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Overview_of_Female_Breast_Anatomy - Female Breast Anatomy...

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Female Breast Anatomy The breast is composed of skin, subcutaneous fat and breast tissue which consists of glandular tissue and stroma. Stroma is connective tissue and fat. The size of the breast is largely due to the variable amount of stroma, especially fat tissue. The breast is fixed to the anterior chest wall between ribs 2 and 6. It overlies the pectoralis major and minor, and seratus anterior muscles. A ridge of breast tissue lies along the inferior lateral border of pectoralis major, and is referred to as the axillary tail of Spence. The breast is surrounded by fascia: a superficial pectoral fascia that covers the breast, and a pectoral fascia that covers the pectoralis muscles. The suspensory ligaments of Cooper interconnect these two fascial layers and insert into the dermis, thus providing support for the breast tissue. When breast tumors attach and pull on the Cooper’s ligament it produces dimpling of the breast. The glandular breast tissue is divided into 15-20 lobes (segments) which are subdivided into 20-40 lobules. Each lobule has 10-100 alveoli (milk-secreting glands). The ductal system consists of 5-10 collecting ducts from each lobe that unite to form a number of lactiferous ducts which open onto the surface of the nipple. A widening of the duct just deep to the nipple is referred to as the lactiferous sinus, and serves as a collection site for milk. At puberty, estrogen stimulates the further growth of the lactiferous ducts, and progesterone stimulates the further maturation of the alveoli.
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