Paget Disease of the Breast

What is the prognosis for people with Paget disease of the breast?

The prognosis, or outlook, for people with Paget disease of the breast depends on a variety of factors, including the following:

  • Whether or not a tumor is present in the affected breast
  • If one or more tumors are present in the affected breast, whether those tumors are ductal carcinoma in situ or invasive breast cancer
  • If invasive breast cancer is present in the affected breast, the stage of that cancer

The presence of invasive cancer in the affected breast and the spread of cancer to nearby lymph nodes are associated with reduced survival.

According to NCI's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program, the 5-year relative survival for all women in the United States who were diagnosed with Paget disease of the breast between 1988 and 2001 was 82.6 percent. This compares with a 5-year relative survival of 87.1 percent for women diagnosed with any type of breast cancer. For women with both Paget disease of the breast and invasive cancer in the same breast, the 5-year relative survival declined with increasing stage of the cancer (stage I, 95.8 percent; stage II, 77.7 percent; stage III, 46.3 percent; stage IV, 14.3 percent).

What research studies are under way on Paget disease of the breast?

Randomized controlled clinical trials, which are considered the “gold standard” in cancer research, are difficult to perform for Paget disease of the breast because very few people have this disease (4, 10). However, people who have Paget disease of the breast may be eligible to enroll in clinical trials to evaluate new treatments for breast cancer in general, new ways of using existing breast cancer treatments, or strategies for preventing breast cancer recurrence.

Information about current breast cancer treatment clinical trials is available by searching NCI's list of cancer clinical trials. “Paget disease” can be used as a key word to limit the search results.

Alternatively, contact NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1–800–4–CANCER (1-800-422-6237) for information about clinical trials.


"Paget Disease of the Breast." National Cancer Institute. 10 Apr. 2012.

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