In this article, the development of the female breast, as well as the functional anatomy, blood supply, innervation and lymphatic drainage are described. A thorough understanding of the breast anatomy is an important adjunct to a meticulous clinical breast examination. Breast examination is a complex skill involving key maneuvers, including careful inspection and palpation. Clinical breast examination can provide an opportunity for the clinician to educate patients about their breast and about breast cancer, its symptoms, risk factors, early detection, and normal breast composition, and specifically variability. Clinical breast examination can help to detect some cancers not found by mammography, and clinicians should not override their examination findings if imaging is not supportive of the physical findings.