Anna's story

Anna V

I had my first breastscreen when I was 40. I remember it well because I was working as an education officer with the Queensland Cancer Council at the time. My job involved working and talking with women on women's health issues. Women would often ask me about what was involved in having a mammogram and whether it hurt. These women were hungry for accurate information because all sorts of myths circulated.

I could give women the facts but I felt I couldn't speak from the heart because I had never had a breastscreen myself. To me, that is sort of like explaining childbirth to someone when you have never given birth. I decided I needed to have one so I was fully informed. There was also another important reason. My father had five sisters and all of them at some stage had cancer and this really concerned me.

All round, having a breastscreen seemed like a good decision. Once I had my first breastscreen, it was just a case of maintaining them. It's no fuss. I just do it. I think that for the majority of women once they go through the experience they find it is not as daunting as they imagined.

However, even today there are still barriers to getting women to have a breastscreen. Coming from an ethnic background I particularly understand some of the cultural barriers. There are some cultures where women believe you just have to accept female-related cancers or that they are a form of punishment for something they've done.

That's why it is important all women are given support when it comes to making decisions about looking after their health.

I've worked in women's health now for 30 years and you could say I'm passionate about the benefits of breastscreening. I've been around long enough to see the good it does.

Last reviewed 04 May 2017 Last updated 04 May 2017