Review: Breast Anatomy

Here is what we have learned from Breast Anatomy:

  • The breasts of an adult woman are milk-producing, tear-shaped glands.
  • A layer of fatty tissue surrounds the breast glands and extends throughout the breast, which gives the breast a soft consistency and gentle, flowing contour.
  • The breast is responsive to a complex interplay of hormones that cause the breast tissue to develop, enlarge and produce milk.
  • Each breast contains 15 to 20 lobes arranged in a circular fashion.
  • Each lobe is comprised of many lobules, at the end of which are tiny bulblike glands, or sacs, where milk is produced in response to hormonal signals.
  • Ducts connect the lobes, lobules, and glands; in nursing mothers, these ducts deliver milk to openings in the nipple.
  • 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 sternum).