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What is fibrous tissue of the breast?

Updated July 19, 2017

Women's breasts are made up of milk glands, milk ducts, fatty tissue, fibrous connective tissue, blood vessels, and a nipple.

Location

Fibrous tissue extends from the front of the breast to the back of the chest wall.

Function

The fibrous tissues give support and shape to the female breast. Strands of fibrous tissues surround the breast and make a ridge at the bottom, near the rib cage. This is called the inframammary ridge. The softness or firmness of a woman's breast depends on the proportion of fatty tissue in relationship to fibrous tissue.

Ageing

During puberty, a woman's oestrogen levels increase. This causes the fibrous tissue to be more elastic than when she was a child.

Fibrocystic Breasts

Premenopausal women sometimes experience painful breasts. These are usually related to hormonal changes that happen in connection with the menstrual cycle. The fibrous tissues of the breasts can swell, and small, fluid-filled sacs can develop in the fibrous tissues. This causes pain and soreness that is usually relieved as the hormone levels stabilise during the cycle.

Consultation

If a woman has breast pain, she should see her physician. The doctor may request testing, such as imaging or a biopsy.

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About the Author

Susan Presley has worked in health care journalism since 2007, and has been published in the American Journal of Nursing and other academic periodicals. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Truman State University and a Master of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.