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Thursday, March 25, 2010 Concerned, Community Member, asks

Q: I recently noticed one blocked Montgomery gland on my right nipple...

it was there for about 1 week only (I think I was premenstrual at the time), then after picking at it on the seventh day, it seemed to burst and thick sebaceous stuff came away. I know that a Montgomery gland is just that, but my question is, should I get this checked out?   Can this be normal?

I am almost 38years old, this has never happened to either of my nipples before and it hasn't seemed to have returned, that is, my nipples look normal again.

I have done a breast self-examination and just 3weeks ago, my doctor also examined my breasts (before the blocked Montgomery gland appeared) and everything seemed fine (ie no lumps).  Last year I had a breast Ultrasound which was normal.

What could be the cause of a blocked Montgomery gland?

And is there some sort of test aside from mammogram and ultrasound for this sort of thing? because I have heard of invasive ductal carcinoma being mistaken before for benign areolar hyperplasia...


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Answers (1)
Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
3/25/10 5:58am

I don't think this problem needs a doctor's attention unless the area seems infected or if it happens again.  It sounds like a sort of pimple except that the gland that got blocked and swollen was the Montgomery's gland instead of a skin pore.  If you haven't done so already, some antiseptic to keep the area clean would be a good idea.  If it doesn't heal quickly, check with the doctor.

Concerned, Community Member
3/29/10 6:36pm

Thank you for your reply.

If you don't mind my asking, what is your role?

Are you a breast specialist or lactation nurse?


I like to check my resources, as there is so much free information & advice out there, it's hard to know what to believe & who to trust sometimes.


Kind regards.

Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
3/29/10 7:07pm

Dear Concerned, checking out sources is always a good idea.  You can read about the background of any of the people who post at HealthCentral by clicking on the person's name.  You will notice that some of the people who post are designated as "patient experts."  That means that we are breast cancer survivors who have gained expertise by educating ourselves on breast cancer issues.  In my case, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in 1998, and have been a volunteer and list monitor at for years.  Answering questions that come into that website is an important part of my role with that list.  HealthCentral asked me to be an expert patient based on my work with the ibcsupport group.

I was pretty sure I knew the answer to your question based on my previous reading, but I always like to double check, so I used Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book, 4th edition, to be sure that I was giving you the best possible answer.  I highly recommend that book as an excellent overall resource about healthy breast development as well as breast problems, including breast cancer.


Concerned, Community Member
3/30/10 10:34pm

Thanks very much, Phyllis.

I feel more relieved now than before.


Keep up the good (& very helpful) work.


kind regards.

Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
3/31/10 5:40am

Glad to help.  My doctors have always reassured me that come-and-go symptoms are not cancer, so I'm pretty sure that this is not a problem to worry about since it cleared up.  However, if you have the problem again, check with the doctor in case there is some kind of underlying infection causing repeated inflammation.

PJ Hamel, Health Guide
3/30/10 7:47am

Hi - I join Phyllis as one of the two expert patients answering quesitons on this site. As she says, we're not medically trained; but we're breast cancer survivors who've read extensively on the subject, can read and interpret fairly complicated medical journal articles, and do the best we can from a layperson's level of knowledge. We will never knowingly mislead anyone, nor "push" any particular program or treatment; bottom line, we're here to help in any way we can. So to the extent that we're NOT medically trained, and I wouldn't want anyone to rely on our advice for life-and-death decisions – you can trust us. PJH

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By Concerned, Community Member— Last Modified: 01/16/13, First Published: 03/25/10