What is Paget’s Disease of the Nipple?
Paget’s disease of the nipple, also known as Paget’s disease of the breast, is a rare form of breast cancer. It starts on the nipple and can extend to the areola. The disease is often associated with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or invasive breast cancer deeper in the breast. Paget’s disease accounts for less than 5% of all breast cancer cases and typically affects women over 50, but can also occur in younger women and, rarely, in men.
Symptoms of Paget’s disease of the nipple may include:
- Itching, redness, and flaking of the nipple skin.
- A scaly, crusty rash on the nipple, areola, or both.
- Yellow or bloody discharge from the nipple.
- In some cases, a lump in the breast.
- The nipple may appear flattened or inverted.
- Sensation changes in the nipple, such as tingling or burning.
Disease Aetiology (Causes)
The exact cause of Paget’s disease of the nipple is not fully understood, but it may begin in the milk ducts and spread to the nipple surface. The presence of underlying breast cancer is commonly associated with this disease.
Diagnosing Paget’s disease of the nipple involves:
- Clinical Examination: Assessment of changes in the nipple and areola.
- Mammography or Ultrasound: To look for underlying breast changes or tumors.
- Biopsy: A sample of nipple tissue is examined under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.
- MRI: May be recommended to get a more detailed view of the breast tissue.
Treatment for Paget’s disease of the nipple typically includes:
- Surgery: The main form of treatment, which may involve removing the nipple and areola, part of the breast tissue (lumpectomy), or the entire breast (mastectomy), depending on the presence and extent of underlying cancer.
- Radiation Therapy: Often used after lumpectomy to eliminate any remaining cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy or Hormone Therapy: May be recommended if invasive cancer is present or if there is a high risk of cancer recurrence.
- Targeted Therapy: For tumors that are HER2-positive.
What support can we give for the Paget’s Disease of the Nipple?
Paget’s Disease of the Nipple is a rare cancer, meaning it is not as well-known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Paget’s Disease of the Nipple, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
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Without a Ribbon is a charity that works hard to aid those who suffer from rare cancers. You can help our cause in a variety of ways: