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Breast Cancer

Bloody discharge from both nipples

09/01/2009

Question:

My best friend just informed me this evening that she went to her doctor today because she found a bloody discharge from both nipples in the last two weeks. He tested the blood and told her that the results were normal, but that he had never seen anything like this in his 13 year career. She will now be going for a mammo/sono, followed by a visit to a breast surgeon. Can you shed any light on what the problem might be? Thanks!

Answer:

Bloody nipple discharge is most commonly caused by a benign lesion called an intraductal papilloma, but it can rarely be caused by cancer.  The appropriate management is to obtain a mammogram and possibly an ultrasound, but if this is negative, a duct excision is necessary.

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Response by:

Doreen M Agnese, MD Doreen M Agnese, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery and Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University