Breast Development

Breast development starts at puberty, under the influence of  estrogen, progesterone, growth hormone, prolactin, insulin  and probably thyroid hormone, parathyroid hormone and  cortisol. This complex process typically begins between ages 8 to 14 and spans about 4 years.

Breast is composed of several glands and ducts that lead to the nipple and the surrounding colored area called the areola. The milk-carrying ducts extend from the nipple into the underlying breast tissue like the spokes of a wheel. Under the areola are lactiferous ducts. These fill with milk during lactation after a woman has a baby. When a girl reaches puberty, changing levels of hormones cause the ducts to grow and cause fat deposits in the breast tissue to increase. The glands that produce milk (mammary glands) that are connected to the surface of the breast by the lactiferous ducts may extend to the armpit area (axilla).

During the menstrual cycle, the breast is smallest on days 4-7, and then begins to enlarge, under the influence of estrogen and later progesterone and prolactin. Maximum breast size occurs just prior to the onset of menses.

Breast changes are common. From the time a girl begins to develop breasts and begins menstruating and throughout life, women may experience various kinds of breast pain and other breast changes. Some of these changes normally occur during the menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, and with aging. Breast lumps, tenderness, and other changes may occur. Here is some general information about the most common problems. 80% of breast problems turn out to be benign, but each one needs to be evaluated.

Some of the most common Breast problem is

– Lump

– Pain

– Discharge

– Appearance

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