The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Food & Health

January 2, 2014

Gynecomastia can be harmless; still needs more investigation

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a reasonably healthy 62-year-old male. During a recent checkup, my doctor observed that I have “abnormal breast development” and suggested that I see an endocrinologist. Besides being embarrassed to take my shirt off in public, are there other reasons I should be concerned about this? What treatment would an endocrinologist be likely to recommend? — Anon.

ANSWER: The appearance of breast tissue in men (gynecomastia) is common, and can have several causes. In adolescents, some transient gynecomastia is normal and usually resolves by itself. In middle-age and older men, medications (such as spironolactone, a common diuretic), liver disease and abnormal hormone levels (both sex hormones and thyroid) are the most commonly found causes, but much of the time, no cause can be found. Since gynecomastia in rare circumstances can be a symptom of a serious disease, and endocrinologists are commonly expert in this evaluation, I would agree that you should get evaluated.

It is important to be sure you do not have male breast cancer, and a mammogram may be necessary. A careful exam, blood hormone levels and sometimes testicular ultrasound to look for hormone-producing tumors are part of the evaluation. Treatment is of any underlying cause that may be found. If no cause is found, many men prefer surgery or liposuction to remove the breast tissue.

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am looking to have surgery on my cervical vertebrae at a prestigious hospital in St. Louis. Before I had even made up my mind, the hospital sent a form regarding arbitration. If anything should go wrong, they want me to agree to arbitration instead of going the usual route of the court system. They say the choice is mine. Is this normal preoperative paperwork? — T.B.

ANSWER: This is increasingly common, and a brief survey of surgeons gave me a mixed response — some felt it wasn’t a red flag at all, and others recommending double-checking the surgeon’s record, perhaps through the state medical board. Any disciplinary action must be publicly available, and in Missouri it is freely available on the website at pr.mo.gov/healingarts.asp.

Text Only
Food & Health
  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 31, 2014

  • Fist bump photo Study: Fist bumps less germy than handshakes

    When it comes to preventing the spread of germs, maybe the president is on to something with his fondness for fist bumps.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Watermelon Think beyond the slice with refreshing watermelon

    Watermelon is one of those foods you really don’t need to overthink.
    Slice it. Eat it. Spit out the occasional seed. Done.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Health insurers owe Iowans nearly $1.8M in refunds

    The federal government says insurers owe Iowans nearly $1.8 million in refunds because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act.

    July 24, 2014

  • Agents get subsidized 'Obamacare' using fake IDs WASHINGTON (AP) — Undercover investigators using fake identities were able to secure taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care law, congressional investigators said Wednesday.The weak link seemed to be call cente

    July 24, 2014

  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 23, 2014

  • Illinois patients to docs: 'What about marijuana?'

    Illinois doctors, nursing homes, hospitals and hospice organizations are ramping up for their role as gatekeepers in the state's new medical marijuana program.

    July 23, 2014

  • Amanda Stecker Herbs make a better way to flavor meals Summer is a season full of fresh herbs. This is the best time of year to take advantage of the fresh herbs in the grocery store. Herbs add a boost of flavor without added sodium and are rich in antioxidants. Herbs are easy to incorporate into everyda

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Genome Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia WASHINGTON, D.C. — Scientists have linked more than 100 spots in our DNA to the risk of developing schizophrenia, casting light on the mystery of what makes the disease tick.Such work could eventually point to new treatments, although they are many y

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

    Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

    July 22, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.