Background: Nipple discharge (ND) is known as any fluid that leaks from one or both nipples of a non-pregnant and non-breastfeeding breast. Intraductal papilloma, duct ectasia, papillomatosis, mastitis, or fibrocystic changes are the most frequent causes of abnormal benign conditions. Up to authors' knowledge; there are not enough published papers regarding perception and attitude of Saudi women about abnormal ND and its causes. The main objective of this study was to examine perception and attitude of Saudi women about abnormal ND among Saudi women in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted from September to November 2020. A pre-designed online questionnaire was distributed on social media targeting Saudi women in different age groups to be self administered. Data were compiled and analyzed using a statistical package for the social sciences. The relation between abnormal ND and sociodemographic characters was determined using the chisquare test. A p-value of less than 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.
Results: According to our results, 8.2% (n = 176) of participants reported abnormal breast secretions other than during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Among 30.7% (n = 54) of cases, the secretions were accompanied by redness, 41.5% reported breast pain, 48.8% had small pits or wrinkles in the skin, 36.4% suffered from nipple retraction, 35.2% reported itchy sores or a rash on the nipple, in 32.4% of cases the secretions accompanied with a change in the size or shape of the breasts, and 25.6% observed that secretions were accompanied with a change in the internal composition of the breast or the appearance of an unknown mass.
Conclusion: Abnormal ND was relatively prevalent among Saudi women. There was a significant relationship between social status, smoking, menstrual cycle regularity, having children, and late for childbearing.
Key words: nipple, abnormal, discharge, Saudi Arabia, women, cancer