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Breast Discharge (Nipple Discharge): Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

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).

Related Symptoms & Signs

Other causes of breast discharge

  • False Pregnancy (Pseudocyesis)
  • Medications
  • Overexercise
  • Trauma

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/10/2019


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