What is the anatomy relevant to breast cancer?

Updated: Dec 27, 2019
  • Author: Pavani Chalasani, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: John V Kiluk, MD, FACS  more...
  • Print
Answer

The breasts of an adult woman are milk-producing glands on the front of the chest wall. They rest on the pectoralis major and are supported by and attached to the front of the chest wall on either side of the sternum by ligaments. Each breast contains 15-20 lobes arranged in a circular fashion. The fat that covers the lobes gives the breast its size and shape. Each lobe comprises many lobules, at the end of which are glands that produce milk in response to hormones (see the image below).

Anatomy of the breast. Anatomy of the breast.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!