The breast is expanded in the female in order to accommodate the mammary gland which produces milk during lactation but it functions mostly as secondary sexual characteristics and therefore more available in the young or nulliparous as a symbol of romance. It consist of fat or areolar tissue in which is embedded the mammary gland. These glands contains about 15-20 lactiferous ducts which produce milk and transport same to the areola of the breast. The areola is darkened part of the external surface in which is implanted the middle placed nipple that juts out of the surface of the areola. The areola is dark because it contains pigment cells and becomes darker permanently after the first pregnancy. Ligaments of Cooper are attached to the skin of the breast and to the deep fascia. They are responsible for keeping the nulliparous breast to be firm and slightly elastic as opposed to the pendulous and flat breast of the multiparous woman.

The breast is supplied by the lateral thoracic artery, thoracoacromial artery and perforating branches of intercostal arteries. It is drained by the corresponding veins.

Radical mastectomy is performed when the breast is diseased as in formation of cancer. This is because the cancer  cells may spread to other parts of the body making it impossible for cure to take place.



From circulus venosus which drain into


  • Anterior cutaneous branches of the T4-T5-T6 nerves

  • Lateral cutaneous branches of T4-T5-T6 nerves



Other features

Lecture note




Clinical anatomy


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