Breast Cancer Awareness Month: October 2020
In New Zealand, 3,330 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year; that’s an average of 9 women diagnosed daily. 25 men are diagnosed each year too.
Steel Blue has been a proud partner of Breast Cancer Care WA for over 12 years, helping raise awareness and funds for those affected by breast cancer. $10 from every pair of Pink and Purple boots sold is donated directly to Breast Cancer Care WA, an organisation that provides specialised breast care nursing, financial support and counselling to those affected by breast cancer, and their loved ones. Over $1.4M has been raised to date.
The packaging for Steel Blue’s Pink and Purple boots includes a shower tag diagram that highlights the importance of giving yourself a regular breast check and how you conduct one for yourself.
The self-check shower tag helped Jan from Victoria start getting the treatment she needed for a Stage 2 HER2 positive carcinoma. Here is Jan’s story.
“I purchased a pair of pink, size 8 Steel Blue boots last year (2019), and I love them. I love them because they are strong and pinkish (I kick the black embers in the fire so they’re a bit black too). They probably look ridiculous on a 64 year old female but I don’t care!
More valuable than the boots though was the very pink A3 information sheet on supporting Breast Cancer Care WA that came in the box. The box with its valuable information hung around for a couple of months until one day I had a look at it all.
I did what the leaflet and tag suggested. I thought maybe I could feel something but it didn’t feel like a pea so I thought nothing more about it. One day I did throw out the box but I didn’t forget the message. The next day I carried out another examination on the offending lump and to my alarm, I felt the lump had grown.
To cut a long story short, I had surgery to remove a stage 2 HER positive carcinoma. It had reached two lymph nodes but hadn’t spread yet.
I have recently finished stage 2 of chemotherapy, plus radiotherapy for the breast cancer, and will have other treatments until 2025. Just to complicate matters, I have also been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma which is a blood cancer. I am now having chemotherapy for that too, which is ongoing.
At present, I am going through the motions of dealing with two cancers but I am happy to say my husband and I get away in between chemo sessions and are still doing what we love; camping and collecting wood for our wood fire at home.
The outcome of my cancer journey would have been very different had I not acted on the message this campaign continues to send.
My fabulous team of specialists are confident that I will be wearing my pink boots for some time to come”.
How should a breast self-exam be performed?
Self-examination is not a substitute for regular mammogram screenings, you can organise a mammogram with BreastScreen Aotearoa every two years. Find your nearest clinic here.
For more information, visit breastcancer.org.au.