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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

  • petra smith Profile

    Have a long thick lump like in between the breast and the armpit, what could it be?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Jessica Fisher Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      Get it checked ASAP!! Better safe than sorry

      5 comments
    • Tyronzia C.majors Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      EArly Detection is the key! Get it checked out! The earlier the Better! Good Luck!

      Comment
  • Emily G Profile

    Can a lump on my breast turn into cancer after it's been examined and they told me it was a cyst?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Cysts are very common and rarely turn into cancers. But it's extremely important to find out whether what you have is just a cyst or something else. Even if you've had cysts in the past, if you find a new lump in your breast, don't assume it's a cyst. If the lump doesn't go away or gets larger,...

      more

      Cysts are very common and rarely turn into cancers. But it's extremely important to find out whether what you have is just a cyst or something else. Even if you've had cysts in the past, if you find a new lump in your breast, don't assume it's a cyst. If the lump doesn't go away or gets larger, it's important to check it out further. Routine mammograms are important for all women, regardless of your history of cysts or other biopsy results.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      Be sure to be aware of any changes that may occur. Also, when people have dense breasts, doctors will often perform ultrasounds if they feel that the lump needs to be examined further. Be sure to ask your doctor about this option.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Was anyone "shocked" by finding cancer in the lymph nodes during surgery after good reports from the ultrasound and MRI?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had 1 node positive during my SNB. I was surprised (as was my surgeon). When he took them out he said all looked fine, but when the path report came back it showed one positive. I had to go back and have a axillary node dissection to check for more positive nodes - 12 taken out, all clean!...

      more

      I had 1 node positive during my SNB. I was surprised (as was my surgeon). When he took them out he said all looked fine, but when the path report came back it showed one positive. I had to go back and have a axillary node dissection to check for more positive nodes - 12 taken out, all clean! I'm glad we double checked.

      2 comments
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Like so many women... I woke up from surgery and my surgeon said my 5 sentinel nodes were clear. When I got the pathology report, 1 node had cancer.... a small amount but positive anyway. My stage went from 2A to 2B. It didn't change my treatment but it depressed me terribly. The surgeon did...

      more

      Like so many women... I woke up from surgery and my surgeon said my 5 sentinel nodes were clear. When I got the pathology report, 1 node had cancer.... a small amount but positive anyway. My stage went from 2A to 2B. It didn't change my treatment but it depressed me terribly. The surgeon did not want to go back in and do a complete dissection as she said the chance of it being in my axillary nodes was not worth the risk of problems the surgery could cause. I am grateful for that decision. I completely understand your shock and I have never gotten the fact out of my mind. It is stuck in that dark corner I try to ignore. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Barbara Valianti Profile

    Has anyone experienced stinging and itching at an affected lymph node?

    Asked by anonymous

    stage_3a Patient
    over 4 years 3 answers
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      After surgery, I had stinging and stabbing pain. They say that is the nerves that were cut. No itching tho. It lasted a few days. Prayers to you.

      1 comment
    • Dawn Long  Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I had stinging after surgery it felt like I cut myself shaving , it got better in a few weeks

      Comment

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