What is Paget's disease of the nipple?
Paget’s disease of the nipple is a rare form of breast cancer that affects the nipple and the area around the nipple (the areola)
Many people with Paget’s disease of the nipple also have a breast cancer somewhere else in the same breast. The breast cancer may be an invasive breast cancer or it may be a pre-invasive cancer known as ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS.
How common is Paget’s disease of the nipple?
Around 2 out of every 100 cases of breast cancer involve Paget’s disease of the nipple. We don’t know how many people are diagnosed each year with Paget’s disease of the nipple without an underlying invasive breast cancer or DCIS.
What are the signs of Paget’s disease of the nipple?
The main sign of Paget’s disease of the nipple is a change in the nipple and/or areola, including:
- the nipple area might become hard, lumpy or crusty – it may look like dermatitis or eczema
- the nipple area might appear red or angry-looking
- there may be an ulcer
- the nipple might flatten out or turn inwards (invert)
- there may be a discharge or bleeding from the nipple
- the area might feel itchy or sore
- there may be a lump in the same breast.