The breast is one of two prominence’s found on the upper ventral region of the torso of female and male primates. In females, it serves as the mammary gland, which produces and secretes milk and feeds infants.
At puberty, estrogens, in conjunction with growth hormone, cause breast development. Males do not develop pronounced or physiologically matured breasts because their bodies produce lower levels of estrogens and higher levels of androgens, namely testosterone, which suppress the effects of estrogens in developing breast tissue. When a woman ceases menstruation and her body estrogen levels decrease, breast atrophy occurs – milk gland tissue atrophies, withers, and disappears, resulting in a breast composed of adipose tissue, superﬁcial fascia, suspensory ligaments, and the skin envelope.
Doctors use a mammogram to look for early signs of breast cancer. Regular mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early, sometimes up to three years before it can be felt. It is similar to an X-ray but of the breast tissue.
Mammograms can also be used to look at a woman’s breast if she has a
breast problem or a change is seen on a screening mammogram. When used in this way, they are called diagnostic mammograms. They may include extra views (images) of the breast that aren’t part of screening mammograms. Sometimes diagnostic mammograms are used to screen women who were treated for breast cancer in the past.
How is a mammogram done?
A technologist will place your breast on a clear plastic plate. Another plate will firmly press your breast from above. The plates will flatten the breast, holding it still while the X-ray is being taken. You will feel some pressure. The steps are repeated to make a side view of the breast. The other breast will also be X-rayed in the same way. You will then wait while the technologist checks the four X-rays to make sure the pictures do not need to be re-done. The image of the X-ray of your breast ill look different from another because each woman’s breast is different.
Why do I need to get a mammogram?
A mammogram can often find or detect breast cancer early, when it’s small and even before a lump can be felt. This is when it’s easiest to treat.
Why do breasts age?
Breast ptosis, or sagging of the breasts, is a normal consequence of aging where the breast tissue droops lower on the chest and the nipple points downward. Researchers have found that ptosis is influenced by several key factors: greater age, higher body mass index, larger bra cup size, history of significant weight loss or gain, number of pregnancies, and history of cigarette smoking and is not caused by breastfeeding although it is and myth and thought the be the effect of it.
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