When to see a doctorBy Mayo Clinic staff
Nipple discharge is rarely a sign of breast cancer. But it might be a sign of an underlying condition that requires treatment. If you're still having menstrual periods and your nipple discharge doesn't resolve on its own after your next menstrual cycle, make an appointment with your doctor to have it evaluated. However, if you're postmenopausal or if your nipple discharge is particularly bothersome, see your doctor right away.
In the meantime, take care to avoid nipple stimulation — including frequent checks for discharge — because stimulation actually makes the discharge persist.
- Non-cancerous breast conditions. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003180-pdf.pdf. Accessed Jan. 13, 2011.
- Golshan M, et al. Nipple discharge. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 13, 2011.
- Breast disorders. The Merck Manuals: Home Edition for Patients and Caregivers. http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec22/ch251/ch251a.html. Accessed Jan. 13, 2011.