Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer: What is the anatomy of the breast? – 2022

breast cancer

Breast Cancer: What is the anatomy of the breast?

To understand breast cancer, it will be helpful to share some basic information about normal breast structure.

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Breast Anatomy


What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast grow out of control and multiply excessively. Just as cancer is not a single disease, breast cancer is not a single disease, and there are different types of breast cancer, which we will examine in detail below. Breast cancer can start in different parts of the breast

What is the anatomy of the breast?

To understand breast cancer, it will be helpful to share some basic information about normal breast structure. female breast;

lobes and lobules (milk producing glands),
milk ducts (small ducts that carry milk to the nipple, duct)
It consists of the stroma (fat and connective tissue surrounding the milk ducts, lobules, blood vessels, and lymphatic vessels).
Most breast cancers begin in the cells of the milk ducts (ducts). Some occur in the lobules, and a very small number of breast cancers occur in other tissues.

Breast cancer and the lymphatic system of the breast

Since one of the ways in which breast cancer spreads is the lymphatic system, it is important to understand its general structure. This system has some parts. Bean-shaped lymph nodes are small immune system cells connected to lymphatic vessels. Lymph vessels are like small vessels except they carry clear fluid (rather than blood) called lymph from the breast.

It contains lymph tissue fluid, waste materials, and immune system cells.

Breast cancer cells may enter the lymphatic vessels and begin to develop in the lymph nodes. Most lymph vessels in the breast connect to the lymph nodes in the armpit, while some lymph vessels connect to the chest (internal mammary lymph nodes) and either above or below the collarbone. If cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes, it is highly likely that these cells have spread through the bloodstream to other parts of the body. The more breast cancer in the lymph nodes, the more it has spread to other organs. Therefore, one or more cancerous lymph nodes affect the treatment plan. However, not all women with cancer cells in their lymph nodes develop metastases. In some women, there are no cancer cells in the lymph nodes, but metastases develop later.

Causes of breast cancer – what are the risk factors?

Anything that increases the likelihood of developing a certain type of cancer is a risk factor. Different types of cancer have different risk factors. For example; Prolonged contact with intense sunlight is a risk factor for skin cancer. Smoking is a risk factor for cancer types that develop in the lung, mouth, larynx, bladder, kidney and some other organs. However, risk factors don’t tell us everything. Having a risk factor does not mean you will get that disease. While many women with breast cancer risk factors do not get this disease, some women who do not have any risk factors can get breast cancer.

In a woman with risk factors and developing breast cancer, it is difficult to know how much these factors contribute. There are different risk factors. Some factors cannot be changed, such as a person’s age or race. Other factors that can cause cancer are environmental. Others depend on personal behavior patterns such as smoking and drinking and diet. Some factors, such as aging or lifestyle, can change your risk of breast cancer over time.

Gender relationship with breast cancer

In short, being a woman is the main risk factor for the development of breast cancer. Men can also develop breast cancer, but this disease is about 150 times more common in women than in men. This is because men produce less of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone, which develop breast cancer cells than women.

Age relationship with breast cancer

The risk of breast cancer increases as you age. According to US statistics, the median age at diagnosis of breast cancer is 62.


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