Breast cancer can spread when cancer cells reach the blood or lymphatic system and spread to other parts of the body. 

The lymphatic system is a network of lymphatic vessels throughout the body that connects to the lymph nodes (small, bean-shaped clusters of immune system cells). The clear fluid within the lymphatic vessels, called lymph, contains tissue by-products and waste matter, as well as immune system cells. The lymphatic vessels carry lymph fluid out of the breast. In the case of breast cancer, cancer cells can enter the lymph vessels and begin to grow in the lymph nodes. Most of the lymph vessels in the breast drain into the lymph nodes:

  • The lymph nodes located under the arm (axillary nodes).

  • Lymph nodes surrounding the collarbone (supraclavicular [above the collarbone] and infraclavicular [below the collarbone] lymph nodes).

  • Lymph nodes that are inside the chest and near the breastbone (internal mammary lymph nodes)



If cancer cells have spread to your lymph nodes, there is a greater chance that the cells have moved through the lymphatic system and spread (metastasized) to other parts of your body. The more lymph nodes there are with breast cancer cells, the greater the chance of finding cancer in other organs. Because of this, finding cancer in one or more lymph nodes often affects your treatment plan. Surgery to remove one or more lymph nodes is usually needed to find out if the cancer has spread. 

However, not all women with cancer cells in their lymph nodes metastasize, and it is possible for some women without cancer cells in their lymph nodes to develop metastases later in life.

Gamma probes for breast cancer detection 

The gamma probe system by Intramedical Imaging is perfectly suited for localizing radioactively labeled sentinel lymph nodes (SLN), other local tissue-enhancing radionuclides, and labeled primary tumor borders (ROLL). It sets standards in: versatility, reliability and ease of use.


  • Excellent lateral isolation

  • No preparation or calibration required ("Plug'n'Play").

  • No maintenance required.

  • Recognizes probe type.

  • Selects radionuclide type.

  • Performs system status.

  • Choice of 3 types of acoustic and count/second signals.

  • Capable of working with more than 10 types of radionuclides.

  • Operates on battery or transformer power

  • Up to 13 hours of rechargeable internal battery life.