Right now, there are more than 2.5 million Americans living with breast cancer.
When a woman has breast cancer, doctors want to be sure the disease has not spread to her lymph nodes.
It's one of the first places the cancer is likely to go, but now, they have a faster and easier way to target those lymph nodes.
Pamela Peterburs found a lump during a self breast exam.
"I felt it, but I didn't think it was anything" said Peterburs.
What felt like nothing, turned out to be something.
"I admit when it was diagnosed I was shocked" she said.
She's here to find if her cancer has spread to her lymph noeds. Doctors are using a new agent called Lymphoseek. It's a molecule that lets doctors find the lymph node.
"It specifically travels to the lymph node and binds to that receptor, and because of that, we can tag that to something we can see." said Dr. Anne Wallace, Professor of Clinical Surgery.
Radioactive particles target the lymph node and light up the area showing doctors which noeds require biopsies.
Traditional techniqyes, such as blue dye aren't as fast or exact. For patients, it can lessen the chance for extensive treatments.
"They determine if the cancer has moved to other areas, and if it has not, they do not have to go any further." said Peterburs
Pamela's cancer did not spread to her lymph nodes. She is now cancer-free and concentrating on her sister who was diagnosed with breast cancer soon after Pamela.
"It's frightening, and you go through a myriad of emotions, and I think that's what she is going through now and I am trying to support her in any way I can." said Peterburs.
Getting outdoors and excersising is one bond that's helping them both.
"Four weeks after I had a lumpectomy, I ran a half marathon. said Peterburs
Doctors say another advantage of this new agent is it leaves the body sooner than traditional blue dye. They believe Lymphoseek will also work in other types of cancers, including melanoma.