Paget’s disease of the breast occurs most often in women older than age 50. Most women with Paget’s disease of the breast have underlying ductal breast cancer, either in situ — meaning in its original place or, less commonly, invasive breast cancer. Only in rare cases is Paget’s disease of the breast confined to the nipple itself.
Paget's disease of the breast affects your nipple and usually the skin (areola) surrounding it. It's easy to mistake the signs and symptoms of Paget's disease of the breast for skin irritation (dermatitis) or another noncancerous (benign) skin condition.
Possible signs and symptoms of Paget's disease of the breast include:
• Flaky or scaly skin on your nipple
• Crusty, oozing or hardened skin resembling eczema on the nipple, areola or both
• A tingling or burning sensation
• Straw-colored or bloody nipple discharge
• A flattened or turned-in (inverted) nipple
• A lump in the breast
• Thickening skin on the breast
Signs and symptoms usually occur in one breast only. The disease typically starts in the nipple and may spread to the areola and other areas of the breast.
The skin changes may come and go early on, or respond to topical treatment, making it appear as if your skin is healing. On average, women experience signs and symptoms for several months before getting a diagnosis.
Doctors don't know what causes Paget's disease of the breast. The most widely accepted theory is that the disease results from an underlying ductal breast cancer. The cancer cells from the original tumor then travel through milk ducts to the nipple and its surrounding skin. Another theory is that the disease can develop independently in the nipple.
not available currently