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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

  • VERNA RIVERS Profile

    How many lymph nodes are in and around the breast?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 2 answers
    • melissa perlman Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      There are thousands. They are connected via vessels and form their own circulatory system. Help to transport fluid. Not blood. If damaged or too many nodes surgically removed, will cause lymphedema. A chronic swelling of an area. Treatment includes compression sleeves and/or massage to mobilize...

      more

      There are thousands. They are connected via vessels and form their own circulatory system. Help to transport fluid. Not blood. If damaged or too many nodes surgically removed, will cause lymphedema. A chronic swelling of an area. Treatment includes compression sleeves and/or massage to mobilize fluid.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Verna.... in the body, Lymph Nodes are a system in themselves. There are LOTS of lymph nodes, head, neck, arm pits, abdomen, groin....etc . When I had breast cancer, the surgeon took out my sentinel lymph nodes... usually under 5. These are thought to be the first lymph nodes where cancer...

      more

      Verna.... in the body, Lymph Nodes are a system in themselves. There are LOTS of lymph nodes, head, neck, arm pits, abdomen, groin....etc . When I had breast cancer, the surgeon took out my sentinel lymph nodes... usually under 5. These are thought to be the first lymph nodes where cancer will start to spread. Instead of doing a more radical "remove all auxillary lymph nodes" they just start with these few sentinel nodes if it is early stage breast cancer. By doing that, they can save the patient from possibly developing lymphadema.... a permanent swelling of the arm. Hopefully, someone else can add more information. It is easy to find more on lymph nodes by just "googling" LYMPH NODES. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Susan Green Profile

    My cancer was estrogen fed with none found in connecting lymph nodes. Is anyone else in this situation? And what was your treatment? And for how long?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    almost 6 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Jessica Fisher Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      Same as Tiffani with the chemo but I opted for a bilateral mastectomy so no radiation

      Comment
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      My breast cancer was stage 2 estrogen and progesterone positive and her2 negative. I had 8 rounds of chemo (4 A/C and 4 taxol) followed by a lumpectomy. Next I will do radiation and then will be on tamoxifen for 5 years.

      1 comment
  • Robin Hero Profile

    Has anyone had a 3D mammogram detect inflammatory cancer? I have a diagnostic mammogram scheduled tomorrow and was just offered the option of also having 3D mammography done at same time.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 4 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      3D mammography is a pretty new modality. I imagine not many places have the capibility of doing them yet if it's anything like when digital machines first came out. They generally are quite pricey pieces of equipment. I would say, "go for it" if given the opportunity, I know I would.

      6 comments
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 3C Patient

      If your insurance pays, go for it!

      Comment
  • Katherine Ehrlich Profile

    I am 3 weeks post surgery. Had right side partial mastectomy with reconstruction. Left side breast reduction with reconstruction. The question is: why am I getting sharp pains deep within my left breast? I just started having them two days ago.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Are your pains constant? Or do they come and go? During surgery there is about of nerve damage and as the nerves start to heal they kind of make like stabbing types if pain. As the incision heals there is also a type of pulling or squeezing pain as the scar gets tighter. These pains come and...

      more

      Are your pains constant? Or do they come and go? During surgery there is about of nerve damage and as the nerves start to heal they kind of make like stabbing types if pain. As the incision heals there is also a type of pulling or squeezing pain as the scar gets tighter. These pains come and go for 6 months to a year. 5 years since my surgery and out of the blue will get those twitches in by breast area every now and then. Other women I've talked too also mention this type of pain. Talk to your doctor and let them know what you are feeling.

      1 comment
    • Diane Washington Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Yes I am five months out still have sharp pains and doctor says says nerve damage no concern. Time heals

      1 comment

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