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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

    Does anyone has invasive lymphovascular?? And what does that mean? I am scared to death as my lymph nodes are negative from cancerous cells. Help!!!!!!

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 1 answer
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I tried looking it up and I couldn't understand the explanation. For your own knowledge and especially your peace of mind, you should have a talk with your oncologist. There are so many findings in each and every woman's individual tests. What might be on one woman's pathology report would be...

      more

      I tried looking it up and I couldn't understand the explanation. For your own knowledge and especially your peace of mind, you should have a talk with your oncologist. There are so many findings in each and every woman's individual tests. What might be on one woman's pathology report would be completely different than yours. Even if two women have the same diagnosis, individual cells will tell an entirely different story. Treatments are really specifically for each and every woman, and we are all treated as individuals.... there is no "One size fits all" in cancer diagnosis and treatment. You are so worried because you don't have the whole story yet. This is a particularly scary place to be. Please call your doctor tomorrow so this diagnosis can be explained to you. We have all been in the place where you are now, and it is not a good place to be. Hang in there and please stay in contact with us. We completely understand and want to help and support you as much as we can. Take care, Sharon

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Having lymphvascular invasion is it something i should scare of ???

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 1 answer
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I found a very nice discussion on another website about this topic. Several women who had this diagnosis, were talking among themselves. They didn't make this sound earth-shattering. It seemed the women were under 40 and were node negative (no cancer found in lymph nodes) but there was cancer...

      more

      I found a very nice discussion on another website about this topic. Several women who had this diagnosis, were talking among themselves. They didn't make this sound earth-shattering. It seemed the women were under 40 and were node negative (no cancer found in lymph nodes) but there was cancer found in blood vessels to the nodes. Here is the link. I think you will find it very informative and not scary. Hang in there, gal!
      Sharon

      http://community.breastcancer.org/forum/96/topic/753851

      Comment
  • 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
  • Cindy Jameson Profile

    I have recurrent breast cancer, it is now in the lymph nodes, does the survival rate go down with recurrent cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 1 answer
    • L D  Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2004

      I have had breast cancer 4 times, all low stage and once spread to the lymph nodes. I had negative margins after each surgery. This 4th time, I'm taking chemo to hopefully knock this thing out for good. I think it probably has more to do if it spread to other areas and what stage it is. I have...

      more

      I have had breast cancer 4 times, all low stage and once spread to the lymph nodes. I had negative margins after each surgery. This 4th time, I'm taking chemo to hopefully knock this thing out for good. I think it probably has more to do if it spread to other areas and what stage it is. I have heard of women who live with breast cancer for a long time as a managed disease.

      Comment

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