Paget Disease of the Breast: Care Instructions

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Paget disease of the breast is a type of cancer. Breast cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the breast. In Paget disease of the breast, some people notice a change in the skin of their nipple and the area around the nipple (areola). The skin can be reddish and scaly. Other people don't notice any skin changes but do have pain, burning, or itching on their nipple.

In most cases, there is also some cancer in the breast outside of the nipple area. This type of cancer is treated like other breast cancers, with surgery. You may have breast-conserving surgery and radiation. Mastectomy is also an option.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

There are things you can do at home to help manage the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of treatment. Your doctor may also give you medicines to help with certain side effects.

  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Eat healthy food. If you are having problems eating, talk to your doctor. They can refer you to a dietitian who can help.
  • Get some physical activity every day, but do not get too tired.
  • Take steps to manage your stress, such as learning relaxation techniques. Getting enough sleep and taking time to do things you enjoy can also help with stress.
  • Think about joining a support group. Or discuss your concerns with your doctor or a counselor.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have sudden chest pain and shortness of breath, or you cough up blood.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have a fever or chills. Or you may be sweating.
  • You have abnormal bleeding.
  • You have new or worse pain.
  • You think you have an infection.
  • You have new symptoms, such as a cough, belly pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or a rash.
  • You have signs of a blood clot, such as:
    • Pain in your calf, back of the knee, thigh, or groin.
    • Redness and swelling in your leg or groin.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any symptoms that the cancer has come back or spread. These symptoms include:

  • New lumps.
  • Bone pain.
  • Chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Belly pain.
  • Headaches that don't go away.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.