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Women's Health > Breasts

Introduction

 

OMG, these are mine
OMG, these are mine

The term breast refers to the raised mound of tissue that grows on the upper anterior ventral region of the human torso (front of the human chest) and breasts are also found on many other mammals.

Breasts are mounted to the chest wall and are supported by a delicate system of muscles and ligaments.

Breast tissues are composed of structures of adipose tissue with fat, mammary glands and milk ducts, which secrete milk used to feed new born babies, lymphatic nodes and ducts to remove body waste. Each breast is enclosed in skin and has a nipple surrounded by an areola with variations in skin colour.

While breasts are more visible on adult women, men also have breasts which are usually less prominent, however they are structurally identical to women's, as they develop from the same embryologic tissues. Male breasts are typically more prominent on obese men and breast growth in boys and men is becoming more common due to the hormonal influences of chemicals in our environment.

Female breasts come in many shapes and sizes and each breast is made up of mammary glands and milk ducts, which secrete milk used to feed new born babies, and a system of lymphatic nodes and ducts to remove body waste, and fatty tissue which makes up the bulk of the breast tissue.



Breast image courtesy of Wikipedea, click on the right image to view full size. Key: 1. Chest wall 2. Pectoralis muscles 3. Lobules 4. Nipple 5. Areola 6. Duct 7. Fatty tissue 8. Skin.

Each breast has a nipple surrounded by an areola which may vary in colour from pink to dark brown. The shape of the breasts has nothing to do with the function of breasts to produce milk although larger breasts will produce more milk.

The blood circulation in the breast is much the same as the rest of the body consisting of arteries and veins. The arteries bring fresh blood to the cells carrying the nutrition that the breast and its tissues need for proper health, and the veins return blood back to the heart.

The lymph system as part of an intercellular fluid network transports toxins and other waste materials into the body for recycling and it is believed that congestion of the lymph system is a major contributor to breast cancer as cancers often take root in the lymph nodes Within the breasts, mammary glands or lactiferous ducts are distributed throughout, these produce milk and lactiferous ducts connected to the nipple to enable baby feeding.

Human breast milk is custom produced for our babies to give them the best start in life.

Breast Shape Female breasts come in many shapes and sizes and each breast has a nipple surrounded by an areola which may vary in colour from pink to dark brown.

There is a wide variation in breast size and shape for many reasons, and the external appearance of the breasts does not indicate anything of their internal anatomy or potential for milk production and nursing. Many factors influence the appearance, size, shape of the breasts as well as the position of the breast and nipple in relation to the body.

A major factor is inheritance, our bodies generally inherit characteristics for our parents. These factors generally determine the position the breast sit on the chest and the size. The shape of a woman’s breasts is dependent on the support provided by the suspensory ligaments that suspend the breasts from the clavicle (collar bone) and the clavi-pectoral fascia as well as the pectoral muscles and the skin.

Diet and exercise, general health, skin condition, body weight and body posture will influence the growth of the breasts and normal life events. The hormonal changes of menstruation, pregnancy, breast feeding, menopause and weight loss or gain can all alter the size and shape of a woman’s breasts.

Normal nipples



Normal breasts

 



References
Wikipedea
Breastfeeding.
Breast Enhancement Products
Breast massage
Male breasts
 

 



 

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