Coun­cil­lor’s mam­mo­gram ex­am­ple

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

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?’’

Photo: AN­DREA O’NEIL

Mam­mo­gram mis­sion: City coun­cil­lor Litea Ah Hoi urges women to get their breasts reg­u­larly checked.

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