Mammary Gland of the female
This specimen shows the mammary gland of an adult female.
The mammary glands are modified sweat glands. The mammary glands rest upon the deep pectoral fascia, which in turn overlies the pectoralis major and the serratus anterior muscles superiorly and external oblique and its aponeurosis inferiorly. Between the breast and the deep fascia the loose connective tissue in the ‘submammary space' allows the breast some degree of movement on the deep pectoral fascia. Advanced mammary carcinoma may, by invasion, cause tethering or fixation of the breast to the underlying musculature.
The nipple projects anteriorly from the centre. The level of the nipple varies widely. In females, its site is dependent on the size and shape of the breasts, but it overlies the fourth intercostal space in young women. In males, the nipple is usually situated in the fourth intercostal space in the midclavicular line. Numerous lactiferous ducts open into the nipple. The skin around the nipple is dark, pigmented and circular known as the areola.