Non-Cancerous Breast Conditions

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What is normal breast tissue and what does it do?

The main function of the breasts is to make milk for breastfeeding. Breasts have 2 main types of tissues: glandular tissues and supporting (stromal) tissues.

The glandular part of the breast includes the lobules and ducts (shown in the picture below). In women who are breastfeeding, the cells of the lobules make milk. The milk then moves through the ducts – tiny tubes that carry milk to the nipple. Each breast has several ducts that lead out to the nipple.

The support tissue of the breast includes fatty tissue and fibrous connective tissue that give the breast its size and shape.

Any of these parts of the breast can undergo changes that cause symptoms. These breast changes can be either benign (non-cancerous) breast conditions or breast cancers.

Last Medical Review: 03/16/2015
Last Revised: 06/10/2015