Call to know your body

Pink lady created at MCG

TRIBUTE: Deb Hammer and Nichole Hammer. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

TRIBUTE: Deb Hammer and Nichole Hammer. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

DEB Hammer and her daughter Nichole will wear blue ponchos at Saturday's Field of Women event.

Deb lost her husband Mark, Nichole's father, to breast cancer in 2008.

"In 2005 he was diagnosed with breast cancer, just before Christmas," Deb said.

"He discovered it in the shower, a lump in his breast.

"He went and saw his doctor and had the same usual tests as women have.

"He had a mammogram and he had an ultrasound and a biopsy."

Mark was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy.

"Things were fine for 18 months and then it came back secondary," Deb said.

"In 2008, when he turned 50, he died just before Christmas.

"That was three years after the initial diagnosis."

Deb, a nurse, said she was aware breast cancer could affect both men and women.

But Nichole didn't realise it's far-reaching impact until Mark's diagnosis.

"At that point there was nothing in the media to say that men could get it," Nichole said.

"Considering Dad's family isn't good at going to the doctor, it's quite good that Dad actually took the initiative to go and check it out because it did give us time we might not have otherwise had with him."

While breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women, breast cancer in men is rare.

The latest statistics show that 113 men in Australia were diagnosed in 2008.

Australian women have a one in eight lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.

Nichole said when her dad was diagnosed breast cancer, information kits were solely targeted at women.

"But that has changed now, which is good," she said.

Deb said it was important for both men and women to know their bodies.

"If you find a lump anywhere, have it checked out," she said.

Field of Women 2014 will be held ahead of the Melbourne versus Western Bulldogs AFL match.

The event is designed to show support for the growing number of Australians personally affected by breast cancer.

UNITED: The MCG will turn pink for the Field of Women during Saturday's Melbourne versus Western Bulldogs match. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

UNITED: The MCG will turn pink for the Field of Women during Saturday's Melbourne versus Western Bulldogs match. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

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