Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is a significant month in New Zealand, not just because it marks the arrival of spring but because it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s a time to come together as a community and increase awareness about this prevalent disease, and it’s also an opportunity to share vital information, resources, and support for those affected. While the topic may seem daunting, it’s essential to remember that knowledge and early detection can be powerful tools in the fight against this disease. In this blog post, we’ll explore breast cancer awareness in New Zealand, places to seek information and treatment, and the organizations dedicated to making a difference. We’ll also provide a section on self-examination tips, making it a reliable and approachable resource for you and your loved ones.

Breast Cancer Awareness in New Zealand:

Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that originates in the cells of the breast. It can affect both men and women, but it is far more common in women. It’s also a prevalent issue in New Zealand, with about 3,300 people diagnosed annually. 

Early detection can make a world of difference. The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation offers a wealth of information on their website, including guidelines on breast self-exams and mammograms. Mammograms are a vital tool for detecting breast cancer in its early stages, and they are available through BreastScreen Aotearoa, a government-funded program.

Getting a mammogram can be a little daunting, but the procedure itself is quick and straightforward. It’s like a routine health check, but with the potential to save lives. In New Zealand, you can find breast screening clinics across the country. These clinics are often situated in hospitals, making them accessible to many New Zealanders.

  1. Information and Support

    a. Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand (BCFNZ): BCFNZ is a leading organization that provides a wealth of information on breast cancer. Their website ( is a comprehensive resource, featuring facts, risk factors, symptoms, and much more. They also have a 0800 BC NURSE helpline, where experienced nurses provide answers and support.

    b. Cancer Society New Zealand: The Cancer Society is an invaluable source of information and assistance for anyone affected by cancer, including breast cancer. Their website ( offers resources on cancer types, treatment, and practical support.

  2. Screening and Diagnosis

    a. BreastScreen Aotearoa:
    This nationwide program provides free breast screening for women aged 45 to 69. Regular mammograms can help detect breast cancer at an early, more treatable stage. To find a screening location near you, visit

  3. Treatment and Support Organizations

    a. The NZBCF offers support for those diagnosed with breast cancer and their families. They fund research, raise awareness, and provide resources. Check out their website at to learn more.

    b. Sweet Louise: This organization is dedicated to supporting women living with incurable breast cancer. They offer practical and emotional assistance. Find out more at

  4. Local Support Groups

    While receiving information online is valuable, it’s also beneficial to connect with others who have walked a similar path. Local support groups can provide comfort and understanding. Search for breast cancer support groups in your area through the Cancer Society or local community centers.


Self-Examination Tips

Step 1: The Visual Check

Start by standing in front of a mirror with your hands on your hips. Look for any changes in the shape, size, or appearance of your breasts. Pay attention to dimpling, puckering, or changes in the skin texture.

Step 2: The Arm Check

Raise your arms overhead, and again, observe your breasts for any changes in size, shape, or contour.

Step 3: The Manual Check

Lie down and use your fingertips to feel for lumps or irregularities. It’s recommended to follow a systematic pattern, either in concentric circles or up-and-down.

If you notice any changes, such as lumps, pain, skin changes, or discharge, don’t panic, but do reach out to a healthcare professional for further evaluation.


Breast Cancer Awareness Month in New Zealand is a time to learn, support, and empower one another. By being aware, understanding the importance of early detection, and knowing where to seek help, we can make a significant impact in the fight against breast cancer. Let’s come together as a community, spreading love, awareness, and support, because together, we are stronger.