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Breast pain, fever, blood in milk, infection

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Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 11 Questions
breast pain and bleeding
Hello-I am nursing my 2.5 year old son, usually about 4X a day and several times at night (he sleeps with me).
Last Friday I skipped 2 nursing sessions during the day (this has happened before with no problems--I am starting to wean him). The next day I noticed an extremely painful and somewhat hard area of my breast and that evening I had a very slight fever (only about 99.5, but my normal temp is 97). When I expressed milk, I noticed that from one duct (on the side of my breast where the pain was), bloody strings were occasionally coming out. Pinkish/orange in color. My fever was gone by the next day, and now (3 days after I noticed the pain), I feel pretty much back to normal, although still tired. However, I can still express a bit of blood/pus from that duct on occasion (not every time I try, but sometimes).

1. Does the fact that the blood is continuing mean an infection or clogged duct is still present? Do I need antibiotics even though the pain is almost gone and I'm no longer feverish?

2. Should I be worried about cancer in light of the bleeding nipple, especially since it is from one duct only and sticky? It is not happening spontaneously, of course, only when squeezed.

5 months ago I had an ultrasound of the same area of the breast where this pain started because i felt a tiny lump there. the lump doesn't seem to have grown, and nothing was seen on the ultrasound (in fact, the radiologist couldn't even feel the lump although i definitely can). she noted ductal ecstasia but said this wasn't unusual since i'm breastfeeding. i am 31 with a history of breast cancer in my family (maternal grandmother at a young age).
Posted Mon, 30 Apr 2012 in Breast Cancer
Answered by Dr. Anil Thakwani 20 hours later

There is no need to worry. Usually these types of symptoms depict infection in nursing mother. You should take antibiotics with consultation so that it may not harm your child because if there is any residual infection it will be resolved. I think now you should start weaning.

Yes, if it is bleeding, most of the time it can be secondary to infection and duct ectasia but still since you have family history we cannot ignore the possibility of cancer (although least). So you should undergo battery of test to rule out malignancy too.

Hope this helps.


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