Current management of nipple discharge

Richard J. Gray, Barbara A. Pockaj

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Nipple discharge is a relatively common complaint, with the primary concern being an underlying breast carcinoma. The difficulty in managing nipple discharge is that the risk of carcinoma, despite being low, cannot be eliminated without surgical duct excision and histologic confirmation. In the following chapter, the evidence for the risks and benefits of the most common diagnostic tests within defined clinical circumstances is examined critically, and a structured, evidence-based algorithm is presented. Using such a systematic approach to nipple discharge allows the clinician to stratify patients with pathologic nipple discharge into low- and high-risk groups. Low-risk patients can be safely offered close clinical follow-up rather than subjecting all patients with pathologic discharge to operative intervention and additional expensive tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBreast disease
Subtitle of host publicationComprehensive management
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781493911455
ISBN (Print)9781493911448
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Breast cancer
  • Breast discharge
  • Ductogram
  • Ductography
  • Nipple discharge
  • Papilloma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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