Mammary Duct Ectasis: Case Study Overview

Mammary duct ectasis
Mammary duct ectasis

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Mammary duct ectasis

Case study overview

A 60-year-old Latina female is concerned about the thick green discharge on her left breast, a situation she has experienced for the past month. The discharge happens spontaneously causing pain and burning around the breast. She reported to have breastfed all her children; she was not on any medication. However, occasionally she used Tylenol for treating arthritis.

The mammogram test done 14 months ago is within the normal limits. Physical examination indicates that there are slight redded and edematous around the left breast. A greenish-black is seen when palpation is done; there is an ovoid which is smooth, very mob that is not tender at 1cm nodule in the RUIQ at 11.00 5cm from the nipple. The patient is worried that she might be at risk of developing breast cancer.

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Women over 50 years are likely to suffer from mammary duct ectasis; this is a condition that occurs when the breast dust becomes wider making its walls thicken causing fluid build-up around the breast (Stanford School of Medicine, 2016). Sticky and thick black or green discharge is an indication of mammary duct ectasis. In addition, the nearby tissues around the breast and the nipple will become tender and red. The hard lump caused by this condition is often confused with breast cancer (Patel, et al, 2015).

Treatment and management plan

The patient needs antibiotics for 10 to 14 days to treat the infection; pain medication includes acetaminophen or, ibuprofen, other drugs are Advil, Motrin IB among others. Acetaminophen  is commonly prescribed to reduce the pain ,an adult dosage includes  is 2 regular strength   325 mg  after every four hours or 2 extra-strength of 500mg after every six hours but the maximum dosage should not exceed 4,000 mg in a day.

In mild cases, patients are advised to conduct warm compresses to help to manage the disease, however in severe cases, surgery will be recommended whereby an incision will be made at the edge of the colored tissue to release the built up fluids (Chougule et al, 2015).

Mammary duct ectasis is often confused with breast cancer, therefore women especially those that are above 50 years need to be educated about the differences in the presentation between the two conditions and urged to seek urgent medical attention whenever they have sysmptoms related to mammary duct ectasis.


Chougule ,A., Bal A, Das, A., Singh, G ( 2015). IgG4 related sclerosing mastitis: expanding the morphological spectrum of IgG4 related diseases. Pathology 47 (1): 27–33

Patel, B. K., Falcon, S., & Drukteinis, J. (2015). Management of nipple discharge and the associated imaging findings. The American journal of medicine, 128(4), 353-360.

Stanford School of Medicine (2016).Mammary Duct Ectasia .Retrieved from

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