Breast Lumps in Boys

Dr. Greene, my 12-year-old son has a sore lump directly under his nipple. Could this be puberty related? This lump is tiny and hard and underneath the skin of the nipple. Thanks for your help!
Alberta, Canada

qabreast lumps

Dr. Greene’s Answer:

Lumps of one kind or another are a common reason for a visit to the doctor’s office. The lump might be in the neck (that the parents suspect is just a swollen gland), in the knee (that the parents think is from sliding into third base last month), or under the nipple (that the parents hope is due to puberty). I often enjoy seeing parents with these concerns in my own office. Sometimes the parents feel that they shouldn’t even bother their doctor with this because it’s probably normal. But underneath these hopeful, at-home diagnoses lies a common fear–it might be a tumor!

Most lumps in children are not cancerous and are not serious. Thankfully, childhood cancer is uncommon. But parents’ fears are not unfounded. Childhood breast cancer is quite rare, but it certainly does occur, even in boys. In males of all ages, breast cancer accounts for less than 1% of all cancers (American Surgeon, 1999; 65:250–253). But if it is your son, any chance of cancer seems too much. And a lump might be the first sign noticed.

Breast lumps in children often give rise to two immediate fears–Could it be a tumor? Or could something be going wrong with puberty? (A third fear–Will my child be teased?–arises if the first two turn out to be no problem.)

When to be Concerned about Breast Lumps in Boys & When to Relax

I’ll give you some guidelines for when to be concerned about a breast lump and when you can relax.

Puberty is a time of dramatic changes in the body, especially in the reproductive system. These transformations are brought about by surges of complex and precisely balanced hormones. The last time your 12-year-old had these tides of hormones was when he was a newborn–but then the hormones were yours. Coursing through his blood, your hormones matured his lungs, made him ready for life in the big outside world, and along the way may have given him baby acne and breast enlargement–even nipples that leaked milk. This precious newborn season was gone in a blink.

Now your 12-year-old is making surges of these same hormones on his own as his body turns into an adult’s–a miracle not unlike when you helped turn his body into a newborn’s.

There are five stages of the changes that occur during puberty, called Tanner stages or Sexual Maturity Rating (SMR) stages. Breast lumps in boys are common during SMR 3 and SMR 4.

In boys, SMR 3 usually begins at about age 12 or 13 years and lasts a year or so, although it can be normal in our culture to begin as early as 10 years or as late as 14.9 years, according to Tanner (Journal of Pediatrics, 1985; 107:317). SMR 3 is the time when the testes get clearly larger, the penis gets noticeably longer (then thicker in SMR 4), and the pubic hair (though still small in amount) gets darker and starts to curl.

Sperm is first produced during SMR 3.

Boys grow at their fastest during SMR 3 and SMR 4 (girls get their growth spurts earlier). With your son, you’re probably seeing him outgrow his beginning-of-the-year school clothes already–especially his shoes. During SMR 3, the feet and hands usually grow first, then the arms and legs, and finally the trunk–giving them that adorable adolescent gawky look (don’t tell my 12-year-old son I said that).

SMR 3 also marks the beginning of significant underarm perspiration (the odor, as you’ve probably noticed, can start much earlier).

And teenage acne usually begins at SMR 3, continuing on until the end of puberty.

In newborns, baby acne and breast buds often occur at about the same time. In the same way, many adolescent boys develop gynecomastia–true mammary breast tissue in a male–during SMR 3. The firm lump may occur under only one nipple, under both nipples, or under the two at different rates or sizes. The lumps are often tender when they are growing the fastest. In at least 90% of kids, these will go away on their own. They may disappear as quickly as in a few months, but it is not unusual for them to last up to 2 years (Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, WB Saunders, 2004). In some children, they may persist without being a problem. Gynecomastia occurs in at least 40% to 60% of boys (Fortschritte der Medizin, 1998; 116:23–26).

Gynecomastia can run in families, and when it does, the disappearance pattern tends to be similar in the family. Gynecomastia can happen in boys of any size but it is more common in bigger teens–either taller, heavier, or both. Obesity can certainly be a cause of gynecomastia in some children (Clinical Pediatrcs, 1998; 37:367–371).

Gynecomastia is different, though, than fatty tissue in the breast area. Boys tend to store extra fat in the upper body (breast and abdomen area), but girls are much more likely to store it in the lower body, particularly the thighs (Pediatrics, 1998; 102:e4). This is the first place it goes on and the last place it comes off. If girls’ breasts do enlarge by storing fat, this is usually one of the first places it disappears with weight loss.

Times to Worry about Breast Lumps in Boys (Not a Newborn)

  • If they begin before age 10 years or after age 15 years (especially after puberty is complete)
  • If they are not directly under the nipple
  • If there is overlying dimpling of the skin, skin ulceration, or change in the color of the skin
  • If the they feel fixed to the skin
  • If they are large–over 1.5 inches (4 cm) in diameter
  • If they don’t go away within 2 years
  • If the nipples leak milk, blood, pus, or other fluid
  • If there are other signs of disease–night sweats, fever, or weight loss, for example

These are all situations in which a breast lump should definitely be examined, in addition to the important regularly scheduled physicals during the puberty years. These children should have a careful physical examination right away. They should probably have an endocrinology (hormone) workup and perhaps an ultrasound or a mammogram, depending on the exam. I would also consult with a health care provider if a breast lump is associated with any signs of infection, such as sudden increased size, warmth, tenderness, drainage, redness, or fevers.

 

In a recent study at Johns Hopkins University of 60 high-risk boys with large lumps (> 4 cm), most of the boys–45 of them–turned out to be fine, but 15 did have significant medical problems, including one who had a serious cancer. Most of the problems were genetic (such as Klinefelter’s syndrome–XXY boys) or hormonal problems that needed to be treated (Clinical Pediatrics, 1998; 37:367–371). Gynecomastia can also be a side effect of taking steroids or other medications. It can come from liver disease, testicular disease, or neurologic diseases.

If you are ever unsure whether a breast lump is normal, it is always wise to seek the advice and opinion of your child’s doctor.

Good Breast Health Practices for Teens

  • Avoiding steroid supplements
  • Avoiding steroid medicines where possible (e.g., keep asthma well controlled with preventive measures)
  • Avoiding cigarette smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Being physically active daily (exercise)
  • Eating a healthy, whole food diet
  • Maintaining ideal weight
  • Avoiding piercing and tattooing

If normal, benign gynecomastia is bothersome, either because it is large or because it doesn’t go away as puberty progresses, treatment is possible. Sometimes hormones are given to try to shrink the breast tissue. Alternatively, the mammary breast tissue can be removed. A tiny incision is made under the armpit, and the tissue is removed with a fiberoptic scope. The results are great, and the scar is small and inconspicuous (Annals of Plastic Surgery, 1998; 40:62–64).

Normal, small gynecomastia is yet another reminder of the wonderful changes in your son’s body as he becomes a man. While teenagers can be quite trying to live with at times, savor every moment you can as you enter the last few years of having your son in your home.

Did this article help answer your questions on Breast Lumps in teens? Do you still have questions? Let us know in the comments below.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

  1. Dawson

    Hey! I just turned 13 on the 7th of February, and I have a lump on my left and right nipple, the left one has been there for a couple of months, but the right one just started happening right after Christmas, I’m nervous about it, like will I start growing breast!? Or is it a tumor or cancer?! This article kind of worried me more about it. If I could get any advice thanks

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  2. missthaing

    Thanks great. Article

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  3. John

    I am 15 and I really would like some help I have a lump not that big but about the size of my nipple right under my left Nipple and I read some comments where people said when they squeeze it a small amount of colorless liquid comes out. This sacred me I haven’t told anyone about it but the same thing is happening to me. I used to have a small lump under both my nippels when I was about 13 and then they went away but now it’s back and hurts more but only in my left nipple …..someone please help the article said u shouldn’t workout but I have to for my school my left nipple hurts and when squeezed produces a smal amount of colorless liquid PLEASE RESPOND I would gladly appreciate anyone’s feedback please and thank u

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  4. Kris C

    I’m 13 years old and I’ve had a small lump in my right nipple ever since the first of October. On December 13th I noticed that I was starting to get one in my right nipple. It’s sore to the touch and has been gradually getting larger. Does anyone know what it is?

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  5. Jake W.

    Hi, I’m 13(and a half) years old and about 3 months ago I noticed a bump on my left nipple. Over the past few weeks a bump has been starting to grow on my right nipple. The bump on my right nipple is a little bit smaller than the one on my left. It hurts if I press on it( for example leaning on my arm on a table or a flat surface). I am a little worried because I have never witnessed or seen anything like it on my body. I know it is a time of change for my body at the ages of 13 but I would like to know if it could effect the function of some parts of my body or if it is just a normal thing.
    Thanks

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    • Jared Stickney

      Hey I have the same thing as you! I am 13 too. I’m kinda worried. I have had a lump in my right nipple since November, 2015. Then, around the end of December, I got a second lump, but this time in my left nipple. I’m not sure if I should go to the doctor. I have had no other symptoms besides the lumps being sore at the touch.

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  6. prince chigozie

    hi, I am 23 years, I develop a large lumps under my nipples of what I estimated to be 4cm in size. I am very worried about this. my concern is that this doesn’t show a sign of reduction rather it increases. plz need your help. this is turning into something else.

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    • una

      Hi Prince,

      I too am 22 and have a small (1.5cm) tender lump under my right nipple, its sore and I have no idea what it is. It’s not as big as yours but I used to get this same lump under my nipple as an adolescent and am hoping it is nothing to worry about.

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  7. Oscar

    Hi i am 14 years old recently got a really hard bump directly under my nipple and i am not sure if it is just me growing or if it is something serious I told my Mum but she said it was nothing but i am not sure because when people have bumped into me and accidentally hit it (nipple) I feel pain. Any ideas if it is serious or not. I need your help. And if there is a answer could you tell me how to get rid of it please i can’t walk in a shirt because the nipple shows. And school starts next week and i don’t wanna wear a jumper on 37 degree day to hide it. Please HELP.

    Thanks

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  8. Jay

    Hi I’m 13 and recently got a lump right under my left nipple and it hurts. It’s small and all around my nipple is big but doesn’t hurt as much around the nipple. I have no idea what to do. And I don’t want to tell anyone cuz I find it embarrassing.

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    • It would be very wise to tell someone, perhaps your mom or dad or a school nurse. It’s likely not an issue, but it’s smart to have a doctor do a physical exam, since you are worried.

      Hope that helps,
      @MsGreene

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  9. Cory

    Hi I’m 15 and I have a lump under both nipple the right one is bigger and when there is pressure on it it hurts is it late puberty and something else

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  10. Dodo

    I am now 15 years old and when I was 12 I developed a hard lumps under my nipples. I was told to squeeze them n when I would do it with a lot of force a small amount of colourless sticky liquid came out.

    After some time I realized that one side had no lump any more but it still looks a little raised. Now I still have one other side with a hard lump and already 15 years.

    (Please heeeeeelp me)

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  11. Mitchell

    Hey. I’m 15 and have had large lumps under my nipples for about 2 years now. The nipple itself turned a purplish color and it’s so embarrassing. I haven’t been to the pool in the past 2 years. My parents tell me to suck it up and deal with it, but I really want them gone. Any help would be appreciated.

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  12. Edward

    Hi, I am 12 years old, I have one way under 1 inch and directly under my nipple. This helped me so much because I was really worried about what could happen. Now I know it’s just puberty! thank you!

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  13. Mz.TazzinRo1

    As a mother who 1’s child is a boy. Recently turned 12 yrs of age with this kind of issuse. I wasn’t sure what i should think. All bad things were running through my mind. Made an appmt 4 my son with his dr. I just didn’t know what 2 think. I came across ur pg. Am i glad i did. Ur pg is very inforamational. I would like 2 say, Thank u Dr.Alan Greene.

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  14. Joy Alexander

    Thank you for the detailed explanation. I think we can attribute our symptoms to puberty onset, but will consult our pediatrician if tenderness continues. Thank you so much for your dedication to this website. Very informative and helpful!
    Most Sincerely,
    Joy

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  15. Jake Caserta

    So I noticed I had these lumps under my nipples when I was 12 and they were a little sore. whenever I would squeeze them with some pressure a small amount of clear liquid would come out. I am now 16 and still have them and my nipples always pop out of my shirt and it is so embarrassing to wear a shirt on the tighter side. how can I get rid of them. I have had them for 4 years and I am fed up with dealing with them. please help

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  16. Anonymous

    Im 13, around right after new years. I grew a lump on the top side of the nipple. Rather than the bottom. It’s grew overnight and Its starting to hurt. Is there anything i should worry about the occurrence

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  17. sachin

    I have lump on my both nipple and swelling nipple painless and when I pinch my nipple then it transform and look like normal for sometime and I am 19 years old (( what is this please tell)).

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  18. Anonymous

    Mine hurts but other than that there is no given sign that I should be worried. Is it a bad sign if it hurts a bit if I put some pressure on it?

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  19. Josh

    I’m 14 and I’ve had one breast harden. The othe one was hard. But it got hit one day and it “deflated” now one nipple is how it should be the other isn’t. Should I be concerned?

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  20. Rivers

    I have an 13 yr old son. He has an inverted nipple and also has a brownish discharge. Should I be concerned??

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  21. Annonymous

    Hi, I’m 15 years old. I don’t remember if my nipple enlargement started after the age of 15 or not, although I doubt it did. But, I do fear one thing: this might sound weird, but does “change in the color of the skin” mean an abnormal color or the normal way your nipple should be darker than the rest of your skin? Also, I am worried about that fact that I have experienced night sweats a couple of times, not everyday or anything. Should I be worried?

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    • Annonymous

      Just to add one more thing: they do hurt if I apply pressure to them or anywhere around them, and also, I am underweight for my age. Should I be worried considering everything I mentioned that happens? Please help! Thanks!

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  22. Richmond Boateng

    I have lumps at the tip of my nipples there some juice that comes out when I press it is a little bit bigger it came in when I was 13years and now am 16years what should I do to it

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  23. Wyatt

    I have a large lump in my nipple. It isn’t below my nipple it is directly in my nipple. There is juice that leaks from my nipple but I also am medically subscribed to a growth hormone. I am 14 years old, what should I do!?!

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  24. Sohail Ahmed

    I have a lump under each if my nipples theyre well under 4cm but seem fixed to the skin at the very tip of the lump could you tell me if i should inform my mother of this as it is quite embarassing to ask. Thanks.

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    • noname

      i told my mom and she pulled up this website lol

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  25. Bill Richardson

    This was very comprehensive and well written – thank you!

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  26. Zander Takacs

    This article helped me a lot I’m 12 years old. I have the same type of lump under my nipple. And my feet grew 2 sizes in a month. I was getting very scared a was going to have cancer I’m quite relieved mine is only “.65 of an inch I felt it maybe a month ago so I thought it was cancerous this article helped me more than the other ones. Thanks!

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    • Daniel v

      I have one aswell and I thought I was going to have cancer but I read your article and I don’t have any signs of it being a problem thank you.

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  27. Philippe

    I was also worried (I’m 13) and I have the same, about 0.75 inch ins diameter and got it quite recently so I’m pretty sure I should be fine according to this article

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  28. Jessica Pigg

    My youngest son was given a purple purple and his breast has been sensitive ever since. He has a large lump directly under his nipple and will not let us touch it because it is sore. He has had this for months. His pediatrician says it is a breast bud, but why did this occur after injury, and when should I worry? The nipple with the lump looks noticibly different. It is very swollen, whereas the other is normal looking.

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  29. Deonte henry

    Thank you for the help I am a 12 years old and I was worried
    so thank u so much

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  30. Joe

    Can an anti estrogen blocker help during puberty? Is it safe?Gyno runs in the family

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  31. Anonymous

    So I had posted a comment about a month ago. My breast lump is still on top of my left nipple. But I am not that worried anymore since I told my mom. But now, it seems bigger than usual. I think it swelled in size. Should I be worried? Please help me. not that worried, but still would like some feedback. Thanks!

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  32. Corey Gillette

    I had a lump directly under my right nipple when I was about 13 years old. It eventually went away but Im 15 now and another similar lump has appeared under my left nipple. Is this normal? I feel very slight pain only when pressure is applied.

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    • Tapiwa

      I am 14 years old and 10 months and I have 2 lumps. The one on my left is way bigger than the one on my right. I feel pain when I apply pressure too. We are going through the same thing

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  33. MeridEth

    Hi. Yesterday I found a hard lump smaller than a tangerine, larger that a cherry tomato, on the right side of my son’s chest. it is not under the nipple, it’s a little left of the right nipple towards the middle of his chest. He is only 7 years old. I am scared.

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    • john

      Like Dr.Greene said look at the things he wrote that you should be worried about, and it said if its not directly under the nipple, and if the child is under 10 you should worry about it. So it is probably best to get it checked out if you haven’t already

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  34. Nick

    Hi I have a question I am 12 and have a lump under both nipples one is slightly bigger than the other I had this for almost three years I only notice it when I pinch my nipple I feel veins connected to it at least I think it is and I am in the middle of puberty

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    • Nick

      I’m a boy to

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      • Nick

        It doesn’t hurt at all

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  35. Clarence Oledan

    Hi Dr. Geene
    I’m an 11 years old boy from the Philippines and I feel something painful in my breast and my breast is lumping. Please help me. Thank you..

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  36. Kelly

    Yes thank you for the info. It help set my mind at ease. But until the lump is gone from him I won’t be able to stop thinking of it.
    Kelly

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  37. Becky

    Thanks so much Dr.Greene. This information was very helpful and really put my mind at ease!

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  38. Nick

    Im 14, and have just discovered a small lump under my right nipple. it’s been there about a week. Im really worried about it. Please help, I now feel depressed constantly.

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    • MOM Bee

      Last night before bed my 14-year-old son said, “mom I have a lump under here” and it was his right nipple. I got so scared. I was terrified. l pressed it and slimy odorless and colorless water came out. pls what can this be as l was so scared upon seeing this, though he calmed me down saying ‘mom its no issue dont worry” pls reply

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      • That must be scary for you.

        Did the “slimy odorless and colorless water” come out of the nipple or out of the lump? Did it come out when you pressed lightly or when you pressed firmly?

        @MsGreene

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  39. Jason

    I have a lump in both nipples (The right is larger) it hurts when I put pressure on it it hurts. I’m really scared that I have cancer. My parents say its normal, but is it? I’m 13 years old.

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    • Omar

      Me too but im only 12 when someone barely touches my nipple it hurts

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  40. Ravi

    Hii sir i m a boy i hve under lump last 5 6 in both nipple but no pain no leakge any liqued. I m very wooried about this what should i do. Pls help sir

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  41. Anonymous

    I have a breast lump on top of my left nipple. Should I be worried? Otherwise, I have no other problems. I am really worried and I am afraid to tell my mom. Please help.

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    • It’s understandable to be nervous whenever you find a lump. Breast lumps stir up all the images of pink ribbons and breast cancer awareness. In boys who are entering of going through puberty, these lumps are typically transient and not harmful. None-the-less, it’s wise to tell your mom or dad and to be checked by a pediatrician. The only likely outcome is that you’ll feel better, but wouldn’t it be nice to stop worrying about it?

      Best,
      @MsGreene
      Mom and Executive Producer, DrGreene.com

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  42. Mable Domina

    Hey guys, I am a new parent and I’m trying to get my four month son to sleep through the night. Right now I am lucky to have four hours rest a night. Bless

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  43. Dylan

    My left nipple hurts. I feel a bump in it but my right one doesn’t have it. Should I be concerned. I told my parents should I schedule a doctors appointment.

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    • Kaleb

      I am 12 years old and I have a lump under my left nipple but my right nipple doesn’t have one. I told my parents to schedule a doctors appointment. I’ve had this lump for 4 – 5 months, should I be concerned ?¿

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  44. Aaron

    I have a small lump on my right nipple and it aches… Should I tell my mom. It is rather embarrassing.

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    • Yes! You should tell your mother. It may feel embarrassing now, but she will be able to help you.

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  45. Jordan

    I am a boy i am 13 and last year i got a lump under both of my nipples.I am worried and every one is saying its going a way but a yea later its still there some plz answer and help me out.Thanks.

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  46. Susan hall

    Thank you for this article i tried symptom checker an it couldn’t help. My 11 year old boy has a lump under his right nipple i thought it could be puberty but was unsure ive got him booked in with the doctor but this article helped to calm me down i was thinking the worse

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  47. Connor bentley

    I just want to say thet i am really thankful for the adivice it has calmed me down a lot. Im 15, 16 in 6 weeks and just found a small hard lump under my nipple. None of the other changes have seemed to happen but my mum made an appointment any way.

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  48. Sam

    I seem to have a lump under my right breast. It doesn’t really hurt but I am concerned about it. Can you give me some advice?

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  49. Jo

    I’m 13 and I seem to have all the symptoms of male breast cancer. It hurts when I breathe sometimes. I have a small red spot near my nipple also like you said I have the lumps under my breasts but they’re very big. I just wanna know if it’s normal to have all symptoms of breast cancer in adolescents like me but not have it. I’m very concerned. Please respond as soon as you can. Thanks

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    • Jo

      Well it doesn’t always hurt when I breathe. Just every once in a while

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  50. jayzee

    Everyone. I am having a situation here. I currently have a lump on my left areola. When i squeezed it.. a colourless liquid came out. I also 18 year old male

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  51. Wyatt

    I have one in both of my nipples and they are right on my nipple and they are big i dont know if i should tell my mom or if i should be worried

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    • It would be smart to talk to your mom. She will understand and be able to help you.

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  52. melissa

    My son recently told me about a lump on his left chest. He is 9 and will be 10 soon. After about a week of him being in discomfort and the lump still being present, we set him up with a Dr. appointment. The Dr. mentioned similar things regarding what your article said, however I am still concerned because my son is so young. Also, the lump is slightly above his nipple opposed to below and its extremely tender to touch. At the moment, the Dr. prescribed him to take Motrin for the pain as well as applying ice pack or heat pack, which ever helps. I guess the biggest question I have is if I should ask the Dr. to run more tests or if this is what it could be. I am just still worried and not sure what else I should ask.

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    • Hi Melisa,

      I’m not a doctor, but I’m a mom.

      Puberty is starting sooner and ever and even though 9 is young, this may be an early sign that his hormones are changing. Is he showing any other signs of puberty?

      Cheryl

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  53. Thomas

    Hi doc,

    I am 15, pretty late to puberty, I had my first ejaculation a few months ago. I got my first lump on my left nipple when I was 12, it dissapeared after a few months, then I got another one on the opposite nipple. A month ago that one dissapeared. And I just noticed one on my left nipple again.
    They are half a centimetre in size, are hard and sensitive to the touch.

    Do you have any idea what this is, or if it is normal? My parents know about it but don’t think to much of it. But I can’t be sure.

    Thanks a lot

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    • Thomas

      Edit:

      And my voice hasn’t cracked yet.

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  54. Iyad

    Hi i’m 14 and i have the lump in my left nipple i went to a doctor he told me its about puberty but can i know how much does it long to finish puberty

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  55. Hello

    I’m 13 and I found a lump under my left nipple. The lump hurts when I press down on it and also the lump is kind of hard. I got really worried. I have dark hair growing down in my private area. I have more strong body odder, but please respond someone. Thank you.

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    • Connor bentley

      These changes happen fast. What your going through is normal and your still very young. The development of pubic hair is a big change and you will get use to the smell. Wait a while and if your still worried, tell someone and go to the doctors ☺

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  56. Maria

    This article was very helpful! My son just notified me of a small (pea-size) tender lump under his left nipple. He just turned 12, so this was reassuring.

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  57. Mercy

    Am scared about boys having lumps in their nipples before, but going through your article now, am relieved. Thank you Dr Greene.

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  58. Khaled el dahish

    Im 16 years old and i have one under my left nipple, does that mean something is wrong with me and i need to visit a doctor since im 16 years old? Please answer urgently :) thanks in advance

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  59. Josh

    I have one directly under my right nipple and have had some sudden changes In my body too.I am 13 years old and I am kind of concerned even after the article. I have told my parents and they are watching it and making me keep them updated on any drastic changes in the lump.Can I get some more detail on what exactly happens in SMR3 and SMR4 so I can be more aware of the things that will or may be taking place in my body right now and the upcoming years.Please and Thank You.

    Josh

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  60. Alex

    I have a lump under my left nipple. I’m scared. I’m 11 going on 12 soon. What do I do? I can’t tell my parents. Please help and I’m scared I have cancer.

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    • At your age, you really do need to tell your parents. IF that is out of the question, you need to tell a trusted adult such as your pediatrician or the school nurse. It’s likely not cancer. It’s likely hormones from going into puberty, but you need to talk to an adult who can help monitor your health.

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  61. chevareason

    i was so scared but when i looked this up and i saw your responce i was feeling much better but i will get this checked out if there are any changes

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  62. Sharon

    Tonight before bed my 12-year-old son said, “mom I have a lump under here” and it was his left nipple. I got so scared. I was terrified. My husband started joking around and he thinks he has one, too. He has my body fat, so I’m concerned that he could end up with male breast cancer and I wasn’t in the mood for joking around. I immediately went outside so I wouldn’t get in a fight with my husband and went on the Internet to find out more. Your information really put me at ease. Ironically we have a wellness check up tomorrow so I can bring it up to his doctor, but I’m pretty sure it’s hormonal because all of a sudden his body odor seemed very strong just this past week which I hadn’t noticed before. He is definitely growing, eating way more, feet growing a ton, so this article and the answers to the questions you gave put me at ease. Thank you Dr. Greene, now I can sleep.

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  63. hello

    i am 14 and i have had a lump under my left breast for about 7 months now im scared to tell my parents. last night i pinched it and some liquid came out of my nimple scared me to death. plzz write back

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    • Kay

      You definitely need to tell your parents. That sounds serious and I’m sure your parents are more concerned for your health and wellbeing than anything else.

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    • roadster1252

      I’m not a doctor, I’m a mom :) I think that you should let your parents know. Perhaps it is nothing and your parents can reassure you, or perhaps it is something that your parents can take you to a doctor for to check out and make sure things are okay. Either way, please don’t suffer in fear, tell your parents, you are worth it! If you are not able to talk to your parents about it, let a close relative or other trusted adult know about it. The important thing is to make sure you are healthy! Good luck!

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  64. Sam

    Our Son (whom has just turned 13) a few days ago complained of a lump (sore to the touch) beneath one of his nipples. This was obviously concerning, however on a quick web search I came across your article! Many thanks for sharing your knowledge, which has been very useful in advising ourselves and confirming our thoughts on puberty etc. Best Wishes from the UK!

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  65. Ryan

    I am 17 and I have one above my right nipple I’m not sure if my age is a factor in getting it checked out or not

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  66. Isaiah S

    I am 15 years old and I noticed a lump directly under my right nipple and today I squeezed it and it definitely got smaller… Should I get this checked out

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    • aj

      omg! We are the same age and same condition. So is it normal or should we be concerned? My friend squeezed and it feels a little hurting.

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  67. Jovohn

    Hey , I found a small lump on my left nipple it is on the side of the nipple . I am scared ! Please help

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  68. Kyle J.

    I don’t know if I should be worried about my gynecomastia. I am currently 17 and am going into my senior year. I hit puberty early, circum age 10-11, and noticed one lump under my left nipple in January of 8th grade. I was worried at the time, and my physician told me it was normal. A second lump appeared but under my right nipple a few months later. Now it has been 3 1/2 years since the first lump. I cannot determine the size of each since they are under tissue. They have not leaked, remain around the same size, have not caused discoloration, and have not caused night sweats. I have experienced weight loss, however. Since 8th grade, I have grown 6″-7″ and have lost 15-25 lbs since 9th grade.
    I assume they will begin to go away closer to the end of puberty.

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    • Unintentional weight loss should always be looked into to be sure everything is okay.

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    • Matt

      Kyle,
      I am also going into my senior year and have had lumps under both of my nipples since the end of 8th grade. I assume it is a normal part of the puberty process, but I hope they go away sooner rather than later because they are really embarassing.

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  69. ms

    thank you dr. it was all very informative and helpful

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  70. Erin

    Great article!!!! Very helpful. Thanks Dr. Greene

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  71. kumde

    Im 12 and i got a lump on my right nipple. It pains when touched

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    • Hayden

      That is the exact same thing that is happening to me! I have had it for a couple of days! It hurts!!!! When does it go away!!!???!!??

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  72. Zy

    The past three months I’ve had lumps under both nipples I’ve started puberty at 9 1/2. They feel weird when touched. They both stick out a little bit, not much, but it’s noticeable and you can see it sticking out.

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  73. Larmar

    hello doc,
    My brother is only 13 and I notice a thick lump behind his breast just a week ago, but with your information, I think am relieve and I guess I just have to wait for two years and see what happen

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  74. Zach

    Hello, I am 14 and have a little hard lump under my left nipple. It doesn’t move much but isn’t fixed to the skin and it’s less than 1cm long. I haven’t experienced any of the cancer symptoms and I just noticed it a few days back. Should I be worried/consult a doctor?

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  75. Jonathan Wang

    Hi doctor Greene, I am a boy that is 11 year old, one month until I turn twelve. I have a pea sized lump under my right nipple, I am not sure if this is breast cancer, I have no evidence of puberty other than this.

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  76. Jacquelyn

    I was worried about my 12 year old son and your article really helped. We don’t have anything in common with your list of “times to worry…” and thank goodness.

    You write so well.

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  77. victorina

    This page really helped me. I was worried about my son and now I feel much better. Thanks Dr. Greene.

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  78. ollie king

    hello im 13 and i had a lump directly under my nipple and i was really worried but then i found this page and now i feel fine thank you so much

    ollie

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  79. Ronak Patel

    hii

    i have a lump under left nipple and it is painful and on the right nipple there no hard thing but there is pain. i am alsoo taking medications over last 3 months.
    the doctor alao said i might get some allergy. i am 14 years old.

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  80. William

    Hi doctor,

    I have read your article, and I could not help but to think that I got the same issue, I had two lumps, both small and hard. One on the right side of my neck and one in my nipple. I am 15 years old, I got this lumps around 11 or 12 year old maybe and it hasn’t been gone ever since. It does not leak anything and I didn’t feel anything different with these two lumps. Should I be concern about this?

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  81. William

    Hi Doctor,

    I have read your article, and i couldnt help but think that i had the same problem. I had two lumps both small less than 4 cm , one in my right side of my neck and one in the nipple. It is painless and small and it does not leak anything , i got this around 11 or 12 year old

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  82. Rosann

    Thank you for the information. My son is 15 years and he just found a lump under his left breast . We are also seeing some swelling as well in the breast. Everything you described for puberty is right on with him at this time. I will take him to be examined but you relieved my stress.

    Thank you,
    Rosann

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  83. Ciaran

    Hi doc, I’m 15 years old and I’ve only just noticed the lump under my right nipple yesterday. I will be honest, I haven’t started puberty yet and I’m starting to get very concerned. I have always been small and under developed and this lump hasn’t helped! What should I do?

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    • Hey Claran,

      As the article states it’s probably not an issue, but since you’re 15 and haven’t started puberty, this would be a good time to get a check-up from your pediatrician or family doc. Be sure to let him know your concerns, even if you feel embarrassed talking about it.

      Best,
      @MsGreene

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  84. M.Dawar

    Hi Doc,

    I’m 21 years old and I have this lump under my right nipple since few days, should I be worried about this ?
    kindly help me out, I’ll be very thankful to you…..!

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  85. kim

    Dr. Greene,
    My 6year old son developed a hard lump under his L nipple right around the time he was diagnosed with strep throat. He complains it hurts and is now on a second dose of antibiotics. Drs don’t seem concerned I however am. I’m an RN and wonder if it could be lymph. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

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  86. Zach

    Dear Dr. Greene,

    I am 16 years old, and have had what I would estimate to be 1.25 cm lumps under both nipples for at least 2.5 years, very probably more. I achieved puberty quite late, as did my dad, so that seems regular. However, there is no history of breast cancer, nor Klinefelter syndrome in my family. These lumps look like they aren’t going away, and I’d like to know first, whether I should be worried in these circumstances, and second, how I can fix it, as I am, admittedly, fairly embarrassed about the condition. I read the article, and I don’t show any of the more severe sounding symptoms; no pain to the touch, no liquid, just the lumps, but they’ve been there for a long time. I would bet much appreciate your counsel.

    Sincerely,
    Zach

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  87. Lori

    Hi Dr. Greene,

    Thank you for this wonderful article. My son is soon to be 14 and just starting his growth spurt. He discovered a lump under one nipple yesterday. Now that I’ve read your article, I will keep an eye on this, but am definitely reassured.

    Thank you!

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  88. Allison Bostick

    Hi Dr. Greene,
    My 14yr old son has been complaining for over a week about his nipples hurting. He finally let me check and there are lumps under both nipples. They are soft but firm, but not pea size, more around size of dime. I’ve read a few books and websites that state that this just hormones. But I have a history of breast cancer and thyroid cancer in my family. His father wants to wait a week to see if it goes away, but I think we need to see a doctor now.

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    • tony

      Hi how is he doing? Did u find
      Out any info on what he has? Because
      I have the same thing

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    • tony

      I have his exact same problem. How is he now? Please email me at anthonyrizzer13@gmail dot com.

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    • Ryan

      Hey how is he doing? have you found out anymore? I have the exact same thing [personal email deleted by moderator].

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  89. Jude

    Hi Dr.,

    I’m 13 and i have a lump underneath my right nipple. It’s very small and I just noticed it yesterday. I showed it to my mum and she said it was just puberty, but I was not so sure because I read a book about cancer and saw this particular page of breast cancer in men. But after I read this article I was happy and at rest. Thank you so much.:D
    04:45 18-4-2015

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  90. John

    hi dr,
    i’m 13, and i have a disk shaped lump under my right nipple, i dont know if its normal bcoz whenever i squeeze it tightly it discharges a little amount of transparent liquid.

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    • Curtis

      Hi John, would just like to say that I am NOT a doctor, nor had any medical training but from what I have read online i think that you should see a doctor as soon as you can if the nipple is discharging

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  91. Kelly

    Thank you. My 12 year old son just told me about his lump: 0.5″ in diameter, painful, under the right nipple. There are no other symptoms or skin changes and the site is visually symmetrical to the left side. We were worried until we read your article. We will keep a close eye on it and look for changes, but we will sleep better tonight.

    Thank you so much.

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  92. Rein

    Hi, I am 12 years old and have two weird lumps, one under each breast. They hurt to touch or if someone hits me there. I am worryed but not to much.
    If you could reply this would help me very much!
    Thanks,

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  93. Matt

    My younger brother (13 years old) has a lump under his left nipple but after reading this, I feel much more comfortable about the situation. Thanks a lot.

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  94. MARIAM

    My concern is about my 22yr old son who has a lump on the leftside breat..It pains when touched..Worried, could you kindly help us…
    A healthy boy but was on drugs for a shortwhile and is still on medication..He works in a private company..He smokes Marijuana..

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    • Angus

      Dear Dr Greene,

      That was a very informative article. I am a 19 year old male and I have recently found a lump under my nipple. It hurts when I touch it and I don’t know if that is normal. Furthermore, based on what I read in the article I should be worried if a lump comes up after the age fifteen. I am worried and would like a few suggestions.
      Thank You.

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  95. Alexys Ortiz

    Hello, I’m 17 years old and noticed a ball or lump forming inside my left nipple and hurts when I press on it or on anything near it. My mom thinks it could be a hormonal imbalance seeing as I had my son at 15. I would really like to know what I could do because it hurts and I want to get rid of it. Please and thank you!

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    • This may well be normal, but it would be smart to have your ObGyn or Primary Care doctor do a breast exam. Better safe than sorry.

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  96. nadeem

    I’m 17 yrs old and 3-4 months back I observed a small lump right under my right nipple which is still growing I think as it is 2 cm wide diametrically and is a bit painful to touch. At first I thought it to be same type of growth as I have in my hands, small lumps my mom also has some and her sister has loads of them so I thought it would go away. Now, as of March, under my left nipple a small lump has started to grow. Could you suggest what do I do?

    P.S. My mom takes estrogen pills due hormonal imbalance and she attained her puberty very late. I too think am attaining late as I just have small hairs over my lips it is growing — added for your better grip of my case :)

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  97. ainy

    My younger brother who is 14 years has a lump directly underneath his right nipple. It’s been 7 months and its increasing.

    It is tender, there are stretched changes on skin and gets red sometimes and its disk shape behind the skin, size is 3cm. What should we do?

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    • jen

      So what did they say about the tenderness and growth? My son is currently having the same issue.

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  98. Heather

    My son is 9.5 yrs old. He just told me his nipple feels wierd. It feels like a hard little lump. He just noticed it today. He showing no other signs of puberty (other than a snarky attitude lol). I am concerned about the possibilty of cancer. But I don’t know if I should ignore it or take him to the doctor. I am concerned because of his age.

    I worry that if I ignore it and it is something it may get worse and become serious. But then I also don’t want to over react and be all paranoid.
    Should I take him in or do the wait and see what happens thing?

    Heather

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  99. jen

    Out of all the articles I read on the internet yours was the most informative. Thank you. But I have one question about lumps in the areola area of the breast in pediatric boys. In the later part of your article you mention when its not hormonal it could be something more serious. No mention of tenderness in the lumps.

    Would you say if its tender its less serious?

    7 year old male, not overweight. If anything underweight. Lump in area of the areola. Tender.

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  100. Jacob Tamayo

    Dear Dr. Greene

    I have this lump under my right nipple that always bothers me until now! I’m 13 and was kind of scared. But after reading this I now know why, thank you so so much Dr. Greene!!

    ՏíղϲҽɾӀվ, յɑϲօҍ Եɑʍɑվօ

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  101. Susan

    My son is 18 and about 10 days ago we took him to the er for a hard lump under his left nipple. They said “it was most likely from puberty and that it should go away on it’s own. But that if it didn’t or got larger he should get it checked out.” Well he just showed me again that it’s gotten significantly larger. You can notice it through his clothing. The difference is is that it’s not as hard. There’s still a hard knot. But it’s also mushy. I have a family history of breast cancer on both sides of my parents families. Should I be the overly concerned parent or is it still part of puberty?

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  102. Nik

    Sir,

    I am 17 years old and i have man boobs from last year or more than a year. I can feel a hard lump under the nipple.

    Will you please tell me what should I do??

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  103. Tina

    My 14 year-old son has a hard lump under his nipple so I googled it this morning and came straight to your article. I don’t usually (read ever) write on these forums but felt moved to thank you for such an informative, warm, reassuring and ultimately loving guide. Thank you so much, and also for the reminder of all that is good about the Internet. Yes, I shall savour these precious times – I already feel I’m living on ‘borrowed time’ as I witness all the changes that have already happened in his friends!

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  104. Nik

    Dear Doctor,

    I am a 17 year old boy from India, and I have had this lump under both the nipples for just over 2 years now. I participate in sports on a daily basis, leading an active life. What should I do?

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  105. Kay

    Dear Dr,

    I am 13 years of age and have a hard lump in my right nipple. I have.not yet gotten breasts so I don’t know if Breast cancer is possible.

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  106. Hannah

    Dear Dr,

    My name is Hannah and I have a similar issue to Amy. I have a red circle on my left nipple and it’s re around the bottom the breast. Is this common on twelve year olds at the start of puberty or is it a disease or infection?! My breast is a bit red, extremely sore, tender and hard. This lump is extremely painful so I need your help ASAP before its to late!

    Thanks for your time please reply

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  107. Amy

    Hi Dr,

    My name is Any and I’m twelve years old. I’ve noticed that there is a red circle on my breast which has made a red mark around my breast. This only occurred on my left breast. Should I be worried?!

    Thanks

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  108. Diana Cruz

    Hi Dr. Greene, my child (six years old/girl) I notice her breast are big and I just don’t know if that’s normal, cause I examed her and she does have a lump under each nipple, and it just came out of nowhere…should I take her to the Dr…?

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  109. Austin

    Hi Dr i am 13 and I have noticed a lump behind my right nipple and a smaller one behind my left should I be worried??? They are tender when pressing on them or getting hit. I am getting concerned but i read this article and i think i have Gynecomastia. What’s your thoughts?
    Thanks

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  110. Payton

    I am 12 almost 13 I have a lump under my left nipple that has been there about2-3 months that I’ve noticed. It is hard and has increased in size slightly I think should I see a doctor?

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    • Quentrell

      I’m 13 almost 14 and I have a hard disk-like lump under both of my nipples. I don’t have any man boobs/ moobs yet but im curious if I have cancer

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  111. Nicholas

    And a boy

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  112. Nicholas

    I’m 14 yer old and kind of have the same thing

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  113. Heather Mistler

    My comment is similar to most of the posts. My son turned 11 today and discovered a lump on left breast right before our vacation last week. He said it doesn’t really bother him, but knowing it is there, he is fixated on it. In addition, he has been on Risperdal since he was 4 and I’m seeing a surge of information these days regarding breast growth associated with Risperdal. We have a slew of labs ordered and will be getting them in the morning. I am having a difficult time finding first hand information regarding medication and it’s effects on the endocrine system. How often do you see scenarios such as this? Thanks!

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      • Heather Mistler

        I don’t really understand your reply. My apologies…..

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        • Heather,

          My apologies and how confusing.

          My last reply “Approach. C-” was an accident. We use Disqus to host our comments on DrGreene.com and I moderate them. Occasionally someone will post a “Spam” comment or will disrespect another person who has made a comment. We do not “Approve” those comments. All others are read and “Approved” so everyone can see, read, and respond. I was reading your comment on my phone and meant to type “Approve”. Instead I typed “Approach”. The “C-” is a part of my signature line on my phone and is short for “Cheryl” NOT a grade.

          I’m sorry for the confusion!

          C~ (For Cheryl Greene ;)

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          • Heather Mistler

            Thank you for the clarification :) We are patiently awaiting labs to find out what’s going on.

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          • As Dr. Greene says, it’s most likely normal, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

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  114. Stephanie

    Hi Dr. Greene,
    my son is 3 1/2 and he has had a tiny cyst like node on his right nipple, on his arreola. It seems like these breast lumps are a somewhat normal thing for girls/boys in the puberty stage, but is it normal for a toddler? I think he’s had it since he was before 2 years old, but and i never thought anything about it until now. He often plays with it and I am just curious about it now. It feels hard and it is underneath the skin. It is beside his nipple. Thank you..

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  115. mark rhoads

    Dr. Green my son is 8 months old and in the middle of his right nipple looks like a white pimple, Iits really starting to worry me. Its been the for about two and a half months and gwtting bigger. We have been told its nothing to worry about but it seems to be getting worse. Any ideas? Please help!

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    • Alan Greene

      Mark, the good news is that most of the time this turns out to be fine in babies – and especially when it’s been seen by a pediatrician who is not concerned. I do suggest, though, having it checked at every doctor’s visit to be sure the progress is matching expectations. All the best!

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      • Daniel

        Hi Dr.Greene

        Im 16 year old i have a lump under my left nipple it started about 2 weeks its started in a little lump and i already noticed it then three days past when i check it it grow in 2cm

        Should i wait 2 years?

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  116. Kelly

    Hello, I thought I would do a search on this topic and look where I landed! My son turned 17 in April and this is the end of Sept. When he was 13 -14 I think, he did develop the hard lumps under his nipple. I took him to the Dr. and was told this was normal and it eventually went away. However, it is happening again – at over 17 years of age! He was born with an undescended testicle that was surgically corrected when he was just over a year old or so. He has a deep voice and plenty of facial and leg hair. Does this mean he may have a second growth spurt? I hope so since he is 5’7″. Any information is greatly appreciated.

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  117. Debbie

    My concern with this is that there may be too much estrogen their bodies!! And he’s getting an overload somewhere! I have an 11 yr old who just had a bud, and i’m not sitting around and waiting for it to go away! I have ALWAYS fed my children organic, have a water purifier on the house, they drink 100 % natural spring water that is delivered in a GLASS container; my household cleaners are all natural, soap derived (not oils, such as tea tree, rosemary, sesame, lavender.. these all MIMIC estrogen!!! ), so for me, I don’t know where he is getting the extra estrogen from. I am giving him a supplement of DIM twice a day… it’s for women who are estrogen dominant. It’s naturally derived from broccoli. Hope this helps some people who may ‘blow this off’

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    • I agree, Debbie, that reducing excess estrogen exposure is wise for all of us. The hormones used to fatten conventional cattle are still there when you by beef at the supermarket — Beef is one of my top foods for people in general to choose organic over conventional (http://www.drgreene.com/dr-greenes-organic-rx-item-8/), and at the top of my list for pregnant women and kids (I’m not saying they should eat beef, but I recommend that if they do, they choose grass-fed organic). The pesticide atrazine is another big concern for me. It works by by turning testosterone to estrogen. It’s the number two herbicide in the US, and in the drinking water of 30 million Americans. But if you are drinking purified water and eating organic food, the risk of exposure is far lower – unless you live in the corn belt. I’m glad you mentioned GLASS, because as you know, many plastics contain estrogen-like compounds.

      Vitamin D, Brazil notes, and almonds may help improve the estrogen ratio.

      But having said all this, the lumps in healthy, normal-weight boys going through puberty are thought to be a normal part of their own pubertal hormone surges and not a reason for concern themselves.

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  118. derra

    Wow the answer was so informative and helpful. I was just on my way to take my13 year
    old son to the emergency room. Thank you I have. a better understanding .
    ….Marie H.

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