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We’re getting there!$1,816,179 of $2 million raised

With your help we can ensure the Waitematā Breast Service is completed this year.

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CREATE A LASTING IMPACT FOR YOUR COMMUNITY

Breast cancer unexpectedly shakes families like Niki’s to the core.

With your help we can build the expanded Waitematā Breast Service to improve outcomes for the 100 patients referred weekly to the service from across North Shore, West Auckland and Rodney.

We’re getting there!$1,816,179 of $2 million raised

With your help we can ensure the Waitematā Breast Service is completed this year.

I finished the appointment and walked out of the hospital to get to my car and suddenly I was very aware of the wind, the sun - life. I sat in my car and just fell apart.

Niki

It was a really hard time. I was crying and my brother was upset. It felt like everything was going to change from now on and it was going to be really hard.

Ruby, 13 (Niki’s Daughter)

A MUCH NEEDED ADVANCEMENT

Breast cancer in the Waitematā region:

  • North Shore Hospital is home to the region’s Diagnostic Breast Service, the busiest breast service in New Zealand
  • More than 630,000 people live in the region, NZ’s largest DHB
  • Up to 100 patients are referred to the service weekly from across the North Shore, West Auckland and Rodney
  • Services are currently delivered over a number of sites
  • Referrals have grown 100% since 2012
  • Approximately 10% of those referred will be diagnosed with cancer, that’s up to 10 people a week
  • 70% of those diagnosed will be aged 50+
  • 90-95% will have no breast cancer in the family
  • Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the region

The new Waitematā Breast Service:

  • Reduced waiting times, reducing anxiety and improving outcomes
  • Service relocation and refurbishment and introduction of new care model
  • Current off-site procedures brought on site, all under one roof; making “Triple testing” (imaging, assessment, biopsy) on same day possible when appropriate
  • Additional radiology, mammography and ultrasound capacity
  • Combined clinics – medical, radiation, plastics and genetics
  • Enhanced patient waiting, reception and change areas
  • Introduction of Quiet Room, additional consult rooms, reconstruction nurse room and pathology room.
Niki’s Story Belinda's Story Dr Susan Gerred's Story

Niki’s Story

Niki is a 45-year-old mother in West Auckland. She’s married with three young children. Last year she discovered she had grade 1 invasive breast cancer.

When she found a lump in her breast, she didn’t think much of it. Her GP sent her off for a mammogram. It was Niki’s very first mammogram. One week later Niki had a biopsy, but it wasn’t until another three weeks that she got the results. It was an agonising wait.

“The doctor straight away said you have cancer and you are going to need a mastectomy. They talked through the options that I had. Reconstruction or not and what that looked like. I felt very fast. I felt like I needed to pause for a breath and regroup before I talked about those things.”

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Belinda's Story

Following her first ever mammogram Belinda, aged 46, was diagnosed with widespread, high grade breast cancer. 6 weeks later she had a mastectomy.

"I had a feeling I knew what they were going to say. But when they actually told me, I didn't believe it. I was saying everything under the sun to deflect the feelings and emotions that came with the diagnosis. But the word mastectomy, mastectomy, mastectomy was ringing in my ears. It wasn't a word that I wanted to hear.

When the surgeon said 'I don't think you are processing it', that was when I broke down and realised the enormity of the situation. Since being diagnosed I’ve lost confidence in myself and my ability to get on with everyday life.”

Post-surgery Belinda is now doing well. She is currently waiting for a date for further reconstructive surgery, likely to take place in the next two months. She says she is feeling good about that.

She was recently delighted to hear the new Waitematā Breast Service has received building consent, “an updated facility would be an amazing reward for the dedicated nurses and medical staff to work in so they can continue to provide exceptional care and support for breast cancer patients.”

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Dr Susan Gerred's Story

The main advantage of the new Waitemata Breast Service for the clinical teams will be having more space, extra clinic rooms with natural light, room for our breast care nurses and our plastic and reconstruction nurse.

We will have 7 clinic rooms instead of 5 so this means we will be able to run medical and radiation oncology clinics at the same time in the same place. There will be one place where the patient comes for everything which is really important. They will come for their imaging and to see their surgeon but it will also be the place they come to see their medical oncologist and their radiation oncologist. Hookwire procedures are currently outsourced but again we will bring that into the same space. There are so many benefits to the new service but running clinics at the same time in the same place allows us to discuss patient care and to operate more efficiently.

The other thing with the expansion is we will have two mammogram and two ultrasound machines. Increasing the capacity for radiology for both imaging and image guided biopsies should allow patients to get their results much faster. It will speed up diagnosis and treatment. The breast service is very multi-disciplinary so we are reliant on our radiologists and our pathologists, everything has a place in the breast service, it’s not just surgery.

The new facility should allow for a much smoother process in a nice welcoming environment which will make a huge difference, not only for patients but for staff too. There are so many great features from an external entrance to a quiet room which will improve the patient experience while in our care.

One place where you can do everything and the patient knows that they are coming to the one place it doesn’t matter what appointment it is for, it will provide reassurance.

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Dr Susan Gerred

A huge thanks

To our generous major partners

Sir Russell Coutts
Pub Charity
Greg & Felicity Smale
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