Stratford residents will be able to source free health advice on Friday when the Pink Caravan is in town.
Breast Cancer Foundation NZ's iconic pink caravan, 'Pinkie', is in the region this month with specialist breast nurses on board and available to chat about breast health, says Emilie Petitdemange, Breast Cancer Foundation NZ's Pink Caravan coordinator.
"Every year Pinkie goes on an education tour around New Zealand with our specialist breast nurses, and we're thrilled to be visiting Taranaki this April. 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."
She says teaching people what a lump might feel like is an important part of the service offered.
"One of Pinkie's star attractions is Bessie, a life-like torso which shows the visible signs of breast cancer. 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!"
It's important as many people as possible take the opportunity to visit Pinkie and find out more about breast health, with around 85 women in the Taranaki District Health Board region currently diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
Of that 85, around 20 will die from it. 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, says Emilie.
"Our breast nurses are trained professionals who can give expert advice about symptoms, treatments, support groups and post-surgery options. 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 breastcancerfoundation.org.nz/pinkcaravan to learn more about the Pink Caravan.
As well as Stratford, Pinkie will be parked in a variety of locations around the region:
Pinkie will be at the following sites between 9am and 2.30pm each day:
PAK'nSAVE New Plymouth - Wednesday, April 14
New World Inglewood - Thursday, April 15
New World Stratford - Friday, April 16
PAK'nSAVE Hawera - Monday, April 19
Countdown Hawera - Tuesday, April 20
Four Square Patea - Wednesday, April 21