I have had a bloody discharge from one duct on the left breast for over 2 mos. now. From what I have read on this site and others, this condition needs further evalutation. Could you tell me what procedures and tests I will need to have and if all of these can be done on one visit? If this is not cancer, then what other conditions can cause this? Also, what can I do for myself to reduce the over-whelming anxiety I have about going to see the doctors. It is not the fear of breast cancer I have as much as having to get the examination and all of the procedures that will probably follow. Thank you in advance for any help and advice you give me.
Dear dcbell, Evaluation of the discharge would initially start with a physical examination and discussion of the history of the symptom, and your overall health. The physician may take a sample of the discharge (if some can be squeezed out at the time) to have it sent for analysis by the lab. Each step of the evaluation leads to what might be done next that may best answer the question - what is causing the discharge? That might involve mammogram, or an ultrasound. A procedure called ductal lavage might be suggested.
Ductal lavage involves three steps. First, gentle suction is applied to the nipple to identify which milk ducts produce droplets of fluid on the nipple surface. Next, a hair-thin microcatheter is inserted gently into the natural milk duct opening on the nipple surface. Approximately 2-4 teaspoons of sterile saline is slowly infused through the microcatheter to
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