What is the prognosis for people with Paget disease of the breast?

The prognosis, or outlook, for people with Paget disease of the breast depends on a variety of factors, including the following:


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  • Whether or not a tumor is present in the affected breast
  • If one or more tumors are present in the affected breast, whether those tumors are ductal carcinoma in situ or invasive breast cancer
  • If invasive breast cancer is present in the affected breast, the stage of that cancer

The presence of invasive cancer in the affected breast and the spread of cancer to nearby lymph nodes are associated with reduced survival.

According to NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program, the 5-year relative survival for all women in the United States who were diagnosed with Paget disease of the breast between 1988 and 2001 was 82.6 percent. This compares with a 5-year relative survival of 87.1 percent for women diagnosed with any type of breast cancer. For women with both Paget disease of the breast and invasive cancer in the same breast, the 5-year relative survival declined with increasing stage of the cancer (stage I, 95.8 percent; stage II, 77.7 percent; stage III, 46.3 percent; stage IV, 14.3 percent).1,3,8,9

What research studies are under way on Paget disease of the breast?

Randomized controlled clinical trials, which are considered the “gold standard” in cancer research, are difficult to perform for Paget disease of the breast because very few people have this disease.4,10 However, people who have Paget disease of the breast may be eligible to enroll in clinical trials to evaluate new treatments for breast cancer in general, new ways of using existing breast cancer treatments, or strategies for preventing breast cancer recurrence.

Selected References

1. Harris JR, Lippman ME, Morrow M, Osborne CK, editors. Diseases of the Breast. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009.

2. Caliskan M, Gatti G, Sosnovskikh I, et al. Paget’s disease of the breast: the experience of the European Institute of Oncology and review of the literature. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 2008;112(3):513–521. [PubMed Abstract]

3. Kanitakis J. Mammary and extramammary Paget’s disease. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 2007;21(5):581–590. [PubMed Abstract]

4. Kawase K, Dimaio DJ, Tucker SL, et al. Paget’s disease of the breast: there is a role for breast-conserving therapy. Annals of Surgical Oncology 2005;12(5):391–397. [PubMed Abstract]

5. Marshall JK, Griffith KA, Haffty BG, et al. Conservative management of Paget disease of the breast with radiotherapy: 10- and 15-year results. Cancer 2003;97(9):2142–2149. [PubMed Abstract]

5. Sukumvanich P, Bentrem DJ, Cody HS, et al. The role of sentinel lymph node biopsy in Paget’s disease of the breast. Annals of Surgical Oncology 2007;14(3):1020–1023. [PubMed Abstract]

6. Laronga C, Hasson D, Hoover S, et al. Paget’s disease in the era of sentinel lymph node biopsy. American Journal of Surgery 2006;192(4):481–483. [PubMed Abstract]

7. Ries LAG, Eisner MP. Cancer of the Female Breast. In: Ries LAG, Young JL, Keel GE, et al., editors. SEER Survival Monograph: Cancer Survival Among Adults: U.S. SEER Program, 1988–2001, Patient and Tumor Characteristics. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute, SEER Program, 2007. Retrieved April 10, 2012.

8. Chen CY, Sun LM, Anderson BO. Paget disease of the breast: changing patterns of incidence, clinical presentation, and treatment in the U.S. Cancer 2006;107(7):1448–1458. [PubMed Abstract]

9. Joseph KA, Ditkoff BA, Estabrook A, et al. Therapeutic options for Paget’s disease: a single institution long-term follow-up study. Breast Journal 2007;13(1):110–111. [PubMed Abstract]

Source: National Cancer Insititute.