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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 Logan Profile

    My oncologist says he never had this question asked in 20 years., and all the doctors he asked said it should not interfere with my right side loss of nodes and it can be put there. I hope it will be okay.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    about 6 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Connie, are you referring to a port being placed?

      1 comment
    • Connie Logan Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      Sorry Sharon I had more to that question but it's somewhere else since I messed up posting. It was. About a port being put on the side where lymph nodes were removed. I had a bilateral mastectomy. But the doctors relented and they are putting the port on the other side tomorrow. I think I may...

      more

      Sorry Sharon I had more to that question but it's somewhere else since I messed up posting. It was. About a port being put on the side where lymph nodes were removed. I had a bilateral mastectomy. But the doctors relented and they are putting the port on the other side tomorrow. I think I may have made too much of a pain out of myself after reading more about it

      Comment
  • Marie Bailey Profile

    What stage would it be if breast cancer spread to lymph node within the breast?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I was diagnosed in 2006 with Invasive ductal carcinoma with a 2.2cm tumor ER+ PR+ Her2- with 1 node, microscopically positive. My stage went from 2A to 2B when the node was positive. My treatment plan did not change, I chose to have a mastectomy but could have had a lumpectomy. I had 4 rounds...

      more

      I was diagnosed in 2006 with Invasive ductal carcinoma with a 2.2cm tumor ER+ PR+ Her2- with 1 node, microscopically positive. My stage went from 2A to 2B when the node was positive. My treatment plan did not change, I chose to have a mastectomy but could have had a lumpectomy. I had 4 rounds of AC and 5 years of the hormone blocking drug, Femara. I was post menapausal too at 59 years old.
      I think there are other factors in staging and not just a positive lymph node. There will be other women on this board who will check in and help answer your question.
      Take care, Sharon (love that gorgeous parrot!)

      2 comments
    • frances pensato Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had a 1.2cm tumor in my left breast. I had 3 lymph nodes removed and 1 node was positive with the cancer. I am considered a stage 2a. But everyone is different so your oncologist will let you know your correct stage. Good luck and sending you prayers.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I've had a lumpectomy. does having sentinal lymph nodes removed increase the risk of possible future cancers spreading to the rest of the body

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 4 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Lou Cam Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      If any of the nodes were positive for cancer, radiation is done in this area to stop any furthut spread. If they are positive you usually have chemo for this reason too. If the nodes were negative, removing them would not spread cancer.

      Comment
    • sharon s Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      There are exercises to do to get the lymphs that remain to empty and filter properly. This is one reason yoga or other whole body exercise is suggested. You want your body to be able to dump the bad efficiently.

      I took a Zumba class this morning and it exercised soo much of the lymphs in arms...

      more

      There are exercises to do to get the lymphs that remain to empty and filter properly. This is one reason yoga or other whole body exercise is suggested. You want your body to be able to dump the bad efficiently.

      I took a Zumba class this morning and it exercised soo much of the lymphs in arms and chest and abdomen that it reminded me of PT. But this was more fun.

      Lean forward when you can.

      Comment
  • kinya trotman Profile

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

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 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

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