Paget's disease, sometimes referred to as Paget's disease of the breast, usually begins in the ducts of the nipple and spreads to the surface of the nipple and to the areola (the dark circle of skin around the nipple).
Instead of a lump, people usually notice fluctuating redness and irritation.
Often, Paget's disease accompanies another type of cancer within the breast. It usually occurs in one breast only.
Paget's disease of the nipple is rare; it accounts for approximately one percent of all cases of breast cancer.
Anybody can develop Paget's disease of the nipple, but certain factors may increase your risk, including:
Talk to your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms:
Paget's disease of the nipple is often mistaken for:
If you're being treated for eczema or mastitis — and the treatment isn't working — ask your doctor about Paget's disease of the nipple.
Experts at the Magee-Womens Breast Cancer Program use a variety of tests and procedures to diagnose and screen for breast cancer, including:
If you're diagnosed with Paget's disease of the nipple, treatment will depend on your general health and the results of your tests.
Your doctors and other specialists at the Magee-Womens Breast Cancer Program will work with you to consider your options and determine a course of action.
In many cases, we may also recommend additional therapies before (neo adjuvant) or after (adjuvant) surgery to control an aggressive cancer or to reduce the risk of recurrence.
Procedures and treatments for breast cancer may include:
|The surgical removal of part of the breast with a cancerous tumor (lumpectomy), breast tissue, or the entire breast. In some cases, lymph nodes are also removed. In rare cases, some of the chest muscles are removed as well.
|Sentinel lymph node biopsy
|A minimally invasive procedure to remove lymph node tissue in the armpit to check if existing breast cancer is spreading (metastasizing). Women diagnosed with an invasive breast cancer typically undergo a sentinel lymph node biopsy.
|Axillary lymph node dissection
|Surgery to remove all or a group of lymph nodes in the underarm (axilla), if your sentinel lymph node biopsy is positive for cancer.
|Additional Breast Cancer Therapies
|The administration of drugs to destroy the growth abilities of cancer cells. It is sometimes used with radiation therapy.
|The use of beams of high-energy waves of ion particles to destroy the growth abilities of cancer cells. External radiation therapy directs rays at the tumor from outside a person's body.
|The use of drugs that stop the production of certain hormones that the cancer needs to grow.