For women who are not breastfeeding, coming across nipple discharge can be very alarming. However, if you do com across nipple discharge, there is no reason you should panic. Although nipple discharge can be serious, in most cases it is normal or due to a minor condition.
If you are not nursing you should contact your doctor anytime, you notice breast discharge. Based on your symptoms and diagnostic test results, your doctor will decide on the best course of treatment.
What is Considered normal and abnormal nipple discharge?
Nipple discharge that consists of blood is never considered normal. Other abnormality signs include discharge from only one breast, and the discharge comes spontaneously without touching anything, stimulating or irritating the breast.
The color is may or may not be particularly helpful if the discharge is normal or abnormal. Both normal and abnormal discharge can be clear, white, yellow, or even green.
Normal nipple discharge more commonly occurs in both breast and is often released when the nipples are squeezed or compressed. Some women who are worried about breast secretions may actually cause it to become worse. By repeated swing the nipples to check for nipple discharge. IN these cases, leaving the nipples alone for a while may help the condition to improve.
Based on your medical exam, your doctor will determine whether your nipple discharge is normal (Physiology) or abnormal (pathologic). Even if your doctor believes your breath discharge is abnormal, you should conserve that most pathological conditions that cause nipple discharge are not serious and are easy to treat.
Pregnancy. In the early stages of pregnancy, some women may see clear breast discharge coming from their nipples. IN the later stages of pregnancy, his discharge may take on milky/watery appearance.
Stopping breastfeeding Even after you have stopped nursing your baby, you may still notice milk-like discharge occurring for a while.
Stimulation. The nipple may create fluid when they are squeezed or stimulated. Normal nipple discharge can also occur when the nipples are repeatedly charged by your bra or during vigorous exercise like running.
What are the causes of abnormal nipple discharge? Can these be noncancerous?
There are some noncancerous conditions that cause nipple discharge.
If your initial medical exam indicates an abnormal discharge, your doctor may ask you to take more test. These test can help determine the underlying condition that causes the problem and may include on or more of the following Test:
- Blood test
- Brain scan
- Laboratory analysis of the discharge
- Surgical extraction and analysis of one or more of ducts in your nipple
- Mammogram and/our taking an ultrasound on one or both breast
- Possible Causes of abnormal discharge include:
Fibrocystic breast changes. Fibrocystic means the presence or development of fibroust tissues and cysts. Fibrocystic changes in the breast may cause lumps or thinking in the breast tissue. These cysts do not indicate the present of cancer. IN addition to causing itching and pain fibrocystic breast changes can cause secretion of clear while yellow or green nipple discharge.
Galactorrhea – Although this may sound unnerving, galactorrhea simply means a condition in which a woman’s breast secretes mil or nipple discharge even though she is not breastfeeding. Galactorrhea is not a disease and there are many possible reasons for this to occur, including:
- Certain drugs, including hormones psychotropic drugs
- Illegal drugs, including marijuana
- Some herbs such as fennel and anise
- Pituitary gland tumors
Infections – Nipple discharge that contains pus may indicate an infection you breast. This infection is known as mastitis. Mastitis is typically seen in women who are breastfeeding, however, can develop in women who are not lactating. If you have an abscess or infection in your breast, you may also notice that your breast is sore, warm, and red to the touch.
Mammary duct ectasia – This is the second most prevalent cause of abnormal nipple discharge. It is seen in women who are approaching menopause. This condition results in inflammation and possible blockage of ducts position underneath the nipple. When this occurs, an infection may occur that lead to cloudy greenish nipple discharge.
Intraductal papilloma- These are noncancerous growths in the ducts of the breast. They ae most common reason women experience abnormal nipple discharge. When they become inflamed, intraductal papillomas may result in nipple discharge that contains blood or is sticky in consistency.
What is the connection linking breast cancer and nipple discharge? Most nipple discharge is either normal or is caused by benign medical conditions. However, there are cases when discharge from the breast may be a symptom of some forms of breast cancer. The likelihood is great if your nipple discharged also comes with masses or lumps within the breast or fi you have an abnormal mammogram.
Another form of breast cancer that can cause breast discharge is intraductal carcinoma. This cancer develops with the ducts of breast position beneath the nipple.
Another rare form of cancer that may result in nipples dishes is Paget’s disease. This condition develops in the ducts of the breast the moves to the nipple. It may cause the nipple and sort areola to ooze or bleed. Paget’s disease normally occurs with another form of breast cancer.