The breasts

  • The breasts are made up of fat, connective tissue and gland tissue.

  • A network of ducts spreads from the lobes towards the nipple.

  • When a woman is pregnant, her breasts produce milk to feed her baby.

Under the skin, a 'tail' of breast tissue extends into the armpit (axilla). The armpit also contains a collection of lymph glands, which are part of the lymphatic system.

Breast cancer

Breast cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in the breast tissues. Damage to the DNA of these cells results in uncontrolled cell division and growth, and (eventually) a sufficient number of cells accumulate to form a lump. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Hong Kong. 

Men can also develop breast cancer, but it’s far less common than in women.

Breast tumours (lumps)

  • Most benign breast lumps are cysts. These are sac of fluid that build up in the breast tissue.
  • Another common benign type of breast lump is a 'fibroadenoma' – a collection of fibrous glandular tissue. Benign breast lumps are easily treated.

If you notice a lump or anything unusual in your breasts, you should visit your doctor. Even though most breast lumps are benign, they should all be checked and treated appropriately. If the lump is cancerous, the earlier that treatment begins the better the chances of recovery.


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