It is very important to realize that more than 80% of all abnormalities found in the breast are benign and do not require any treatment.


There are benign tumours which are mostly found in teenagers and young women....called fibroadenomas and are mostly left alone after the diagnosis has been made.


The other common lesion seen are cysts.  These are simply collections of fluid and are always benign.  They should never ever be operated upon as they are easily treated as an outpatient procedure in the Mammography Department.  They can only be diagnosed with Ultrasound.  Breast cysts are treated with image guided needle aspiration using local anaesthetic and simultaneously injecting air into the cyst.  The air reacts with the cyst walls which then stick together.  Never allow a Doctor to put a needle into your breast unless the insertion is guided and visualised with ultrasound i real time.


It is important to distinguish one sided discharge or if it comes out of both nipples.  The latter is usually from a generalised condition such as Pregnancy or eve a small pituitary (Brain) tumour which is treated with medicine. Unilateral nipple discharges are almost always benign.......even if bloody.  The cause for these are easily found by doing a nipple smear to see if any abnormal cells are present or by doing a Galactogram to demonstrate the milk ducts.  The simple benign tumour which may result in a bloody discharge is called a Duct Papilloma and is easily treated.


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