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Thread: Plugged duct or cancer?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1

    Default Plugged duct or cancer?

    I've had a plugged duct for 4 days now. It doesn't hurt much (only a little tender). It feels like a little rock on the top side of my left breast. It does not seem to move when I touch it and does not seem to change when I pump. I'm still nursing, but via pump since baby is doesn't want to breastfeed. I am seeing my doctor on Thursday, but for obvious reasons I'm pretty freaked out. Does anyone have any experience that is similar? Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4,894

    Default Re: Plugged duct or cancer?

    It couldn't hurt to see a doctor if it would ease your mind, but it does sound like a plugged duct to me. Try hot compresses and massaging the lump, then pumping. Sometimes they can be quite pesky and hard to get unplugged. I also find that putting my breast in water as hot as I can stand helps too. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Plugged duct or cancer?

    It's a good idea to see your doctor anytime you have an unexplained breast lump. If this doesn't turn out to be a plugged duct, your doctor can order a breast ultrasound which is non-invasive, doesn't impact breastfeeding at all, and will quickly determine whether the lump is a fluid-filled cyst (harmless) or an opaque mass (also probably harmless, but would then need to be biopsied to rule out cancer.)

    It's hard not to freak out when you have a health worry, but try to be comforted by the fact that you are moving quickly to figure out what is going on.

    I've seen a good link before about dealing with lumps in lactating breasts; if I can find it tonight I will post it here.

    --Rebecca

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Plugged duct or cancer?

    I recently attended a talk on Breast Cancer arranged at my workplace. The surgeon who gave the talk said that if a lump which appeared during the course of breastfeeding doesn't seem to clear, it is most likely a plugged duct and is unlikely to be cancerous. I asked the question 'cos I am proned to getting plugged ducts that won't go away for several days.

    Continue to massage and try and drain it with your hands. It should get smaller as you break the lump. I find using my hands to drain the breast more effective than a pump. As Rebecca mentioned, an ultrascan will help ease the mind if you're still worried. Your doc can also syringe the milk out if he/she thinks it's necessary at all. Let your doc assess and advise. You should do ok.

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