Itchy Breasts Or Nipples: Can Itching Be A Sign Of Breast Cancer?
Itchiness of the breast is not usually due to cancer. It is usually due to other conditions that can affect the breast such as eczema or mastitis (inflammation of the breast).
Certain factors can worsen an itchy breast or nipple, including:
- artificial fibers
- wool fibers
Dry skin can also cause your breasts or nipples to itch.
There is a condition that affects the nipple called Paget's Disease that can cause itching.
This condition develops in the nipple or the darker area of skin around it (the areola). It usually first appears as a red, scaly rash of the skin that may look like eczema. There might also be some discharge or bleeding from the nipple.
With Paget’s disease, there might be breast cancer in the tissues behind the nipple. Or there might be carcinoma in situ. This means that there are cancer cells but they are completely contained within the lining of the breast ducts. It is possible for someone to have Paget’s of the breast with no underlying cancer but this is less common.
You should see your doctor right away if you experience:
- bloody, yellow, or brown drainage
- inverted nipple
- painful breasts
- skin changes that make your breast resemble an orange peel
- thickened breast tissue
If you’re breastfeeding and you experience extreme pain or other mastitis symptoms, seek medical help.