|

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.

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 Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Earth Day Books for Children
Celebrate the environment by reading some of these great children's books about Earth Day, recycling, planting trees, and all things green!

Prom Dress Trends for 2014
Check out 2014 prom dress trends inspired by celebrities’ red carpet looks, but with a price tag under $100!