Most nipple discharge is associated with a benign cause. However, certain types of discharge need to investigated further in order to rule out a potentially harmful source.
Diagnosis of Nipple Discharge
The characteristics of a nipple discharge are important to note. For example:
- is the discharge in one breast or both breasts?
- is it spontaneous or is it only when the breast is squeezed?
- what color is it?
- is the timing related to any new medication that was recently started?
- how long has it been occurring?
The answers to these questions will guide your doctor in determining if any further tests need to be obtained. Imaging of the breasts and/or examination of the fluid under a microscope may be conducted.
Treatment of Nipple Discharge
Usually, the nipple discharge is a physiologic, normal process. However, depending on the type of discharge, as mentioned above, your doctor may elect to perform a surgical excision (removal of tissue) in order to rule out a cancerous process. Therefore, it is suggested that unexpected nipple discharge be properly evaluated by an experienced physician.
Contact a Breast Surgeon, Gynecologist, or Breast Specialist
If you have nipple discharge contact a doctor. Mercy has many doctors who specialize in Women's Health issues. Call 1.877.GO MERCY to find the doctor right for you.