- The breast refers to the front of the chest or, more specifically, to the mammary gland. The mammary gland is a milk producing gland. It is composed largely of fat. Within the mammary gland is a complex network of branching ducts. These ducts exit from sac-like structures called lobules, which can produce milk in females. The ducts exit the breast at the nipple. The breast has been viewed as an organ designed to produce milk. The lobules are the glands that produce the breast milk. The ducts are tubes or channels which transport the milk from these glands out to the nipple. The nipple becomes erect because of cold, breast feeding and sexual activity. The pigmented area around the nipple is called the areola. The lobules and ducts are supported in the breast by surrounding fatty tissue and ligaments. There are no muscles in the breast. There are blood vessels and lymphatics in the breast. The lymphatics are thin channels similar to blood vessels; they do not carry blood but collect and carry tissue fluid which ultimately reenters the blood stream. Breast tissue fluid drains through the lymphatics into the lymph nodes located in the underarm (axilla) and behind the breast bone (sternum). Although the primary biologic function of the breast is to make milk to feed a baby, the breast has for many centuries been a symbol of femininity and beauty. The appearance of the normal female breast differs greatly between individuals and at different times during a woman's life — before, during and after adolescence, during pregnancy, during the menstrual cycle, and after menopause.
* * *1. The pectoral surface of the thorax. 2. The female organ of milk secretion; one of two commonly hemispheric projections anterior to the pectoral muscles including the mammary glands within a highly variable amount of fat of the subcutaneous layer and bearing the nipple superficially on either side of the chest of the mature female; it is rudimentary in the male. SYN: mamma [TA], teat (2). [A.S. breost]- accessory b. [TA] a milk-secreting gland located elsewhere than at the normal place on the chest and existing in addition to the two usual mammae. SYN: mamma accessoria [TA], supernumerary b., supernumerary mamma.- chicken b. SYN: pectus carinatum.- irritable b. swelling and induration of the b., not due to a neoplasm, and usually of comparatively brief duration.- male b. [TA] one of the two, usually rudimentary, mammary glands and overlying nipples of the male. SYN: mamma masculina [TA], mamma virilis.- pigeon b. SYN: pectus carinatum.
* * *breast 'brest n1) either of the pair of mammary glands extending from the front of the chest in pubescent and adult females of humans and some other mammals also either of the analogous but rudimentary organs of the male chest esp. when enlarged2) the fore or ventral part of the body between the neck and the abdomen
* * *n.1. the mammary gland of a woman: one of two compound glands that produce milk. Each breast consists of glandular lobules - the milk-secreting areas - embedded in fatty tissue. The milk passes from the lobules into ducts, which join up to form 15-20 lactiferous ducts. Near the front of the breast the lactiferous ducts are dilated into ampullae, which act as reservoirs for the milk. Each lactiferous duct discharges through a separate orifice in the nipple. The dark area around the nipple is called the areola. See also lactation. Anatomical name: mamma.2. the front part of the chest (thorax).
* * *(brest) 1. the anterior aspect of the thorax. 2. mamma.
Medical dictionary. 2011.