Breast:

Breast:

The breasts in humans is located in the upper region of the torso. While in the embryonic stages both males and females develop breasts, with the larger production of androgens (testosterone) in men, they do not have excessive breast tissue. However, in certain cases, due to hormonal disorders and disturbances in the endocrine system, some men develop a breast tissue. This condition is called gynecomastia. In women, the breasts function as a mammary gland. The breasts in adult women have milk-producing glands. The breasts are supported by ligaments on the chest wall. They are positioned over the pectoral muscles and consist tissues of various natures. They contain fatty tissues, glandular tissues, but no muscle. The glands that produce milk in the breast are called lobules. Milk is transported from the lobules via ducts to the nipple. Around the nipple, there is a pigmented region, which is called areola. After puberty in women, the areola becomes more prominent with the presence of the bud. As puberty advances, fatty and glandular tissue increases. This causes the areola to flatten. While the male breasts are flat with fatty and glandular tissue, the female breasts have other structures like Morgagni’s tubercles, Montgomery’s gland, lobes, lobules, acini, Cooper’s ligaments, lymphatic channels, and ducts. The size of women’s breasts vary depending upon factors like age, family history, pregnancy and lactation, influence of estrogen and progesterone, and menopause. Blood to the breast is supplied by the axillary artery, which extends from the armpits. During the menstrual cycle, the skin of the breast tends to swell and the breasts look swollen and tender. Self-examination of the breast when they are least tender is an essential practice in order to detect any unusual changes. While some conditions like fibrocystic changes are non-cancerous, others might be cancerous. Non-cancerous fibrocystic changes in the breast usually subside after menopause. After menopause, the breasts undergo drastic changes due to no availability of estrogen and progesterone. Post menopause, the breasts tend to get more lumpy and tender with occasional formation of cysts. A major diagnostic test to evaluate conditions of the breast is a mammogram. In a mammogram, while the fatty tissues appear black, both cancerous and non-cancerous cysts and lesions appear white. Other connective tissues, calcium, glands, and even tumors appear in shades of white. Some of the medical conditions of the breast include fibrosis, ductal hyperplasia, adenosis, phyllodes tumors, mastitis, fat necrosis, duct ectasia, and breast cancer. In people with diabetes, breast health is affected by high blood sugar levels. Women with type 2 diabetes are at a risk of getting breast cancer, particularly in elderly women after menopause. Another condition called diabetic mastopathy (See: Diabetic Mastopathy) is known to arise in both men and women with type 1 diabetes. It can even arise in people with type 2 diabetes. In lactating women with diabetes, though breastfeeding is the best form of nutrition for the infant, the quality of the milk depends upon the blood sugar level. Since insulin plays a key role in the production of milk, having diabetes affects the quality of the milk. Moreover, during the production of milk, glucose is amply used. This might lead to hypoglycemia. For women with gestational diabetes, breastfeeding due to caesarian section or due to insulin therapy, it might take some time for the milk to come out. However, constant feeding is known to increase the milk flow.

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