I have a sister with breast cancer and my grandmother died of it very young. I have had lumpectomies twice along with lymph node discetion each time I was clear. I have had an enlarged lymph node (at least that is what I think it is) under my left arm for over a year. My dr has been "watching it". It is quite large a little smaller than a golf ball. I now have a bloody discharge in that breast and I am worried. Should I be? The doctor who removed my last lump said I should always get them removed, he has since retired and others do not see a reason to remove the lump (lymph node). I have also had a sore throat for almost 3 weeks with swollen lymph node- no other symptoms. Should I be getting my doctor to look into this further?
Dear mardawn243: Women can 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 be concerned 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. Bloody discharge could be a symptom of something more serious. You may want to make sure to discuss this with your doctor who can ask questions and evaluate as necessary.
Regarding the lump, without evaluation, it is impossible to speculate on what the intervention should be. If you are not comfortable with your doctor's opinion, you should seek another opinion, preferably from a medical breast specialist. Usually affiliated with large academic medical centers.
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