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Paget Disease of the Nipple

(Paget's Disease of the Nipple; Paget Disease of the Breast)

By

Gregory L. Wells

, MD, Ada West Dermatology and Dermatopathology

Last full review/revision Jan 2021| Content last modified Jan 2021
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Topic Resources

Paget disease of the nipple occurs mainly on the nipple and results from a cancer of the breast milk ducts that has spread to the skin of the nipple. Both men and women are affected. The underlying cancer may or may not be felt by the person or the doctor.

Sometimes Paget disease of the nipple develops in areas other than the breast (called extramammary Paget disease). It can develop in the groin or genital area or around the anus as the result of a cancer originating in underlying sweat glands or even in nearby structures such as the bladder, anus, and rectum.

Symptoms of Paget Disease of the Nipple

Diagnosis of Paget Disease of the Nipple

  • Biopsy

Because Paget disease looks very much like common dermatitis, a biopsy Biopsy Doctors can identify many skin disorders simply by looking at the skin. A full skin examination includes examination of the scalp, nails, and mucous membranes. Sometimes the doctor uses a hand-held... read more Biopsy is necessary to make the diagnosis. During this procedure, a small piece of skin is removed and examined under a microscope.

As with other cancers, once the diagnosis of Paget disease of the nipple is confirmed, doctors do an examination and tests to see whether the cancer has spread.

Treatment of Paget Disease of the Nipple

  • Treatment of the underlying breast cancer, including removal of the nipple and areola

  • For extramammary Paget disease, surgery or laser therapy

More Information

The following are some English-language resources that may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of these resources.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
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