Nipple Discharge Types and Symptoms

Over a woman's life, her breasts go through several healthy changes, some of which she is unaware of. While examining a patient's breast, it is critical to determine if the changes are due to normal, safe physiological change or pathological change that requires treatment and management. Breast cancer diagnosis due to an unexpected shift can be devastating for a woman, thus emotional support is essential. This debate focuses on the diagnosis, management, and support of two breast cancer patients.

The sixty-year-old female is concerned about the thick greenish discharge that has been coming from her left breast for the previous month, accompanied by a burning and dull pain and occuring spontaneously. All of Gravida's children were breastfed. She is not under any medication but occasionally takes Tylenol for arthritis with her last mammogram being with normal limits 14 months ago. The examination reveals slight redness and edematous around the areola on her left breast and palpation reveals the greenish-black discharge on the right quadrant from the nipple. The patient is keen not to develop any risk of breast cancer; it could be a breast cyst (John Hopkins Medicine, n.d).

The greenish discharge from the nipple can be an indication of a cyst in the breast just below the nipple and the areola area which is spontaneously draining (Brown, 2017). Therefore, the patient may be undergoing a fibrocystic change. A fibrocystic disease is often handled through biopsies. Treatment consist observation and 3 to 4 months follow-up to avoid nipple stimulation during the period (Tharpe, et al. 2013). Antibiotics can be used to improve the symptoms and have the patient less worried (Twine & Gately, 2006). Acetaminophen or ibuprofen should relieve the patient of the discomfort. Surgery to remove the subareolar duct system can be indicated in case of severe symptoms (Schuiling & Likis, 2017). Gravida is sixty years old; a mammogram should be scheduled as her last was over a year ago.


Brown, K. (2017). Nipple Discharge Types and Symptoms: Johns Hopkins Breast Center. Retrieved March 30, 2017 from e_discharge.html.

John Hopkins Medicine. (N.d). Nipple Discharge. Retrieved March 31, 2017 from ischarge.html

Schuiling, K. D., & Likis, F. E. (2013). Women’s gynecologic health (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Tharpe, N, L., Farley, C., & Jordan, R. G. (2013). Clinical Practice Guidelines for Midwifery & Women's Health. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Twine, C., & Gateley, C. (2006). Antibiotic prescription for patients referred to a specialist breast clinic. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 82, 771-773.

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