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Breast Cancer - Research Paper Example

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Breast Cancer Name Institution Breast Cancer Like in many other developed countries, the incidence of breast cancer has been on the increase. In the U.S in particular, breast cancer incidence has been on the increase in the past twenty years. Despite the increasing incidence, the mortalities resulting from breast cancer are however on the decline largely due to technological advances and a host of other factors like increasing physical exercise and more informed lifestyles (SDSU, 2010)…
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Breast Cancer

Download file to see previous pages... Currently more than 2 million women in the United States have been diagnosed and undergone treatment of breast cancer. Gender has been reported as one of the greatest risk factors. Women are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer than men (SDSU, 2010). In the same statistics of 2006, only 1,720 men were reported to have breast cancer. This paper is going to focus on the anatomy and physiology of the breast and lay more emphasis on cancer of the breast. The breast is a mass of fatty, glandular and fibrous tissues that are attached to the chest wall by Coopera ligaments. They are positioned over the chest wall pectoral muscles (The Women’s health Resource, 2012). It lies on a region from the edge of the axilla to the edge of the sternum between the second and the sixth rib (SDSU, 2012). The normal breast consists of various tissues which serve a specific purpose. The tissues include fat, ducts, lymph nodes; lobules, lobes, and connective tissue that hold the whole structure together (Mayo Clinic, 2011). See figure1. The breast parenchyma has been divided into four quadrants which include the upper inner and outer quadrant and the lower inner and outer quadrant. Cancer has been noted to occur in the upper outer quadrant most of the time. Radiating from the nipple are roughly 15-20 lobes. The lobes are each surrounded by fibrous connective tissue and fat. These structures divide the lobe into many lobules. The lobule is lined by epithelial cells and is the basic structural unit of the breast (SDSU, 2012). The alveoli are the milk producing units of the breast and arise from the subdivision of the lobule by the fibrous connective tissue. When the milk has been formed within the alveoli, it flows into ducts which then coalesce into approximately 10-15 major ducts. Each of the lobes contains a single duct. These ducts then terminate at the nipple (SDSU, 2012). The nipple contains smooth muscle and openings of the lactiferous ducts. It is surrounded by the areolar which contains sweat glands, accessory mammary glands and sebaceous glands. These structures form tubercles when the woman is pregnant and during lactation they lubricate the nipple (Muller & Swenson, 2008). Notably, the amount of fat within the breast of woman determines its size. Generally the structures that produce milk within the female breast are largely the same. Older women who are past menopause tend to have more fat within their breasts and therefore have larger breasts compared to the younger women (Mayo Clinic, 2011). The blood supply of the mammary gland arises from a number of arteries which include branches of internal thoracic artery, intercostals arteries and axillary arteries. The deep veins of the breast then drain into the correspondingly named veins. The blood supply connection that is present between the vertebral plexus and the intercostals veins account for most of the metastasis to the nervous tissue and bones. The lymphatic drainage of the breast plays a great role in the metastasis of cancer. A great potion of lymph from the breast drains through the axillary nodes (Muller & Swenson ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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