Volunteers will be shaking their pink buckets across the Bay today and tomorrow to raise money for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.

The Pink Ribbon Appeal starts today at 28 sites across Tauranga, Mount Maunganui and Papamoa, part of a total 56 sites across the whole Bay of Plenty.

The aim of the collection was to raise funds for research into new targeted treatments, medical equipment for our hospitals, life-saving awareness and education programmes, and support for women going through breast cancer.

The foundation's chief executive Van Henderson said about 180 women in the Bay of Plenty District Health Board catchment were diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and more than 30 died each year.


"We have hundreds of volunteers across the Bay of Plenty - 9000 around the country - who have generously committed their time to this week's appeal.

"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."

Breast cancer was the most common cancer for New Zealand women, with eight women a day diagnosed. One in nine women will be diagnosed in their lifetime.

Research showed the earlier breast cancer was detected, the better the outcome.

The foundation was 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," Mrs Henderson said.

"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."

Visit the foundation's website for more information about signs of breast cancer and how to check your breasts.