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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

  • farah  farah Profile

    Hi I have lumps in my both breasts it usually happen before my periods but this time I didn't disappear after periods I'm so worried can u please suggest me something

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Deborah Camacho Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Cancer doesn't usually fluctuate size. They call it a mass. You should get checked, but don't worry. Women's menstruation is a hormone fiesta. Your cycle probably went differently this month. Get checked.

      1 comment
    • Rosanna Wieder Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      Call and have doctor check.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    The surgeon said he removed 25 lymph nodes and 10 were cancerous. Does this mean it has probably spread elsewhere? Are these numbers normal?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 2 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      As Sharon said...every woman is different. I had 15 lymph nodes removed and 13 of those were cancerous. It doesn't necessarily mean that your cancer has traveled past the lymph nodes. Your dr. May want to do more testing to make sure. I had chemo before my surgery. Then had to have more...

      more

      As Sharon said...every woman is different. I had 15 lymph nodes removed and 13 of those were cancerous. It doesn't necessarily mean that your cancer has traveled past the lymph nodes. Your dr. May want to do more testing to make sure. I had chemo before my surgery. Then had to have more afterwards. When they found the positive nodes...some of them were "extranodal" meaning the cancer had broken outside some of the lymph nodes. That was the reason I needed more chemo. I'm going through radiation now. I'm also happy to say that my last PET scan showed no cancer!! Voice your concerns with our Dr. Yes, let us know how you are. Prayers to you. :)

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      It means it has spread from the original tumor. Your doctor will probably want additional testing of the type of tumor and the aggressiveness of the cells. I had 5 sentinal lymph nodes removed and one was positive for cancer. I hope you keep us posted as your treatment continues. We, on this...

      more

      It means it has spread from the original tumor. Your doctor will probably want additional testing of the type of tumor and the aggressiveness of the cells. I had 5 sentinal lymph nodes removed and one was positive for cancer. I hope you keep us posted as your treatment continues. We, on this board, want to support every woman who is going through this journey. All of our stories are different but we all care for each other.
      Take care, Sharon

      4 comments
  • 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
    over 7 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
    over 7 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

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