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A Mother's Day gift that matters (no, I don't want a towel set or vacuum cleaner)

Tuesday 8 May, 2012 by Bek

Listen up kids; Mummy does not want a vacuum cleaner or a set of navy blue towels for Mother's Day.

I know this is confusing because there is a forest worth of pink liftouts in the weekend papers indicating that these products are exactly what Mummy has been pining and praying for. This is actually what the advertiser wants and hopes Daddy will be clueless enough to buy.

I don't want to threaten you (note to Child Services, this is aimed at Daddy) but Mummy is likely to jam the stereotype of the 50s housewife and all her paraphernalia into the food processor you gave her for Christmas and ramp it up to 10.

Ok, I know this is a blog about cancer prevention, stick with me I'm getting there.

What Mummy really wants for Mother's Day is a three-week holiday on an island with palm trees, a pool bar and a kids club. And Ryan Gosling.Ryan Gosling 

If none of the above is possible then she'll settle for a foot massage.

Brrrrooom making the final turn, as I come to the point. Each year we do a bit of a push on trying to encourage mums to look after themselves on Mother's Day. Not by getting a massage or a pedicure (although by all means indulge in these too) but by making sure they're up-to-date with their cancer screening.

Oooh, now I know having a Pap test doesn't have the same ring as a new pair of ugg boots, but it's certainly more worthwhile than the bits of plastic, stainless steel and matching bra and undie sets that are being flogged to dads and kids as the perfect gift for mum this year.

The perfect gift for mum is being able to see her kids grow up and act in the school play or cheer embarrassingly loudly while they're trying to shoot from the free throw line.

I'm not saying spend your Mother's Day getting a Pap test or a mammogram, because hey, that would be weird, but just have a quick think about your health and make sure you're up to date with any screening that is relevant to you.

If you're not sure, here's a guide:

  • Breast cancer: it is recommended women have regular mammograms, every two years from the age of 50.
  • Cervical cancer: all women aged between 18 and 70 who have ever been sexually active are encouraged to have a Pap test every two years, even if they've had the cervical cancer vaccine.
  • Bowel cancer: much like breast screening, it is recommended women do a bowel cancer screening test (FOBT) every two years from the age of 50.

So kids, don't get Mum an iron this Mother's Day, the best gift is to play quietly for 15 minutes so Mummy can have a cup of tea in peace and think about herself for a change.

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