Paget Disease of the Breast: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 3/24/2020

Paget disease of the breast (Paget's disease of the nipple) is a type of breast cancer that affects the skin of the nipple leading to characteristic red, inflamed skin changes of the nipple. Most people with the condition also have other cancerous tumors within the breast. Paget disease of the breast can affect both women and men, and it accounts for about 1%-4% of all breast cancers.

Signs and symptoms of Paget disease of the breast can include

  • flaky or scaly skin on the nipple, or
  • crusty, oozing, or hardened skin (resembling eczema) on the nipple, areola, or both.

Other associated symptoms and signs can include

Causes of Paget disease of the breast

Doctors do not understand the cause of Paget disease of the breast.

Other paget disease of the breast symptoms and signs

  • A Flattened or Turned-in (Inverted) Nipple
  • A Lump in the Breast
  • A Tingling or Burning Sensation in the Nipple
  • Crusty, Oozing, or Hardened Skin (Resembling Eczema) on the Nipple, Areola, or Both
  • Flaky or Scaly Skin on the Nipple
  • Nipple Itching
  • Nipple Redness
  • Straw-Colored or Bloody Nipple Discharge
  • Thickening Skin on the Breast


A lump in the breast is almost always cancer. See Answer

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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.