Breast Cancer 101

Your Breast Anatomy

Breast Profile

A. ducts
B. lobules
C. dilated section of duct to hold milk
D. nipple
E. fat
F. pectoralis major muscle
G. chest wall/rib cage


A. normal duct cells
B. basement membrane (duct wall)
C. lumen (center of duct)

Lymphatic System

Lymphatics drain fluid that carries WBCs from the breast tissues into lymph nodes in the axilla and substernal region.

Lymph nodes filter bacteria and play a key role in fighting off infection.


Breast Gland

Each breast has 15 to 20 lobes arranged like the petals of daisy.

Inside each lobe are many smaller structures called lobules.

At the end of each lobule are tiny sacs that can produce milk.

What is breast cancer?

Click images to enlarge

A patient should consider a mastectomy in the following cases:

Simple (total) Mastectomy:

Modified Radical Mastectomy:

What are the risk factors for developing breast cancer?