Facts About the Human Breast
Posted by Joanna Culley on
When people think of breasts, they tend to picture them only on women. But in reality, both men and women have them, and they are equally important for each gender. In broad terms, breasts are the tissues that cover the pectoral muscles and they are practically identical, except for males, which lack the specialized lobules that produce milk. Medically, they are also known as the mammary glands, and for females, the lobules (which can be organized into 15 to 20 sections) drain into a duct structure than finally brings the milk to the nipple, which is surrounded by dark tissue called the areola.
Another major component of the breast is the fatty tissue, which determines how big or small the breast can be, and they rarely tend to be symmetrical. Larger breasts are common in females, but it can also happen in males, which leads to a condition called gynecomastia. The parts that give support and shape to the breasts are the ligaments and the connective tissue, and it also contains blood vessels, lymph nodes and lymph vessels.
Inverted nipples occur all the time
According to the “Go Ask Alice” medical advice column from Columbia University, this condition is caused by adhesions at the base of the nipple that stick the skin together to the underlying tissue. It should not be of great discomfort in someone’s everyday life, except when breastfeeding. In extreme and rare cases, inverted nipples can be a symptom of a breast cancer tumor pulling the skin backwards.
Are your breasts dense?
Breast density has to do with the amount of glandular and fibrous tissue inside them, which makes mammograms harder to read. These type of breasts are also more like to develop cancerous diseases and larger tumors in comparison to those with more fatty, not-dense tissue.
Look out for breast cancer, even if you are a male
It is known for a fact, according to physician Constance Chen from Mount Sinai Hospital, that most people who get breast cancer do not have it in their family’s history and other risk factors such as alcohol consumption, exposure to estrogen, exposure to radiation and old age are even more determining. And although male breast cancer affects around 1% of men, it is dangerous enough for them to seek preventive treatment, just as much as women.
Your mole can be actually be polythelia
This condition is extremely common. Very often, at least 1 in 18 males and 1 in 50 females can have one or more extra nipples on their body, which sometimes can be mistaken for moles. And even these extra nipples along the breast line can be susceptible to tumors and diseases.
Are your breasts leaking?
Greenish, yellowish or light brown discharge coming out of your nipples are totally normal and can be related to hormonal fluctuations. Doctor Deanna Attai even says that “discharge can be very dark, almost like motor oil, but that could still be a normal part of what we call a fibrocystic change.” However, if the fluid appearance lasts longer than a few days, you should be heading to your physician’s office.
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