What are breasts made of, and where do cancers start and grow? Breast tissue is found in the breast, upper chest and the armpit. Each breast contains 15-20 glands called lobes, where milk is produced. These lobes are connected to the nipple by tubes called ducts. The structure of the lobes and ducts is a bit like the branches of a tree. Breast cancer usually begins within the lobes.
Much of the rest of the breast is fatty tissue. The breast and armpit also contain lymph nodes and vessels carrying lymph fluid, which are part of the immune system. Breast cancer can sometimes spread to other areas of the body through this lymph system or blood vessels.
It’s quite normal for breasts to differ slightly in shape and size and vary during periods and pregnancy. They also change as we get older, for example by becoming softer. Being breast aware means getting to know how your breasts look and feel normally, so you can look out for any unusual changes and get them checked by your doctor.
We explain more about what breasts are made of, and where and how breast cancer starts and grows on the Breast Cancer Now website :
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