How To Diagnose Paget’s Disease Of The Breast & What Is The Best Medicine For It?

Most people who have Paget disease of the breast also have one or more tumors and a nipple biopsy allows doctors to correctly diagnose. 1

The most common diagnoses of breast cancer include physical examinations, imagining tests, and biopsy of the sample tissue.2

Individuals with Paget’s disease of the breast are treated by radiation therapy followed by powerful chemotherapy drugs.3,4

Paget’s disease of the breast also called Paget’s disease of the nipple represents a small portion of all breast cancer. Women who are aged 50 and above have an increased risk of developing this disease. If affects the skin of the nipple creating an appearance of eczema around the nipple (areola).

Hence, they are often misdiagnosed and treated as a problem on the skin. When it is not properly examined and treated in their initial stages, the tissues deeper into the breast and becomes more severe.

How To Diagnose Paget’s Disease Of The Breast?

When you experience some lump or area around the lump is changing color, you should seek medical attention. Your doctor will perform a thorough examination. When your disease resembles other skin disorder, you may be suggested for a biopsy. The most common diagnoses of breast cancer include physical examinations, imagining tests, and biopsy of the sample tissue.

Biopsy- The confirmed way to diagnose Paget’s disease is through biopsy. Most people who have Paget disease of the breast also have one or a combination of tumors, in such cases a nipple biopsy allows doctors to correctly diagnose. This is a procedure wherein the needle is inserted into the breast and removes a sample of the tissue for examination. The sample is analyzed to identify cancer cells. This is often crucial to detect the grade of cancer, whether it is invasive or non-invasive, and is it positive to hormone receptors.1

Scan- An ultrasound scan is regarded as the first line of diagnostic procedure used in most women before a skin biopsy is performed. This is an imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves to generate images of your nipple and the entire area of the breast. Imaging techniques usually provides valuable information for the diagnosis and treatment of Paget’s disease of the breast.

X-ray- A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast tissue plays an important role in the diagnosis and management of Paget’s disease. Nevertheless, there are downsides with x-ray because sometimes it doesn’t produce accurate results and appear to be normal.2

What Is The Best Medicine For Paget’s Disease Of The Breast?

Based on your diagnosis, your doctor will come up with a treatment plan that will include a multitude a factors such as stage and growth of the cancerous cells, HR and HER2 status, and if you already had cancer in the past.

Based on the location and stage of the malignancy, your oncologist will decide on the type of surgery. Paget’s disease patients who don’t require surgery are treated by radiation therapy followed by powerful chemotherapy drugs.

However, in cases where the cancerous cells have progressed to other areas, breast-conserving surgery will be done wherein the nipple and areola will be removed. Most types of surgeries are followed by radiation therapy to target the cancer cells that are missed.

Generally, therapy and medications produce effective results, and patients completely recover from the condition when treated in the initial stages.3 4

References:

  1. “Paget Disease of the Breast.” National Cancer Institute, www.cancer.gov/types/breast/paget-breast-fact-sheet.
  2. Pichardo, Gabriela. “Paget’s Disease of the Breast: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention.” WebMD, WebMD, 15 May 2020, www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/pagets-nipple-disease.
  3. Song, Qi, et al. “Diagnosis and Treatment of Paget’s Disease of the Breast: An Analysis of 72 Cases.” International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, e-Century Publishing Corporation, 15 Oct. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4694522/.
  4. “Paget’s Disease of the Breast.” A Non-Profit Hospital in Los Angeles, www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Health-Conditions/Pagets-Disease-of-the-Breast.aspx.

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