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10 Interesting Facts About Breasts

For all their popularity, what do we really know about them?

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If any man ever grows one in the palm of his hand, a new zillion-dollar-a-year field of plastic surgery will be born. Watch. 

4. The first implants. Women probably wouldn’t want extra breasts, but many want a little extra from the ones they have.  Simon Rogers and Sophia Vanco of the Guardian report there were 307,180 cosmetic breast augmentation surgeries in the U.S. in 2011, up from 212,500 10 years prior. The recipients have one woman to thank for it all...well, kind of.

Timmie Jean Lindsey had the first silicone breast implants, developed by Dr. Frank Gerow in 1962 in Houston.  Nancy Dillon of the New York Daily News reports that Lindsey had gone in to get some rose tattoos removed from her chest and Gerow suggested her as a candidate for the surgery. Lindsey’s granddaughter recently had a double mastectomy and full reconstruction. From NDN: " It just looks so natural. They can build them up just like the real thing," she told the News. “I'm so proud that it's available to so many women. It's not vanity getting reconstruction. I think it's necessary. It puts them back whole again. I'm so happy if Dr. Gerow's silicone implants are what started it all."

Lindsey, now 80, went from a B cup to a C cup, and “never leaked or ruptured but have calcified a bit,” so she feels soreness sometimes. That doesn’t seem too bad when you consider what happened to Lauren Yardely of Coventry, UK. The  NDN’s Tracy Miller reported on March 19 that when Lauren went from an A cup to a DD her body rejected the saline implants and they fell out. 

Still, Lindsey says if she had it to do again she’d just “go for a breast lift. That’s all I really needed.” 

5. Gynecomastia. If you’re a woman you might think bigger is better when it comes to your breasts. If you’re a man you probably don’t. 

Gynecomastia or enlargement of breast tissue due to an imbalance of hormones -- too many estrogens and too few androgens -- can cause discomfort for the guy going through it. According to  Melissa Conrad Stoppler of MedicineNet.com, gynecomastia is sometimes confused with the enlarged male breasts that come with obesity but that’s lipomastia -- gynecomastia is actual breast tissue. It can be caused by hormonal fluctuations during puberty “resulting in a temporary state in which estrogen concentrations are relatively high.”

Sometimes it goes away on its own, sometimes it persists. Other medical conditions that can cause gynecomastia are cirrhosis of the liver, recovery from malnutrition, disorders of the testes, chronic renal failure and hyperthyroidism. Some medications (listed on MedicineNet.com) are associated with gynecomastia as are “drugs of abuse,” including alcohol. There isn’t usually any severe pain but it’s a good idea to consult a doctor to find out the cause of the condition. There are several medications available to treat gynecomastia, though surgery is also an option.

6. Two for the books. Male or female, it’s almost impossible to talk about breasts without talking about size, and if you thought those DD’s were big wait til you see 102ZZZs. No kidding. 

The UK Sun’s Cara Lee reported in 2012 that Norma Stitz, born Annie Hawkins-Turner of Atlanta GA, has the world’s largest natural breasts  according to Guinness. Each one weighs 56 pounds. 

She was teased a lot as a kid, but says her late husband of 13 years, Alan, “made me love myself,” and turned her whole life around. It was Alan’s idea for her to send her picture to an adult magazine. Being featured in adult media (hence the name Norma Stitz -- gotta admit, that’s pretty good) “made her embrace her size,” Lee writes. 

 
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