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Topic: Clear nipple discharge

Forum: Not Diagnosed but Worried —

Meet others worried about developing breast cancer for the first time. PLEASE DO NOT POST PICTURES OF YOUR SYMPTOMS. Comparing notes, symptoms, or characteristics is not helpful here, as only medical professionals can accurately evaluate and assess your individual situation.

Posted on: Apr 9, 2008 08:10PM

nicky01 wrote:

Hi everyone.  I am new here, but I read a lot of posts and everyone seems to be very helpful and supportive. 

I am writing because I am so worried. 

In December I noticed some clear discharge coming out of my left nipple, so I squeezed the nipple and more came out.  I squeezed the right nipple and some clear discharge came out of that one too.  Since then, the right nipple has not leaked and when I squeeze the nipple nothing comes out, so that one is not a problem.  

The left nipple still leaks clear fluid once in a while. It seems to happen when it is stimulated i.e. clothing rubbing against nipple or if I press or squeeze the breast.

I went to the gyn office and they did a nipple smear, which came back ok. They also did a diagnostic mammogram, which did not show anything.  They did an MRI of the brain because they were looking for a pituitary tumor, which they found.  It is extremely small and my prolactin levels were normal, so the endocrinologist does not think this is causing the discharge, but he is running more bloodwork to look at my hormones.

Anyway, in the meantime I am going to a breast surgeon on Monday.  I am so scared.  What if they find breast cancer?  What if it is there, but they haven't found it yet?

I have read many sites that say discharge is rarely a sign of cancer, but the articles also say to look into it when the discharge is unilateral, clear and spontaneous.  

I am so sick of worrying about this since December..... Would advanced cancer show up on the mammogram?  I know mammograms are not 100%, but I got a digital mammogram and they took extra pictures of just the nipple.  I have no idea what the surgeon is going to say or what other tests I might have.  I am 38 yrs. old and feel like this may be due to hormonal issues, but I worry about breast cancer.  I wonder if they find breast cancer if it is early breast cancer and treatable?  

Please help..... Your opinions are welcome.   

Thank you for listening.


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Apr 9, 2008 08:38PM Dukemom2 wrote:


Of course you are worried.  We are all worried when we are faced with these issues; it is very scary stuff.

Please know you are not alone.  We are all walking similar paths. 

The breast surgeon they have recommended to you will help to sort things out for you, will tell you his/her thoughts, and will suggest what path you should follow from here.

Treatment of breast cancer has come a long way, and most cases are very treatable these days.  The earlier it is caught, the better the odds of beating it.

Please try to take things one day at a time.  See what the surgeon has to say, and then see if you are comfortable with his/her suggestions.  If you feel you need to pursue this further now, and the surgeon doesn't share your concerns, then you can always get a second opinion.

Keep breathing, and hang in there.  Keep checking here for information and for support.  We'll always listen, and we all understand what you are going through and what you are feeling.  Just remember you are not alone.  We're here with you.

 Please keep us posted!


"You have to accept whatever comes, and the only important thing is that you meet it with the best you have to give." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
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Apr 10, 2008 10:50AM cass4350 wrote:

Hi Nicky

Several years ago (around age 43) I discovered a clear discharge from the right nipple-never any on the left. My gyn sent me to a surgeon & he told me it's normally a hormomal thing if it's in both sides. Since mine was only on one side, he watched it for a while (meantime he found a lump that needed to come out). I ended up having what he called a 'ductogram'-cut off the milk ducts before they got to the nipple. That took care of the problem, but left the nipple numb (he hadn't mentioned that before the surgery). After that, I had 3 more lumpectomies, a couple needle biopsies and a couple other biopsies of another kind, but can't think of the word for it. Also, since then both my sisters had breast cancer. My mom had breast cancer in 1970. 7 weeks ago, I had a preventive bilateral mastectomy. I'm not implying that you should do the same, but my peace of mind has sky-rocketed.

Learn all you can before deciding on a plan. Ask as many questions as possible and don't let up til you get answers. Knowledge will make you strong!

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Apr 10, 2008 12:21PM LUVmy2girlZ wrote:

Nicky ~

I had dischcarge as well...not all discharge is necessary cancer.  Yet, you and the Dr.'s sound as if you are all taking the necessary precaustions otherwise to make certain. 

Remember, the more you preform BSE's ( Breast self exams ) the more you stimulate your breasts.  So only once a month no more and no less...in the meantime there are a lot of factors to why you have nipple discharge.

Your pituitary glad came back positive ?  Then this may be all its linked to:Galactorrhea.The nipple discharge associated with galactorrhea is usually white or clear, but it could be yellow or green, and it may leak from one or both breasts. Galactorrhea occurs because your body is making too much prolactin - the hormone your brain produces to stimulate milk production after you have a baby. This also might happen if you have a hormonal imbalance, such as from taking birth control pills; an underactive thyroid gland; a tumor (prolactinoma) or other disorder of the pituitary gland; or chronic breast stimulation, such as from frequent breast self-exams or sexual activity.

In the meantime...still seek physicians advice to rule things out!

Keep us posted and a positive attitude !

Much LUV

BRCA 1 & 2 neg. mx- 7 wks rads (35 rounds) LIVE LAUGH LUV... Dx 11/19/2007, DCIS, 5cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-
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Apr 11, 2008 08:38AM nicky01 wrote:

Thank you for all your support and comments.  This is truly a wonderful site.  I see the breast surgeon on April 18th.  The waiting is definitely the hardest part.  I also have to get bloodwork done on April 16th.  They are checking all of my hormone levels to see if hormones are causing the discharge.

I just want to get to the bottom of this.  I want to know either way and have piece of mind (hopefully). 

Have faith and God will help us through our tough times.

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Apr 13, 2008 04:00AM luckie1 wrote:


How ironic, I am experiencing the same thing.  I am very nervous because I am waiting results from my biopsy I had last week.  I have clear nipple discharge on my right breast which started the middle of Feb. I happened to do my breast exam and when I stimulated the nipple, clear discharge came out. I immediately freaked because I am young, single, no kids. When I called my  Primary doctor,  I ended up talking to her Nurse practitioner who ordered a prolactin level and thyroid hormone. Lab results came back negagtive. She suggested I should have a mammogram along with an ultrasound.

The ultrasound showed a possible papilloma but the doctor wanted to do a biopsy. I had the biopsy Thursday and I am currently waiting for the results. Either way I will probably need a procedure to stop the discharge.  My doctor has not suggested an MRI which I am currently questioning becuase in the last couple of months my vision gets blurred with my contacts and I can't keep my balance at certain times. Hopefully, all this is not related. I keep saying it is stress related.  For the both of us I hope it is just a papilloma which is a non-cancerous wart like tumor that grows inside the breast duct.

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Apr 13, 2008 07:55AM Ked1019 wrote:

Hey gals, you are not alone. I have had discharge for a while ... more than 5 months but it changed to bloody dark brown/reddish in January and became spontaneous. My surgeon assured me that cancer found as a result of discharge is very rare rare rare. He also talked about the papilloma. I have major duct excision surgery next week to check it out. Just wanted to pop in so you knew you were not alone. Hang in there and we can figure it out together.


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Apr 13, 2008 05:01PM nicky01 wrote:

Hey Ladies:
Please update me with the findings. 

Ked, good luck with your surgery.  Please let us know what comes of it. 

Luckie, please let us know what the results of your biopsy are. 

They did not do an ultrasound on me, but the mammogram did not show a papilloma - maybe the doc will look into that.  

 I am seeing the breast surgeon on Friday.  I was supposed to go Monday, but they pushed it back to Friday.  I can't wait until all of this is over.  

Thank you again for responses.  It makes me feel better to know I am not alone.


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Apr 26, 2008 09:35AM nicky01 wrote:

Well, yesterday I had a ductogram and I am pleased to say that everything was normal.  They did not find any masses, etc.  I was soooo happy that I had tears in my eyes. 
The ductogram was uncomfortable ( the thought of it still makes me cringe), but it worth having peace of mind.

Thank you for all of the support and I will check in periodically to see if I can add anything from my experience.

By the way, the doctor assured me that clear nipple discharge usually ends up being a hormonal thing, even if it is unilateral.  She said it RARELY is cancer.

Good luck


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