Breast Discharge (Nipple Discharge)

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Breast discharge is the spontaneous flow of fluid from the nipple at any time other than during nursing. Breast discharge can be caused by a wide range of disorders, including breast cancer, breast ectasia, and breast infection. Sometimes it's possible to feel breast cancer as a breast lump. The breast lump may or may not be painful or tender. Breast duct malformation (duct ectasia) can lead to breast discharge. Mastitis is the medical term for a breast infection, and mastodynia is the medical term for breast pain. Another name for the nipple is areola. A physician should evaluate persisting breast discharge (nipple discharge).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/4/2014

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REFERENCE:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

Causes of Breast Discharge
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    • Paget Disease of the Breast Paget's disease is a rare form of cancer that forms in or around the nipple and frequently coexists with breast cancer. The exact...learn more »
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      • Pregnancy facts*
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      • Dizziness
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      Prolactinoma (Pituitary Tumor) Article
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Other Causes of Breast Discharge
  • False Pregnancy (Pseudocyesis)
  • Medications
  • Overexercise
  • Trauma


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