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The breasts are made up of fat, supportive (connective) tissue and glandular tissue that contains lobes. The lobes (milk glands) are where breast milk is produced. These are connected to the nipple by a network of milk ducts.
Structure of the breast.
View a large copy of the diagram of the structure of the breast|
It’s common for a woman’s breasts to be a different size or shape from each other. They change throughout a woman’s life, often because of hormones. Breasts feel different at different times of the month – for example, just before a period they may feel lumpy. As a woman gets older, her breasts may become smaller and feel softer.
Lymph nodes close to the breast.
View a large copy of the diagram of the lymph nodes near the breast.|
Under the skin, an area of breast tissue extends into the armpit (axilla). The armpits also contain a collection of lymph nodes (glands), which are part of the lymphatic system. There are also lymph nodes just beside the breastbone (internal mammary lymph nodes) and behind the collarbone.
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Content last reviewed: 1 August 2011
Next planned review: 2013
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