What Is Mammary Duct Ectasia?
Breast duct is located just under the nipple from which milk is released. During mammary duct ectasia, the duct swells and its walls get thick. Eventually, the fluid gets blocked with a sticky substance. This substance is generally grey or green in color and the condition is non-cancerous. Since the duct swells, the victim may feel irritated due to the condition. Moreover, the duct may turn red or pink due to the swelling and blockage. The sticky substance is then discharged frequently from the area. Mammary duct ectasia rarely leads to breast cancer.
What Are The Symptoms Of Mammary Duct Ectasia?
There are no rare symptoms evolving in mammary duct ectasia but the following may occur:
- Nipples turning red.
- Nipple turning inward.
- A grey, green or even black discharge from the nipples.
- A lump-type thickness on the breast duct that is irritating.
- Sensitivity of nipple and duct.
In some cases, mastitis may occur. This is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation around the nipple. Whenever these symptoms show up, victims must immediately consult a doctor to make sure that the condition is not a threat of breast cancer.
What Causes Mammary Duct Ectasia?
Mammary duct ectasia occurs when the duct swells. Medical researches have not yet discovered what triggers mammary duct ectasia but it might be due to the following factors:
- Aging. The breast tissue starts to change as a person grows older through a process called involution.
- Inverting nipple.
What Are The Complications Of Mammary Duct Ectasia?
The complications under this condition are not dangerous but are annoying instead. Complication may include:
- Redness and swelling around the nipples.
- Doubts and fear of breast cancer. However, breast cancer does not usually occur as a result of this condition.
- Nipple discharge.
- Periductal mastitis, a bacterial infection that causes fever.
How Is Mammary Duct Ectasia Diagnosed?
Apart from observations and obtaining information from the victim, a doctor is likely to ask for one or more of the following tests:
- Diagnostic mammography which involves x-ray of the breast.
- Ultrasound of the nipples.
How Is Mammary Duct Ectasia Treated?
In most cases, the condition cures by itself within a few days. However, the following treatments are beneficial if the condition gets annoying or irritating:
- Antibiotics. Doctors prescribe a complete plan which includes antibiotics and may also include some pain killers like ibuprofen to release a victim from breast discomfort.
- In cases where antibiotics fail to cure mammary duct ectasia, a surgery is required to remove the blockage. However, a surgery is very rare in this case.
Instead of relying on medications and surgery, it is better to start using easy DIY methods when early symptoms arise. Examples may include using a breast pad to prevent fluid from leaking, sleeping on the opposite side of the affected breast, applying warm compresses and avoid smoking are a few ways to cure mammary duct ectasia.
By : Natural Health News