About Intraductal Papillomas

An intraductal papilloma is a tiny, wart-like growth in a milk duct. These growths are made of fibrous tissue and blood vessels.

When there is only one intraductal papilloma, it is often in the large milk ducts near the nipple. It can puncture the milk duct, resulting in a clear or bloody nipple discharge. Multiple intraductal papillomas usually occur deeper in the breast and won’t cause discharge.

These growths are seldom cancerous and generally affect women between the ages of 35 and 55.

Risk Factors and Symptoms

Risk Factors for Intraductal Papillomas

Being between the ages of 35 and 55 is the only known risk factor for intraductal papillomas.

Symptoms of Intraductal Papilloma

Intraductal papillomas don’t always produce symptoms. Some of the more common symptoms include:

  • Spontaneous bloody or sticky nipple discharge
  • Small lump behind and near the edge of the nipple
  • Breast swelling
  • Breast pain

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing Intraductal Papillomas

The diagnosis can be made with a ductogram followed by diagnostic mammography, breast ultrasound and a minimally invasive breast biopsy.

Treating this Condition

The intraductal papilloma may or may not need to be removed. Surgical removal will be recommended if the papilloma is large or associated with atypical cells.

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