“Nusha Loubser” ~ Photographed by Tracey Derrick

50 years old,  | Hairdresser  |  Vredenberg

Diagnosed: 1st November 2005 – mastectomy, chemotherapy and tamoxifen for five years.

“The worst was losing my hair and being so tired, yet we believe all things are possible like the Word of God reminds us in the Bible.” 



Tracey Derrick - photographer - breast cancer survivor - mastectomy - tattoo


CHALLENGE: Post your breast cancer tattoo on our Facebook page here (and tell us all about what inspired it!) — then tag us using either our Facebook name: @AdvocatesForBreastCancer or by using the hashtag: #ABCbreastcancertattoo




Constructions & Costumery



“Jo Spence (1995:49) ran a short-term project on identity with teenagers. One factor which emerged from the project, was that girls who had a low self-image (i.e. they didn’t match up to the media’s depicted idea of perfection in beauty) rarely took seriously the sessions in which makeup was involved – preferring to turn themselves into vampires, fun figures.

The girls who were traditionally pretty, (and who had a high self-esteem visually) invariably ‘improved’ upon their looks in the sessions (1995:49). Spence shows that during adolescence self-constructed sexual images have already been created and are in the process of being explored.” ~ Tracey Derrick

One Step At A Time…


Tracey Derrick - breast cancer photography and self portraiture - South Africa

TAKEAWAY:  Stories of Hope: Terry Arnold, Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Patient

Heroine? Victim? WARRIOR!

Breast Cancer - Self Portrait - Photographer: Tracey Derrick

Continuing the thread of thought from Tracey’s seminar paperwe quoted yesterday, read about photo therapy/therapeutic photography  and  how Tracey made it work for her!

Spence uses the term ‘photo therapy’, which she explains is using photography to heal ourselves. It is about transformations and change and thus challenges the fixity of the photographic image and the search for an ideal self.

Spence and Martin use a kind of internal permission giving: permission to change, to re-view, to let go, to move on.

“Ways in which I have used the camera therefore include taking naturalistic photographs as things happen to me and around me; staging things especially for the camera; using old personal photographs and re-inventing what they mean. The whole technique depends upon expecting photographs to help us to ask questions, rather than supplying answers”.

This helped her with breast cancer and she says, “As a result I see myself neither as a ‘heroine’ or ‘victim’, but merely as a person in a struggle, changing and adjusting daily, and trying to keep a state of equilibrium which will allow me to function optimally, at the same time as I strive to regain health”. 4

“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.”


Tell us YOUR very own quotable quote

and we’ll feature it on Twitter and Facebook!


Octobering Again!

Advocates for Breast Cancer - advocating for an equitable breast health policy for all South Africans

Whether we celebrate or dread the arrival of each October and its sudden and all too temporary focus on breast cancer, it is a crucial opportunity to amplify breast cancer awareness and advocacy we simply must ride the wave of – right in to shore!

Looking Back…

October 2013: We touched on a wide variety of topics – with a few listed below for you!
October 2014 was when we launched our Equitable #BreastHEALTHPolicy Advocacy campaign in earnest! Check out the sample of articles below – and share, share, share!


We’d love to hear from YOU! Which blog post was the most helpful for you – and why? What topics would YOU specifically like us to tackle? Tell us in the comments below – or join us on Facebook or Twitter!

I’m A Survivor

Photovoice-45a Photovoice-45b Photovoice-45c
Do you have a story to tell? Watch this video to discover just how powerful this initiative is.  Click on this link to submit your photograph and story. We want to hear from you. And – by telling your story, you will be adding your voice to the collective shout in raising the national and international awareness that is needed to shake the truth from the trees: South Africa’s people urgently need an equitable and effective breast health policy!