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Picture of Breast Anatomy

Picture of Breast Anatomy

The breast, or mammary gland, produces milk to feed nursing infants. The breasts are comprised of fatty (adipose) tissue, connective tissue, ligaments, blood vessels, nerves, lymphatic tissue, and structures that produce milk. Milk is produced in lobules, which are grouped into larger structures called lobes. The average breast contains approximately 12 to 20 lobes. Milk flows to the nipple via small tubes called milk ducts. The cells lining the milk ducts are the most common sites for breast cancer development.

Lymph fluid that passes through the breast is filtered by lymph nodes in the armpit (axilla) and near the breast bone (sternum). Lymph nodes around the breast are assessed in cases of breast cancer to help determine the extent (staging) of the tumor.

Image Source: MedicineNet, Inc.

Text Reference: "Breast Anatomy." National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.