Women, PLEASE be alert to anything that is not normal, and be persistent in getting help as soon as possible. Paget's Disease: This is a rare form of breast cancer, and is on the outside of the breast, on the nipple and aureole It appeared as a rash, which later became a lesion with a crusty outer edge. I would not have ever suspected it to be breast cancer but it was. My nipple never seemed any different to me, but the rash bothered me, so I went to the doctor for that. Sometimes, it itched and was sore, but other than that it didn't bother me. It was just ugly and a nuisance, and could not be cleared up with all the creams prescribed by my doctor and dermatologist for the dermatitis on my eyes just prior to this outbreak. They seemed a little concerned but did not warn me it could be cancerous.
Now, I suspect not many women out there know a lesion or rash on the nipple or aureole can be breast cancer. (Mine started out as a single red pimple on the aureole. One of the biggest problems with Paget's disease of the nipple is that the symptoms appear to be harmless. It is frequently thought to be a skin inflammation or infection, leading to unfortunate delays in detection and care.)
What are the symptoms?
- A persistent redness, oozing, and crusting of your nipple causing it to itch and burn (As I stated, mine did not itch or burn much, and had no oozing I was aware of, but it did have a crust along the outer edge on one side.)
- A sore on your nipple that will not heal. (Mine was on the aureole area with a whitish thick looking area in center of nipple).
- Usually only one nipple is effected. How is it diagnosed? Your doctor will do a physical exam and should suggest having a mammogram of both breasts, done immediately. Even though the redness, oozing and crusting closely resemble dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), your doctor should suspect cancer if the sore is only on one breast. Your doctor should order a biopsy of your sore to confirm what is going on.
This message should be taken seriously and passed on to as many of your relatives and friends as possible; it could save someone's life. My breast cancer has spread and metastasized to my bones after receiving mega doses of chemotherapy, 28 treatments of radiation and taking Tamaxofin. If this had been diagnosed as breast cancer in the beginning, perhaps it would not have spread...