Nipple discharge is the term used to describe any fluid that comes out of the nipples. There are many possible causes of nipple discharge, including both benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) conditions.
One common cause of nipple discharge is a benign condition known as “fibrocystic breast changes”. This occurs when the breast tissue becomes swollen and painful due to hormonal changes and can sometimes cause a discharge from the nipples. Other benign causes of nipple discharge include lactation (breastfeeding), injury to the breast, and certain medications.
In some cases, nipple discharge can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as breast cancer. It’s important to see a doctor if you notice any changes in your nipple discharge, such as a sudden increase in the amount of discharge or a change in the colour or consistency of the discharge.
There are several diagnostic tests that can be used to determine the cause of nipple discharge. These may include a physical exam, mammogram, ultrasound, or biopsy. The specific tests used will depend on the individual situation and the doctor’s recommendation.
Treatment for nipple discharge will depend on the underlying cause. In many cases, no treatment is necessary if the discharge is caused by a benign condition. However, if the discharge is caused by a more serious condition, such as breast cancer, treatment may involve surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
It’s important to remember that nipple discharge is a common problem and is usually not a cause for concern, however, it’s important to see a doctor for evaluation to rule out the possibilities of more serious causes.
To discuss diagnosis and treatment options, please book an appointment with our specialist.
Dr Ibrahim Yahli MD MRCPsych