R+B beauty Mya is stressing the importance of mammograms to her female fans, after her own singing debut was marred by her mother's battle with the deadly disease.
The 24-year-old former dancer was thrilled when her dream of becoming a chart-topping star were being realised with the release of her first single IT'S ALL ABOUT ME - but the celebrations were overshadowed by her mother's illness.
She recalls, "She detected it in 1998 during the release of my first single. For a whole year afterward, she had chemotherapy. She was really sick and lost all her hair.
"It was really tough, because I was gone on the road, wondering what would happen next. Thankfully, she's okay now.
"I learned a lot about breast cancer. I know that now, because my mom had it, I'm at risk myself. I want to teach young girls about what to do.
"You know, when they're going through adolescence, that's actually the time to start checking. I have a friend who detected breast cancer at the age of 19. She's okay now, but it has hurt so many young women.
"It's really important to get the awareness out there."16/10/2003 09:11