breast


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breast:

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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Breast

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

Breast

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

breast

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

breast

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.

breast

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

breast

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

Breasts

(dreams)
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 classic literature ?
If you touch, in touching my hair, anything that recalls a beloved head that lay on your breast when you were young and free, weep for it, weep for it
With a beating heart Violet folded her fading wreath more closely to her breast, and with weary wings flew onward to the dreary palace.
They are taking counsel, saith this letter, to send over a governor-general, in whose breast shall be deposited all the law and equity of the land.
Her hair, esteemed beautiful in proportion to its length, is carefully plaited, and made to fall with seeming negligence over either breast.
And the royal master of high latitudes sighs mightily, with the sinking sun upon his breast and the double-edged sword upon his knees, as if wearied by the innumerable centuries of a strenuous rule and saddened by the unchangeable aspect of the ocean under his feet - by the endless vista of future ages where the work of sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind shall go on and on till his realm of living waters becomes a frozen and motionless ocean.
What could it be that gnawed the breast of Roderick Elliston?
But I shall have to cut a hole in your breast, so I can put your heart in the right place.
Their bases swell gently from the plain, looking at that distance perfectly round and smooth; and upon the top of each is a vast hillock covered with snow, exactly corresponding to the nipple on the female breast.
And all the way Kala carried her little dead baby hugged closely to her breast.
You must sing to me with your breast against a thorn.
With his hands joined upon his breast, his face turned towards the window, bathed by the fresh air of night, which brought upon its wings the aroma of the flowers and the woods, Athos entered, never again to come out of it, into the contemplation of that paradise which the living never see.
After that they took his right hand, placed it on something, and told him to hold a pair of compasses to his left breast with the other hand and to repeat after someone who read aloud an oath of fidelity to the laws of the Order.