Urzila Carlson is new breast cancer ambassador – no joke!

October 1st 2015

Comedian Urzila Carlson has joined the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation as an ambassador, inspired by her own youthful cancer experience to help get the message out to NZ women about the importance of early detection.

Carlson, a celebrated stand-up comic and star of TV3’s 7 Days programme, had renal (kidney) cancer as a 20-year-old. That illness was only diagnosed as a result of her insistence on a second opinion. Although large, the tumour was found early enough for her to be treated successfully.

“Women need to be really active in keeping an eye on their health, and they need to insist on a second opinion when they’re worried,” Carlson says. “My message is, check your breasts, get your mammograms – it’s so important, not just for you, but for your family.”

Carlson, 39, has already incorporated the “get a second opinion” message into one of her comedy skits. She plans to have her first mammogram next year. In addition to promoting breast awareness, Carlson is helping the NZBCF to fundraise this October; she has made a video to promote the upcoming Estee Lauder Companies Pink Star Walks in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, which can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfCkzW4KR9E .

“Urzila is brimming with enthusiasm and ideas to support us, we’re so excited to have her on board as an ambassador,” said (Mrs) Van Henderson, chief executive at the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation. “She’s hugely popular, particularly with younger women, who need to know the importance of being breast aware.”

Carlson will kick off her formal ambassador duties by lighting Auckland’s Sky Tower pink on the night of September 30. The Tower will be lit up pink for all of October, as part of the Global Illumination campaign for breast cancer awareness.