Discussion Forum (Unnecessary Pap Smears: Part Two)

This post has been created to provide an additional forum for discussion.

Thank you Alex for suggesting the addition of an open forum devoted to discussion on this blog. (click on title or graphic to go to comments)

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Hi. My name is Sue and I am interested in promoting holistic and respectful health care.
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2,001 Responses to Discussion Forum (Unnecessary Pap Smears: Part Two)

  1. adawells says:

    My husband has always fully supported my decision not to screen.

    A few years ago, he had to have a gall stone removed. He had been having this pain for a while, and went to see the quack who had assaulted me some years before. She sent him straight for a colonoscopy, which he said was absolutely awful and painful. He came home shaken and traumatised by it. I told him, “It’s all part of being a real man, you’ll get used to them, if you’d relaxed during the procedure you wouldn’t have caused your pain yourself and it might have saved your life”. He took my point, and has every intention of telling them where they can stick their invitation of routine recall when he turns 60 in 2 years time. He is absolutely fuming that when the colonoscopy found nothing, a subsequent ultrasound found the gall stone. He is angry the ultrasound wasn’t done first, as would have spared him the colonoscopy. He knows just how I feel about cancer screening.

    • Alex says:

      adawells: Why would you tell him that? Especially if he’s always supported your decision not to screen?

      I would have thought you’d have mentioned the ultrasound & alternatives, too.

      • adawells says:

        Sorry, I was pulling his leg, and making a joke about it, as that’s what they always tell women about cervical screening not being such a big deal. I should have made it clearer in my post that I was being sarcastic.

    • Moo says:

      Obviously this doctor cares more for his screening incentive payouts than for his patients. Isn’t a colonscopy a cancer “screening” test more than a disgnostic test. An ultrasound of the same areas can find a tumor or blockage without as much preparation as a colonscopy plus it is almost no risk vs risk of colonscopy. Really it is not joke. He should be outraged.

      • adawells says:

        He is indeed still angry about this as there is the risk of getting a perforated bowel from the procedure. This doctor is still at our local practice, but we have changed GP’s. She is obsessed with screening, and little else. Glad to be rid of her. I don’t think that my husband felt strongly about screening before this incident, but since this he feels the same way as I do about it, and will not be taking up the bowel screening or over-50’s health check summons when they come through the door.

      • bethczk says:

        There is also the risk of infection from this procedure, especially if the equipment has not been cleaned and sterilized properly. There was a scandal several years ago about a VA hospital who quite literally had not cleaned their instruments for *years*, followed by several private hospitals and clinics having been found to do the same thing.

        With the growing number of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, to the point that experts predict that what are now minor infections will prove fatal in a few years, the high percentage of these resistant bacteria found in hospitals, as opposed to the regular bacteria of the same species, we are quickly approaching a “post antibiotic era” – where all of these procedures will become as risky as they were in the 19th century.

      • Moo says:

        We really need an article about colonscopy and bowel cancer screening. The risks of the procedure do not add up.

        Even where I live they give out the Fecal Occult Blood Cards (FOBT) every year or two to everyone over 50. If they get a positive then they are asked to come for colonscopy. They have a registry just like cervical screening and mammography so the pressure is bad and there are doctor incentives. A negative colonscopy means that it is only repeated every ten years. The polyps have to take time to grow unless they cancer wheh they will grow faster and cause symptoms.

        What really bothers me is the risks involved in colonscopy. I know someone who received a letter about the scope not being cleaned properly and they could have be at risk of contracting hep B or C or HIV. HPV or paprasties was never mentioned.

        Another issue is that certain foods or bleeding gums can cause a flase postive on the FOBT test. People are not told this just to avoid taking vitamin C supplements before and during testing because it causes false negatives. The colonscopy only can see the right side of the colon and not any cancer in other parts of the digestive tract. Colon cacner is being overdiagnosed in Ontario due to the screening programme.

      • bethkz says:

        Vitamin C supplements aren’t the only thing that causes false positives on FOBT. So do iron supplements. Multivitamins have both of those. So does taking aspirin, or MOST NSAIDs within a couple of WEEKS of having the FOBT. Many people take low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attacks, and many people take multivitamins, and many use prescription or OTC NASAIDs for arthritis or other inflammation problems. STATINS ARE ALSO AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY. Blood in the stools, ulcers, reduction of platelets are side effects (of Lipitor) So does eating beef, pork, or lamb within about a week. Other meat, including fish or chicken is less of a problem.

        Nevermind the risks from going under anesthesia for an elective test several times in one’s later middle-age if one follows the guidelines. The medication Propofol, a benzodiazapine they use to create the “waking anesthesia” itself has a troubling side effect profile, including memory problems for a long time afterward, as well as during the procedure, and increasing risks associated with it – including rupturing the spleen! http://www.jwatch.org/jg201303280000001/2013/03/28/routine-propofol-sedation-increases-risk-during

    • bethczk says:

      This fascination with colonscopies to diagnose *anything* reminds me of a joke:

      A man is standing in the street, frantically searching. A passerby sees his distress, and searches too. The passerby asked, “So, what are you looking for?” The man answers, “My wallet.” The passerby asked, “Where did you lose it?” The man answered, “Over there, in the alley.” Perplexed, the good samaritan asked, “So, why are you looking here for it, not in the alley where you lost it?” The man answered, “The light is so much better here!”

      That is illustrative of how or why the medical industry uses colonscopies. They have a lot of press, nearly everyone has heard of them. They’ve been widely marketed as a “good” way to avoid cancer. So, they get used when other tests are much more likely to find the problem, when the problem is not even (likely to be) in the large intestine, when it’s unlikely to find the problem, and there are other, less-risky, less-invasive, more effective tests.

      • kleigh us says:

        I went with my GMA to her colonoscopy conceltation. When my GMA expressed concern the doctor down played the risks of perferation. And said the worst part was the collon cleanse. It annoyed me but my GMA does what her doctor sees and thinks I read bs online.

      • kleigh us says:

        Her doctor throws around “pre cancer”. It acres my GMA. I tried to explain almost everyone over a sertain age has pollops they call them are cancer to get those to screen more frequently. Its a joke. They got a lot of ppl fooled.

      • bethkz says:

        “Pre-cancer” means that you do NOT have cancer! It’s about as useful of a term to call young girls “pre-pregnant”, or to call any of us “pre-dead”.

    • Linda says:

      Hi Ada. Just had to say this was very funny. I will remember this if my husband ever has to have this done. As you know my husband asked why I was going on about smears so much as my last one was five years ago and I won’t be having anymore. As if it was all no big deal and I should forget it.
      You and your husband have really suffered hell at the hands of the medical profession.
      If I were you from now on if either of you become ill I would start doing research on the internet to find out what is wrong. There are numerous sites now in America where you can buy prescription drugs and they will export to the UK. This is basically all doctors are doing anyway. Also is there any way you could get into natural health and find an alternative health practitioner? I think for some one like you a more natural life style would benefit you greatly. All it would take is a bit of research on the internet. All doctors have done have attended a few lectures, read a few books on some university reading list and sat a few exams. When you go all they do is guess at what could be wrong with you by a process of elimination. it can’t be that hard for any reasonably intelligent person to do themselves.

      Hi Elizabeth As you know I have been approaching a number of solicitors over the past few weeks. I’m sorry to have to report back that no one is interested in taking on my case. I’ve has comments such as they are only smears and are good for you to we can not take on the NHS. The only thing I can continue to do is to post on all the forums. No matter which forum I access tho’ I am always happy to see you have beaten me to it!!! I think if we all start accessing various forums and putting the word out there then even if we only save a few then that will be something.

      Hi Alex. I haven’t posted for a few weeks but i have been reading all the comments people put nearly everyday. Yours always make me laugh as you approach every argument from a very unusual angle. Its a nice community of like minded people to belong to.

      • adawells says:

        Hi Linda,
        For your kind comments. I’m glad you saw it was a joke on the BS women are told about smear test, which I was playing on my husband. It is good to see how angry many men are getting now that they are getting collared for health checks, colonoscopies, dementia, diabetes etc. Once they are over 50 and get asked to do all these tests, they are suddenly waking up to what we women have had to endure from our doctors for years.

        We rarely ever use our doctors, and I have no plans to return for anything soon. I read up on everything I can to do with health, and follow a number of people on twitter. Margaret McCartney and Iona Heath regularly post some very interesting articles, with free links to academic articles not otherwise in the public domain. Grassroots GP website is also a good read, by doctors opposed to the hysteria surrounding targets and screening. Believe me, there are a lot of medical professionals which are against all this, but what stops the common sense from getting through are the hysterical media campaigns for ever more screening for younger ages, and the scaremongering put about by charities. Elizabeth is right it is a business designed to keep the circus on the road and women on their backs with their legs in the air all their adult life.

      • bethkcz says:

        Aside from when someone is truly sick or injured, especially when they are not capable of understanding the problem or finding the solution to their problem, or giving the appropriate care, treatment, or surgery to themselves, all doctors have to sell is FEAR. Fear that someone has something horrible. Fear that they might eventually get something terrible. Fear that someone will die. Most of what physicians and the whole medical industry has to sell is reassurance from these fears.

        People maintain a false hope that all of this can be circumvented, disease can be eliminated, and everyone can live forever. The well-touted advancements in medical science maintain these false hopes, even in light of the fact that life expectancies overall are not increasing, and are, in fact, decreasing for women (for unknown reasons at this time).

        As long as people, especially those in the industrialized world maintain a denial of death, a denial that everyone’s time will come to an end sooner or later, the ridiculous amount of overtreatment for enormous prices will continue.

      • adawells says:

        Here we go again:
        http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/71455
        Every year petitions are organised by the “smear test saved my life” campaigners, who are simply too thick to understand that the smear test would not have had any effect on these women’s deaths. The British government has a duty to spell out to these supporters that what they are requesting would harm women greatly. Further down the listings is someone requesting a reduced age for mammograms. When these petitions reach over 100,000 signatures they require a parliamentary discussion all at the taxpayers expense. I think the people we must target are the politicians who need to be told screening is not an automatic vote winner, and keep posting on websites that women have a choice, and they should be making an informed one.

      • Alex says:

        Thanks, Linda. Yeah- I’ve got a little bit of an X-factor thing going on, I suppose (ha ha!).

  2. Linda says:

    Hi Bethkcz. I have never seen it like that before but you are so right. Since joining this site and meeting all you great women I feel so liberated. I have often relied on doctors in the past when they didn’t know much more than me after all. Do you know Beth I once ended up having an internal exam when I went with headaches which in the end were nothing more than eye strain. I read on a post the other day that internals are not normally done in England or europe but they are done in Germany. The doctor was a German doctor standing in for my own doctor for a few months. I had never had one until then and thought it strange at the time. I never questioned why because she was the doctor. (I’ve only recently woken up from my life long sleep!!!!!!)
    My husband’s dad would never go to them he always called them ‘quacks’. It looks as if he was right. I used to help out in an old folks home and when the doctor used to call you could here them all saying things under their breath like ‘oh God quacks here.’ or ‘he’s here with his funny pills’ It might be the older generation knew something all along!!!

    • adawells says:

      Hi Linda, my parents, born in the 1920’s always referred to doctors as quacks, and never had the respect for them that you often see portrayed on TV. In those days, I think harm done by the doctor, was a lot less subtle than it is now. There were few rules and regulations in place, and I think a lot of people quite rightly suspected they were being experimented on, eg. the polio vaccine was tried out first on orphans as they wouldn’t have had the parents to sue. The radical surgery carried out on people was simply horrific. People didn’t have the information to find out otherwise.
      I had a similar experience to you when young. I turned up to a doctor’s surgery in the mid 1980’s for the pill, completely innocent of what it would involve. The doctor was a Chinese lady, who, although not unfriendly, briskly proceeded to give me the “American” style pap, pelvic and breast exam. I had absolutely no idea what was being done or why, as no explanation was given, and in those pre-internet days I had not even heard of such a thing as a pap or smear test. I came out incensed that this was what was done to women. When we moved house, I refused all of that, and that’s when I started having trouble with this other doctor, when I became pregnant many years later.

      • bethkz says:

        My grandfather, born in 1900, always referred to doctors as “quacks” and almost never went to one. My grandmother, slightly older, ran to them constantly.

        I remember one time my grandfather was in a bar, co-miserating about “quacks” with another man about his age, regarding their wives’ experience. Seems that the same quack was seeing both of their wives a couple of times a week for what has always been a very rare disorder. A third man joined them, with the same story. They reported this oddity. Seems that this good doctor was bilking medicare, and he went to prison for defrauding Medicare!

        His patients held a protest at his office, protesting taking away “the best doctor they ever had”.

        My mother, born in the 1930s, had an idea that they walked on water, and went along with whatever they said. BTW, she died 25 years younger than her mother, who rarely went to a doctor. This is while criticizing my grandmother, her MIL, for being duped by the fraudster.

        My aunts born in the 1910s-1920s went along with whatever they wanted to do too. That included keeping their husbands out of the labor/delivery room, episiotomies, drugged “twilight sleep” while in labor, radical mastectomies…

      • kleigh us says:

        My question is how did woman live before the “vital pap smear and well woman exam”. Were invented? It makes me laugh how so many woman act like they can’t live with out there gyn.

  3. Linda says:

    Hi Ada John says I have too much time on my hands these days but I truly believe its only when a women is older she actually begins to wonder what the hell has been going on all my life. I always believed older women just went along with everything but it must be true that with age comes wisdom. I was only sat here this morning with my coffee looking over yesterdays blogs and laughing thinking I can’t wait to find something wrong with me to go to the doctors again!!! or if that practice nurse rings again. Heaven help them. I’m not a rude person or resort to shouting and swearing but i will have the high ground. Having read absolutley everything on the internet that has ever been written I am so confident with my argument they will not be able to get anything past me. It will be brilliant. I wish you could all be there!!!!

    • adawells says:

      Can you imagine what it will be like to hit 60: you will have the cervical screening programme every 5 years, mammograms every 3 years, bowel screening every 2 years, and them offering you an NHS Health check on top of that. If you’ve opted out of cervical screening, the doc can declare you have dementia, to get the £55 bonus for this, and then declare that having dementia invalidates your requests to opt out of all screening, since you cannot be of sound mind to do so. All of this after a full days work as you cannot retire until the age of 67!

    • bethkcz says:

      Unfortunately, there appears to be no end to the amount of nonsensical invasive abuse they can come up with, try to sell you, and convince you that this is “life or death” unless you have this product or procedure RIGHT NOW, TODAY. Or, ways in which they can circumvent informed consent or even outright refusal.

      I keep learning more as time goes on. Best is to stay away from those folks.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Yes, I’d love to be a fly on the wall in that consult room.
      You do feel empowered as an informed woman, almost every week I hear something directed at women and just shake my head.
      Some women tell me they go limp in the consult room and the doctor can basically do anything, they feel so intimidated, that suits this system of abuse, quiet and compliant bodies. I think that’s why doctors backpedal quickly when they’re faced with a firm and polite NO, not happening. Some doctors are taken aback when women say NO, but they have to start hearing that more, if we’re to change this system of abuse.

      The German doctor who did an opportunistic pelvic exam…shaking my head.
      This is what I mean, being there for a sore throat or sprained ankle should not mean our whole body is up for grabs…that unnecessary exams and tests can be forced onto us.
      Some women say the test wasn’t forced onto them, the GP just said that’s what would be happening and they didn’t feel they could challenge him/her. The “casual” reach ignores both consent and informed consent.
      When we don’t know what’s clinically required, it makes it even easier for them to take advantage, that’s why for decades many women believed breast and pelvic exams and pap tests were clinical requirements for the Pill…no, this was doctors taking advantage of women who simply wanted the Pill, a misuse of prescriptive power. (I view them as assaults) It still happens, the AMA constantly link the Pill with pap testing, it means we’ll have to shoot down that link, a link that should never have been there to start with…

      German women seem to be totally in the dark, I’ve never heard a German woman complain about these annual exams that usually start when a girl starts menstruating and go on every year for the rest of her life. As far as I know, German women still have annual pap testing, pelvic and breast exams, I assume they have huge over-treatment/excess biopsy rates as a result, they must have with this level of testing.
      So German women face the annual exam that most American women endured…thankfully, things are starting to change in the States, although I’m sure many American women still endure the harmful annual rummage-around, yet I haven’t heard a peep about Germany changing their practices.

  4. Linda says:

    Oh my God. I’ll never be away from the place. I won’t have time to trawl the internet to find out why I shouldn’t be having any of these!!!!
    Speaking of the internet … There is not a forum or chat room anywhere in existance that Elizabeth has not left stuff on. Its truly amazing. She mustn’t have slept or eaten for years!!!! I even found a very obscure Canadian one today and thought surely she hasn’t put anything on this but as I scrolled … yes you guessed it … She had.

  5. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    “AUSTRALIAN women are being falsely diagnosed with gonorrhoea on the basis of unnecessary tests, often performed without their consent or their GP’s request, research suggests.
    A study published online today by the MJA raises concern that pathology laboratories are now mostly using a dual nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) for chlamydia and gonorrhoea rather than a single chlamydia detection test, even when GPs have only requested chlamydia testing.”
    https://www.mja.com.au/insight/2015/11/unnecessary-gonorrhoea-tests

    The other point here: some GPs do STI testing while the woman is having a pap test, sometimes the woman asks for it, sometimes it’s suggested before or during the exam and sometimes there is no consent at all, the GP just goes ahead.
    Now this has to change, GPs have no right to do anything to us without informed consent and obviously with consent itself, but the disrespectful way women are viewed and treated is so deeply entrenched, it will take a lot of shifting. I call it the “casual reach”…”I’ll examine your breasts while you’re here”…etc.

    When my GP (uncharacteristically) “added” the CA125 blood test to another blood test, I firmly and calmly told her why that was unacceptable…and I did NOT want the results. A note has been made and it will never happen again, but I wonder how many women have things tacked on, whether it be an unnecessary exam or test, I suspect almost all (if not all) of us.
    These simple tests can cost us dearly, there is nothing “simple” about a pap test or unnecessary breast exam, if I’d been unaware of the unreliability of the CA125 blood test, got a high reading…what then?
    I have the fear and anxiety to deal with…I do my reading, okay, the test is unreliable, but I still have that “abnormal” result ticking away in the back of my mind. It means MOST women will move forward and that can even mean surgery. Those women who don’t know the test is poor, might sprint to the next level…ovarian cancer! Even an “all clear” may leave these women with anxiety about ovarian cancer, they might start testing every 12 months…gulp!
    The profession tends to dismiss anxiety, but the anxiety and fear associated with these “abnormal” results can be severe. (I’d say it’s usually severe) Of course, this also, means some women become totally compliant, fear drives them to the next level and some go around in circles for a very long time. I know there are some/many in the profession who view this as a good thing, (for them) they couldn’t care less about us.

  6. Linda says:

    Hi Bethkcz. I know what you mean about people protesting ‘they are taking the best doctor away’ Lets none of us forget when Harold Shipman was arrested there was a protest group for weeks outside of his practice. He is thought to have killed up to 300 of his patients. Its funny there was any one there to protest actually!!!

    Hi Elizabeth. Although I can’t wait until someone at the surgery mentions smear test again I will have to tone myself down. I am a bit drunk on knowledge and power at the moment.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Linda…we’re individuals and will react differently. I spoke to a woman recently who felt the need to write to all of the doctors who’d assaulted her over the years. Some doctors were hard to track down, but in the end she sent off 8 letters, all either coerced, pressured or misled her into pap testing. (she had a false positive and painful cone biopsy when she was 27)
      She then went doctor shopping to find someone prepared to work with her, not dictate, mislead, pressure etc.
      For her it was part of the healing process, she also, intends to write to the Medical Board, they won’t do anything, but if enough women complain, we might see doctors being more careful in future. Everyone knows what’s going on, they pretend to care about consent and informed consent when they’re challenged, but their actions speak volumes…IMO, there is no respect at all for our right to choose or to make informed decisions.
      She decided to write, she didn’t trust herself to speak to these doctors face to face, she’s carrying a lot of anger. The letters have helped her. I also, suggested she write to Papscreen and the Cancer Council, both protect this program, not women.

  7. Linda says:

    Hi Elizabeth.

    I am going to write to the British Medical Board too. I know I have been using humour on this site but my emotions are all over the place. I can not tell you how many flashbacks I have been having over the past month since that silly nurse started hassling me. Its like she let a genie out of the bottle. One minute I feel upset the next I feel angry. I’ve been thinking I was stupid or over the top somehow. You can understand I had a right to bodily privacy and my dream of my husband being the only one to ever touch me. I don’t think its romantic nonsense anymore it was actually my right!!! I think a lot of young women may be in danger of thinking that way once they are older.

    I’m a supply teacher and I go into schools where there are still a lot of innocent young teenage girls (they are not all little horrors like the media would have you believe) and it angers me they could one day be duped like me. I come across a lot of Aspergers and ADHD girls as that is my field of work. I can not begin to tell you how much they probably suffer. I think of all the ones I have taught over the years and although I have lost contact with them now I dread to think how upset they will have been when faced with smear tests. It will harm them. I wonder if any research has been done on the instance of these girls actually killing themselves because of stress over these ‘mandatory’ tests.

    I accessed a site yesterday called ‘beingirl’ to leave comments on it but the facility was disabled. I was horrified to see what was written there. As if it was all part of being female and that virgins were no exception. I was nearly sick with repulsion.

    I believe its only now I’m fifty I have taken full stock of my life. Its a time bomb. I am a sensitive person and there should be more pshycological profilling of patients before offering these tests.

    • adawells says:

      Hi Linda and Elizabeth,
      I’ve been researching the legality of the NHS Cervical Screening Programme. It had always puzzled me that with the Data Protection Act of 1998 and the present hue and cry over personal medical data being put on to national computers, how is it that all adult women in the UK have already had this done to them and their sexual histories, smears and hysterectomies are already recorded on a national database in violation of these laws? Easy, the British government have written a new law to enable them to bypass the old law and operate the screening programme. It is called Section 251, was written in 2002 and enables them to “legally” bypass the national laws and put all women onto a national database of call and recall.
      http://www.bing.com/search?q=section+251+exemption&qs=HS&pq=section+251&sc=8-11&sp=1&cvid=870e6018498846708d4185be9ed9114b&FORM=QBLH#

      • roger says:

        Sorry, this is the link I was hoping to post – http://www.londonqarc.nhs.uk/section.php?id=11
        Note the wording in bold type at the bottom of the article. Section 251 is reviewed annually, and any breaches in security could spell the end of the programme. For any Brits reading this, I think we need to challenge our MP’s and human rights pressure groups to get this Section 251 revoked. There is a clause in it that says a mechanism for allowing women to opt out of screening must be in existence, but it keeps this a secret from the public, and we are not told about it.

        Linda, you are so right about the smear test being so unsuitable for so many girls. My daughter is a teenager and I fear for her greatly, though we have a few years to go before she will be 24, when the summons letter will drop through the letter box. She has had the HPV jab, but I was furious to read the NHS leaflet they distributed to all the girls, telling them that attending for smears when called was still ESSENTIAL. I wrote to the NHS to complain. No response.

        It angers me so much that just because some girls are sexually active at such a young age, the rest of us have to pay the price. The vast majority of women who don’t need this test are rounded up as bait to spare the sensibilites of the few. Indeed, much of the delay in getting the HPV test out as the primary test is that they fear women would not want to find out they had HPV, so this is what keeps the speculum test going:
        http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/182322/
        I’ve seen medical professionals actually write that it is advantageous that the smear test keeps women in the dark about their HPV status, so that it is less of a worry to them, so the smear test should not be replaced by an HPV test. All about keeping us locked into the programme, and is a major reason why you don’t see anything about women being able to find out about HPV self test kits.
        If you search online there is a lot of NHS literature promoting smear tests for women with learning disabilities at the moment. I find it unbearable to watch. Do they really think these women are sexually active?

      • Moo says:

        You might notice that the wording in the act does not mention specifically what information can be accessed “without consent”. So then any details of a medical records or health history can be substituted in there such as vaccinations, mental health issues, diabetes etc. They could pass a law one day and say ban everyone with diabetes, sleep apnea, any history of psychosis or depression from driving vehicles or other machinery. They could order people to detention or quarantine centres. They could have military drafts. It is about having the ability to control the population.

        Do you think that the government really cares about how many hysterectomies are done or live births? They could just survey the hospitals and midwives. The doctors get paid for these services. (Anyway in Ontario the doctors get paid fee per service so they know exactly the rates. Why do they need these cancer and other health registries?). In a way they do because it goes for future planning. How many dollars are going to be spent on healthcare because women are the more regular users of healthcare. But really they could get all that from other sources. Why on earth they need to know how many sexual partners a woman has had is just bizarre. In the future are people going to be looking up their ancestors and see their great great gran had x number of sex partners. If it about research they could ask for people to participate in studies. This information they record is not every seen statistically in public reports. None I have ever seen.

        These laws go through without much press coverage or debate. I am seeing this in Canada. The important issues are glossed over and the media takes up some coverage of a trivial issue. As well all the senators who were appointed from the media are being scrutinized. If a government controls the media, it controls the population.

      • adawells says:

        Ooops, that was not roger replying to the above, but Ada using someone elses computer! I’ll stick with my tablet from now on…

      • Karen says:

        Great research Ada… I guess the british public is not all up in arms about this revolting legislation because they are not spoon-fed with nationalist propaganda about how the nation lives on through the wombs of women, etc., and yet this is pure nationalist biopolitics in action- making of a womb-database to plan with!

  8. Emily says:

    I don’t blame anyone here for not trusting anyone with “Dr.” in front of their name and I often have the same issue myself. Even at my young age I have discovered that far too many of them are motivated by POWER and MONEY over compassion and healing. My teeth are a good example.

    One of my molars never came in. Both the baby and permanent tooth are impacted and buried deep within my gums. They have never caused any problem aside from an occasional irritation if something gets wedged in the tiny gap- but do you know how many dentists have pushed to have them removed?? Two out of three dentists said “oh it’s not much more than a standard tooth pull” though that is ABSOLUTELY NOT the case!

    Not only until much later did we find out that removing it would entail anesthesia, surgical cutting into my mouth tissues and the possibility severing the nerve which may leave one side of my face numb! Not to mention severe bleeding, infection etc etc. Many of the dentists we visited never disclosed this and one jerk dentist even went so far as to try to get my parents to do it without even asking me!! He tried to tell them I wouldn’t understand and it was best decided by adults. I am blessed to have parents who even at a young age would ask me “what do you think?” My response was usually “why?” At 7 the jerk dentist tried to scare me by saying what kinds of horrible problems I might have if I didn’t get them removed. Even then I saw through it and replied. “If they were giving me trouble I would know. Why would I go through all that if they’re just gonna sit there and not hurt me?” None of his answers justified it and nearly every word out of this man’s mouth went against my intuition. My parents did however make me promise that I would say something if they started bothering me and left it at that.

    Notice any parallels?? Someone thought that just because of a title/profession they had the right to decide FOR me what was to be done with MY body. And I never forgot it. And that was just my teeth!! I cannot imagine how awful it must be for the poor girls who undergo gyno horrors before they even graduate high school or lose their virginity…such a shame. I swear I will NEVER let that happen to me or any daughters i might have. Just because something “might” be suspicious or is “abnormal” doesn’t mean it’s harmful. I do not believe in undergoing procedures for something that “might” cause problems. If it’s causing a problem- fix it. If it’s not causing a problem- f*ck off and let my body continue it’s natural processes.

    • kleigh us says:

      I agree.

    • Linda says:

      Hi Emily. That is so disgusting for the dentist to be talking over you as if you had no mind of your own. I’m glad your parents were so enlightened many wouldn’t be and just go along with the dentists advice. It might be that your teeth never give you problems. If they do then you can go to see one. Since deciding I would not go again about fifteen years ago I have had no problems. I will only go to a dentist now when I decide I have a problem.

      Hi Moo. On Tuesday I composed a letter to the BMA about ‘compulsory’ smear testing. and sent it off. As you know I am incensed with anger to only now find it was ‘elective’ all along and I have had to put up with this vile test for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Today I am composing a letter to my MP about article 251. Its disgusting. We are being hoodwinked to believe we live in a democracy here in England when in fact we live in some futuristic Orwellian nightmare. Article 251 is a blatant attack on the privacy of individuals.

      What we need is a day of action!!!

      • adawells says:

        Hi Linda, my MP is standing down, but I did write before and got a longish letter back from Jane Ellison about how all women should roll up for smears. She did however, go into details about the stepped incentive payments to doctors. I’ve also had a reply from Rob Music himself…I can hear the other ladies on this site reaching for the sick bag right now…but he did say that he had discussed the use of HPV self test kits with a neighbouring MP in my area. Every inquiry I make gets a little bit more information that I didn’t know before, and enables me to further my research. I think it is really important that we let MPs, local councillors and charities, etc, know how we feel, as it makes them less reluctant to trumpet the cause if they are going to get a load of boos from the public. It is shocking the number of MP’s who supported the petition last year to lower the screening age. These people really need a sharp medical lesson from Elizabeth.
        I am currently targetting the NHS Screening Committee with further questions at the moment. Section 251 has to be reviewed every year, and also must allow women the chance to refuse, but I’m sure it can’t be right that the option to refuse should be kept hidden from women. What needs to happen is to have the wording:

        “by law you have the choice to refuse or opt out from screening, and if you decide to not attend your screening appointment you can contact …. Or fill in the slip below and send it to ….”

        on every call and recall summons sent out to women. It is not enough to say women have a choice if the wording on the recall notice sounds like a court summons.

      • Moo says:

        There are three separate legal issues with the screening programmes.
        1. Harassment: By law people also do not need to harassed. I cannot be harassed by the local grocer to buy his products nor by any vendor for services. The only healthissue anyone can legally be detained for are for mental health issues where suicide or serious harm is threatened to others. I should be free from harassment by mail, phone, email and not have people showijg up at my hime or work. If I communicate that i do not want to be contacted about screening then it should stop.

        2. Consent to record or retain or destroy my personal information. My right to privacy in cancer screening seemed to disregarded. No one asked me if I wanted to sign up in the registry but my personal information is kept there? I have to present documentation and pay a fee if I want access to my information yet I cannot ask for what they have recorded to be destoryed or altered.

        3. Freedom from coercion. I expect that in refusing cancer screening that I should be never be treated differently in receiving medical care or refused medical care. This, however is not my experience.

    • Alex says:

      Good job with your teeth. I had a few problems with mine (all recently & two of them are pretty much gone- put enough clove oil on it to “kill” the nerve & it’s not much issue now). Didn’t know about that whole face-numbing thing. Glad I didn’t bother, either. I could see them fucking up & it being something that happened, but wasn’t advertised.

      Speakign of dentists, I wonder why they’re labeled as the potential perverts & doctors that outright do penetrative things aren’t? I don’t get why someone could figure that the dentist is angling to get someone knocked out so they could fondle them or whatever, but not a GP or any of the “orifice” professions (doesn’t strictly HAVE to involve women at all). Maybe it’s just so obvious that it becomes unexpected? I know that directing someone to do this or that is a tactic that’s so un-subtle that it seems to become a subtle tacic BECAUSE it’s unexpected. Simple comportment is one of those thigns that could be hard to counteract, since instead of it being a question that would be followed by an answer, it’s a statement. Thus, a counter-statement is required & not only is it the not way a verbal communication tends to go, it’s also a more confrontational situation.

  9. Alex says:

    Moo: There’s more truth to that than you might think. There’s something called an “OODA Loop” (also called the “Boyd’s Cycle”) and it stands for Observe Orient Decide Act. Basically that one sizes things up to make a decision & act on it.

    These records can show any number of things that someone may or may not seek to take action to change (ex: if perhaps a woman hasn’t had one thing or another done frequently enough for their liking or the kids aren’t on the pills that they have some sort of an investment in).

    I’ll bet there’s some argument to things like this, like I guess someone could just pick a name at random & engage in going after that person in whatever fashion that they just so happen to deserve, but that’s being a bit overly positive- especially considering that it can go the other way around & if someone that acts this way (random “trigger-pulling”) they’ll probably do other things that are less random, as well. Not for nothing, but things like that have been done before & not on a small scale.

    Another thing is that sometimes mentally encompassing something gives that person a sense of sway over it. This is like thinking that you can stop bullets in mid-air if you understand how guns work. It’s not the ONLY reason to want to pick up information, of course- there can be a simple curiosity or pursuit of self-defense from whatever it is someone’s trying to pull with all this information.

    Anyway, someone looking to be in the “driver’s seat” of someone else can be what’s at work in these situations. Someone looking to hi-jack someone else or a bunch of someone elses & having this information either gives them a high (which they might want more of) or a means of attempting to facilitate that goal. Spooky, huh?

    • Moo says:

      This story really is sad. The woman had three children. She had the first child at age 17 and she died when she was 28. If she was scared to get a pap test after age 25 then she might have taken an HPV urine test or self pap test if it was offered.

      I think for most cases of cervical cancer the treatment kills the patient. I know another woman who died at age 32 from cervical cancer. She was not really sick until she had cancer treatment and died shortly after it started. She worked in a smoke filled bingo hall and her family all smoked. The cancer treatment often destroys the bowels as well as whatever they are targeting. Often a cone biopsy is done as part of the diagnostic work up and spreads the cancer more when some imaging might be wise to do first.

      I wonder if this woman’s life would have been saved if she had been given birth control counselling as a teenager, HPV urine tests and nutritional counselling, maybe an HPv vaccine that worked. However there is the possbility that her HPV infection might have been contracted from dirty birthing centres.

      I have to wonder at the excessive pap testing of women in USA and Canada as in early pregnancy and 6 weeks after birth. It is as if they know they are giving women HPV in their obstetric practices and want to cover themselves.

      There is the scam about the strep infections in late pregnancy. They want everyone tested because they contaminate the cervix everytime they do a cervical dilation check. They want the women who are strep B positive on an antibiotic drip because they cannot be clean enough while doing their dilation checks. They would have the wash out the vagina otherwise.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Moo,

        I have long felt that the “mandatory” pap tests at first and last Ob visits are for defensive legal-medical purposes only. Else-wise, we are being exposed during Ob visits & delivery and they’re concerned we won’t be able to fight it off.

        Please explain the scam of strep B nonsense. If staff changes gloves & washes hands between patients, also explain how we can still be cross contaminated. Thanks.

      • bethkcz says:

        The fact of how diseases and cancers are spread, worsened, or “up-staged” is seen clearly in the current movement to end hysterectomies using power morcellators. These seem to make for an easier surgery with quicker recovery in many instances (which may not really be necessary anyway), while a (undiagnosed, undetected) cancer in that uterus can very quickly become deadly. See http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/healthcare/The-just-war-For-the-health-and-wealth-of-our-nation-.html for part of the discussion on this (and other) horrors in the name of medicine and profit.

      • Moo says:

        The explanation of the strep B nonsense is outlined in this article.
        http://www.mommypotamus.com/group-b-strep/

    • adawells says:

      If this lady had been born in another country, or was not white, the Mail would have been running the story that she was trying to sponge healthcare off the NHS, and was rightfully denied.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      The Daily Mail in UK functions similarly to how The Enquirer and People magazine function in US. It’s a bullshit spreadsheet. I’ve seen more obviously fishy headlines in this magazine, complete with pictures but suspiciously lacking in facts. And always, what’s the last boldfaced headline? Family wants others not to fear having “smears.”

      Does that mean a smear on a bagel? A shit smear from not wiping cleanly? By all means, let’s go rushing in to local offices crying to get smears so our pics don’t end up io this fishwrap. Whenever word gets out that we’re being abused in stirrups, do-gooder stories like these appear.

      Have you ever heard of CC consuming somebody so quickly as if it were flesh-eating bacteria? Why hasn’t this mind-blowing expose pointed out the guilty party who infected this woman? And the pictures, they appear to me a bit too much as being “posed.” Are the “victims” of this terrible disease, the ones making headlines at least, always white and low-middle classed?

    • mary says:

      Yes and its working did you read all the replies jeez here’s one reply ” Honestly ladies it’s not embarrassing – your dignity is covered” ermm no you are given a sheet to cover your modesty so you cant see whats happening the test its self is undignified, and the classic which tops my list is ” To a dr or nurse it’s just another part of the body.” after that comment i had to stop reading.

      • Alex says:

        Well, saying “Your dignity is covered” isn’t even true. Someone’s parts (that are being referenced by “dignity”) are NOT covered & are being contacted physically in the for of penetration. I’d think that would be even more of a poignanat, especially considering that it’s possible for that to happen without someone being undressed at all.

      • Alex says:

        Meant to say “poignant thing,” and it would liely be more of an issue than exposure in itself.

        Also, these people seem to be doing an aweful lot to dispute something. That “something” that is there & that this someone is trying to maintain is NOT there is a point all by itself. Get so angry when people disregard the conditons of a situation, as though something ceases to exist despite its existANCE. It’s like they are arguing that problematic conditons aren’t an issue, yet there’s an issue with problematic conditions. That, and when they make exceptions for medical personnel- it’s like they figure that it would be an attack if someone were to carve their initials into your skin with a hunting knife outside of a medical facility, but not if a surgeon where to do it with a scalpel in a hospital. THis seems to be particularly true if they did this in the couse of something they were getting paid for.

      • kleigh us says:

        Covered so you can’t see what’s happening. I don’t want someone doing something to my body esp if they have to hide it. How knows what else they could be doing. Hell no.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Another name for “privacy gown or curtain; modesty sheet (for today’s muslims), protection(?)” Bullshit is bullshit. Another thing I’ve heard is privacy barrier to you can’t see each other’s faces. Yeah, your face in agony; doctor/nurse (his/her) face in extacy.

    • Karen says:

      Also, I would not mind writing a guest post on the subject

    • Moo says:

      Thank you for posting up this information. “Morning after” contraception has been available in Canada with a prescription for decades. This is different than an abortion pill.

      It is notable that the WHO makes abortion pill information readily available and the article linked has a “charity” or non-profit run to make access to abortions on a ship. Spain actually send out warships to stop this ship.

      However it seems fine for people to be outraged that safe abortions are not available to women everywhere but no one seems to care that babies are being sold for profit (foreign adoptions) and costs of fertility treatments in most countries are beyond the means of most ordinary infertile couples. Feminists support freely available abortions all except when the fetus sex is female and that is the only reason for the abortion. Why is “reproductive” freedom always all about contraception?

  10. Alex says:

    As for liabnilities, I don’t think that’s what it is, but I think that’s an instant trick to use on people.

    The idea that they’ll be unfairly attacked is a bit of a common “heart-string” to pluck. Someone with a sense of right & wrong would likely be very susceptible to things like that & would possibly feel like they are one those “bad guys” that the other ones are so worried about being persecuted by.

    Baseless lawsuits are a risk, no matter what their actual activities are- so if they were so concerned about liabilities they wouldn’t be DOING things to be liable for (which includes any of the ramifications that can be realized- like miscarriages, injuries, surgical complications, etc…). Imposing these things on someone in the first place would be a concern if they’re worried about the patient or their own liabilities & any of the possible ramifications would be a concern in the same way as additional things. It just doesn’t make sense that they’d be pushy with things that also carry risks on their own & promote additional risk from whatever resultant actions that would be precipitated by inaccuracy of these tests.

    It’s odd that they’d most likely try to wriggle out of whatever liability they’d have for someone getting surgery (or any problems from it) because of these false indications by saying “Well, it’s up to them whether they get surgery- no matter what information they get.”

  11. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102563037
    “Breast cancer misdiagnoses cost $4 billion: Study”
    No surprises here…screening is about money after all (certainly the way it’s performed here and in many other countries)
    Enjoy reading comments by Count Me Amused – a very well informed man.

  12. Linda says:

    Than you for this article on breast cancer. I know I post how angry I am about forced cervical smears but I have always lived my life thinking I’ll have to have mammograms as well one day. It honestly made me think whats the use of being female. I’m a cancer victim in waiting. Through the work of the women on this site and your helpful posts I feel that I am truly a liberated woman. I just wish for me it had come sooner. Not at fifty. Even as I write this I am still bubbling with anger over a number of things. However, I feel that the future for women is a screening free life. It will just take a bit more time.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      “However, I feel that the future for women is a screening free life. It will just take a bit more time.”
      Linda,
      I agree, we’re finally seeing change, more women are questioning these tests we MUST or SHOULD have, these programs must be very worried, informed women will put their business model out of action.
      These programs rely on numbers, when they can no longer get the numbers into the screening program, they’ll be forced to change. Our pap testing rates are falling, so FINALLY they plan to change our program, but they’ve included some sweeteners for vested interests, profitable excess.
      One day we’ll look back and wonder why 77% of women had a colposcopy and biopsy…when the cancer was ALWAYS rare and in natural decline. Why? How can that be called healthcare?
      I’ve always wondered how they managed to convince so many of us that breast screening was a good idea, compression of the breasts and radiation….sometimes our natural protective instincts tell us something is wrong long before we find the damning evidence.
      Some women just know it makes no sense, without ever finding the evidence. I recall an older woman saying many years ago, “when they ask men to put their testicles between two plates, squash them flat and irradiate them, then I’ll turn up for mammograms”.
      She knew it was harmful, end of story. No screening for her. She was viewed as a bit of a ratbag, but she was right to trust her instincts, we have to do that more, follow that inner voice. In my opinion, the evidence usually backs up that inner voice of concern.

      • adawells says:

        Elizabeth, it’s been great to see your posts hitting back, but a lot of UK women don’t know the word “pap” and it’s not used here. The popular word from the old smear on a slide test, is still used, so UK women would only know this test as a “smear” test. I’d hate to see your posts not reaching as many women as they should.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Yes, thanks Ada for the reminder.
        I assumed most women would know that pap and smear test are the same thing, but a UK woman asked me only yesterday, “what’s a pap test?” so I’ll have to keep that in mind.
        I’m constantly amazed though at the level of ignorance when it comes to this testing, this is not a criticism of women, but the system…so many women just get up on the exam table, assume the position with no idea what’s going on….
        Some women think it also, tests for ovarian and uterine cancer, so a normal result has those cancers “covered” as well. Others think you can’t get cervical cancer if you have smear/pap tests…wrong! Some women think a bimanual exam is another name for the pap test etc.
        I suppose when propaganda is used instead of real information, and informed consent is just an academic principle, when even consent itself can be missing, many women end up believing the world is flat.
        The official “talk” has changed in the UK, but I doubt things have changed much at the surgery level…UNLESS the woman is informed, then I think doctors are far more careful.
        Lying and misleading women is the usual way to get them screened or using coercion, intimidation etc. ALL of these things are dangerous moves if the patient is informed…they know they’re likely to end up at the Medical Board.

      • adawells says:

        Hi Elizabeth,
        It is really sad that so few women really understand this test. I’ve even seem some British women post that the pap test is something that only happens in the US, and that it’s not done here in the UK. The misinformation and propaganda have sunk in deep here, and they only know the test as a smear, even though the sample stopped being smeared across a glass slide many years ago. I keep trying to post in simple everyday language, to get a wide audience, and repeat that this test is for women with no symptoms, but it rarely seems to sink in. Did you see I posted on Patient.co.uk about HPV and how it is necessary for the onset of cervical cancer? Someone followed this post with the “enlightened” reposte that the pap is also a test for cervical cancer! These are the very women the screening lobby is claiming to be empowered and “informed”.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Ada, some of the language suggests the only informed decision IS to screen.
        It’s absurd to acknowledge informed consent and then immediately go on to urge women to make an informed decision TO screen. Still denying our right to choose…choice is so unpalatable when it comes to extending that right to women.
        I must say…down here there is virtually no discussion on informed consent, once I could do a search and the only references were from the UK, now we have a couple of extra articles that appeared recently in the MJA.
        It’s a disgrace this program has been able to walk around informed consent for so long, and even consent itself.

        On the other point:
        I think there are a few danger points when it comes to pap testing,
        a) asking a doctor for contraception – most/many of those women end up screened whether they want pap testing or not, and they often get other unnecessary exams as well, plus STI testing.
        b) Pregnancy/pre-natal care – another great way to trap women. We pap test during pregnancy here (ANZCOG think it’s a good time to test…for whom?) and that means an unreliable test is even more unreliable, what’s the point when you can’t trust the result either way? It does lead to more false positives though and enormous worry, but our doctors don’t seem to care about that, it’s all money.
        d) Asking for HRT and,
        d) Opportunistic screening – if you have a real health problem that takes you to the doctor a fair bit, you’re more likely to be targeted, a friend has asthma and for a long time she spaced out her visits because of pap test pressure. She now sees my GP and gets what she needs for her asthma without the pap test getting in the way.
        e) Also, in mid-life some women see a doctor every year or two for various checks, cholesterol, blood pressure etc. it’s this consult that often triggers a screening discussion.
        I think it’s best to control these visits and go in with a list, don’t allow the GP to set the agenda. What do I need?

        I know women who’ve been captured over the years, mostly those who wanted the Pill or they faced serious pressure to have a pap test when they were pregnant. I know some women give in if they want a female obstetrician, to get on their books they don’t feel they can make waves. I know more obstetricians are moving away from the very invasive first exam, routine breast and pelvic exam and a pap test, more just do a pap test if you’re “due”. (I really hate that word…) So fewer pregnant women have that first pelvic exam, not sure about the routine breast exam.
        Some US women have pelvic exams at every check-up during pregnancy…unnecessary and I imagine it exposes women to infection and must be very uncomfortable.
        FAR too many pelvic and vaginal exams are performed during labour.
        I recall reading an interesting article by a midwife a few years ago, she claimed a woman’s behaviour during labour gave her most of the information she needed to judge where they were in the labouring process. She does very few pelvic exams and can usually pick transition. (the woman feels she can’t cope, pain is more intense, burning sensation, the woman may panic etc.) She felt constant checks raised the woman’s anxiety levels and takes her away from the labouring process, she also, felt lack of privacy did the same thing. (slowed things down and was more likely to lead to an assisted delivery)
        My cousin is a midwife and agreed with this article.
        Makes you wonder why so many women have doctors and others constantly checking them. (well, I could take a guess…teaching opportunities, lack of respect for the female body/labouring woman, poor organization/communication in labour wards, legal liability etc.)

        I’ve never used the Pill, it was OUT for me – a request meant the doctor could assault you, that’s the way I view it, you were forced to have unnecessary invasive exams and an elective screening test, simply to get the Pill. (and this is still happening…)
        My husband and I decided not to have a child,
        I have never used HRT and,
        I went doctor shopping so any visits do not include pap test or mammogram pressure.

        I suspect like some of my friends, I would have been forced to have a pap test if I wanted to use a female obstetrician, probably any obstetrician. Certainly it was “required” during my reproductive years.

  13. Linda says:

    Hi Ada & Elizabeth. I’ve been doing a lot of research on the internet as I am planning writing an article about my experiences of screening. What I am finding is suddenly the use of the word ‘choices.’ I am seeing ‘choices’ in screening now everywhere I read. I never experienced ‘choice’ and I feel as though all the old information is missing. Do you think they are afraid of us and informed people like us waking everyone else up? And there being a huge back lash from women? The first chance I get to sue them over the lack of choices and my informed consent I will.
    I have noticed that not only is ‘pap’ test not used but if you look now neither is ‘smear’ test. They have been replaced with ‘cervical’ screening. I think the connotations around the word ‘smear’ has made them rethink what they call it in order increase numbers in those put of by the word ‘smear’ test.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Linda
      The “talk” is changing, but doubt things will change until they get rid of targets, target payments and the call and recall system. The language and system needs to change…”due” for a test, “overdue” women, non-screeners, non-compliant, “avoid” screening, women “need” or “should have” pap tests etc.
      The language and approach used in women’s cancer screening doesn’t respect/reflect the optional nature of the test, that’s because they knew at the outset they couldn’t give women a choice. Why? Too many would decline and the hugely expensive program would not get the numbers it needed to save a woman here and there. (harming a lot of women along the way) They also, knew they had to conceal the evidence, give women a screening story instead.
      Do you think 80% of women would happily roll up for screening if they knew about the rareness of the cancer, the risks with screening, and that VERY few women benefit from screening? Or, if they knew about the alternative, HPV self-testing? If women understood that HPV- women can’t benefit from pap testing, would the 95% of HPV- women aged 30 to 60 roll up for completely unnecessary pap testing? I doubt it.
      Would young women roll up if they knew there was no benefit from testing, but there was a high risk of a false positive and over-treatment? Again, I doubt it. (that’s started, fewer women under 30 are screening)
      Although some women will continue with screening despite the damning evidence – some have been brainwashed, others believe they are survivors thanks to testing, some believe they had a close call, (lots of women have had “abnormal” or “pre-cancerous” cells removed) others greatly fear these cancers so the thought of no testing terrifies them, they’d prefer to accept a high risk of over-treatment than miss a tiny chance of benefit etc.
      “If I get breast cancer and I haven’t screened, I’ll always wonder..would it have been caught earlier?”

      We’ve seen with breast screening though, when women have access to real information, more women decline to screen. Breast Screen will not reach their target, they know that, even extending the program to women aged 71 to 74 won’t help…they can forget the target.
      This is why the rise of the informed woman is likely to trigger change to these programs, they rely on numbers….the only way to get the numbers they need is to lie, deceive, coerce, mislead etc. Their game plan has finally hit a major hurdle, the informed woman.

      • Alice says:

        Totally agree, Elizabeth!

        I think that medical institutions should be banned from using the word “due” (unless someone actually owes money).
        “Due for your regular check-up”, “due for your next screening test”, “due for a pap smear”, “due for a mammogram”… How can any human being be “due” for anything to be done to their own body by someone else???

        If anything, the Australian medical system is due to me, a very large sum of money that it took from me over many years through taxes, Medicare levy and the forced private hospital health insurance, while doing everything in its power to make sure I will be avoiding seeing doctors or using their services.

      • Alex says:

        Alice: Yup. The concept of word usage as a manipulative tactic is similar to using a decided tone (“decided” as in “I’ve decided”).

        It conveys the idea that something’s wrong with the situation being that this much time has gone by without this or that situation occurring. This would be more clear if the term was “aught-date” instead of “due-date.” Sometimes that seems to be the reason for these types of terms.

    • Alice says:

      Linda, you are absolutely right!
      In the modern conventional medicine, a woman has 3 “choices”:
      1. Trust the doctors, unconditionally believe that doctors always know better and always act in the best interest of the patient, and hand her body over to the medical system. This is a dangerous approach and it leads to inevitable harm.
      2. Do her own research, question doctor’s decisions, say “no” when it should be said, and protect her own interests. This is a reasonable way, but it leads to coercion, ridicule, arguments and inaccessibility of required heath care.
      3. Avoid medical system altogether. This puts a modern woman in a prehistoric situation.

      As to the avoidance words of “pap” and “smear”, it is because the information about unreliability, uselessness and antiquity of pap-smears reached wider public, so medical bureaucrats are now trying to sell us the same crap under a different name. It is simply marketing, because medicine is a business and its primary interest is money.

  14. Hexanchus (male-US) says:

    Check out this article on Kevinmd.com:

    “No unnecessary screening tests. Even at the cost of my online reputation.”

    Interesting comments….there are apparently some Docs who get it….good to see!

  15. Eric says:

    Hi everyone…stealing the Ems laptop again and I have a good anecdote you might find amusing. BTW I can now say that i could probably pass as a gyn if i wanted to after this :D and sorry in advance if any of this is TMI
    So like 2 days ago she starts having pain in her lady parts. Growing up with a mom and 3 sisters who are not shy I know allll about the various troubles of the fairer sex. I ask her what’s up and she’s troubled because her clit hurts but there’s no discharge or bad smell, no fever, no pain when she pees and I know I didn’t hurt her the last time we had fun. She said it hurts when she wipes tho and she’s been reading all this stuff online and in one of the forums some woman had to have her gyn “clean her out” as in jam stuff under her clit to get the junk out which sounds beyond horrible.

    All the stuff online whenever a woman asks about something like that it’s always the same answers “it could be any number of horrible things… go see your gyn asap!” or-get this- “your man says he’s never cheated but you can’t be sure so get checked!” WTF?? As a guy i find that extremely offensive. So she’s not supposed to trust me when I loved her and protected her and stood by her for 5 years but she’s supposed to just go running to some jerk whos only interested in money and thrills? Seriously??? She is my first and my only now and forever. I would never in a million years cheat on my baby. This is the kinda shit women say to each other??

    After all the fretting she narrowed it down to 2 things. Something stuck in there or persistant female arousal (which is apparently common in young women). It’s been a few days so she calls me over to do a little handywork ;) which of course lead to other things. After that she’s still sore and irritated so I grab a flashlight and offer to take a really good look she’s kinda put off by it but she says “Well I trust you over anyone else degree or not so sure go ahead. It’s nothing you havent seen before.”
    So while I’m delicately poking around her girly bits in a completely non sexual way something clicks and I realize even then I’m still kinda enjoying it a little. How could any man- no matter who he is or how many he’s seen or how long he’s been married- not enjoy it at least a little? I felt a bit guilty for a minute like I shouldn’t be thinking like that when she doesn’t really want me down there she just needs my help. and once that passed i felt even stronger that i need to protect my precious darling from everyone who would do the same thing to her for all the wrong reasons.

    She did have a hair stuck way up under the hood and as soon as I pulled it out she instantly felt better and wouldn’t stop thanking me. I was pretty relieved she felt better and didn’t have to go to a dr. I shudder to think of all the invasive painful rediculous things they would have pushed her into just for that one little hair and I wonder would they have even found it? It was really tiny and I only foudn it because I know how she’s built-they don’t. So now I’m just wondering what the hell ever happened to common sense and doing a little research instead of just rushing off to a dr for the tiniest thing? Or going even where there is nothing ‘just in case’. Seriously when did everyone become such wimpy paranoid basket cases???

    • Alex says:

      All good points & I didn’t think of that as a potential issue (although a hair under your eyelid is a pretty common thing). Still, I’d caution you to not be stealing her laptop or throwing around her information without her okay on it.

      If you were, in a more non-specific way, to distribute information on what can happen & point out how much bullshit would likely be involved over something that they probably wouldn’t have found until they sliced that part of her off- that’d probably be fine. Just trying to give you some potential insight, man-to-man. It’s fairly easy for a guy not to think of how a woman’s going to get pissed about something like that, but I’d imagine that even when it’s just anonymous internet discussion it could anger her a bit.

      Example: I’ve mentioned that when one of my younger cousins fell & got a cut on her face, they made her take all her clothes off at the hospital when her parents brought her there to get stitches (supposedly to see if she had marks from being hit at home). Making the point that treatment can be more trauma than the condition itself & wondering what goes on if they think my uncle’s “playing doctor” or something is a good point to make, but I don’t mention her name- no one on here is going to know who I’m referencing & she probably wouldn’t find out that I referenced this situation at all, but if it DOES come up she probably won’t be mad about it & at the very least the situation is lined-up that way.

      In truth, I might have mentioned her by name before (I don’t remember). Either way, doing it the way I was describing is probably the safer road. I definitely think that parents need to worry about whether medical personnel are going to set a goal for themselves & pursue it by whatever methods they choose, since sometimes the get curious about younger people’s development & start going on little fact-finding missions in schools (or, at least, they ACT like that’s what the origin story is- kind of hard to know, if one cared). I just mention it in a way that outlines the story without it specifically tracing back to anyone.

      Not trying to lecture, but it seems like you have a good inclination to provide information on the risks & foul-play of medical things that are frequently unsung. These “disqualified problems” are not always common knowledge & it’s good for it to get out there. Chicks do tend to talk to each other A LOT about various subjects. Plus, sometimes women get bitchy & overriding to other women- so it’s good for the “ammo” to be around.

      I think this is an area where men are sometimes more helpful to women than other women might be, since men tend to have a much easier time combating other people’s efforts to push them around or the ones to support those efforts. Not to call women spineless, but it seems men are a bit more quick to notice the affront & write off who directs it. Even if someone’s not an enemy, going by their problematic advice is still an issue.

      • Linda says:

        Hello Alex. You are quite right men and women seem to be very different. (The ones I know that is not the women on this forum who are very well informed.) I have always just gone along with what I’ve been told by doctors. (Now that I’ve woken up I am incensed with anger) However, my husband, John, is a very different case ( I don’t know if its because he is a man and not so easily taken in like you say, I just don’t know) but if the doctor suggested to him that every three years they scrape the end of his penis to collect cells or just look at it to see if it seems OK he would have just died laughing at them or walked out of the consultation room and never gone back!!!!
        The same with you. I know from previous posts that you are only in your twenties but just imagine when you are older. They are going to suggest you have all sorts of incredibly intimate exams. They are going to want to get hold of your privates and fondle them all in the name of keeping you well then they are going to want to get access to your ‘backside’ (I am English so that is a normal expression for me) at least you are informed and can say no because you are part of this forum and know a few things about the uselessness of these exams. But most men like my husband are not part of a forum and would still say no to any of this.

      • bethkcz says:

        Linda & Alex,
        I don’t see this as a male/female thing as much as a compliance/noncompliance thing.

        In my own home, my husband is one who always would go along and agree to whatever a doctor said. He woke up *somewhat* when he had a medication reaction that effected him mentally in such a way that it got attention from the police – and he’s normally a mild-mannered, compliant person who follows the rules. Somehow, a drug which would cause criminal behavior in him seemed to wake him up *a little bit*.

        He’s always been all for me submitting to the doctors as they wish, when they wish, and was utterly convinced that all of this cancer testing saves lives. He’s gone so far as to blame his uncle for “not letting” his wife go to the doctor, and thus she now (mid 80s) has ovarian cancer. I had to give him real information that pap and pelvic exams do not even test for ovarian cancer until it’s far beyond any hope of treatment. Still, she’s been “bravely” battling cancer for the past 15 years, so I have to wonder how much of a cancer this actually is and how much of a cancer-scare it is. It’s been hard to convince him that all these tests are is medicalized rape for the purpose of bringing in a great deal of revenue to the medical industry. This is coming from someone who already knew the dangers of ionizing radiation, and avoids x-rays for himself as much as posslble. There was a blind spot that ionizing radiation to breast tissue frequently and at high levels (higher than ordinary x-rays) even might be a factor in causing breast cancer. It was just a trained-in blind spot from the sound byte “mammograms save lives”.

        He started saying “no” to doctors after he saw what I was doing, why, and when presented with the standard “over-50 men’s test” including colonscopy and prostate, and learned what they entailed, and read some real figures for lives saved vs injury from the test itself or its follow-on procedures.from false positives.

      • Si says:

        Respectfully Alex, your tone comes across at a tad deriding towards women, yes women talk to each other, men talk to each other, women do it no more than men. In fact studies have shown that women actually talk less, and are more likely to be shut down when men are around. Men also get “bitchy and overriding” though we would use different language like “assertive” or “influential”.
        Alex you also suggest that men are more helpful to women than other women, how? The issues we are discussing concern women, not men, I come to this blog to hear from other women because we share a simular anatomy, and as a sex class women’s bodies are targeted by the medical establishment and society differently to men. The dialogue we share as women validates and supports us, I will always talk to other women about these bioethical issues, and I find that many of the women I discuss this with, in person not on the internet are sympathetic and even if they don’t stop getting these exams themselves, they respect my decision. People regardless of gender can be defensive of their beliefs, especially when you have been indoctrinated in a particular belief system.

    • Moo says:

      Great you could help your girlfriend out with her little problem and weird that you snope in her computer.

      Looking up health and medical information has become quite a past-time for me and many others. Asking questions online to others will almost always result in “maybe you should see a doctor” comment which is useless and lazy. There are some online diagnostic questionnaire type sites which usually just make people more confused with the medical lingo and the “see a doctor” suggestion at the end. By that time there are so many suggested possibilities of terrible (and often rare) diseases people are quite terrified.

      The truth is that most women visit gynecologists when they are not ill at all (pap tests, birth control) or for benign issues such as bartholin cysts and inclusion cysts (sorry not the proper name) or yeast infections. Some of these can be treated at home without medical advice but getting real information about these issues online is often a challenge. Some methods such as “fertility awareness” for avoiding or conceiving are almost never discussed by any medical doctor.

      When a woman shows up to a doctor with a painful lump on her labia most of the time it is just a type of inclusion cyst (sorry not proper name). It is rather like a pimple filled with pus but she might think she is dying of some terrible disease. It can be treated by using a wash cloth in a hot solution of epsom salts on the area a few times per day until it drains or just left alone (if there is no pain). Most doctors will not suggest epsom salt baths or vinegar douches to women. They only know what the pharmacuetical companies tell them.

      So some rather minor issue gives the doctor the “opportunity” to push all the regular “screening” tests such as pap smear, pelvic exams, STI tests which have nothing to do with the matter a woman came in for. However I would say that most women consent and never question why these “screenings” are being done and just accepts them because of fear and ignorance. It might be sometimes that a diagnosis can be reinforced by some tests or for liability issues but not always necessary. It might be a good idea for a woman with a new sexual partner to get a STI urine test.

      It reminds me of the time I got a swab culture for chicken pox from a doctor. Chicken pox is easy to diagnosis and already my friend and college nurse told me that I had chicken pox. I went to the doctor because I needed a doctor’s note. Not much a medical doctor can do for chicken pox.

  16. Emily says:

    First of all I just have to laugh because I was thinking of posting the very same “amusing anecdote” myself but it seems my love has beat me to it! If it was any other site besides this one I would in fact murder him for it but where it’s just you guys I suppose I can let him live ;) It is nice tho to see a man understand all the sh*t we get dragged thru in the name of healthcare

    And I get sooo pissed w the “you can’t be sure he didn’t cheat” line. Ummm ya I can he’s my bf of 5 years…isn’t part of love and intimacy trusting the one youre with? If I go running off for a battery of invasive humiliating tests because I “can’t be sure” I’m pretty sure that takes away the trust AND the intimacy. Sex probably wouldn’t feel the same after that either.No thanks online b*tches I’ll take my chances….on the most wonderful man ever :)

    And as far as all the other forums suggesting to go to the gyn for that? It was kinda awkward even when it was just him poking around I can’t even imagine how awful it would’ve been if I had gone to a dr. I’m sure they would’ve insisted on a full pelvic exam and pap along with a battery of tests for various STDs and infections despite evidence against it…all for a hair in the wrong place lol. For heavens sake when did Americans become such p*ssies? Oh yes lets all waste time and money running over to the dr for every little thing- or even nothing- “just to be sure” -sigh-

    • Alex says:

      If I were to try to answer your question about when Americans got to be this way, I’d imagine it was a gradual thing & probably had a lot to do with being an ego thing. Like it’s being paid attention to & “look what I can afford” (which, once it’s cheaper, is the same thing only broader- like if caviar was suddenly cheap, it’s a “rich person” thing to have even if it’s not a thing you need to be rich to get anymore).

      I also figure that older people were humble to the point of self-loathing, anything other than “you ain’t shit” was arrogant. At least that’s the way my grandmother tends to be & when I brought it up she said I might actually be right (and she DOES argue with me about a lot of things, so it wasn’t like this situation was in play when we were discussing things- it’s just that way when someone has certification of some sort).

    • kleigh us says:

      I was watching girl code on MTV, they were joking about going to the gyn. One of the girls were saying her gyn told her not to wash with sertain soaps. What gets me is ask all these woman who have a gyn if they have ever benifited from actually having the exams? No one I no can say they are any healthier for going and woman don’t need instructions on how to take care of there vaginas like washing and soaps that’s so stupid I’m not gonna take my future daughter to have invasive exams so a gyn can tell her how to keep her vagina clean.

      • Alex says:

        Girl Code, like Guy Code, is pretty mindless- although allowing a fairly easy springboard for social commentary & discussions about different situations. Thing is, it kind of affirms all the same bullshit one keeps hearing again & again. I remember them saying that the hernia thing for men is some kind of right of passage- maybe in Ancient Greece, but I have to dispute the idea of having a guy grabbing your nuts as a landmark of masculinity.

        Another thing is that I think “this generation” is somewhat spineless. They aren’t exactly down-trodden, but it’s almost robotic behavior because nothing else really occurs to them. I don’t mean to say it’s a total & complete thing, but it doesn’t have to be 100% of the time to be a trend that isn’t rare at all. With physical fighting, it’s gotten to the point where they won’t even defend themselves in DIRE situations. It’s not just being non-confrontational in face-to-face situations, it’s being devoutly set on not pushing back.

      • Anonymous says:

        all the woamn on the show were presenting it like they all go and can bond over it.

      • kleigh says:

        Its like they want to bond over going.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Emily & Elizabeth: the best thing that ever happened to my husband & I, in putting a pushy P/A in her place, happened when I was having bladder problems due to being overdosed with tylenol in my pain medications. This happened 20 yrs ago, before the wisdom of using long-acting narcotics instead of tylenol.

      The P/A wanted to do a wet smear, making references to possible STD’s, and asked if ‘anybody had anything to say” before she did the test. However she stared straight at my husband. This pissed him off, as, hey, men are the only ones who cheat? Afterward, she comes back and says not only was I normal, but it was “the cleanest smear she has ever seen.” With that, my husband looked straight at her & declared, “Well, I could’ve told you that!” He held my hand & looked at me with a big smile. The P/A had nothing else to say. Bitch.

  17. Alex says:

    bethkcz & Si: Sorry if I came off insulting. I meant as a trend, it seems women tend to be less confrontational & that when men see someone getting pushed around (and they aren’t on borad with it) they tend to want to destroy it (and the person doing it). It’s true that men act “assertive” & “influential”, I didn’t mean to say that the men aren’t bossy & dangerous at times or that women are sweepingly bitchy & overriding- it just seems that a lot of time men have less of a problem “coloring outside the lines.”

    Since other people have decided to try to draw lines substitutively & tell someone that something isn’t a problem in spite of being one (basically that something ceases to exist despite its existANCE)- I figure it tends to apply. In truth, though- a lot of guys go along with that hernia thing in school sports thinkng it’s immature or somehow defective to not have someone grab your nuts if you don’t want them to. Sometimes that continues into adulthood.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Certainly the men in my family control the consult room, the tactics used to screen women would not work with them. I’ve always felt the medical profession treats men and women very differently. Doctors don’t talk over my husband or my brothers (or BIL) they can’t be pushed, pressured or scared into anything…and coercion, it wouldn’t happen.
      My husband speaks quietly and calmly and has the ability to shut down discussion, there would be no “debates” about prostate or bowel screening.

      Also, men wouldn’t be pressured into routine rectal exams or PSA blood tests here, neither is recommended, and GPs have been reminded to obtain informed consent if a man requests these tests.

      I’m speaking generally, but these screening programs often attempt to get to men THROUGH the women in their lives, there is a good reason for that…IMO, women are more likely to listen, trust and respond. (not us, but some….)
      Also, some women challenged in the consult room will start apologizing for not wanting to screen or for their non-screening status, they might feel put on the spot, embarrassed, feel uncomfortable, like they’re being difficult, some put themselves down, “I know I’m being silly but…” One friend said she always turned bright red and felt guilt and threatened when a GP started with the pap test lecture. (she went doctor shopping and the pap test lecture is no more)
      Do men behave the same way if they’re tackled over say, bowel screening? (There is no real pressure to have bowel screening though…even though bowel cancer occurs far more often than cc. GPs don’t get target payments for bowel screening either)
      I know the men in my life would not feel embarrassed etc. if quizzed or lectured about screening, the GP would get a firm NO, end of story.

      As a young woman I avoided doctors, I felt so threatened and uncomfortable about pap testing I did not want, that it was easier to just avoid the situation. If you feel sensitive/angry/stressed about a subject, I sometimes think the doctor instantly has the upper hand. IMO, the “climate” created around women’s cancer screening affects the way we feel and react…and makes it harder to fight back. Keeping the evidence from women also, gave GPs the upper hand. (and never promoting women’s screening as a choice, it’s always MUST, SHOULD etc.)

      Also, men have not been subjected to decades of propaganda, lies and various dirty tactics, and they’re harder to coerce into testing. (women often get trapped when they ask for the Pill, HRT or need pre-natal care)

      Women have IMO, always been treated badly by the medical profession. They’ve gotten away with it and so the abuse has continued. I think more women though are starting to question and reject the status quo and that spells bad news for the medical profession and these programs.
      I know when a GP tried to screen me opportunistically when I was about 35 (just before I found my GP) she raised her voice and emphasized one word, “You SHOULD be having pap tests”…she was dismissive of me and sounded impatient, this is a common reaction when a woman declines pap testing. We’re expected to do as we’re told, but when they start getting a confident and calm NO from more and more women, and they lose patients who refuse to be spoken to like they’re naughty children, hopefully, more will see that women are demanding more, to be treated like competent adults.
      I think when we can say NO calmly and firmly, they know the propaganda is no longer working and we’re in control, no longer members of a herd.

      • adawells says:

        I don’t think there are differences between the sexes, or between different races of people. IMO the problem lies in women consulting medical care during their reproductive years. It’s when women have babies that the pressure to screen is turned full on. Emotional blackmail is used: ” you don’t want your children to end up as orphans do you?” If I hadn’t had the children, apart from the odd visit to get persistent ear wax removed, I would never have seen a nurse or doctor for decades, and could have easily fought them off regarding screening.
        I also think that with a man’s sexual organs being outside his body, he knows what’s normal for him, and can see when something is wrong. Women’s are hidden from view, and if we are told there’s something not right inside there, we cannot see for ourselves, and we are more vulnerable. Even when the “treatment” has been done, we cannot see exactly what they have done, and if the treatment has been necessary or not. Women’s healthcare is all one big smokescreen.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Linda: That story is perfect. Now, if only we could get a mens’ magazine to print it. Never will any women’s magazines ever print that. Cosmopolitan is still advocating no douching and leaving the bush to grow as wild as it will–claiming it’s good medical advice. They advocate nonsense re the pap, advising women to accept the “brief embarrassment & possible minimal discomfort.” Guess they’re worried about being sued for printing something with common sense. The only thing missing is how the last guy laments his sex life being taken along with his organs.
        Eddie: We arrived here after going through the medical grinder. My husband found this place looking for answers and information about “informed consent” and alternatives to pap.
        There is something so radically wrong with med school. Universities try, already knowing its useless, to get doctors to pretend they don’t get aroused. They do a poor job instructing these doctors and patients how to deal with it. They teach nothing of what it’s like to live, age, and gradually lose the attributes that give us simple pleasures in life. Children, sex, bonding, pleasing each other. Instead of getting married partners to work together, they instruct doctors to keep each spouse in the dark regarding the other in the name of privacy. Then the sociologists all gather & wonder why the divorce rate is so high–and why doctors sexually abuse their patients.

  18. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    I might add, the calm and firm NO, with no excuses etc. can be a long time coming for many women, I was probably late 40s before I started to feel comfortable speaking out about this subject. Now…at 57, bring it on! Hassle me about pap tests and mammograms, I dare you!

    • adawells says:

      Same for me. But I think in my case it has a lot to do with childbearing years being over. When you have a baby inside of you, you don’t know whether your birthing plans will go exactly as you hope, whether you will end up with a caesarian, or if your baby will require ongoing medical treatment throughout its life. You just don’t know, when you might need to rely on medical services, so you are putty in their hands during your reproductive years. Once this isn’t in the stakes you can feel much more assertive in the consulting room. They can never corner you about needing to manage your body as a vehicle for another life anymore. It is quite dreadful that cancer screening is pushed on women throughout this time. It’s not like you don’t have enough to deal with being pregnant or having small children around you all day.

      • Linda says:

        Hi Ada. I personally think you have been badly treated.

        Imaginary conversation between my husband and his mates down the local pub.

        John – ‘I’ve got my penis scrape tomorrow. I hope they don’t hurt me as much this time. I just don’t think I can take much more.’

        Phil – ‘I know what you mean mate I had mine last week and I was sore and bled for days.’

        Ste – Chin up lads its all part of being a man. You just have to have these things done. I know its embarrassing and painful but we all have to go through it. Its not like there’s any choice.

        John – ‘Its just that I wish they would come up with something better like some kind of self test or something. Its so much easier being a women they get to refuse any one messing with their bodies.’

        Ian – ‘Well I just don’t have that problem any more mates. When they detected abnormal cells last year they recommended I have the end of my penis cut of just in case I had problems later on. I can’t tell you how relieved I am.’

        Jim – ‘Well I can go one better. A few years ago my doctor recommended I have all my reproductive organs removed just in case they were a problem in future. it hurt at the time but i think it was a good idea. cos you never can be sure.’

      • Alex says:

        Linda: Spot-on! There’s a guy named Lars G Petersson that did something similar in one of his books (it’s right at the beginning & I’m pretty sure on his site). He wrote at least one book on medical abuse in the military- another thing that gets glossed-over and/or lied about.

  19. Si says:

    I agree Elizabeth, we need more women speaking out. I understand that some women feel so threatened by medical paternalism that they take their male partners or husbands in with them to the consult room for protection and advocacy, however I think what we need is more women standing up to their doctors and medical staff on their own, women’s voices need to be heard and taken seriously if we are to achieve any sort of change.

  20. Linda says:

    I love everyone here we are so brilliant. Group hug everyone!!!

  21. adawells says:

    This link is about Roche Pharmaceuticals being rumbled about dishonesty in clinical trials. The Cochrane Collaboration is getting on top of Pharma companies who are burying clinical trials, which don’t show benefits. Pressure has been put on the World Health Organisation to force results of ALL clinical trials to be made public. Let’s hope screening is next under the spotlight.
    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2015/s4218048.htm

  22. Ro says:

    Hello all! It’s been a while since I last posted. It had been quite a while since I’d heard anything about screening and my attitude towards it was sort of like “okay, I’ve made an informed decision, it’s all good”. But lately, especially the past 2 months or so, it would seem that public figures and celebrities are talking about nothing but screening. It’s all over everywhere. And I do support free speech, so I don’t really have a problem with anyone discussing screening on a public platform. What DOES bother me is that the information presented is always biased and one-sided. If someone were to encourage screening, but still maintain the importance of informed consent, the possibility of false negatives and positives, and a woman’s flat out right to choose or reject any screening program – that would be great. What really got me fired up is a a public figure posted something encouraging females to go for smears. There was nothing about informed consent or possible risks. As a result of this, at least a handful of young (very young) women (actually girls) responded saying they even though they’d never been sexually active, they were going to get screened just to be safe and they had scheduled the appointment. The majority are likely putting themselves at far more risk than benefit. I just don’t understand why this is considered acceptable by society. Obviously, “first do no harm” holds no meaning any more. I think there’s a point where we all just need to speak up together and say enough is enough. It’s okay to have screening programs, but informed consent must be a requirement and a person’s consent or non-consent must be completely respected.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Interesting…they “say” they respect informed consent and a woman’s right to choose in the UK, at least there is more “talk” about it, but actions speak louder than words. It seems not much has changed in their approach and in the consult room…counting women off like ignorant lemmings. How can you say you respect informed consent and consent when you produce that disgusting poster, “My Mum missed her smear test, now I miss my Mum”…

      My thinking: they know there are a few more informed women out there now, so they have to be careful, but if women have no clue, it’s business as usual.

      They use celebrities here too, we had Peter Gotzsche visit recently, there was very little coverage of his speaking circuit, I was completely unaware he was also, speaking about breast screening at a couple of venues. The response from BreastScreen, run their ads featuring a journalist and female sports star – urging us to screen, NO real information, no respect for our right to choose.

      I wouldn’t trust the AMA for one second, I’m convinced most of their actions are about protecting market share (and that means controlling women so keeping the Pill on script is vitally important) and maximizing profits. This is a brilliant way to make $$$, if someone other than the Govt were doing this, they’d be in huge trouble, this is the dangerous thing, the Govt and its many arms can deny us our legal rights if it can be called “healthcare”. This is what happens when you allow vested interests to influence or control these programs, non-evidence based screening and no informed consent, often no consent at all.
      So the only change appears to be quietly accommodating informed women in the hope they can count them as well, so you can’t buy the Delphi Screener online now without nominating an Australian doctor to get your results or you have to get the Screener through your GP.
      The damage that can be done when those with power and enormous resources are permitted to violate our legal rights is awful. If they tried to coerce, mislead or scare us into testing, we’d complain, so they’re careful, but everyone else, it’s business as usual.

    • Alex says:

      Hello, Ro.

      You know something? I was noticing this with GUYS, as well. I forget if it was during Dovekeepers or some all-day thing that was on the Nazis (was watching one then the other & it was a day or two apart), but it was a thing on prostate screening & had this German doctor with a glove on miming the activity & talking about how the doctor theoretically feels. Like someone is being inconsiderate of the doctor by not getting this (seemingly inaccurate) test done on themselves. Not only are they directing people to do something in spite of it being problematic for them (I suppose it would be called a “sexually dissonant/abrasive” situation), they are completely omitting the potential for false indications & overtreatment, and casting the doctor as someone that would have more of an issue with doing this than the one it’s done to.

      I think medical advertising is an issue, anyway- much less them giving one-sided information.

      They even said something to the effect of “don’t let embarrassment kill you.” It can be hard for people to find the words to describe something being “against the grain” on this kind of level, so it seems like they’re capitalizing on that & phrasing it in a way that connotates a minor issue. Presenting someone’s issues in a disregardive & minimalizing way, basically. This shows disconcern for what the patient’s alignment is & thus, there’s a pretty serious risk factor. If they don’t care what you want, are they going to stop doing something when you want them to?

    • Alex says:

      Just realized something: You ever notice how people act like they don’t understand the words you’re using when you argue with them? Like all the words you use aren’t technically correct? I just figure that a good retort would be “What do you not speak English, or just the specific English that’s not being used facilitate you?”

      At the end of the day, language eventually has to connect to something & there’s no way to say anything so that someone else can’t lie or twist your words on their own. So a perosn going “What does that mean?” about every word you’re using is probably aware of that on some level (even if they can’t quite articulate it themselves) & are trying to capitalize on that situation. Also, it can be less than apparent that all that is true, so this is another thing that they might very well be looking at as an opportunity.

      • bethkz says:

        Bingo, Alex!

        The key word here is that they don’t care what you want. Consent be darned! Let alone anything like informed consent. There are many times when they “just don’t understand” that you said “NO! I refuse x treatment or care.”, and they record it as “I would prefer not to have treatment x.” or even, “Patient expresses concerns over treatment x.” The acting stupid, acting as if they do not understand your words, or what they mean, is a typical way to get around what someone has asked, has expressed, reasons for refusal (then they can claim they didn’t understand the refusal either).

        If you’re not using all of the technically correct words, they’ll use that to claim lack of understanding. If you use technically correct words, the person listening to you claims they don’t understand the “techno-babble”. You cannot win.

        BTW, this same technique is used in other venues than medical ones, and for the same purpose: To deny you the product or services you’re requesting, and perhaps to substitute others that you neither want nor need.

      • Alex says:

        Yeah, it seems lawyers also do that. The general “legal-ise” is something of instituted version of that. Really, how knows THAT much English in America- much less Latin? You sure as shit don’t learn either very well in public school.

        Now that I’m thinking on it some more, the concept of confusing someone is another point. It kind of stalls someone & makes them an easier target- like a corpse or a statue. They’re “dead in the water” & someone else capitalizes on it. Things that are self-negating I think are frequently used like that (ex: saying something is “everything & nothing”). Same with when something just doesn’t make sense & especially when one thing is held to be something that’s actually its antithesis. Like how attack is antithetical to assistance, so it kind of comes out of nowhere when it comes from cops & medical personnel due to them sometimes having the opposite reputation.

        Calling something “care” when it’s hostility, saying “provide access to” when it’s imposing something on them- general contradictions between description & situation. That counterfactual presentation seems to generate something of a stall mentally, especially in people that were expecting otherwise.

    • Anonymous says:

      Curcumin (found in turmeric), compounds found in green tea extract stop HPV replication. People can go out and buy these capsules at most herbal/health stores without a prescription. Many women mix these with coconut oil or creams and use them for genital warts and also HPV infection in their vagina or cervix. Now if only someone was smart enough to market a home HPV and these ready made preparations. They would be sure to get a huge profit return. Of course coconut oil cannot be used with latex condoms so a water based gel such as aloe vera could be used inside. Dragon den are you listening?

  23. annoyed says:

    i feel i have been blak listed by dr’s offices. i feel its in part because i refuse pap test and have tried to get help for my vaginimous ( or what ever the issue is). neve got help, finally said no more. i am not nasty just have dr anxiety. i feel i am lbel diddicult to treat
    Some patients complain they have been denied medical care, even reporting that they had appointments canceled after waiting to see a doctor. They believe they have been blacklisted or blackballed in some way, through a network of providers who share information about difficult, or difficult to diagnose or difficult to treat patients.

    It is not uncommon for people never to recover from having a group of people singling them out for unjust, and sometimes life-ruining, treatment.

    • Alex says:

      You know, it’s a good idea to be able to handle things yourself anyway (this is part of why). Rosemary Gladstar has numerous books & they’re pretty easy to read (it’s not like reading the stock page, for lack of a better description). Herbal Healing for Women & the Herbal Recipes (that one’s more of a general-use type of book) are the one’s I’d suggest.

      There’s also Rainforest Home Remedies by Rosita Arvigo & Nadine Epstein. That one gets into massage (there’s specifically a kind of stomach-rub that’s supposed to be good & is referenced as Mayan Uterine Massage) & herbal things (the herbs aren’t always jungle-specific).

      • bethkz says:

        Don’t forget the things you can do yourself in _Our Bodies Our Selves_, although this book is very pro-screening.

        _Natural Healing in Gynecology_ by Rina Nissim has many things in it that you can use to heal yourself of actual problems. She uses simple things you have around the house, can get over the counter, and herbal cures, as well as advise (e.g., be careful of soaps you use to bathe in). These home-cures have the advantage in that you don’t let an infection or something fester for 3 weeks until you can get to the doctor, having it get much worse.

  24. Ozphoenix says:

    Hi guys!

    I haven’t posted for a long time but I’m still around and I keep up with all the comments.

    Late one night this week I decided to take a look at the Papscreen and NSW Cervical Caner websites to see if anything has changed from the full-on propoganda and lies that they usually peddle. Not much has changed over the years!

    I sent them an email which I’ve put below –

    “I’ve been watching and cringing over the propaganda over pap smears promoted by each state authority for years. Such a shame to see that women are still being treated so badly over the subject of pap smears.

    Cervical cancer is rare, the pap smear is highly inaccurate and women will not drop dead in the street if they do not have ‘their’ pap smear.

    Informed consent, respect for women, real-life statistics, scientifically accurate information and telling women that it is their own choice to have or NOT have a pap smear and we do not need to overcome ‘barriers to screening’ when a simple ‘no thank you’ is good enough – what do all these things have in common? They are not supported by Cervical Screening NSW or Papscreen.

    Such a shame.”

    The response I received was pretty predictable in its condescension.

    “I note your concern regarding the messages used to promote cervical cervical screening to women in NSW. The purpose of our campaigns arer to educate women about the importance of cervical screening to ensure early detection of cervical abnormalities.
    With regards to the incidence of cervical cancer and the efficiency of screening, while Australia has a low incidence of cervical cancer, it is the fourth most common cancer affecting women worldwide. The low incidence in Australia is largely due to the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP), which since its introduction in 1999 has reduced the number of deaths from cervical cancers by half.
    Please be assured that the health, wellbeing and privacy of women in NSW is the central focus of the Cancer Institiute of NSW. The Cervical Screeing Program endeavours to assist women in making informed decisions about their health by providing the most accurate, relevant and recent information available. For more information about the National Cervical Screening Program you can contact xxxxx xxxx xxxx.”

    So, they’re quoting false information, ignoring the incidence of women being refused a birth control script if they don’t ‘get a pap smear’, ignoring the number of women who can’t get access to healthcare because they refuse cancer screening and are denied medical help for the real problems they have (heart problems, strokes, other cancers), ignoring the actual statistics, paying lip service to ‘we help women’ and generally have the attitude that we’re all silly littel girls. Marvellous!!!

    Ozphoenix

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Ozphoenix,
      No surprises there, and of course, the fact is MOST women are HPV- and cannot benefit from pap testing. Papscreen couldn’t care less about women, it’s all about protecting the program and justifying their existence.
      The response is so predictable, I assume they use a template, they always assume women have no clue about cc or cervical screening, and now seem to believe the propaganda. When you’re never challenged and have been misleading and lying to women from the beginning, with the support and co-operation of the AMA and others, well, you forget about consent and informed consent, it’s safe to abuse women, treat them like fools.

      Can’t believe they’re still using the old, “cc is rare here BECAUSE of pap testing”…absolute rubbish, it was always rare, we horribly over-screen and over-treat women so it “looks” like lots are being saved…we know the truth and the worrying fact for Papscreen, more women are onto their lies and condemn their disgraceful conduct. It’s unethical to mislead women, IMO, it’s illegal to deny consent. I certainly hope they’re punished one day for harming so many women.

    • adawells says:

      It’s great that you wrote. They know women are out there who are questioning their programme.

      So they have halved the number of deaths since 1999 from cc have they? I thought about 200 women a year currently die from cc in Australia, so there must have been about 400 a year dying in 1999, so that means about 13 women a year less are dying, factor in the natural decline of this particular disease and you have…ummm…6 or 7 maybe…
      Let’s get this into perspective – every year about 50 people in the UK are struck by lightning…Should we develop a costly preventative programme to reduce this, I wonder? Perhaps send out warning letters to everyone on a national database to stay indoors when a storm is predicted?

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