Gigantomastia

Gigantomastia is extreme growth of the breasts, i.e. 10 pounds per breast and more. Gigantomastia was first described in literature in 1648.[1] The condition is caused by over-sensitivity to the female hormones estrogen and progesterone, and/or an unusually high quantity of these hormones. Gigantomastia by definition means bilateral benign progressive breast enlargement to a degree that requires breast reduction surgery to remove more than 4 lb of tissue on each side.[2] In severe cases it is possible for women to have breasts that weigh well in excess of 20 lb each. The largest recorded weight was 67 lb per breast.

Gigantomastia can occur as a rare complication of pregnancy, that occurs in 1 out of every 28,000 to 100,000 pregnancies. But it more frequently occurs as juvenile gigantomastia, more known as virginal breast hypertrophy. In spite of the much higher frequency of gigantomastia during the adolescent breast development it is often already surgically reduced before the age of 15 to 17, so that the frequency and magnitude virtually never get to the general public.

There is currently no medical treatment for the condition other than breast reduction surgery. Usually plastic surgery is not approved for this unless there is a weight of at least 3.5 lb per breast and/or at least 1 lb of tissue per breast needs to be removed. But originally such sizes are seen medical normally only in question of aesthetics, because it still is less than the weakened form of gigantomastia: macromastia (5 to 10 lb per breast). And also in cases of macromastia, from the medical point of view, most of the surgeries are unnecessary, but they are carried out nevertheless, because in our society particularly the younger women with bigger breast sizes are afflicted of prejudices.

However, also gigantomastia with breast weights of much more than 10 lb per breast, on healthy bodies it must still not cause any problems, but an excessive size and weight of the breasts can associated with other problems negatively influence osseous illnesses or skin illnesses and can strengthen their consequences and other medical problems.

Lots of women are ashamed of their big breasts and try to hide them, so mostly a wrong body posture and the wrong bra and/or the wrong bra size are the cause of most problems. Without understanding for special attention for a trouble-free living with extreme breast dimensions, it is common for women to complain of headaches, neck pain, upper and lower back pain, and numbness or tingling in the fingers. Because of the weight of the breasts, too narrow bra straps can cause indentation or grooving in the shoulders when wearing the wrong bra size. That can leave permanent scars from chronic irritation. Severe rashes beneath the breasts are common, particularly during periods of warm weather.

With virginal breast hypertrophy, breast growth is sometimes not constant, but rather comes in growth spurts. At times, women may have minimal or no breast growth and then experience a growth spurt where the breasts grow very rapidly in a short time interval. These growth spurts cause great physical discomfort, the main symptoms being red, itchy skin and sometimes a general ache in the breasts. This type of gigantomastia at puberty is rapid and massive. It was first described in 1670. The initial patient died four months after the onset of enlargement. One breast removed after death weighed 64 lb.[3]

Alternatively, especially in puberty, the breasts can grow continuously and absolutely evenly over several years. Such extended, steady growth can result in overdevelopment of normal, healthy breasts to a gigantic extent.

Sources

References

1. ^ T. Palmuth - Observations medicuarum centinae tres posthumae. Braunschweig 1648;Cent II, Obs 89.
2. ^ Gigantomastia: A problem of local recurrence The Breast, Volume 15, Issue 1, February 2006, Pages 100-102 Dhananjay Kulkarni, N. Beechey-Newman, H. Hamed and I.S. Fentiman
3. ^ W. Durston 1670 - Concerning the death of the biggbreasted woman. Phil Trans R Soc London 4:1068.

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breast refers to the upper ventral region of an animal’s torso, particularly that of mammals, including human beings. The breasts of a female mammal’s body contain the mammary glands, which secrete milk used to feed infants.
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hormone (from Greek όρμή - "to set in motion") is a chemical messenger that carries a signal from one cell (or group of cells) to another. All multicellular organisms produce hormones (including plants - see phytohormone).
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Estrogens (alternative spellings: oestrogens or œstrogens) are a group of steroid compounds, named for their importance in the estrous cycle, and functioning as the primary female sex hormone.
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Progesterone is a C-21 steroid hormone involved in the female menstrual cycle, pregnancy (supports gestation) and embryogenesis of humans and other species. Progesterone belongs to a class of hormones called progestogens, and is the major naturally occurring human
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Pregnancy is the carrying of one or more offspring, known as a fetus or embryo, inside the body of a female mammal such as a human. In a pregnancy, there can be multiple gestations (for example, in the case of twins or triplets).
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Virginal breast hypertrophy (VBH) is not a medical name, but the more known name for juvenile macromastia and juvenile gigantomastia. It causes excessive growth of the breasts during puberty and has a much higher frequency than the rare cases of breast hypertrophy in pregnancy.
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Breast reduction, or reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure which involves the reduction in the size of breasts by excising fat, skin, and glandular tissue; it may also involve a procedure to counteract drooping of the breasts.
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brassiere (Brit. /'bɹæzɪə(ɹ)/; U.S. /bɹə'ziɹ/, commonly referred to as a bra
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Main article: Brassiere
Brassiere sizes are commonly labeled by manufacturers with a code consisting of a number and one or more Latin capital letters.
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Headache
Classifications and external resources

ICD-10 R 51.
ICD-9 784.0

A headache (cephalgia in medical terminology) is a condition of pain in the head; sometimes neck or upper back pain may also be interpreted as a headache.
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MeSH D017116

Low back pain is a common musculoskeletal disorder which affects the lumbar segment of the spine. It can be either acute, subacute or chronic in its clinical presentation.
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brassiere (Brit. /'bɹæzɪə(ɹ)/; U.S. /bɹə'ziɹ/, commonly referred to as a bra
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Main article: Brassiere
Brassiere sizes are commonly labeled by manufacturers with a code consisting of a number and one or more Latin capital letters.
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Rash
Classifications and external resources

A typical rash
ICD-10 R 21.
ICD-9 782.1

A rash is a change in skin which affects its color, appearance, or texture. A rash may be localized to one part of the body, or affect all the skin.
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Virginal breast hypertrophy (VBH) is not a medical name, but the more known name for juvenile macromastia and juvenile gigantomastia. It causes excessive growth of the breasts during puberty and has a much higher frequency than the rare cases of breast hypertrophy in pregnancy.
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Puberty refers to the process of physical changes by which a child's body becomes an adult body capable of reproduction. Puberty is initiated by hormone signals from the brain to the gonads (the ovaries and testes).
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