Lana bravely shows the scars of her breast cancer battle
UP UNTIL now, Lana Rhodes refused to show her bilateral mastectomy scars to her mum, sister or even her best friend, devastated at the reality of her surgery after she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.
But Ms Rhodes shares her scars in an amazing act of bravery in tomorrow's Weekend magazine, inside your NewsMail.
"The first time I saw my scars was the worst day of my life," she said.
"I looked down at my chest and it just felt alien. And for a very long time afterward I couldn't look at them and I couldn't let anyone else see them.
"It is not a pretty thing, it is not normal and I feel like I am disfigured. I feel less than a person and it is not how I am meant to look."
Ms Rhodes said while she felt grateful to be alive, dealing with the ramifications of her mastectomy had also been enormously challenging and emotional.
"People think it will be like Angelina Jolie - you go in, get your boobs cut off, have reconstruction and leave with perky new boobs, but that is not the reality at all," she said.
"I will never have nipples again. I can't afford reconstruction."
This year some 15,600 women will receive the news they have cancer.
That's 42 women every day.
But while breast cancer is the most common form of the disease diagnosed in women, Lana's case managed to stand out.
Just shy of her 27th birthday, she was extremely young to be fighting a demon that finds most of its victims in women aged between 50 and 69 years of age.
"It's funny to think I was having my breasts removed to save a life that was never ever going to be the same again," she said.
"I never really fully understood that. I just thought I would get my boobs cut off, get reconstruction, it would be all good, it would all go back to normal.
"I never understood the ramifications of what it would do to my life forever."