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Old 06-07-2010, 07:41 PM   #1
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Bloody nipple discharge

Hi all,
I haven't had much time yet to read over the boards, and plan on doing that tonight, when I can sit and spend some time getting to know Healthboards. In the meantime, I thought I would post a fast question.
About 5 years ago, I experienced some bloody nipple discharge, from only one breast, and it was spontaneous. I went to my GYN, who ordered a mammo and US. Both of those came out ok. At that point, I went for an MRI, but wasn't able to complete it because of feeling panicky in there. After that, my GYN sent me to a surgeon, who told me that my problem was probably of a benign nature, he examined me, and was comfortable with my tests coming out ok, and the bleeding had ceased. The bleeding probably lasted less than a week or so.
Fast forward 5 years later...I've had no bleeding in that time, and 2 more normal mammos. (So, three total normal mammos since the first bleeding started, and one normal US). I am due for my yearly, and just about to go in, when I noticed some small drops of blood on my nightclothes this weekend. It didn't last too long...I had some spontaneous bleeding for that one day, and now it seems to have stopped again. I went in today to my GYN, who expectedely ordered the usual diagnostic mammogram and US...which is scheduled for Monday.
I was just wondering if anyone would have any idea at all at what would cause bleeding 5 years ago for a short time, have it completely stop for 5 whole years (almost) and then happen again. I'm worried that we didn't treat this aggressively enough 5 years ago, it might have been DCIS, and now it's invasive. That is my worry..any thoughts? Thanks so much!!

 
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:55 PM   #2
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Re: Bloody nipple discharge

I hope everything goes fine for you. I have been having bleeding from from one breast on and off for a couple of months. I had a normal mammogram and ultrasound. they said if it keeps up I need a ductogram , but it has to be bleeding when they try to put the dye in or they won't know which duct to put the catheter in. So , I have just been putting up with it. The doc told me about a year ago when i had a cyst drained , that I have papilloma , which is noncancerous growths in the ducts , he said they can be removed if they cause pain. I have a feeling thats what is causing my bleeding , but felt better after hearing the ultrasound and mammogram didn't show anything. Please let us know how it goes for you.

 
Old 06-08-2010, 07:30 PM   #3
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Re: Bloody nipple discharge

I have occasional bloody discharge too, and my breast surgeon also said it was a papilloma (and benign in nature). I've never had a poor mammogram and over the years I will get the discharge maybe every eight months or so. Certainly get your discharge checked out, but happily mine has a happy ending.

Last edited by braveheart226; 06-08-2010 at 07:31 PM.

 
Old 06-08-2010, 09:51 PM   #4
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Re: Bloody nipple discharge

Hi~~
Thanks for the responses! I'm very glad to hear there is a benign possibility for this. I've heard about the papilloma, but back when I had the bloody discharge about 5 years ago, my mammogram and ultrasound didn't show anything. The bleeding stopped, so I just went on with my regular mammograms, and they always came out ok. I had two since then. My last one was about 16 months ago, I was a little late going in when this happened.
I just think it's weird, even if it was something benign 5 years ago, why wouldn't I bleed for 5 years, and then suddenly again now? Even if it was a papilloma, or some other benign thing, those don't just go away on their own, right?
My main concern, from reading things on the internet, is that the type of bleeding I'm having is consistent with DCIS, and that is curable if caught in time. I'm worried we weren't aggressive enough with this 5 years ago, and now it's invasive. The only thing making me feel a little better is my 3 clear mammos since the original incidence.
You said your surgeon said it was a papilloma, did he see it on any test, or just surmise this? When I went to my surgeon 5 years ago, he just kind of said these things are usually benign, and said I had taken enough tests. I hope he was right! I'll let you know how things go on Monday...thanks for the reassurance!!

 
Old 06-09-2010, 09:01 AM   #5
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Re: Bloody nipple discharge

Hi---soo strange to log on and read first thread re same problem I'm having. I also had bleeding 5 years ago, get mamo every year. My gyn sent bit of discharge to lab at that time and came back negative for all possibilities. Fast forward 5 years and I'm having the bleeding again. I just had a mamo 4 weeks ago and am wondering if the mamo caused the bleeding. I have always had cystic breast with clusters of the things. I to am worried and will go to gyn next week. I don't know if cysts can contain blood or not. I have had several US and detected nothing but numerous cysts. It sure set your mind to worrying. Please post when you have a diagnosis. Will keep in contact myself.

 
Old 06-09-2010, 09:07 AM   #6
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Re: Bloody nipple discharge

Hi---I have seen the word papilloma and googled it, but don't understand what it is. You seem to---can you give me some definition. Thanks.

 
Old 06-11-2010, 03:00 PM   #7
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Re: Bloody nipple discharge

A papilloma is a benign wart, of sorts.

 
Old 06-13-2010, 05:32 PM   #8
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Re: Bloody nipple discharge

Is this wart thing on the inside or outside---I'm beginning to believe breast discharge is very common---causes us gals to worry, but should always get checked out. Last time I had it, my gyn expressed the discharge, sent it off and it came back ok. Doesn't seem to be many gals on this thread.

 
Old 06-13-2010, 05:55 PM   #9
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Re: Bloody nipple discharge

the papilloma is inside.

 
Old 06-14-2010, 06:48 AM   #10
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Re: Bloody nipple discharge

Thanks braveheart---comforting info. j

 
Old 06-14-2010, 08:42 PM   #11
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Re: Bloody nipple discharge

Ok I don't want to scare anyone but I had the same problem. I am 37 and no history of BC. My doctor was convienced the bloody discharge was nothing, I had 2 negative mammograms and an ultrasound still nothing. I had the ductogram and they saw one little mound. She said it was a papplinoma and that I would have a simple out patient surgery to remove it. She said only 10% of the time is the bleeding actually a sign of cancer. 2 weeks later I got the call _ I had Invasive ductal carcinoma. Now 5 months later I have had a Bilateral masectmy with DIEP flap reconstruction. My tumor wound up being 1.4 cen. There was some stuff that showed up on the mammagram other than my tumor that turned out to be DCIS. I am awaiting an appointment with the Oncologist to disscuss Chemo. With that being said. make them do every test till they find out what is causing it. Bloody discharge is not normal period. You are likely fine but if I had let it go... 5 years or so..who knows

 
Old 06-14-2010, 11:23 PM   #12
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Re: Bloody nipple discharge

OK~~so that last response IS scary, especially since I was feeling so much better about having a clear mammo and US today! I thought that was a good thing, but I guess it can miss something? You had said that the mammo showed some "things" that weren't the tumor...I was wondering what you meant by this. Were you bleeding alot and persistently?
I still plan on going to an appt with the surgeon I saw previously for this. I have to think it's good news, though, that my mammo and US came out ok, and that my bleeding has stopped, at least for now. I had this same symptom 5 years ago, and it only lasted a week or so, and stopped completely after that. This time it did about the same thing. I do want to be safe, though, and not put anything off.
I guess the thing I'm confused about is how you could have INVASIVE ductal carcinoma, and not have that show up on a mammo or US. I know that Ductal Carcinoma in situ sometimes does not show up (although it USUALLY will show up as calcifications) but if it's invasive, why wouldn't that show up? I thought that is the entire reason for a mammogram. Is this a mistake, like something that hopefully doesn't happen very often, or does invasive ductal carcinoma not usually show up on a mammo?
I had a diagnostic mammo today, where they do several different views. At this point, like I said, I'm going to the surgeon, but the doctor looking at my tests said a ductogram would be good, if I were bleeding at the time. However, not only has my bleeding stopped, but it's hard to find out where it's coming from, as I have an inverted nipple. So, I will pursue this as much as possible, but I do have to trust my doctors at some point. I'm hoping this kind of story is out of the norm...that hopefully we can feel comfortable having clear mammos and ultrasounds and reassurance from our regular docs and surgeons. What else can we do??

 
Old 06-15-2010, 07:54 AM   #13
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Re: Bloody nipple discharge

smoothie,

Not to scare you by INVASIVE ductal carcinoma does not show on a mammogram or ultasound because it is still contained in the duct. It grows within the duct until it runs out of room and then it spills out of the duct and that is when it is seen on a mammogram.
I do not know if a Breast MRI might give you any more information.

Tulsamom--what a scary story you told. Please let me know what the oncologist says in terms of your treatment plan. Good Luck and I will be thinking of you

Brenda

 
Old 06-15-2010, 03:26 PM   #14
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Re: Bloody nipple discharge

Hi,
Thanks for the response! Again, I'm a little confused though. I do know, of course, unfortunately, that not everything shows up on Mammo or US. Wouldn't that be great? I know someday there will be a test that determines what is going on, but for now, things aren't perfect.
But...what I'm confused about is if it's called INVASIVE ductal carcinoma, doesn't that imply that the cancer has invaded the breast tissue, and now is not confined to the ducts anymore? That is why when it is confined to the ducts, it's called Ductal Carcinoma In Situ...but Invasive ductal carcinoma should show up on a mammo (hopefully) since it has now invaded normal breast tissue. If it's confined to the ducts, that shouldn't be too scary to anyone (except for the natural fear we have of cancer) because it is confined to the ducts, and once it's taken out, there's about a 100% cure rate.
I read an article recently, in fact, that studied DCIS, and it was found that when women died of something unrelated to breast cancer, and were having autopsies for whatever other reason, DCIS was found in a large percentage of cases, that hadn't invaded the breast. This led the study to conclude that DCIS is fairly common within the normal population, and some women live their whole lives without even knowing they have it, and it causes them no problems.
I guess what I'm saying is that we are limited to the tests we have, and even the doctors have to rely on common sense and statistics. That is a scary story that Tulsa wrote, but statistically, it's rare. MOST of the time, bloody nipple discharge seems to be related to a benign process, and since she had a normal Mammo and US, I think the doctor was probably correct in assuming she was fine. It's easy to read stories on here and get scared, because of course, things like that happen. But, in the big picture, the Medical Community can't send most women out for tons of testing, since it's expensive, impractical, and usually results in nothing. Also, as my surgeon 5 years ago said, they mostly end up chasing their tails, and finding nothing. Unfortunately, that leaves some people with stories such as this.
In my case, I'm going to be sure to follow-up..given my history 5 years ago. I'm going to go to my Surgeon, and hope there is some test I can take to further reassure me. However, I'm honestly not sure there is, short of surgery. Which, if I'm not bleeding at the moment, I don't think they would even do. The Ductogram is impossible for me, because I don't bleed very much (it's usually just spots on my bedclothes) and also because of my inverted nipple. I guess an MRI might be good. If I can do it!
Anyway, it's interesting to write about, and think about. It's very frustrating that as women, we don't have better tests, and more reliable ways of detecting a very common cancer. Even after going in for my Mammogram, it still seems very barbaric they way they do it. It seems by now there should be something better. Well, hopefully for our daughters!! Again, thanks for all the advice and responses! It's so hard, because knowledge is power, but we are limited by insufficient testing, and doctors who are also limited, and have to rely on statistics. We just have to do our best, I guess. It doesn't help to come on here and get scared, we can only hope we've done enough for our families and trust our doctors. And...keep vigilant about our own health and keep current on tests. My GYN said the only way to be completely sure you don't have cancer is to do a mastectomy (he was being tongue-in-cheek of course)...but he was making a point. We can never know for sure. Thanks again!

 
Old 06-16-2010, 03:39 PM   #15
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Re: Bloody nipple discharge

Quote:
Originally Posted by janld View Post
Hi---soo strange to log on and read first thread re same problem I'm having. I also had bleeding 5 years ago, get mamo every year. My gyn sent bit of discharge to lab at that time and came back negative for all possibilities. Fast forward 5 years and I'm having the bleeding again. I just had a mamo 4 weeks ago and am wondering if the mamo caused the bleeding. I have always had cystic breast with clusters of the things. I to am worried and will go to gyn next week. I don't know if cysts can contain blood or not. I have had several US and detected nothing but numerous cysts. It sure set your mind to worrying. Please post when you have a diagnosis. Will keep in contact myself.
I didn't mean to scare you, But I think woman need to know that a clean mammogram does not mean you are in the clear. If you have other symptoms like a lump, or like discharge those things need to be checked out because they CAN be caner even if nothing shows on the mammogram. My doctor said younger women sometiimes have dense breast tissue and you could have a mass that wouldn't show up. I did have a 1.4 cen invasive tumor that was only visible by MRI. I would just make sure you get discharged checked out. From what I have read if its bloody or brown you have more of a reason to be concerend. Not everyone with discharge has cancer but I did. So I reccomend insisting on finding out what is causing it because no matter what its not normal.

 
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