Nipple discharge

Accounts for 6.8% of breast disorders.

Accounts for 2-5% of complaints of women visiting health care providers.

Despite its frequency only 5% of patients have a significant underlying disease process.

Pathologic process is considered to be present if discharge is spontaneous, from a single duct, persists or has gross or occult blood.

In women who have breast cancer and have nipple discharge as the only symptom 3% are younger than 40 years, 10% 40-60 years of age and 32% are older than 60 years.

The incidence of nipple discharge is 2-5%.

The association with breast cancer is estimated to be less than 3% (Gray RJ. Et al).

Intraductal papillomas of the most common cause bloody discharge from the nipple, and are benign.

Fibrocystic disease may be associated with green, yellow, white, or black discharge.

Fibroadenomas are not associated with bloody discharge.

Associated with anxiety.

Usually physiologic or of benign etiology.

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