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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

  • Cyndi Zimmerman Profile

    What is stage 2B breast cancer including lymph node ducts?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 3 answers
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2006

      Cyndi this site has an excellent explanation of the various stages under the learn category. If you still have questions regarding your stage your oncologist

      Comment
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2006

      Sorry I accidently hit the done key before finishing. But I was going to say ask your oncologist to explain in more details so that you are very clear on your stage.

      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 7 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
  • Thumb avatar default

    I'm 23 year old. I have a lump in the upper outer quadrant of my right breast. I had it biopsied 5 months before... it's stage 2. I sometimes feel pain in that area not very often. Does it mean it has metastasized??

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Connie Demarest Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      GET TREATMENT RIGHT AWAY!!!!!!!!

      2 comments
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I would ask your doctor to be sure nothing has changed. Have you had surgery, chemo or radiation?

      5 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    I will have a lumpectomy and maybe removal of the lymph nodes next week... I am very afraid of this all... what should I do?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Ask your doc lots if questions, depend on your friends and family for love and support, and access your local breast cancer survivorship center. Know that many women have dealt with this and survived. Know that you too can survive this!!!

      Comment
    • JANICE REMUS Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I will have my surgery one week after you. So fear, anxiety, I believe is a normal reaction.
      I am just concentrating on living one hour to one hour or one day at a time. I am also a Christian so I pray and turn this over to God. This actually helps me and I don't know how else to handle it....

      more

      I will have my surgery one week after you. So fear, anxiety, I believe is a normal reaction.
      I am just concentrating on living one hour to one hour or one day at a time. I am also a Christian so I pray and turn this over to God. This actually helps me and I don't know how else to handle it.

      I hour of anxiety will not add one moment of life but one moment of Trust in Jesus will add 1 hour of peace to yours, Trust him and let your Faith grow to days of fulfillment and peace in your life. We all need a way to deal with this - I am just sharing - this is mine

      Comment

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