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
Intraductal papillomas usually are first suspected from an
evaluation of symptoms and a breast exam. A diagnosis can be confirmed with:
Mammogram (breast X-ray). Women younger than 35
may have a ultrasound of the breast rather than a mammogram.
Laboratory examination of cells from the growth. Cells from the
intraductal papilloma may be collected using a small needle and syringe (fine-needle aspiration) or by taking a tissue sample (core biopsy).
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.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine