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Old 09-02-2005, 02:32 PM   #1
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Breast discharge

Hi, I was wondering if any of you might have some information on this. I am 45 years old, and pretty much already through menopause (early). I had my last mamogram about 31/2 years ago. I was supposed to go in and get one on my last exam about 11/2 years ago, but put it off. The last mamogram I had, I had felt a small lumpy area near my nipple, and he said he thought it might be a milk duct or something like that. That was pretty much the reason for the mamogram. Anyway, the results were ok, and they said it was nothing. I kind of always will keep track of how it feels, and it dosen't feel much different, I don't think, maybe a little bigger but I'm not even sure. It feels like a lump near my nipple, and then maybe some dense tissue around it or something. Well, today after I woke up, I noticed that there was some dried blood on the top that I was sleeping in, and it appeared to be coming from the nipple, as it was in that area of the top, and there was also some on my nipple. I went right to the doctor today, and he said that there are many things that can cause bleeding in the nipple. Of course, one of them is cancer, but I was wondering if you think this is an especially bad sign or what. He definitely felt something there, but like I said, it's pretty much the same thing I had before, but he was mentioning the size it was, and saying it felt dense. You know how doctors are, he tried to reassure me, saying he thinks it's benign, but we won't know till the tests come back. Of course, here we are at a three day weekend, and now I have to worry myself sick until Tuesday morning, at which time I have a mamogram, and an ultrasound. Basically I was just wondering if any of you had heard of this symptom, and it turned out to be something less serious than breast cancer. I don't have any history of breast cancer in my family, but I know that dosen't really matter. He said it could be a clogged milk duct, or a papilloma, or other things that I can't pronounce. I am so worried, as I could kick myself for not going in for my mamogram at the last visit, and I have an eleven year old daughter, and I want to be here for her. Well, thanks so much for any advice! Val

 
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Old 09-02-2005, 05:31 PM   #2
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Re: Breast discharge

9 times out of 10, the cause of this is due to benign intraductal papillomas (a small non-cancerous tumor that grows within the milk duct of the breast). Surgical excision of the involved duct is usually indicated to, of course, rule out cancer. The chances are in your favor that this is not a cancer at all.

 
Old 09-02-2005, 08:07 PM   #3
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Re: Breast discharge

Really? Thanks so much for the reply! You've made me feel so much better. It can be scary checking out some of the places you find on the internet, I feel better sometimes about something I read, and then I'll find some sites that say that a big warning sign for cancer is bloody discharge, especially being out of only one breast, and also occuring without having to squeeze the nipple. I think I mentioned that I've had this lumpy area around my nipple, and maybe a little outward from that, it may have grown a bit, but I'm really not sure. I did read where a bloody discharge is a rare symptom of breast cancer, though. My doctor did say that papilloma's are rare, though. He more mentioned some kind of "in situ" thing, I'm really not sure of the word. He also mentioned a clogged milk duct. So, anyway, just thanks for the reply, I went out with my family tonight, and was in a much better mood because I read your post before I went. This is just such a scary symptom, and I really am mad at myself that I waited over three years to get another mammogram. I hope everything is ok on Tuesday, he said the radiologist will be talking to me. I have to go on my own since my husband commutes during the week, so I just hope I don't have to deal with bad news on my own, not to be depressing. It's just so hard not to worry, I've never had anything like this. I've had discharge before now and then, especially after stopping breastfeeding, but never bloody. Well, again, thanks so much!!! Val

 
Old 09-03-2005, 11:08 AM   #4
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Re: Breast discharge

I have the impression that the doctor you are seeing is your family doctor? I say that because a general surgeon would not say that "the radiologist will be talking to you" as if the radiologist will be giving you your results. That's not typical at all. Also keep in mind that the technician doing the actual mammogram or ultrasound is not qualified to make any remark at all - on anything. They can actually lose their job on the spot for making any suggestion regarding your results. Typically, the tech performs the mamm, the radiologist reads the films and then faxes the report to your doctor, who then gives you your results. When results show a matter of concern, then the patient is referred to a general surgeon for his opinion. In your case, even if your mammogram comes back clear, I would highly recommend to you that you ask for a referral to a general surgeon who is very astute in this field. It's always best to be safe. I am also thinking you are dealing soley with your GP right now because intraductal papillomas are not at all rare by any means. Intraductal papillomas rarely turn out to be a cancer, is what he should have said. You really need a general surgeon's opinion.

Bloody nipple discharge is also a symptom of DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ).
This means that in a part of the breast the cells lining the milk ducts (the channels in the breast that carry milk to the nipple) are cancerous, but stay contained within the ducts without growing through into the surrounding breast tissue. This is a "safe" cancer and one of the best kinds to have.

All things considered this far, I sincerely don't think this is going to turn out to be a cancer for you. Good luck to you on Tuesday. Let us know about your results.

Last edited by smithn; 09-03-2005 at 11:10 AM. Reason: dyslexic spelling

 
Old 09-03-2005, 12:58 PM   #5
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Re: Breast discharge

Hi,
Thanks so much for all the new information! Wow, this is such valuable infomation....I was thinking that maybe I should be going to someone who specializes in breast disorders. This doctor I went to is my GYN.....you know how some doctors can be, he was rattling on kind of fast, and it's hard to even think back on what he said. He did mention the thing that you said, about ductal carcinoma in situ, for some reason, I think maybe he was thinking that was the more likely thing, because he mentioned it a couple of times, and seemed to think that the papilloma is an uncommon occurence. I have been comfortable with this doctor in the past, he did a vaginal ultrasound on me one time when there was a question about my ovaries, and everything was fine, and so I was reassured that same day. He does seem pretty competent, but I have read on some sites on the internet where if you do have a breast concern, you should be going to a doctor who specializes in breast conditions.
He said that the doctor over at the place who does the exam would probably talk to me, and he sort of acted like the results would be benign, because he was just sort of pointing out that I would get reassured at the place I did the testing (assuming the results were good)...and that I would get a second reassurance after he called me himself. I remember doing a mammogram at this place a little over three years ago, and I had that small lumpy area, so I was worried, and they told me right away that it was nothing. I don't know if they are supposed to do that or not. Maybe they only do that if they know you are really worried about it, and if the results are good.
Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I went to my GYN for this, and wondering if you think that is sufficient. I think he also does obstectrics. I am kinda nervous if I'm not doing the right thing. This ductal carcinoma in siut makes me very nervous, though, being that it is cancer. I would rather have the papilloma, right? I haven't had any more bleeding except that one time. I actually never saw the blood come out of my nipple, it was just on my bedclothes after I woke up, kind of dried up. At that point, there was some around my nipple that I washed off. I get so worried cause some sites say that the worrisome kind of discharge is when it's bloody, unilateral, and spontaneous, and all three apply to me. You certainly have made me feel so much better with your information and help, though.....I was reading on the internet about this Dr. Love and she has put out books on breast disease, and she says that there is only about a 4% chance that a bloody discharge would be releated to cancer, although it does have to be checked out. Well, thanks again so much for taking the time to help me, I can't tell you how much I appreciate it! Of course, I'll be telling you what happens on Tuesday! I dread that day, but can't wait till it gets here at the same time! Thanks, Val

 
Old 09-04-2005, 02:51 AM   #6
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Re: Breast discharge

Hi~~
It's just me again, up at 4 in the morning and in a panic. Well, the blood stained night clothes was all I had to think it was blood before, but not anymore. I was just up walking around the house, haven't been to bed yet, and noticed the white top I was wearing had blood stains on the outside of it. Also, my nipple was spontaneously discharging the blood. This is so scary! Being that it's definitely red blood, coming from one breast, and spontaneous, dosen't that really signal cancer? It's like, I'm so sure that's what it is, and this scares me to death since I have an eleven year old daughter. I can't believe I wasn't better about doing my mammogram's! My last one was about 3 1/2 years ago. There really is no benign explanation for this type of scenario, right? I feel like I should call a doctor this weekend, but here we are in a holiday weekend, and I'm sure they will just tell me to wait till Tuesday, at which time I'm scheduled for a mammogram and ultrasound. Is it still at all possible this is not cancer with my symptoms? I am 45, and already through menopause, which is also scary. I went through it kind of young, I guess, and haven't had a period in probably over a year, and already went through all those tests, and my ovaries are just done. This also increases the chance that it is cancer, right? Anyway, sorry for the panic sounding letter, it's just late, and also a very scary thing to look down and see all that blood. Do you think I should call someone this weekend? Anyway, thanks again so much for everything, this board helps so much! Val

 
Old 09-04-2005, 10:11 AM   #7
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Re: Breast discharge

Hi, and sorry, one more thing, I just wanted to mention that along with the discharge, I have that lumpy area near my nipple (up a little from that) but it's been there for quite a while. This is the same lumpy area that I had a mamogram for over 3 years ago, and they said it was nothing. It was kind of hard to remember if it's exaclty the same, I think when I had that mammogram, it was a little less lumpy, and now feels like maybe there is one more smaller lump next to it or something. My right breast has been leaking blood now all night, it keeps staining my shirt. Isn't it unusual for it to be a papilloma if I'm 45 and through menopause already? My doctor said that even though I'm officially through menopause, I guess you can still have menopause symptoms since I'm young for that, and also even though I've stopped having periods, I guess I could really still be going through it. I'm just worried that most of these signs that I have do point to cancer. Although, I did read on the internet tonight that only like 10% of bloody discharges are cancer, but do you think this is still true when there is a lump there? Again, thanks so much, I guess you can tell I'm in a panic! Thanks, Val

 
Old 09-04-2005, 01:58 PM   #8
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Re: Breast discharge

probably nothing...but get your yearly mammogram....don't put it off....all you ladies!!

 
Old 09-04-2005, 02:37 PM   #9
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Re: Breast discharge

I wish I had! For me, it's been about 31/2 years, which scares me because of course that would be enough time for cancer to spread. But, you think this could be nothing given my symptoms? So so sorry if I'm repeating myself, which I know I am, but anyway, I'm 45, been through menopause early, felt a lumpy area over 3 years ago which is why I had the mammogram, which showed nothing. The lumpy area never really seemed to change that much to me, maybe possibly a little lumpier, but anyway, suddenly just having this bloody discharge. It's only in my right breast, and seems to pretty much come out spontaneously, although the first time I saw it was on my bed clothes, and I suppose I could have been sleeping on my stomach, which I do alot, and I guess I could have been pressing it somewhat. But, last night, it was spontaneously coming out as I was walking around the house, and doing chores, bending over, etc. I'm just so scared this is cancer, but you think it could be something else? Isn't it really bad to have this bloody discharge with a lumpy area? I mean, it seems to me that this is llike definitely cancer, and I'm already thinking of not being around to see my daughter grow up. I tell you, though, like you said, if this is nothing, and I'm lucky enough for that, this is such a wake-up call!! I am sooo stupid!! On last years yearly visit to my GYN--I had the yearly pap and all of that, and he gave me the mammogram order, and I just never went, kept putting it off. Man, it kills me now to think if this is something serious that I could have prevented my family from going through all this pain if I had just gone in last year, when it was probably at an early stage. At my age, and given I've gone through menopause fairly recently, it's unlikely to be something benign, like a papilloma, right? Thanks so much for any help, you guys really make such a difference, I am such a basket case right now....Thanks, Val

 
Old 09-04-2005, 06:28 PM   #10
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Re: Breast discharge

Bloody, unilateral discharge is NOT highly suggestive of it being a cancer. Plus, you have no family history of it. This is all in your favor. Think about this... if you have a papilloma, it only makes sense that the bleeding would have to come out of the nipple as there is no where else for it to go. Many women have this condition. Their nipples discharge blood spontaneously or it comes out whenever they pinch them. You also have to keep in mind that you are feeling the lumpy areas in your breast repeatedly and this can cause this condition to bleed more so than at other times. We have many women coming for regular follow up for this condition (they don't have cancer) and the discharge varies. Some have bloody discharge, some have yellowish-colored output and others even have black. Also keep in mind that most every woman has "lumpy" breasts. Breast tissue is glandular so it can change at any time.

Your GYN is a good person to follow you with your regular breast health but he does not specialize in breast surgery whereas a general surgeon does. You need to see a general surgeon to evaluate this problem of yours, regardless of the outcome of your mammogram and ultrasound. If your film impressions don't determine the problem here, then your surgeon will (and should) send in a sample of the discharge for cytology. This wasn't done by your GYN because it's out of his field of expertise. Get the ball rolling by having your GYN's office make an appt. with the general surgeon now. Your film results will be ready by the time you see him and you can ease your mind. You aren't going to find peace with this until you have a definite answer and you need to get the opinion of the surgeon. I would do (and have done) this very same thing! It will ease your mind tremendously. You also need to stay positive and try to be strong. Stop beating yourself up for being overdue with your mammograms. It's done and in the past and you can't do anything about that so forget about it. The important thing here is that you now realize the importance of regular mammograms and check ups with your doctor. Also, you should perform monthly self-breast exams without fail. Doing this at the same time each month is a good idea.

After you see the general surgeon, you will have become established with him. This will be a great thing for you because if you ever have any worrisome breast condition thereafter, you can bypass your GYN and make your appt. right with the surgeon who is now familiar with your breast health.

For now, enjoy your weekend and don't let this ruin your labor day with your family. You want the best for your 11 year old and it isn't best if she is sensing your anxiety over this - and I'm certain that she notices. Tuesday will come soon enough and then it's going to take a few days to get your results, depending upon how swamped the radiologist is. If you haven't heard from your doctor's office three days past your mammogram and ultrasound, then call his office and ask his nurse for them. The only delay would be if if your films haven't been read or transcribed and she can call radiology and request that they do this. You also need to get copies of your own reports so that you can keep track of your health and see/read for yourself what's going on. Lean on your faith, Val. We're here for you as well!

 
Old 09-04-2005, 06:51 PM   #11
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Re: Breast discharge

Thank you so much for the letter!! I can't tell you how much better I feel after reading it! I am having a particularly bad day, because of the blood discharge last night, and also just generally, for whatever reason, came across a lot of negative information on the internet. I went to google and typed in what the doctor had written on my order, which was 'bloody discharge and right subareolar density'....and there was some good information on things I hope it might be, such as the papilloma, or ectatic duct, but there was lots of scary scenarios as well, such as invasive cancer being on the list of possibliites.
You make me feel so good when you suggest that it will put my mind at ease, because that suggests that you think it would be good news. I'm trying to be positive around my kids, but it's hard. My eleven year old of course dosen't know anything, but as you said, I'm sure notices my anxiety. I have a 20 year old son, and an 18 year old daughter, and I do talk to them about it. I'm actually shaky inside I'm so nervous about it.
The thing is, my husband is here now, but he commutes in on the weekends from the Northeast, and so he absolutely has to fly back tomorrow afternoon, so unless I want to put my 18 year old daughter through this with me, I'll be going alone to the appointment on Tuesday, and that kind of scares me, if it's bad news. Like you said, I don't even know if the doctor will talk to me, but the GYN suggested he would.
Thank you soooo much for the advice about the General Surgeon. I can't thank you enough, this could end up making a difference saving my life! I looked it up in my yellow pages, and didn't see any doctors that specialize in that, so I guess I have to call my GYN and get a referral, right? I would assume for a specialist like that, it might take a while to get in. I was wondering, and I'm so sorry to keep bugging you.....I don't know how I could ever repay you!~ But, my appointment at the hospital for the mammogram and ultrasound starts at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, so there is no time before the appointment to contact my GYN....but do you think I should just still go and do these tests at this place? It's at the local hospital here, where they do all the mammograms, stuff like that. I guess it's kind of a women's center, but I know they do alot of different imaging there. I was wondering if you think I should wait and see the General Surgeon first, and do the tests with him, maybe somewhere else that he prefers. I am worried about the radiologist talking to me, and making me even more nervous, because, as you said, these guys are not specialists and might make things worse for me in the short run.
So, you have made me feel so much better, without you, I would really be a mess. Really, with all the negative stuff I've read today, I keep reading your letter over, and feel reassured. So, to sum up, even though it's unilateral, bloody, and spontaneous, it's still very possible to be benign....but that you think it's serious enough to see a general surgeon because of the fact that it can be coming from a possible cancer, right?
Thanks for the great words of advice, they are in my head as I'm going to go and do something with my eleven year old. I just want to be here for her so bad, she really needs me, as her Dad travels all the time, and we don't have much family around here.
I am so sorry to have taken up your time on this holiday weekend! You are an angel....Thanks so much, Val

 
Old 09-04-2005, 07:14 PM   #12
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Re: Breast discharge

Hi again~~yikes, so sorry, but just one thing I forgot to mention. I was reading over your letter again, and you had said that I had no family history, which was in my favor, I guess I had mentioned that some time before.....but one thing I wanted to mention was this. Most of the women in my family are ok, my Mom's Mom is 100 years old, my own Mother is 70, her sister is 60, but her other sister, who is 75, was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer last year. I read up on that, though, and most of the information said that if you get Ovarian cancer late in life like that, it is most likely not the hereditary kind, that the hereditary types shows up earlier in life. That was actually the ironic thing, I went to my GYN right after her diagnosis, just because alot of us in the family did, since we were behind on going, and it's like a wake-up call, and that is when he told me not to worry about Ovarian cancer, but to be sure to get my mammogram, he must have said it five times. I don't know, there was something that was making me nervous about doing it. Well, sorry, I just wanted to mention that family history to you....and thanks again..............just think, after Tuesday, I can stop bugging you! ha ha, thanks again so much, Val

 
Old 09-05-2005, 01:36 PM   #13
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Re: Breast discharge

Quote:
Originally Posted by valger
Thank you so much for the letter!! I can't tell you how much better I feel after reading it! I am having a particularly bad day, because of the blood discharge last night, and also just generally, for whatever reason, came across a lot of negative information on the internet. I went to google and typed in what the doctor had written on my order, which was 'bloody discharge and right subareolar density'....and there was some good information on things I hope it might be, such as the papilloma, or ectatic duct, but there was lots of scary scenarios as well, such as invasive cancer being on the list of possibliites.

[BThe list of possibilities and scenarios are endless for anything and anyone, really. You should be as positive in your thinking as you can be and try as hard as you can to get a grip on your worrying until a doctor gives you good reason to. This far, there isn't an indication at all that you have a cancer so you have to hold onto that. KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE as much as you can, okay?[/B]

You make me feel so good when you suggest that it will put my mind at ease, because that suggests that you think it would be good news. I'm trying to be positive around my kids, but it's hard. My eleven year old of course dosen't know anything, but as you said, I'm sure notices my anxiety. I have a 20 year old son, and an 18 year old daughter, and I do talk to them about it. I'm actually shaky inside I'm so nervous about it.
The thing is, my husband is here now, but he commutes in on the weekends from the Northeast, and so he absolutely has to fly back tomorrow afternoon, so unless I want to put my 18 year old daughter through this with me, I'll be going alone to the appointment on Tuesday, and that kind of scares me, if it's bad news. Like you said, I don't even know if the doctor will talk to me, but the GYN suggested he would.

If you need someone to go along with you, then I don't see a reason why you shouldn't take your 18 year old daughter with you. I think it would give her a good experience and make her realize how important it is to do monthly self-breast exams and maintain good follow up for herself. SHe's at an age where she should be doing this also! Some people might not agree with me, but my own kids are involved in all family matters in our household - good and bad. We want them to be aware that there is good and bad in the world and that we can share all of the times, together as a family. By sharing this with your daughter, you are making her feel needed, making her aware, and helping to build her inner strength.

As far as Tuesday is concerned, you aren't going to have an exact answer either way. You'll have to wait for your films to be read.



Thank you soooo much for the advice about the General Surgeon. I can't thank you enough, this could end up making a difference saving my life! I looked it up in my yellow pages, and didn't see any doctors that specialize in that, so I guess I have to call my GYN and get a referral, right? I would assume for a specialist like that, it might take a while to get in. I was wondering, and I'm so sorry to keep bugging you.....I don't know how I could ever repay you!~ But, my appointment at the hospital for the mammogram and ultrasound starts at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, so there is no time before the appointment to contact my GYN....but do you think I should just still go and do these tests at this place? It's at the local hospital here, where they do all the mammograms, stuff like that. I guess it's kind of a women's center, but I know they do alot of different imaging there. I was wondering if you think I should wait and see the General Surgeon first, and do the tests with him, maybe somewhere else that he prefers. I am worried about the radiologist talking to me, and making me even more nervous, because, as you said, these guys are not specialists and might make things worse for me in the short run.

I truly believe getting opinions from a surgeon have saved many, many lives. There's nothing worse than have a doctor not being able to identify what a breast lump actually is and then they have you wait 3-6 months for a follow up mammogram. I think this is so wrong! You do need the referral to most general surgeons (not all) but it would be in your best interest to have the GYN make the referral for you in terms of your insurance company covering this. Just call your GYN's office and tell them that you would like a "surgical consult" and would like them to make you an appt. with one. Becaue you are symptomatic, it should not take long at all for you to get in to see one. Yes, you should go and have your mammogram and US done at the time and place it is already scheduled. You simply take your films along with you to your appt. with the surgeon. They'll all take good care of you.


So, you have made me feel so much better, without you, I would really be a mess. Really, with all the negative stuff I've read today, I keep reading your letter over, and feel reassured.

I am happy to be here for you but you know, with or without me you will do just fine! I'm like you in that I need to talk about it when things bother me or when I'm in certain situations. Many of us need that! I'm not a negative thinking person - ever. And honestly, if a doctor told me I had breast cancer, I don't see that as the end of the world at all! The majority of the woman that have breast cancers have caught them in time and have been totally cured. It's not like it use to be years ago. Science and Medicine have come a long way in terms of testing and treatments.


So, to sum up, even though it's unilateral, bloody, and spontaneous, it's still very possible to be benign....but that you think it's serious enough to see a general surgeon because of the fact that it can be coming from a possible cancer, right?

Yes, it's very possible it's benign. I think you need to see the surgeon because you need an answer regarding exactly what the reason is for the discharge and a GYN cannot give you this. You not only need the reason, but you need to know what your options are in resolving this. You shouldn't have to go around with nipple discharge. Also, I think that the surgeon will recommend removing that duct or possibly doing a biopsy of the density. If the dense area cannot be completely explained, then I think that you should expect this (a biopsy) - this would be a good thing! I forgot to mention that, to deal with the blood soaking through your PJ's and shirts, stick a mini-pan inside of your bra and it will help.

Thanks for the great words of advice, they are in my head as I'm going to go and do something with my eleven year old. I just want to be here for her so bad, she really needs me, as her Dad travels all the time, and we don't have much family around here.
I am so sorry to have taken up your time on this holiday weekend! You are an angel....Thanks so much, Val
It's no problem at all. I'm here to talk with you. I also want to know how it goes for you tomorrow especially. Good or bad, I'll be here....... but I truly think it's going to be good!

 
Old 09-05-2005, 03:13 PM   #14
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Re: Breast discharge

Hi!
You know what I'm going to say....thank you sooo much!! I really wouldn't be o.k. without you, I am telling you, the only really positive things I have read have been from you, and one site on the internet from Dr. Susan Love's book (I think that is her name) in which she states that even bloody, unilateral discharge is related to breast cancer only 4% of the time. Pretty good odds, but I do have that lumpy area also. I think that greatly increases the odds that it is cancer, because if the lumpy area is kind of to the side of my nipple, and maybe up a bit, that dosen't sound like what I've read a papilloma feels like. I am so hoping that is it, but I can't help but feel it's such wishful thinking.
I've really gone so many years not taking care of myself as I should. I don't smoke or drink, but I have eaten badly, and just generally let myself go. I just can't help but feel that I've let my family down so badly, because if this is something, there was just no excuse that I didn't get in earlier. My husband has a good job, and I stay at home, it wasn't that complicated for me to take care of myself, but I've been lazy. Instead of being out exercising, and doing things, I would be lazy around the house during the day. Ok, sorry to go on and on there, it's just hard.
Thanks so much for the advice on what to do, I will make sure to write as soon as I get back on Tuesday. My husband also said what you did, that I probably won't know much tomorrow, but they'll probably refer me to a surgeon, since there apparantely is a mass. But, shouldn't they be able to tell somewhat from a mammo and a US if it is a papilloma? If it's a solid mass, and it's been bleeding, that tells me right there that it's cancer, right? I thought that was what the US was for, to distinguish it from a cyst or a solid mass, and if it's a solid mass, and it's been discharging blood, that dosen't sound good.
I don't mean to be negative, I'm just so scared. Also, you were saying before about things being in my favor, but I'm not sure I have that much in my favor really. I am post-menopausal (I'm 45, almost 46, at the end of October)...and went through early menopause, and I know bleeding after you've been through menopause is bad. Do you know if any of those ladies you were talking about had the bleeding after menopause? My GYN kind of acted like, well, you might not be truly post-menopause since it was early, and I guess I could still be going through hormonal changes. I hate to sound stupid, but I can't remember when I had my last period. My husband swears that it was earlier this year, but I think it was way before that, about a year ago or maybe more.
The mass thing is confusing, because I went in at that last mammogram, about 3 1/2 years ago, for that lumpy area near my nipple, and they said it was nothing. I hope that something wasn't missed, because this lumpy area is in the same breast, and that's the one I'm bleeding from. This nipple is inverted, but it's been that way all of my life. I suppose there might be another lumpy area there that wasn't there before, but I guess I missed it. The GYN did say he felt something, but that he couldn't tell what it was from his fingertips. Do you think the GYN wouldn't be experienced enough to tell somewhat if this is a benign condition? I think he was trying to make me feel better, but he said he thinks it could be benign...but of course told me other scenarios.
Could a papilloma be there for years before it starts to bleed? I worry that something was missed on this last mammo, and now the bleeding is signaling advanced breast cancer. My age is what worries me, and just risk factors of being overweight, and eating badly.
If this turns out to be nothing, it sure is a wake-up call. I will never, ever put it off again! (I hope I have the chance to make up for this!) Anyway, I truly am sorry to keep bugging you, you have spent so much time helping me, and I really feel bad. I have to repay you! You've been there so much for me.....I just can't thank you enough. I feel that I'm going in tomorrow armed with so much more information now. One other question, on the mammo form, the doctor put that it was a single episode of bloody discharge, and of course, it's been doing this all weekend, so I guess I'll tell them that it's not a single episode any more. Does that also signal cancer, that it is persistent? I wouldn't say it was alot of blood, but like if I look now, it's like there is some dried blood in the nipple (it gets trapped there as my nipple is inverted)...and like I said, I've had the inverted nipple as long as I can remember. I had a few spots on my nightclothes again last night.
OMG~~I am writing you a manuscript! I'm so sorry, please forgive me for being such a pest...again thank you sooo much!! Again, you are an angel!! Thank you, Val

 
Old 09-06-2005, 04:42 AM   #15
Senior Veteran
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 548
smithn HB User
Re: Breast discharge

Quote:
Originally Posted by valger
Hi!
You know what I'm going to say....thank you sooo much!! I really wouldn't be o.k. without you, I am telling you, the only really positive things I have read have been from you, and one site on the internet from Dr. Susan Love's book (I think that is her name) in which she states that even bloody, unilateral discharge is related to breast cancer only 4% of the time.

Pretty good odds, but I do have that lumpy area also. I think that greatly increases the odds that it is cancer,

This doesn't increase your odds since on your previous mammogram, this "lumpy area" was read as "non-suspicious". And it really hasn't changed except for teh fact that you are feeling the area a lot and kind of wonder if it has changed. If this lumpy area was a malignancy years ago, and you let it go without treatment, then not only would it have changed and grown, but you wouldn't be alive right now.


because if the lumpy area is kind of to the side of my nipple, and maybe up a bit, that dosen't sound like what I've read a papilloma feels like. I am so hoping that is it, but I can't help but feel it's such wishful thinking.
I've really gone so many years not taking care of myself as I should. I don't smoke or drink, but I have eaten badly, and just generally let myself go. I just can't help but feel that I've let my family down so badly, because if this is something, there was just no excuse that I didn't get in earlier. My husband has a good job, and I stay at home, it wasn't that complicated for me to take care of myself, but I've been lazy. Instead of being out exercising, and doing things, I would be lazy around the house during the day. Ok, sorry to go on and on there, it's just hard.

It's not hard unless you make it hard. The only person you are letting down is yourself. Your family loves you just the way you are and every single one of us has weak areas in our lives. We are our own worst critics.

Thanks so much for the advice on what to do, I will make sure to write as soon as I get back on Tuesday. My husband also said what you did, that I probably won't know much tomorrow, but they'll probably refer me to a surgeon, since there apparantely is a mass. But, shouldn't they be able to tell somewhat from a mammo and a US if it is a papilloma?

The Radiologist will be able to tell once he reads it but they don't usually read them on the spot like that. The films are taken to him while you are there, for him to quickly check to make sure that they are a "good, viewable read" and then the tech will come back to you and tell you that you can either leave or that they need additional views. Routinely, the films are then taken to the Radiologist's office stacker and as soon as he gets the chance, he will read them and then fax the report to your GYN's office.

If it's a solid mass, and it's been bleeding, that tells me right there that it's cancer, right?

Nope.

I thought that was what the US was for, to distinguish it from a cyst or a solid mass, and if it's a solid mass, and it's been discharging blood, that dosen't sound good.
I don't mean to be negative, I'm just so scared. Also, you were saying before about things being in my favor, but I'm not sure I have that much in my favor really. I am post-menopausal (I'm 45, almost 46, at the end of October)...and went through early menopause, and I know bleeding after you've been through menopause is bad. Do you know if any of those ladies you were talking about had the bleeding after menopause?

Before AND after... contrary to some statistics, their menopause status doesn't seem to make much difference.

My GYN kind of acted like, well, you might not be truly post-menopause since it was early, and I guess I could still be going through hormonal changes. I hate to sound stupid, but I can't remember when I had my last period. My husband swears that it was earlier this year, but I think it was way before that, about a year ago or maybe more.
The mass thing is confusing, because I went in at that last mammogram, about 3 1/2 years ago, for that lumpy area near my nipple, and they said it was nothing.

This is your golden ticket right here, Val. As long as the radiologist read those films properly at that time, then this is good! By the way, I forgot to mention earlier about your family history of CA. You have a family HX of ovarian CA, NOT breast CA.....two very different cancers.


I hope that something wasn't missed, because this lumpy area is in the same breast, and that's the one I'm bleeding from. This nipple is inverted, but it's been that way all of my life. I suppose there might be another lumpy area there that wasn't there before, but I guess I missed it. The GYN did say he felt something, but that he couldn't tell what it was from his fingertips. Do you think the GYN wouldn't be experienced enough to tell somewhat if this is a benign condition?

Not at all. The GYN has no idea whatsoever. If you saw a general surgeon to begin with, he would try to aspirate the area to see if fluid would return (rule out cyst) and then he would suggest a biopsy. GYN's just don't specialize in this area.

I think he was trying to make me feel better, but he said he thinks it could be benign...but of course told me other scenarios.
Could a papilloma be there for years before it starts to bleed?

Not usually "years" but you haven't had the bleeding until recently. Based on your last mammogram results, I'm not sure that your lumpy area and your bleeding are much associated with one another at all. But you will soon know after your films.

I worry that something was missed on this last mammo, and now the bleeding is signaling advanced breast cancer.

If your last mamogram was suspicious at all, they would have ordered a biopsy then. If you had breast cancer back then, your symptoms would be multiple and much greater than bloody discharge from one nipple.

My age is what worries me, and just risk factors of being overweight, and eating badly.

You can't do anything about your age but you can do everything about your weight. Instead of beating yourself up wtih the woulda, coulda, shouldas.......get on a diet plan, get out and do some regular brisk walking and make that change starting today. Do it for your family and for yourself.


If this turns out to be nothing, it sure is a wake-up call. I will never, ever put it off again! (I hope I have the chance to make up for this!) Anyway, I truly am sorry to keep bugging you, you have spent so much time helping me, and I really feel bad. I have to repay you! You've been there so much for me.....I just can't thank you enough. I feel that I'm going in tomorrow armed with so much more information now. One other question, on the mammo form, the doctor put that it was a single episode of bloody discharge, and of course, it's been doing this all weekend, so I guess I'll tell them that it's not a single episode any more.
Does that also signal cancer, that it is persistent?

Nope. IT means nothing until they tell you it means something.

I wouldn't say it was alot of blood, but like if I look now, it's like there is some dried blood in the nipple (it gets trapped there as my nipple is inverted)...and like I said, I've had the inverted nipple as long as I can remember. I had a few spots on my nightclothes again last night.
OMG~~I am writing you a manuscript! I'm so sorry, please forgive me for being such a pest...again thank you sooo much!! Again, you are an angel!! Thank you, Val
Let us know how your appt. goes today!

Last edited by smithn; 09-06-2005 at 04:45 AM.

 
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