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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
    over 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
  • petra smith Profile

    Have a long thick lump like in between the breast and the armpit, what could it be?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Jessica Fisher Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      Get it checked ASAP!! Better safe than sorry

      5 comments
    • Tyronzia C.majors Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      EArly Detection is the key! Get it checked out! The earlier the Better! Good Luck!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Hi i am 15 and I am scared I might have breast cancer.one seems bigger one of my nipples has a scally itchy rash my shoulders hurt and I sometimes feel little pain in my breast.call my doctor or not could my breast just be growing?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 4 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      Hi Sweetie, I am not a doctor, but I can tell you that you would be too YOUNG to have breast cancer, sounds to me like you have hormonal things going on, and that your breasts are growing. Stay away from processed foods, chemicals and exercise. Get your YEARLY check ups.. and .. Trust in the...

      more

      Hi Sweetie, I am not a doctor, but I can tell you that you would be too YOUNG to have breast cancer, sounds to me like you have hormonal things going on, and that your breasts are growing. Stay away from processed foods, chemicals and exercise. Get your YEARLY check ups.. and .. Trust in the Lord... XO

      2 comments
    • Leah Fortune Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Keep track of when they hurt and symptoms if still hurting etc go to your dr. If you are really scared go now( soon). It will make you feel better.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Has anyone gone in for a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy and come out with a partial mastectomy axilllary lymph node dissection?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    about 6 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I don't think this is all that uncommon. I remember my mastectomy was late because the woman before me ended up with a mastectomy and axillary lymph node dissection. Tests can only show so much and things can change once the surgeon starts the actual surgery. It is a shock to wake up and...

      more

      I don't think this is all that uncommon. I remember my mastectomy was late because the woman before me ended up with a mastectomy and axillary lymph node dissection. Tests can only show so much and things can change once the surgeon starts the actual surgery. It is a shock to wake up and discover things didn't go as expected. My surgeon told me my 5 sentinal nodes were clear. After the actual complete pathology was done, one of the nodes had a small area of cancer and my diagnosis went from a 2A to a 2B.
      I was pretty upset. This probably happens a lot more than one would think.
      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Yep. I was to have a lumpectomy at the bottom of the breast and up to the edge of the areola. I told him if he had to take the areola and nipple to take the whole thing He drew on me so I could see what he PLANNED to do based on the core biopsy and ultrasound and how he would arrange the the...

      more

      Yep. I was to have a lumpectomy at the bottom of the breast and up to the edge of the areola. I told him if he had to take the areola and nipple to take the whole thing He drew on me so I could see what he PLANNED to do based on the core biopsy and ultrasound and how he would arrange the the tissue. My 3 sentinel nodes were clean and he got good margins but I ended up with a partial mastectomy. The incision is well hidden in the crease beneath my breast but he had to cut to the base of the nipple and remove a tiny secftion of the areola. He did a great job piecing me back together. Until they get in there and the all the tests results are in, the final product can be an unknown to us until we wake up. Cancer has a nasty way of messing up the best plan our doctors try to accomplish for us. Good healing to you. Jo

      Comment

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