The breasts are two prominences that are located in the upper torso region. They are tissue that is created in both men and women from embryological tissue. Often in women, they are more pronounced because they act as mammary glands, which produce and secrete milk to feed infants.

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.

Subcutaneous Fat covers a network of ducts that converge on the nipple. This tissue gives the breast its size and shape.

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 is drained to the surface of the nipple by lactiferous ducts. Men have mammary glands but they are typically undeveloped.

Female Breasts have social and sexual characteristics. The depiction of breasts has been found in ancient art, sculptures, photography, film, and much more. Often breasts are featured in a women’s perception of her own body and can be associated with sexual attractiveness.

Beasts, especially the nipples, can be more sensitive to touch and can cause arousal. This area is often called the Erogenous Zone.


–  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

Breast Cancer is a real concern for women as they grow older. It is the most common cause of cancer among women and it is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in women. Breast cancer in males is seen, though less likely.

Self-care and Self-Examination is a helpful process to identifying risks or concerns. Self-Examination does not replace the need for Mammograms or additional imaging. Both should be done with self-examination on a more regular basis.

–  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 the abdomen, or lymph nodes near the sternum.

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

The production of breast milk for breastfeeding is called lactation

Galactorrhea is milk production unrelated to pregnancy or breastfeeding

Breasts 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