Paget’s disease of the breast is a specific type of cancer, which has an appearance similar to eczema from the outer area. Also, the disease has certain changes in the skin, which involve the nipple and areola of the breast.(1)
Paget’s disease is an uncommon type of disorder and it accounts for approximately 1 percent to 4 percent of all sorts of breast carcinomas. The problem has relations with invasive ductal cancer or underlying ductal carcinoma in the situ. Based on the predominance of breast cancer in women, Paget’s disease is relatively more frequent. The problem takes place commonly among postmenopausal women i.e. those of 50 years or more. However, in some cases, the problem has occurred in elderly patients and adolescents.(2)
Patients suffering from Paget’s disease frequently have an eczematous rash on their nipple and areola skin. Appropriate recognition of the problem is essential to initiate proper skin biopsy to differentiate the Paget’s disease from any other benign form of inflammatory dermatoses and to detect underlying breast cancers.(3)
What Is The Most Common Age For Females To Be Diagnosed With Paget’s Disease?
Paget’s disease of the breast or nipple is common in females. However, unlike other types of breast cancers, it also affects males. If we talk about females, the disease develops mainly at the age of 50 years or more. Other than this, if we analyze the statistics shared by the National Cancer Institute, the average age to conduct diagnosis in women for Paget’s disease of the breast is 62years.(4)
Does Virus Cause Paget’s Disease Of The Breast?
None of the viruses is responsible for causing the Paget’s disease of the breast. However, doctors have revealed two major theories related to its development. Accordingly-
Theory 1- Paget Cells Break Off Due To Underlying Breast Tumor Or Malignancy
The first theory said that distinctive cancerous cells i.e. Paget’s cells break off because of an underlying malignancy or tumor in the breast. These cells travel from milk ducts to reach the nipples.
Other evidence involves laboratory studies to demonstrate that Paget cells and the respective nipple/breast cancer share specific characteristics and thereby, seem to originate from similar types of cells. Besides, malignant cells extend across the ductal tissues of the breast from an underlying breast tumor towards the nipple.
Most of the researchers concluded that Paget cells often derive from milk ducts’ lining to invade and multiply i.e. proliferate within the epidermis i.e. surface tissue of the breast/nipple and surrounding areola’s areas. The theory thus highlights that many people suffering from Paget’s disease of the breast have underlying cancers.
Theory 2- Paget Cells Originates From The Nipple’s Outer Skin Layer
The second theory said that the presence, as well as the spread of Paget cells, highlights a distinct procedure of the disease that originates in the nipple’s outer layer of the skin. The malignant changes take place without any warning and any reason i.e. spontaneously. The theory highlights rare cases, where there is no underlying malignancy or when the underlying malignancy has a tumor of a different type.(5)
Paget’s disease type of breast cancer mainly develops in females at the age of 50 years. However, in most of the cases, women undergo diagnosis at about 62years. The disease does not take place because of any virus. Instead, doctors have found two major theories behind the progress of Paget’s disease of the breast in women.