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Having blood leaking from breast duct. Should I be worried?

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Practicing since : 1999
Answered : 1587 Questions
I woke this morning with blood leaking from my left breast duct, should. I be worried??
Posted Thu, 30 May 2013 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 3 hours later
Hello, I would be happy to help you with your question.

First I have a few questions before we get you a great answer:

1. Have you ever been evaluated for a breast lump in the past?
2. Have you ever had a mammogram?
3. Do you have a family history of breast cancer?
4. Have you ever been pregnant, and if so, did you breast feed?

Thank you - I look forward to your answers!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having blood leaking from breast duct. Should I be worried? 12 hours later
I have never had lumps, my mother has had breast cancer resulting in a mastectomy, I never breast fed, 14 years ago, I have recently had a hysterectomy.
I have never had a mammogram
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 7 hours later
Thank you again for the followup information.

I understand your concern regarding this discharge, especially given your Mother's history. When we see women with bleeding from the nipple, it simply means that there is something in the breast duct that is bleeding. This might include:

1. Intraductal pre-cancerous or cancerous changes,
2. A bleeding papilloma (like a polyp in the duct)
3. Benign 'fibrocystic changes' that might involve the duct itself.

#1 is the least likely possibility (so I am sorry that I listed it first) but you definitely need to get this evaluated. Here is what should happen:

1. You need to contact your Primary Doctor
2. You need a referral for a breast ultrasound AND mammogram
3. You should probably coordinate this imaging with a visit in a General Surgery or Breast clinic, so they can assess whether they want to send the blood for 'cytology' which means that they are looking for abnormal cells.

I hope that this helps. Please ask if you have ANY additional questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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