Pinkie the van to help cancer diagnosis

Breast Cancer Foundation NZ’s pink caravan, ‘Pinkie’. Photo. Supplied.

People in Tauranga are invited to hop on board Breast Cancer Foundation NZ’s iconic pink caravan next week.

Specialist breast nurses will be available on ‘Pinkie’ to chat about breast health.

Pinkie will be at New World Gate Pa on Monday, March 15, and PAK'n’SAVE Cameron Road on Tuesday, March 16, between 9am-2.30pm each day.

“Every year Pinkie goes on an education tour around New Zealand with our specialist breast nurses, and we’re thrilled to be visiting Tauranga in March,” says Emilie Petitdemange, Breast Cancer Foundation NZ’s pink caravan coordinator.

“It’s a great chance to talk about mammograms, get advice about checking your breasts, and learn how you can reduce your breast cancer risk.

Around 190 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the Bay of Plenty DHB area every year, and around 35 will die from it.

“One of Pinkie’s star attractions is Bessie, a life-like torso which shows the visible signs of breast cancer,” says Emilie.

“Many women are often surprised to learn what a lump actually feels like, so we urge everyone to come along and find out for themselves.”

Breast cancer is the most common cancer for New Zealand women but research shows the earlier it is detected, the better the outcome. Breast Cancer Foundation NZ encourages women to be breast aware from the age of 20 and to consider starting mammograms at 40.

“Our breast nurses are trained professionals who can give expert advice about symptoms, treatments, support groups and post-surgery options,” adds Emilie.

“Anyone who can’t visit Pinkie in person is welcome to call our free nurse advice line on 0800 BC NURSE (0800 226 8773).”

Last year Pinkie was adapted to be Covid-safe, meeting social distancing and hygiene requirements, with face masks and disposable gloves available to visitors.

Visit to learn more about the Pink Caravan.

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