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Topic: Dark Nipple Discharge...cause for concern???

Forum: Waiting for Test Results — Biopsy, mammogram, CAT scan, PET scan, ultrasound, or other tests.

Posted on: Jul 12, 2012 01:24PM, edited Jul 12, 2012 01:27PM by Thinker13

Thinker13 wrote:

Hello Everyone,

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.  I am 31 years old and I have had 3 children (all boys- ages 11, 8, 4Laughing).  I do not have a family history of breast cancer. 

On May 17, 2012 I was getting in the shower and noticed that I had a dark red/brown discharge coming out of my right breast.  I squeezed my nipple a little and was able to get a lot of the dark brown/red discharge coming from one duct and another duct was producing yellow milky discharge (similar to colostrum).  It did alarm me because a few weeks prior to this I began to have breast tenderness and very tender armpit, on the Right side.  I wrote it off as a something that would pass.

I have noticed since then that my bras and shirts have had a dark brown/greenish discharge and a few days ago when getting into the shower my nipple leaked again a dark brown/greenish discharge.  I squeezed my nipple again to find the same results dark discharge out of one duct and yellow discharge from another duct (same nipple).  My left breast is unaffected and produces no discharge, even when expressed.  My Right breast and arm pit is tender and has been hurting when sleeping on that side (which is the normal side I sleep on).  I experience intermediate sharp shooting pain with an overall heaviness inside.

I went to my gyno yesterday (Wednesday) and she performed a smear test and scheduled me for a breast ultrasound and mammogram on July 30th.  I am not overly concerned, but I would like to know if any of you ladies have had the same symptoms as I do.  Does this point to breast cancer?

Thank you for your support and I wish everyone the best!

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Posts 1 - 27 (27 total)

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Jul 12, 2012 01:37PM YramAL wrote:

I had the same thing many, many years ago. It turned out to be hormonal-I was about 6 months out from weaning my daughter. I remember my doctor told me to stop expressing the fluid-that it was only making it worse. I can't even remember what breast it was (really!) after all these years, and I doubt it had anything to do with my breast cancer diagnosis over 20 years later. 

I glad you're getting followup on your doctor's visit. I had a mammogram and smear test at the time, but not an ultrasound. I wish you the best and B9 results.

Mary 

Mary-Oncotype Score 11

Dx 12/7/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 12, 2012 01:43PM Thinker13 wrote:

Thank you YramAL.  I have not breastfeed for close to 4 years now so I'm not sure why the sudden change?  I don't squeeze it often, but it does seep out on it's own.  Hoping my results will be similiar to yours, but if they are not then I can deal with that too.  I appreciate your time in responding Smile
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Jul 12, 2012 01:46PM YramAL wrote:

Try not to stress out too much. I know that's hard. But I'll bet your 3 boys keep you pretty busy!

Mary 

Mary-Oncotype Score 11

Dx 12/7/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 12, 2012 02:18PM Thinker13 wrote:

Yes they do keep my busy! I'm not stressing yet :)

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Jul 12, 2012 02:33PM Blessings2011 wrote:

Hi, reneeda - and welcome to the forum!

Last September, I suddenly had a tiny bloody discharge from my left nipple. It was dark brownish red and watery. I saw my PCP the next day, and he got me in to see the breast surgeon two days later.

Since I never breastfed (and I was 61), I knew it couldn't be related to that. The breast surgeon examined me, and said it was probably a papilloma - a benign growth in the duct that is very common.

However, since it would have to be removed (or get worse) she referred me for further studies.

After seven different procedures, they did find a small amount of non-invasive cancer and a tiny bit of invasive cancer. Both the surgeon and the radiologist were VERY surprised. They both expected it to be a papilloma, since the majority of causes of nipple discharge are benign.

Does your nipple discharge point to breast cancer? No. There are too many other possible causes to rule out first.

Be glad you're getting the mammo and the ultrasound. Those are the first steps in identifying the problem. And stop squeezing the nipple!!! You could be making things more irritated, and there may come a point where the radiologist may want to express some discharge and could have trouble doing so.

Wishing you the best on July 30th!

Dx 9/15/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 12/05/2011 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal (Left); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Surgery 08/22/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Hormonal Therapy 09/05/2012 ArimidexHormonal Therapy 10/22/2013 Femara
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Jul 12, 2012 03:54PM Thinker13 wrote:

Thank you for sharing your story Blessings2011!  I have not squeezed my nipple since I was at the Dr for the smear test and I plan on not squeezing again.  It is leaking out on it's own though :(.  I appreciate your concern and I will keep you updated. 

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Jul 15, 2012 08:59PM Thinker13 wrote:

I just wanted to update some symptoms that I've noticed since I went to the Dr. last week.  The pain under my arm has increased and I have a dull ache (on and off) deep inside my Right breast.  Also, I have a vein on my nipple that has turned BRIGHT purple.  Does this indicate more of an infection?  I am not running a fever or feel sick.  Do any of you ladies have any input on what this might be?? 

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Jul 15, 2012 11:07PM dawny wrote:

Twelve years ago when I was pregnant with my first child, I had bleeding from both nipples, my ob/gyn sent me to a breast surgeon, who said it was rare, but if it keeps happening to come back. Fast forward to may 2011 and I find a golf ball size lump in my right breast. It is stage 1V breast cancer, I had chemo and achieved remission in sept 2011. In June 2012, cancer found in lymph nodes on right side. I decided to have surgery, (with a new surgeon) lymph node dissection, and a wide local incision, where my primary was, and also another area of the breast that felt unusual. That came back as DCIS. So then my surgeon goes on holidays and sends me to the first surgeon (the one from 12 years ago) for my post op checkup, he reads my file and admits that I may have had DCIS 12 years ago, that is now invasive stage 1V cancer! Sorry this is rather long winded and complicated, but I believe if I had tests back then, we may have found DCIS, or early stage breast cancer, instead of what I have now. I am not meaning to scare you, I hope yours is nothing, but please have a mammogram and ultrasound to make sure. And some chocolate, that always helps!
Dawn

TDM1 Failed

Dx 5/27/2011, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+Dx 12/30/2013, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-Chemotherapy 06/03/2011 AbraxaneTargeted Therapy 06/17/2011 HerceptinRadiation Therapy 11/12/2013 ExternalSurgery 12/27/2013 Mastectomy (Right)
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Jul 15, 2012 11:28PM Thinker13 wrote:

Thank you Dawny!  I am going to follow through with my mam/us on July 30th.  I wish you the best and I will post updates as I find out.  I should get the results for the smear test and my prolactin level test tomorrow.  What do these tests usually show?

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Jul 16, 2012 12:34AM MarysDen101 wrote:

Hey reneeda! This is what I found  A prolactin test measures the level of the hormone prolactin, produced by the pituitary gland, in your blood. i have looked at that myself as well. They haven't sent me for that test either.

Never change for anyone, be who you are... those who love you will honor you, those that judge you don't belong. ♥♥ DX is Uterine Cancer , stage 1 , removal , 2 rounds rad . NED for 5 yrs

Dx 5/15/2007Dx 1/3/2013, 1cmSurgery 01/03/2013 Lumpectomy (Right)
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Jul 16, 2012 03:20PM Thinker13 wrote:

Thanks Mary!  I did look it up, but I am guessing mine was normal because I haven't heard back from the Dr. yet??? Did you have the smear test?

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Jul 16, 2012 08:51PM MarysDen101 wrote:

I did have a smear test twice now, but haven't heard anything back. i called the dr's today and they have the order for the mammo but haven't called for the apt yet... like wtheck  ... Im just starting to a little ticked at the system. I know something is wrong and its like they don't want to help at all.

Never change for anyone, be who you are... those who love you will honor you, those that judge you don't belong. ♥♥ DX is Uterine Cancer , stage 1 , removal , 2 rounds rad . NED for 5 yrs

Dx 5/15/2007Dx 1/3/2013, 1cmSurgery 01/03/2013 Lumpectomy (Right)
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Jul 16, 2012 08:53PM MarysDen101 wrote:

If you want to have some helpful music to listen to These have become my favorite----- Moment - by eric michael hopper,   picking wildflowers - Keith Anderson  . or anything by Eric Michael Hopper :)  youtube them :)

Never change for anyone, be who you are... those who love you will honor you, those that judge you don't belong. ♥♥ DX is Uterine Cancer , stage 1 , removal , 2 rounds rad . NED for 5 yrs

Dx 5/15/2007Dx 1/3/2013, 1cmSurgery 01/03/2013 Lumpectomy (Right)
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Jul 16, 2012 09:17PM, edited Jul 16, 2012 09:18PM by midnight1327

Hi there, i am here to get educated, am from New Zealand. when you talk about a smear, do you call getting a smear as getting a sample for testing from the breast as down here in nz getting a smear is from the cervix and as i was reading your posts, i had to stop and think, wow a smear may mean from the breast in USA, actually i don't really what they call getting a sample to be tested  here is called now, my memory is shot these days since i started tamox, God knows what it will  like after 5 years. i am just curious really about what you call a smear and we referr to as  a smear,  thanks. i love to learn about the different terminolgy as it helps me understand what i am reading.

Dx 8/12/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 08/31/2011 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Radiation Therapy 10/10/2011 ExternalHormonal Therapy 11/23/2011 Tamoxifen
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Jul 16, 2012 09:31PM Thinker13 wrote:

@maryden101 Thanks for the music ideas. I will definitely check the so ga out, I LOVE music, it is my therapy!! I can't believe you haven't heard back after 2. I went on Wednesday last week and my dr (np) said I should hear back from her no later than Monday with prolactin and smear test. I called around 4 today and left a message, but I have not received a call back. I'm guessing this is the norm, but it shouldn't be that way. I hope you get your results soon.

@midnight1327 a nipple smear is very similiar to your pap smear, but it is taken from the discharge from your nipple. In my case that is my symptom. It would be my guess that unless you have discharge you wouldn't need one (my guess)?? I'm learning right along with you. I hope your recovery goes smoothly. :-)

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Jul 16, 2012 09:39PM midnight1327 wrote:

hey thanks for that,expainantion. i am now aware what you mean now. you have a good recovery too. no i did not have a discharge, i have now remembered we call it a spec for  specimen. it came to me the name. i have memory blanks alot.

Dx 8/12/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 08/31/2011 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Radiation Therapy 10/10/2011 ExternalHormonal Therapy 11/23/2011 Tamoxifen
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Jul 16, 2012 09:43PM Thinker13 wrote:

No problem. I don't really have a lot of answers, but I'm glad that I could help in some small way :-)

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Jul 17, 2012 07:55PM Thinker13 wrote:

The nipple smear test results came back negative, which my Doctor said that it was testing for infection. She also said she was surprised it didn't come back positive (for infection).  My hormone levels came back fine as well.

So in light of these results I suppose I am looking at a a Papilloma, Cyst or something more serious... I will keep everyone updated, but I shouldn't find out any further information until after my Mam/US on July 30th.

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Jul 18, 2012 09:38AM MarysDen101 wrote:

@ Reneeda- my smears have come back 1st one was Normal Skin Flora , and same with the second one. I called again today and at least they gave me the numbers for Henderson/Juravinski Hospital , and a Breast Surgeon that I was referred to. Its just driving me crazy ..... I still have the pain, and no more yellowish/green discharge, and it has been more bloody but I did get to talk to the nurse , so at least I was able to talk to a person of practice you could say.

Never change for anyone, be who you are... those who love you will honor you, those that judge you don't belong. ♥♥ DX is Uterine Cancer , stage 1 , removal , 2 rounds rad . NED for 5 yrs

Dx 5/15/2007Dx 1/3/2013, 1cmSurgery 01/03/2013 Lumpectomy (Right)
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Jul 18, 2012 09:39PM Thinker13 wrote:

@MaryDen101...do you have an appointment scheduled with BS?  Hoping you find answers soon :)

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Jul 28, 2012 07:30PM Thinker13 wrote:

I just wanted to update... My appointment is on Monday for my US and mammo, but I have had another issue that I just noticed and wanted to see if anyone has experienced this.

In my left breast (which is the breast without nipple discharge) I have noticed several very small red dots. Similar to red freckles about the size of a pinpoint. Is this an indicator for anything? My right breast is still leaking the dark brown discharge and I'm not sure if this is all connected or not. Thanks for listening :-)

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Jul 28, 2012 08:47PM dawny wrote:

Reneeda, this is all so worrying for you, isn't it? I hope the spots will explained at your appointment on Monday, everything seems to take so long, doesn't it?! Good luck and let us know how it goes. Dawn


TDM1 Failed

Dx 5/27/2011, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+Dx 12/30/2013, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-Chemotherapy 06/03/2011 AbraxaneTargeted Therapy 06/17/2011 HerceptinRadiation Therapy 11/12/2013 ExternalSurgery 12/27/2013 Mastectomy (Right)
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Jul 28, 2012 10:08PM Thinker13 wrote:

Thank you Dawn and yes the waiting is gruesome. I will keep you posted.

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Jul 30, 2012 06:23PM Thinker13 wrote:

Update:

I went to the Doctor today for my scheduled mamm and U/S. When I got there they informed me that I would only have an Ultrasound because of my age.  Also, it wasn't a bi-lateral just the right breast. 

Anyhow,  the radiologist Dr. told me that the ultrasound showed a dilated duct and 2 clustered cysts one measuring 4-5 (cm or mm I can't remember).  She noted that she could not see any lesions in the duct, but feels that is where my discharge is coming from.  She referred me on to a breast surgeon for further tests (glactogram), etc., which I will see next week on Aug 7th.  She also said that I would need to be seen in 6 months to watch the cyst area.  She was reviewing the ultrasound images with the U/S tech in the room and asked her "I think this is a clustered cyst, wouldn't you agree?" and the tech said "yes".  That really didn't make me feel comfortable, but I'm sure that everything is ok.

My question is has anyone ever had a dilated duct and if so what is the reason?  Also, can cancer be mistaken for a clustered cyst?  The spots that I seen were not round and marble looking like the cysts that I have seen on Dr. Google :)  I am trying not to worry when I don't need to, but this place did not seem to have their stuff together today and my age was brought up several times in the short time that I was there.

What does everyone else think?

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Jul 31, 2012 10:11PM Thinker13 wrote:

For those of you that are following my status I have started posting to another thread, click here to view it.  I have posted a link to my ultrasound pictures on that thread for anyone who wishes to look at them and/or offer feedbackLaughing.

I truly appreciate everyone that has offered you time and concern. 

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Nov 8, 2012 08:51PM MarcipiousSlah wrote:

Hi!

I have a milky discharge for years now and I have already consulted my obgyne who said it was just milk and just prescribed me meds. This is stupid I know, but I didn't buy the meds she prescribed. Anyway, I thought it would be good that I would extract the milky substance from my breast (that after reading posts here, I discovered it was bad!) so I was just doing that this morning when a dark discharge came out. Its like one duct was secreting the milky substance then the other duct was this dark liquid. My first thought was it's blood and I got soooo scared. I honestly started crying because I am so scared. 

I don't know if this will make a difference but unless I squeeze my nipple, that's the only time the discharge  would come out. It does not leak on its own.

I am so scared to go to the doctor, afraid of what I would find out. However, I know this should be looked at by someone at least. 

What to do is pretty much simple (go to the doctor) but for some reason, I don't know what to do. Am I going crazy? 

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Nov 16, 2012 12:43AM ellymay wrote:

Hi, 

I have had the same discharges for years,only when I squeeze, and so far I have only had benign cysts and the second one I had was about 30 years ago.I had the cysts removed. What I am trying to say is that it is most probably nothing but do go to the Dr. for peace of mind.

You are not going crazy.... it's normal to not want to go .