What Is the Meaning of Fibrofatty Tissue in the Breast?

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Fribrofatty tissue in the breast is usually called the adipose tissue. It is an essential part of the female breast, causing the size and shape of the breast. However, adipose tissue can also be a cause of health concerns regarding the breast, especially breast cancer.

The Breast

The breast is attached to the pectoral muscle. Inside the breast, 15 to 20 lobes spread from the nipple. Each lobe is divided into anywhere from 10 to 100 aveoli, which produce the milk that runs down the lobes to the nipple. The lobes of the breast are lined with epithelial cells, and are divided by fat and fibrous tissue. This tissue is the adipose tissue.

Adipose Tissue

Adipose tissue is essentially a connective storage tissue. Adipose tissue stores fat, allowing the energy within the fat to be kept to be used later. Adipose tissue also acts as a source of heat and cushioning. Adipose tissue is present all over the body, including the breast.

Size of Breast

As more fat is stored in the adipose tissue, the breast grows. In the same manner, when the fat in the adipose tissue is converted into energy, the breasts reduce in size. For this reason, breast size will usually increase with weight gain and reduce with weight loss.

Adipose Health Concerns

Clinically, the breast is divided into four parts, the upper inner, upper outer, lower inner and lower outer quadrants. Most breast cancers develop in the upper outer quadrant, near the top of the breast. Cancer usually occurs in the epithelial cells that line the lobes. Some cancers can also develop in the lobes. It is rare for cancer to develop in the adipose tissue, but it is not unheard of. It is best to perform breast self exams once a month to monitor breast health.


If you happen to feel a lump in the adipose tissue of your breast, you should contact a doctor as soon as possible. It is also important to discuss any weight loss methods you may be thinking of using with your doctor, especially if your intention is to reduce breast size. There are cosmetic surgeries available to take adipose tissue out of the breast.