There are two types of breast cancer that present with itchy breasts and nipples, although both are rare.
Paget’s disease affects the nipple and surrounding skin, and the symptoms mimic atopic dermatitis or eczema, Dr. Mislowsky explains. Paget’s disease might also include a flattened nipple, redness, discharge from the nipple and skin changes, as well as a lump in the breast.
The other type is inflammatory breast cancer, a more aggressive disease, which includes changes to the texture of the breast accompanied by swelling and redness.
Both are treated with a variety of approaches that can include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and hormone therapy, all available at Tidelands Health Cancer Care Network, our region’s most comprehensive provider of cancer care.
Dr. Mislowsky says it’s important to seek medical care if you experience:
- Breast irritation that doesn’t go away after a few days or seems to worsen
- Bloody or brown drainage from your nipple
- A newly inverted nipple
- Skin changes to your breast that do not resolve
- Thickened breast tissue
“Typically, the cause of these symptoms is not breast cancer,” Dr. Mislowsky says. “Even so, it’s important to seek medical care to understand the reason for your symptoms and receive proper treatment.”