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Breast Anatomy

 
Breast Anatomy

Chapter: 2 - Breast Anatomy

Subchapter: 1 - Breast Anatomy

Anatomy & Functions
Throughout these videos, as you learn about breast cancer, we will repeatedly reference the anatomy of the breast. Understanding the different parts and functions will help you better grasp the details of breast cancer.

Adipose Tissue
The female breast is mostly made up of a collection of fat cells called adipose tissue. This tissue extends from the collarbone down to the underarm and across to the middle of the ribcage.

Lobes, Lobules, and Milk Ducts
There are also areas called lobes, lobules, and milk ducts. A healthy female breast is made up of 12–20 sections called lobes. Each of these lobes is made up of many smaller lobules, the gland that produces milk in nursing women. Both the lobes and lobules are connected by milk ducts, which act as stems or tubes to carry the milk to the nipple.

Lymph System
Also within the adipose tissue, is a network of ligaments, fibrous connective tissue, nerves, lymph vessels, lymph nodes, and blood vessels.

The lymph system, which is part of the immune system, is a network of lymph vessels and lymph nodes running throughout the entire body. Similar to how the blood circulatory system distributes elements throughout the body, the lymph system transports disease-fighting cells and fluids. Clusters of bean-shaped lymph nodes are fixed in areas throughout the lymph system; they act as filters by carrying abnormal cells away from healthy tissue.

In this chapter we looked at the anatomy of the breast, focusing on the milk ducts, lobes, lobules, lymph system, and lymph nodes.

Related Questions

  • Thumb avatar default

    I found a lump and it's about 5cm long I did a mammogram and a ultraasound today now I have to wait for the results. What are my chances since its that big?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Monette Hubbard Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Might be nothing, if they did not suggest getting a biopsy. Mine was just 1cm they did two mammos, ultrasound and biopsy and it was benign. Good luck! I'll be praying for you! Let us know results!

      2 comments
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Usually, at the ultrasound they tell you if they want to schedule you for a biopsy. Did they mention anything like that? Breasts are lumpy. The majority of lumps and bumps are benign. You could have fibrocystic breasts, or a cyst that happen due to hormonal changes. Did they tell you how long...

      more

      Usually, at the ultrasound they tell you if they want to schedule you for a biopsy. Did they mention anything like that? Breasts are lumpy. The majority of lumps and bumps are benign. You could have fibrocystic breasts, or a cyst that happen due to hormonal changes. Did they tell you how long you have to wait? If it were me, I would call the office tomorrow and ask what was the diagnosis. Even if you have to have a biopsy, again, keep in mind, most of these turn out benign as well. Doctor's want to error on the side of caution. I will share with you, when I found a lump in my breast, and the doctor did the ultrasound and biopsy, she TOLD me right there that this was probably going to turn out to be cancer and she was right. Call the office tomorrow and see if they will tell you what they have found. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Bryanna Rosario Profile

    How do you know if you have a lump on your breast - this might be very obvious, but is it very prominent? Is there any discoloration?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Myles Digby Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      You should have your doctor do a breast exam, they may refer you for a mammogram and ultrasound.

      Comment
    • Gail Horton Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      My tumor was not detectable by exam. It could only be seen on a mammogram. See your doctor right away.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    My doctor found a lump on my right breast

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Life is Good! Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      So sorry for your scare. 80% of lumps are not cancerous. Are you having a mammogram, sonogram and biopsy done? Please keep us posted on the results. We care about you.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Get a biopsy!

      Comment
  • Delores Dale Profile

    My mother has had her breast removed and her lymph nodes. What is the fatty tissue called under her arm? Will it continue to grow? Is there anything she can do about it?

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    over 1 year 2 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I thought I felt a lump in my armpit last month. I mentioned it to my Oncology people as I just happened to have a 6-month followup appointment. She felt it and said it was just "excess fat". It's odd as it is only on the side I had my mastectomy on and not the other one, too. She didn't seem...

      more

      I thought I felt a lump in my armpit last month. I mentioned it to my Oncology people as I just happened to have a 6-month followup appointment. She felt it and said it was just "excess fat". It's odd as it is only on the side I had my mastectomy on and not the other one, too. She didn't seem concerned so guess I won't be either for now.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      A plastic surgeon can during reconstruction. If she chooses no reconstruction the PS can still deal with it.

      Comment

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