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see mammary glandmammary gland,
organ of the female mammal that produces and secretes milk for the nourishment of the young. A mammal may have from 1 to 11 pairs of mammary glands, depending on the species. Generally, those mammals that bear larger litters have more glands.
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The human mammary gland, usually well developed in the adult female but rudimentary in the male. Each adult female breast contains 15–20 separate, branching glands that radiate from the nipple. During lactation their secretions are discharged through separate openings at the base of the nipple.

In the female, hormonal changes in adolescence cause enlargement of breast tissue, but much of this is connective tissue although some glandular buds form. With the advent of full menstruation ovarian estrogenic hormones influence breast development. If pregnancy ensues, the glandular tissue reaches full development and full lactation begins shortly after birth. After cessation of lactation the breasts regress considerably and once again reflect cyclic regulation. See Lactation

Breast disorders may result from congenital or developmental abnormalities, inflammations, hormonal imbalances, and, most important, from tumor formation.

Congenital defects are usually unimportant except for their psychic or cosmetic implications. Supernumerary nipples and breasts or accessory breast tissue are common examples.

Inflammations are not encountered frequently and usually result from a staphylococcal or streptococcal invasion incurred during lactation. A special form of inflammation may result from fat necrosis. Although any age is susceptible, older women show a slightly higher incidence of fat necrosis, the commonest cause of which is injury from trauma. See Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Syphilis, Tuberculosis

Hormonal imbalances are believed to be responsible for the variants of the commonest nontumorous breast disorder of women, cystic hyperplasia. The changes are thought to result from exaggeration or distortion of the normal cyclic alterations induced during the menstrual interval. Although a wide range of clinical and pathologic variation is commonplace, three major types or tendencies prevail. The first, called fibrosis or mastodynia, is marked by an increase of connective tissue in the breast, without a proportionate increase in glandular epithelium. The second, cystic disease, is characterized by an increase in the glandular and connective tissues in local areas, with a tendency toward formation of cysts varying in size. The third major type is adenosis, in which glandular hyperplasia is predominant. Each major form of cystic hyperplasia has its own clinical characteristics, ages of highest incidence, and distribution. Each is important because the breast masses which occur require differentiation from benign and malignant tumors. These lesions also have been found to predispose to the subsequent development of carcinoma.

Breast cancer is the most significant lesion of the female breast, accounting for 25,000–30,000 deaths in the United States each year. It rarely occurs before the age of 25, but its incidence increases each year thereafter, with a sharper climb noted about the time of menopause. Early breast cancer may appear as a small, firm mass which is nontender and freely movable. Diagnosis at this time carries a more favorable prognosis than later, when immobility, nipple retraction, lymph node involvement, and other signs of extension or spread are noted. Paget's disease of the nipple is a special form of breast cancer, in which there are early skin changes about the nipple. See Hormone


That portion of a wall between the floor and a window above; a defensive wall built about breast high.


The human mammary gland.
(mining engineering)
In coal mines, a chamber driven in the seam from the gangway, for the extraction of coal.


1. A projecting part of a wall, as at a chimney.
2. That portion of a wall between the floor and a window above.
3. The underside of a handrail, beam, rafter, or the like.


symbol of nourishment and fecundity. [Ren. Art: Hall, 52]


1. the front part of the body from the neck to the abdomen; chest
2. either of the two soft fleshy milk-secreting glands on the chest in sexually mature human females
3. a similar organ in certain other mammals
4. a projection from the side of a wall, esp that formed by a chimney


Dreaming about breasts can have obvious sexual meaning. However, consider all of the details in your dream in order to obtain the most appropriate meaning. Breasts also represent tenderness, love, and other matters of the heart. Breastfeeding is symbolic of giving or receiving, nurturing, and sustenance. It represents motherly love as well as physical and emotional support and well being. Old dream interpretation books say that breastfeeding is a symbol of great things to come following an extended period of hard work.
References in periodicals archive ?
Speaking at the lunch Jagielka said: "The lunch was a lot of fun and we helped raise some money for local charities which helped two members of staff beat breast cancer, so a good day was had by all.
Nisenholtz founded the "Westside Challenge to Beat Breast Cancer" to provide funding to support a low cost mammography program.
A petrochemicals and recruitment entrepreneur, he sold o his PS16m mansion and all his belongings and then used the proceeds to set up the charity after his wife Shirley beat breast cancer in 2009.
Aimed at generating awareness, the decor and messages reminded shoppers of the importance of regular check-ups for early detection to help beat breast cancer.
Kimberly Byrne, a Zumba instructor, wants everyone to put on pink, show off their moves and join in the effort to beat breast cancer later this month.
John, from Barry, was inspired to take part in the race after his wife beat breast cancer at Christmas.
Through this donation, Planet Fitness will support one BCRF research project in 2011-2012 and will ensure our ability to beat breast cancer in our lifetime.
So dig out your pinkest tie, T-shirt or tutu, and donate pounds 2 to help Breast Cancer Campaign beat breast cancer.
GREEN is the new pink in the fight to beat breast cancer as spring cleaners are encouraged to recycle unwanted mobile phones, used ink cartridges or old bras and textiles.
THE founder member of an animal sanctuary say the creatures she cares for helped her beat breast cancer for the second time.
The star of panto Sleeping Beauty took time out from his busy schedule of shows at the Hippodrome to meet scientists at Birmingham University, who are working to beat breast cancer.
This year the Breast Cancer Campaign is daring everyone in the UK to wear an item of pink on October 31 and give pounds 2 each to the charity to help it beat breast cancer.