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Cancer. 1985 Sep 15;56(6):1473-8.

Nipple aspirates of breast fluid and the epidemiology of breast disease.


Epidemiologic data were obtained, and nipple aspiration attempted, from 289 healthy women, 548 women currently having or with a history of benign breast disease, 153 untreated women with breast cancer, and 106 women previously treated by mastectomy. Breast duct fluid was produced in detectable amounts by 59% of the controls and patients with benign or untreated malignant breast disease; in 35% the volume was in excess of 10 microliters. There were more secretors aged 30 to 50 years (72%), than either those who were younger (52%), or older (44%). Overall, 57% of premenopausal women were secretors, compared with 38% of postmenopausal women. Healthy women who had their menarche before age 13 years were more likely to be secretors. Neither parity, age at first completed pregnancy, nor body weight affected secretor status. There was a trend for the 141 benign breast disease patients aged 40 to 49 years to include more women yielding greater than 10 microliter of fluid (57%) compared with 46 controls (39%). Although breast cancer per se did not appear to influence secretor status, postmastectomy patients were more likely to secrete large fluid volumes, an effect that was particularly pronounced after menopause. Hormonal factors related to age and fibrocystic disease risk and endocrine activity after mastectomy may be the principal determinants influencing the secretion of breast duct fluid.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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