Is There a Link Between Intraductal Papilloma and Breast Cancer?

Intraductal papillomas are related to an increased risk of breast cancer in some cases, according to the American Cancer Society. In the case of multiple papillomas, the risk of breast cancer increases. Single papillomas do not increase the risk of breast cancer unless they occur along with additional changes to the breast.

Intraductal papillomas are noncancerous tumors that occur within the ducts of the breast, the American Cancer Society notes. Tissue and blood vessels make up the growths. Single papillomas, known as solitary papillomas, grow near the nipple in large milk ducts and are typically seen when a woman nears the age of menopause, according to Wikipedia. Solitary papillomas often cause bloody or clear discharge from the nipple and cause a small lump near the nipple, notes the American Cancer Society. Multiple papillomas are typically found in small ducts farther from the nipple. Although the tumors are less likely than solitary papillomas to cause nipple discharge, they are linked to a higher risk of breast cancer.

Intraductal papillomas occur in about 2 to 3 percent of humans, according to Wikipedia. Multiple intraductal papillomas typically occur in women between the ages of 20 and 40. Mammography often does not reveal the growths because they are too small to be felt.