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 1-4 percent of breast cancers also involve Paget disease of the breast [22-24].

Warning signs of Paget disease of the breast

Warning signs of Paget disease of the breast include [22-24]:

  • Itching, burning, redness or scaling on the skin on the nipple or areola
  • 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 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 [23-24]. Treatment and prognosis depend on the underlying breast cancer [23-24].

Learn about treatment for invasive breast cancer.

Learn about treatment for DCIS.


  • If you or a loved one needs more information about breast health or breast cancer, call the Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636). All calls are answered by a trained specialist or oncology social worker in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET. You can also email the helpline at Se habla español.
  • We offer an online support community through our closed Facebook Group – Komen Breast Cancer group. The Facebook group provides a place where those with a connection to breast cancer can discuss each other’s experiences and build strong relationships in order to provide support to each other. Visit Facebook and search for “Komen Breast Cancer group” to request to join the closed group.
  • Our fact sheets, booklets and other education materials offer additional information.

Updated 11/15/21