Breasts or chest are seen in both men and women and are from the same embryological tissues in both sexes.

At puberty for females, changes occur due to sex hormones such as Estrogen that allow for breast development.

Female breast tissue can secrete milk to feed an infant.

Breasts are considered modified sweat glands.

Areola – is the area surrounding the nipple that can be seen as pink to a dark brown.

There are several sebaceous glands on the areola.

Mammary glands in women produce milk that are drained to the surface of nipple by lactiferous ducts.

Men have mammary glands but they are typically undeveloped.


  • This is the breast development during puberty of girls.
  • Development may occur on one side first or both sides at the same time or bilaterally.
  • 50% of girls notice breast development as the first physical change during puberty.
  • Breast development can be classified in a “Tanner stages
  • Tanner I-V is noted starting  at age 10 and finishes on average at age 15-16.


Other tissues of the breast are:

1.)  Collagen
2.)  Elastin
3.)  Adipose tissue or fat


Self Examination

  • It is important for women to conduct a self examination of their breasts
  • This should be done often [every 1 month or so]
  • If something concerning as a lump or similar is found then professional medical assistance should be found
  • Mammograms are an important tool for breast evaluation

Lymphatic drainage

Between 65-75% of lymph travels to the lymph nodes in the armpit or axilla.

The remaining lymph drains to the opposite breast, lymph nodes in abdomen or lymph nodes near sternum.

The lymph drainage is important with breast cancers and possible metastasis (movement of cancer to another part of body)

Production of breast milk for breast feeding is called lactation

Galactorrhea is milk production unrelated to pregnancy or breast feeding

Breast play an important role in human sexual behavior.


Plastic Surgery

  • Can be cosmetic or reconstructive surgery
  • Can follow mastectomy, or removal of breast
  • Reduction is also common
  • Augmentation often occurs with implants
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