The medical literature abounds with terminologies, many of which were named after scientists, physicians or patients. It’s not surprising to get confused when someone comes across different medical conditions named after the same person or different persons with similar names.

James Paget
James Paget


One such example is “Paget’s disease” and a few other conditions named after James Paget. He was one of the most famous surgeon and pathologist whose contributions to these fields are still remembered with respect. You can find a short biography of him on Wikipedia. The James Paget Hospital in England was named after him.



Medical Terminologies Containing the Word “Paget”  –

  1. Paget’s disease of bone
  2. Paget’s sarcoma
  3. Paget’s disease of breast
  4. Paget cell
  5. Extramammary Paget’s disease
  6. Paget-Schoetter disease


Here is a brief description of all four conditions to avoid confusion –


Paget’s disease of bone

Paget's disease of bone, histopathological image
Histopathology in Paget’s Disease of Bone

Most common confusion occurs between Paget’s disease of bone and Paget’s disease of the breast. The term “Paget’s disease” commonly signifies the Paget’s disease of bone. In Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine (19th) this disease is defined as a

“localized bone-remodeling disorder that affects widespread, noncontiguous areas of the skeleton”.

The pathogenesis involves more than normal osteoclastic activity leading to increased bone resorption followed by osteoblastic bone reformation. Repeated remodeling of bones in specific sites leads to bony deformity and weakening (lamellated bone). Chronic Paget’s disease may lead to malignant changes in the affected bones.


Paget’s sarcoma

A rare form of bone tumor that occurs secondary to chronic Paget’s disease in the affected bones. This disease has a very poor prognosis. It is a destructive bone lesion. Further information on this condition can be found here.



Paget’s disease of breast

This disease involves nipples and areola of female breasts (also called Paget’s disease of the nipple). The lesion resembles eczema but involves unilateral breast usually in elderly (more than 50 years age), while eczema usually presents with bilateral lesions in young people.

Paget cells in a histopathological slide
Paget Cells


Paget cell

They are found in the histopathological analysis of skin in Paget’s disease affected breast. Large cells with eccentric hyperchromic nuclei surrounded by clear cytoplasm are their characteristic.


Extramammary Paget’s disease

Uncommon malignant tumors arising in the anogenital and axillary skin. They arise from stem cells in the epidermis. Prognosis is good.



Paget-Schoetter disease

A clinical condition occurring due to thrombosis in subclavian or axillary veins after vigorous physical activity or anatomical malformation. Symptoms include claudication, Raynaud’s phenomena or gangrene (due to ischemic necrosis)



  1. James Paget – Wikipedia.
  2. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th edition.
  3. Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, Ninth edition.



Arnab Mukherjee

LinkedIn Account


Image Attributions

  1. “Paget’s disease of bone” by Nephron, from Wikimedia Commons.
  2. “Paget Cells” and featured image by NephronOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
  3. James Paget, by Unknown[1], CC BY 4.0, Link



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