In duct ectasia, there is a swelling of the milk ducts beneath the nipple and thickening of the walls of the milk ducts. The ducts are filled with fluid. It occurs mainly in perimenopausal women aged 40 to 50 years.
It is speculated that this may be caused by changes due to ageing, smoking and nipple inversion.
Diagnosis is based on clinical breast examination with ultrasound of the nipple and areola, and mammograms.
Treatment is largely symptomatic but antibiotics and analgesics may be needed. Supportive management includes:
Duct ectasia does not increase the risk of breast cancer.
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