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I stopped breastfeeding about 2 years ago and about a year ago my
right breast started leaking a sticky yellow fluid and is painful. My
gyno/general practitioner says it can be normal and just part of
getting older (I'm 37). I've had 2 mammograms in the past year and
everything is fine. My problem is that it is painful and the leaking
is becoming annoying. It just pours out all day. I have to wear pads
in my bra so I don't get this stuff all over my clothing. I know I
need to go back to my doctor but maybe I should try a different
doctor. Anyone out there with this experience and any good doctors?
You might have a prolactinoma. A simple blood test to be sure
your hormone levels are normal would be reasonable.
Spontaneous nipple discharge is not normal. It most often (more
than 90% of the time) is from a benign source such as a cyst,
or from a papilloma (like a polyp in a duct), but occasionally
can be froma cancer. We always check it out with more studies
such as ultrasound and pathology of the fluid, and sometimes
surgery is needed to correct the problem. You should have a
consultation with a breast surgeon to figure out what is
My sister-in-law had this and the Drs found she had a benign tumor on
causing her hyperprolactinemia (high prolactin). There is a medication
that seemed to
help her and she may still be taking it.
Leaking breasts (when not nursing) is called ''galactorrhea'' and
can be a symptom of a serious illness. Certain pituitary
diseases, including pituitary tumors, can cause galactorrhea,
and there are also certain medications which can cause this.
Please consult an endocrinologist for an evaluation, which
includes laboratory tests and an MRI of the brain/pituitary area.
This just doesn't sound right. I don't want to freak you out,
but I do want to make sure you know about a possibility
called Inflammatory Breast Cancer -- it doesn't show up on a
mammogram because it isn't a lump. It presents itself in
different ways including swelling, itching, breast pain, discharge
etc. (see http://www.ibcresearch.org/ for more info). Please
consider seeing a doctor and saying, ''Can we rule out
Inflammatory Breast Cancer?''
My sister had a mammogram and two sonograms before a breast
specialist saw the four lumps that were in her breast. Be
proactive and demand more testing. I am not a professional but
having to wear breast pads to soak the leakage does not sound
like normal age-related stuff to me!
You have galactorrhea (breasts leaking when you're not
breastfeeding) and you need to have a blood test to have your
thyroid and prolactin levels checked (2 hormones that can cause
this problem when out of whack). I think you may need a
different health care provider if yours didn't suggest this.
women's health nurse practitioner
You need a specialist. An endocrinologist should probably be your first
stop. Mine is
Randall Ammon, M.D. of Orinda, somewhat subdued but the best in the East
Had the same problem.
Has you OB/Gyn checked your prolactin/LH levels? - you could have
what is often a benign tumor which causes elevated levels and one
symptom is leaking milk. Just a thought.
call a lactation consultant not another doctor. Find someone
via La Leche League or call 408-559-BABY and leave a message
there for an LC.
not leaking ...yet?
I'd consider a second opinion to rule out breast cancer. I might push
for a biopsy. I'd
also consider seeing a naturopath or someone who practices traditional
medicine, since they're interested in build up, discharge, hormone
Please get another opinion. My sister-in-law (who has never
had a child) had the same symptoms and ended up being diagnosed
with breast cancer and having a breast removed. It took almost
a year to diagnose her and was an emotional roller coaster as
doctors assured her that there was nothing wrong at first.
This is not meant to panic you, but I would strongly urge you
to get a second opinion.
I had breast leakage and it turned out to be a NOT dangerous
growth pushing against my pituitary gland in my brain called a
pituitary adenoma (benign). I would get another opinion to
rule this out. When I had leakage like you described, I told
my OB/GYN about it, and she immediately sent me for an MRI
where it was diagnosed quickly. So, get a second opinion.
And, if this is the case, UCSF is the best hospital in the
country for pituitary adenomas, so maybe you might want to call
this page was last updated: Nov 20, 2007
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