A skin punch biopsy is a test whereby a small sample of skin is removed and sent to the pathologist to be studied under the microscope. It is usually only used to determine the cause of nipple discharge if Paget’s disease of the breast is suspected. Paget’s disease of the breast is a condition which occurs as a result of breast cancer spreading to the external skin surface. The main symptoms of Paget’s disease are skin changes similar to atopic dermatitis (eczema) that may be associated with a clear yellowish discharge. A diagnosis of breast cancer can be made with a punch biopsy of the nipple. Paget’s disease of the breast is ruled out with a punch biopsy before a diagnosis of nipple eczema is made.
Chemotherapy refers to the use of a variety of different drugs that can do as little as slow the growth of cancer cells to as much as kill some, or occasionally, all cancer cells in a patient. Chemotherapy may be given as pills, as an injection, or via an intravenous infusion, depending upon the types of drugs chosen. Combinations of different drugs are usually given, and treatment is administered in cycles with a recovery period following each treatment. There are numerous drugs uses today to treat breast cancer. The same chemotherapy agents used in women for breast cancer can be effective in men. In most cases, chemotherapy is administered on an outpatient basis. Chemotherapy may be associated with unpleasant side effects including fatigue , hair loss , nausea and vomiting , and diarrhea .