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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

  • anonymous Profile

    A week after diagnosis now. My left shoulder/arm has been hurting for several weeks. Today I can barely lift it. Maybe its stress, or I slept funny, but I'm scared that it is related. My surgeon said that pain is not cancer, but could it be related ?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 3A Patient
    over 4 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Stress and fear sure can tighten neck and shoulders until the pain is unbearable. You've taken the first step to health, now take a breath and do some relaxation/stretching exercise to help loosen those tortured muscles. Good luck. Keep posting. :)

      1 comment
    • Leslie Stoddard Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Ask if it could be frozen shoulder.

      1 comment
  • kinya trotman Profile

    Is there pain associated with the Lymphocintography (sp?)?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years 1 answer
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      No Kinya. The 'glow juice' is injected and a machine tracks where it flows. Now the removal of nodes, yes. Prayers to you.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    If it was really bad do you think my team would tell me? I'm waiting to get information on my cancer stage as I'm having chemo first. I do know that the grade is 2 and I have at least 1 node affected, a mixed dx in the same breast. My CT scan is clear.

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    over 5 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Now I understand why your team is putting off the staging until after your preliminary treatment as they are expecting the tumor to shrink. It makes perfect sense. Hang in there and hopefully that tumor will get a whole lot smaller. Please keep in touch with us. Big hugs and take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      There are actually different circumstances where oncologists would recommend chemo 1st. Many, many, reasons that don't paint a bleak picture in the least. As for hiding something from you.... I do not think they do that. When I was having my biopsy, the doctor told me to "expect this to come...

      more

      There are actually different circumstances where oncologists would recommend chemo 1st. Many, many, reasons that don't paint a bleak picture in the least. As for hiding something from you.... I do not think they do that. When I was having my biopsy, the doctor told me to "expect this to come back as breast cancer..." There was nothing "warm and fuzzy" about her statement.
      The next time you have an appointment with him/her, take a friend, or relative with you. They can be your scribe and take notes. Your job is to ask questions and get answers. I really believe lack of information is the most terrifying thing about having breast cancer. I remember when I heard all of the facts, including the pathology report, I finally knew all the answers to all my questions. I knew how we were going to proceed and the treatment plan was in full view. There was something much more reassuring and almost comfortable in finally having that knowledge. Please stay in touch with us here. We have all been where you are and really want to support our sisters in this journey. You will be ok... it is just one foot in front of the other and one appointment at a time.
      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Rosanna Wieder Profile

    Had a lumpectomy and all lymph nodes removed on the left side 10 days ago. My right arm has been hurting a lot. I don't understand. Has anyone had this problem? Port was put in on right chest side. Any connection?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 5 years 3 answers
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had the same issue. Surgery on right side, port on left. About 6 months after my last chemo, my arm on left side started going numb. I talked to my oncologist and he thought it was maybe a small blood clot where the port goes into the vein. I got my port removed (I was done with it anyway)...

      more

      I had the same issue. Surgery on right side, port on left. About 6 months after my last chemo, my arm on left side started going numb. I talked to my oncologist and he thought it was maybe a small blood clot where the port goes into the vein. I got my port removed (I was done with it anyway) and the numbness has gone away.

      Comment
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had the same issue. Surgery on right side, port on left. About 6 months after my last chemo, my arm on left side started going numb. I talked to my oncologist and he thought it was maybe a small blood clot where the port goes into the vein. I got my port removed (I was done with it anyway)...

      more

      I had the same issue. Surgery on right side, port on left. About 6 months after my last chemo, my arm on left side started going numb. I talked to my oncologist and he thought it was maybe a small blood clot where the port goes into the vein. I got my port removed (I was done with it anyway) and the numbness has gone away.

      Comment

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