Collectors will be shaking their pink buckets around Rotorua tomorrow and Saturday with the public urged to support the Pink Ribbon Appeal.
The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation's aim is to raise funds for research into new targeted treatments, medical equipment for hospitals, life-saving awareness and education programmes, and support for women going through breast cancer.
Collectors will be at nine sites across the city with a total of 56 sites in the Bay of Plenty region.
Around 70 women in the Lakes DHB catchment are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and around 20 die each year.
"We have dozens of volunteers across Rotorua - 9000 around the country - who have generously committed their time to this week's appeal," said NZBCF chief executive Van Henderson.
"Now we need Kiwis everywhere to drop a coin in the bucket - your gift helps us work towards our long term vision of zero deaths from breast cancer."
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With breast cancer the most common cancer for New Zealand women - eight women a day are diagnosed, and one in nine women will be diagnosed in their lifetime - almost everyone knows someone affected by the disease.
Research shows that the earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the outcome.
The NZBCF is reminding women this month of the importance of being breast aware and of going for their mammograms.
"A mammogram can mean the difference between relief and despair," said Mrs Henderson.
"Women should consider annual mammograms from age 40, then have mammograms every two years from age 50. If you're under 50, you need to be breast aware - know the normal look and feel of your breasts so you can report changes to your doctor."
The mammogram reminder is backed by data showing significantly greater breast cancer survival for New Zealand women within the free screening age group (45-69) when their tumour is found on a mammogram.
According to the Auckland Breast Cancer Register of women aged 45-69 whose cancer was found on a screening mammogram, 94% were alive five years after diagnosis, and 86% ten years after diagnosis. For those women who found their cancer through a lump or other symptom, five-year survival was 80%, and ten-year survival just 68%.
Visit the Foundation's www.anychanges.co.nz site for more information about signs of breast cancer and how to check your breasts.