Breasts

Breasts or Mammary Glands

Table of Contents

Breasts are part of the upper body consisting of fat and connective tissue. The anatomy of breasts also include lobes, lobules, breast milk ducts, blood vessels, and lymph nodes. The lobes are further divided into smaller lobules. These small glands or lobules produce breast milk.

Breast tissue starts to form in the fourth week of fetal life. The breast tissue develops together with the two milk ducts that start from the armpits.

The breast does not have muscles. The shape and size of the breasts are determined by how much fat tissue there is in the breast. Connective tissue and ligaments play a role in supporting the breast, while the nerves running through the breast provide sensation.

The breast also contains blood vessels, lymph vessels, and lymph nodes. Blood vessels, through the arteries and capillaries, serve to circulate blood containing oxygen and nutrients in the breast tissue. 

What are the Functions of the Breasts?

Breast development can occur during puberty. During pregnancy, the breasts may go through significant changes along with the stimulation of the estrogen hormones – causing the breasts to appear bigger, and the color of the areola around the nipples become darker in color. 

Parts of the breast that play a role in producing milk for breastfeeding are the lobes, lobules and ducts. A woman’s breasts normally have 15-20 lobes, which are further divided into smaller sections, lobules, or glands. These glandular tissues or lobules produce milk.

The breast milk produced by the lobes and lobules is carried through mammary ducts. These ducts carry milk to the nipples. 

Although women’s breasts are different in sizes and shapes, the amount of tissue that produces breast milk is nearly the same. Breast size will not affect how much milk supply you produce. 

Who is an Obstetrics and Gynaecology Specialist Doctor? 

Obstetricians and gynaecologists specialize in handling various diseases of the female reproductive system. OB-GYN professionals can work with other specialist doctors such as surgical oncologists to treat cases that require surgery, for example, breast cancer.

Breast Diseases and Medical Conditions

You should pay attention to your breast health. One of the most common breast infections is mastitis – an infection that occurs in the breast tissue. 

Moreover, you should be aware if you notice a lump in the breast, as it may indicate cancer. In most cases, fibrocystic breast or breast cysts are the most common benign type of breast disease. Meanwhile, fibroadenomas often happen in women between the ages of 35 and 50.  A fibroadenoma is a type of benign tumor that feels like a small lump and is usually painless.

Breasts Diagnosis and Screening

Breast Cancer Prevention

Breast Cancer Screening

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