Paget's Disease of the Breast

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Paget's Disease of the Breast is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Summary
Paget's disease of the breast is a rare form of breast cancer that almost exclusively occurs in women. However, rare cases have been reported in men. Paget's disease of the breast is characterized by inflammatory, "eczema-like" changes of the nipple that may extend to involve the areola, which is the circular, darkened (pigmented) region of skin surrounding the nipple. Initial findings often include itching (pruritus), scaling, and crusting of and/or discharge from the nipple. In individuals with Paget's disease of the breast, distinctive tumor cells (known as Paget cells) are present within the outermost layer of skin (epidermis) of the nipple, when viewed under a microscope. Most women with this disorder have an underlying cancer (malignancy) affecting the milk ducts (ductal carcinoma). The milk ducts are the channels that carry milk secreted by lobes of the breast to the nipple. The exact cause of Paget's disease of the breast is not fully understood.

Introduction

Paget's disease of the breast was originally reported in 1874 by Sir James Paget, an English surgeon, who also described an unrelated skeletal condition known as Paget's disease of the bone. It is essential to note that these disorders are distinct entities that are medically unrelated.

Supporting Organizations

American Cancer Society, Inc.

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Cancer Support Community

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Friends of Cancer Research

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Email: info@focr.org
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Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

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Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

Livestrong Foundation

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Email: media@livestrong.org
Website: http://www.livestrong.org

National Cancer Institute

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Tel: (800)422-6237
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Website: http://www.cancer.gov

National Cancer Institute Physician Data Query

Office of Communications and Education
Public Inquiries Office
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Email: cancergovstaff@mail.nih.gov
Website: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cancerdatabase

National Women's Health Network

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Fax: (202)682-2648
Email: healthquestions@nwhn.org
Website: https://nwhn.org/

OncoLink: The University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center Resource

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2 Donner
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283
USA
Tel: (215)349-8895
Fax: (215)349-5445
Email: hampshire@uphs.upenn.edu
Website: http://www.oncolink.upenn.edu

Rare Cancer Alliance

1649 North Pacana Way
Green Valley, AZ 85614
USA
Website: http://www.rare-cancer.org

Rose Kushner 's Women's Breast Cancer Advisory Center

P.O. Box 757
Malaga Cove, CA 90274
Email: lkkushner@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.rkbcac.org/

SHARE - Self-Help For Women With Breast or Ovarian Cancer

1501 Broadway
Suite 704A
New York, NY 10036
Tel: (212)719-0364
Fax: (212)869-3431
Tel: (866)891-2392
Email: info@sharecancersupport.org
Website: http://www.sharecancersupport.org/

Skin Cancer Foundation

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Suite 901
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212)725-5176
Fax: (212)725-5751
Tel: (800)754-6490
Email: info@skincancer.org
Website: http://www.skincancer.org

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

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This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  6/21/2016
Copyright  2016 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.