Paget’s disease of the breast is one of the rare types of the nipple and/or areola cancer and involves carcinoma in its invasive form.(1)
The disease leads to eczema types of changes to the areola i.e. darker skin nearby the nipple and the nipple’s skin. The problem indicates breast cancer in the tissues, which are present behind one’s nipple.(2)
According to the analysis done by the experts of the National Cancer Institute, Paget’s disease of the breast or nipple is less than 5% of the total number of cases related to breast cancer in the entire region of the United States.
However, awareness regarding various symptoms is very much essential, as approximately 97 percent of individuals suffering from Paget’s disease also have some types of cancer (even though not necessarily invasive cancer). Accordingly, you should stay aware if you notice any abnormal change in your areola and/or nipple to detect the presence of breast cancer.(3)
Is Paget’s Disease Of The Breast A Serious Condition?
The seriousness depends on the prognosis of Paget’s disease of the breast. The prognosis associated with Paget’s disease depends on the underlying status of one’s breast problem or breast cancer. In most of the cases, the prognosis is better for women, who do not have any palpable lump. Moreover, the survival rate of the disease ranges from 80% to 90%, while metastasis of positive axillary node is less than 13%.
On the other side, the survival rate and prognosis of Paget’s disease with palpable mass are similar as in the case of the generic infiltrating type of ductal carcinoma.
Accordingly, both have 40% and 20% in the case of five-year and 10-year survival rates.(4)
Other than this, the outlook of the Paget’s disease depends on different other factors, which include-
- Whether a person has a noninvasive or invasive tumor
- Grade of the tumor and its stage during the process of diagnosis
- HER2 and HR status
- Underlying health conditions
- The response of a patient towards a particular type of treatment and/or therapy
If a woman suffers from Paget’s disease of the breast without the involvement of any lymph node or tumor, she will have a good prognosis. However, if cancer becomes invasive and spreads to lymph nodes, the survival rate of the woman may reduce.(5)
Can Paget’s Disease Of The Breast Be Reversed?
Whether Paget’s disease of the breast reverses depends on the treatment and its extent.
Treatment Procedures To Deal With Paget’s Disease
If you have Paget’s disease of the breast and nipple, you have to undergo surgery as the initial treatment to deal with the disease. Accordingly, doctors recommend for either of the two different types of surgeries-
Mastectomy: Mastectomy involves the surgery for removing the entire breast followed by reconstructive surgery for recreating the respective removed breast.
Breast-Conserving Surgery: In the case of BCS i.e. breast-conserving surgery, doctors only remove the tumor i.e. the cancerous lump and a small amount of surrounding tissue of the affected breast. Depending on the underlying condition, doctors also recommend removing the nipple and the areola i.e. darker area near the skin in both of the surgeries.(6)
Extent Of The Paget’s Disease Of The Breast/Breast Cancer
If a patient has an invasive type of cancer, doctors will check the lymph nodes below her arm to detect cancer. However, if the patient does not feet any lump in the breast tissue and her biopsy result reveals that cancer does not spread, her Paget’s disease will reverse. On the other side, when cancer becomes invasive or spreads, cancer will move ahead to the next stage and hence, a person needs some level of treatment, as in the case of invasive ductal carcinoma.(7)
To conclude, we should say that the survival rate of Paget’s disease of the breast is 80percent we should say that the disease is not severe. However, whether it is reversible or not, depends on your early treatment and the extent of cancer.