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Topic: Letdown feeling

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: Jun 10, 2019 07:13AM

Verdana wrote:

I've had some problems with my left breast for a couple of years now- pain, which has now resolved, and now a weird sporadic tingling feeling like water is leaking out of the nipple and down the left side of the left breast. There never is any leakage. Have had two normal ultrasounds (one a year ago, and one in March this year). Sporadically, like once every few months, I get the feeling like my breast is leaking, It's not leaking and both times it's happened recently I've been in the bath, but haven't been able to recreate it. I breastfed up until about 8 months ago but since stopping, I haven't leaked.

I saw that a lot of women had this feeling years before being diagnosed with cancer so I'm a bit worried.

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Jun 10, 2019 07:26PM Sherri000 wrote:

I've had this feeling as well, in both breasts but mostly the one I am having issues with now. It feels wet, like leaking, but when I look and feel there is nothing there. I also keep reading women saying they had this feeling as well. It's so unusual and I never really thought much about it because I have so many medical issues but now I'm really wondering what it's about.

Sorry you are having this same issue. Maybe someone can shed some light on it.

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Jun 11, 2019 09:45AM Verdana wrote:

What other breast issues are you having?? Mine only happens in one. It seems to be common here on BC.org but I can't find anything about the feeling on google. It just seems lots of people had it a few years before their diagnosis of BC, which is scary.

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Jun 11, 2019 05:30PM Sherri000 wrote:

I had grouped amorphous microcalcifications last year and had an excisional biopsy that showed Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia. At my 6 month follow up I asked for an MRI and the MRI found a mass in a different location, same breast. It is microlobulated and spiculated so another biopsy is in order. I will have to wait and see once again.

My only symptoms are that strange sensation (which I didn't consider a symptom until I saw it here) and pain. No palpable lump and no visible symptoms. In fact the radiologist who looked over my follow up mammogram and ultrasound after my MRI told me that it was a good thing I got the MRI because my mass was hiding in dense tissue and wasn't even really visible on the mammogram. It's possible that I had it last year and it was missed.


It's sad that it takes an MRI to see things in dense tissue. Even then some people on here have said MRI even missed their issues. I don't know if women who don't end up with cancer or breast issues have this same sensation though. Maybe all women do? Still, it's a curious similarity here.

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Jun 11, 2019 11:08PM djmammo wrote:

I never heard women who were diagnosed with breast cancer ever mention anything about a "milk let down" sensation prior to or after diagnosis.

If anyone has found an article that mentions this please send me the link. Thanks


Board Certified Diagnostic Radiologist specializing in Breast Imaging helping members understand their health care provider's reports and recommendations.
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Jun 12, 2019 12:58AM - edited Jun 12, 2019 12:59AM by MelissaDallas

I've seen lots of mentions in “not diagnosed" but none I can remember were subsequently actually diagnosed

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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Jun 12, 2019 04:18AM Irishlove wrote:

I nursed two children for one year each. It was back in the 80's. The letdown reflex feeling hit me for years following but I was not diagnosed with b.c. until this year, age 63. This recollection is from La Leche League pamphlet (back in the day) that hearing a baby cry, hormones, etc. could trigger the sensation. The current reading or understanding I have is that some women have leakage for no known reason and others can be traced to b.c. Their may be a connection to papillary cysts, benign or cancerous. I did not have such sensation before diagnoses, but my Mother did and had leakage prior to being diagnosed. I'm not sure I really advanced this conversation.

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Jun 12, 2019 06:49AM Verdana wrote:

Was it in both breasts or one?

I've read a number of threads here about women WITH BC who felt this feeling before their diagnosis.

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Jun 12, 2019 08:10AM Irishlove wrote:

Verdana, If you are referring to me, both breasts. I did want to mention I had mastitis with my second baby (1983) in the left breast. I also had a partially inverted nipple, but gave that little thought as it was that way since puberty. This is the breast that had the papillary carcinoma this year. My right breast was found to have benign papillomatosis after mastectomy 5 weeks ago. With Mom she had a newly developed inverted nipple, burning sensation and finally leakage. .

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Jun 12, 2019 08:16AM - edited Jun 12, 2019 08:17AM by Verdana

Thank you :)

DJMammo, I found this thread where lots of women had the feeling and WERE diagnosed with Breast Cancer. But I'm struggling to find any actual articles on Google.


https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/68/topics/782324?page=1#post_3954140

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Jun 12, 2019 12:11PM - edited Jun 13, 2019 11:59AM by djmammo

This Forum is the first time I have heard this phenomenon discussed. I am specifically referring to the feeling/sensation of milk let down as a symptom only, not nipple discharge/leakage as that is a recognized sign of an intraductal process benign or otherwise.

I am unable to find a paper suggesting a correlation between this sensation and breast malignancy. I will consult with colleagues and get back to y'all.


Board Certified Diagnostic Radiologist specializing in Breast Imaging helping members understand their health care provider's reports and recommendations.
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Jun 13, 2019 12:00PM djmammo wrote:

UPDATE: I contacted a friend who is the head of beast imaging at a well respected breast imaging center in Pennsylvania and likewise he has never heard of that as a patient reported symptom associated with a subsequent diagnosis of BC. If I hear otherwise in the future I will post another update.

Board Certified Diagnostic Radiologist specializing in Breast Imaging helping members understand their health care provider's reports and recommendations.

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