I am 20 years old with no family history of breast cancer. A couple weeks ago while doing a self examination I noticed that when I applied pressure to my left breast I was able to get a droplet of thin, clear, non-sticky discharge from my areola. This dishcarge comes from multiple spots. I was unable to get a discharge from the nipple itself. When I tried the right breast the same exact thing occured. I also noticed that the more I pressed on my breast the easier it was to get a discharge. I don't think it is spontaneous since I have never found discharge on my clothing, but it could also be that the discharge is so small that it does not show up on my clothing. I have tried to find information on this, but all of the websites I have found talk about nipple discharge and do not say anything about areola discharge. I examined myself to see if there was any lumps and I could not find any. I have heard that breast cancer is rare before the age of 25, but I have also heard that it is also more aggressive at this age. I think I have made myself paranoid over this, mainly because my grandmother recently died of ovarian cancer and she died only 2 1/2 weeks after being diagnosed, and I'm afraid that the same could happen to me. I mean, before my grandmother died I never even thought about getting cancer at my age, and now I'm giving myself daily examinations. I'm sorry if I've rambled on a bit, but I was just wondering if this areola discharge is something that is normal or if this is something that I should be concerned about.
Dear Jess20: There are a number of glands located around the nipple and when squeezed, it may be possible to obtain a small amount of discharge. This is unlikely to be related to cancer. If you are concerned, you could have this evaluated by your physician.
There are glands within the skin of the areola, called Montgomery's glands. They are basically sweat glands, and assuming the discharge is not coming from the nipple itself, then it must be from them. Being able to express fluid from them by pressing, and when the discharge is from both breasts, it's not something significant. The kind of discharge that's of concern, as you've already learned, is 1) from the nipple 2)spontaneous 3) almost always from one breast only and from one duct of the nipple only 3) bloody or watery.
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