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itchy and lactation
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itchy and lactation

For a few weeks now, my nipples have been really itchy. I haven't been gaining weight, I have used the same lotion for a couple years, i haven't changed laundry detergerent.. nothing in my life like that has changed. Also, my left breast has begun to lactate. not a lot at all, its very little. I don't understand why. I am not pregnant, my son is 5 and i did not breast feed him. i read this may be symptoms for breast cancer.. should i make an appoitnment?
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Dear tattoomommy, The skin on the breast is like skin on other areas of the body and subject to a variety of conditions.  Many women have some type of nipple discharge or fluid when their breasts are squeezed, and its normal. Squeezing the nipple sends message to the brain and the pituitary gland responds by increasing prolactin levels, which in turn produces discharge from the nipple.  The discharge can come in a variety of colors - gray, green and brown as well as white.  Some women are more prone to more discharge including women on; birth control pills, certain blood pressure medications or on major tranquilizers.  These medications increase prolactin levels in the body.   There is also certain life periods when a person is more likely to get discharge than others: there may be more discharge at puberty and at menopause than the years in-between. The time to worry about nipple discharge is when it’s spontaneous (comes out by itself without squeezing), keeps on happening, and is only on one side.  If it is clear and sticky, like an egg white, or bloody.
Over the internet without ability to evaluate including review of symptoms, questioning and physical examination it is difficult to say what is causing your symptoms.  If they continue to be of concern it is best to review with your doctor who can assess and make recommendations as to whether further evaluation is recommended.  
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