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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1,029 Responses to Discussion Forum (Unnecessary Pap Smears: Part Two)

  1. Alex says:

    Holy shit! Those women actually pranced around in their underwear (on a seemingly cold day, too) to try to drive women into getting probed at the doctor’s office?! They’re actually telling someone whether THEY have a problem with something. They’re arguing that something ceases to exist, despite it’s EXISTANCE!

    Notice: A lot of those women were in shape- this would gain them male attention & maybe that was the point: the other women would look at them as something to imitate. Men do the same thing when a guy is really jacked & the women seem to approve- he starts looking for workout tips so he can have these attributes, too. I wonder what would happen if women started wearing mini-shirts & spandex shorts carrying signs that says “My body, my rules- including in the doctor’s office”? They actually did something real similar in Mexico- there was all kinds of victim-blaming with rape & groping & such, so they threw on something sexy & marched around with “My body belongs to me” written in lipstick on themselves. Some dudes were involved, too.

    I’ve got to say, if I was going to go to bed with a woman, I’d want her to be supportive of bodily autonomy & compositional thinking- however hot she is. Whether the goal is procreation or not, there is the potential for it & I wouldn’t want a woman that is going to try to sabotage our kids. Also, I don’t trust people that don’t have self-determination. It’s just that it’s not normal to be like that & I worry if they’re nuts, plain & simple.

  2. Victoria says:

    I had a very cynical thought after a conversation with my mum about this. I told her I wouldn’t ever be screening and she was fine, didn’t say anything at all, not even, “Well you should really…” I was explaining some of the main points I’ve learned from here (the Bristol Study, 99% caused by HPV, most treatments of abnormal cells haven’t stopped cancer, etc…). She then said she wasn’t too fussed about going again because she’s never missed one her adult life and they’ve all come back clear. Now, I don’t see that in itself as a reason to stop, although there are plenty of other valid reasons. I wondered, though, if my mum had had treatment for abnormal cells in the past, would she be so blaze about stopping? Her reason for possibly stopping was that she’d been completely clear her whole life, so turn that around and you have women using abnormal cells as a reason to keep going. We see this a lot on forums, the “better to be safe than sorry” line of argument and it’s not news to any of you reading. The cynical thought I had was that it’s actually in the screening programme’s interest to have as many women as possible promoting the screening through stories about their “cancer scare”. If they were to improve testing so over-treatment didn’t happen on so large a scale, there would be less of these stories out there encouraging/scaring witless some women into screening.

    • adawells says:

      “If they were to improve testing so over-treatment didn’t happen on so large a scale, there would be less of these stories out there encouraging/scaring witless some women into screening.”

      I think this is what’s now happening in the UK. From now on smears which are abnormal are being tested to see if they are HPV+. If not these women are treated as normal and go straight back to normal recall, so many less women than before are being referred for abnormal smears. The NHS will only test if a woman is HPV+ after she has given a smear, when a woman who is HPV- has no need to have smears in the first place.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        Are they, though? As far as I’m aware, only borderline/minor *abnormalities* will be HPV tested, not the moderate/severe ones. In the past, women with minor changes would simply have been retested 6 months later, and many of these would have resolved by then anyway. So although it reduces the need for more tests, I’m not sure whether HPV testing has really made a huge difference in regards to referrals – maybe it would if they used it as a primary test instead of tacking it onto the useful-as-a-chocolate-teapot smear test. Considering that abnormal smear + HPV positive means immediate referral, we’re still going to see an enormous amount of overdiagnosis.
        According to the new sales brochure – sorry, screening leaflet – 6 out of every 100 women have abnormal results and 4 of them will be referred – so with 13 routine tests in a lifetime, that’s a 78% risk of getting an abnormal result and a 52% risk of referral in one’s lifetime. When the lifetime risk of getting the disease (according to CRUK) is 0.9%.
        Doesn’t sound like an improvement to me.
        Yes, I know my *statistics* aren’t really correct, since risk factors change during our lifetime, but I’m employing the same creative accountancy the NHS is so fond of. ;)

        I also find it quite insulting that a woman who tests HPV- is simply returned to the regular system – it’s as if they’re assuming we, or our partners, are all out merrily shagging everything with a pulse and thus if we’re not infected now, we soon will be!

      • adawells says:

        You may well be right. My last test was in the 20th century so I’m completely out of the loop. I was just going by what I’ve read recently on the NHS website:

        I would be interested to know from any women living in these areas how the system actually works. For instance, if you are living in one of these cities and you test HPV-, are they really going to say to you that you can come back in 6 years time instead of 3? I doubt it somehow. They don’t want the word to get out that you don’t need to keep screening so often.

      • Moo says:

        Systems do not work. If a woman over 35 is HPV negative, she might be that until she has sex with someone who gives her a strain of HPV she never had her immune system encounter and clear. But really only the HPV negative women might want Pap tests.

        I sent off the form to never have another cancer screening invitation or phone call for cervical, breast or colon cancer. It said I was signing that I knew I was responsible for keeping my screening updated and also my family doctor was responsible (a contradiction). No acknowledgment that I was choosing not to have screenings or could have that choice.

        Why does there even have to be a SYSTEM for cancer screening?

        When the cause of some cancers were not known cancer registries were useful in determining what populations, neighbourhoods (chemical contamination of soil, air, water) were experiencing more types of certain cancers. It could also be used for planning so that medical care could be equalized according to needs. Only where is the evidence that cervical screening registries are being used for those purposes?

        Most of the reports I have read about cervicla screening programmes go back to the “Health Belief Model” system of scaring women into testing and finding out “their excuses” for not testings and proposing measures to “increase” numbers tested.

        The panty video was disgusting. Maybe the next one will be worst showing us how we actually get HPV with live sex acts in the street. Back when I was 13 I was embarrassed to go to the store to buy tampons.

  3. adawells says:

    So glad I don’t live in Northamptonshire and would have had to suffer the dreadful No Excuses flashmob in 2013. Their video is here:

    It makes me squirm with embarassment to watch it, and I’m ashamed this happened in my country.
    They say they want to have 100,000 likes on YouTube. They have 16 (probably the 16 girls in the video) and 1 dislike. I can’t seem to find any evidence that they ran it again this year (2014) so let’s hope they’ve had complaints about it.
    It was organised by our very own NHS, and eve.livesley@northants.nhs.uk advertised on Mumsnet to get volunteers.

    • Karen says:

      I thought the same. I guess it was done at the same time as the crying boy posters. I wonder why there were no media features? The Huffpost seems to be willing to run any misogynist crap as long as it’s “ironic” of course, like Nadia Kamil. I hate living in a country where this crap is permitted, even funded, and no-one goes up to them and tells them where to show their hashtags. These videos play into the worst stereotypes of women, in this case the northerner women running around in knickers in the snow, just the drunken, irresponsible slags they are(this is such a stereotype in the UK, that northern girls never dress appropriately for the weather), and they are then ritually humiliated and its of course a big cheeky giggle, and it “saves lives”.

      • adawells says:

        Amen. I noticed that one female poster on YouTube has said how patronising it is, and on another Northamptonshire newspaper site there was just one comment made:
        “Organised by Hugh Jarse, I presume?”

    • Victoria says:

      Haven’t watched the video yet, but my first thought is that the word “excuses” is an appalling one to use. It completely ignores the evidence that women (including a GP like Dr McCartney) have used to come to their decision not to screen. “Excuses” to me is to be used when they’re not real reasons.

      • adawells says:

        Yes, I think Elizabeth also raised this point: how come you need an “excuse” when the test is entirely an elective one, based on a woman’s own decision. This is the mentality of many NHS staff, that women should have no say in their healthcare at all.

    • Alice says:

      This video is so disgusting!
      I don’t remember the last time I was deeply insulted for being a woman.
      I am ashamed to share the gender with those female idiots who agreed to run around in pink undies. The money was good I presume, so was the prospective to get “famous”.
      By the way, how do we call women who sell access to their their genitals? That’s right…

    • Alice says:

      P.S. I hope the people who have YouTube accounts will give them their “dislike”.
      So that “enthusiasts” like these won’t think of making another video-puke on this topic.

      • Kleigh US says:

        I am sick of seeing young woman with a smile on there face like there so happy promoting pap smears. I wonder what her face looks like when shes spread egal with a stranger shoving hands and tools inside her. its very gross. I couldnt bare to watch the video.

  4. Victoria says:

    My last visit to the nurse has sprung to mind. She had a much better attitude than others I’ve seen, but she said, “I just have to make sure you know this is a very important test.” I just said “okay” but thinking back, I’ve decided I’m going to say, “I understand that’s your opinion.” By saying “okay” I was effectively agreeing with her that it’s an important test. I don’t want them to think that all women who refuse, know full-well it’s important but still decline. The truth is that I *don’t* think it’s an important test, I think it’s a very ineffective one and particularly irrelevant to my situation!

    • Mint says:

      Of course the nurse promotes the idea that “it’s an important test”. If more women make an informed decision NOT to screen, she is in danger of getting the sack!

    • Kleigh US says:

      Victoria, I understand what you mean as I have had a nurse scold me when she found out that I had never had a pap smear. this happened before i knew about false positves and she just keep shaking her head in discused like I was ignorant for not having them. she also insenuated that woman bodys are so complex and bc we mensruate we are in danger. she whoulnt let me hadly explan myself. 6 years latter i wish I knew what i know know and i wish that I had been more firm with her. I whould also have asked her if she knew what informed concent was. bc she was not respecting my rights as a patent.

  5. Moo says:

    I found this report about self collected HPV tests hidden on an Ontario government website. https://www.cancercare.on.ca/common/pages/UserFile.aspx?fileId=32290
    Apparently there are not enough studies for the Ontario government to consider self HPV tests for women even if they will not have Pap tests done for various reasons. Even the report is not called “self HPV tests”. As if they are deliberately hiding and archiving it.

    There are also documents that recommend HPV testing every five years yet they will not fund the HPV test. Is this what voters want?

  6. Alex says:

    Using the term “no excuses” completely omits the concept of someone’s own discretion in the matter. They’re trying to comport the situation in this way on their own, around this person.

    I remember a Highlander episode (Duende) where a guy was saying to his daughter “You will do as I say” with regard to marrying someone. I thought “That’s pretty fucked-up, you sure you don’t want to drag her to bed yourself?” I wonder if these women would have a problem with that?

    I just had a thought: Maybe they wouldn’t have a problem with it if it was the MOTHER that was pulling this kind of shit? It certainly seems that, especially with penetrative situations, they’re into the idea of “If you have a problem with something, I’ll let you know.”

  7. Ro says:

    Re: “No Excuses”. Actually, there is always an excuse to not do something. The phrase “no excuses” is to con people into thinking they must do what is popular or accepted. Even if it’s something that is harmful to you individually (see: the following example), there is still the excuse that it’s your life and that your wishes need to be respected. It’s interesting that these women say “there’s no excuse not to get screened!”, but there are probably at least a few of them who use every excuse in the book to avoid giving up cigarettes. Reminds me of the doctor who once told me that I’d eventually have to do things I didn’t want to in regards to medical exams when I refused a breast exam as a teenager. I wish I’d known then what I know now – I could’ve given her a piece of my mind and been taken off “the list” before I even got put on LOL. This mentality needs to stop. It’s disgusting and I have no idea what the root of the problem is (perhaps the media or society telling women what they should do and who they should be, but that even seems a bit of a stretch) but once we find it and attack it head on, I think things will start to gradually get better.

  8. Emily says:

    OK that video was kinda bullsh*t…how is parading around an overwhelming amount of ASS supposed to f*cking help?!?!….yes us women are nothing more than ASS and VAGINA… don’t pay attention to the ***PERSON*** who has thoughts and feelings and wants/deserves some f*cking ***RESPECT*** no that’s silly we’re all just walking vaginas waiting to catch some disease that needs constant testing and “treatment” at the hands of greedy medical institutes. Great. Thanks alot girls you’re really doing a great service to us all- NOT…sorry I suppose that was a little venomous but that kinda sh*t really p*sses me off. I don’t care if you’re a man, a woman, a doctor, a politican or anyone else– WHEN/WHERE/HOW I MANAGE MY HEALTH IS ABSOLUTELY NOT YOUR DECISION-ITS MINE-SO F*CK OFF AND STAY OUT OF MY BUSINESS….there I think I’m done now :) thank you guys for putting up with me hehe

    • Alice says:

      Well said Emily. Those are the words the situation requires.

    • adawells says:

      Thanks Emily I think it sums up the video admirably. I don’t think that any of the video used paid models, I think they were all NHS staff or friends of. The NHS usually relies on its own staff, for photos and video clips on its web sites.

      From what I’ve read the NHS is concentrating its drive towards screening at those in their late 20s, (screening starts at 25 in the UK) as these are the figures that are giving them most concern. I think less than half in this age range bother to attend, and they are desperately trying to hook them in as they are afraid of them never attending if they don’t get them into the habit young. This ridiculous stunt is also designed to appeal to the lower class women who have much higher rates of cervical cancer, but I think it fails on so many levels. It is deeply insulting to all women, whatever their social position, and must alienate so many middle class women from going. It is pathetic and so bad it is totally embarrassing to watch.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        So they’re trying to ‘reach’ women when we’re young, naïve and easier to manipulate. Telling us that allowing a stranger to penetrate our vagina is a ‘normal’ and ‘clever’ thing to do.
        Rather like a paedophile grooms a child.

  9. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    This demonstrates the NHS talking about informed consent is pure politics, just words. We only see this approach in women’s cancer screening and I’d say the most aggressive campaigning is about pap testing. This makes sense of course, when you MUST have 80% or more on board to justify the vast expense of the program. It was always known informed consent could not work with cervical screening, if you fully inform women of risks and benefits and respect their right to choose, no harassment, no target payments etc. you wouldn’t get 80% through the door…eventually that means the program can’t be justified.
    I believe that’s the main reason the program is being changed here, more women are rejecting 2 yearly pap tests from 18 to 70, they can’t get the numbers. The numbers keep falling so something has to be done, also, it becomes unsafe to give women bad medical advice when that pool contains more and more informed women.

    So we USE the female form to sell screening, young women walking around in public in their knickers, using the female body to attract attention and to sell something, a familiar approach. They also, want screening to look on-trend…join our cool group! It’s also, scoffing at female modesty…we’re happy to let others view our bodies type-of-approach. Interesting also, that some women feel their bottom is nice enough to show off in public, or they feel confident doing that, others are wearing their pink knickers over their jeans etc.

    You cannot say you respect informed consent or even consent itself when you continue to use this approach to “sell” screening to women. Dr McCartney has pointed out how inappropriate and disrespectful this approach is, yet it continues BECAUSE they have no choice. Take this approach or the program dies.

    We don’t see people walking around with their backsides showing and pointing a brown skewer at people to promote bowel screening. The program is not fully funded here, so the Govt is not fully invested, and the cancer is more common so you don’t have to reach as many people to make the program “work”. (or appear to work)
    Also, the approach is always different IMO, when men are also, being targeted, like day and night when you compare prostate and cervical screening, the former is an option (often with real information on pros and cons) the former is a must with a pink sticker and a jingle. It’s just a question of scaring, intimidating, coercing etc. enough women through the door. The NHS can’t respect informed consent, it’s pure lip service on the rare occasions they’re challenged…they just hope there are not too many informed women out there or the program is on the way out. Happy days, say I…

    • Alice (Australia) says:

      I wonder in the targeting, reminders or call-and-recall will get much worse with the obtrusion of the eHealth in Australia. There are government plans to make e-Health Records opt-out (rather than opt-in as it currently is).

      Many Australians sensed that trusting their personal and sensitive medical information to the government is unsafe in terms of hacking and privacy breaches, and will only benefit the government in its attempt to extend the mass surveillance to the medical territory.

      Very few people signed up for Australian eHealth. But millions of dollars have been already spend, so the program has to be touted, justified and dressed up as “successful”. And to achieve that, the government decided to force it: there are plans to make eHealth profiles for everyone by 2015, whether we want it or not. And there is also an apprehension in the community that the opt-out procedure won’t be made easy: the government may require every person to create a myGov profile first in order to be able to opt-out of eHealth. And how unsafe and badly made myGov web site is, we all already know. It is also worth keeping in mind that nothing ever can be deleted from eHealth: the records can be marked as “hidden”, but they won’t be deleted, and they still can be access in the circumstances the government deems as “emergency” or “public interest”.

      I already went through all sorts of obstacles to delete my personal data from various registers and databases where I never consented for my details to be recorded in the first place. And I’m serious about being one of the first people to opt-out of eHealth once it is forced upon us, no matter how hard the govt will make it to get out. I don’t want my health information to be available to the government. We all know how it uses it, especially when it comes to womens “health care”.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        I’ll have to take a look at this eHealth business, Alice.
        What registers do you mean? I’m not on the pap testing registry, I’ve never tested, so I doubt they’ve ever heard of me. I heard that Papscreen a few years ago cross-checked the pap testing records with the electoral roll and then contacted women who appeared to be non-screeners. They targeted women aged 40 to 50 from memory. That’s the sort of resources they have, imagine the cost of that exercise…disgraceful, when so many other areas are poorly funded. I suppose the pressure to protect the program means they can’t relax for a moment.
        I took myself off the Breast Screen register, sent them a letter.

        I certainly don’t want the Govt sticking it’s nose into my medical records.
        I’ve heard the expression, “nanny state”…and it does seem like we’re constantly being told what to do and what not to do. Sometimes I feel like telling them to push off…my business. I feel sorry for women who choose not to breast feed, with the breast feeding police. I couldn’t believe it when some bright spark came out and said formula should be on script…great so they want to force women into the consult room to beg for formula and lecture them, “naughty woman, why aren’t you breast-feeding? It’s best for baby”.
        There is a line we shouldn’t cross, respecting the individual, personal choice – some women choose not to breast feed, that’s their business, some choose not to have pap tests, their business etc.
        So often it’s women who are targeted, criticized, told what to do…and coercive measures are just fine.

      • Alice says:

        Elizabeth, I meant all sorts of registers the government has or will install to track us and to tell us what to do. As you said, Papscreen cross-checked womens details with the Electoral roll in the past, even though the people provided their personal details to the Electoral roll for one purpose only: voting. Using personal information outside of the reason it was collected for is actually against the law in Australia. But the government and organisations like Papscreen appear to be above the law.

        So can you imagine what they are going to do with people’s personal information contained in the electronic health records? Before, Australian women had at least some defence, because getting into the Eelectoral roll for the purpose of pushing cancer screening was an obvious breach of Australian Privacy Principles. But once the eHealth is imposed on all Australians, the government will have free hands to access our medical information for any “health” reasons, and that will inevitably include “our favourite” screening.

        Every Australian woman who wants to decide for herself what to do with her own health and body, and to avoid any reminders, recalls or other screen-spam, may want to consider opting-out of the Australian eHealth (or myHR, as it is now called after another change of name), once the government forcibly creates eHealth profiles for everyone. I certainly will opt out, because I cannot trust our “caring” medical authorities with the tiniest bit of my personal data.

      • Moo says:

        There is no way to delete information from eHealth or cancer registries or cancer screening registries in Ontario, Canada. They passed legislation to that won’t out much debate. The women representing the cancer screening registry said that if participation was voluntary, the registry would be useless because people would not want to. So why is NOT listening to the tax payers so important?

        What infuriates me more is that I have no easy way to access my health records without get expense. One can ask to view them and have “corrections” made but I have not tried it myself.

        Next time I get called into the doctor’s office for no reason (his trick for pushing cancer screenings and vaccines), I will not remove any clothing and insist I view my medical records. I refuse any blood tests etc until I see the results of last years tests. Saying that something was ok is not good enough for me.

        The problem of government keeping and never deleting records has already caused many problems for people in employment, education and travel in regards to police contact in Ontario, Canada. All police contact is recorded and never deleted. For example someone might have some association with a suspect in a crime although they themselves are never charged or arrested. This record will show up if they are applying for a criminal background check or trying to cross the border.

        As well often doctors opinions and diagnoses are wrong.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        RE: Moo, and Canadian Government keeping all medical records w/o deleting, ever. In the state of CA where I live, there’s a secret registry. The Suspected Child Abuser/Molester Registry. A person can be added to this w/o ever knowing, although they’re supposed to notified so they can have their day in court.

        Anybody can be added to this. All it takes is calling the CPS Hotline. An investigation is started. Arbitrary decisions are made in Juvenile Court. Although Juvie is a bona-fide part of the Superior Court system (Muni and Superior were merged), every proceeding occurs in secrecy. The accused will be excluded from the hearings, as these are for the under-18 child, who’s now a ward of the State. The findings may condemn a person to a temporary, 10-year, or permanent registry. This too has ruined many lives. And once on, it takes huge amounts of money, and court appearances to change it.

        Now and then however, CA gets sued for adding somebody w/o notifying them first. Or for bungling things up so much a person is awarded compensation for reputations ruined.

        About dentists and cancer screenings. As once said, a cousin in Toronto died from melanoma. She had a malignant mole the size of a pencil lead under her tongue. It spread through her jaw to her chest. There’s no describing her, or her family’s agony.

        Last month San Diego Padre #19 Tony Gwynn passed away from salivary gland cancer due to chewing tobacco. Other ball players get tonsil cancer. My dentist charges $90 to use a special chem light to search our mouthes. His exam is painless. He does not dig, but scratches around. He feels around my neck and jaw as well.

        While thanks to this site I’ll forever be educated re pap’s, I look at the dental cancer screening differently. It’s not degrading nor invasive, and nobody demands it. My option!

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        It’s interesting Alice, the electoral roll is a register of voters, but it’s used a lot for other reasons. I did a search recently to check a witness was at the same address. A friend waded through the register to send letters off for a University reunion.
        It’s certainly viewed as a public record, anyone can go into an Electoral Office and search the register.
        I wonder if any women challenged Papscreen. I think a lot of their conduct is overlooked because they claim to be saving lives, when IMO, they are protecting their own existence and the program. They may have helped a few women, but harmed huge numbers in the process. I’m constantly amazed at their lack of respect for women and naturally, you can’t leave comments on their website, they like to have the last word and don’t like being challenged. Every time I think they’ve ethically hit rock bottom, they manage to pull a little extra out of the hat.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Oh, and Alice, thanks for the information, I’ll be taking myself out of the system as well. My heath information is between me and my doctor, no one else.

      • Adawells says:

        Hi Alice/Elizabeth,
        I found this article, whilst searching academic journals online. I don’t know if you’ve seen it or are able to access a copy?
        No need for ‘yes’: Australian Pap Smear Registers, consent and the (re-)creation of gendered identities, Stagg-Taylor, Joanne
        Is Part Of: Women’s Studies International Forum, 2013, Vol.40, pp.183-191 [Peer Reviewed Journal]
        Identifier: ISSN: 0277-5395 ; DOI: 10.1016/j.wsif.2013.07.010
        Description: In cervical cancer testing, law and medicine operate in gendered ways to create legislative regimes for population testing. Governments in several Australian jurisdictions have enacted legislation which creates cervical cancer registers under the National Cervical Screening Program. Unlike other legislation relating to several other types of health register, cervical cancer register legislation sets up oversight, reminder and information gathering regimes about all patients who undergo testing for cervical cancer. Women must opt out rather than opt in to use the system. Using a feminist theoretical model, the article will examine how the Program creates and reinforces gender identities based in both the embodied position of women as Pap smear patients and patriarchal assumptions about women’s rationality and autonomy.

      • Karen says:

        Adawells- great find! Do you know her work? https://leicester.academia.edu/NatalieArmstrong

      • adawells says:

        Thanks so much for the link. I didn’t know about her, but I see she has written a lot of very, very interesting articles. That’s my bedtime reading cut out for tonight!

        I was just skimming through the academic journals to see if there was anything new regarding the demise of cervical screening, and when I saw that article I thought of our sisters downunder.

      • Alice (Australia) says:

        Thank you for the link.
        Australian Pap Smear Registers have been operation on opt-out basis for a long time. A woman is never asked whether she wants to be included into a cervical cytology register or not. She is included automatically whenever she has a pap or any other related test like HPV. Also, women often are not told by their doctors that they have a right to to ask the doctor to write “Not for PSR” on her test request form to avoid being included into the register. However, even if a woman done her research and asks for “Not for PSR” to be written, she is often included anyway, just because the system works on autopilot and presumes everyone wants to be included, receive annoying reminders, have their genitals under ongoing surveillance and have their life “saved”.

        In addition to this tactics, the Pap Screen employs another trick to hinder the fact that cervical cancer is a rare cancer and to fiddle with statistics to fabricate the facts on how many lives the screening “saved”. I’m pretty sure I posted this before, but just to refresh:

        I have just figured out how Australian medical system is killing two birds with one stone:
        1. Making cervical cancer look rampant.
        2. Pretending that their “successful screening program” is saving enormous amount of women from the cancer.

        The trick turned out to be very simple:
        A friend of mine has just got a copy of her pap smear results (luckily, she insisted that the doctor writes “copy to patient” on her test request form). She now regrets that she agreed to do the smear and says she won’t do it ever again, but that’s not the point. The point is that my fried did the smear only because her doctor talked her into it. She had no symptoms, no family history of ANY cancers, no suspicions for HPV risk, no pain, no previous history of any female problems. She was absolutely healthy and asymptomatic. Yet she was told she needed a pap smear.

        Now she received a copy of her results from the lab — all normal.
        However, because she went to a non-bulk-billing doctor, the results came with a payment slip, which contained Medicare Benefits Schedule item number 73055 for cervical cytology. At the first glance, it looked correct.

        BUT, if we search MBS and have a look what 73055 means, we will discover the following:
        Cytology of a smear from cervix, not associated with item 73053,…
        (a) for the management of previously detected abnormalities including precancerous or cancerous conditions; or
        (b) for the investigation of women with symptoms, signs or recent history suggestive of cervical neoplasia.

        Then, if we have a look ant the number 73053, we will see:
        Cytology of a smear from cervix…
        (a) for the detection of precancerous or cancerous changes in women with no symptoms, signs or recent history suggestive of cervical neoplasia…

        In other words, 73053 is for routine pap smears for healthy asymptomatic women who have never had any abnormalities, and 73055 is for pap smear for women who have symptoms, or previously had abnormalities, precancer or cancer. And my friend should have got 73053, not 73055!

        Both items 73053 and 73055 cost exactly the same money and the digits look very similar, so there isn’t much chance any patient will notice the difference, and that it works wonders for the sly System.

        Medicare Australia is the main power behind the cervical screening program, and now, instead of admitting in its statistics that this particular smear was useless for my healthy friend, it will add my friend to the number of women who, as the System claims, had, have or are likely to have cervical cancer and, because my friend will stay healthy, the System will also claim that of so-many-women with detected abnormalities so-many are now healthy.

        A simple, genius and dirty trick, isn’t it? “Saving” lives…

      • bethkz says:

        +Alice – The improper coding of “routine” paps as “followup” paps from previously-detected cancerous or “pre-cancerous” conditions happens much more frequently in the US. That’s because it DOES cost more in the US. Patients and 3rd-party payers pick up this tab, and few patients even can read their coded billing statement. It’s done as part of the rampant “upcoding” that is partly causing US healthcare to be by far the most expensive healthcare in the world. This is no accident. The system is working just as it was designed.

      • Alice (Australia) says:

        As to the “opt-out” approach, soon not only Pap Smear Registers will be doing that, but the whole Australian eHealth system is to become opt-out, which means that ALL our medical information, health records, test results, medications, doctor visits and procedures will be accessible by the government and screening authorities at any time (and for hackers to steal, too).

        Which means they will have a huge array of data to manipulate and use to their own advantage. Ahh, no, of course not! Pardon. To save our lives.

      • Alex says:

        Alice: I don’t get what you mean by “opt-out.” I thought that meant that someone can remove themselves from a situation without retaliation or interference. Why would the government or hackers have access to that information? Also, what makes you think they don’t sell/give that information to these people in the first place?

        It’s suprising how many times someone decides to give out YOUR information on THEIR own accord in the States. Then they act like their freedom is being infringed on if you try to counteract this- they “reserve the right,” as far as they are concerned. That’s another interesting thing: people here reserve the right to start shit, but other people don’t reserve the right to counter it.

        Just like when people “mandate” one thing or another & other people don’t “abrogate” that mandate. They make something a requisite & someone else doesn’t cancel it. Personally, I figure it’s these people not wanting to be dictatorial. Doesn’t make much sense, though- since it’s giving them what they dished-out & it’s impeding a dictatorial environment (which they seem to genuinely not like). That’s not the same thing as what they did, because it’s not the same conditions- just like someone driving down an empty street is not the same thing as driving through a crowded shopping mall!

      • Alice (Australia) says:

        In Australia, “opt-out” means that you have to call, write letters and/or do something else to have your personal information removed from places where you never wanted it to be in the first place. Theoretically, it means that women, after home hurdles, can stop pap-spam, but practically, as Elizabeth said, the info is then taken from other sources like electoral roll.

        If the system was “opt-in” (as it should be in a decent free country), your personal information would be shared with pap-register or other organisations only if you explicitly asked fir it or consented to it.

      • Alice (Australia) says:

        As to hackers, Australian eHealth system is connected to a very insecure and extremely badly-made site called MyGov. It has a great potential to become a hacker’s paradise and one-stop shop for identity fraud.

        At the moment, eHealth is “opt-in”, which means that only the people who decided to register for it are risking their personal and medical information. But because only 5% of Australians registered so far, the government decided to force it and devised a plan to make eHealth “opt-out” in 2015, which means they will create a eHealth profile for every person, whether they want it or not. And then, people will have to jump though obstacles to opt-out, but opting out will only prevent new information from being recorded in the eHealth. Everything that the government puts there at the initial stage, will never be deleted.

    • Karen says:

      Adawells there is this one too: Feminism, Sociology of Scientific Knowledge and Postmodernism: Politics, Theory and Me

      Author(s): Vicky Singleton

      Source: Social Studies of Science, Vol. 26, No. 2, Special Issue on ‘The Politics of SSK:

      Neutrality, Commitment and beyond’ (May, 1996), pp. 445-468

      Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/285426 .

      (I find it rather annoying, and over the top)

      • adawells says:

        I tried last night to read more of Natalie Armstrong’s work, but couldn’t find any. Do you know her? Is her work to increase participation in the cervical screening programme or does she come out against it?

      • adawells says:

        Excuse my last post. I was typing Natalie with a “th” so couldn’t find her work. I can now find her articles so will read these today!

      • Karen says:

        I don’t know her, but I use her work quite a bit. I only know some people from the NHS who worked on the crying boy poster, pfujj.

      • adawells says:

        Thank you for telling me about this author, as I have been reading some of her papers today, and I am struck by her bravery at putting into print how degrading and painful pap testing is. She only uses a small cohort of subjects, and my immediate reaction was: he we go again, it’s another one of those trials where they pick the regular sheep from the flock who go regularly, and can’t praise the programme enough for keeping them from death’s door, but even the regular attendees of testing told how much they dreaded, loathed and hated undergoing the procedure, and also how widespread the pain was. I didn’t feel that she tackled the question enough, about why women put themselves through this every time. The misinformation, bullying and coercion that brainwashes these women is still not being tackled.

      • adawells says:

        When you worked with the NHS people who had worked on the crying boy poster, did any of them question what they were working on? Did they think it was a good advert?

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Thanks for the references, Karen
        I just printed off her article on cervical screening, “Discourse and the individual in cervical cancer screening”. Individuals, what?! Is this woman some sort of lunatic?
        I don’t think the pap police are bothered by academic papers, not many women see them, they don’t threaten the program, but if she went public with their thoughts, it would be emergency stations. Discredit, deny, dismiss etc. Down with the dissenter!
        Heading somewhere sunny for 10 days, so it’s some reading for the plane.
        I’ll still be online though…
        Hoping we have another informed woman joining us, she sounds just like us. I met her on Patient.co.uk and gave her the link. We had to use the private message system, the moderator removed the link in my comment.
        Love to meet women who push back when they’re pressured, question everything and SEE this program and it’s treatment of women for what it is: disgraceful, unethical and I’d add, illegal.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        I read some of the article over my lunch break.
        The author examines the reactions and responses of a few women to cervical screening. The program treats women as a whole, but the author makes the point individual women may see the test differently. “I’m a very private person so the test is difficult for me”…when the official discourse always describes the test as simple, quick and usually painless.
        The author points out these explanations are not being used by women as a reason not to screen, only one woman was a non-screener, the rest found a way to cope and kept screening. (or words to that effect)

        Interesting that only two people have publicly stated that screening (for women) is a choice and can be reasonably declined, Dr Margaret McCartney and Professor Michael Baum. We often hear that prostate screening is a choice and should be an informed decision, some say it should be avoided…and not much is said about bowel screening. (much more common than cc)

        I think there is something quite perverse about a program that makes women feel like they have to “explain” a negative feeling, a reluctance to screen, being different from the statement in the official discourse…and forces some/many women to find a way around their feelings and keep screening.

        The analysis that goes into how women react to the program is amazing really, when screening is supposed to be up-front…here is the evidence, do you want to screen?
        The sort of thing we see in women’s cancer screening is more like entrapment, carefully planned propaganda, unethical tactics, manipulation…it really is sickening.

        Sadly, in these studies very few women ever say they’ve made an informed decision not to screen, they feel they must “explain” their conduct/feelings, (which is exactly what the program set out to achieve) few see it as a choice (it’s never presented that way) and if a woman says she doesn’t want to screen and provides a reason, then we see her “excuse” being disrespectfully dismissed with articles like, “Overcoming screening barriers”.

        I know Papscreen have a list of tips for GPs, how to handle refusers or reluctant women.
        How on earth can anyone view this as an acceptable way to treat women? It shows the value of propaganda…and of power itself, and how destructive it can be, distorting our view of proper and improper attitudes and conduct.

        I don’t think we’ll move much until people (individual women, doctors, authors, researchers etc.) are comfortable presenting screening as a choice for women. That means forgetting targets and getting rid of the screened (responsible, mature etc.) and unscreened (immature, foolish etc.) judgements. Also, a woman saying she does not screen should not attract a collective sharp intake of breath or see a doctor reaching for the Papscreen Tip Sheet, that doesn’t happen if people refuse bowel screening or anything else for that matter.
        This program has successfully manipulated our thinking to the point it’s stripped women of their legal rights, their individuality and bodily autonomy, our bodies are viewed as public property, and we’re supposed to present them for intimate medical inspection when we’re called upon to do so.
        AND we’re supposed to be fine with that, if we want to be viewed as responsible and mature women…now..how warped is that?

      • adawells says:

        These are two terrific posts, Elizabeth. Brilliantly said. It makes me angry that patient.co.uk have removed a link you put on their site. I noticed that the Demos report author for on the spot smears has removed all comments about cervical screening on her twitter account and drawn a line under it. Keep up the good work. Sometimes I despair of this situation, but then I remember that as every day goes by, more and more women ARE walking away from the programme. The tide IS moving in our favour, but I fear that the endgame might be quite bloody.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        I feel the same way, Ada, but then I remember it was only a few years ago when anything remotely critical of cervical screening was removed and the author banned. Also, there were virtually no negative posts, I think many women were afraid to speak their mind for fear of the attack that inevitably followed. If someone said anything negative they’d immediately put themselves down, “I know that it’s silly but…”

        We’ve been brainwashed over decades and women here are still being horribly over-screened, our referral rates well hidden, so I can’t see things changing quickly.
        Most women have never read or heard anything critical of the program, so they simply don’t trust our posts and information.
        BUT more women are taking the time to do some research and more women are speaking out, I didn’t see posts from dissenters even 5 years ago, now I often see them, and not apologizing for hating the pap test or refusing to have it, but rejecting it outright understanding that’s our right….others have made an informed decision not to screen.
        One woman had endured humiliation and pain over the last 10 years and finally said no, she couldn’t care less about cc, she just wants to be left alone. These women can find the information they need now if they look hard enough…and realize how remote the risk of cc and how likely it is the testing will lead somewhere nasty etc. (most women are not at risk) Hopefully, this will give them peace of mind.

        This program effectively silenced women and dissenters and suppressed real information, which made it easy to keep the herd moving in one direction, that’s changed, over time I see more and more of the herd starting to question the whole rotten business, rejecting it or looking for something better.
        Once informed, the program has lost us forever, the lies and propaganda have no effect, instead it confirms in our minds just how low these people are, they have near contempt for women and their health, bodily privacy/autonomy and rights.
        It’s a snowball effect…more and more women leave the herd, speak to other women and so on. I think many probably already realize that all is lost when it comes to population pap testing, the gravy train is running off the rails so they better enjoy the profits while they can. The reality is only about 5% are at risk of cc and these women can test themselves for HPV, there is no need for the vast industry that attempts to drag all women in for testing, excess biopsies and “treatments”.

      • adawells says:

        Thanks for this, E. I’ve just contributed to Patient.co.uk, and see where they’ve removed your link. Mine is still in moderation, so will wait and see if it comes up. What was the link they’ve removed?

        I think 2015 will see some changes for the better as the first HPV vaccinated cohorts in the UK will be getting their 25th birthday present from the NHS – their first smear summons! I can see facebook getting flooded with indignant WTF!s, and I think many of them will be questioning still having to attend after having had the 3 jabs. I’d be bloody annoyed if I’d had it, and then found I still needed to go. I think the pro-screeners are getting desperate and know they have a fight on their hands, hence the surge in nauseating propaganda at the moment. It is a desperate attempt to keep the programme running until they switch to alternatives, which unbeknownst to the general population are already out there. They may have castrated me, but it won’t stop me from protesting because I have my daughter to protect.

      • bethkz says:

        I agree. When I began with an anti-gynecology site 7 years ago, after finding that the medical industry was completely untrustworthy from either the financial fraud angle or from the scientific/objectivity/reproducibility of diagnoses, or even from the truth-telling angle, I was surprised to find things in that site about harm that could come from testing. Even at that point, I considered paps to be safe, reliable, and necessary for maintaining health.  I thought that the safety from CC was part of what I’d given up to protect myself from other wrongdoing in the industry. Boy was I in for a shock! It was another part of the fraud, lies, and lack of science, as well as there being numerous instances of sexual assault in the doctor’s office.

        7 years ago, I was like a voice in the darkness, talking of anything other than the medicine we have is the best in the world, it keeps us healthier, safer, with longer lives… and my own experiences with Hospital-Acquired resistant infections and egredious fraud including medical identity theft were a tiny aberration. I could find no sites or forums anywhere, excepting Scientologists, where this was discussed in general. When it first started – questioning diagnoses, safety of medication, safety of procedures, we were denounced as ALL being “Scientologists”. Now, it seems that I’ve had better-than-average results with the whole medical profession. It’s MUCH more mainstream now!

        If nothing else, go with the adage: “If it needs to be hard-sold, it’s not worth having.”

      • Karen says:

        adawells- I know her socially, she would never tarnish her squeaky-clean corporate image by working with me. She did not really seem to question it, and there are way too many convenient little pre-fabricated storylines to pull out anyway. Actually, I first saw the campaign posted on her facebook, with comments like “no-one likes a smear, but it is life saving”, and so on and on.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        I also, wonder about the Demos article, did the author remove the posts because she was embarrassed about her position? Have our posts prompted her to do some thinking and reading?
        Or, has she dismissed us as militants, silenced us in her own way and intends to carry on spreading the pap testing message? I wonder…
        I know Elizabeth Boskey on STD.about.com defended the practice of forcing women to have a pap test if they wanted the Pill, “otherwise some women would avoid testing”.
        There is so much wrong with that statement, yet how often do we read it and it goes unchallenged.
        She changed her tune after LOTS of women challenged her statements, I don’t think she’d ever received that sort of response before and it obviously, made her think. Now she still believes in pap testing but doesn’t think it should be linked to the Pill. To her credit she also, left all of those comments in place for all to see…

  10. Alex says:

    Kate (UK): You know, the Mongols actually deliberately married a woman that was somewhat older than them because they figured she’d be able to give better advice- they also considered it unmanly not to heed it.

    As an overall, I figure this was just an organized perv-out. Anything at all can be sanctioned & you’re only dealing with actions, anyway. A mass-implemented attack is totally possible (look at Causescu in Romania or marriage conditionals in America during the cold war).

    Them trying to “protect themselves” could come up, as well. They came up with all kinds of specious reasoning to con people into things & it would be blantantly obvious that they lied big time. Bullshit starting to smell, basically.

  11. adawells says:

    Just browsing the UK government’s e-petition website and came across this one to abolish cervical screening targets. You don’t need to be a UK national to sign http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/67645.

    • Alex says:

      Tried to sign, but it wouldn’t let me. It said I had to be a British national & I don’t have a fake address to put down. It don’t particularly care about lying to counter their bullshit, but I don’t know how things like that pan-out (results thrown out, bullshit internet crime charge, etc…).

      • adawells says:

        Many thanks for giving it a go. This is a new idea for the UK government. Anyone can set up a petition, as long as there isn’t one already going on the same topic. It stays live for 1 year. At the end if there are more than 10,000 signatures the government has to send a written response, if more than 100,000 signatures they have to debate the topic in our parliament. You can search for petitions on a particular topic. There are a quite a few on getting the screening age lowered for the under 25′s, including the dreadful Sophie’s choice petition which was taken up by a national newspaper and ended up with over 300,000 signatures. Fortunately, common sense prevailed and they were told that the screening test does not work in very young women. I noted that there was one petition to make cervical screening tests compulsory in all women, and this had only 1 signature (the author) after the entire year. Ha ha.

        Do other governments have a similar scheme, for the public to raise issues?
        If there are any UK nationals reading this do please start up a petition. We don’t want the pro-screening lobby to monopolise this!

      • Alex says:

        You’re welcome.

        About that compulsory for all women petition, was the author a guy or a woman? Also, what did it say? It’s good that it got zero support (a difference between the U.K. and America, I guess). I really think it would have been supported to a pretty shocking degree here & it’s odd because America makes all kinds of points about other countries being that way. It really is odd that what a situation consists of is not a factor in the assessment of that situation over here.

      • adawells says:

        Here’s the link here:


        It was in the section of petitions which had now closed, and it was a woman who posted it. (2nd one down).
        What is absolutely staggering, is the ignorance displayed about the cervical screening test itself. The public, just doesn’t get it that the test is not a diagnostic test for cancer, and is for women with no symptoms at all. So many petitions for colposcopy on demand, and smear tests for those who have very worrying symptoms of vaginal bleeding. The hysteria and false information spread about this cancer is scandalous.

        Our NHS is staggeringly short of money, and the government is looking at ways of privatising sections of health care to private companies, and I think cervical screening is one of those earmarked for privatisation. I’d be very interested to see how this develops. £50 ($70) for an HPV test every 6 years is hardly a lot of money. I wish they would make women pay for it.

      • Alex says:

        Wow, what a bitch! And the way she was okaying-up the whole social angle (saying “we” all the time).

        I don’t get how the pricing goes for all this. There’s bullshit tests that cost a lot & they’re not cut out, but there’s a concern for how much money there is in the budget?

    • Moo says:

      I cannot sign the petition because I am neither a UK resident or British citizen. Interesting though that there are three categories of petition: open, closed and rejected. Many more rejected than the other two categories. That is just for the topic of cervical screening. It seems to be a hot topic. Some of the rejected seem excessive.

      • adawells says:

        Hi Moo and Alex, the NHS has so successfully brainwashed women into believing that the pap test is a cure for cervical cancer, that there is widespread hysteria surrounding it, and any dissent from this view is regarded as mass murder. The media, particularly the tabloid press just loves a young woman dying of the disease, because it can use it to attack the socialist principles of the UK health service, create widespread panic amongst women and sell far more newspapers in the process.

        Lowering the screening age is a very hot topic which comes up over and over again, with the people promoting this idea, completely ignorant of the valid medical issues against it. Margaret McCartney is a lone voice in the dark speaking out against this. The vast majority of the medical profession stays silent. Mass hysteria plays into the programme and fear breeds compliance. Despite the NHS haemorrhaging millions on this programme, no politician will challenge it, for fear of losing votes, so the waste goes on, and the elderly wait weeks to get an appointment.

    • Karen says:

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/19/patients-hospital-care-over-intervention a doctor getting angry about target driven medicine, but no direct mention of cancer screening targets

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        It’s interesting how ignoring consent and informed consent (and going out of your way to deceive women) fuels and protects the excess and leads to harmful outcomes, yet people can’t see the wood for the trees.
        I recall an American woman online was urging young women to insist on mammograms yearly from about 35, earlier if there was family history. The latter is murky now with so many women over-diagnosed and labelled “survivors”, lots more women will be labelled “high risk”.
        Her mother had an early cancer picked up by mammogram, in the milk duct (mmm, DCIS?) and her older sister had a small cancer picked up, “thank goodness she’d been having annual mammograms from 35″.
        What are the odds the small cancer was actually caused by the radiation?
        I’d say it’s a bad decision to start having mammograms at 35 or 40 and at 50 women should carefully review the evidence. Of course, if you “think” there is family history, you’ll be encouraged to be vigilant with screening, and depending on the country, that may mean early and frequent mammograms.

        Yet this just reinforces what the women “think” is the case, mammograms save lives. (no downside or worth the risk/the benefits clearly exceed any risk) Naturally, they’re outraged that some are trying to wind back screening “to save money”.
        She suggested that some women should have 6 monthly mammograms, given her sister’s cancer was picked up with annual screening.

        It’s insidious, and leaves women powerless to protect themselves, they view excess as life-saving and no one will tell them otherwise…and if someone suggests over-diagnosis etc. naturally they’re viewed as ratbags, if it were true “my doctor would have mentioned that”….
        That’s what we’re up against…it’s safe for these doctors to carry on with annual and early mammograms because even if more and more doctors step forward and warn women, these doctors can claim thoroughness, or the evidence was inconclusive, a difference of opinion among experts, it wouldn’t occur to them that if that’s the case they should include women in that discussion. Of course, some doctors would simply follow their doctor’s advice.
        Some will argue legal liability means they have to side with excess.
        If you look at the health forums (especially the US forums) these discussions are fairly frequent. We see the same thing with pap tests, early and frequent testing means lots of false positives and over-treatment so it “looks” like lots of “cancers caught” resulting in more “survivors” so women stay with over-screening…some end up having 6 monthly or annual pap tests for years almost guaranteeing something else will be “caught” (another false positive)…and the merry-go-round continues.

      • Alex says:

        Elizabeth: It also is bizarre that it seems that some people have a conditional that the information that something is bullshit has to come from the one doing it. It’s up to them to deceive or confess & these people will listen no matter what.

        Another thing: I don’t know how to post links, but I just read an article about how some Japanese politician was suggesting giving pierced condoms to newlyweds & selling fake birth control!

      • bethkz says:

        Alex: It’s even worse than that. Not only does it have to be someone in the profession of doing something have to confess that it’s nonsense, that they’ve been deceiving multitudes for years. Just one such person is viewed as a maverick and irresponsible who should have his or her license revoked, and just regarded as a kook. It’s only if or when the majority within the profession, and an organization representing that profession gives “new guidelines” that it is taken seriously. Even then, they won’t admit to duping millions of people for billions of dollars/pounds/marcs/rupees, but just say that “new evidence suggests…”

  12. Alex says:

    Cat & Mouse: Apparently, there’s financial incentives for getting someone placed ($4,000- $6,000), so adoption bonuses are a motivation for kidnapping through occupational activities. This whole thing turns into lots of money for the various people involved (occupational activities- bonuses or not).

    This is another thing for them to fabricate, too. They always come up with one bullshit charge or another, but this is one that makes you look bad right out of the gate (the term itself gets someone thinking about the situation & now it’s pointed at someone). I’ve noticed that people don’t want to think that charges like that can be falsely aimed at them. Theft, arson, murder- these are all things that are a bit easier to swallow as a possibility. When it starts getting creepy, that’s seems to be something that people want to figure someone else (who might very well be that way, themselves) would be honest about & it wouldn’t have even come up if it didn’t happen.

    There’s also a bit of a general trend to convict someone “just to be safe, rather than sorry.” This is with everything, I’ve noticed. This leaves out the problem of someone getting attacked unjustly as a possible issue entirely.

  13. adawells says:

    Regarding privatisation of cancer screening services I found out that this row blew up in 1999:




    I have to say that I agree with the gyne Jim Thornton, that these expensive screening programmes should not be bringing our NHS to its knees. If people want these innacurate health screening programmes they should pay for them out of their own pockets, and let the NHS concentrate on providing real healthcare.

  14. Moo says:

    In low resource countries visual inspection with vinegar is done. It is suggested that screening yearly is best but at least once between ages of women 35 to 45. They do not do Pap tests because they do not have labs or technicians to read the slides. Nurses or trained workers do the screening and also treat with cryo therapy on the spot.
    This is the manual even with photos.

    See that over treatment is not happening in these low resource settings. Really serious cases are referred to doctors at a hospital.

    Some women here might like to look at their own cervix to see what is going on and then treat themselves with hydrogen peroxide or herbal therapies or see natural health practioner. I do not suggest self treatment with cryo therapy. Disposable speculum can be purchased at medical supply stores.

  15. adawells says:

    Someone posted recently about dogs who can sniff cancer, but I can’t find the post. There is actually a charity set up for this in the UK. It’s amazing and true.

  16. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    I think many doctors just tell women they “need” a pap test every 2 years IF they’ve even had ONE sexual encounter, some would even test virgins assuming some sexual contact has taken place. Others say all women must have pap tests, they don’t want to complicate things…just screen everyone, to hell with the risk of false positives and over-treatment.

    I know women who’ve been pressured to test even though they have no cervix and had the hysterectomy for a non-cancerous condition.
    So most doctors cast a wide net…asymptomatic women who’ve ever had any sexual contact. Some use it as a diagnostic test, wrong, women with symptoms should be referred for a proper investigation, screening tests are for people with no symptoms
    So it’s targets and financial incentives and mindlessly following the program. I think many GPs have a fairly poor understanding of cervical screening/HPV/cervical cancer.

    A woman who felt she could make a case for no pap tests (the words they tend to use) using things like “no family history of cancer, not likely to have HPV” etc. would be fired down, “you’re still at risk”, “you can never be sure, why take the risk?” etc.
    They can always argue you “might” be at risk…that’s why they’ve hidden away the significance of being HPV-…that way they can drag most women into testing (and treatment rooms)

    Even a woman claiming lifetime mutual monogamy would be told to screen, “you can never be sure” (your partner might stray)
    So I’m not surprised your friend was pressured into a pap test. A colleague (who used the Delphi Screener in Singapore) was told by her Aussie GP that she still needed pap tests (even though she is HPV-) She was able to shut down that discussion quickly because she’s informed, probably knows more than her GP at this point.
    Some doctors will try and hang onto pap testing by saying that not all cancers are caused by HPV…a VERY small number “may” not be linked to hrHPV, but these cancers are usually missed by pap tests anyway, how would a false negative help the woman?

    Keeping women in the dark enables GPs to manipulate, argue, dismiss, pressure etc. and get many women screened, whether they want to screen or not. That’s why getting the evidence to women is so important, having the ability to shut down the discussion protects you from this program. Of course, if a doctor talked over me, was rude etc. she’d be sacked, my EX-doctor.

    Alice, I doubt you’d find my name on the Pap test register, I’ve never screened, and I’ve never heard from them. No phone calls, letters, visits…nothing…and I’m 56 now. That suggests to me that I’m not on the register.

    Good detective work too, what a difference a code makes?
    Manipulating statistics is almost an art form for the medical profession and these programs.

  17. Alex says:

    Alice: That “opt-out” situation is kind of like a high-pressure sales tactic. They make it a confrontation where you have to cancel-out what they’re trying to do. Not to be condescending, but this is something that would generally be harder for a woman to counter than a man. Men don’t have as much of a problem with confrontation.

    It brings to mind someone raising a needle up like a dagger & trying to stab someone with it & in order to not get this injection, someone has to physically hold their arm.

  18. Alex says:

    Elizabeth: I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again: They LIKE doing these things. Doesn’t have to be this exact situation or something along similar lines, they are lined-up in an antagonistic way.

    People think it’s all about money, but it tends to be about malice. Look at it: They could think “The money’s not worth it,” they could think “I’ve got enough”, they could even think “Hey, this is a situation I’d pay to prevent.” They’ll use their funds to get things they want, too. All these things point to it being something that they find appealing.

    Same with the doctors & other medical personnel: They DO these things & if they’re not that way, they don’t generally put their jobs on the line to avert these situations or to speak out about them.

    • bethkz says:

      I am among those who think that it’s mainly money behind the whole thing. Doctors and other clinicians get paid to have a higher percentage of the women in their practice screened, they get paid more for doing more invasive testing, still more for more harmful invasive testing and hysterectomies, from all of the false-positives they’ll produce. They’re sending business to these hospitals, labs, and other doctors. This is BIG BUSINESS!

      However, there is a point to your claim that it is malice. Doctors have FEAR to sell. With more “cancer victims” there is more fear, thus more patients. There’s also a sort of “Munchausens by Proxy” that seems to be played by medical practitioners: Do things that will make you sick. Cure that illness. Make the person sick in some other way. Cure that illness.” Make money all the way around, and have a grateful patient about how you “saved their life”, and urge everyone they know to also fall into this web.

  19. Moo says:

    Going back to the old HPV dormancy theory. Any news or thoughts about that?

    The theory (never proven) of latency is used when a woman has years of normal paps and negative HPV tests. Suddenly she has an abnormal pap and positive HPV test. She has not had any new partners and she is a long term relationship. She believe her partner is not cheating and this news causes tensions in the relationship (abuse and divorce in some cases). She is told that she could have got HPV years, even decades ago and some how it is coming out just now. If she had previous negative HPV tests, the levels of HPV were “subclinical”.

    To prove the theory of latency then it would have to be followed that a woman with a positive HPV have the strains of virus typed and the any subsequent HPV infection show to be the exact same strain. Since apparently immunity to any particular strain is supposed to persist for years, could she been reinfected by the same strain later?

    Chlamydia is tested for only routinely (or screening pushed) towards certain populations, usually younger ages. Since 70% of women who have chlamydia show no symptoms it might be theorized that actually a larger number of people have chlamydia as part of their flora and it does not cause disease (symptoms). As well people often have yeast growing inside their bodies but only an overgrowth will make them sick (with symptom). But since these organisms are not routinely tested for, there is no overdiagnosis. M

    Another more sinister explanation is that a woman was infected during a previous pelvic exam from her doctor shoddy practices.

    Even a positive HPV test might. It be a huge deal since only a small percentage of these women will ever get cervical cancer. I do not buy the latency theory.

    • bethkz says:

      No one really buys the latency theory.

      Most of the whole virus theory is based on the notion that when you become infected with a virus, you develop immunity to that virus. That is why people who’ve had measles don’t get measles again. It’s the whole premise from which all vaccines derive. For the most part, vaccinations work to prevent most cases of the illness.

      If doctors and researchers really believed the latency theory, they would not have the HPV vaccination. It never would have been worked on, and if it did, no one would recommend it. If so-called latency theory were a fact, innoculation with the HPV virus would be guaranteed to have no effect in preventing any HPV infections, and might well just cause a few.

      At the same time, they dismiss the notion that many (most) people will clear an HPV infection in a couple of years on their own. If that were true, there’d be no point to the vaccine, since the immune system would not produce antibodies to kill any new similar viruses.

  20. Karen says:


    “Mother spent two years preparing to die after she was WRONGLY told she had cancer – and even wrote farewell letters to her sons and arranged her own funeral
    Denise Clarke, 34, underwent treatment for cervical cancer in 2010
    Had extensive radiotherapy to pelvic area and beat the disease
    But in November 2011 she was told she had huge cancerous mass in pelvis
    Doctors said there was nothing more they could do to treat her
    But after two years and feeling fine, she demanded more scans
    Was astounded to learn mass was actually damage from previous treatment
    Has now received five-figure sum from NHS Grampian for misdiagnosis “

    • adawells says:

      This is just typical of the tabloid stories we get about cervical cancer in the UK, and as usual it revolves around an individual who is completely uninformed about her diagnosis. If she had really been told that she had a huge cancerous mass, all manner of appointments and check ups would have been arranged at the hospital for the end of her life, but she seems to have spent this time with no further contact with the medical services, even though she assumed she was about to die. None of this adds up. It sounds to me like she got the wrong end of the stick about something.

      • Moo says:

        Too many details missing to try and piece together what really happened. She had bleeding at 9 weeks pregnant. Did she get an ultrasound at that time? She had to wait 6 months for an appointment to investigate that. What was that? A colpscopy? Then they told her she had cancer and induced the birth so she could get treatments right away. No mention of pap testing so was the diagnosis from viewing of the cervix? Biopsies are not usually done during pregnancy.

        Pap test during pregancy are not reliable. Some cells that are produced during pregnancy look very much like cancer cells. Mnaufacturers of the Pap test kits have “do not use brush after 8 weeks” right in the instruction pamphlet which I am sure many doctors do not read. There has never been a study published that showed that Pap tests caused miscarriage. That does not mean that no study was EVER done. It was not published. Why the warning by the manufacturer?

        The immune system is depressed somewhat during pregnancy so there are plenty of abnormal paps. Then women are pressured into getting paps 6 weeks after delivery and more abnormal paps are found. It takes some time for the body to return to normal after pregnancy. If the “cancer” is just really a viral infection (maybe combined with a fungal infection) then when the immune system kicks in, healing would happen.

        Another question about this case is how was it determined that she never had cancer? Were her tests reviewed and shown it was just an error?

        If this poor woman received enough radiation “for a lifetime” this very tragic. Likely this would cause her to get other cancer later. It is a tradegy.

      • bethkz says:

        I knew one in my own community, who told me that she’d been diagnosed with a HUGE cancerous mass in her abdomen, which was so large as to be “inoperable”. I cannot say for certain, but her figure was similar to that of a woman who was pregnant, and remained that way even though she was late-middle-aged and unlikely to be pregnant. She did not have, nor was she offered, tons of appointments and dubious treatments. She died… of cancer… I always thought something was amiss about the situation. No doubt she had something, and got the short end of the stick somewhere. It seems that with her they could not be bothered finding out.

    • Alex says:

      Holy shit! Notice how they always act like they give a shit about what problems a person has, but then they cause them? And after that, they’ll cover them up so they keep happening? Not indicators of altruism, for damn sure.

  21. Karen says:

    some clueless american in the guardian, about how women still need their “female care”: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/23/spy-camera-gynocologist-every-womans-nightmare-wake-up-call

    • Moo says:

      The article failed to mention that black women often get cancer from strains other than HPV 16 and 18 which there is a vaccine for. Of course medical care is racist, it always has been even before the “father of gynaecology” Dr Sims.

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