The Female Breast Anatomy And Function
The Female Breast Anatomy And Function, Large or small, firm or soft: The breast is as individual as the woman to whom it belongs. At least from the outside. But the inner structure of the breast is the same in every woman in principle. The breast consists essentially of glandular tissue and adipose tissue.
The glands (lobuli) form milk after the birth of a baby, which flows through the milk ducts (ducts) to the nipple (mamille). Breast cancer can basically originate from the cells of the glandular lobules (lobular carcinoma) or from the cells that form the milk ducts (ductal carcinoma). Ductal carcinoma is the most common type. In the chest, there are also blood vessels, nerves and lymphatics. Together with the lymph nodes they belong to the immune system of the body.
Excessive tissue fluid flows over the lymphatics. When breast cancer is no longer limited to the breast alone, tumor cells are found in the lymph node stations through which the lymph drains. Depending on the location of the cancer in the breast, the most common are the lymph nodes in the armpit or – more rarely – the lymph nodes behind and adjacent to the thoracic.
Female breasts are rarely symmetrical. In most cases, a breast is usually slightly larger or smaller, higher or lower or of different shape to the other side. When fully developed, the female adult breast is composed of 15–20 lobes of branching glands. These lobes are separated by bands of connective tissue, which radiate out from the nipple like spokes from the middle of a bicycle wheel. There is lots of fat tissue within the breast. The amount of fat determines the size of the breast. The fatty tissue gives the breast its soft consistency.
The special glands in the breast are called tuboalveolar glands, which are modified sweat glands. Each of these glands end in a lactiferous duct (2–4 mm in diameter) and opens up through a small hole onto the nipple. Deep to the areola, each duct has a dilated part called the lactiferous sinus, in which milk can accumulate and remain in the nursing mother. Cells which are important in contraction movements, called myoepithelial cells, are present in the gland and help in secreting fluids.
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