovered I have diabetes and hypothyroidism. They have ruled out breast cancer according to the doctor's. So I should trust them right? I mean they have told me the diagnosis is indeed Gynecomastia clearly and that the diagnosis was easy to make. They've told me that breast cancer has been ruled out to I should believe them I suppose? They seem to have done their job. My hormones and stuff are all out or whack it seems so idk.


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Nov 24, 2019 11:02AM moth wrote:

superman, at this point given the information you have provided, I would trust them. I'd suggest to get diabetes & hypothyroidism under control (Type 2 DM can sometimes be reversed if dealt with early so leap on that quickly!) & start to tackle the obesity. Just make a note on the calendar to check the gynecomastia in 6 months but it's very possible that this is simply a symptom of the other health issues.


Dx at 50; Left, IDC, 1.7 cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, very weakly ER+, being treated as TNBC Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/14/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 24, 2019 11:08AM Superman17 wrote:

Thanks for the reply. This however has now scared me a bit more. So they're telling me breast cancer is off the table and not the cause. The other stuff I'm seeing them about tomorrow. So if they're saying it isn't the cause then it couldn't be the cause in 6 months right? How can I go about just simply ruling this out or in because I've done everything I know to do. They've told me an MRI or Biopsy isn't needed. My test results simply showed scattered fibroglandular density or something they said was normal idk

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Nov 24, 2019 12:01PM wallycat wrote:

All of us here can get cancer (or recurrence) at any time. Some of the suggestions made here make sense to me. Since you've disclosed the other issues you are dealing with, it would be worthy to work on the diabetes and weight and follow up in 6 months on the cancer concern. Cancer is not the only thing that can kill us. Untreated diabetes is equally bad. Weight impacts so much of our physiology--blood pressure, joint pain, etc...so it is equally worthy of concern. Breast cancer detected in 6 months would not alter your life expectancy. You sound very worried and who can blame you. Not knowing is frightening. I think that is why many gals get more stressed the further out we are. The not knowing if our cancer will come back. But we try to move past that because that affects our quality of life while we are trying to have a full life. Waiting for cancer is no good.

It sounds like you will address your other issues. In 6 months, the breast swelling may resolve and you'll be moving towards an over all healthier life. Focus on taking care of yourself and assume you have great years to live. Keep in touch with the docs for follow ups; at some point, if enough people tell you it isn't cancer, you need to move past it. There's always the question of "if" or "did they get it wrong..." sure...for any of us...Best to you.

Dx 4/07 1 month before turning 50; ILC 1.8cm, ER+/PR+, HER2 neg., Stage 1, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes. Onco score 20, Bilateral Mast., tamoxifen 3-1/2 years, arimidex-completed 4/20/2012
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Nov 24, 2019 12:06PM Superman17 wrote:

Right of course and I'm dealing with the other issues. But I obviously have anxiety and depression issues and all I simply want to do is know the answer. I've been told that it isn't what's causing this due to testing which is conclusive. That's what I'm saying if they diagnosed Gynecomastia and assured me no cancer here should that be enough? I just simply want it done so I can move on otherwise I can't. I've already had this for 5 to 6 months. Nothing has changed in size and what not. So I've had numerous tests and all were good I guess. So I'm just confused I guess. I can't just wait 6 months because that isn't who I am. I have to know answers it's just my makeup and they've assured me I have them. So I'm just confused

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Nov 24, 2019 01:14PM Spoonie77 wrote:

Superman - Waiting and the anxiety that goes along with it is such a hard part of any medical unknowns, especially when it comes to cancer. I totally understand your concerns and your wanting to know "now". I've been feeling that for the past year and a half, wish it was easier to deal with and put behind us but unfortunately it's another part of the process.

IMO from what you have shared here, doctors have taken all the steps possible (mammo, ultrasound, labs) and have to date ruled out Breast Cancer. That is reassuring. They are saying there is no evidence seen pointing to Breast Cancer.

I think what Moth was meaning about the 6 months comment is that if this issue/Gynecomastia continues to increase or change despite therapy to manage the causes (weight, diabetes, and hypothyroidism) it would be logical to reassess in 6 months. That doesn't mean they have missed something or are wrong today, it just means that another review or Mammo seems logical if the condition is not responding to management after a substantial time period.

Make sense?

Hopefully tomorrow when you see your doctor they will be able to help you better understand treatments that can help with the pain and distress you are dealing with. Fingers crossed that therapy for your other health conditions will lead to the elimination of Bynecomastia for you soon.

"Spoonie" who entered BC World @ 41. DXd w/MS & Thyroid Cancer @42. Treatment: LX/SLNB/RADs. Plan A: 5mg Tamox = 0 QOL. Plan B: OS/AI = Rare allergy to OS meds. Plan C: Only option left,  Diet & Exercise. PS: Not a dr, just a Googler. Dx 7/20/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 8/29/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Dx 8/30/2018, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2 Radiation Therapy 9/30/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 3/29/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/1/2019 Zoladex (goserelin)
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Nov 24, 2019 02:10PM MinusTwo wrote:

Superman - there's some good advice here. Hope you'll go for it and get your health under control.

The take out is YOU DON'T HAVE BREAST CANCER. Hopefully you don't have lung cancer or thyroid cancer or skin cancer. You could get hit by a car tomorrow. You could get cancer tomorrow. You need to move on and remember that RIGHT NOW, you don't have breast cancer.

There are good sites on line with people discussing diabetes & weight & thyroid. I hope you can find some of those sites to discuss your issues with others who have similar problems.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Nov 25, 2019 04:21AM Traveltext wrote:

Superman17, I’ve read through this thread and, as a guy who has listened to many men air their breast cancer concerns here over the past five years I’d have to second MinusTwo’s opinion.


NED breast and prostate cancer. More on Male BC

Dx 03/14, IBC, Lgth. 2cm, Stge IIIB, Gde 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- ; FEC x3, Taxol x3; Mx & 2/23 nodes; Rads x 33; now on tamoxofin.

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