Sudden breast growth occurs more commonly in women, although it can happen to men as well. Sometimes it is just a growth spurt, but other times, there is an underlying problem that requires medical attention. Understanding the possible causes for sudden breast growth will allow you to take the proper measures and ask the appropriate questions.
Pregnancy is one reason for sudden breast growth. The breast can grow up to a full cup size during the first few weeks and up to three-cup sizes throughout the pregnancy. Your breast should go back to normal after pregnancy and once the baby is weaned. However, sometimes the breasts will stay larger than they were pre-pregnancy.
Inflammatory breast cancer, though rare, is one reason you should consult a doctor if your breasts suddenly increase in size. When there is cancer in a breast, it can become inflamed, causing abnormal growth. According to Jaisri M. Lambert, Ayurvedic Practitioner and Consultant, the symptoms of breast cancer may include swelling, tenderness to the touch and redness. This can happen to men and women and is just as severe for both. Dr. Lambert also mentions in her publication that breast cancer comes from a variation of nutritional, environmental, and social causes. Learning these potential hazards can help to prevent it.
Puberty is a very basic reason for sudden breast growth. According to the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the general age for the onset of puberty in girls is 11, and in boys, it is estimated to be 12. From ages 11 to 16, girls may see the largest growth in their breast sizes. Puberty in girls can cause the breast to grow a full size or more within a very short time. Sometimes, one breast will grow faster than the other. You may want to consult a physician if you have questions regarding breast development.
Gynecomastia is the swelling of breasts in men, and has been attributed to an imbalance of sex hormones. When it occurs in pubescent boys, it often goes away on its own when hormone levels go back to normal. If this condition appears during adulthood, it tends to stick around. The older a man gets, the less testosterone he produces, which can cause weight gain. This sometimes also causes glandular tissue to grow and fatty tissues to build up under the breast. Fatty tissues produce a certain amount of estrogen, which in turn causes the breasts to grow.
Gynecomastia can be a source of embarrassment, and can be treated with hormone therapy or surgery to reduce the breast size.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Pediatrics: Current Age of Onset of Puberty
- Mayo Clinic: Inflammatory breast cancer
- Imaginis: Breast Cancer and Pregnancy
- Jaisri M. Lambert, Ayurvedic Practitioner and Consultant: Prevention and Management of Breast Cancer According to Ayurveda
- USA Today: Health Encyclopedia--Diseases and Conditions: Gynecomastia
- OSU Medical Center: Normal Breast Development
- BreastCancer.org: Symptoms & Diagnosis