The Least Talked About Male Health Issue

Bill Kuhl wrote up a review of last Friday's episode of 20/20 on the ABC television network. It covered an issue you won't find much talk about these days - gynecomastia. Assuming you haven't heard of the term before (I hadn't), gynecomastia is the medical condition of having enlarged male breasts. It is obviously a very embarrassing problem for men, and if you click "Read More" below you can view Bill's comments on the program and an overview of gynecomastia. And kudos to 20/20 for their informative and sensitive coverage of the topic. Let's Hear It for ABC's 20/20!

What is the least talked about male health problem?
Prostate enlargement? Testicular cancer? Most likely
it's neither of these. ABC's "20/20" had a segment
last Friday on what it may very well be - it's medical
term is gynecomastia, more commonly referred to as
"enlarged male breasts." The segment was
straightforward in its examination of this extremely
embarrassing problem - as one of the the interviewees
stated, men with enlarged breasts have to do an excellent job
concealing their chest size. For the record, we
are talking about men with what look like small female
breasts. As "20/20" pointed out, this is not the same
as the temporary condition experienced by some teen
males due to raging hormones nor is it the "flabby"
looking chest of severely overweight men. This is a
permanent condition that will not decrease in size, no
matter how much a man exercises. The only medical
answer, per the report, appears to be "a
liposuction-type of procedure" performed by a plastic
surgeon. In the segment, a New York plastic surgeon by
the name of Dr. Eliot Jacobs was interviewed along
with a couple of his patients. Jacobs, himself a
sufferer of the condition, has performed the surgical
procedure on hundreds of men. Overall, "20/20" was
very respectful of the men who spoke about their
embarrassment over their chest size, and the men were
very forthcoming. As a result, this straightforward,
responsibly handled segment should help other men to
feel the courage to come forward and get help. Thank
you "20/20!"

(By the way, please don't be confused by the term
"gynecomastia" - it can refer to most any mass of
unwanted tissue in the male chest. I once had a
gynecomastia; it was nothing more than a very small,
hard lump under one of my nipples, the result of some
medication I had been on. Please remember that the men
in this segment had what looked like permanent small,
female breasts - which also are referred to as
"gynecomastia." For more information, many websites
can be found on the subject by simply putting
"gynecomastia" into a search engine.)

Bill Kuhl

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