THE number of people being diagnosed with breast cancer has increased, but the chances of surviving have significantly improved, people attending the annual Breast Care Fundraising Breakfast on Thursday heard.
The sold-out breakfast at Wests New Lambton raised more than $22,000 to support local breast care nurses.
The annual event, now in its 10th year, has raised more than $194,000 in total for the cause.
“We are very grateful for the amazing support over the past 10 years,” Vicki Sproule, co-chair of the Hunter Nurse Education Group, said at the event.
“The money raised will provide ongoing educational opportunities for nurses in the Hunter region who regularly care for patients with breast cancer.”
Ms Sproule said one in eight females would be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 85.
“But the chance of surviving breast cancer is improving,” she said.
“In the ’80s, the survival rate was about 72 per cent, and in 2015 it was more than 90 per cent, which is really encouraging.
“Nurses play a significant role in caring for people at all stages of the breast cancer journey.
“Our group coordinates educational opportunities in many different settings, including surgical wards, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, community health, palliative care, clinical trials and research.”
Steve Meyn, of PKF Newcastle, said every dollar raised from the breakfast would stay in the Hunter to support local breast care professionals, and those being treated for breast cancer.
At the event, Alana House, former editor of the Australian Woman’s Day, spoke about her “15 minutes of fame” rubbing shoulders with celebrities while working in the magazine industry, and about how we often tend to “sweat the small stuff”.
Originally from Adamstown Heights, Ms House reminded the audience that while they might sometimes feel like “a nobody,” they were a “somebody” who could help make a difference to people in their community.
“We might not all be researchers or crusaders, we might not have much money, or time, but we can care,” she said.
“We can hug a friend who has been diagnosed and be there for them when they need us.
“We can dismiss the little voice that says, ‘I am nobody,’ and step forward.
“If we keep taking the time to care, even when it feels like life is giving us a rough trot, we are doing the best we can.”
NBN newsreader Natasha Beyersdorf was the MC for the event – which was sponsored by PKF, the Newcastle Herald, and Wests. The event raised $22,112 through donations and a raffle.