Nipple discharge is the leakage of fluid from the nipple.
It is very common and not usually a sign of breast cancer.
Questions your surgeon is likely to ask are:
How often does it happen?
Does it discharge from one or both breasts?
What colour is the fluid?
Is there ever any blood?
Does the discharge happen by itself or do you need to express it?
Physiological (normal) discharge
Coloured or milky discharge
From multiple ducts
Usually needs to be expressed & occurs in both breasts
Distension of the ducts behind the nipple, common in post-menopausal women.
Can result in a thick, yellow discharge.
Small growths within the milk duct.
Can be associated with atypical cells or an increased risk for breast cancer.
Clear or blood-stained discharge, usually one side only and from single duct.
Similar to eczema on other parts of the body, can cause dry skin & weeping.
A particular type of breast cancer that involves the skin of the nipple.
Itching & crusting of the nipple
Can be difficult to differentiate from eczema.
Normal discharge does not need any treatment.
It will often settle if you stop expressing it.
This requires further investigation such as mammogram, ultrasound and possibly needle biopsy.
The treatment will depend on the underlying cause and may include surgery.
Once Paget’s disease has been ruled out, the treatment for nipple eczema is similar to the treatment of eczema in other parts of the body.