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Discharge from Nipple Nipple discharge is common and usually harmless. If it is blood-stained, persistent and troublesome, it should be investigated with examination, mammogram and biopsy if there is any worry about underlying cancer
Dissemination Cancer cells spreading via the blood or lymphatic fluid
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) A type of cancer involving the breast ducts, the tubes which conduct milk from the milk-forming parts of the breast to the nipple. 'In Situ' means the cancer only involves the ducts
Duct Ectasia This common condition in elderly women causes nipple discharge, often one breast only. It is harmless
Eczema Nipple Eczema or red skin on the breast may be a part of a more generalised eczema which causes dry and itchy skin. A single patch of eczema overlying a nipple needs to be investigated to ensure there is no underlying cancer
Endogenous Arising within the body
Epidemiology The study of disease within populations, and its relationship to environmental, social and hereditary factors
Evening Primrose Oil A useful treatment for breast pain which is worse just before periods (cyclical mastalgia)
Excision Biopsy An operation to remove a breast lump and examine it under the microscope
Family history having a sister, mother or daughter with breast cancer before the age of fifty approximately doubles a woman's risk of developing breast cancer herself. This does not mean that you have an inherited cancer gene in your family, as both you and your relative could have developed cancer by chance. About 10 percent of cancers in the west are due to n inherited gene
Fibroblasts These lie among the fat and connective tissue of the breast, producing a number of chemical messengers called growth factors. These growth factors seem to communicate with breast cancer cells, possibly stimulating their growth and ability to spread
Fibroma Benign lump of fibrous tissue
Fibroadenoma Benign lump of fibrous and glandular tissue
Fibrocystic changes Breast tissue which thickens in a lumpy, irregular way, sometimes with cysts; the changes are benign
Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology A fine needle is inserted into a breast lump. Cells are drawn into a syringe and sent to be examined under a microscope. This is an accurate way of telling whether a lump is cancerous or not. It is done with local anaesthetic only
Grading Assessing how aggressive (fast-growing) the cancer is. The grade of tumour will
dictate the urgency and type of treatment. Tumours are graded I to III.

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