Breast Cancer: Medical Illustrations

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 04/2017

ON THIS PAGE: You will find a basic drawing of the main body parts affected by this disease. Use the menu to see other pages.

The image is a drawing of a person’s breasts. The breast is made up of different types of tissue, which sit on top of the pectoralis major muscle over the ribcage. Within the fatty tissue of the breast is a network of lobes, made up of tiny, tube-like structures called lobules that contain milk glands. Lactiferous ducts connects the lobes, glands, and lobules to carry milk to the nipple, located in the middle of the areola, the darker area that surrounds the nipple. Lymph vessels also run through the breast, and connect to axillary lymph nodes, tiny, bean-shaped organs that are found in groupings in various parts of the body, including the armpits. Copyright 2003 American Society of Clinical Oncology. Robert Morreale/Visual Explanations, LLC.

For medical illustrations showing the different stages of early-stage and locally advanced breast cancer, please visit the Stages section.

The next section in this guide is Risk Factors and Prevention. It explains what factors may increase the chance of developing this disease. You may use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.