Almost every woman will not feel comfortable if she experiences breast discharge and she is not breastfeeding. However, doctors say that there is no need for alarm if there is discharge from the nipple. Women need to know that some discharges can be dangerous while other can occur due to minor health conditions. In some cases it is even normal. However, women who are not breastfeeding should talk to a doctor if the discharge occurs. The doctors will ask about the symptoms and will perform some tests in order to make the proper diagnosis. Together with the doctor the woman will make a best treatment option.
What is normal and what is abnormal nipple discharge?
Women need to know that bloody nipple discharge is never considered to be normal. In cases when the discharge occurs from just one nipple or when nothing is either touching or irritating the nipple, it is considered that the discharge is abnormal. Women should also know that the color does not play an important role in deciding whether discharge is normal or abnormal. In cases of normal nipple discharge, it occurs in both nipples at the same time and they are usually compressed or squeezed. Women need to know that when these discharges occur, they need to leave the breasts alone and not squeeze them in order to see whether more discharge will occur or not.
The causes of normal nipple discharge
Women need to know that pregnancy and stopping breastfeeding are two of the most common causes of nipple discharge. Stimulation is another cause of normal discharge.
Abnormal causes of discharge which are also noncancerous
First of all, women need to know that there are various reasons that may cause noncancerous nipple discharge. After the doctor has determined that the discharges are abnormal, he or she will order more tests. These tests are important in order for the underlying cause to be determined. Some of these additional tests are laboratory analysis of the discharge, blood tests, a brain scan and a mammogram or ultrasound of one or both breasts.
Some of the most common causes of abnormal nipple discharge are fibrocystic breast changes, galactorrhea, infection, mammary duct ectasia and intraductal papilloma.
The connection between breast cancer and nipple discharge
In most cases of breast discharge, they are caused by a benign medical condition. However, in some cases the discharge may be a sign of some form of breast cancer.