Paget Disease of the Breast

What is Paget disease of the breast?

Paget disease of the breast (Paget disease of the nipple) is a rare carcinoma in situ in the skin of the nipple or in the skin closely surrounding the nipple. It’s usually found with an underlying breast cancer.

About 1-3 percent of breast cancers also involve Paget disease of the breast [22-23].

Warning signs of Paget disease of the breast

Warning signs of Paget disease of the breast include [22-23]:

  • Itching, burning, redness or scaling on the skin on the nipple or areola (the skin closely surrounding the nipple)
  • Bloody or yellowish discharge from the nipple
  • A flattened nipple

If you notice any of these changes, see a health care provider.

Find images of warning signs of breast cancer.

Diagnosis of Paget disease of the breast

Paget disease of the breast is usually found when an underlying breast cancer is diagnosed. In these cases, the tumor grows from underneath the nipple and breaks out onto the skin surface of the nipple.

Paget disease of the breast can also be diagnosed from a biopsy of the nipple skin and the tissue just below the skin. This may be done with a punch biopsy (removal of a small circle of skin to be tested for cancer cells) or other nipple biopsy procedure.

Treatment and prognosis of Paget disease of the breast 

Paget disease of the breast can be found with invasive breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a non-invasive breast cancer [22-23]. Treatment and prognosis (chances for survival) of Paget disease of the breast depend on the underlying breast cancer [22-23].

Learn about treatment for invasive breast cancer.

Learn about treatment for DCIS.

Susan G. Komen® Support Resources

  • Do you need help? We’re here for you. The Komen Patient Care Center is your trusted, go-to source for timely, accurate breast health and breast cancer information, services and resources. Our navigators offer free, personalized support to patients, caregivers and family members, including education, emotional support, financial assistance, help accessing care and more. Get connected to a Komen navigator by contacting the Breast Care Helpline at 1-877-465-6636 or email to get started. All calls are answered Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m to 7 p.m. ET and Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. Se habla español.
  • The Komen Breast Cancer and Komen Metastatic (Stage IV) Breast Cancer Facebook groups are places where those with breast cancer and their family and friends can talk with others for friendship and support.
  • Our fact sheets, booklets and other education materials offer additional information.

Updated 12/27/23