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Periductal mastitis occurs when the ducts under the nipple become inflamed and infected. It’s a benign condition (not cancer), which can affect women of all ages but is more common in younger women.


Symptoms include:

  • the breast becoming tender and hot to the touch
  • the skin may appear reddened
  • discharge from the nipple, which can be bloody or non-bloody
  • a pulled-in (inverted) nipple
  • Occasionally, an abscess (collection of pus) or fistula (a tract that develops between a duct and the skin) may develop.


If you need treatment, this will usually be with antibiotics. You may also want to take pain relief, such as paracetamol, if your breast is painful.

If abscess is form, surgical intervention may be necessary.

Cancer Risk

Having periductal mastitis does not increase your risk of breast cancer.