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Intraductal Papilloma

An intraductal papilloma is a noncancerous (benign) small growth inside a milk duct in the breast. It may appear on the skin near the nipple as a growth that looks like a wart.

Single intraductal papillomas often occur in women nearing menopause. They can produce a bloody or sticky nipple discharge. Multiple intraductal papillomas are more likely to occur in younger women. They may be found in both breasts and are more likely to cause a lump than nipple discharge.

Intraductal papillomas usually are first suspected from an evaluation of symptoms and a breast exam. A diagnosis can be confirmed with:

  • Mammogram (breast X-ray). Women younger than 35 may have a ultrasound of the breast rather than a mammogram.
  • Laboratory examination of cells from the growth. Cells from the intraductal papilloma may be collected using a small needle and syringe (fine-needle aspiration) or by taking a tissue sample (core biopsy).

It is important to have an intraductal papilloma, as well as any other breast changes, evaluated and closely monitored by a doctor. You may not need treatment. But an intraductal papilloma and the affected duct can be removed if symptoms do not go away or are bothersome.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Current as of March 12, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.