AMGS stands for Abnormal mammary gland secretion. Abnormal mammary gland secretion is one of the secreting (ie secreting a secretion) diseases within the mammary gland. This results in a discharge of a secretion from the nipple outside of breastfeeding.
What is abnormal mammary gland secretion?
A pathological mammary gland secretion can first be recognized by the secretion from the nipple. Affected women notice a non-dairy liquid that is usually whitish to transparent and can assume a liquid to slimy consistency. See AbbreviationFinder for abbreviations related to Abnormal Mammary Gland Secretion.
The abnormal mammary gland secretion belongs to the class of secreting diseases of the mammary gland or the secreting breast. This term includes all secretions of liquids that come out of the mammary glands outside of breastfeeding.
The secretion can run out on its own and spontaneously or it can come out of the nipple after slight pressure. In the case of secreting diseases of the mammary gland, medicine differentiates between galactorrhea or milk secretion and the secretion of other types of secretions. The latter are also referred to as abnormal mammary gland secretion.
The term abnormal breast secretion includes all secretions that are not milky in nature. There are no reliable data on the frequency of abnormal mammary gland secretion.
There are many causes of abnormal mammary gland secretion. However, the most common causes include benign changes in the mammary gland, which is also known as mastopathy. Thus, benign tumors such as a papilloma or a fibroadenoma can lead to a secretion from the mammary gland.
Adenomas of the nipple develop when wide-area ducts change immediately below or within the nipple. It is then possible for a bloody discharge to come out of the nipple of the diseased breast. Inflammation of the mammary glands outside of the lactation period, which is referred to as non-puerperal mastitis, is also one of the potential possibilities for a pathological discharge from the nipple.
A comparable situation arises with so-called milk duct ectasia or an expansion of the milk ducts. A pathological mammary gland secretion can also be the cause of serious diseases, including breast cancer and Paget’s disease.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
A pathological mammary gland secretion can first be recognized by the secretion from the nipple. Affected women notice a non-dairy liquid that is usually whitish to transparent and can assume a liquid to slimy consistency. Depending on the cause, the secretion can vary in color, consistency, or volume.
Yellowish, greenish, brown or bloody secretions are also possible. Occasionally, the abnormal mammary gland secretion is associated with other symptoms such as itching and pain. There is also slight reddening of the nipple and the adjacent skin areas. The complaints often have an impact on the aesthetics of the patient.
If there is an accompanying inflammation of the breast or nipple, further complications can arise. Swelling and severe pain can then occur, which become worse as the underlying condition progresses. The symptoms can only occur on one breast or affect both sides.
Spontaneous healing is possible in acute mastitis. Sometimes, however, fistulas or ulcers can form, which can lead to other problems. If mammary gland secretion recurs, it can become a chronic disease with other symptoms and disorders.
Diagnosis & History
A pathological mammary gland secretion is diagnosed by a specialist (usually the gynecologist). First, the medical history of the patient is taken. The attending physician then feels the breast as part of the physical examination. He pays particular attention to changes in the tissue or hardening.
Furthermore, the analysis of the consistency and the color of the secretion are crucial for an exact diagnosis. Watery or bloody discharges indicate proliferating lesions. Yellowish to greenish and brownish to black secretions, on the other hand, indicate widening of the milk ducts.
A sample of the discharge is analyzed in a laboratory for abnormal cells and any germs that may be present. Imaging methods such as an ultrasound examination or mammography are also used. Changes in the mammary gland can often be precisely located with this. Galactography is suitable for checking the milk ducts. The further course of the disease depends on the actual underlying disease, which has caused abnormal mammary gland secretion.
As a rule, this disease causes various complaints on the breasts of those affected. In most cases, these complaints are associated with pain and are very uncomfortable due to the sensitive body region. In most cases, a secretion escapes. Furthermore, those affected also suffer from severe itching and reddening of the skin in the area of the breasts.
These complaints often limit the aesthetics of the patient and thus lead to a significantly reduced quality of life. Inflammation of the breast can also occur, which is also associated with severe pain. As a rule, there is no self-healing, so that the patients are dependent on treatment by a doctor in any case.
In most cases, however, the underlying disease must be treated in order to completely limit the symptoms. Drugs and antibiotics are usually used. Particular complications usually only occur when breast cancer is the causal disease. In the worst case, the patient may die prematurely. In other cases, the patient’s life expectancy is unaffected or reduced by the disease.
When should you go to the doctor?
Outside of breastfeeding, if any type of secretion comes out of the mammary gland, you need to see a doctor. If the liquid is non-dairy in nature during breastfeeding, it should be examined more closely by a doctor. If the secretions occur only at certain intervals, continuously or in an increasing form, a doctor is needed. If there is an additional odor, this is considered to be a cause for concern and must be clarified by a doctor. Itching, changes in skin texture or open sores on the breast require a doctor’s visit.
Other pathogens can enter the organism via the wounds and lead to the outbreak of additional diseases. Therefore, sterile wound care is necessary. This can be done by yourself if you have sufficient medical knowledge, but otherwise it should be done by a doctor. If there is pus formation on the nipple, a doctor’s visit is advisable. Consultation of a doctor is recommended in case of chest pain, swelling or discoloration of the skin. An increased body temperature can be an indication of an existing inflammation.
A doctor should be consulted if this condition persists for several days. If there is bleeding from the mammary gland, a doctor’s visit should take place immediately so that comprehensive treatment can be initiated. Sensory disturbances, a stinging or burning sensation in the chest should be presented to a doctor.
Treatment & Therapy
In the case of abnormal mammary gland secretion, the form of treatment depends on the cause. Since this discharge of a liquid from the nipple does not represent an independent clinical picture, the treatment always consists of an efficient and targeted therapy of the actual disease.
If the reason lies in benign changes in the mammary gland or in mastopathy, there is currently no cure. Treatments aim to reduce the bothersome symptoms. Since one cause is a disturbed balance in the hormonal balance, taking progestins can regulate the excess of estrogens. Furthermore, prolactin inhibitors seem to have a sufficient effect on mastopathy. Prolactin is a hormone that stimulates the production of milk in the breasts. Prolactin inhibitors, in turn, can minimize the tense states and recurring cystic changes in the breast.
Tissue growths, such as papillomas and fibroadenomas, can be surgically removed by a doctor. In the case of breast inflammation or mastitis, the patient takes anti-inflammatories or antibiotics. The doctor opens potential foci of pus or abscesses as part of a surgical procedure. In the case of cancer in the breast, which can be the cause of abnormal mammary gland secretion, special cancer therapy is carried out.
Outlook & Forecast
Since abnormal mammary gland secretion is not an independent disease, it is not possible to make a prognosis without further information and extensive health tests. The prospect of a cure depends on the causal disorder. However, spontaneous healing is not to be expected. Without a doctor’s consultation and medical treatment, persistent or increasing health problems can occur. If there is inflammation, healing can occur after the irregularities have subsided.
In the case of a tumor disease, the quality of the tumor and the stage at which it is must be determined. These criteria are decisive for the determination of the healing possibilities. In most cases, the tumor must be removed in order to alleviate the symptoms. Cancer therapy is often also required to prevent the development of another tumor and to curb possible unwanted spread. The treatment of these patients is extremely complex and involves various risks and side effects. The quality of life of those affected is limited and there is the possibility of suffering a secondary disease.
With a pathological mammary gland secretion, the emotional burden of the patient is very strong. Therefore, psychological problems and disorders can arise. Overall, these worsen the prospect of recovery and must be taken into account when making a prognosis.
A pathological mammary gland secretion cannot be specifically prevented. It is not an independent clinical picture, but rather a symptom of various underlying diseases. A general precautionary measure can therefore not be taken. If you suspect abnormal mammary gland secretion, you should see a doctor immediately to have the individual causes clarified.
The follow-up care of the abnormal mammary gland secretion is mostly concerned with the disease that triggered this symptom. For this reason, no generally applicable aftercare measures are available. Patients should therefore always visit a gynecologist to have the clinical picture and the cause examined.
Sometimes an unbalanced hormone balance is the trigger for the symptoms. In this case, the affected women should think about changing their diet or do more sport. Healthy foods with antioxidants and fiber, such as lentils and whole grains, boost health. Regular fitness training with short but intensive exercises stabilizes the hormone levels.
Avoiding stress and getting plenty of sleep are also helpful. If a tissue overgrowth is responsible for the disease, patients should prepare for surgery. Bed rest is indispensable as part of aftercare and self-help. The body needs rest and, if necessary, nutritional supplements.
These should rule out any deficiency symptoms. Personal hygiene is also very important. Paying more attention to washing reduces the risk of inflammation or sore spots. In addition, skin-friendly clothing and the avoidance of care products that may irritate the skin have a positive effect on the course of the disease and thus on the body feeling at the same time.
You can do that yourself
Which measures patients can take themselves in the event of abnormal mammary gland secretion depends on the respective cause. If the symptoms are caused by a hormone imbalance, general measures such as changing your diet or regular exercise can help. The diet should consist of foods rich in antioxidants – whole grains and high-fiber foods such as oats, lentils or sweet potatoes are good choices. Physical exercise should primarily consist of short, intense workouts, as these have an optimal effect on hormone levels. In addition, patients should sleep a lot and avoid stress.
If the pathological mammary gland secretion is based on tissue proliferation, an operation is necessary. The most important self-help measures are rest and bed rest, possibly accompanied by the intake of dietary supplements to compensate for any deficiency symptoms. Increased personal hygiene helps acutely in the case of pathological mammary gland secretion. This avoids any side effects such as inflammation or itching of the skin. In addition, irritating care products should be avoided.
In addition to these measures, the complaints must be taken to the family doctor or gynecologist. A pathological mammary gland secretion usually has relatively harmless causes and can be treated well if clarified quickly.