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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

  • Connie Demarest Profile

    Is chemotherapy (except aromotase inhibitors) used for stage 1 lymph node negative breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 3 answers
    • Betsy Chapin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Hi Connie,
      You have a lot happening this week. You will get through this. Sometimes the toughest part of treatment Is waiting. I believe you will have answers when you see your oncologist this week. Stay strong.

      Comment
    • Betsy Chapin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Yes one could have chemotherapy with a stage one diagnosis. I was stage one and had chemotherapy with no lymph node involvement due to the fact that my cancer was HER2 positive.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    how many lymph nodes need to be involved to recommend chemo

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 5 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      What has your doctor told you? My surgeon removed 8 even though they looked OK on my MRI. They were all negative and I still had chemo. and rads. The radiation also covered the axilla though the nodes were gone.

      Comment
    • Mary Navarro Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      I don't think it matters. It depends on your stage, grade and family history.

      Comment
  • Denise Whitt Profile

    What is calcification in the lymph node in the upper outer quadrant of the right breast?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years Answer
  • Thumb avatar default

    Can a person still have get cancer in there lymph nodes under the under arms after a mastectomy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Dear Norma,
      Yes. I had 5 sentinel nodes removed but the surgeon warned me there was a small chance I could have cancer cells in any of my axillary nodes. Again the chance was very small. Since I am 5 years out now, I am fairly sure they were ok since I have not had a recurrance. Every time I...

      more

      Dear Norma,
      Yes. I had 5 sentinel nodes removed but the surgeon warned me there was a small chance I could have cancer cells in any of my axillary nodes. Again the chance was very small. Since I am 5 years out now, I am fairly sure they were ok since I have not had a recurrance. Every time I have gone to my oncologist or internist, they have always checked my axillary lymph nodes for any swelling. Breast cancer is so very sneaky, I would not be surprised for it to raise its ugly head somewhere, sometime in my life. Arrrgh. God willing, I hope not. God's blessings to you, take care, Norma, Sharon

      1 comment
    • vicki e Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      I had a mastectomy five years ago and hada recurrence in my lymph nodes this past February so the short answer is yes . Unfortunately.

      3 comments

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