By Dr. Kathleen Ruddy

The discovery that someone has an inverted nipple may be as shocking as it is confusing. Persons born with it may have to deal with unusual levels of self-consciousness and fear at the same time. However, a breast cancer inverted nipple presents the worst-case scenario for many victims who do not know how to handle the situation.

Nevertheless, consideration of both positive aspects and painful realities around the inverted nipple can help people keep the condition manageable if cancerous, or allay fears if not.

The Good News

The best news for someone with an inverted nipple is that not every case is associated with breast cancer. For instance, some girls notice they have an inverted nipple on one of their breasts right from puberty. Sagging of breasts while aging or breastfeeding can also cause inverted nipples. The above cases only raise cosmetic as opposed to medical concerns. Secondly, it is possible to protract inverted nipples even in a breast cancer case. Surgical procedures such as plastic surgery can protract inverted nipples. In addition, stimulation of nipples, as well as use of nipple protractor devices, can help reverse the condition. However, what the above methods achieve is more aesthetic than medical. Thirdly, breast cancer is treatable and manageable. The presence of a breast cancer inverted nipple should not signify the end of the world for a patient. Thus, if someone develops an inverted nipple, it should be examined by a doctor as soon as possible to determine if it’s cancerous. The doctor may then recommend certain therapies such as radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery, depending on the breast cancer stage revealed on diagnosis.

The Bad News

The worst news for someone with an inverted nipple comes if he or she has breast cancer. The news can be devastating for a victim who has known all along that she has an inverted nipple but didn’t draw a connection to breast cancer until other symptoms appeared. Women are accustomed to looking out for lumps on their breasts and rule out breast cancer if they find none. This can compromise treatment as its effectiveness is highly dependent on early diagnosis. An inverted nipple can also be the sign of inflammatory breast cancer, which is hard to detect. Most of its other symptoms, such as red and inflamed breasts, may be presumed to be normal. Lumps in affected breasts may be hard to notice, and a mammogram may not even detect the problem. This can be bad news as the breast cancer progresses silently into deadlier stages. Correction of an inverted nipple in someone with breast cancer is not integral to treatment of the condition. Rather, the process is merely cosmetic and does not even guarantee the best results for the eye. Thus, if an inverted nipple is brought back out through plastic surgery or otherwise, the patient still has to pursue treatment if she has breast cancer. That being the case, a breast cancer patient may choose to sacrifice beauty in order to pursue effective medical remedies.


A skin biopsy is the only reliable way to confirm inflammatory breast cancer.

The discovery of a breast cancer inverted nipple can be devastating to the victim. What’s worse, many women with an inverted nipple or nipples don’t sense trouble since their problem is not a common sign of breast cancer. The good news is that women can avail information that helps explain what to do once they develop an inverted nipple. Still, early diagnosis can help minimize the impact of breast cancer on a patient.


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