Bloody nipple discharge can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'needs attention' to 'generally fatal'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose bloody nipple discharge, we could:
|Male Breast Cancer||15%||Unlikely|
|Breast Cancer||4%||Ruled out|
If you have any unusual discharge from your nipples, is it bloodstained?
Possible responses:→ Don't know / I am pregnant or lactating
→ There is no discharge
Some medications can cause non-bloody nipple discharge. The most common culprits are cimetidine (for stomach problems), oral contraceptives, some antidepressant and other drugs for psychological problems, and domperidone (for nausea). Even if you have not noticed any blood, your doctor may ask you to try to squeeze a few drops out, and will test it for microscopic blood.
Nipple discharge can be a symptom of breast cancer, particularly if it is bloodstained. You should definitely discuss any nipple discharge with a doctor – especially if you are a man, because the usual cause is a tumor and you will need treatment.