An intraductal papilloma is a noncancerous (benign) small growth inside a milk duct in the breast. It may appear on the skin near the nipple as a growth that looks like a wart.
Single intraductal papillomas often occur in women nearing menopause. They can produce a bloody or sticky nipple discharge. Multiple intraductal papillomas are more likely to occur in younger women. They may be found in both breasts and are more likely to cause a lump than nipple discharge.
Intraductal papillomas usually are first suspected from an evaluation of symptoms and a breast exam. A diagnosis can be confirmed with:
It is important to have an intraductal papilloma, as well as any other breast changes, evaluated and closely monitored by a doctor. You may not need treatment, but an intraductal papilloma and the affected duct can be removed if symptoms do not go away or are bothersome.
Last Revised: September 9, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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