Councillor’s mammogram example
Mammograms are more pleasant and convenient than ever for Porirua women, so there is no excuse to put one off, Porirua City councillor Litea Ah Hoi says.
Ms Ah Hoi, 49, used to travel to Lower Hutt to get her mammograms, but last Wednesday was checked at Kenepuru Hospital.
Kenepuru opened its breast screening centre in 2010.
In the two years since her last mammogram, the procedure had become less painful, Ms Ah Hoi said.
Whereas X-rays used to be taken on film, Kenepuru’s unit was digital and breasts didn’t need to be squashed so hard to get a good picture, medical radiation technologist Teressa Hanning said.
Ms Ah Hoi’s mother walked out of a mammogram more than a decade ago because it was painful and embarrassing to her, Ms Ah Hoi said.
‘‘Mum didn’t want to expose her body to a machine.’’
Her mother, Puavasa Ah Hoi, later died of breast cancer eight years ago.
‘‘A few pinches and pulls around your breast, even losing your breast is nothing compared to losing your life,’’ Ms Ah Hoi said.
‘‘It’s better than pretending it’s not going to happen, like my mum did.’’
Ms Ah Hoi said she encouraged women aged 45 to 69 to take advantage of free two- yearly mammograms, but also urged younger women to check their breasts.
‘‘We need them to take that next step and self-examine and then go to their GP. The cost of not doing it could be your life. Is it really worth it?’’
Mammogram mission: City councillor Litea Ah Hoi urges women to get their breasts regularly checked.