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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

  • Bayla Geger Profile

    What do breasts look like when you have breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 3 answers
    • Buster OBuster Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Mine looked completely normal except for this lump sticking out:). Which was cured with a lumpectomy. Now all I have is a 3" scar on my breast

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      Sometimes they look completely normal, but you have pain or can feel a lump in your breast. Other times the nipple can be inverted or red. You should always contact your doctor if you see or feel anything unusual.

      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
    over 5 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
  • 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
    about 7 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
  • Thumb avatar default

    Had lumpectomy and Sentinel Node Biopsy a year ago, followed by radiation. Recently developed a tight pulling sensation in my arm, especially inside my elbow, but nothing visible. Does this sound like a mild case of cording? Should I get it checked?

    Asked by anonymous

    over 4 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Yes, it could be. Always best to check so if it is,you can start treatment and get you comfortable again. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • sharon s Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yes. Tight and heavy are signs of chording. Get back to your arm exercises.
      Mine flares up once in a great while. Massage from the fingers up through the armpit.

      Comment

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