*Update: The lost comments have been found and are being republished on Unnecessary Pap Smears WordPress (linked below)
In 2004 a woman who called herself “Bookofjoe” wrote an article titled “Unnecessary Pap Smears” and published it on Blogcritics. The article highlights a number of interesting points, but the main focus of the article is on the questionable practice of screening for cervical cancer on women who have no cervix. The author states that in the United States “almost 10 million women – almost half of all women who have undergone hysterectomy – are being screened unnecessarily, as they are not at risk of cervical cancer” (the full article can be read here http://blogcritics.org/unnecessary-pap-smears/)
The article is interesting but it is what happened after the article was published that is most remarkable. Women began to comment on the article and to share their experiences with pap smears. Women – many for the first time – discovered that others shared similar experiences and feelings. Blogcritics became a community of like-minded women – a safe haven to speak openly, to regain strength and to seek comfort after negative and traumatic medical experiences. It also became a valuable resource for truthful information and statistics.