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How Dangerous Is Paget’s Disease Of The Breast & Is It Contagious?

Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is known to be highly sensitive for the detection of breast cancer, especially in patients whose mammographic or US findings are normal or the extent of disease is uncertain.(1)

MRI may show abnormal nipple enhancement, thickening of the nipple-areola complex, an associated enhancing DCIS or invasive tumor, or a combination of these, even when clinically unsuspected.(1)

How Dangerous Is Paget's Disease Of The Breast?

How Dangerous Is Paget’s Disease Of The Breast?

Paget’s disease of the breast is a dangerous condition because it is progressive and also has an association rate of almost a hundred percent with the underlying breast cancer which may be of any type. It may signify that the patient is suffering from breast cancer in all the cases which may or may not be in early-stage.(2) If it is detected appropriately and in early phases when there is no development of a lump in the breast or the cancer is in situ then it can be beneficial in its treatment.

While talking about the Paget’s disease of the breast as a dangerous condition itself then it can be worrisome also. It is because it can spread to the whole of the breast surface and in the surrounding region if not treated as soon as it is detected. It starts with an eczematous, erythematous area of skin especially around the areola but soon turns into crustaceous and scaly tissue which can be scratched and is very damaging on the underlying dermis, etc.

If symptoms of Paget’s disease of the breast occurs on both sides then it is a very bad prognostic sign because it shows that the disease has either spread to both sides or two different cancers are growing in both breasts which is even worse.(3)

Is Paget’s Disease Of The Breast Contagious?

It is a mixture of the inflammatory response and cancerous growth occurring on the breast tissue. When the cells of breast cancer growing inside the breast tissue travel up to the surface via lactiferous ducts then the epidermal cells detect them as foreign substances leading to the production of an inflammatory response which in turn causes erythema and itching on the affected part.

It is not a contagious disease because it is not associated with an infection and touching on the affected part will not lead to the spread of any kind of disease whatsoever. If there is some superficial bacterial/viral infection going on at the inflammatory part because of prolonged ignorance of the condition then there may be a chance of spread of a disease which is very rare and is especially significant in viral conditions.(4)

Apart from this, it is only a cancerous condition and hence there is no risk of spread of the condition to another person via touch. It will also not spread via breast milk to the baby if the baby is breastfeeding by mistake even in the ongoing condition but it is necessary to discontinue the feed from the affected breast but it can be continued on the other side of the condition is not present bilaterally.


It is a very serious condition if not diagnosed early and treatment is delayed and may spread to the surrounding area or can also on the other side. In meanwhile, there can also formation of lump and spread of breast cancer in the tissue which can further spread via lymph nodes or even metastasize to other parts of the body.

It is not a contagious disease because it is a cancerous condition and it cannot spread via touch or even via breastfeeding. It is very necessary to see the doctor as soon as the condition is first encountered because it may not look as simple as the condition looks from outside.


Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 4, 2020

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