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Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: 12 y/o son has a pea size lump behind right nipple

 fleges50 - Sun May 03, 2009 7:06 pm

My 12 year old son has a lump behind his right nipple, he is complaining that it is sore. I am worried and confused, do you know what this could be?
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Fri May 15, 2009 4:45 pm

Hello fleges50,

You are right to be concerned. It's important to rule out the serious possiblities first. While uncommon, breast cancer can occur within your son's age group, for either males or females. I urge you to have this evaluated as soon as possible. If that evaluation is negative, it may be related to developing hormone levels of puberty. To evaluate that possibility, please see an endocrinologist.

Please let us know what you find out.
Good luck to you and your son.
 MrBones - Sat May 16, 2009 9:59 am

This is very common in boys near puberty. The breast bud directly under the nipple becomes tender and pea-sized. Usually one-sided. It is from a increase in the circulating hormones in his body. You do not need treatment or referrals for this. If you're worried, see your pediatrician for reassurance of this benign condition.
 playrh8tr - Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:58 pm

i had this myself, my pediatritian, (or however its spelled) and told me that it was a little bit of breast tissue behind the nipple... i am NOT a hermaphodite, and not a chick either.

it should be fine :) she said it happend to about 30-40% of the male population
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:46 pm

User avatar Hello all,

I just thought I'd add a bit of reassurance to this issue. It is very common to have some breast tissue develop in pubertal boys. This is because both men and women actually have breast tissue. During puberty, levels of testosterone and estrogen rise in boys (and girls). This rise can cause some initial enlargement of the breast tissue that subsequently resolves as the level of testosterone increases and the estrogen levels settle down a bit in boys, while in girls the estrogen levels continue to increase inducing further development of breast tissue.

Breast cancer, while possible, would be incredibly rare at this age. It would NOT generally be advised to have a biopsy of this tissue in a pubertal aged child. Instead, reassurance and continued observation are usually the appropriate choice.

Best wishes.
 Ridindawaves7 - Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:29 pm

What if you have had the lump there for over a year and have not gotten it checked out yet....Should I be worried or get it checked out?
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:05 pm

Hi ridindawaves7,

The adage "Better to be safe than sorry" rings true. Having a lump for a year's time is not usual, and it would be a good idea to have it checked by a physician. It may be nothing, but having that confirmed is the safest course.

Good luck!

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