Patient Education - Health Library Breasts

Many changes occur in a woman's breasts during her lifetime. It is essential for every woman toBreast exam understand which of those changes are normal and which are not.The first step to doing this is to become familiar with the structure of the breasts and how they function.

The breasts contain milk-producing glands and provide nourishment to the newborn. After birth, milk production is initiated and maintained by secretion of the hormone prolactin from the pituitary gland. The breasts are not fully developed in the female until well beyond the onset of menstruation. They are present in children and men only in rudimentary form.

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