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Other Names for this Disease
- Drug-induced gigantomastia (subtype)
- Gestational gigantomastia (subtype)
- Idiopathic gigantomastia (subtype)
- Juvenile gigantomastia (subtype)
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Gigantomastia is a rare condition that is characterized by excessive breast growth that may occur spontaneously, during puberty or pregnancy, or while taking certain medications. To date, there is no universally accepted definition for gigantomastia; however, Dancey et al. (2007) state that a review of the medical literature suggests that definitions range from a D-cup bra size to breast enlargement requiring reduction of over 0.8 - 2 kg, which is equivalent to about 1.75 - 4.5 pounds. The exact cause of gigantomastia has not been determined. Nonetheless, the following theories have been proposed to explain gigantomastia: (1) end-organ hypersensitivity (a condition in which the breast tissue is more sensitive to hormones circulating in the body), (2) autoimmune issues, (3) high IGF-1 (insulin growth factor-1, a hormone involved in regulating bone growth) and (4) hyperprolactanemia (high levels of prolactin).  Gigantomastia has been noted as a side effect of treatment with certain medications like D-pencillamine and in one case as an apparently hereditary condition.  Symptoms of gigantomastic may include mastalgia (breast pain), ulceration/infection, posture problems, back pain and chronic traction injury to 4th/5th/6th intercostal nerves with resultant loss of nipple sensation. It is may also associated with decreased fetal growth, if the gigantomastia is present during pregnancy.  Treatment is based on the person's symptoms and may include breast reduction, mastectomy with or without reconstruction, hormonal treatment, or a combination of treatments.
- Dancey A, Khan M, Dawson J, Peart F. Gigantomastia - a classification and review of the literature. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. December 13, 2007.
- Kulkarni D, Beechey-Newman N, Hamed H, Fentiman IS. Gigantomastia: A problem of local recurrence. The Breast. 2006.
- Antevski BM, Smilevski DA, Stojovski MZ, Filipovski VA, Banev SG. Extreme gigantomastia in pregnancy: case report and review of literature. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2007.
On this page
- La Leche League International (LLLI) provides information about gigantomastia. To read an article about the condition, click on the link.
- PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Gigantomastia. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.