Nipple discharge as a single symptom in elderly female patients
© Sibilio et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009
Published: 1 April 2009
Aim of the study
Proving on the basis of scientific evidence derived from a long lasting experience in the breast surgery field, how pathologic nipple discharge, as a single symptom, can hide more often in elderly women malignancies of the galactophorous ducts.
Materials and methods
Dept of General Surgery – Prof. Taffurelli from S. Orsola Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, holds in its database about ten thousand records in the breast surgery field going from 1975 until now, among which 966 cases of pathologic nipple discharge of variable nature (mainly serous, serous-bloody and bloody) in women of all ages were selected; of course these were all unilateral and single duct discharges and for these reason surgically appealing. All other causes, besides primary breast pathology, were excluded.
55 to 64 yrs
Total patients (n)
Benign lesions with discharge
p < 0.001
Malignant lesions with discharge
Our retrospective experience can hereby prove how important it is to keep a high alert about the symptom mentioned above, behind which, according to our evidence, a malignant lesion is often hidden, especially for women over 65 years of age, more than in younger ones. Moreover we want to remind how it is not necessarily a bloody discharge that has to drive the physician's attention, but also serous discharges can be symptom of galactophorous ducts malignancies.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.