A 22-year-old with pain, itching and bloody discharge from the left nipple:
It has been more than a month since I have been dealing with pain, itching and nipple discharge. The area behind my left nipple felt hard, and my left breast always felt sore.
Unfortunately, like many individuals who rely heavily on Google, I have the same habit, and after intensive research and reading different blogs, I convinced myself that I have breast cancer. Shortly afterwards, it left me mentally traumatized. Even though there is no history of breast cancer in my family, I was pretty sure I had cancer. Instead of contacting my primary care physician which was the most sensible next step, I completely shut myself down and refrained from getting myself evaluated.
The nipple discharge worsened and the unbearable pain and sleepless nights forced me to look for a solution:
Over time, the pain intensified, and the size of my left breast increased as well. Taking painkillers and applying warm compresses was no longer helping; I felt miserable with each passing day. The stress and pain ultimately led to sleepless nights; I was starting to perform poorly at college, started skipping work, and my social life turned into a complete mess.
Soon the pain became unbearable, and I finally mustered up some courage to seek a solution, so my search for online healthcare platforms started. Laden with fear and doubts, I discovered Your Doctors Online, which seemed like a credible website. As soon as I filled in my patient profile, Dr. Farrukh connected with me. I told her about my nipple discharge and pain.
The doctor was very calm and professional; she listened to me patiently before asking me questions related to my current symptoms and whether I felt a breast lump, had a fever, underwent any skin changes or ulceration, or had noticed any enlarged lymph nodes. She also asked me about my family health history and was very thorough with her questions.
I was flooded with relief when the doctor informed me that my symptoms were due to a breast abscess and not cancer!
After a detailed series of questions and answers, she stated that a breast abscess was causing my symptoms and not breast cancer. The best feature of the chat is that it is completely confidential. If the patient feels comfortable enough and requires reassurance, one can share a picture! It definitely helped relieve a massive weight off my shoulder.
The doctor made sure that I understood everything:
The doctor explained that a breast abscess is a painful bacterial infection commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus. The bacteria can enter through a crack in the skin of the breast or on the nipple. The resulting infection called mastitis causes pain, fever, nipple discharge, swelling, itching, warmth and redness.
Moreover, Dr. Farrukh explained to me that broad-spectrum antibiotics were the mainstay treatment. My doctor might carry out a laboratory culture test that helps determine the best antibiotic to use for me. The doctor collects a sample by an ultrasound-guided aspiration of the abscess using a sterile needle.
Meanwhile, she also advised me to alternate between taking warm showers and applying a cold compress to the affected area to manage the pain.
Talk to a real doctor instead of google if you have nipple discharge or are worried about breast cancer:
I was cursing myself as I let myself suffer unnecessarily before even exploring the option of consulting a doctor first and reaching a self-diagnosis based on my research. I also found out that nipple discharge can be caused by other conditions such as an infection, fibrocystic breast changes, galactorrhea or mammary duct ectasia and does not always mean cancer. However, this experience left me so satisfied; I cannot tell you how peacefully I slept that night, despite the pain. I would recommend everyone stop wasting time on google and connect to a real health care professional online. My one and only recommendation would be ‘Your Doctors Online!‘