Many investigators have expressed various opinions concerning the significance of a discharge from the nipple, but few have specifically considered the problem of carcinoma of the breast associated with discharge from the nipple in the absence of a palpable mass. Some earlier investigators reported that more than 50% of such breasts were malignant, but the weakness of their studies was the misinterpretation of the so-called papillary lesions. In the past many lesions which are now recognized to be papillomas were called "carcinomas."
Geschickter1 found cancer of the breast eventually developing in 9% of patients presenting themselves with discharge from the nipple. On the other hand, Bell2 had never seen a carcinoma of the breast associated with a discharge from the nipple in the absence of a palpable mass. The present study was undertaken to determine the incidence of cancer of the breast in patients whose only symptom and
MADALIN HE, ELLIS FH, McDONALD JR. Carcinoma of the Breast Associated with Discharge from the Nipple but No Palpable Mass. AMA Arch Surg. 1958;76(1):100-105. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1958.01280190102019