Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Going Viral - No one should die from embarrassment

Mar 24, 2024

Dr. Mary Birdsall didn’t see herself getting anal cancer, and neither did her physician colleagues. As a GYN specializing in IVF she found herself, not the expert, but the “man on the street.” In this interview, she speaks frankly and passionately about her own struggle to have her symptoms taken seriously and her commitment to agitate for primary and secondary prevention. She shares of how deeply troubling the diagnosis was and how isolated she felt. “You’re not the person who’s supposed to get this,” was her GI doctor’s response. She explores the disservice this lack of awareness does to women and speaks hopefully of her dreams for the future. “I wish for anal cancer to be entirely prevented much like the trajectory for cervical cancer because we have the knowledge and the tools we just need to implement them.”

Dr. Birdsall created ACSSA, Anal Cancer Support Services Aotearoa to serve anal cancer and pre-cancer patients in New Zealand and Australia.