Breast

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The breast is the upper ventral region of the torso of a primate, in left and right sides, which in a female contains the mammary gland that secretes milk used to feed infants. Both men and women develop breasts from the same embryological tissues. However, at puberty, female sex hormones, mainly estrogen, promote breast development which does not occur in men. As a result, women's breasts become far more prominent than those of men.

Contents

Anatomy

Anatomically, breasts are modified sudoriferous (sweat) glands which produce milk in women, and in some rare cases, in men.[2] Each breast has one nipple surrounded by the areola. The color of the areola varies from pink to dark brown and has several sebaceous glands. In women, the larger mammary glands within the breast produce the milk. They are distributed throughout the breast, with two-thirds of the tissue found within 30 mm of the base of the nipple.[3] These are drained to the nipple by between 4 and 18 lactiferous ducts, where each duct has its own opening. The network formed by these ducts is complex, like the tangled roots of a tree. It is not always arranged radially, and branches close to the nipple. The ducts near the nipple do not act as milk reservoirs; Ramsay et al. have shown that conventionally described lactiferous sinuses do not, in fact, exist. Instead, most milk is actually in the back of the breast, and when suckling occurs, the smooth muscles of the gland push more milk forward.

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