SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Susan G. Komen San Diego and representatives of Life-Science Companies Monday observed the start of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

The event celebrated breast cancer survivors and honored those who lost their lives to the disease.

Laura Farmer Sherman - president and CEO of Susan G. Komen San Diego - is celebrating the local scientists working to find new drugs to treat breast cancer and find a cure. 

Koman San Diego currently has more than one million dollars in active research grants at work in San Diego. 

Research and treatment advances so far have made a huge difference for survivors like Hannah Martine, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year at the young age of 29. 

"I like that I am able to stand here and show you what stage four can look like because stage four does not necessarily mean that you are dying," said Martine. 

Dr. Brooke Emerling, Preby's Medical Discovery Institute, studies certain genes and mutations and believes scientists are on the verge of finding a cure. 

"We believe that by targeting these genes we can kill the cancer cells in patients," said Dr. Emerling. 

Early detection is also key and now there is greater access to care thanks to a mobile mammography coach which has served 4,000 patients with its state of the art technology. 

The machine is made by an San Diego company and it offers doctors and technicians a clearer view than a regular mammogram. 

While scientists work to find a cure, the mobile mammography coach is just one more tool in helping patients get diagnosed early to help save more lives. 

CBS News 8 invites you to join the KFMB stations for the Komen San Diego, Race for the Cure on November 6th - register online