Paget disease of the nipple is an uncommon type of cancer that forms in or around the nipple where the nipple may bleed or ulcerate.
What is Paget’s Disease?
Paget’s disease of the breast, also known as Paget’s disease of the nipple, is a type of cancer that outwardly may have the appearance of eczema, with large and irregular cells forming on the skin around the nipple.
Signs & Symptoms of Paget’s Disease
Women can experience symptoms of Paget’s disease for a few months before a diagnosis is made.
One of the first symptoms of Paget’s disease is an eczema-like rash on and around the nipple, where the skin itchy, red and inflamed. There may be some discharge, and the nipple may turn inwards. With Paget’s disease, a lump in the breast may or may not be present, along with a sore that does not heal.
The symptoms of Paget’s disease normally begin with the nipple and then spread, and often will disappear for a while making the patient believe the disease has been cured, which is not the case.
The symptoms usually affect the nipple and then spread to the areola and then the breast. It is common that the symptoms disappear for a while and this may be tricky as the patient takes it as a sign that the disease has cured, which is not true.
If you notice skin irritation on the breast that does not seem to heal for over a month, seek the opinion of a specialist as to whether you have Paget’s disease.
Treatment for Paget’s Disease
Paget’s disease is mainly treated with breast cancer surgery, although the exact treatment will depend on the nature of the underlying breast cancer. A mastectomy or lumpectomy may be necessary, along with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.