Complications of mammary duct ectasia are usually minor and often more bothersome than serious. These may include:

  • Nipple discharge. Nipple discharge caused by mammary duct ectasia can be frustrating. Fluid leaking from your nipples can cause embarrassing wetness and staining on your clothes.
  • Breast discomfort. Mammary duct ectasia can cause redness, swelling and tenderness around your nipples.
  • Infection. A bacterial infection (periductal mastitis) may develop in the affected milk duct, sometimes causing you to have pain in or around your nipple or to feel ill and have a fever. Untreated infection could lead to an abscess — a collection of pus in your breast tissue — which may require surgical drainage.
  • Concern about breast cancer. When you notice a change in your breast, you may worry that it's a sign of breast cancer, especially if you develop a hard lump around a milk duct affected by mammary duct ectasia. While it's important to get signs and symptoms checked out promptly, remember that mammary duct ectasia does not increase your risk of breast cancer.
Jun. 02, 2012