Breast cancer

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Paget disease of the breast

Paget disease of the breast is a rare type of breast cancer. It develops as a rash or other skin changes on the nipple, usually on only one breast.

Paget disease of the breast is more common in women over the age of 50.

Most women with Paget disease also have invasive ductal carcinoma or ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The cancer can then spread to the dark-coloured skin around the nipple (called the areola).

Symptoms

Paget disease of the breast usually causes changes to the nipple, including:

  • crusting, scaling or flaking
  • redness of the nipple and areola
  • burning or itching
  • bleeding or discharge
  • the nipple turning inward, or becoming inverted
  • the nipple becoming flat
  • a lump in the breast, often near or under the nipple

Treatments

If you have Paget disease of the breast, your healthcare team will create a treatment plan just for you. Surgery is usually the main treatment. You may be offered other treatments based on whether or not you have invasive ductal carcinoma or DCIS and if the cancer has spread to lymph nodes. These treatments may include radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy or targeted therapy.

Find out more about these treatments for breast cancer.

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