When a fluid comes out of your nipple, it’s called breast discharge.
There is a chance that you might have to squeeze the nipple in order to get the fluid to come out. Or, it could come out on its own.
When you’re in your reproductive years, you’re more likely to have nipple discharge, even if you aren’t pregnant or nursing.
Discharge is usually not a big deal. Still, it could be a sign of breast cancer, so you should talk to your doctor about it.
Types of Breast Discharge
To learn more about the different types of nipple discharge and when you should see your doctor, keep reading this article.
There are many types of nipple discharge, but these are some of the most common:
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You’re more likely to see milky discharge on your nipples than any other type. Among women, this can happen if the woman has recently stopped breastfeeding, or if her hormones have changed in the last few years.
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Bloody discharge can be caused by a non-cancerous tumor called a papilloma, which can irritate the tissue inside a breast duct and cause blood to come out of the duct.
Occasionally, breast cancer can cause blood to come out of the breasts.
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Having a clear breast discharge can be a sign of breast cancer. Clear discharge from only one breast can be a sign.
In most cases, clear breast discharge from both breasts isn’t a big deal. If a woman is worried, she should go see her doctor.
If your nipple or areola discharge is green-tinged, it could be because there is something under your nipple or areola that is causing it to drain.
Each of these breast discharge types can be scary, but they aren’t always a reason to worry.
Bloody and clear breast discharges are the most common signs of breast cancer. A bloody breast discharge is always abnormal. Breast discharge from only one breast and discharge that occurs spontaneously without anything touching, stimulating, or aggravating your breast are further symptoms of abnormalities.
Some other things you might notice if you have breast discharge are:
- There might be some pain or tenderness in your breasts.
- lump or swelling in or around the breast
- a change in breast size, such as one breast that’s bigger or smaller than the other fever
- miss a lot of time
- nausea or vomiting and tiredness
Causes of Breast Discharge:
Pregnancy: Some women report seeing a clear breast discharge from their nipples in the early stages of pregnancy. Later on in the pregnancy, the discharge may become watery and creamy.
When to stop breastfeeding: Occasionally, even after you’ve stopped nursing your child, you may notice that a milky discharge from your breasts continues to exist in the area.
Stimulation: When stimulated or squeezed, the nipples may release fluid. Nipple discharge is also common when your bra continuously chafes your nipples or when you engage in strenuous physical activity, such as jogging, which might result in the discharge.
Fibrocystic breast alterations are among the possible reasons for abnormal discharge: Having fibrous tissue with cysts is described as a fibrocystic condition. Breast fibrocystic alterations can result in lumps or thickenings in the tissue. However, there is no conclusive evidence of cancer. When fibrocystic breast alterations occur, a clear, white, yellow, or green nipple discharge may be produced in addition to the usual symptoms of itching and soreness.
Galactorrhea: It may sound threatening. Nonetheless, galactorrhea refers to a woman’s breasts secreting milk or a milky nipple discharge even when she is not breastfeeding. Galactorrhea is not a sickness, and it can be caused by a variety of different things. These are some examples:
Infection: Pus-containing nipple discharge can be an indication of a breast infection. Mastitis is another name for this. Breastfeeding mothers are more likely to experience mastitis. In women who are not nursing, however, it is possible to get it. Your breast may be sore, red, or even warm to the touch if you have a disease or abscess in your breast.
A malformation affecting the mammary ducts: Another typical reason for nipple discharge that is abnormal is a urinary tract infection (UTI). Women approaching menopause are more likely to suffer from it. Undernipple ducts might become inflamed and even blocked as a result of this disorder. In the event that this occurs, a thick, greenish nipple discharge may emerge.
There is an intraductal papilloma present: These are benign growths in the breast’s ducts, and they are not indicative of malignancy. It’s the most common cause of abnormal nipple discharge in women. Intraductal papillomas can cause nipple discharge that is bloody or sticky when they are irritated.
Pills that help with birth control: Some drugs, like antidepressants and tranquilizers, can cause an infection in your breasts or a growth in your milk duct called duct papilloma, which is harmless.
Nipple discharge and breast cancer can go together: If you have ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which is an early form of breast cancer that starts in the milk ducts, it can make you cough. People with Paget’s disease of the breast, which is a type of breast cancer that spreads to the nipple, can also get this kind of cancer. There is a good chance that if you have breast cancer, the discharge will come from only one breast. Your breast may also have a lump.
Discharge isn’t always caused by cancer, but it isn’t very often either. Only 9% of women 50 and older who went to the doctor for nipple discharge had breast cancer in an older study.
When you need help;
A lot of the time, nipple discharge is not a big deal.
This can be an early sign of breast cancer, so having it checked out by a doctor is worth it. If you have any of the following:
- You’ve got a lump in your breast.
- You have changes to your nipple or skin, like crusting or a change in colour.
- The pain or other signs of cancer in your breasts make you think you have breast cancer.
- Blood is coming out of the nipple.
- Only one breast is hurt.
- The discharge doesn’t stop at any point.
In men, it’s important to see a doctor if you see any discharge from your nipples because it’s very rare for this to happen.
Women should also visit the doctor to check their breasts for lumps or other signs of cancer and abnormal breast discharge.
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