BREAST cancer awareness is spreading, following a series of barbecues in Bendigo.
Bendigo Marine and Outdoors staff braved chilly conditions on Thursday and Friday mornings to cook breakfast out the front of the business.
The barbecue continued into the day, attracting the attention of vehicles travelling along the Midland Highway in Epsom.
The fundraiser aimed to boost the number of McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurses.
Two of the foundation’s 118 breast care nurses are based in Bendigo.
They collectively saw more than 130 patients in the past financial year, and 870 since the first nurse started working in the region in 2012.
Another two, based in Echuca and Ballarat respectively, service central Victoria.
The foundation is planning for a surge in demand for Breast Care Nurses, as the incidence of breast cancer rises.
More than 17,200 people are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020.
Demand for Breast Care Nurses is expected to increase by 38 per cent in the next five years, creating a need for 109 more nurses.
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The Western Victoria Health Network is predicted to have 446 new diagnoses of breast cancer this year.
A McGrath Foundation report expected 15,600 women and 145 men would be diagnosed with breast cancer nationwide, 3065 of which were predicted to die of the disease.
The number of women living with a previous breast cancer diagnosis is predicted to reach 209,200 this year.
Bendigo Marine and Outdoors owner Trevor Yates said last week’s barbecues were part of the broader Saws for a Cause campaign by Husqvarna.
The Swedish power product manufacturer is donating a portion of the sale of every battery chainsaw sold throughout the year to the McGrath Foundation.
Dealerships such as Bendigo Marine and Outdoors are also selling pink toy chainsaws throughout the month.
Five dollars from the sale of each toy chainsaw will be donated to the McGrath Foundation.
“We know that breast cancer affects women of all ages, so awareness is critical,” Mr Yates said.
“We’re proud to play our part in the Bendigo area and help raise awareness and important funds so the McGrath Foundation can continue to make a difference.”
The campaign coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which aims to increase breath health understanding.
McGrath Foundation research exposed a lack of awareness, confidence, knowledge and behaviours related to breast health.
Fewer than one in five of the 1,288 women involved in the 2017 Breast Health Index satisfied the ‘breastspert’ criteria.
The report writers highlighted a need to boost women’s confidence in detecting a chance in their breasts, and concluded that education programs needed to focus on increasing knowledge of breast cancer risk factors.
For more information about breast cancer risk factors, click here.