A woman's breast is a gland that produces milk in late pregnancy and after childbirth. Each breast is made of lobes which are groups of milk glands called lobules. Lobules are arranged around thin tubes called ducts which carry milk to nipple. These lobules and ducts make up what is referred to as glandular tissue.
Breasts also contain lymph vessels which carry a clear fluid called lymph. The lymph vessels lead to small, round organs called lymph nodes. Group of lymph nodes are found near breast in underarm, above collarbone, in chest behind breastbone, and in many other parts of body. The lymph nodes trap bacteria, cancer cells, or other harmful substances that may be in lymphatic system. Their job is to make sure harmful substances are safely and quickly removed from body.
As with any gland or organ with human body, some imperfections are likely to occur. Perhaps you feel that your breasts are too small or too large. Maybe you have questions about breast feeding or breast cancer.
You might notice different kinds of breast changes at different times of your life. Breast changes occur in almost all women, and most of these changes are NOT cancer. Many of changes are caused by your hormone levels and are a normal part of aging process. Younger women may have more glandular (more dense, less fatty) breast tissue than older women who have stopped having their period (menopause). This kind of tissue is where breast changes usually occur.
Most women have swelling, tenderness, and pain in their breasts before and sometimes during their periods. You may also feel one or more lumps during this time because of extra fluid that has collected in your breasts. The lumpiness and pain usually go away by end of your period.
During pregnancy, your breasts may feel lumpy, since glands which produce milk increase in number and get larger. While breast feeding, you may get an infection called mastitis which happens when a milk duct becomes blocked. Mastitis causes breast to look red and feel lumpy, warm and tender. Mastitis is often treated with antibiotics, but sometimes duct may need to be drained.