Raima's story


“I have daughters. Mothers have to be role models.”

I was living in the Torres Islands when the mobile van came to the island and I had my first breastscreen. I was 40. I went the first time and then I started going on and off – ad hoc – not every two years like you're supposed to. I'd put it off plus I travelled a bit. I just wasn't very serious about it.

Later, after I had moved to Brisbane, I had to go and see the doctor for a check up and I was asked if I was having regular mammograms. I knew I should be going, so I did and I've gone ever since. There were a few things that made me realise it was important. I had friends that had got breast cancer and that made me think twice. Also, my daughters were growing up and I had to set a good example. Mothers have to be role models.

My girls are now 16 and 25 and we talk about these things. I've tried to make them aware about the need to look after themselves. I tell them it's important to look after their susu (breasts). My oldest is now in her final year of nursing so she is passing on the message too.

I've now seen a few people unwell with breast cancer. It certainly makes you think twice. These days I'm checking everything! One of my friends was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and the family was devastated. Seeing what that family went through... but luckily it was picked up early and she's good now.

In my culture some women think there's shame in having a mammogram - it's too embarrassing. I say no, that won't help you. Worrying about shame won't keep you in good health. For me, I'd rather have two good susu.

Last reviewed 1 September 2020 Last updated 1 September 2020

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