Anatomy of a healthy breast
Many women are unaware of the anatomical makeup of their breasts. That can make it difficult for women diagnosed with breast cancer to fully understand the disease. The above cross-section represents a healthy breast. In many cases, breast cancer involves the small circular parts contained in the mammary glands, called lobules, and the tubes within the breasts, called the ducts. However, breast cancer may spread to the tissue surrounding the lobules and ducts as well as the lymph nodes around the breast. Use of mammography as well as a breast self-exam can help alert women to the presence of lumps anywhere in the breast, which could be indicative of cancerous tumors.