A group of Pacific women in New Zealand affected by breast cancer want people to know that early detection is a key factor to long-term survival.
Pacific women in New Zealand are 54 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than other women in New Zealand.
Andrea Fairbairn was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, and again in 2011.
She says it was during her second diagnosis that she decided to document her journey, to share some of the things she learnt along the way.
“So all the things about how to deal with chemo and how to deal with radiation and how to recover from surgery, how to talk to people, how to keep your life really positive and keep yourself full of hope, because there is a lot to be hopeful about with 85 percent plus survival rates.”
She says from there, the idea for a website was born and later a book.
“And a website was created, Breast Cancer Nirvana, and another website, the Joy Agency.org, and a couple of e-books and then I decided to put into a book, Chemo and Back Again.”
She says she has donated copies of her book to oncology wards around the country.
Ms Fairbairn says cancer is often considered a death sentence but she says treatments improve all the time and the early detection is certainly a key towards living longer.
“You know, I heard stories about women who turned down treatment or they just felt they were going to die and I wanted to make sure that we go some messages out there and started to change that conversation.”
Pinkinlicious event (PHOTO: Caroline Mareko)
Pinkinlicious event (PHOTO: Supplied)
Cecilia Tuiomanufili (PHOTO: Supplied)
Chemo and back again – Andrea Fairbairn’s book. (PHOTO: Andrea Fairbairn)
Andrea Fairbairn (C) – her oncology nurse (L) and oncologist (R) (PHOTO: Andrea Fairbairn)
Flyer, Navigating a Journey Beyond Cancer (PHOTO: Supplied)
Caroline Mareko (L) and friends at a Pinkinlicious event. (PHOTO: Caroline Mareko)