Article: Paget's disease of the breast

Paget's disease of the breast, also known as Paget's disease of the nipple, is a condition that outwardly may have the appearance of eczema - with skin changes involving the nipple of the breast.

Symptoms

Usually only affecting one nipple, there may be redness, oozing and crusting, and a sore that does not heal.

Causes

Paget's disease is caused by breast cancer and is present in about 2% of all breast cancers. It typically results when malignant cells from an underlying carcinoma that originated in the ducts of the mammary glands spread to the epithelium.

Diagnosis

Recommended tests are a mammogram and a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment usually involves some kind of mastectomy to surgically remove the tumour. Chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy may be necessary.

History

The condition is named after Sir James Paget, an English surgeon who first described it in 1874.