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Light white nipple discharge
|Classification and external resources|
Nipple discharge is the release of fluid from the nipples of the breasts. Although it is considered normal in a wide variety of circumstances it is the third major reason involving the breasts for which women seek medical attention, after breast lumps and breast pain. It is also known to occur in adolescent boys and girls going through puberty.
Types of discharge
There are many different types of discharges. Some associations include:
- cloudy white color—most common, can be galactorrhea
- clear or light white—pregnancy
- red—contains blood—most often due to breast infection or intraductal papillomas, but can be breast cancer
- whitish-yellow, yellow, or green—pus due to infection
Initially, always an evaluation of malignancy is indicated. If no abnormality is found, then a surgical duct excision may resolve the symptoms. Treatment depends also on whether single-duct or multiple-duct discharge is present and whether the symptoms of nipple discharge are distressing to the patient. In some cases, there may be no need for any further intervention; in others, microdochectomy or a total duct excision may be appropriate. If the patient wishes to conserve the ability to breastfeed and only single-duct discharge is present, then ductoscopy or galactography should be considered in view of performing a localised duct excision.
- J Michael Dixon (22 June 2013). Breast Surgery: Companion to Specialist Surgical Practice. Elsevier Health Sciences. p. 274. ISBN 978-0-7020-4967-5.
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