Mammary duct ectasia can be frightening as it shares a lot of the same symptoms as breast cancer, but the two are not related. A person who notices any changes in their breast tissue should speak to a doctor, however, to identify the cause and rule out or diagnose a severe issue. Mammary duct ectasia is most common in perimenopausal women between 45 and 55 years old though it may develop after menopause as well. Though very rare, it can develop in men.
Mammary duct ectasia happens when a milk duct widens, the walls thicken, and it fills with fluid. The duct becomes clogged or blocked, which can lead to inflammation or breast tenderness. A woman with mammary duct ectasia may experience nipple discharge that is black, green, or white, or she may have no symptoms at all.
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