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Topic: Nipple discharge

Forum: Not Diagnosed But Worried —

Breast cancer symptoms vary widely. According to the American Cancer Society, in addition to a lump, breast cancer symptoms can include swelling, skin irritation, dimpling, breast pain, changes to the nipple, thickening of the breast skin, or unusual nipple discharge. Still, some breast cancers cause no symptoms at all.

Note: Please do not post pictures of your symptoms. It's important to have anything unusual checked by your doctor.

Learn more about breast cancer symptoms and diagnosis. Check out our slideshows on testing anxiety, mammograms, and more.

Intro medically reviewed by: Brian Wojciechowski, M.D.
Last review date: November 22, 2020

Posted on: Jan 12, 2021 04:33PM

Kbacka1 wrote:

Hello! I am happy to have found this forum, although I am sad I had to search for it :(

I am 36 years old, otherwise healthy. I had a breast reduction four years ago and I have very dense breasts. No history if cysts or anything. But very dense.

Two weeks ago I had a spontaneous discharge from my right nipple. At first I thought it was clear but on closer exam it's serous.. No blood. Not milk. I am now paranoid and hyper aware of any sensations in my breasts. Likley stress.


I've been to my family doc who was unable to exam properly due to my density. I went today for a mammogram and an ultrasound. Both were negative for anything. So I felt quite relieved, but then the doctor told me he was still concerned because it was a spontaneous, serous discharge from Only one breast and feels I need an MRI for a closer look.


I thought I was in the clear and now I am panicking while I wait for a call for an MRI which could take two months.


Any reassurances? Or advice??





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Jan 12, 2021 07:37PM MelissaDallas wrote:

Sorry you find yourself here and that you are worried. It is good your doc is being prudent, but there are lots of reasons for breast discharge that aren’t cancer, including benign papillomas that may be too small to see on mammogram/ultrasound. Hopefully the MRI clears it up.

One note, breast density refers to the breast appearance on imaging based on the distribution of and percentages of glandular vs fatty tissue. Breast density is not something you can feel and should have no bearing on your doctor being able to do a proper manual breast exam on you.

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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Jan 12, 2021 07:57PM Kbacka1 wrote:

Thank you so much for your reply.

I think there were four stages of density on mammorgram. And I was the most dense option. They basically looked like white breasts on the screen.

I think the issue with my manual breast exam was that I am so lumpy and bumpy and ridgy (always have been), that she felt she couldn't properly examine me bacause they feel so lumpy anywyas she was finding it hard to differentiate normal glandular tissue vs what might be suspicious. I have a terrible time doing a breast exam. I have tried to just memorize my Lumps ans bumps but there are so many it's very difficult. I've been told I am very 'Fibrous'. Thank you for clearing that up about using the wrong term to describe how it feels :)


And thank you for mentioning that nipple discharge could d be from something benign. My mind goes straight to worse case scenerio.

Can a serous discharge be from a papilloma? I know nothing about papillomas.

Ultimately I am really hopeful to get my mri sooner than later. I'm a worrier.


Thank you again,


Kara

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Jan 12, 2021 08:41PM MelissaDallas wrote:

Yeah, trying to do self exams on what feels like a bag of marbles and rocks is difficult.

I would think papilloma could cause serous discharge. They often cause bloody discharge. They are just little “warty” type growths. Thyroid and hormonal issues can cause nipple discharge, as can many common drugs, including things like Zantac.


LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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Jan 13, 2021 08:19AM LivinLife wrote:

Just want to welcome you Kara! I agree with you about you preferring not to have needed such a forum though thankful it is here.... Hopefully you don't have to wait too long for the MRI though possible I suppose... Please let us know once you get a date or certainly once you receive results.... Meanwhile post any other questions or concerns you have....

Dx 7/2020, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/31/2020 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Jan 13, 2021 08:22AM Kbacka1 wrote:

Thank you!

I guess I am. Curious to know if it's often than an MRI finds cancer that a mammo and ultrasound cannot find? Do you know?



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Jan 13, 2021 08:39AM MelissaDallas wrote:

MRIs can find things that other imaging does not, but they are also very sensitive, but also not specific, so they tend to lead to lots of benign biopsies. The radiologist who has posted here in the past said that a mammogram plus ultrasound together pick up about 95% of cancers, so at this point I think your doctors are working on ruling out cancer, not ruling it in

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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Jan 13, 2021 08:41AM Kbacka1 wrote:

Thank you! It's awful where the mind ( and google) takes you when you're worried.

I hope you're doing well and appreciate your reaching out :)

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Jan 13, 2021 08:54AM MelissaDallas wrote:

I’m good! Try not to catastrophize and only think of worst case. Usually it is not, and even if it should turn out to be cancer, you’ll cope and get by

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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Jan 13, 2021 08:56AM Kbacka1 wrote:

❤️

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Jan 13, 2021 02:59PM LivinLife wrote:

I had a 3 cm area of DCIS diagnosed by biopsy. MRI show about a 5 cm area. The area of DCIS ended up much smaller on final path after surgery. The remainder of the 3+ cm the MRI showed turned out to be benign and precancerous issues. The MRI recommended another biopsy b/c of what it saw (pre-surgery) though I already knew I was having a BMX so another biopsy wasn't necessary. I hope you end up with benign results ideally otherwise a pre- kind of issue.....

Dx 7/2020, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/31/2020 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Jan 13, 2021 03:28PM Kbacka1 wrote:

Thank you for your response, I hope you are doing well!

Out of curiosity, was your tumor missed on mammo and not found until. Mri?

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Jan 14, 2021 11:13AM Kbacka1 wrote:

Just got a call from mri.

They will be booking me asap based on the first day of my next cycle which is due next week. So I'm to call them when it starts and she will do the mri within the week

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Jan 14, 2021 05:51PM LivinLife wrote:

No my tumor was not missed on mammo - it just showed about 1/2 the size on diagnostic mammo vs. MRI which is not that unusual. So glad you will be able to get the MRi soon! Please let us know how that goes/results when you get them!

Dx 7/2020, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/31/2020 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Jan 14, 2021 05:52PM Kbacka1 wrote:

I will, and thank you 🙏

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Jan 25, 2021 09:58AM Kbacka1 wrote:

Mri booked for Friday this week. Getting nervous. Did you ladies find anything out during your scan? Or only at your family doct after the fact?

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Jan 25, 2021 10:45AM MelissaDallas wrote:

I have never gotten results at the time of an MRI. Only at follow up with ordering doc

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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Jan 25, 2021 03:59PM AliceBastable wrote:

I get results on my online portal, sometimes the same day as whatever scan I've had, sometimes the next morning.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Boring. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jan 25, 2021 04:24PM Kbacka1 wrote:

I've never heard of an online portal. I'm in Canada. Are you?

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Jan 26, 2021 08:53AM LivinLife wrote:

I'm not sure I would've ever gotten results - they were not downloaded into the portal until weeks later. My 1st opinion (general) surgeon was the one who ordered the MRI and I never saw him after the 1st appointment b/c I stayed with my 2nd opinion breast surgeon. I actually asked one of my specialists about a week later if results were in - he is in no way related to breast care, oncology, etc. He was kind enough to pull those up go over the little he understood and give me a copy. I also requested a copy through medical records who sends these through secure email vs. downloading into the portal.... Not the first time this has happened. My actual breast surgeon is in another state and system so had I not forwarded this report to her she would have never seen it unless she put in that request.....

Dx 7/2020, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/31/2020 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Jan 26, 2021 09:00AM Kbacka1 wrote:

Sounds like you were proactive in getting your results and looks like you've been through a lot but caught things early. I decided to be proactive aswell. My mri is Friday. I have made an apt with my family physician for the following Tuesday to get my results and referrals if needed. I have no access to any type of online portal

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3 hours ago LivinLife wrote:

Great self-care Kbacka! I've learned the hard way many a times unfortunately.... Never understood why people got and kept so many copies of their medical documents. I certainly understand why now...

Dx 7/2020, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/31/2020 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right

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