Disease Seminar Handbook W12

By no means are you expected to memorize everything

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Unformatted text preview: the course text has been included. Be sure to read and understand this information before beginning your research. 1) Basic Anatomy and Histology (non diseased state): In order to understand changes that occur in breast cancer, it is first important to understand the anatomy of healthy breast tissue. The following section will discuss key structural features of breast tissue and immune response. (a) Histology and development of the breast Positioned over the pectoral muscles of the chest wall and attached by fibrous strands called Cooper’s ligaments, the breast is a mass of glandular, fatty, and fibrous tissues. A layer of fatty tissue surrounds the breast glands and extends throughout the breast. The fatty tissue gives the breast a soft consistency. The breast consists of: • milk glands (lobules) that produce milk • ducts that transport milk from the milk glands (lobules) to the nipple • the nipple • areola (pink or brown pigmented region surrounding the nipple) • connective (fibrous) tissue that surrounds the lobules and ducts • fat Figure 1: Components of the breast. Image courtesy of NCI/NIH 7 The glandular tissues of the breast house the lobules and the ducts (milk passages). Toward the nipple, each duct widens to form a sac (ampulla). During lactation, the bulbs on the ends of the lobules produce milk, which is then transferred through the ducts to the nipple. Breast development For information on the basics of the endocrine system, please refer to your textbook Chapter 3a(iv), The Endocrine System, pages 162 166 and pages 174 175 (Adrenal Glands). By no means are you expected to memorize everything in the chapter, but you will likely find it to be a great resource for definitions and figures to help orient yourself when reading more complex discussions of breast cancer. Human breast tissue begins to develop in the sixth week of fetal life. Breast tissue initially develops along the lines of the armpits and extends to the groin (this is called the milk ridge). By the ninth week of fetal life, it regresses to the chest area, leaving two breast buds on the upper half of the chest. In females, columns of cells grow inward from each breast bud, becoming separate sweat glands with ducts leading to the nipple. Both male and female infants have very small breasts and actually experience some nipple discharge during the first few days after birth. Female breasts do not begin growing until puberty. Puberty usually begins for women around age 10 or 11. After pubic hair begins to grow, the breasts will begin responding to hormonal changes in the body. Specifically, the production of two hormones, estrogen and progesterone, signal the development of the glandular breast tissue. During this time, fat and fibrous breast tissue bec...
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