Paget disease of the breast is a rare type of cancer involving the skin of the nipple, and usually the darker circle of skin around it, which is called the areola. Most people with Paget disease of the breast also have one or more tumor inside the same breast – either ductal carcinoma in situ or invasive breast cancer.
The symptoms of Paget disease of the breast are often mistaken for those of some benign skin conditions, such as dermatitis or eczema. Symptoms may include the following:
- Itching, tingling, or redness in the nipple and/or areola
- Flaking, crusty, or thickened skin on or around the nipple
- A flattened nipple
- Discharge from the nipple that may be yellowish or bloody
Because the early symptoms of Paget disease of the breast may suggest a benign skin condition, and because the disease is rare, it may be misdiagnosed at first. People with Paget disease of the breast have often had symptoms for several months before being correctly diagnosed.