Breast tissue...of increasing importance

With increasing cases of breast cancer in today's female population the knowledge of breast tissue is of upmost importance. SEE "OLDER POSTS" TO ACCESS REFERENCES

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Stages of Breast Development

How it all begins

Believe it or not, breast development begins within the wound as early as the 4th week of life as a fetus. Breasts are ectodermally derived and first begin as
thickenings of the epidermis that extend from the armpit to the groin forming the 'mammary lines' or 'milk lines' [2]. By the 9th week, the milk lines are reduced to the chest area leaving only 2 bud like structures. Primitive vessels develop and near the 13th week the nipple as well as areola appear[3].


The mammary gland is present as a disk of about 1 cm in thickness. From here on in the breasts remain dormant while the mammary glands change with lobes and galactophores (ducts in the breast) beginning to form [3].


The stages just before development and during are summed up into 5 stages as originally proposed by Tanner [4]:
Stage 1: Preadolescent: Tip of the nipple is raised
Stage 2: Buds appear, now the breast is raised as well. The areola enlarges
Stage 3: Breasts are a little larger and some glandular tissue is present
Stage 4: Areola and nipple are now raised which form a mound
Stage 5: Mature Adult: Breast round and only the nipple is raised

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