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What is the connection between nipple discharge and breast cancer?

ANSWER

Most nipple discharge is either normal or caused by a benign medical condition. There are instances, though, when discharge from the breast may be a symptom of some forms of breast cancer. This likelihood is greater if your nipple discharge is accompanied by a lump or mass within the breast or if you have had an abnormal mammogram.

SOURCES:

Gary, R. , December 2007. American Journal of Surgery

National Cancer Institute: "Understanding breast changes: A health guide for women."

University of Michigan Health System: "Nipple discharge."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "The Evaluation of Common Breast Problems."

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Fibrocystic breast changes."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Galactorrhea."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on November 06, 2018

SOURCES:

Gary, R. , December 2007. American Journal of Surgery

National Cancer Institute: "Understanding breast changes: A health guide for women."

University of Michigan Health System: "Nipple discharge."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "The Evaluation of Common Breast Problems."

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Fibrocystic breast changes."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Galactorrhea."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on November 06, 2018

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Do you have cancer if you have abnormal nipple discharge?

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