|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Breast Lump on Boy

Pediatrics Expert Advice from Shari Nethersole, M.D.

Q: My 11 - year-old son found a small hard lump under his nipple. The doctor said it was normal and that it could switch back and forth. Could you give me more information on this and what changes I need to look for should they occur?

A: It is very common for young boys who are going through puberty to have some swelling or enlargement of the breast tissue under the nipple. This is the case for approximately 70 percent of adolescent boys. It usually occurs on both sides, although it can occur on just one breast.

The cause is the hormonal changes that occur during adolescence. There is a slight imbalance between testosterone and estrogen production for a short period of time. It is not clear why it sometimes affects one breast more that the other. Usually, this breast enlargement regresses (goes back down) as the other pubertal changes progress. There are no special treatments needed. If there is any discharge from the nipple, or if your son is not showing signs of going through puberty, then further evaluation could be needed.

There are reports of breast cancer in men, but it is extremely, extremely rare in adolescent boys, and I would not worry about this.

More on: Expert Advice

Shari Nethersole is a physician at Children's Hospital, Boston, and an instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She graduated from Yale University and Harvard Medical School, and did her internship and residency at Children's Hospital, Boston. As a pediatrician, she tries to work with parents to identify and address their concerns.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

highlights

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

8 Products to Help Your Family Go Plastic-Free
How can you minimize your family's exposure to harmful chemicals and lessen your impact on the environment? Try swapping out some of your everyday plastic products with these non-plastic alternatives.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks