I have had a milky discharge for the past 2 years, knowing that is normal I did not worry about it. I have 3 children with my youngest being 5 and I am only 38 years old. About 2 months ago I noticed I had a bloody discharge from my right breast. I had it tested to confirm blood and they sent me for a mammogram. After the mammogram the doctor came in and checked the discharge and recommended a ductogram because the right breast was alot denser than the left. I figured I would call later to schedule it. As I was leaving the parking lot of the hospital the doctor flagged me down and wanted me to schedule it before I left saying he didn't feel is was a good idea to put it off. It was scheduled about five days later. There seem to be a sense of urgency I wasn't expecting. The discharge slowed and basically stopped and became less bloody looking so I canceled the ductogram because they said there needed to be discharge in order to perform this. The discharge is not alot and is more clear than bloody now but they are still recommending a ductogram. It seems everything I have read said the chances are slim as to being cancerous, I guess I am wondering if I am missing something and whether if there is really a need to have this done, the doctors won't say too much. I would appreciate you opinion- Thank you
Dear lp2408, When a person has nipple discharge there are certain situations that are of more concern and should be followed up on to determine what is the cause of them. These situations include: when the discharge is spontaneous (fluid comes out on it's own without squeezing), if the discharge is bloody, or it is sticky (like an egg white). Bloody discharge could be due to benign conditions such as a papilloma (wart-like structure within the duct), however it might also be due to a pre-cancerous condition, or cancer. Cancers are rarely the cause of discharge, however having this followed up to be sure of the cause is prudent.
It's my opinion that bloody discharge needs an answer; a ductogram can help, but it's not the whole story. If it's normal, it doesn't change the fact that there's bloody discharge, and if it shows an abnormality, it'll need to be biopsied. Some surgeons would say the entire duct from which the blood is coming ought to be removed, no matter what a ductogram would show, and wouldn't order one. Others like to have it in advance. But most would say the safest thing is to do some form of biopsy; the odds are around 90% it'll be something benign. But one in ten have an early form of cancer that's highly curable when found early.
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