Regional Lymph Nodes

Blood and lymph vessels form a network throughout each breast. Breast tissue is drained by lymphatic vessels that lead to axillary nodes (which lie in the axilla) and internal mammary nodes (which lie along each side of the breast bone). When breast cancer spreads, it is frequently to these nodes.

Illustration of the lymph nodes.
  1. Axillary lymphatic plexus
  2. Cubital lymph nodes *
  3. Superficial axillary (low axillary)
  4. Deep axillary lymph nodes
  5. Brachial axillary lymph nodes
  6. Interpectoral axillary lymph nodes (Rotter nodes)
  7. Paramammary or intramammary lymph nodes
  8. Parasternal lymph nodes (internal mammary nodes)

*Note: the cubital lymph nodes are not part of the lymph node drainage of the breast.

Read more about sentinel nodes.