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)

About forwomenseyesonly

Hi. My name is Sue and I am interested in promoting holistic and respectful health care.
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1,562 Responses to Discussion Forum (Unnecessary Pap Smears: Part Two)

  1. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Well, well, well, haven’t they kept this quiet? I just found a local web address for Delphi Bioscience. It says “your doctor can order a Delphi Screener for you”…so the Screener will be locked behind doctors. Now why doesn’t that surprise me…

    http://www.delphiscreener.com.au/

    Women who don’t want to go through a doctor might be able to get it from Singapore, I’ll let you know when I hear from Delphi Bioscience.
    A few interesting things:
    “Will the Delphi Screener only be available through prescription?
    This depends on the country. The Screener can be offered for free through the government, or can be bought at the pharmacy, or be provided by a general practitioner or gynaecologist.”

    “Where is the Delphi Screener available?
    We are currently using the Screener in many countries around the world to collect local information on the use (Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Germany, Malta, USA, Singapore).”

  2. Alex says:

    It’s not really related to this subject, exactly- but did you hear about doctors in the U.K. trying to get KITCHEN KNIVES BANNED?! They are so into micro-managing people’s lives that they think somoene shouldn’t even have kitchen knives.

    Supposedly, it’s because they are used in attacks- but what is someone supposed to grab if they get attacked? As it is, guns are a huge controversy & so are regular knives (but fixed & folding). For some reason BOWHUNTING is illegal in Britain, too. Better amputate people’s hands because they could use those to protect & provide for themselves!

    What happened to England? I don’t know if Scotland or Wales is like this or if they’re blanketed by all this “rubbish” (as they call it), but it’s getting to the point where it seems like they or someone else wants them to curl up in a ball & die! For fuck’s sake, it’s things like this that people went to outright WAR for! This wasn’t even always against a foreign enemy & after at least 1000 years of history, you’d think the lesson would be learned.

    I’m only a little Irish & English, but it still gets me a bit cranked-up. One of my cousins is in London right now, actually. I’m starting to get worried that she’ll get all kinds of shit aimed at her like she would in America. Maybe she’s got too pointy of a pen or something.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Alex, you’re 100% right! Not only in UK, but also in Australia. Back when the “do-gooders” in Australia got guns banned, and ordered all be turned in and destroyed, the next thing on “protect society from itself” menu was, you guessed it, knives. These were also described as “killing machines.” Laws were discussed which provided police access to knock on anybody’s door and inspect that all knives were placed under lock and key.

      What is society coming to? The lawmakers and police disarm us, claiming it’s how we need to be protected from ourselves. Hundreds of people die each year waiting for help on 911. Meanwhile, the same police beat, abuse, kill, and loot the people they are protecting. Laws are regularly violated by those who enforce them. And the media rarely covers these stories, unless there’s fresh bloody film. And the cops make sure to destroy cameras and film if they can. If you want real news on this, check out http://www.nranews.org. At least the US NRA is truthful.

      Meanwhile, Islamists everywhere are torturing, raping, murdering in the name of their religion. I just discovered the Islamist child drugging and molest network in UK. And in the Middle East, there’s talk of bringing back sex slave markets, where captured infidel women are sold off, to be used and disposed when no longer desired. It’s in the Koran… If there is a new ten-state Islamist union formed with Turkey as its head, this is the beginning of End-Times Prophecy. Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, John, Revelations are being played out before our lives. Within 10 yrs, immigrant muslims will have voting majorities in Europe. Multiculturilism does not work when the immigrants do not want to assimilate. Happens in US, everywhere. And nobody dare report it in the news.

    • adawells says:

      Hi Alex,
      I just wondered how your cousin got on in London in September. I hope she had a good time.

      • Alex says:

        Sounds like it went well for her. She actually went to a bunch of places (I think she said Germany was cold- socially speaking).

  3. Ro says:

    I keep up-to-date on politics via different political blogs as I find those to be the most unbiased. Today, however, people were discussing health care on one of those blogs and the following conversation was in the comments:

    Comment 1: “I’m a medical student. Most of us are, in fact, at least partially motivated by money. A MD/DO is a straight one way ticket to upper middle class at least. Sure, we want to help people, but we also want the money. Anyone who tells you different is lying through their teeth.”

    Comment 2: “That’s what I figured. I work in the medical field and the doctors who aren’t in it for the money are few and far between, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

    There you have it ladies (and gents). Straight from the horse’s mouth. People wonder why there are those of us who think that doctors do things for incentives or more money. People wonder why we think their primary focus isn’t to actually help people heal, but to make money. Maybe because it’s true and they even admit to it. I’m so aggravated by this. I know we’ve all discussed it here before, about money being a big deciding factor in how doctors handle things (and these comments only serve to validate those assumptions), but to actually see those in the medical field admit to it is particularly awful. I am so horrified by this. And in regards to “there’s nothing wrong with that”, there’s SO MUCH wrong with that. The fact that they think there’s nothing wrong with doing something that involves the well-being of others for money just goes to show how twisted the “logic” in the medical field is. Good grief.

    • Moo says:

      Yes most people do work for money.

      The car mechanic, the hair stylist, the medical doctor all provide services for which they get paid. They can recommend services that I do not want and I feel that I can decline. They all deal with safety issues such as a car machanic can deem a car unsafe to keep it off the road, a hair stylist might refuse to colour a person’s hair with a known allergy to hair dye. But is this all similar to the medical profession? A doctor could ask a few screening questions that lead to a sleep study and someone is diagnosed with sleep apnea. They are told they have to attend further appointments and purchase an expensive CPAP machine (though no way of determining if they are using it) or the doctor will have their driver’s licence suspended. For many people taking their ability to legally drive means much hardship.

      Anyway I am really sick of MDs ranting on about how long and expensive their education is. It should be paid for by public funds as all education should be. Any number of professions such as hair stylist, car mechanic also has to be licenced and pay rent etc. there is really no excuse for the medical profession to give such lousey customers choice and bad customer service.

      • Ro says:

        Moo – I personally think there is a huge difference between hair stylists/car mechanics/etc. and doctors. The first big difference is that car mechanics and hair stylists do not directly affect the well-being and health of any human being (I say they don’t DIRECTLY affect people because while a mechanic could make a mistake and mess up someone’s car creating potential dangers, and a hair stylist could potentially dye someone’s hair which would cause them to have an allergic reaction, neither of these were done for money or ulterior motives, they were just unfortunate mistakes as everyone is human). If they include more than what is necessary to get more money, no human being has actually been harmed in the process. Furthermore, when is the last time you met a car mechanic or hair stylist whose main motivation was money? I can’t remember. Every one that I’ve encountered has been passionate about and enjoyed those things, then decided to pursue them as a career. Of course they need money to sustain themselves and of course everyone works for money to an extent, the point is that their motivation to enter into those specific fields was NOT money. It was their interest in the field. If they were in it for money, hair stylists and car mechanics would have entered a more lucrative field such as law or the medical field. In the case of a stylist refusing to dye someone’s hair because they have an allergy, that is common sense. Besides which, it is perfectly legal and possible for someone to dye their hair on their own accord. There isn’t any barrier one must go through to get the dye. You can even buy professional grade dye from beauty supply stores. If a mechanic deems a car unsafe to drive, you can trust that it really is unsafe to drive. They don’t make money off of someone not driving. If everyone was off the roads then they would be out of business entirely. That is just my opinion on the matter though.


        I agree that the medical field gives lousy customer’s choice and bad customer service. However, there seems to be a sense of entitlement that comes with the degree, because they were in school for so long and did spend out so much money.

  4. Moo says:

    A surgeries a procedure that repairs the cervix and even treats cervicla cancer. It is largely ignored. This article also explains why freezing, burning the cervix and cone biopsies which are done after a bad Pap test result are so damaging and really not necessary.

    http://cervicalrepair.yolasite.com/summary.php

  5. Moo says:

    Herbal treatments of the cervix. What LEEP actually does and the cervix does not grow back. The damage is permanent. See these photos.

    http://www.drnick.net/index.php?p=341255

  6. Moo says:

    There is some talk of urine tests for HPV becoming available soon. If this is a doctor office only test it is actually worse. The standard unrine test (just leave the little cup there with your name on it) is going to mean more nonconsented testing that is reported to the government registry for women where I live. It is going to be more harassment for further “investigations” and reporting of cancer cases (no vacation travel insurance, job security etc). I already had one doctor do unconsented STI tests on my sample that I left for what I thought was a bladder infection.

    So what I can do is take the lab form and the bottle home and deliver it myself to the lab. Or just totally not go to doctors at all.

    We need private confidential testing and treatments by our choice. Not forced coerced tests.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Moo, yourself and Elizabeth are just amazing in the info you discover and medical practices you elucidate us to knowing. I am forever grateful to the efforts made here. This reminds me of Joan Rivers dying due to things being performed that she never gave advance consent to do.

      Could you please remind me how you know that HPV cannot be latent? My husband has mouth cankers all his life. Now and then I get a cold sore; these are caused by a herpes virus. The herpes virus apparently lives somewhere in either our mouths or nerve system and attacks…

      Where does the HPV virus hide out? Just in the area where it chooses to infect? And if our bodies beat it off, or if it’s otherwise killed by medical treatment, it it truly gone forever?

      I’m going to make my gyne appt soon, and see if I get the Delphi or something else. There won’t be a pelvic done. The doctor already knows and has agreed… Thanks in advance!

      • Moo says:

        Wow I have to keep repeating the same information.

        I could not find any published scientific study that proves that HPV can be a latent infection in the genitals in the way that the Herpes virus stays latent in the nerve cells. There is only a paper that was published that suggests a theory of latency of HPV. A theory that was not proven.

        There are over 100 strains of HPV that infect humans. Some give people foot warts and some only infect the genitals. Some people might have more than one strain of HPV at one time or have serial infections with different strains at different times in their life. The theory is that immunity against a particular strain should be long lasting otherwise how would the vaccines work? But then I have read that the vaccines really do not work as well as they should be and the there are the side effects.

        HPV tests are either positive or negative for certain high risk strains all lumped together or with separate test results for HPV 16 and 18 since those are going with the vaccine.

        Often the body’s immune system will fight off the HPV infection within a few years. Sometimes the viral DNA will get into body cells and change them into cancer cells which will divide until they are tumors. Some herbs do help fight HPV infection. Diet, exercise and stopping smoking also help the immune system. The medical “cure” for HPV infection is either cutting out tissue, burning with laser, heat or chemicals or freezing to destroy tissue. However this “cure” does not kill off any random infected cells or cells that have turned into cancer cells unless they are removed by the destruction. Some women will have LEEP more than once and their cervical dysplasia comes back. Some ointments are available for genital warts outside the body but drugs for internal (such as inside the vagina or cervix) are only at the experimental stage.

        Being immune suppressed puts a person at risk of getting any type of infection and dying from it. These are organ transplant patients, cancer patients receiving conventional therapies, HIV victims, very old or young and sometimes pregnant women.

        The interesting fact is that young women tend to have HPV infections while the cancer in women over 50 is higher. So what is happening that women get reinfected or get different strains when they are older that their immune system cannot fight off? HPV infected cells turned cancer cell grow quickly or not since this maybe has not been studied. If the cell DNA was changed then there is something that turned on the cancer genes but no one understand this.

        I do not know your situation. Just decide what you want from a doctor. Get the facts and if you feel that a Pap test, HPV test or pelvic exam is right for you then do that. If you do not, then don’t. It’s your body.

  7. Mint says:

    Taken from a web page of a GP surgery in the UK…….

    “Under certain conditions we may be able to issue repeat prescriptions of the contraceptive pill without the need to see a doctor or nurse.

    You may apply for a repeat prescription of the same contraceptive pill if

    you are aged between 18 and 35
    you are currently taking certain contraceptive pills that have been prescribed by a GP at our practice. The list of pills is available on the application form.
    you have had your blood pressure and weight measured in the last year, either in the practice or by a health professional, and these are within safe limits.
    you have had a cervical smear test within the last three years.
    you are happy with your current pill and have no problems or side effects”

    It would appear that the doctors and nurses at this surgery missed the day at medical school when informed consent was discussed.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Mint, I found something similar on a website here, so it seems some doctors are still using the Pill to mislead women into pap testing. I tried to lodge a complaint and was shuffled from one place to another, they make it as hard as possible. Instead I sent my complaint straight to the Clinic, received no response.
      Everyone in medicine knows this goes on…and everyone ignores it, it protects the program, helps reach the target securing target payments…and it’s “for our own good”. Incredible that respecting women’s legal rights and adhering to proper ethical standards appears to be too difficult in women’s healthcare. No one has clean hands here, the GPs have often received tips from the Govt/screening authority on ways to increase coverage, achieving a target will clash with informed consent. So when coverage is the only consideration, all of these tactics are over-looked or justified as necessary to save lives etc.
      Mint, I’d send the UK Medical Council a link to the website and make a formal complaint. Discussion and concerns about informed consent in women’s cancer screening are more advanced in the UK, I think they’d be forced to take action.
      It’s only when doctors are challenged that they’ll change their behaviour. Sadly, they’ve been getting away with this sort of outrageous conduct for far too long.
      When a woman is led to believe a pap test is a clinical requirement for the Pill, she’s been misled into the test, that IMO, negates all consent and is a serious matter. Doctors are so bold and comfortable flouting our legal rights they even include the evidence on their websites. It will take a long time to change the current thinking and conduct, but it starts when we challenge, report, complain and reject.

    • adawells says:

      We only have a choice of 2 GP surgeries in our area, and I am sure that before about 2010, the wording on their websites always said “all new female patients will be given a smear test”. After my smear test from hell in 1997 I repeatedly looked to change doctor, but was trapped by only being able to select surgeries in our catchment area, and both said that all new women patients would be given a smear test. As we have the larger practice near us I stayed where I was, as I started to realise that if you saw someone who wasn’t your named GP, they never bothered you for smear tests. It may have been because their 80% target had to be from only those on their list, and they gained nothing in screening someone elses patient.

      I’ve noticed that both practices have since updated their websites and this has now been taken off. However, I did recently get an application form for another practice, which asked when my last smear test was, so the pressure may still be there, but just not on the website anymore.
      I’ve also noticed that surgeries are switching to online appointments and repeat prescriptions, and I do not know what would happen if a woman tried to book repeat pill prescriptions without a smear test. Maybe the doctor can set it to refuse a renewal if the smear test hasn’t been done? Perhaps other posters can let us know?

      I’ve also noticed at my practice that there are no leaflets or even a mention of cervical screening, even on the well woman noticeboard in the waiting room, anymore.

      At the gyn department at the hospital, I have recently had to attend, one whole noticeboard had been covered in a ghastly bright pink promotional display for cervical screening. It looked like a load of pink vomit on the wall. Buried amongst it were the small words “Informed consent”, which annoyed me intensely, because once informed you may decide not to consent. Always they assume consent will be given. However, at my last appointment, this wall display was looking decidedly scrappy, with a lot of bits missing, and someone had changed this little notice to read “Informed choice”.

      Change is definitely in the air.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        I’ve now sent a complaint to the Medical Ombudsman about that statement, “women on the Pill need pap tests”. We’ll see what they have to say…but I think we’re a long way behind the UK. A spokesman for the AMA said last year that he doubted many doctors would prescribe the pill without a current pap test on file. No one challenged that statement, basically a doctor still tying the Pill to elective cancer screening and I assume refusing the Pill if a woman exercised her legal right and declined the test. Coercion = no consent at all.
        No one, as far as I’m aware, (and I looked!) had a problem with this statement coming from the AMA. So hardly surprising GPs are happy to promote pap testing as a clinical requirement for the Pill. It seems some doctors are still treating women like second class citizens, while others are far more respectful. I also, doubt most of our doctors would share the opinion of the male doctor speaking for the AMA. I’ve heard from a few women who’ve faced pressure here, have been misled, but coercion is risky, if a woman complains, you’re in trouble, you cannot refuse the Pill simply because a woman chooses not to have elective cancer screening.
        My GP does not have breast or cervical screening brochures in her waiting room, they were removed many years ago.

  8. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/women-risk-their-lives-skipping-biannual-pap-smear-test-while-they-wait-for-a-new-five-year-test/story-fneuz9ev-1227064479561

    Women here are apparently waiting for the new program to start in 2016, so we’re being told we’re risking our lives “avoiding” 2 yearly pap testing.
    Honestly, the lies will continue, it doesn’t take much research to find 2 yearly pap testing just fills up day procedure, I suppose they want to “treat” as many as possible before the program is changed. They’re still likely to do well under our new program, lots of young women will still be referred, biopsied and “treated”.
    Who could ever trust these programs? They promote what they KNOW is BAD medical advice, that can only end up harming and worrying a lot of women.
    Needless to say, you can’t leave a comment.
    Thankfully, many women will now see straight through this self-serving nonsense, they can no longer assume we’re all trusting and sensitive to their “warnings”, we’re no longer putty in their hands. More of us know exactly what’s going on….

    • Alex says:

      So, somoene actually says that they doubt that a doctor would prescribe this without having this exam on file- yet, if someone were to say: “I doubt any doctor would prescribe this without trying to coerce women into all kinds of invasive tests,” that’s someone misrepresenting them? Ever notice how they play victim all the damn time, too? I guess they DO feel persecuted for the shit they do.

      Cops do the same shit. Actually, I remember an article where a cop was basically saying “You know, people don’t trust us but doctors kill WAY more people than we do.” He’s probably right, but they both play all kinds of “woe is me” shit when THEY do something.

      Another thing is that they always claim massive amounts of expertise, yet nothing is their fault when it doesn’t go right. What is everybody supposed to be? Dupes? They have all kinds of knowledge one minute, then they didn’t give bad information when it works out as a fucking catastrophe?!

    • adawells says:

      This is so typical of tabloid news stories. So women are “confused” are they? Sounds to me like Aussie women are better informed than this reporter is about screening and the press are the ones who are confused. They write about how this woman’s cancer was picked up by the pap test, when the woman’s doctor says it was a good job, she didn’t wait for her pap test or she would be dead. So in other words it wasn’t the pap test at all which found her cancer. Her case completely contradicts the news story.

      This happens all the time and makes me so angry. Some people develop rare agressive forms of cancer, which no amount of screening would have found, but they then go on a moral crusade, often getting lucrative contracts with the tabloid press to promote a screening test, which is nothing to do with their type of cancer. The breast cancer charity Coppafeel is the breast equivalent of Jo’s Cervical Trust, and targets the under 30’s petrifying them with terrifying stories of extremely rare cases. It’s disgusting that young women are targeted in this way.

    • Moo says:

      There is a link to another headline “urine test for cervical cancer” but it is a urine test for HPV. Having an HPV infection is not the same as having cancer.

    • Moo says:

      The article quotes a doctor saying that women find Pap tests intrusive but they go for bikini waxes every 6 weeks. Sorry no comparison. and anyway I have never had anyone wax my bikini line.

    • adawells says:

      This item came out 3 days ago, and Julia Brotherton seems to be saying that Aussie women can take the vaginal swab themselves in 2016. Am I reading this correctly?

      http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2014/s4089315.htm?

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        I read that piece too Ada, if that’s the case they’ve kept it very quiet. I suspect they’ll do everything to pressure women into the program, and self-testing options will only be offered as a last resort for very “hard-to-reach” women.
        Of course, I’m not interested in testing at all, so they can “offer” what they like, no deal.
        I doubt my doctor will even mention self-testing to me. She knows if I’d wanted to self-test, I’d have done so years ago. I work in Singapore now and then and the Screener has been available there for a few years now.
        The problem here is they point blank refuse to view screening as a choice for women, I’m sure we’ll see the argument, what objection could you have to self-testing?
        Note if a woman tests HPV+ here (and we’ll be testing women from 25, so lots will test HPV+) they’ll be pressured to have a colposcopy and biopsy, when all they should be offered is a 5 yearly pap test. (until they clear the virus)
        I think we should always view screening in a broad way, not as a test, but as the possible beginning of a cascade of further testing, biopsies or treatments or even being over-diagnosed and facing unnecessary chemo, radiation etc.
        It is never a simple, life-saving test, it can be the start of an absolute nightmare and may even take your life.

      • adawells says:

        Clearly, there are going to be major overhauls to cervical screening in 2016 by a number of countries, but we’ve had very little news about any changes planned for the UK system. We have a general election coming up next May, and I think this is part of the reason. There was a good article from the Metro newspaper about the urine test for HPV. I’ve been trying to find a link, but I can’t find the article online. It was a good article, because it was honest that the invasive test was unacceptable to women, and there was no propaganda input from the cancer charities saying it’s quick and painless and could save your life, etc. I am sure the UK is keeping things under wraps, because knowing something better was on the horizon, would cause the present programme to collapse.

    • Ozphoenix says:

      HI Elizabeth!

      I saw that article as well. I sent the writer, Amy, the following email, but of course, as usual, there has been no reply. They’re always eager to ‘tut, tut’ about women missing pap smears, but present them with real facts and first-hand information, and the silence is all too familiar.

      “Hi Amy,

      Your article on pap smears is very interesting. I’m a woman who has weighed up the facts and figures and decided not to have pap smears. Do you realise that women have the right to choose NOT to have a pap smear? That they do not need to have ‘excuses’ not to? I am not participating in a screening program which is searching for a rare cancer, using an inaccurate – and highly invasive – test.

      The line in your article says, ‘Ninety per cent of women diagnosed with cervical cancer have not had regular pap tests’. That is a regular and highly false ‘fact’ rolled out by screening authorities and cancer organisations, and is definitely not true!

      The other side of the coin is that women who DO have regular pap smears CAN and DO die from cervical cancer regardless (at least fifty per cent of them!), because the test cannot detect all forms of cervical cancer (such as adenocarcinoma, the common type), particularly when it is too far inside the cervical canal to be ‘brushed’ for a pap smear, or is not of the correct type to be easily picked up.

      I am angry because women are being lied to. They are being given little or no scientific information about pap smears, only pap smear propaganda to co-erce them to screen. Women think that cervical cancer is incredibly common, and that we might drop dead in the street if we don’t get pap smears! It is incredbly rare – not comon at all!

      As an ex-government biologist (B.Sc. Bio. and Ass.Dip Bio Techniques) who knows an awful lot about the whys-and-what-for’s of the pap smear regime, I am disgusted at how women are led around by their nose by articles such as yours, by organisations, Papscreen, the Cancer Council, and the government. Cervical cancer screening via pap smears has never met the full requirements of a national screening program; the requirements being-

      1. Is the problem common? No, cervical cancer occurs in less than 0.72% of the total population. That’s approx. 500 to 700 women in Australia per year. More women die from brain tumors in australia (600 to 800) than from cervical cancer, yet doctors scoff when we worry about brain tumors, telling us they are too rare to worry about.

      2. Is the test reliable? No, the pap smear is highly inaccurate, which is why doctors recommend testing at two yearly intervals, in case they miss it the first time! Most studies give accuracy figures of less than 50%. The CSA blood test (Cervical Specific Antigen) has a reported accuracy of over 90%, yet we’re still forcing women to chuck their underpants and spread their legs for a highly invasive, inaccurate and humiliating test because the AMA and Australian Government refuse to seriously consider the use of the CSA test. Pap smears have a high false positive rate – at least one in three abnormal smears (most often in younger women) are false positives! It is also know that the pathological labs are ‘pushed’ into upping their ‘abnormal smear’ return rate. In other words, they are looking to declare as many smears as possible as suspect because of financial and government pressure, leading to colposcopy, biopsy and cervical damage.

      3. Is the test easily accepted by most of the targeted population? Not really. Telling a woman to remove her pants and allow a stranger to sit between her spread open legs and forcibly and painfully spread open her private parts is not in ANY way acceptable.

      4. Is it low cost? On this one, financially yes, but the physical and mental cost is far too high.

      5. Can it be applied without using specialist equipment? Another yes. Any doctors surgery can do it.

      6. Is there a financial incentive? YES. Doctors do NOT disclose their financial interest in getting women to have pap smears. Under the PIP (Pap smear Incentive Program) doctors recieve bonuses to test women regularly, and they receive an even higher bonus if they get a woman to screen if she hasn’t had a test for the last five years. Conflict of interest, much?

      Why am I writing all of this? Because I have come across so many women – including myelf – who have been ridiculed, physically abused, threatened, ignored, denied medical treatment, had their cervix mutilated beyond normal correct function when there was nothing wrong with them and it was justified as ‘just in case’, left psychologically damaged, and carried feelings similar to having been raped all over the subject of doctors and their weapon of choice in womens healthcare – the pap smear.

      And yet, the pap smear war machine rolls on….

      Thanks.”

      • adawells says:

        An excellent letter. Thank you so much for posting this. It is wonderful news that so many Aussie women are making their feelings felt and are steering clear of screening.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        OzPhoenix, you write very well, your words are music to my ears. I love to meet informed woman and you’re Australian as well. I have to say I sometimes despair, so many of our women just accept the screening “story”. Critical discussion is non-existent here, we’re a long way behind the UK, The Netherlands, Finland etc.
        Can you imagine one of our female GPs publicly stating she doesn’t have pap tests or mammograms? What?? She’d be torn to shreds.
        Well, the Scottish GP and advocate for informed consent, Dr Margaret McCartney, did just that…amazing.

        Why is it so shocking for women to speak honestly about this subject? Why are we viewed as a herd to be screened at any cost, rather than individuals with the legal right to real information and informed consent, and that includes a No, thank you to pap testing and mammograms. (with no need for further explanation, no “excuses” necessary)

        It speaks volumes for me, if this test is so great, why the sensitivity, the secrecy, the pressure, hysteria, deception and unethical and illegal tactics to get us screened? Why is there no respect for informed consent?
        IMO, they KNEW this program could not work IF they respected informed consent, too many women would say No…and then they found even consent itself got in the way, so they ditched that as well, and tied the test to the Pill, pre-natal care and introduced target payments. I consider this medical abuse, not cancer screening.

        Is this really the way the medical profession and others treat women? Hard to believe, but yes, it is.
        Welcome to the forum, keep stirring the pot…more and more women are starting to listen, let’s face it for decades there was silence when it came to critical discussion or even honest life experience that cast pap testing in a poor light. I think these programs must be worried, more and more women are onto them, they can stop us commenting on their sites, but they can’t silence us anymore.

      • F.L. says:

        Ozphoenix,

        Wow – what a great letter! It’s wonderful to see such a concise, clear, and accurate dissection of the propaganda/misinformation campaign. I wish I could write something that does even half as good a job of putting facts out there to counter the myths.

        I agree the financial cost appears relatively inexpensive, but perhaps there is an argument to be made that:
        * the cost per/person needs to be multiplied by the continued overuse of the test x amount of physician billing fee/test (+ incentives) x number of false positives leading to additional/more expensive testing x physician costs associated with these tests = ridiculous amount of money spent
        * the cost/person might be much less if self-test options were made available
        * the costs should include a cost-benefit analysis that factored in the harm-related costs of direct negative impacts from using this inaccurate test on women as well as the indirect costs to the effectiveness/efficiency of the health care system that spends so much physician time/money on this that it lacks resources to take on more common and treatable health care concerns.

        Anyway, as you say, regardless of the financial cost, the mental and physical costs are far too high. Your letter was just awesome and I’m not surprised there was no reply or rebuttal – what could Amy say in the face of the facts?

  9. Kai says:

    Was just thinking that you should make a Tumblr. I have trouble finding any skepticism of the gynecological field to reblog, only “omigod that hurt and was humiliating BUT gotta do it again next year”. Tumblr has a massive audience that needs to be reached. Dx

    • Alex says:

      I don’t get something: Why is it that women are able to think in terms of whether or not they’ll get married or have kids, but think “need/must/have to” when it comes to problematic things with doctors? It doesn’t only have to be things that are against the grain on a sexual dissonance level, it could be because of pain or low utility- it could simply be not being conducted by someone else.

      I don’t get that. I’ve been told that women are usually raised differently than men & are more or less taught “not to make waves,” but what sense is that? She’s not making waves in order to NOT have problems- it’s like pouring gas on a fire in order to make it smaller. Isn’t it women that generally point those things out? I don’t get why a woman is down-trodden if she cooks, cleans, or does any of the other “traditional” things that women would do, but it’s somehow mature & sophisticated for her to be of the mind that other people make their own decisions about what goes in where on her.

      • bethkz says:

        You’re right Alex. It makes no sense whatsoever that women somehow think they’re modern, liberated, and sophisticated to give over the decision over what or who goes in here or when on her, while they think that it’s demeaning and old-fashioned to allow someone else who they chose to put in that position to make the decisions over how or where she lives, where she can go or how she can go there, what she can buy, how money he makes will be spent. The very same people are for marital rape laws – where this person who is making all of the rules cannot decide FOR HER when or how to penetrate her as are the ones demanding their “right” to have “women’s health”, where their doctor is deciding for her when or how to penetrate her.

        Either a women has the final decision over what or who goes into her body or she does not.

        Beth

      • Moo says:

        Most girls are taught not to look down there or to “touch themselves”. The proper names for body parts are not taught to them just bum and “bum front” or ” dink” or “cookie”. Maybe more liberal parents taught them “vagina” but not any other part’s name.

        Why do other women say “ehhh, gross” when I suggest that they purchase a speculum, get a flashlight and mirror and some vinegar and look at their own cervix. I even found a link for a speculum camera that hooks up to for closed circuit tv for vagina/cervix viewing. It could be that medications and simple treatments be made available for women to use at home in privacy as well as for testing kits.

        There is no reason why everything done there be viewed by “professionals only”. I find from hair removal to child rearing everything is promoted as needing a professional to take care of it. The more professional we involve in our lives the costs are high to our bank accounts and privacy.

        Marketing exploits people’s needs and often creates a needs when technology or a product is available. What role should marketing play in the medical field?

      • Kai says:

        I’d rather it not be viewed by anyone, including myself. The “real” terms for things make me gag. They’re too stuffy, reminiscent of that abstinence class we had every year at my school. Humanity could’ve thought up better names for our body parts. I can’t even bring myself to say “vagina” out loud without feeling like a prude, only “vag”, and I NEVER say “penis”, “anus”, or “testes”. Dx I don’t even like typing them out.

      • Kai says:

        I have no clue. I personally enjoy those “traditional” tasks; sewing, cooking (not so much cleaning), sewing, gardening, soapmaking, and friggin basket weaving all soothe me. But I also do 160 each pushups and situps a day and I will be damned if any man, woman, or “authority” figure tells me what to do or not do to my body. “Oh but you NEED to be violated by a medical beast in rubber gloves or you’ll die from a relatively rare form of cancer that I should know by now that you wouldn’t seek treatment for anyways because you don’t believe in manmade medicine. It’s selfish if you don’t because people don’t want you to die but it’s not selfish of them to look down on your beliefs.” One of my friends thinks mammograms, pelvic exams, prostate exams, and colonoscopies should be required by law. We aren’t talking much lately.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Bethkz,

        There’s one place where doctors feel they have the right, and by law they do. It’s the delivery room. The instant a woman or parents-immediately-to-be question a decision, they have the rug ripped out below. The husband is made to leave. Automatic report to CPS. Baby won’t go home. Then lesbian social workers who view every family as malignant. Lawyers, foster care “erring for the child,” divorce, bankruptcy. A family dependent on the system. Unfortunately, at that moment women are full of oxytocin, and that makes us compliant and wanting to stop conflict so we can soothe and nurture our babies. Leave it to do-gooding doctors and nurses to ruin it for both parents. And the law encourages it. We’ve all read here how a woman refusing paps finds herself, father too, in this situation and worse.

      • bethkz says:

        There are no laws that require that all babies be born in the hospital, nor can there be. Women don’t always get to hospitals in time – labor goes faster than they think. Lots of kids are named after the cab driver who delivered them. :)

        Certified Nurse Midwives are legal in all 50 US States, and all nations in the EU have “Midwife Corps” that deliver most babies at home. Certified Nurse Midwives give prenatal care, delivery, and postnatal care – which can include things like help with breastfeeding issues. Midwives consistently show lower maternal and infant mortality rates.

        Birth certificates can be issued without a hospital involved. So can birth announcements be taken by newspapers by individuals.

        There are no laws requiring paps for pregnant women. Anyone who tries to tell you that there are is BSing you. For one thing, even the manufacturers of those products used state that they have high numbers of false positives in pregnant women. Pap testing has been associated with miscarriage.

        Sure, medical professionals can call CPS. There is no reason for it, and CPS is catching on. If they remove the child for the ONLY reason being that he or she was born at home without an obstetrician, with no other evidence for abuse or neglect, the parent has grounds for a HUGE lawsuit.

        Medical people like to use the laws as they are NOT written, and threats of various sorts of legal actions in order to get their way. Most of their claims are devoid of facts.

      • Alex says:

        Cat & Mouse: Honestly, whether or not she’d have the baby naturally is a big concern for me as far as prospective wives or girlfriends go. These reasons are big parts of it. There’s a million things that can make the kid deformed or retarded (or both), that can give her injuries or infections (or both), and any or all of this can be from something that was against her objections or from objectionable situations.

        I remember an article I was reading about a woman that had a QUADRUPLE AMPUTATION because she caught something in the hospital (don’t remember exactly what it was, but it was something that people get from being in the hospital pretty frequently- some type of strep or staph infection). She was in the hosptial to deliver a baby, they wanted her to stay an extra 12 days or so, then she came down with this & wouldn’t tell her how it happened!

        Sounds to me like they were trying to cover their ass- maybe it would be interesting to know for a lot of women & the men they’re with that infections can be introduced by all kinds of procedures & that plenty of them are worthless, anyway. Maybe checking dialation (which doesn’t actually mean when the baby’s coming- it’s just bullshit that made it’s way into tradition that they don’t want to change) introduced bacteria into her system? Maybe they decided to start slicing & there was a problem from this?

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Bethkz, Alex,

        If I had my choice, I’d do water birth. Incidentally, it’s also the one method that doctors hate most, and that offers women the best chance at a natural birth.

        This year in PA USA there was a couple who had their baby at home this way. Days later they decided to have the infant checked out. Their mistake was going to an ER. Quickly, they were isolated away, and the mother was not allowed to nurse the screaming baby. Staff refused to provide the papers for a birth certificate. Then an ambulance called to transport the baby to a children’s hospital. Many hours later, they got home. Then the bills came in. $3,200 for the ambulance alone. Then CPS comes knocking. The SW threatened additional actions if she wasn’t allowed in. Her cause for concern? That non-appropriate birthing was performed and that the kid was at additional risk… Another case; of delivery room staff gone berserk. Calling CPS when mother refused to automatically sign over permission at admission allowing c-section. Doctors felt they weren’t fit parents. The baby was held from going home until CPS ran the parents through the system.

        Sure, both parties had excellent cause for suing CPS and the hospital. However, reporting parties are immune from civil suit. And up front attorney’s fees of $500 per hour on new parents?

        Regarding hospital infections. Like Joan Rivers dying due to a mistake, you’re exactly right how infections get going. Staff cuts and lousy cleaning regimens. Dirty doorknobs. Poor hand washing. I think I wrote here of my hubby’s hernia operation. He was sedated but not out. The nurses came back from lunch and removed his gown to shave etc. Only we did all that at home, and cleaned everything using Hibiclens. Can’t believe the nurses didn’t notice that right away.

        He says one took out a razor anyway, and proceeded to drop it twice. The first time it hit the tray, she just picked it up and kept going. The second it bounced around onto the floor. The nurse joked about the three second rule and picked it up to reuse anyway. When we’re unconscious, God only knows what happens and what we get infected with.

      • bethkz says:

        Certified nurse midwives are legal in all 50 US States. Most other civilized countries have midwife corps, which deliver most babies, since hospitals are rarely needed in connection with childbirth, and in and of themselves pose risks to mother and baby. Also, there are always births which end up being without medical personel present – often by error in timing, inability to transport, or the rare case where women painlessly give birth in their sleep.

        All States, and I don’t know the law of other countries, require that silver nitrate drops be put into the baby’s eyes after birth – and there’s a timeframe in which that is required. Failing to do that MIGHT run you afoul of CPS, but it does NOT have to be done in a hospital. It can be done by a health department nurse or any physician.

        Births are required to be registered within a period of time. It is NOT the hospital’s responsibility to file this paperwork on a birth that they did not oversee. If they did, it would be them making false official statements. That is done by county and state bureaucrats, and someone who was present at (or near) the time of birth, who has actual information, makes out the paperwork in a county office. They may have some problems with it, since most of them are done by hospitals, who make out the paperwork and deliver it in batches to the county. You might have to push them, but it will be done.

        Babies can be checked out by doctors or other medical personnel outside of hospitals. As it’s NOT a medical emergency, that is not an appropriate use for medical services. If someone has a problem with a newborn baby which requires emergency services days after it’s born, there may BE a problem with medical neglect. In emergency departments, they’re going to be on the lookout for it, and are more likely to suspect something than if someone goes in to an appointment or a walk-in clinic.

        Medical personnel are infamous for making false threats that have no basis in reality. While they cannot be sued civilly for making a false claim, making false official statements is a federal crime which includes prison time. Most of these statements are not an error in judgement, but are knowingly false.

        New parents might have a stretch in hiring a lawyer, but as making false official statements is a CRIME, those are prosecuted by prosecutors on the State payroll. If they want a civil suit too, most of the attorneys that pursue civil suits do it on contingency – there is nothing owed until and unless they get a settlement. The amount/percentage the attorneys take is often quite substantial, but that’s a different problem.

        Assault is assault is assault. It doesn’t change just because the woman is pregnant or in labor – although it might become an aggravating factor, and if injury occurs to the foetus, the baby may be a second victim after its born. A doctor going after a pregnant woman with a knife with her screaming, “No No No” is not different than a robber or other criminal going after her with a knife – it’s assault with a deadly weapon.

        Another avenue is to turn birth-rape or assaults or false official statements surrounding a birth over to an investigative reporter at a TV station or newspaper. Then, the rules, laws, and practices will be brought before the public. If it’s obviously wrong, the public will demand that things be changed.

        I learned some time ago that (I) get nowhere trying to convince the medical industry or their employees that something is just wrong. Object, refuse, don’t even deal with them. If something goes wrong, use the other avenues which are available – including the legal system and bring it to public notice.

    • Alex says:

      Kai: You do 160 push-ups & 160 sit-ups a day?! Wow. That’s impressive. I might suggest increasing the intensity, but decreasing the number. You know why? It’s because adding reps at the same intensity will only give you DISTANCE at that level. If you add intensity, you get that distance (because the lighter stuff is easier), and joint solidity (hugely important for not falling apart as you get older, but also for wrestling & fighting- because these things come up unexpectedly). You won’t get all big & Vin Diesel-looking, because women don’t have as much testosterone & she won’t

      You want to know about something? There’s a series of books by Paul Wade (the Convict Conditioning series- I know, it’s a gimicky title, but “Progressive Calisthenics” doesn’t sound as good & he DID supposedly learn all this in prison). AWESOME! C-Mass is actually more for guys, but it mentions a bunch of things about bio-mechanics & such. If you go on Dragondoor.com, you’ll notice quite a bit about it in the forum & there’s a new one coming out in 2015 (about January, I think).

      There’s also the Systema Manual, but I don’t have that yet. If you look up Systema & Systema exercises, you’ll probably get a good idea of what the book gets into. I’ve noticed that that art hits the “diagonal strength” as well as the regular stuff (all the in-between things that don’t always get hit, but do tend to get injured). It also gets into how to use it (styles of breathing to not get tired, coordination, smoothly going from one thing to another, etc…) . It’s interesting, but hard for me to explain & I don’t actually have the book in my hands (I’m waiting until they come out with the new DVD in October on how to deal with Mass Attacks & such- keep in mind that the DVDs are good, but give more of a summary than an A-Z).

      I know this is MASSIVELY off-topic from what’s usually talked about on this site, but I figured you’d be interested. I’d definitely take less time & wouldn’t be as tedious as I remember 100+ of anything being. You’d also be able to knock a lot of this out without equipment, a major plus.

  10. Ro says:

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=dQXYXY5GCi4 Someone suggested that I watch this, and I haven’t made it all the way through yet as I’m personally not one to spend a long time in front of the computer. That being said, so far, this is a great documentary about yet another safe and effective cancer treatment being battled by the medical industry and covered up. If you’re interested in this sort of thing or just want to become more informed, I definitely recommend watching it.

  11. Ro says:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/sep/24/state-farm-drops-rob-schneider-over-anti-vaccine-v/ And so it continues. Anyone who goes against the grain will lose their job if they have any sort of interaction with the public. So much for free speech and all that, right?

    (Also, a side note for Sue: for some reason, two of my comments from September 3rd seem to keep jumping down to the end of the discussion forum for some reason. Would you mind deleting them? As I’m sure it’s aggravating for not only me, but everyone else who comments.)

    • Thanks for the link Ro. Regardless of one’s own stance on vaccines it affects us all when freedom of speech is taken away. You might already know about this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-childs-vaccine-reaction/372638272814622 and this one: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SANEVAX/139881632707155 I wonder why no correlational studies have been done between vaccinated and non-vaccinated children, as it seems it would be fairly straightforward and would probably help to put some minds at rest.
      I deleted your two comments from Sept. 3rd. I have no idea why they were jumping down, thanks for the heads up.

      • Ro says:

        Thank you for sharing those links! I had never come across those sites before, and there was a lot of really great information. It is interesting that no correlation studies have been done, but if I remember correctly, apparently the pharmaceutical companies have some sort of protection act in place for vaccination manufacturers. Still, that would only ensure that the parties involved wouldn’t have legal action taken against them. It would not protect them from a study being done to find the true cause. However, vaccinations seem to be a big money maker. So as long as someone’s pockets are being lined, I’m doubtful that the truth will come out.

  12. IMustBeSurrounded says:

    Ok – now I am getting thoroughly annoyed.

    A few weeks ago on a Friday night at 6:45, I was at the bar with my boyfriend. We were finally getting relaxed after a long week at work. My boyfriend stepped out to take a call – and then my phone rang. It was a number I didn’t recognize, so I let it go to voicemail. Since my bf wasn’t back yet, I decided to check the message.

    It was a long-winded message from my Health Insurance Company telling me about the importance of “Pap Screening” and “Well Woman Exams.” Since then – I’ve received two post cards in the mail with the same messages on them. Barf.

    When he came back in, I threw my phone down so it skidded across the bar and I go “You won’t BELIEVE THE VOICE MAIL I JUST GOT!” I then, ordered another tequila.

    I also blocked their number.

    It’s interesting to me that the American Insurance Companies are so vested in these Well Woman exams. I am assuming it’s because of the belief (not that I share this belief) that early testing saves lives and therefore will save them money in the future. But is that really the motivation? Does anyone else know why the Insurance Company would be so interested in my cervix (and the cervix of every other woman under their care?)

    They, after all, would have to foot the bills (or a portion of them) for testing, follow ups, “treatment” etc.

    If you have any thoughts or info on this – it would be appreciated!

    I also wonder how far this harassment will go. Will they threaten to drop me unless I spread my legs? Can they? I would imagine not – but I am also not in the mood for an argument.

    Thanks so much! I look at these boards every day – I just don’t get the opportunity to post as much as I like, but I admire all of you.

    Have a great weekend.

    • bethkz says:

      Depending on what is on those post cards, it could well violate the HIPPA laws. A post card is not private mail. It is public in that it is readable by anyone who looks at that post card. If they are putting ANY identifiable information about you, any (potential/presumed) health information on that card – even that you have failed to have a PAP test within some period of time, they have broken the law. You can have them prosecuted, and possibly sue for damages.

  13. IMustBeSurrounded says:

    HMMM Something interesting I found – a woman went to get the Well Woman Exam and had to sign a form – and an interesting tidbit on the form said…(oh, btw – this is under the new ACA/Obamacare rules)

    “If a problem such as a breast lump is found at your ‘annual exam’, the exam is no longer considered by the AMA guidelines as an annual exam.” Such an instance would constitute a “problem visit[s] and will be coded accordingly.”

    Also, if a woman asks questions during her Well Woman exam – the exam could also turn into a “Problem Visit” and be coded differently – she would therefore get billed for an exam that is supposed to be free.

    Don’t quote me on this – but if you go in for your exam, and the doctor finds something suspicious, then the “free” well woman exam is negated and she therefore pays a good chunk of change because they found something they wouldn’t have found otherwise. Therefore, the “free” exam to help her “detect things early” is already costing money. How many times are things found that turn out to be “nothing” or totally benign?

    AND forget asking questions during the exam – the cash register will start to ring again!
    I could be wrong on this – so please don’t quote me and please ask for clarification if you do go to the doctors.

    But wow -if I am understanding this correctly…I am really shaking my head.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Thinking back, I remember how Democrats like Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein all demanded ObamaCare be approved before any review & discussion of whatever it was occurred. Many tries died printing the stacks this bill represents. Many miscreants thought free boob jobs would soon be coming down the line. Then reality hit.

      Doctors refused to sign up on the plan. Deductibles of $8-10,000 cash up front would have to be paid before any plan benefits would kick in. No doctor wants that robbery bait in their office, and no patient on ObummerCare has the cash to get the care. Bait and switch. Lies.

      What you found does not surprise me in the least. Thanks for sharing. Unfortunately, this will not make the evening network news, nor any magazine like Time as USA’s media is totally entrenched supporting this platform. Another juicy tidbit, 70% of illegal aliens Obama encouraged to jump the fence have avoided reporting to the government. There’s a terrible new upper respiratory virus going around which originates from South America. This is nothing like the refugees USA took in from Vietnam and other places that want to be American. Instead, where I live one can find signs saying “Aztlan” which represents the name illegals will call the desert SouthWest USA states after they take it back.

      It would be one thing if my current government was truthful in its representation and dealmaking. But for 8 yrs now, it’s one new nauseating revelation after another. We are seeing USA go through profound changes, and none of them are good. The Isaiah Harbinger comes to mind.

      In an earlier message, I talked about the gynecological tests & treatments I’ve had. No informed consent, no alternatives, just rushed through on fear of a painful death. Retrospectively, so much pain I’ve endured, fear I’ve felt, and arguments about what to do next. I feel betrayed. Thank God for this sight, that I can do something so others may not have to follow in my footsteps.

    • Moo says:

      This article might explain the difference in billing and why the push is for paps and breast exams. The well woman exam is different from another type of physical exam.

      http://www.capturebilling.com/medicare-billing-well-woman-exam-g0101-q0091/

  14. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    That’s why these sites are viewed as a real threat, not only can you access real information, this site is full of survivors of medical abuse, this group of women have been shoved into the background…..until now. This huge group is not good for business.
    This sort of site is still rare, almost all sites are propaganda based, full of “if not for that pap test I’d be dead” stories or “every woman in my family has had cervical cancer”…I consider these sites an insult to our intelligence. The scary wolf story is still the preferred way to sell screening to women.

    The Blogcritics thread disappeared, we were reassured it would return, still nothing. I now believe they were pressured to close the thread, or rewarded for doing so, or threatened, perhaps, warned the site was dangerous and might lead to deaths. We always hear those arguments…it says a lot, open and frank discussion on this subject is a major threat, it may inform women and we know what happens then, we can take control of our bodies and make informed healthcare/life decisions.
    We’ve always been “managed” as a herd, that doesn’t work when women are permitted to act as individuals, that triggers informed consent, as we know, this testing would fail if women were treated legally, respectfully and within proper ethical guidelines. Take away the propaganda, coercion, pressure, vested interests, targets…and these screening programs/wellness programs fall over. (that includes well woman exams and breast screening)

    • IMustBeSurrounded says:

      Thank you so much to Elizabeth and Cat and Mouse!

      Elizabeth – regarding these sites – you are so right.

      This leads me to the story of why I came here.

      A year and a half ago, I went to the doctor for this hideous looking skin tag (please excuse the TMI). I had no idea what it was, so I wanted to get it looked at.

      I go in, and the nurse who checks me in (notice the nurse or medical assistant who checks you in asks the same questions the doctor is going to ask 5 minutes later…what is that?) she goes “You haven’t had a pap since 1996 (or some year a long time ago)” I say “Uh…yeah I have” And this nurse seems frustrated and disgusted by my lack of pap. Me, thinking that these tests are still important take her frustration as somehow caring about my health (at the same time I did find her bitchy and distasteful)

      Then the nurse practitioner comes in. Before we EVER get to my skin tag – she goes “well, you’re not really a frequent flier here and you need to make an appointment to come back for your pap and breast exam and you know – all of that girly stuff” (ew) She then begins a litany of questions about my family history of cancer etc (which I dutifully answer)

      THEN – she cuts me a deal. She says “If you come back for your pap, I will remove the skin tag for free and any other ones too. If I do it today, I have to charge you” I agree to come back for the pap and free removal…but then I start to think…what is the big deal about the pap test?

      It was when I was in that very room (I don’t know where the nurse practitioner had gone – but she had left) that I googled “Unnecessary Pap Smears” on my Smart Phone…and the Blog critics site came up. I then proceeded to read all 10,000 comments (which took several weeks)

      A couple of days later – the skin tag fell off! I think ti was committing suicide after the ridiculous conversations it heard between myself and the nurse and nurse practitioner.

      A few weeks after that I get a bill for $200+ dollars! TO look at a SKIN TAG? Seriously? It turns out because of the litany of questions that the nurse practitioner asked me that the appointment got “coded up.” I found this out after asking a friend of mine who has been in medical billing and coding for a long time. I called the doctors office and had the code changed and saved about 100 bucks. That being said, 100 bucks is a lot of money to look at a skin tag that was going to jump to it’s death anyway.

      Fast forward – our health insurance changes and my doctor changes. I make an appointment to go in about a dark spot on my face (which also turned out to be nothing and disappeared after awhile) I have an appointment with another nurse practitioner. Being a new patient, I was willing to tolerate some health history and question asking.

      Well – what is the FIRST THING she asks me? “When was your last pap?” I say “2009” She says “Well, you are supposed to get it every three years” (yes, the phrase “Supposed to” was used) I looked at her and said “I am a low-risk woman who has made an informed decision not to get one” She said “Oh. Ok” I was blown away at how easy that was. She then says “Well you will want to make a yearly physical to get a breast exam etc” I didn’t argue that point…I am simply not going to make an appointment like that unless I suspect a problem.

      I would like to thank the women on boards like this that not only informed me – but let me know what to do in this situation.

      So – this moves me to what I should do next. I requested all of my medical records from my last doctor in hard copy. They were no problem to get. I had two abnormal paps and I am certain it’s because I had sex too close to the test! (Do you notice they never tell you not to do that too close to the test?) I had one colposcopy where they found nothing.

      On my digital records that I can access online it says the 2009 pap was abnormal – but I swear it was normal (so I am wondering if they don’t have the most current one there?)

      I like the idea of the self administered HPV test…but if I have HPV…what do I plan to do about it? The idea that the HPV could develop into cervical cancer seems like a rarity, based on my research. I have NO symptoms of cervical issues either.

      I am inclined to continue to decline tests (inclined to decline!) But any thoughts on this would be appreciated as well.

      WOW I am long winded today! Sorry – my apologies! It’s my first evening to myself in a LONG time!

      • bethkz says:

        I’m not sure what you CAN do at this point about the past so-called abnormal pap tests.

        This illustrates one danger of having these tests. If they come back abnormal – as 77% of women can expect to have happen at least once in her lifetime – the “fact” of your then being at “high risk” for cancer trumps every other health concern for which you may see a medical provider for the rest of your life! They will have an additional set of rhetoric to give you to pressure you into having another pap test.

        Such information will likely be put in databases such that it will be difficult or impossible to get certain other insurances – like life insurance, disability insurance, possibly turned down for a job for which you are otherwise qualified for. If you’re “noncompliant” with their “watch and wait” ideas on your potentially having cancer, as evidenced by the previously-positive pap tests, it goes even more against you.

        If somebody really wants to hound you, they can use your “noncompliance” on things which will certainly “save your life” as evidence to show that you’re depressed, (passively) suicidal, and somewhat unhinged and probably mentally ill – and certainly in need of hundreds of dollars per month in mental health drugs which have their own sets of life-threatening and violent side effects – and probably in need of some in-patient care – for which they will be paid handsomely.

        These are MORE risks of having these tests!

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        IMBS
        It’s interesting to hear what triggers women to look for answers or a safe place to vent, often it’s being sick to death of bullying tactics, after being coerced into testing or denied the Pill or non-emergency medical care because they declined a pap test. Also, after a bad pap test experience, an excess biopsy or “treatment”, being left with a damaged cervix and having a miscarriage or premature baby or simply working out the focus and hysteria about this cancer and testing makes no sense. I’ve heard them all over the years.
        Of course, the official discourse provides us with no real answers, that’s a deliberate strategy, we get a screening “story”. They know it’s much harder to fend off medical pressure when you don’t have access to real/balanced information, when choice/informed consent/consent is not respected for women.
        If women could access the information they need before this testing starts, I believe we’d have a lot more healthy and happy women. The damage caused to women by these programs is common, awful and mostly avoidable.

        I think you’re wise considering the consequences of a screening test at the very beginning, we’re told the pap test is easy, simple and reliable, oh, and life-saving, but they don’t tell us the cancer is rare and the test often leads to grief. So many women over-treated and left with permanent damage, both emotional and physical.
        The so-called simple CA-125 blood test for ovarian cancer is anything but, it’s highly unreliable and can lead to unnecessary surgery. No thanks.
        The invasiveness of the pap test and the fact almost all doctors were male in the late 70s prompted me to go looking for answers, what sort of risk was I taking rejecting this test? I fear if the test had been non-invasive, would I have been sucked into the pap testing abyss? Once you get that “abnormal” result the conveyer belt starts and at that point many women are scared to death…so it’s colposcopy, biopsy, perhaps, a “treatment” and then more pap testing etc.
        So I’m cautious with all screening tests. We should remember even self-testing options can lead to the same ugly and harmful places. Some people choose not to have a screening colonoscopy for bowel cancer, but might self-screen using the FOBT, IF however, the result is positive, the next step is the colonoscopy. So you have to really think about these tests at the outset.

        My advice: ask yourself: is this test in MY best interests? What happens if the test is abnormal? (or I’m HPV+ or blood is detected on the FOBT) These issues cut across all screening tests. What now?
        If we don’t have a clear plan in mind, fear and uncertainty may push us down the path to day procedure, surgery etc. So IMO, we should be “prepared” for negative test results IF we choose to have these tests and exams. Know what you’re accepting and where it can lead, it’s not an exaggeration to say that a simple screening test can end up taking your life. (for example: breast screening can lead to over-diagnosis, and over-treatment can lead to heart attacks and lung cancer)

        If a woman tests HPV+ here (under our new program) and there will be lots, about 40% of those who test aged 25 to 29, and about 5% of those aged 30 to 74, (we plan on HPV testing from age 25 when HPV testing should not be used before age 30) she’ll probably be referred for immediate colposcopy and biopsy.
        HPV self-testing may be viewed as a better option, but can still land us in the same place, HPV+, what now?
        So even HPV self-testing should only be used appropriately (the safest course IMO, is the new Dutch program, HPV primary or self testing at ages 30,35,40,50 and 60) and with a clear understanding of what you’ll do if you’re HPV+
        The Dutch will simply offer the roughly 5% of HPV+ women aged 30 to 60 a 5 yearly pap test. (until they clear the virus)

        The rest comes down to risk, how much risk, and type of risk, are you prepared to carry in your life or accept with testing? For me the risk of cc is so low, I’m simply not interested in accepting much risk at all to screen for a rare event, others may feel differently. (I’m also, confident I’m HPV-) I’ve never had a pap test and won’t be testing for HPV. (and I’m 56)
        Here the lifetime risk of cc is 0.65%, the lifetime risk of colposcopy/biopsy is 77%…I rest my case. Easy decision, and when you’re informed, the propaganda bounces off you. Fear, uncertainty and confusion often makes women screen AND keeps them in these programs.

        You’re right, most HPV+ women will simply clear the virus in a year or so, so only a small number of the 5% who test HPV+ between ages 30 to 60 would go on to develop invasive cervical cancer, but these are also, the women with a small chance of benefiting…so it depends on the individual and how comfortable they feel carrying risk…from the disease and testing.
        Certainly women worried about this rare cancer have an alternative to frequent pap testing and most will find they’re not even at risk and cannot benefit from pap testing. Those who want to test should at least establish their HPV status before agreeing to pap testing…and if they’re HPV+ avoid over-pap screening and being rushed into colposcopy and biopsy.
        If a woman is HPV+ and ALSO, produces an abnormal pap test, say CIN 2 or 3, then she can consider her options.
        The best approach IMO, is to think ahead, there is no such thing as a simple screening test. (aside from perhaps, blood pressure screening and even then, we have to be careful taking medication we may not need, that may produce side effects etc.)
        Don’t worry about being long winded, I take 1st prize every time, especially when we’re talking about these subjects.

  15. Alex says:

    I was just wondering something: I know women are generally more conflict-averse than men, but doesn;t getting hounded like this come off as threatening? I’d think it’d be like a guy getting very bossy on the street. Kind of a “Hey, you’re coming with me” type of thing that isn’t meant as a joke or flirtation.

    I mean it gets to the point where someone DOES actually have to worry about them trying to work their will through whatever agencies they decide to call up & connect the dots to. I could see them trying to take someone’s kids away if those kids having had all kinds of probing done- they deem anything & everything an unsafe environment, so I’d imagine the doctor trying this angle, then getting shut down & calling for help.

    Have to say: That kind of base-minded style of thinking (that they’re trying to exert themselves & someone else blocks it- so now they’re all offended in some weird primal way, like a fake life-or-death concern) is something that is the same as a drunken rage or an egotistical nutjob with a gun. It doesn’t matter if every fiber of someone’s being is behind them trying to start shit with other people, they’re still of low-quality & are an enemy for it.

    At the end of the day, there’s no way to say something so that you can “prove” righteousness or not. This is because there’s no way to say anything so that somebody else can’t lie or twist your words & at some point language has to connect to something. Ultimately, someone can just say “I know it’s a problem, but I like problems” or just engage in an action without saying anything. I’ve developed a saying: “Fucked-up shit grows BEETER in the darkness- but it’ll grow in the light, too.”

  16. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    ” I am married, twenty years old, and a graduate student. I go to the student health center for my annual exam. As I walk up to the door and place my hand on the handle, I feel this intense, visceral reaction in my body of wanting to run away. For a few moments, I can’t open the door, instead I think only of fleeing. The thought comes to me: I’m going in here to volunteer to be assaulted. Having to undergo a routine pelvic exam and pap smear as a condition of having access to birth control pills feels like a routine humiliation, like a ritual of physical invasion and “punishment” designed to shame young women who dare to have sex.

    This is MY BODY.”

    Found this powerful account…I wonder how many women feel this way, but suppress or dismiss these feelings because we’ve been told we MUST find invasive exams and testing acceptable, it’s important for our health. If we don’t agree, we’re immature etc, there is something wrong with us.
    I think we should listen to our bodies.

    http://feminismandreligion.com/2014/04/09/pap-smears-i-have-known-by-molly-meade/

    • Another great article, thanks Elizabeth! She certainly wrote that in a hit-the-nail-on-the-head kind of way. Brought back some awful memories . . .

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Sue, with all the articles making clear pap tests, breast and pelvic exams are unnecessary for the Pill, do you think more American women are becoming aware? Surely more of your doctors are ditching these requirements. I would have thought a doctor being challenged would struggle to justify these exams and test. I wonder if more American women are pushing back and even though it’s more difficult, trying to find a doctor who doesn’t use coercion to force excess.
        If woman say nothing and suffer in silence, then I’m sure many doctors will stay with excess/coercion, I wonder if it’s now a question of business as usual with some woman and accepting the evidence/change with informed women, the Pill with a blood pressure check.

      • Elizabeth, it does seem that way. It’s frustrating to see the backlash in response to the American College of Physician’s recommendation to ditch pelvic exams in asymptomatic women. The ongoing ‘debate’ continues. Of course the ob-gyns (and other doctors) are defending the practice, claiming they ‘care’ about women so they will continue to ‘protect’ them. Probably many women still put the ultimate authority in their doctors hands, willing to follow their recommendations. Some probably believe their doctor is caring because he or she is willing to go to the extra effort and expense. As for the doctors, they seem to have grouped together to problem solve their way through this one. The doctors who follow the evidence may even be reprimanded in some way, it’s hard to know what’s going on behind the scenes.

        I remember reading an article (can’t remember the title) that compared priests to doctors. The author claimed you would never be able to change the behavior of the priests, no matter how wrong they were or how much you disagreed with them. The priests would never change. Your only, and best, course of action was to leave the church. It seems some women have done just that by refusing to go to doctors.

        The pill dilemma though is another matter. They have women over a barrel with that one. I wonder how the online bc pill business is doing. I also wonder why there have been no lawsuits in relation to lack of informed consent or to harms of misdiagnosis. A cervix damaged for no reason should be worth something.

      • Ro says:

        Elizabeth – I do think American women are becoming more aware. I was minding my business going to the grocery store a few weeks ago, and lo and behold there was a billboard advertising pap tests and an office where you could get one done. Also there was something tagged on about having STDs and not knowing it because there are no symptoms. The typical stuff. But I think the fact that they’ve resorted to buying out billboards to advertise proves that they’re really having to reach these days. Also, I had a thought when I drove past it again the other day. What if a child has just learned to read and asks their parents what an STD means? I learned to read when I was 4, and as you can imagine, I was very curious. Had I seen the billboard at that age, I know I would have asked my parents what it meant. I really do not think that sort of thing is appropriate to have out where children can read it, but that’s just my opinion.

  17. Alex says:

    Just had some thoughts I’d like to share that might be useful in countering mind games. It’s a bit long (two minutes of talking amounts to A LOT of typing), but I think it’s a pervasive thing that is somewhat rarely addressed. Keep in mind that there’s no way to say anything so that someone else can’t lie or twist your words on their own, because a lot of this can be flipped in an argument.

    We’ve talked about this one before, but it’d be easier to refernce one thing to help explain another:
    You know how sometimes people present things as a fixed situation? Like there exists no capacity for reality to “unfurl” any other way & saying things like what they “will” be doing or what someone else is “going” to be having?

    Well, this tactic more or less entirely relies on people presuming honesty & accuracy out of other people. Not in a deduced “I trust what comes from them” kind of way, but more in the sense of someone looking at their watch & you believing it’s what time they say it is. This isn’t even usually a bad thing, since it IS fairly bizarre for someone to randomly lie like that. However, sometimes people take advantage of the situation (and usually act very innocent or even like they’re helping someone “get sharper”). in this case, the way that they phrase something implies that there exists no capacity for the situation to develop any other way- because the conditions would have to be this way to provide this result. I guess this could be called “implicit reasoning.”

    Here’s what I was thinking about:
    I figure that the same things occur with someone saying “need,” must,” or “have to.” It’s more complicated though. What happens if a need is unfufilled? The situation doesn’t happen. I think that some people tend to instantly presume the answer to that question is “You die.” This isn’t articulated, it’s just kind of a “back of the head” thing.

    Another thing I think is at work is the concept of nothingness. Nothingness freaks people out. There was actually a book on Amazon about that (I wish I’d bought it & now I can’t remember the name, but it was about the theory that the fear of nothing has been used to cause all sorts of things, from general scams to war).

    Remember Robin Hood (the Russell Crowe version)? When King John is talking to the crowd before the end battle starts? He says that “Without the king, there is no kingdom- there is nothing.” Before that he was standing face-to-face with a guy that was just talking quite fervently about killing him & King John gives him the opportunity. He even offers his sword to do the deed- the guy doesn’t do it, though. I think that’s because it’s kind of weird to go after someone when they’re not coming right at you or running away like someone that knows they’re the enemy.

    He’s using nothing as both a shield & a weapon. Saying “there IS NOTHING” is something that can sink in literally, even if it’s typically used as a figure of speech (from there, someone might be looking to steer clear of this situation by whatever suggested methods). That “poker face tactic” is frequently used to convey that they’re so dangerous that they’re unworried (a common thing when two guys are about to fight), but it can also be used like I said earlier.

    When someone says “need/must/have to,” that idea of nothingness can apply, whether it’s that knee-jerk presumption that death will result from a need going unfufilled or by the “death” of the situation that doesn’t occur- because death frequently is thought of as nothingness. Now it gets the idea of nothing in their head (which is a spooky thing for them) & they’re trying to wrap their heads around this (which keeps going & going, like when someone tries to picture infinity)- because of this, the fear will build & build until they finally snap from that. Not necessarily going on a rampage or running around screaming, it could just be that they give way/burn out.

    In this case, specifically- it would probably mean doing as directed by the doctor, whatever that happens to amount to.

    • bethkz says:

      The book you’re talking about is _Fear of Nothing_ by Rick Aster, published 2009, ISBN 978-1-891987-14-7 It’s available from Amazon and many other book sellers, both new and used, or you can borrow it from/through your local library, or perhaps through Interlibrary Loan.

      A description and reviews are available on Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7958347-fear-of-nothing?from_search=true

      It looks like a worthwhile book. It also goes into just why and how this fear of nothing is the underlying cause of the 2008 financial crisis, and just why and how it is that we willingly give as much as half of our money away in interest so that we can have more things right now, and, for that matter, why these payments to banks are called “interest” in the first place.

      • Alex says:

        Thanks, but I don’t think that’s it. The one I’m talking about talks about a lot of different subjects- it’s kind of like a crowd psychology book. You know, like the ones that talk about how propaganda works & information cascades & all that?

        I can’t find it anywhere. This is going to make me nuts! Anyway, I figure it’s actually “thinking by adjucation” (as I call it) that really causes, or at least camouflages, most of the problems in the world – that’s why I didn’t buy the book. I definitely remember it being one of those “root of all evil” type of things.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Hello, this is for all of you/us. Whatever you can do to help sort though it. Elizabeth, as usual your wisdom shines re tests of any kind; here referring to CA-125. You advice think ahead, try to plan. I concur {don’t I sound smart?;)}. i regard any test as a step, a piece of info never the whole answer. Thanks to you and others here test error rates are being discussed. I never imagined tests having such error rates, and false-negatives/false-positives.

        We, should I say hubs, talked again to my gyno. I’m not comfortable on the phone in these situations. If I could read everything for myself w/o going into pain, like what happens after 5 minutes on the phone, this would be easier. We know chronic pain and spinal injuries. But we’re still on the learning curve here. Learning what to ask him. This guy likes talking, is easy going, and is willing to answer questions. That doesn’t mean he’s right though. This is also his learning curve. He claims not to have access to nor knowing any alternative to pap. Further, he claims that cc can occur w/o HPV! Adding it can happen anytime in life.

        He said HPV was never discussed until Big Pharma developed the vaccine, and Big Pharma drives almost all developments in medicine, even treatments. He said the vaccine is useless in adults, further no matter the circumstance he won’t recommend for adolescents, the target customer. To him it’s false protection with added issues/problems. He said it’s all about the money; it costs $100 x3 injections, compared to $10 for TDaP. Specifically, before the vaccine, HPV was never discussed. [however, no HPV test, not much reason to talk about it; we already knew it caused cc, agree?]

        He said cc can happen “de novo” (on its own), whether or not HPV is present. [how, genetics?] He said pap gets the top layers that HPV infects, plus layers below (where alternative pap tests do not sample, therefore being non-effective) where this non-HPV cc originates and migrates upwards. He didn’t indicate specific cause here, while explaining that some women harboring it [extreme slow growth] [not at all detectable?] experience cc attack late in life. [contrary Moo’s research that HPV isn’t latent but cleared within 2yrs & no other cc etiology exists] So he’s saying the pap is unique that it catches organic cc coming up from below. [looking fwd to reading our research re this] [we’ll send letter to 88yr old aunt w/cc; she received radiation & surgery] Then he states cc is a young woman’s disease, striking most women around 30yrs; risk diminishing by age 50 so I’m too old for it… [Then why pap me? For what can grow deep within?] [I deeply despise this degrading test, hating the scrape most, finally my husband tells me he has reliable info (from here) stating I never need it again has mobilized every fiber within me to simply not see the med period. However I need my Estro-Test, and guess what? I had a period after 5yrs of bliss…]

        Dr worked in Tiajauna Mexico 1970’s-style clinic during residency. He saw many women who’d birthed 6-10x, lacking care, and many developed prolapsed uterus. He described epidemic cc in these women. These women were grateful and so was he. They received a vaginal hysterectomy; he got experience. [to me, the cc prevalence represents HPV spread due to the grossest lack of sanitation imaginable, men transferring HPV from prostitutes.] [would there be vaginal warts plus cc in advanced HPV?]

        We asked about literary proof that cc occurs w/o HPV. He said it’s discussed in med school books back in the 70’s-80’s. [Why not now?] Now to research that aspect. This is not over. Although he prefers pap, if we can find alternative he’ll go along. Next, we’ll be making calls to labs & Delphi manufacturer to get their side and see what it takes to obtain. My knee requiring total replacement gives me good reason to pursue alternative, given if it locks or fails I could go from pap to ER to surgery. No thanks.

        Dr explained a period can still happen even with low-level Estro-Test therapy. He may request I have a sonogram done to measure my uterine thickness, although the vaginal probe provides a better view. We’re also going to research estrogen vs progesterone. Someone remarked the latter is preferred during my phase of life. Thanks to everybody for reading, I’m looking forward to responses, and advice for the next phase in this adventure.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        HI C&M
        “Further, he claims that cc can occur w/o HPV”

        I’ve found over the years that quite a few doctors have a poor understanding of this subject, on one forum a gynecologist told us that adenocarcinoma is not linked to HPV, wrong! He was provided with some references and admitted he was incorrect. How many women has he misled over his career?
        This is the argument used by some US doctors to justify doing pap tests on women who’ve never been sexually active. (and they also, assume all women have been sexually active by a certain age, claims of virginity at 23, 25, 30 etc. are not to be believed…there is so much wrong with that thinking, I barely know where to start)

        He may be referring to some fleetingly rare cervical cancers, neuroendocrine carcinomas of the cervix: small-cell and large-cell. This type of cc “may” not be linked to HPV, although some/many believe they are also, linked to HPV.
        BUT these aggressive cancers are usually diagnosed when the woman is symptomatic. I think women diagnosed with these very rare cancers are likely to get a false negative pap test result, and we all know that can cause issues, false reassurance.
        I think about 200 women in the whole of America get these cancers so I wouldn’t be spending too much time worrying about them.

        The pap test was designed to prevent/detect squamous cell carcinoma, which is more common than adenocarcinoma. (but still rare)
        So even if he’s right and these cancers are not linked to HPV, a) they’re VERY, VERY rare and b) a pap test is unlikely to help these women anyway and may disadvantage them. (false negative)

        If women want to test, I don’t think you can do better than HPV primary or self-testing from age 30. IMO, pap testing should simply be offered to the roughly 5% who are HPV+ and aged 30 to 60. We could scale this testing WAY back to 5 HPV primary or self-tests and only 5% of women offered pap testing, that means colposcopy, biopsies and treatments would also, plummet.
        Of course, that also, means a LOT of money lost to vested interests, so most countries will stay with excess and drag as many women into unnecessary and excessive testing as possible.
        HPV wasn’t mentioned initially because they didn’t want women knowing the cancer was linked to a STI, they felt that might put some women off testing.
        Then IMO, they worked out it could be used to scare more women into pap testing, “HPV is common, if you’ve had sex even once, you must have pap testing etc.”
        Of course, a fortune is being made in this fight with an always-rare cancer, population pap testing, liquid pap tests, over-screening, re-testing, excess biopsies, over-treatment, women left with damage to the cervix so infertility, miscarriages, premature babies, high risk pregnancies, the need for c-sections and cervical cerclage etc and of course, Gardasil.
        A vast industry has been built around one always-rare cancer. (that was also, in natural decline)

        “The major problem with early accurate diagnosis of SCC is the limitation of routine screening, namely the Pap smear.”
        “It has been observed that HPV18 is the most prevalent type in Small cell cervical cancer. Like other types of cervical cancer it seems to be associated with high-risk (e.g. 16, 18, 31) HPV Infection.” Ref: Atienza-Amores, Maria. “Small cell carcinoma of the gynecologic tract: A multifaceted spectrum of lesions”. Gynecologic Oncology (Elsevier).
        So this is one author who believes small cell carcinoma IS linked to hrHPV.
        Hope this helps, good luck.

  18. Moo says:

    Small cell cervical cancer is extremely rare but the case is not known. It is not caused by HPV and even more rare that those types caused by HPV 16 and 18.

    http://www2.mdanderson.org/cancerwise/2011/11/qa-focus-on-small-cell-cervical-cancer.html

    Apparently as we age we lose our abilitiy to fight off HPV infections. The only way to know if an older woman had a new cases of HPV infection ( from a pelvic exam for example) is to know exactly what strains she had before and compare. Some women could have persistent infection with the same strain for years that developed into cancer.

    What looks like HPV might not be HPV because a lab test needs to confirm it. Everyone is told that they have genital warts when sometimes it is not. Back when women were given paps tests and the metal speculums used were never sterilized between patients just soaked in water and bleach and then put into hot water. No wonder they all got cervical cancer. Wow Pap tests is so great but the methods for it just spread it and made it worse. So years of experience and doing surgery in 1970’s would not impress me.

    Your choice to get your cervix scraped. Your body. Doctor will not give your meds without it? Either get another doctor or find a way to do without the artificial hormones.

    Hyperplasia in perimenopause is just a made up disease. Fall for that one and you will get a hysterectomy and maybe be told that it was all a false alarm.

    I do not expect people to agree with everything I post up here as I am not putting myself beside doctors and scientists. I just like to do my own research and I am capable of understanding much.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Believe me, I came here b/c I knew the women here combined have the latest knowledge about these diseases, and I’ll get the truth and not some vaginal car-salesperson hipe or half truths which you can see he gave me. Same old thing. A contradictory story, followed by a helpless to change but I can save your life you better come see me bit. This is not over. The worst he said I could be in for re my uterus would be a D&C if the lining got too thick.

      The next time we converse our side will go to him in writing. He’s not expecting anybody to actually verify anything. We’ll gather things from here, do our own research, and get back to him adding where and how the “alternatives to pap” can be utilized. He said if I find it he’ll go along. I did come out of this with three sample tubes of Estrace cream though. That’s good.

      What bugs me, is when I first saw him, I had zero hormones on labs (all of them) and had atrophying organs. I couldn’t climax either, something never a problem. He claimed I looked normal, all things were normal, did I try lubes etc? Never needed them. We begged & got the Estro-Test plus Estrace cream for topical use. It took a dermatologist to understand the atropy issue and she wrote me testosterone cream. She was more understanding than he and my female internist combined. This pisses me off royally. No follow up labs. Also, if any of you use Estro-Test, the blue tabs don’t work at all. Stick to the green ones. There are only two generic brands so this should be easy.

      A PSA. If any of you use meds by Apotex out of Bangalore India, there’s a major problem. Canadian government is refusing 30 meds from Apotex. Personally, I’ve found every med made by Apotex to be total junk, and we refuse to accept this brand from the pharmacy. Thank you for helping me on this issue with info.

  19. Alex says:

    Not exactly an “up-lifting” article, but if you Google “Afghanistan Surge In Women Jailed For “Moral Crimes” it DOES actually mention their imposing virginity tests on women as an abuse.

    The thing is, it seems like they kind of had a “useful is not wrong” tone, though. Like if it was an accurate method of diagnosis it’d be fine- big suprise, right? Something doesn’t have to be useless to be a problem & this IS imposed penetration- which they kind of mention as a problem in itself, just not in a point-blank way like that.

    It really is suprising how often the term “iatrogenic attack” id dodged. The term “medical attack” would work fine & should probably occur to someone right off the bat. An unconventional attack can be called as such, too. I see someone dodge it like that & I presume they’re a supporter of the situation.

  20. Ozphoenix says:

    This is a little off topic, but I really have to speak my mind.

    Abuse, deception, power-plays and overcharging for un-necessary treatments is not just confined to human doctors.

    I’ve had cats ever since I was little, and we really need to open our eyes to the behaviour of vets, not just human doctors.

    My cat required emergency treatment on a public holiday last weekend. He’s diabetic, and he was lethargic, appeared to be in pain and would not eat anything (meaning I could not inject him with insulin). Called the local emergency vet. Yes, I can bring him in, and the fee for just walking in the door was $280.

    Fine. My cat needs help, I’ll pay.

    Get to the vet, the diagnostic dance begins. Blood work, physical exam, lots of ‘Umming’ and ‘Hmmming’.

    Blood results come back. His liver enzymes are ‘1000’ instead of being in the ’30 – 100′ range. They think he might have something wrong with his liver, they’d like to do an ultrasound.

    I ask how much the ultrasound would cost. They keep saying they need to do it. Go back and forth for a few minutes with they ‘need’ to do it. I keep asking about the cost. Finally get a stubborn answer – $500 for the scan, plus $350 consultation fee with the specialist vet.

    I refuse the ultrasound. I get disbelieving looks from the vet and them wanting to know why. I say the cost is too high.

    “Yes, but he needs it”.

    I consistantly decline, despite strong pressure.

    My cat stays overnight at the emergency vet. In the morning, they insist on the ultrasound again. I refuse. Grumpily, they suggest that perhaps my cat can go to his own vet for monitoring.

    This I agree with. Then I pay the $800 bill for 12 hours of care.

    Cat arrives at his own vet, and begins being monitored. His liver enzymes are begining to drop. Down to 700, then down to 500. He is on a drip and has various more diagnostic tests done.

    I ask how he is. He’s eating and bright. We decide he is on his way to getting well again and he probably does not have cancer. After two days I ask if I can bring him home. They want him to stay for one more day, to stay on the drip and his recovery rate will be faster. The charge for ‘one more day’ is $250.

    I decline, and tell them I’m bringing him home now. Vet isn’t happy, but she concedes.

    Pick up cat from vet, am told that vet wants to see him in another week for another consultation ($100) and a week after that for a full diabteic workup (3 years ago that cost $350, so it must be over $400 by now).

    I’m refusing the full diabetic workup, and will instead drop him off for blood testing before breakfast, and again in the afternoon, which means they cannot charge for the whole day, and my cat is less stressed.

    My previous vet used to insist on the ‘full’ day diabetic workup, do one day (at $300) and then insist they do the next day as well because they’re not fully happy with the results (meaning another $300). I sacked thet vet. They also used to prescribe the wrong insulin (they gave him a type which would have kileld him if I had noticed that it was’nt the ‘usual’ type, and he was always getting the wrong medication at the front counter because the head vet was too cheap to use vet nurses at the front counter, and he put work experience girls there instead), they left injured and in-pain animals in the waiting room while they continued flea treatment consults (I had a feral bunny with his intestines hanging out, and they kept doing a flea treament regime with a labrador and ignoring the bunny while the poor bunny was moaning and fitting in pain. I demanded they not keep him waiting, and got told off and glared at by the vet) and used to take urine samples directly from my cats bladder through the abdominal wall without using a local anesthetic and sedative (making him absolutely scream in pain until I realised what was happening and demanded that they stop). That vet would also charge $190 for an insulin vial – when the local human chemist charges $73.

    Misconduct, coercion and overcharging is not just confined to human doctors!! At least they haven’t thought of doing pap smears on my female cat…. yet.

    • Alex says:

      I always say: anything allopathic is psychopathic. Not that long ago, we put the dog down (she just crashed & would have basically been a prisoner in her own skin) & the costs were unbelievable!

      Also, didn’t like how they do rectal temperature-taking & didn’t know they did that. I kind of figured it was with some kind of ear monitor thing. Don’t know exactly how to express that- I guess you say everything you’d say with people, just saying “I know it’s an animal, but that is imposed probing- whether it has utility or not.” If you where to kick the dog in the face, that’d be cruel.

      • Alex says:

        Thanks, Ro.

        Didn’t know there was animal pap tests! I guess the antagonism to life really does run broadly. I know this sounds fanatical, but I really don’t see medical personnel as anything different from those priests in King Arthur (the Clive Owen version- it seems there’s more than one).

        People have gotten away from seeing a group as “them” & even say “we” when it’s things that they don’t even support- it’s a weird thing. In an effort to not be unfairly prejudiced against someone (which, if they cared about in the first place, probably wouldn’t have even come up) they’ve left themselves unable to be FAIRLY prejudiced.

        They are selected, trained, and certified- it’s more or less a suprising exception when they don’t act like assholes & then everyone else is wrong for thinking that they’ll act alike? Holy shit! The don’t think that way with the “gangs” that they’re all seemingly so worried about.

    • Ozphoenix, sorry to hear about your experiences and interesting points about vets. You mentioned your cat was diabetic and I was just wondering if he is on steroids. The reason I was wondering is because I recently found out about steroid induced diabetes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steroid_diabetes This might not apply to your cat (and you might already know about this) but it does seem so many pets are put on steroids.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if they did start doing pap smears on female cats, let’s hope they don’t think of it!

      • Ro says:

        Sue – The photo you posted while fantastic and satirical reminded me of a story I read on the old blogcritics article. One woman posted a comment sharing a story about some lady who was a veterinarian or what-have-you and decided to give her dog a pap test after she was symptomatic. The lady ended up being charged with animal abuse and yet when humans do this to women (even asymptomatic women, no less!) it’s “saving lives.” Talk about double standards. I don’t think I’ll ever understand that one. I’m sorry to hear about your dog, Alex. Ozphoenix, I’m sorry your cat had to go through all that run-around, but I’m glad to hear he’s doing better now!

        I’d like to add a side note to what Alex said about anything allopathic being psychopathic : I had cats when I was a child and we always got them de-clawed. I didn’t think or know that there was anything wrong with it and neither did my parents. Recently, I found out that de-clawing a cat is animal cruelty to the extreme (point blank: it’s mutilation), and worse, it’s legal. When a cat gets de-clawed, they cut back the bone to remove the entire claw. Essentially, it would be the same as having all of your fingers cut off at the knuckle. Thankfully, if you have a problem with cats scratching or clawing, there are alternative methods available. They actually have these little slip-on nail covers (you can even get them sparkly or different colors to make it look like they’re painted LOL) that you place over your cats claws and replace once in a while. If I ever get another cat, then I’ll use those. However, they are usually not recommended by veterinarians in the US as de-clawing is still big business here. What’s interesting to note is that many other countries have actually outlawed it. It seems that the supposedly “less advanced” countries have more respect for life (both humans and animals) than our “advanced” countries. I guess with “advancement” comes a whole lot of greed and not much care.

      • adawells says:

        In the UK we don’t have declawing at all. I’d never heard of such a thing to do to a poor animal. I was horrified when I found out about it a few years ago. We had some Canadian guests pay us a visit, and seeing our own cat with all it’s claws outstetched, they were surprised British cats have claws on them. When they explained that in Canada the claws are taken out, there was a dreadful and embarrassing silence on our part. We did not tell them our thoughts, but I think it was felt, and we had no further contact with them…

      • Diane says:

        RE the vets: it really depends. The vets I have for my cats have always refused to do declaw surgeries. Instead they will always trim cats’ nails for free and they will teach owners how to do it if they’re interested. To me that is a vet that truly puts the needs of the animals over $$$$.

      • Ro says:

        Adawells – I’m glad to know that they don’t declaw in the UK! It really is a horrible thing. I just wish that my parents and I would have known what it actually was when I was younger. I feel guilty about it at times, but it’s over and at least I know now and can warn others if I know they’re considering declawing their cat.

        Diane – I’m glad to know some organizations and veterinarians here are stepping up on the issue! Unfortunately, the vet I took my previous cats to was not one such vet. He was all for declawing and even encouraged it. I’m disgusted. If I ever get another cat, I will find a vet who does not declaw period. Upon request or otherwise.

  21. Diane says:

    i think that declawing is a great example of how something very harmful can become status quo, and how hard it can be to change that. The vast majority of rescue groups, animal shelters et al in America condemn declawing (I’m pretty sure both the ASPCA and the Humane Society have taken a formal stance against it), but there are still some vets that do it, and there are still some people who think it’s acceptable or even necessary. As far as I know, the AVMA hasn’t formally condemned it yet, and perhaps that is because they know it’s $$$ for some vets. The only way to get it to stop would be to ban it outright the way it’s been banned in Europe and most other places, and that hasn’t happened yet. HOWEVER, there are cities and municipalities that ban declawing, so we’re making small steps here.

    For what it’s worth we’ve never declawed cats in our family; we just learned how to gently trim their nails and give them lots of places to scratch around the house. When I adopted two kittens from a cat rescue a few years ago, the contract I signed actually stipulated that I had to promise never to declaw my cats. And IIRC the rescue refused to adopt to anyone who had ever declawed their cats in the past. Good idea, there.

  22. Alex says:

    Something that I didn’t think of until right now (oddly enough), it’s pretty common to neuter various animals, too. You expect a dog to protect you after you’ve cut it’s balls off?

    Spaying is, perhaps, a little bit broader- seeing as doctors have sterilized women, too. This was something that happened to Native American women in America until at least the 1960s (I’ve heard until the 1980s, as well). This pack of vermin then teaches the new doctors & nurses (who, apparently, will follow a doctor’s suggestions even if it means the patient’s life).

  23. Si says:

    I’m really impressed with this breast cancer organisation, Breast Cancer Action; it supports evidence based research and works towards less toxic treatments, aids research into environmental causes, and warns women of the risks and benefits of screening, they’ve even got a leaflet on screening facts (the real ones!) BCA also openly challenges the public pink campaigns; such as negative and unhelpful messages to women, and the advertising language used, myths about the disease, and apparently it refuses funding from pharmaceutical companies and corrupt companies cashing in on the think pink campaign.

    http://bcaction.org/our-take-on-breast-cancer/screening/

    • Ro says:

      I finally got around to checking out that site. What a breath of fresh air! I never gave to any of those foundations because I believed they were pocketing money and none of it would actually go towards finding a cure anyway, because it’s far too profitable for those behind the organizations if there isn’t a cure. It’s a disgusting, horrible, twisted truth. Some of the things they’re doing are ridiculous and it’s all a money making scam. It’s so disrespectful to those who have suffered at the hands of such an awful disease. Anyway, there is so much good information there. There’s no condescending tone and women’s choices are respected. So lovely! Now if only there were sites like that for the other screening programs out there…(for both men and women)

  24. Ro says:

    Today I found out that someone I know of went to the ER for an unrelated cause and was told that she has an ovarian cyst which needed to be removed because it was, “larger than average”. That seems like a fairly flimsy reason to me, especially in an asymptomatic woman. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t that similar to saying, “well your big toe is larger than average so we’ll need to amputate it, even though it isn’t causing you any problems”? All women are different shapes and sizes, so it would make sense that their internal organs and ovarian cysts (which most women get every month) would be different sizes as well. Then, I caught wind that the women around her were talking about how being a woman is such a hassle and it’s so awful and our reproductive parts are useless if we don’t have or have already had children. That’s such an awful way to view the female body. It honestly makes me tear up a little bit as I’m writing this. I don’t want to go through life like that, viewing the body that God has given me as some sort of enemy or villain that must be controlled and vanquished. It’s so sad that women feel this way about their bodies and it’s awful that so much unnecessary action has been taken involving the female body over the last century. When things like this happen, I’m so thankful that I’ve found a place with like-minded women where I can vent about this. I’ve said it before and I am aware that there truly are women out there with problems involving their reproductive organs, and that is awful and heartbreaking. But at this point, the female reproductive system has become a commercial business in its own right. There is so much unnecessary treatment and over-treatment taking place. Especially in the US and countries with similar programs and incentives.

    • Alex says:

      Yeah, I’ve noticed that a lot of women seem to want to be men & a lot of men act gay as a Broadway cowboy. It’s bizarre: The men either act useless or like enemies, the women at the same time as praising self-governance & not being kicked-around are adamantly supportive of people pushing women around, and the kids don’t seem to have much of anything to learn from (plus, there’s the added danger that someone will prey on them in a subtle way).

      I always look at men that broadly dislike women & only want to be around other men as fruits with an attitude. It’s even worse when they view the woman’s body in the way you said. Someone that thinks this is something to be controlled or vanquished is twisted & probably at least a little bit gay. Not for nothing, but outright making that point if a guy goes on a tirade tends to cut shit short.

      For a woman, I’d think just saying “You’re so self-hating!” would probably generate a personal review. Saying “What? Do you want to be a guy?” might be useful, but I truly do think a lot of women are very bitter about their own lives (anatomy included) & might just be something like a black hole.

      • Ro says:

        I don’t think that either gender truly wants to be the other (save for those who are actually transgender). I just think that, overall, society has warped some of the best parts of femininity and masculinity into being something horrible and awful. For women, it’s basically everything I mentioned in my previous comment and then some. For men, it’s typically to do with how they present themselves. If they want to provide for their families or if they have a protective nature, a lot of the time they’re told that they have internalized misogyny. While that may be true in some cases, that a man does those things or wants to use them as a form of control, I think that most of the time men want those things because it’s just part of they’re make up as a whole. They have the desire to provide and protect.

        I think most women aren’t actually self-hating, they just believe that the medical merry-go-round is something they MUST do and that there is never a choice. So then they feel trapped and fearful of their bodies. That’s just my opinion, though. I can understand how feeling like that would eventually make someone bitter. It’s an awful feeling thinking that you have no choice in what’s done to your body.

      • Diane says:

        I agree, Ro. The irony is that the way “well woman exams,” Paps and so forth are presented by the medical community and the media – and by other women – make women believe that they’re being proactive and caring for their bodies. If you love yourself you’ll get a Pap. That kind of nonsense. Women are led to think they’re taking the bull by the horns and looking out for their health when they go for these tests. I don’t think it’s self-hatred; I think it’s proof of very effective behavioral conditioning.

        And then, as we’ve all seen, women are also led to believe that there are dreadful, fatal consequences if they don’t get these GYN tests. They’re too frightened to break out of the conditioning and they’re not supplied with correct information that could help them make an informed decision. If you look on the average medical site for laypersons, it just gives the standard party line about how you need a Pap or you’re going to die on the spot. To find the true information one has to be willing to dig deeper and read those medical journal extracts and such. Most people can’t or won’t do that. They trust that those basic medical sites are giving them complete and accurate information so they don’t look further than that.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        There is no doubt in my mind these programs use advertising companies to sell pap tests and mammograms. We currently have a journalist and high profile sportswoman urging us to have breast screening.
        Sure…I’m going to dash off and do it because a couple of high profile women think it’s a good idea. It’s an insult to our intelligence, if it was such a great test, they wouldn’t have to resort to celebrity endorsement to get us screened, they could rely on the evidence.
        BUT as they told Professor Baum in THAT meeting about 15 years ago, “Professor Baum, we can’t give women all of the information and give them a choice or they won’t turn up for screening”…he resigned from the Screening Committee, and the coercion, lies, unethical tactics etc. continues.
        How could anyone call this screening?

      • bethkz says:

        Someone put me on the spot the other day about how “wonderful” this pink ribbon campaign stuff is, how wonderful that some semi-local companies are to be sponsoring it, and a 5K run for it. No, this “pinkwashing” – companies putting up an insignificant percentage of their profits to be permitted to put the pink ribbon on their product – even if their products have been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer. She went on to tell me, “You know, breast cancer is the #1 killer of women.” HARDLY! Heart disease is. Cancer is 2nd or 3rd. That’s ALL types of cancer. Several other cancers come up higher, including lung cancer.

        Moreover, this bikini medicine focus detracts from women’s actual health care. Women are more likely to die of their first heart attack than men are. If a man goes to an emergency room complaining of chest pains, he will likely receive an EKG and treated as a possible heart attack victim. If a woman does, she’ll likely be given this quiz about when she had a pap test or a mammogram, shamed if it’s longer than recommended, someone listen to her heart via a stethoscope, encouraged to have a(nother) mammogram, perhaps referred for evaluation of her “anxiety” condition. Rarely, even if they decide she’s having a heart attack, will it be treated as aggressively as a similar situation is for a man. Women with heart conditions just don’t fare as well.

        I wonder why….

      • Alex says:

        Elizabeth: What meeting? I’d like to be able to bring that up, if an argument ever came up on the subject.

      • Diane says:

        Oh ye Gods, yes, Bethhz. The lack of attention that is paid to heart disease in women pisses me off like nothing else. It’s a serious concern and it’s just brushed under the carpet. I’ve read that cardiac issues like heart attacks manifest in women with very different symptoms than they do in men, and that management of heart disease in women can have different challenges. But do we ever hear about that? Do we ever have doctors who address heart disease in women with the same vigilance as cervical cancer? Noooo…

        And it’s very true that whenever a woman seeks emergency care, she is less likely to be taken seriously and much more likely to be immediately assessed for GYN issues – and that wasted time could cost her. I remember that when I had my appendix out. The ER doctor’s first response was, “oh, you’re just ovulating!” I was sitting there thinking, “Um, I’ve been ovulating for a while, THIS IS NOT AN EGG BEING RELEASED, guys.” The ER doctor did admit me and run tests anyway, to his credit, but the fact that his first response was to trivialize my condition by thinking that it was just a silly female problem, and that I was just overreacting and exaggerating about my pain, bothers me to this day. Especially since I had pretty classic appendicitis symptoms.

  25. Kleigh says:

    I heard of some hospitals giving all woman a pelvic exams when they come in for anything. Standard of care its crazy. And so sad. Also theres a new show in the US were a virgin goes to a gyn for a pap smear and the gyn impregnants her. Im seeing more and more gyn exams being shown as a normal part of woman lives in tv and movies. Its so sicking like there trying to send a mesage and yes us doctors do paps on virgins its sick as soon as you turn 21 hear no matter what they want a date to record of your last pap it infuerates me that woman healthy woman see this as normal.

    • Ro says:

      Kleigh – That is disgusting and horrible. I can’t believe that’s a show here. I say we start a petition against it. It is awful that they treat all women like patients who must be constantly monitored from a certain age. The woman I was talking about didn’t get a pelvic when she went to the ER, but she did have a CAT scan which detected the cyst. So that proves the theory I had that they can detect symptomatic ovarian cysts without being invasive. But I doubt they’ll ever offer it.

    • Alex says:

      Wait, the show is about docotrs that impregnates women or that’s just the plot? Creepy, either way. That’s another things I’ve noticed: T.V. tends to make all the official-types out to be friends & everyone else out to be enemies.

      You’re right that they do seem to still send this downtrodden message that instead of “your body , your rules” it’s “the doctor does as they chose.”

      I have to say: I’d throw a woman out of my house for trying to convey that to my daughter. Don’t know how this would happen, being as there’d be very serious compatibility issue there- but sometimes you get suprises after 15 years of marriage.

    • Diane says:

      Oh yeah, there’s always that question on the medical forms when you go to your doctor: “When was your last Pap?” I’ve had doctors ask me that and get mad when I tell them I’m there to talk about my knee pain, or a sinus infection, or whatever. It’s unreal they focus so much on that test and cervical cancer that they make it a basic health question.

      And of course it’s always right next to “When was your last period?” FFS, my period isn’t such a damn banner event that I know the date off the top of my head. I’ve actually been chewed out by nurses when I haven’t answered that.

      • bethkz says:

        Ah yes, the “When was your last monthly period?” question that comes right after the pap question – as if it’s some major event in the month. Heck, I don’t know when I paid last month’s electric bill, something that has real consequences to me, without looking at my check register! I haven’t been treated so condescendingly for not knowing, but I’ve had them strongly recommend a pregnancy test on the spot when I don’t know off the top of my head. That was even when I could not be pregnant due to having both a tubal ligation and a sexless marriage! This seems like a ridiculous thing to go through when I’m there for an infected wound, or knee pain, or a serious fever. It takes away from real medical care to the problem at hand, costs more money, and often leads to failure to diagnose or treat the real problem at hand. That is put off for a next appointment, when the same set of questions will come up, and no care is offered then either.

        That is why I almost never go to the doctor, even for real problems, because it is so pointless.

      • Diane says:

        I’ve had the nurses press for a pregnancy test when I didn’t know the exact date too. Such BS. The fun thing is that the birth control I take stops my period altogether, so I could always tell them “oh, I haven’t had a period in ten months or so…” and watch them implode. LOL. I don’t bother, though. I’ve had so much drama with that question that I just completely make s**t up now.

        In thinking about it more, it’s another example of how women are supposed to focus on their reproductive organs above all else. We’re all apparently supposed to be so preoccupied that we know our menstrual dates off the top of their head. Forget birthdays, or important dates at work, or when your car payment is due, or dates you did something fun – nope, ladies, just remember that period!

        And I’m with you on doctors. I honestly wish I could just order all the tests I need and write my own scrips. I usually get it right more often than the doctors do, and with far less drama.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Today, in San Diego CA, Jeffrey Abrams MD was arrested for taking pictures of women in various states of undress and of their genitals. He had 1600+ photos in his phone. I know a woman who used to treat through his office. She said he was “very thorough” in his exams. He was caught doing this where else? At a Medi-Cal (low income) health clinic.

        This is an example of how warped our system is. These f****** become so toxic from the god complex they actually believe it’s their right to take pics, and that they can and will get away with it. The next newscast will try to answer how long it’s gone on, and what his “fascination” or picture speciality was.

      • Alex says:

        Just out of curiosity, who tends to come at you all harder: nurses or doctors?

        It sounds like the nurses are kind of like the master’s dog & bark quite a bit on that master’s behalf, then the doctor acts like master of the world after all the softening up by the nurses.

        I’ve said it before, but if they feel enslaved by not having a choice in whether or not they do penetrative things to someone else, maybe they should ACTUALLY be enslaved. As it is, they seem to have a great problem with being told “No” with anything. Maybe their protests shouldn’t count for anything because of that.

        Just musing about the general idea, because I’m sick & fucking tired of them acting like Spartacus about being dictatorial. They go on all kinds of angles about how “they are not people’s slaves” & “they don’t do what they’re told” & “they know more about these things than other people”- yet none of this makes reality take a coffee break. What they do is still what happens & what happens is what occurs.

        The things that they have so much “expertise” in are sometimes even contraindicated by their own damned profession! Yeah, they know so much. They know when they’ve done something that caused a problem, too- doesn’t mean that they’ll tell anyone about it.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Want all you to know. Per 10/20/14 KGTV-10 “10 News,” the San Diego CA ABC affiliate, reported on its evening & late night tv broadcasts that Dr Jeffrey Abrams, a very prominent, well-respected, well-liked endocrinologist, has been arrested after being caught (finally) by a (brave) patient as he took a picture of her vagina. He had 1,300+ (I previously typed 1,600 in error but who really knows-other phones other pen cameras?) images of women in various stages of undress or naked, breasts, buttocks, vaginas, on his cell phone. Bet he kept his phone regularly updated! The CA Med Brd has NOT suspended his license however b/c they have no evidence that he’s a direct threat to his patient’s well-being. Explain this reasoning anybody? The patient was seeing Dr Abrams while he volunteered at a free clinic in a low-income area in El Cajon, a suburb of San Diego.

        This hits close to home. I know a woman who’s treated w/him for years. She’s said he’s “very thorough” and makes sure pelvics etc are kept up to date. There’s a very good chance I’m going to be referred to an endocrinologist, and he’d have been on my short list.

        Ro, I agree. At some point in med school, doctors willingly take on a god complex due to their high education, how they’re told their intelligence and decision making is better than us peasants, then they learn how to bully their way across the world. This year I had an epidural steroid injection in my back. The doctor was going to treat his wife next, and had her in the room watching. W/O my permission. They won’t let my husband watch; and this really pissed us off. However, should we file a HIPAA complaint, I’ll lose him. When we simply inquired about HIPAA policies, since this Dr is part owner, he blew a gasket. We’re fucked no matter what.

        Alex, re nurses you put it best. As I’ve written, we’ve seen best and worst. The best respect the patient and accept the family or husband as an advocate and partner. The worse are insecure psycho Stalins. They are suspicious of everything. They chase people out when visiting hours close. The ugly is a nurse in a divorce who also sees a female therapist. She thinks every woman needs her as an advocate, as she doles out assertiveness advice and reassurance that we can make our decisions. Forgetting that we delegate responsibilities to husbands when we feel like shit and don’t want to think if we don’t have to.

        The irony? Hearing a nurse talk about how important paps are; only for my husband to ask when her last one was. The answer she gave? Three years ago. “I don’t like them…”

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        On one US health forum a woman said she writes down, “currently menstruating” so she can’t be pressured into a pap test on the spot. Of course, she still gets serious pressure because she hasn’t screened in years, she gets the lecture about taking care of her health. So now, like so many women, she uses the pharmacy to manage her asthma. It makes me furious that this nonsense prevents some women from getting medical care for ACTUAL health issues.

      • Diane says:

        With doctors vs. nurses, it varies. I find that in a lot of cases, the nurses can actually be really, really great allies if you’re in the hospital or the ER. They’re typically the ones who are interacting with patients on a daily basis, and they put up with the stupid doctors too – so they’re in your corner. When my mom was in the hospital and the doctor was being an asshole – he wanted to do a procedure on my mom without pain meds – the nurse was the one who stood with me and battled the doctor until he agreed to do things our way.

        On the other hand, some of them make Nurse Ratched look good – they can’t be bothered, they’re not very well trained, or they hector patients (like the ones with the pregnancy tests). When my mom was hospitalized there was also one nurse who was very annoyed that at least one family member stayed with my mom 24/7 and wanted to know what was going on. Tough, lady. :)

        Doctors in contrast are a lot more likely to have a God Complex thing going on – they’re right, you’re wrong, and you’re obviously too stupid and uneducated to have a discussion about your care, etc. Unless they’re actually PAs, in which case they WILL talk to you and be very much into collaborative efforts.

      • Moo says:

        It is a valid question to ask if a women thinks she might be pregnant. Pregnancy could affect what medications or tests are prescribed. Some prescriptions have more risk during pregnancy so other medications might be prescribed instead or warnings might be given to discontinue if a woman finds out she is pregnant later.

        Asking when a women had her last menstrual period is just a lead to pap/pelvic exams. If the woman says she is menstruating then she is asked to come back in “two weeks”. It might be assumed by the woman that she is being asked back to follow up in the original reason for the consultation but I find this was not happening to me. Test results were not I and the doctor did not ask a out the previous condition. I was pressured at the next consult for a Pap test. I refused and there was arguing and his attempt to “educate” me a about cervicla cancer. All he had to do was ask me if I would be more comfortable with a female practioner and arrange for that. Since then I educated myself about the whole gyn industry and decided to avoid most medical care totally. This has destroyed any positive relationship I have with my doctor.

        I did have a heart attack before. Also I find Chinese herbs more helpful for my lung condition that anything else I have tried.

      • Kleigh US says:

        Pre conception care is being pushed as standard of care now. I bothers me alot. If you read the acog stance on this they advise all woman to be asked if they are trying to get pregnant or if not what birth control do they use? I dont use hormonal bc and i dont want to be asked about it as tho its the only way to prevent pregnacy. there is so much wrong with that i dont know where to start. they want use to all be vacenated and pap smears ready to conceive a baby at any time. its scary.

  26. Alex says:

    Something I just thought of while arguing with my mother (about different stuff): People simply using logic & lying. For example, if someone was wrong about something & they simply say that someone was doing that- they, LOGICALLY, can’t be the one doing it. “It’s not me, because it’s them.”

    Not to bitch about my family life, but I had a moment of realization on that “Logic & Lying” tactic & I figure that the way she acts has a lot of common themes with other people that play mind games. See if you notice this as a repeating theme (and she does, by-the-way, work in a hospital- not as medical personnel, but I figure maybe she picked a lot of things up the way that people pick up accents in foreign countries).

    With her, she acts like anything she does is totally justified if someone else has any flaw at all. And if she actually is totally wrong & there’s no “Well, what about you?” rescue angle- she just shuts down. It’s like playing dead, but verbally. She’ll just get quiet.

    As for doing things for other people (particularly the things they can’t do for themselves), she makes a big point about NOT getting to it when THEY want. Instead, it’s whenever the hell she feels like it.

    Trying to make someone wait until the desire dies is a thing with her, too. Either being coercive or simply getting a rush of feeling “influencial” is very common & she mainly pulls shit like this with people that she figures she doesn’t have to worry about. If they don’t have anything to safely threaten her with, she doesn’t give them a second thought.

    Another thing (and I think it’s liely that she picked this up from the hospital), is that she seems to think that her affirmation of a situation is the final ingredient to something actually being that way or not. I’ve had arguments with her about the measurement on a pair of pants, showing her where things line up on the tape, and she STILL kept aruging!

    Overall, there’s lots of “Thinking by Adjucation,” passive-aggressive games, “doctrine bound” behavior (once she commenses on a course of action, it’s like she can’t go in a different way), guilt trips, and that “Logic & Lying” combo I mentioned earlier.

    Again, I’m not trying to go on & on about my family dynamics, but I’m very curious if any of you have noticed that behavior in people that aren’t strictly medical- but do work in hospitals or some such. I’m wondering if there’s a link, because the only two things that have changed AND remained constants are how much times she works in the hospital & that she stopped smoking (possible Parkinson’s link with that- supposedly smoking does things to fix & prevent Parkinson’s).

    • Ro says:

      I’ve noticed that behavior in those who work in/used to work in the medical field. I’ve also noticed it in people who have jobs totally unrelated to the medical field or anything directly involving people’s lives in that manner. I think when it comes down to it, there are people who like to believe they’re always right and always know best. I think it’s more prominent within the medical field because of the lengthy education they must go through first. Even though I’m quite young, I think one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that you acquire book smarts from school, knowledge from communicating with others and learning from their experiences, and wisdom from living life and your own experiences. There is a large difference between them and I think people who think they know the best and know everything often times confuse the three.

      • Alex says:

        Very insightful, Ro! Especially, the second-to-last sentence.

        On the last one, I think another thing has to do with schooling equating with points like in a score. Like they have some kind of ammuntion against someone. They are usually very arrogant (those that are educated, particularly in things that are fawned-over), so they’ll remain unconvinced that their level of information accumulation does not generate a superiority over other people & that it actually does NOT warp reality so that what happens is NOT what occurs.

        This is a major part, I think, of why these “nerds” tend to get beaten-up: they start fights & then try to re-define the situation out of existance & don’t stop until they GET stopped. That’s another thing: they keep trying. It comes off almost whiny, you know? They’ll have lots of endurance with an endeavor of starting shit & lying about it.

  27. Victoria says:

    On another forum I’m chatting with someone who – from the sounds of it – went in for a smear test and unknowingly had a biopsy done instead. They say the nurse didn’t use a brush, they used a metal clipper. I don’t see why a biopsy would be done when the smear hasn’t even been analysed yet, and of course the patient deserves a full explanation and options before they just go taking a sample.

    Because of that discussion I went over to the NHS’s colposcopy information guide. They have comments from the public underneath and one just goes to show how women view their reproductive organs and chances of having cancer/female health issues. One commenter says she didn’t go for a smear until she was 37. The smear shows abnormal cells. Her response? “I kind of expected this given that it was my first one.” Why on earth is it expected? It sounds like she pictured her reproductive organs festering away for years on end, just because the health service wasn’t keeping an eye on them.

    • Alex says:

      Well, there can be somewhat of a knee-jerk belief that if something isn’t verified, then it doesn’t exist. Like if they didn’t take someone’s pulse, that means that they don’t have a heartbeat.

      That actually happens quite a bit. Look at what sometimes happens in martial arts: people will learn exact moves & answers to problems and feel like they have control over that situation. Of course, just because they mentally encompass something doesn’t give them control over it. That false concept is something that shows up frequently & is not limited to the martial arts world in the least.

      (Just to make a point of how stupid this belief is: It would amount to someone thinking that if they know how a gun works, they can stop themselves from being shot at will!)

      As an after-thought that I just had: A lot of these things are very characteristic of OCD or OCPD (it seems that the first one is something of an “implosion” & the other one is more of an “explosion,” as it’s more or less the technical term for being a pushy control freak). Not just being dictatorial & trying to hi-jack other people’s lives, but things like having a Thought-Action Fusion (where someone thinks that thinking about something & doing that action are the same thing).

      Maybe the foundation of that “thought-action fusion” is a point, in itself. They, more or less, seem to feel that reality is a mere mental construct (as they figure that these thoughts ARE the situations) & that they hold total sway over it. The thing is though, is that someone can’t think reality is what they say it is & notice when things don’t go their way.

  28. Victoria says:

    I’m now on the Jo’s Trust forum where someone was told they had “high grade” abnormal cells, booked in for colposcopy, worries for several weeks, then is told they don’t know what grade the cells were and labelling them as “high grade” was just to cover their backside.

  29. adawells says:

    Further news from the UK here. I was trying to find out about the future of pap testing in the UK and when we are likely to get HPV self testing and I came across this document:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/264511/IOSC_3rd_Annual_Report_-_Proof_version_-_9_December_2013_v2.pdf

    Flick to the bottom of page 36 and it says that the HPV test for primary testing is likely to be rolled out in 2017-18. A whole 2 years after the Dutch programme. Very disappointing. It also does not say how they will get the HPV samples. Will they let women self test or will they still keep the speculum test going, I wonder?
    Paragraph pasted below:

    4.42 HPV Testing as Primary Screening (HPV TaPS)
    The UK National Screening Committee has given its support for a pilot to assess the value of using HPV TaPS for cervical disease, rather than the currently used cytology test. The pilot programme began in May 2013 and is now operating at six sites: Liverpool; Manchester; Northwick Park (Harrow); Bristol; Sheffield; and Norwich. This is potentially a huge change to the programme, so the pilot will run for at least three years in order to determine a safe and practical pathway for the programme. A formal evaluation of the pilot will take place and, if results show it is successful, we will roll out HPV TaPS across England, probably from 2017/18. Cancer Research UK have estimated that, when fully implemented, HPV TaPS could prevent an additional 600 cancer a year.

    So, if they rolled it out now it could save about 1800 cases of cancer in the UK, but then they wouldn’t be in control would they?

  30. adawells says:

    I’ve just noticed that historical Parliamentary debates from the UK government are all online and show how ardent our politicians were, and still are, about pushing women through the screening process, safe or not. I found this interesting report from 13.3.1987, about the state of British mammogram centres very revealing.
    A member of Parliament, Mrs R. Short revealed that:

    A conference of the Royal College of Radiologists was recently told: “Some existing centres are so bad—they have so many false positives and false negatives—that they positively do harm. We must improve or eliminate these centres or they will threaten the whole screening programme. If word gets around that the tests are inaccurate, women will not take up screening and the cost per patient will rise.”
    She then goes on to say:
    The role of general practitioners in persuading patients to accept screening is important. Experience shows that screening for breast cancer is much more likely to be accepted if encouraged by a GP. The response rate has been found to be highest when patients are sent a personal note with a provisional appointment bearing the GP’s signature. The signature was found to be a real motivating factor. The Minister should encourage GPs to do that.

    The link for this is:

    http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1987/mar/13/cancer-patients-treatment-and-care#S6CV0112P0_19870313_HOC_18

    • Moo says:

      Did you realize this linked document was from a meeting in 1987? I think far before those registeries and letter recall systems were started in some places. Really were women not taking advantage of cancer screening because “doctors were too busy”?

      Digital mammograms are supposed to be more accurate but how would one know what equipment was being used unless they asked. Also differences between who reads the X-rays.

      • adawells says:

        Yes, I’ve been researching how screening targets came to be forced on us by the government in the UK at this time (late 1980’s era). Our call and recall system came in during 1988, but even with this, uptake was only about 40%. In 1990 our then minister for health, Kenneth Clark drew up a plan to incentivise doctors to reach an 80% target for cervical screening, which many people including doctors said was impossible to achieve (ethically), and there was great resistance to these plans. However, after a meeting lasting some 10 hours, on 4th May, Clark, in his own words, bulldozed the plans through, and 80% of British women have been bullied and pestered into pap tests ever since. I would love to know what was said at this meeting, but it was secret. 4th May 1990 was the day British women lost their human rights, and their bodies were put under the medical surveillance of doctors.

  31. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Ada, it’s interesting there was a similar “secret” meeting on breast screening too, concerned doctors and critics were silenced and the program was pushed through, if you watch, “The Promise” you’ll hear all about it. I think these attitudes are the norm in women’s “healthcare”, forget women’s rights, others know best, women can be captured, scared, frightened, talked into anything…some might be unhappy, but it’s unlikely anyone will actually take us on, sue us, go to the media etc.

    I think many people can’t see how inappropriate and offensive these attitudes are, women have always been treated badly and viewed as a herd to be bullied into this or that.
    I view a lot of their actions as illegal, as well as highly unethical. The medical profession and others conveniently sanitize this abuse by calling it preventative health that’s in our best interests. Of course, if we end up harmed, tough luck, just shut up and be grateful you don’t have cancer. It really is a them and us thing, all real information is locked away, it really is astonishing there is virtually NO critical discussion on this testing, even after decades of abuse.

    It’s amazing we haven’t seen a class action, but then they’ve done everything in their power to intimidate/silence critics and keep women in the dark…and to accept all of this is actually in their best interests.
    I think it’s still a shock for doctors to face an informed woman, they’re used to simply providing the pap test “story”, issuing an order “all women must screen” or talking over the top of us…dismissing us.
    My GP tells me it’s still rare, at least in this country, to come across an informed woman. (more are questioning breast screening though)

    • Alex says:

      What about someone not choosing what’s “best”? What’s the difference if they don’t choose whatever’s optimum?

      Right off the bat, I’d say “best” is what’s most suitable- but, apparently, medical personnel don’t hold that to be true.

    • adawells says:

      Thanks for this. I will follow up The Promise. My research into the history of cervical screening has turned up some very interesting information. I’m reading up on some things by Ilana Löwy at the moment. Because she is a French national she has a different take on the blind mass screening hysteria, which has swept the Anglophone world. She provides an interesting history of how screening came about in England in her article here, which is freely available online.

      http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S0104-59702010000500004&script=sci_arttext

      I’ve also ordered her book “A woman’s disease: a history of cervical cancer”, but I’m still awaiting it’s arrival from Amazon.

      From what I have gathered to date, it turned out that a doctor gave a talk at a women’s peace group meeting (in the 1950’s) saying that there was this test in America, which would save 3,000 British women from dying from cervical cancer every year. It seems to have been understood by the women/or the doctor giving the talk, that the pap test was a total, easy cure for the disease, as they then campaigned through Parliament, to get this test forced onto all women by the late 1980’s. Going through the parliamentary debates, the pap test seems to have been viewed at the time as being like a test to totally eradicate the disease, just as though it were tuberculosis or smallpox. They did not understand the course of cervical cancer was any different, and IMO they did not feel the need to get consent or ask women’s opinions about it, because they thought they could eradicate this disease in a decade if every woman was made to have this test.To them, it was a no brainer that this test should be rolled out WITHOUT the consent of women. All their hopes were pinned on the British Columbia study, which claimed a drastic reduction in cc, and there was, no doubt at the time, an arrogant belief in the righteousness of a study done in the “British Empire” to be correct, even though screening studies done elsewhere in Europe were showing that pap screening was making no difference to the death rate, such as those highlighted by Petr Skrabanek. A great shame that he died of cancer himself. He would have been a great thorn in the side of the screening programmes had he lived. Interesting that other very advanced European countries such as Germany, France and Norway, stayed away from introducing call and recall screening programmes.

      The more I find out, the more interesting this topic becomes.
      I’m also very interested in the Herb Green busines at the National Women’s hospital in NZ, and would love to get hold of Linda Bryder’s new book on the subject, Women’s Bodies and Medical Science: a history of cervical cancer

      http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/womens-bodies-and-medical-science-linda-bryder/?K=9780230236035

      as well as Angela Raffle’s book Screening: Evidence and Practice, but they are both still quite expensive.

      • Moo says:

        It all follows the Victorian times when any woman in the a street could be accused of being a prostitute, detained and give a speculum exam to determine if she had syphilis.

      • Kleigh US says:

        I find it disturbing they tried to normalize the pap smear to woman and take dignaty away from woman so they could pap smear every one.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Ada, It was almost viewed as a public health imperative and that was partly used to override the legal rights of women. (like compulsory detention/hospitalization for victims of SARS) Archie Cochrane is another one to study, the eminent epidemiologist, he told them it was too early to introduce a cervical screening program. He wanted them to wait and do independent randomized controlled trials. (which should be a requirement for all screening programs) He was dead right, but no one wanted to hear it, he was thrown to the lions.

        I shudder to think of the harm that was done in the early days, how many women had hysterectomies for “abnormal” cells? In those days they assumed abnormal cells meant cancer, then it became clear these women could not all be destined for this always fairly rare cancer, there were too many of them. Do you recall the woman who posted over at BlogCritics, she had a hysterectomy when she was in her early 20s for abnormal cells, she now realized it was unnecessary. It was heartbreaking and it was clear she was still traumatized by the experience and of course, she was unable to have children. I can’t recall the details now, but I have a feeling she had never been sexually active.
        Another woman posted on Dr Sherman’s site, she went through the same thing and remained single, she wanted nothing to do with sex or the medical profession and felt the best way to protect herself in future was to remain single and celibate.
        How many women are out had their lives destroyed by cervical screening? Many probably don’t know to this day the hysterectomy was unnecessary and their female relatives probably consider themselves high risk.

        IMO, this program was an experiment, women were used as lab rats…others made the decision to take a punt with this testing, to risk our health, peace of mind, our lives etc.
        We see something similar with breast screening, pushed in on the back of poor or biased studies conducted by those with an undisclosed vested interest in screening, critics bullied and silenced.
        J Epidemiol Community Health 2008;62:284-287 doi:10.1136/jech.2006.059246
        Public health past and present
        Debates about cervical screening: an historical overview
        L Bryder
        (behind a pay wall, naturally…)
        There are quite a few articles on Archie Cochrane and his concerns about cervical screening, wise man.

      • adawells says:

        Thanks for the article – I had no problems getting it through my uni library, and my book arrived this morning too, so a lot more reading to get my teeth into.

  32. Alex says:

    Sue, just a new thing I noticed: when I click “Like” it goes up & then back down in a few seconds. Just thought I should let you know.

    • Hi Alex. Thanks for letting me know about the “Like” buttons. They seem to be working okay from my end, but sometimes I’ve noticed it takes a couple of clicks for it to “take hold” properly. They are a bit finicky from time to time. Hopefully it will sort itself out soon. Thanks again Alex.

    • Kleigh US says:

      I read somehwere that paps were pushed hear in the US as a package deal with birth control to take the stigma of woman coming in for birth control that they were also there for cancer screening. i dont know if that true.

      • Alex says:

        Probably not. Here’s why:
        First, a purchase at a pharmacy is much more innocuous. Second is that if she’s on them, she’s on them- doesn’t really make much of a difference if she goes to a doctor’s office or not. There’s her simply being on them to make it noticed. On top of that, there would just be a cover story in that case- not an action taking place.

        One more thing is that they’d attach imposed probing to getting married in America during the Cold War- purportedly to determine if a woman would like sex & if so, it would lead to a good sex life with her husband, that would lead to a strong marriage, that would lead to a strong family, and that would lead to a strong country. Of course, there’s a major difference in the structure of the two situations- the one involving the doctor is imposed penetration & the one involving the husband is consensual. So it’s saying they are the same, despite that the two are different- which is a contradiction between description & situation. It’s not a uniquely American situation, but there being a contradiction between description & situation is a very common thing in America.

        Anyway, the people that do that are not likely to be backing women up & giving them an avenue around a stigma of being slutty (or whatever their problems with it were).

  33. Cat&Mouse says:

    We love reading what some of you have done in denying providers pap access. Many great laughs at “no period in ten months,” “I’m menstruating,” etc. Great work!.

    Along with news of Dr Abrams (above) I wanted to share this. Health Net of CA just mailed me its packet. Included is a schedule for age groups when things “NEED TO BE DONE.” [note one of you already pointed out “need” vs “recommended” etc]

    For newborns the HEP B vaccine. A Phd has studied this, and proven this series in children is associated with increased juvenile diabetes b/c the body views the vaccine closely to its own pancreatic cells and the immune system attacks both. In adults it’s ok.

    At age 11 HPV vaccine, both sexes. We know all about that freak fiasco.

    Adult women: Pap by age 21 regardless of sexually activity; then every 3yrs. Chlamydia: every year until age 24 if sexually active. We all know a chlamydia test is done in concordance with a pap. If a woman is at the lower end of the economic scale, she is treated as an illiterate, disease carrying, deviant who must be sexually policed.

  34. Karen says:

    Did you know that gynaecology has roots in nazi Germany? The inventor of the colposcope was a war criminal who sterilised roma women, and in Auschwitz they had cervical screening experiments! https://www.ranzcog.edu.au/editions/doc_view/847-52-ab-umbris-ad-lumina-vitae-a-short-history-of-colposcopy.html

    • Alex says:

      You know what’s a bit off-kilter about that? Besides the situation, itself, there’s the concept that they viewed these people as inferior- so what would be the point if these things don’t apply? It’s like using crazy people (or people that are deemed crazy) as a model of sanity!

      Actually, that was a fairly common thing on its own. They do all kinds of observations on crazy people & then say “Well, this is what the mind is.” There’s so much bullshit in the medical profession that it makes you wonder what actually is their basis for determining expertise. They have such a tendancy to try to map things out & ultimately they don’t care what the picture is.

      Anyway, for sure I figure malice is a major reason for a lot of these sorts of things (not just including the Nazis). Money’s a potential reason, but I think malice comes first.

    • adawells says:

      This is a great article. Thanks for contributing this.

    • adawells says:

      Didn’t have enough time to write more fully before, but I’m finding the history of how pap testing came about very interesting, and this article is definitely one for my folder. It would seem that very many people at the time were sceptical of Mr Pap and his test as being an accurate diagnostic tool for cancer, as we have now seen to a great many women’s costs over the decades. So many hysterectomies were done simply for abnormalities, which would likely have cleared up on their own, and hysterectomies done at this time carried such a high risk of death and complications. Widespread mutilation of women to spare a decreasing minority from a rare cancer.

      • Karen says:

        I was thinking what else would be left of the equipment needed to do a pap test? Brushes were hardly invented by doctors, neither the glass slides they put the samples between.
        Women should know what sort of history they are engaging with intimately when they allow the pap-crap. I am now researching Dr Papanikolau, and finding stuff like this:

        http://www.amednews.com/article/20070903/health/309039956/4/

        “”When the Pap smear was first proposed, the pathologists were generally opposed to it, because it was an extremely complicated, very time-consuming test with uncertain results,” said Leopold G. Koss, MD, a pathologist and chair emeritus of Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y. He worked with Dr. Papanicolaou and carried out the first studies suggesting that the Pap smear could detect cervical cancer early.

        But while this caused controversy, it attracted financing for more research from the Commonwealth Fund. In 1945, the American Cancer Society started promoting Pap smears as part of an effort to encourage early cancer detection.

        “The American Cancer Society promoted it relentlessly,” said Adele Clarke, PhD, author of several papers on Pap smear history and professor of sociology and history of health sciences at the University of California, San Francisco.

        But these efforts were not enough to push the Pap smear quickly into the medical mainstream. According to a story from the Oct. 24, 1952, New York Times, ACS’s medical director, Charles S. Cameron, MD, complained that most physicians were not willing to cooperate with his organization’s efforts to promote cancer checkups that included the Pap smear. Similarly, an Oct. 23, 1961, NYT story reported that, according to ACS research, 40% of women had never even heard of the Pap smear.

        “You had to convince people that there was, in fact, a precancerous state,” said Ralph Richart, MD, professor emeritus of pathology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He was instrumental in establishing the first classification systems for the Pap smear in the 1960s. “As surprising as it may be today when this is universally accepted, it was not accepted then at all.”

        gems from the the same article:

        “It’s been apple pie, the American flag and the annual Pap smear ingrained in the American tradition for so long,””

        “The true impact of the HPV vaccine also will not be known for decades, and the difference it may make on cervical cancer deaths may be muted by the fact that current formulations do not protect against all strains. It’s also unknown how long protection lasts.”

      • Karen says:

        Let’s try to do an inventory: colposcope invented by nazi war criminal, speculum invented by racist slave holder, first large-scale cervical smear human trials in Auschwitz…

  35. Moo says:

    New game rules for the cancer blame game.

    http://www.seminoncol.org/article/S0093-7754(09)00182-1/abstract

    This research paper examines the relationship between adenocarcinoma in women caused by HPV. How do they get it either by HPV infection in their cervix moving through the blood stream OR …… Get ready for it ……. Dangerous sexual contact. Like what? They do not mean fellatio do they? Since when is fellatio dangerous? Maybe blame flush toilets and faulty respirators or even the really bad surgeries for cervical HPV infection and cancer treatments which destroy the immune system.

    Apparently the new oligoprotein trio made in tobacco plants maybe be effective against many viruses including RNA filovirus (Ebola and others) as well as for HPV which can cause adenocarcinoma. The patent was filed by Defyrus. It is easy to find online. This is a whole pandora box.

  36. Ro says:

    Alex, I’ve seen you comment about this a few times and just now remembered to ask. You said that these kinds of things were imposed on women during the Cold War in America. I’m just curious to know if that was only in specific places (like cities that were being built up or states that didn’t have a very high population) or if there was a specific set of years this went on as the Cold War went on for a very long time. I have family members who got married here in the early 50s, and those women never participated (willingly or unwillingly) in anything like that. So I was just curious as to where you heard that and whether or not it was applicable everywhere throughout the entirety of the Cold War.

    • Alex says:

      Not sure, actually. As for the timeframe, I remember hearing about it being in the 1960s as a definite. I don’t know if it was throughout the Cold War or for part of it. It might not have been referenced as that reason, either- it might have just been tacked-on as a conditional for getting married.

      I tried looking up specifics a couple of times, but I kept coming up with the same information. The only thing I heard was THAT this went on & the 1960s being mentioned. Maybe it was one of those initiatives that didn’t really take hold? I could see it being a “catch as you can” thing.

      Well, even if it didn’t happen (and it DOES seem to have occurred) there’s always all that stuff that went on in Romania during Causescu. Not for nothing, but one thing that caused problems was exporting the country’s agriculture & labor- sounds like what’s going on in America. Caused a whole shitload of unrest & lower quality of life, then it seems he got majorly dictatorial & started his other shit. He got shot in the head eventually, but still.

  37. Victoria says:

    I’d like to do a little exercise but am having trouble finding the stats. Could any of you point me towards how CIN results break down into CIN1, CIN2 and CIN3? E.g. 60% are CIN1, 30% are CIN2 and 10% are CIN3. Thanks.

    • adawells says:

      I would have thought that in the UK these figures would be in a document somewhere on the ONS website, but after having a quick look, I’m unable to find anything. It may be that it is very difficult to get figures, because there is so much debate about which lesions are dangerous and which are not – it is completely down to the interpretation of the person reading the smears and whether they want the risk of litigation if they err on the side of assuming it’s OK.

      There is a famous case from the 1950’s where 25 borderline smears were given to 20 pathologists, who had to decide what level of CIN they were, and none of them could agree on them. Ilana Lowy writes about this in her document Cancer, women and public health: the history of cervical cancer screening, 2010. It’s freely available on the web, but I can’t seem to get the link to work at the moment. The paragraph “Agreement on the principle…” about halfway through is about what happened. She also quotes the famous quote that “one man’s dysplasia is another man’s carcinoma-in-situ” as there is no real consensus between pathologists, and “When in doubt, cut it out”.

      Someone recently posted on here, that a woman on Jo’s Trust website was told that they didn’t know what level her abnormalities were at, so they always carry out a procedure to be sure.
      As Angela Raffle said in an article some time ago, so many of their pathologists live in fear of litigation following a missed lesion, that where there is the slightest doubt, abnormalities are upgraded to require further invasive procedures.

      • Moo says:

        Many online complaints about cytologists saying their workload is too high. They have quotas to examine a large number of samples per shift. They have only a few minutes to examine several thousand views. (There is a standard number of views to be done for each sample and a maximum samples per shift a technician is allowed. Sorry I do not have that information handy). So of course they err on the side of saying something is more serious than it is. The responsibility then goes to the doctor to order colposcopy.

        Also the individual HPV strains are not usually typed or even taken. High or low risk typing for HPV is not even done in some countries.

        Apparently Pap smears during pregnancy are particularly difficult to interpret yet these are pushed by doctors as opportunitic screening. I might add that the manufacturers on the pap sample brushes recommend that it is to used beyond 8 weeks pregnant. So it is really safe at 7 1/2 or 6 weeks? Usually an ultrasound dates the pregnancy at 9-10 weeks by crown rump measurement. Is no one concerned about causing miscarriage from using a cervical brush?

        As the Swedish and Dutch programmes were discussed, are these populations more homogenous in race? I had some understanding that certain racial groups are more likely to have strains of HPV that might cause cancer. This might be the resistance to adopt those protocols in other countries. However I think the statistics for death due to cervical cancer in some low resource countries is overinflated or just false.

      • adawells says:

        Hi Moo,
        My GP pressured me into having a smear test in 1996 when I was 12 weeks pregnant. I was very much against it, (as she wrote in my notes), but I agreed as I felt she would prevent me having the homebirth I had requested. In those days it was the wooden spatula method, it was painful and made me bleed, although she insisted it would not harm my baby. Of course, with the blood on the slide it came back as an inadequate sample. Forcing that on a pregnant woman is disgraceful. At 36 weeks my waters started to leak, but I said nothing to anyone, and my daughter was born successfully at home at 37 weeks. I have always suspected that the rough smear test forced on me at 12 weeks might have had something to do with my waters breaking early. I can’t tell you how much I hate my ex-GP for doing that to me, and to then force another pap on me 6 weeks after the birth, which caused me excruciating pain. I had no problems going the full term with my second child. In fact this doctor told me herself, she would not be doing a smear during my second pregnancy, (how many other women had she caused problems to, I wonder? Had someone else had a miscarriage from her forceful pap tests?), and I knew damn well not to turn up to my postnatal. I didn’t see a doctor for years afterwards. IMO she is a danger to women and should be struck off.

      • Anecdotal evidence suggests there is a link between pap tests and miscarriage/premature birth during pregnancy: http://www.steadyhealth.com/Miscarriage_after_a_pap_smear_t90852.html?page=3 and also good info here: http://womenagainststirrups.proboards.com/thread/69/link-pap-smears-miscarriage However, if you talk to a doctor you will get a different story.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        For Adawells & Moo. What you say about pap smear processing is absolutely true. Twenty+ yrs ago this became a crisis. I can’t recall the magazine, but the expose was long and revealing. Human techs couldn’t keep up with the workload. Certified techs were expected to test a certain number of slides per 15 minute intervals. Errors of differing types & number were expected and allowed. As a fail safe, questionable slides including random samplings were sent through again along with pathologist pre-rated slides to monitor accuracy. While management partially controlled fatigue and eyestrain, being bent over a microscope all day and the ever increasing workloads broke the system.

        The fix? Making sure specimens were properly preserved and stained, and having computers replace humans. Computers check cell numbers, sizing, internal structures, and what they probably represent based on geometric algorithms created from normal slides. Computers can check their own work. Minimal expenses after initial investment. Slide processing cheap & easy. Supposed to be a win-win. But in reality error rates continue. Abnormal cells outside the “viewing window” will be ignored, as will anything outside parameters. False negatives/positives, proper specimens rejected/unreadable. Essentially, nothing replaces the human eye.

        In USA, doctors generate two incomes off each patient by investing in medical processing or treatment centers. Public policy is used protect this cash cow. Finally we have alternatives to pap. Although slow, debate involving cause & effect is turning into an informed consent rebellion. Sunset looms for the old carrot & stick approach. Educating the public and especially men how our vaginas deserve respect and love, not lies, scalpels & pain, will speed this into reality. Burning bras will be replaced with crush the colposcope.

      • Victoria says:

        I’ve managed to find some stats showing the rate at which each type of CIN becomes cancerous (although I agree those figures aren’t set in stone – not by a long way). Basically I wanted to work out how many women were going to end up being over-treated. When we very first become aware of over-treatment it would be fair enough to have a thought such as, “Out of every 100 women, 3 had treatment unnecessarily. The other 97 would definitely have gone on to develop cancer.” We might be prepared to accept that level of over-treatment, even though I’d still say that in that situation they should strive to make the screening 100% accurate. As we all know, with cervical screening it’s a case of the majority of women being over-treated. I’m curious as to how big that majority is. I’m hoping to use the stats to be able to make a statement along the lines of: “For every 100 women, only 10 would have gone on to develop cancer and the other 90 would never have developed the disease.” I just like understanding things in terms of numbers. Plus I like to use pro-screening stats, that are supposed to encourage us to screen, to prove that it’s a highly flawed system.

        In my quest to find those stats I found the Cancer Research UK FAQ guide (that many women would find themselves reading after being called for further investigation). It simply said that if you’re told you have abnormal cells then you have “a risk” of developing cancer. Well is that a 1% risk or a 99% risk – because there’s a bit of a difference between the two! It provided no further information on the level of risk.

        I also found another site, an official one for the cervical screening authority in the UK. It contradicted itself from one sentence to the next. It said abnormal cells can take 10-15 years to become cancerous so sometimes they just advise to keep an eye on them. This means going back 3 MONTHS later. Here’s the site if you want to get frustrated: https://www.bsccp.org.uk/women/frequently-asked-questions/ It also referred to the screening programme as a “British success story” (yeah, 10 extra lives saved for 10,000 women over-treated!) and very patronisingly that there is “no room for complacency”. See ladies, we’re all just complacent and should trot down to the doctors’.

      • adawells says:

        Hi Victoria,
        Have you seen this document:

        http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB11889/cerv-scre-prog-eng-2012-13-rep.pdf

        I think it gives a table of the results you are looking for on page 34

    • adawells says:

      Hi Victoria,
      I also came across this UK BBC news item from July 1998: A test of confidence for cervical screening. This was in the hey-day of screening, when all the errors started coming to light, and people were beginning to realise that the test wasn’t accurate after all:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/140953.stm

      One very interesting comment stood out for me about halfway down:
      “Eighty of the 181 laboratories had too many or too few “inadequate” smears, …”
      As I understand it from this statement, they have set benchmarks for “inadequate” smears across the country(UK), which all regions are monitored to meet, or face penalties if they are not finding enough of them, eg. if some regions find less than the expected number of “inadequate” smears that other regions are finding, they will “grade up” normal ones to meet government targets. So that’s another problem in finding out whether inadequate smears are really inadequate.

      There were countless scandals during the 1990’s about processing errors in the UK cervical screening programme leading to women getting cancer after they’d had negative results, when we all know that it is the pap test itself which doesn’t work. (40% of women with cervical cancer would have had a negative smear test in the previous 5 years-Sasieni). One of the most famous was the Canterbury hospital scandal of 1996 where 90,000 slides were recalled, and 8 women were found to have had cancer. The 8 women successfully sued the Kent Health Authority and got a substantial payout, but the court case almost put the UK screening programme into meltdown, when the judge almost declared it unfit for purpose. From what I can gather from patchy online information, the limitations and innacuracies of the pap smear became embarrassingly obvious as the court case dragged on, and it was clear that the 10 minute time each screener had to look at each smear was too little to do a proper assesssment. When the judge said this should be much longer and other special measures should be in place, it would have made the programme unviable and impossible to run. It was at this point in time that the programme should have been called to a halt, as the safety measures required to make it feasible, were not possible for such a programme to exist. The Kent Health Authority appealed against the decision on the grounds that the slides of these 8 complainants were all borderline, and had had the fullest good quality assessment possible in the 10 minutes allowed, so had done everything they could with the resources allowed to them. The prosecution had teams of pathologists spend hours and hours looking at these borderline smears, and after spending hours on them, came up with slight abnormalities, which made the smears abnormal, and the Kent Health Authority wrong. The court found in favour of the women, however. The result was that thousands more women with the slightest element of doubt about their smears are now being referred, except that as from this year they at least have the added benefit of having their sample tested for the HPV virus.

  38. Alex says:

    Technically, ALL evidence is anecdotal- since if someone sees something for themselves & then conveys the information to someone else, that is an anecdote.

    • Moo says:

      Anecdotal evidence could get published in a study when all the subjects are asked the same questions, a quantity of data is recorded and anaylazed according to a few parameters, some statistical calculations added.

      I just do not buy that one quarter of pregnancies will end in early miscarriage for apparently “no one knows the reason why”.

      People just tell me I am too much for conspiracies and cover ups. People are just blind to what is in plain sight. Also reading a current article about a canadian politican who is getting surgery for a benign mass on her ovary. Not 100% sure she has cancer but she recommends that people not google these medical matters because they could get confused.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Moo, I’m looking f/w to reading any relationship you or others find re adenocarcinoma and HPV, cause & effect per your 10/27 note. That’s one part of my letter to my gyn that we’re covering. It’s laughable a doctor could suggest that fellatio could bring HPV to our cervix; but hey they got the pap accepted…

        Adawells, I checked that document from 11/3. Interesting that CIN3 is 45% compared to all others below 10%. Are those false negatives that got through or exaggerations to ensure treatment is followed through? And, I also notice in this report that women are “invited” in for screening. How warm & fuzzy. Yet the cards & phone calls always say “need.” Another four-letter word warped into something bad by the medical industry.

        In the Spirit of Good Medicine, I “invite” you to check out “Women Against Stirrups.” Moo has invested much of her time there researching issues & one of the lonely few offering comfort, advise, and hope. It is grossly shocking, and acutely saddening to read how many women have been “gently” bullied into extremely painful paps during pregnancy. How they were discounted even when instruments and hands afterward were covered in their blood & fluids. Obviously, paps are causing miscarriages. Until some brave researcher or doctor comes forward, we’ll never have official validation and procedural changes. Imagine the lawsuits waiting to happen; and denial is the only prevention which also propagates further tragedy & pain.

        Why isn’t to obvious to therapists, doctors, and policy makers that gyn & baby delivery industries are precursors to divorce? Nothing divides husband/wife, mother/father like assholes wearing scrubs telling us what’s best & how we’d better cooperate, listen, and live if we want to keep our babies.

        Unfortunately it’s surrounded by “happy” sites recommending paps during pregnancy with blind advice, empty industry assurances that these are safe, and doctors would never “deliberately” give a mother to be bad advice. Did you know certain web sites for pay will seed sites like those (yelp for another) with fake praise?

        Articles accessed here show the whys & the patterns of paps during pregnancies. Regardless of stupidity, m/c risk, & likelyhood of positive results. This screening net captures everything. Very vulnerable pap-resistant women are captured into compliance. Women are speedily funneled into follow up. So much money spent. The oodles of documentation ensure doctors against malpractice for any missed cancers coming up during pregnancy. Doctors can prove any cancer was not there at first visit and at last when postnatal women is d/c. Nothing like settling a case to provide for infant through age 18. All this time, providers have been asking sexualized questions. Gathering data on our behaviors. Adjunct to paps. All this to see what’s on that “surface layer” of the cervix. Now linking adenocarcinoma & several other things to desperately hold onto the most unnecessary & invasive waste of money–and sexual thrill ever invented.

  39. Moo says:

    If you have not understood this, I am quite anti-medical. I prefer no screening and more natural treatments. However I have decided to respect other people on this four who might be just critical of the current cervical screening programmes and not ready to dismiss them totally. It might not be the few women in 1000,000 that get cervical cancer are needing care and compassion.

    About the previous post on the court case and accuracy of cytology, the bell curve is used. So it is expected to have so many errors and such is science. The problem is that if it was your life or your family you might be looking for someone to blame.

    Using vinegar visual test and doing pap might be better than doing just a pap. Take a photo and type the HPV strain but that is also just as invasive.

    I am also starting to wonder about older women who get Pap tests (coerced by doctors) and the. They are sent for colpscopy, biopsy and treatments, quite soon later (months or years) they are diagnosed with panceatic cancer and other cancers in the region. If whatever “cancer” I their vagina was left alone they might live longer. As squamous cells are lining the whole body inside and out so once a tumor is disturbed those cancer cells are going to travel. I would really like some stats on cervical treatments and any relationship to other cancers especially lung cancer I the same patients (excluding those with HIV).

  40. Victoria says:

    Arrgh! Yet another woman (with a mostly teen/early 20s viewership) with a lot of influence doing a sales pitch for smear tests. It’s another incidence of women genuinely thinking they’re being helpful and reassuring, saying it’s so easy (which is not easy to hear if you’re the woman who’s had painful and humiliating smears in the past), saying it’s all part of being a woman (like we’re some collective herd of broodmares). Watch here, http://youtu.be/17iOT5BZ4lg – around 1:30.

    I’ve replied (as Sylvia) and will no doubt get a load of “but it’s better to be safe than sorry” replies, which have completely missed the point. Even though the inaccuracy of the test is up there as my main problem with the test, the “you have to” “I’m told to” (that 4-letter word mentioned above: “need”) rhetoric concerns me greatly. As I said in my reply on Youtube, decisions about your health should be based on facts, not peer pressure (that includes pressure from medical staff).

    • Victoria says:

      Unrelated, I went to see how the UK prostate screening compares (I knew it was a lot better) and learned it’s not even a screening programme but “risk management”! The prostate page also has this wording: “The aim of Prostate Cancer Risk Management is to ensure that men who are concerned about the risk of prostate cancer receive clear and balanced information about the advantages and disadvantages of the PSA test and treatment for prostate cancer. This will help men to decide whether they want to have the test. Information packs have been sent to General Practitioners to assist them in the counselling of men who enquire about testing. The pack will help the primary care team to provide men with information on the benefits and limitations of the PSA test.”

      Not one of those things applies to women and the cervical screening programme.

      • Moo says:

        Prostate cancer screening is not pushed the same as cervical or breast screening because women’s sexual organs are considered expendable. Men are wise to think twice about any surgery or treatments that could render the unable to have another erection in their life ever again. Yet for a woman to lose her breasts, cervix, uterus or ovaries is supposed to not be a big deal at all. Women are often ignored for pain of fibroids or whatever and not given much choice than a hysterectomy with removal of the ovaries (since they could go bad and require another surgery they are told). There are options but few doctors with training to do these alternatives. Sadly women read the HER a foundation website too late. For younger women out there questioning cervical cancer screening and STI testing, that is just the tip of the iceberg.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        RE prostate testing. Appears to me, government is getting their gloves on, ahem, and pressing a finger or two into this sometimes gooey issue. It should also have to clean up any mess it makes.

    • Victoria says:

      Which one wins the most ridiculous comment of the day? ;)

      1 – “quite a lot of women have died because they were refused smear tests”. Oh where to begin?! No woman over 25 would be refused a test in the UK unless pregnant. Under-25s are refused tests because of medical evidence. Women of any age are refused smear tests if they’re symptomatic because it’s a test for non-symptomatic women.

      2 – (this is my winner) “I had a HPV scare” Wow. So now not only are abnormal cells a “cancer scare” but a virus that most of the time is cleared by the body and doesn’t cause any problems at all, is worthy of being called a “scare”. People need to revisit their statistics classes from secondary school, because “99% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV” does NOT mean that HPV becomes cancer 99% of the time.

      The level of ignorance on that Youtube thread was astonishing and proves that women are making very UNinformed “choices” to have a smear test.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        Unfortunately, Victoria, a lot of doctors & nurses themselves are very ignorant about this god-awful test – I guess the medical profession have been telling us lies (it’s the perfect test, saves gazillions of lives etc.) for so long that they’ve begun to believe their own bullshit. It’s not unheard of for doctors to perform a smear on a symptomatic woman over 25 in order to ‘rule out’ cancer – many of them do still view it as a viable diagnostic test. Old habits die hard, especially within medicine, right? So it’s hardly surprising that so many woman think that the smear is a valid test if you have symptoms.
        Part of the problem is that while the programme began in 1988, the NHS didn’t start sending out information leaflets until much later – I think it was a good ten years later or so – and of I suspect women who had been suckered into the system by then probably didn’t bother reading it. Of course, those leaflets are nothing more than sales brochures, designed to get us up on the couch, and most of the information in them is utter nonsense. But that info has changed on a regular basis, usually after some kind of scandal, and there are some useful nuggets in there. The most recent one I received had a paragraph written in bold type stating: ‘Screening isn’t used to investigate cervical symptoms’ and that you should see your doctors if you’re experiencing symptoms. Who will probably want to do a smear test, ya know, to ‘rule out’ cancer!
        I’m sure many women ignore the leaflet because think they already know it all, so will be completely unaware of any new information. And of course, since these leaflets are aimed (in England, anyway) at women 25 and over, younger women simply read the garbage peddled in the media or trust what older women tell them.
        Every time I see one of these stories of ‘young woman denied a smear’ splashed across the newspapers it makes me want to tear my hair out, because the real problem in those cases is that the GP’s weren’t doing their jobs properly. Symptoms need proper investigation. not a bullshit screening test, yet time and again they were given the brush-off when they should have been examined or referred for diagnostic testing. NHS guidelines actually recommend doing so when they cancer is suspected in young women. It’s frightening when GP’s have so much power, yet so many of them seem to be so damned stupid!!!

      • Victoria says:

        Couldn’t agree more Kate. I’m flexing my muscles on the Youtube video comments, pointing out glaring misunderstandings about the test, in order to prepare for the big one: the repeat pill prescription appointment. I’ve asked for the nicer nurse there, but last time she did still say, “As long as you know it’s important.” She was respectful in her tone but I’m going to have to politely say that I don’t think it’s important, and am not sitting here stubbornly refusing a test I know to be important. I’m refusing a test I know to be… and at this point I’ll reel off a long list of issues! Plus the fact she wanted me to agree to it based on “it’s important” is so far removed from informed consent – a phrase I will repeat many times! Wish me luck. Hope I don’t get flustered. I always get a little nervous knowing I’m going to be put on the spot and patronised but this is the first appointment I’ll have been to since finding this forum so I feel better armed. :)

      • adawells says:

        Well done, Victoria. I had a look at the YouTube website, and couldn’t take any more of it. You are doing great work putting the rational points across to this group of young women, who clearly haven’t a clue. We need to go out into the world and let women know that the constant medicalisation of their bodies is not necessary. Very best wishes for your appointment. Could you print out some useful information to give to the nurse to read, or take a list of written points to back up your argument when you go? Best wishes.

      • Alex says:

        Victoria: You know why she was probably saying that? To try to get some “momentum” going mentally. She seems to have wanted you to say it’s important so as to get your mind to follow your words (“Say it like you mean it!” seems to rely on this “echo” principle).

        It’s really not important, but if she agrees- she knows she’ll be shit out of luck in deception department. It’s like how liars pretty much NEVER admit a lie, not even once. If they do, the image of them being a liar sinks in better & they can’t lie as effectively after that. Proof by indication can work fine, but it usually is more convincing to hear a confession or to see something with your own eyes- I guess because there’s no extra effort of imagining something (even though it’s not making up bullshit, there’s still a GENERATED image- rather than an observed one).

      • Victoria says:

        Update: the nurse I saw today (who I’ve seen twice in the past) was fantastic. She’s always had a respectful attitude, even if she did once say “it’s an important test.” This time the conversation went:

        Nurse: Are you up to date with your smears?
        Me: No. I’ve formally opted out of having them.
        N: That’s fine. [She goes to start blood pressure test].
        Me: This is why I asked for you in particular, you’ve been very respectful of my decision and other nurses have looked at me like I’ve just grown horns.
        N: I’m very sorry to hear that, some people can be quite rude about it. It’s just not how I go about things and I think us older generation of nurses have a different approach. [She implied here it was the younger ones who were evangelical about smears].

        She didn’t say it, but I’m guessing her years of experience will have revealed the true cost of cervical screening. She’ll have talked to – possibly consoled and dealt with distressed women – who have had false negatives and traumatic over-treatment. She’ll have spoken to women who are completely put off further testing either by having a smear test done badly or distressing treatment.

        The nurse then raised the topic of over-treatment and false positives. When I said there were many downsides, that was the first she volunteered. I also mentioned informed consent and she nodded along. She also mentioned the harm caused to under-25s in particular and said that some young girls (the under-25s) just didn’t understand. I get the impression she’s aware of – probably speaks to in person – the under-25s calling for the age to be lowered.

        So it basically became a little chat about a couple of the problems with screening, and not me having to defend myself. I feel like writing to the head of the surgery to say all other staff should follow her example.

  41. Victoria says:

    I haven’t done my little statistics exercise yet (but thankyou for providing links to useful resources), but I found this quote from Angela Raffle: “Over 80% of women with high grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia will not develop invasive cancer, but all need to be treated.” That’s around what I expected to get as well – a staggering 80% minimum rate of over-treatment. I don’t think people realise that when over-treatment is first mentioned to them. They think, “maybe 3%, 5%, 10% have unnecessary treatment – it’s a shame but it’s worth it to save the rest”. No, we’re talking about a situation where the vast majority of treatment is completely unnecessary.

    • Victoria says:

      EDIT TO ABOVE Sorry I mis-read, the 80% quote is from Margaret McCarthy but I think she was going off Angela Raffle’s research.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        Yes, a minimum of 80% overtreatment. Factor in all of the Cryotherapy or Leep treatments for the cases of CIN 1 & 2 which would never progress…. it’s appalling.

    • adawells says:

      It was wonderful to read that your experience with this nurse went so well. It must be a great weight off your mind to know that you can go there again without it being a battle. It is great to hear some good news for once. One place you might wish to comment on your experience is the patientopinion website, which is full of women saying how wonderful their smear test was. They could perhaps hear your story about not having the smear test!
      It ‘s true that cervical cancer is so rare that many of the older healthcarers must have realised by now that in all the years they have been screening women, many nurses probably haven’t come across a single case of it. It must play on their minds that they are chasing a very rare disease, I have read somewhere that in a GP’s entire professional working life they will encounter just 1 death from cervical cancer, and that on average they will get 8 newly diagnosed cancers across all patients in any given year, (that includes men and women). Really puts it into perspective doesn’t it?

  42. Diane says:

    The television show “The Doctors” is really pushing paps and pelvics this fall…damage control for falling rates of women willing to get screened, or the new guidelines? On my Facebook feed I came across this clip, in which a comedian is getting her “annual exam” on camera, by one of the doctors on the show. The doctor in this clip is the one who also keeps trying to insist that the bimanual exam is valuable even though the ASOG disagrees. I honestly couldn’t even get through this clip, it disgusted me so much…they have this platform on national television and they use it to scare/coerce/mislead women into getting exams like this every year. I guess one shouldn’t be surprised, the show is called The Doctors and they’re going to press a doctor’s ulterior motives. And I can’t help but notice that only one of the six doctors is a person of color, and that while the male doctors are of varying ages and looks, and one of them wears scrubs as he would in a hospital, the female doctors all have high heels, short skirts and Barbie makeup and blonde hair. God forbid they have an older female doctor or one that actually dresses as she would in a hospital, right?

    http://www.thedoctorstv.com/videos/judy-gold-gets-an-annual-ob-gyn-exam

    • Moo says:

      Check out the comments after the article. The CDC funds cervical and breast screening but women know that they cannot afford the treatments if they are diagnosed. It is not really free. Interesting that a woman said she was still charged for a well woman exam when she went in her doctor discussed how she did not even need a pap every year and talked to her for 10 minutes.

    • Ro says:

      I just saw this on the news this evening. I typically don’t watch the news, but I was flipping through channels and they mentioned screening so of course it caught my attention. I can’t remember what exactly the reporter said, but it was to the extent of, “women need to be getting pap tests every year, most cases of cervical cancer are incurable and found in women who have never had a pelvic exam (which is obviously not the same as a pap test so I’m not sure why that was said; an abundance of confusion and misinformation)” and the typical spiel. It’s interesting, though, because there is so much contradiction. Pap tests just detect abnormalities (which the report did admit to) and they aren’t a diagnostic test. They can at times catch things that will go on to become cancerous and maybe there have been cases where it has detected cancer, but it is highly inaccurate with the number of false positives and negatives it generates. Of course, they’d never report on the risk of false negatives and how many women die from cervical cancer because there was no real diagnostic test done beyond a pap test. Oh, and you all are going to love this one, they said that colon cancer in young adults has increased by 2%. So now, starting at age 20, we’re told to discuss our risk factors with our doctor and start screening at the appropriate age (determined by the doctor, of course). I know that colon cancer is a far more common cancer, and I personally have a family history of it so it isn’t something I take lightly. That said, I don’t think I’d take up screening any time soon. I don’t even think I’d discuss it with my doctor unless I was symptomatic. Otherwise, I’d wait until I was older and make an informed decision based on ALL risk factors (including the family history, but also: my diet, how often I exercise, if I smoke or drink regularly, etc).

      • Alex says:

        Like I said (at some point, at least): they’re pervy little saboteurs with all kinds of problems. At minimum, their teaching seems to descend from those that are like that- twisted source, or whatever that’s called.

  43. Victoria says:

    This isn’t about CC, but on the Youtube thread I notice many are linking “becoming sexually active” with needing to have six monthly/yearly pelvic exams to detect “irregularities and diseases”. I feel like saying, “Sexually active does not mean you’re a *prostitute*!” There is a big difference between someone who has a limited number of partners, always takes precautions, understands their own body and would spot anything unusual, would say, “Umm, no, I’m not going anywhere near THAT” if they spot something on their partner and someone who has sexual contact with anyone regardless, doesn’t always take precautions, can have multiple partners per week (or night), and would put off seeing a doctor with symptoms because of shame about their work/lack of insurance. Note: I understand there are many sensible prostitutes who behave more like the first group in that example. The women who are having these six month/yearly exams are being grouped together regardless of risk factor just because they have the right anatomy that could go wrong at any moment apparently.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/09/10-men-explain-why-they-became-gynecologists.html

      Interesting…it annoys me to hear a doctor say women often don’t care who does what down there after they’ve had a baby, like that experience changes this area into a public space. I happen to know quite a few women who’ve had a baby, but also, continue to care about their bodily privacy.
      I think this is a convenient way of dismissing a woman’s feelings, “you’ve had a baby, surprising you still care…” etc. like that makes her immature or silly etc.
      Assumptions and expectations should never be made about how we feel, there is no “we” anyway…only individuals who’ll all feel differently about these things.
      I believe this is one of the reasons women have been stuck with pap testing for years, this notion that women must “get used” to these exams, “if you can’t cope with a pap test, how will you manage having a baby?” is something that’s thrown at women or, “if you’re old enough to have sex, you’re old enough to get your exams” etc.
      Of course, we don’t have to get used to anything, pap testing is a choice and women should be treated privately and respectfully during childbirth. Note: most invasive exams are unnecessary during pregnancy and childbirth.
      I’ve read many times that they had to find an alternative to the rectal exam, men found the exam unacceptable (and men can’t be easily “captured”) so the PSA blood test suddenly appeared, many doctors said things like, “women have to get used to invasive exams, they must have pap testing all their lives, and they have babies”…news flash: we don’t have to “get used” to anything.

      • Victoria says:

        You can trace these attitudes right back to the antiquated and always unfair idea that women are baby-making machines. As you’ve written about on here, women’s health isn’t about their whole body, it’s about their reproductive organs and breasts. Even if doctors nowadays aren’t thinking, “We must protect the baby-makers” have they ever stopped to wonder why women’s health is only about the reproductive area? The system is presented as a very 21st century thing, but actually has its roots in a time when women were viewed very differently.

        I don’t know what planet someone is on if they think having a pelvic, smear test, having sex, and having a baby are one-and-the-same. I was in counselling for something else, but we ended up discussing the fact I find childbirth horrific. The counsellor’s response was, “You’re having a baby so you don’t care who sees what.” She also thought the tale of a friend who had a 20 minute labour and didn’t make it to hospital was going to reassure me! Me, the person who had told her the only way a baby would leave my body is while unconscious in an operating theatre via caesarean. I don’t know how she thought the prospect of giving birth naturally against my wishes was supposed to help. She left me with no faith in the NHS in general to respect my wishes, or her ability as a counsellor since she was *telling* me how I should feel about something. I thought Lesson 1 of Class 1 of counselling would surely be that everyone’s thoughts are different? I actually cancelled any further appointments after that.

        I’ve since decided I don’t want children, but at the time I was worried about the attitude of medical staff who assume that once you’re pregnant, and certainly once you’re in labour, that you can’t possibly know your own mind – be that to go drug-free or to go straight to the operating theatre.

      • adawells says:

        I’ve had 2 children and no way do I feel it has made me happier to expose my private parts to anyone, any more than before. In fact, with all the saggy bits I’ve got now, I’d say I’m even more embarassed! I still feel the same way as I did before about paps and pelvics.
        One thing that struck me when I was pregnant was that some men were more understanding than women. I had pregnancy sickness the whole 9 months and felt very ill and exhausted most of the time. I found 2 female doctors (neither been pregnant) and other female co-workers totally unsympathetic, but a couple of guys where I used to work came and told me that their wives had been equally sick when pregnant, and they really appreciated what I was going through. I’ve never forgotten their kind words. They had more empathy with pregnancy sickness than a lot of women I knew.

      • Alex says:

        You know that “you’re old enough to have sex, you’re old enough to have these exams” argument? Isn’t it basically saying “if you’re old enough to do things by choice, you’re old enough to have things forced on you.”

  44. Moo says:

    I would like to request to,the website owner to consider adding some articles about breast screening. There have been some recent studies criticizing the breast screening programmes. There is not much unbiased information about overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Also I am finding conflicting advice and information about damage, radiation dosage and reliability on mammograms. There are newer technologies such as hole breast ultrasound that uses less compression but is more accurate than conventional mammograms only it is not considered reliable.

    I really feel,this information about breast screening would benefit women. I find that turning 50 means that I am facing triple the coercion for cancer screenings with cervical, breast and colon cancer screening all shoved at me at once. Finding a lack of good information about what to expect during perimenopause compounds it all.

    Please consider this appeal.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Moo, there are quite a few articles under References, I’ve covered the topic thoroughly, I always had concerns, but age 50 tends to focus the mind when the pressure really starts. I was also, a bit spooked by a colleague diagnosed when she was 47, thank goodness (after all I know about cervical screening) I assumed they’d also, be covering up risk and exaggerating benefit with mammography, and they were…no surprises there. Once informed you act on the evidence, not fear, peer pressure etc.

      I think the situation is so serious now we may see more legal action in the future, powerful vested interests instantly dismiss anything that threatens this highly lucrative industry. The evidence of risk mounts ever higher and now it seems any benefit of screening is wiped out by those who die from heart attacks and lung cancer after treatments. So the risks exceed any benefit.
      I’d suggest you start with the excellent summary put together by the Nordic Cochrane Institute, go to their website. It’s the best I found by a country mile.
      Gilbert Welch has also, written a lot of informative articles, if you’d like an American reference, and of course, anything by the amazing Professor Michael Baum, UK breast cancer surgeon and advocate for informed consent in cancer screening.
      There is a lecture on YouTube, “Breast Cancer Screening: an inconvenient truth” by Prof Baum and there is also, a DVD called, “The Promise” featuring Prof Baum and Peter Gotzsche from the NCI, you have to pay for it, but I’d say it’s money very well spent.
      Let me know if you need more references, I have lots…and it’s not pretty! Tread carefully Moo, breast screening CAN damage your health and well-being, and this last sentence is not an exaggeration, it can even take your life.

    • Hi Moo. Thank you for your suggestions, I appreciate the input. From my experience the input from others has always turned out to be great additions. Elizabeth suggested the References and Education forum, Alex suggested the Discussion forum, Diane has contributed two posts, and there have been other great suggestions and/or comments that have found their way into posts, and of course the comments that help keep it all alive – all have advanced this site and have helped other women find their way. I agree more information could benefit women and I will try to give a go, thanks again Moo.

  45. Alex says:

    Sue, I’m going back & forth with someone on Youtube (it was a link to a video from here, actually). She doesn’t seem to be too confrontational, but seems to be of the mind that there aren’t risks or inaccuracies to these tests that are “suggested” to women. Is it okay if I refer her to this site?

    I don’t see it being like with that guy I was arguing with on Happierabroad (he seems like he’d have been a shit-stirrer & so do a lot of the other guys on there), I just figured I should ask first.

    • Hi Alex. Good for you to take it on with someone on Youtube. Of course I would be happy to have you refer her to this site. Thank you for asking.

      • Alex says:

        Well, I have a little confession to make: I actually had referred her before getting your reply- I wanted to post before the internet flicked on & off or did something else weird on me. I figured that other people had done it & you didn’t seem mad & that she seemed regular (she wasn’t on a tirad about how all women need to do these things & everyone that has a problem with it is immature/stupid/crazy). My apologizies, if they’re needed.

      • Hi Alex, thank you and of course I don’t mind! The women here are a force to be reckoned with and I have no concerns about negative commenters. If anything I feel concerned for the negative commenters :)

  46. Emily says:

    Hi guys I havent commented in a while -and btw I decided to let my beloved eric live after he hijacked my laptop and posted here ;) – but I thought now would be a good time considering I got a little booklet from my work today explaining how I could use my benefits for womens healthcare. Sure it was meant to look all friendy with some shallow drivel about certain yoga poses (i know WAYYY more about it than they probably do) and coupons for various healthfood gimmicks. AND of course the “friendly reminder” written in pink DONT FORGET TO SCHEDULE AN APPOITMENT FOR YOUR ANNUAL WELL WOMAN PHYSICAL with the assurance that all preventative care and screenings are covered. Needless to say I was disgusted and tore it up on the spot whilst muttering various obscenities which greatly confused my father in law. He said “Easy there girlie! they’re just letting you know about your benefits” To which I replied “Yeah and I’ll use them when I’m damn good and ready.” But of course it got me thinking if not for this site I might have been as docile and brainwashed as everyone else and may have very well gone along with it so I went on google and stumbled across this forum http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.healthboards.com%2Fboards%2Fsexual-health-women%2F837966-traumatic-virgin-pap-smear.html&ei=fqpeVKmbGcb2yQSL7YDABw&usg=AFQjCNEDVlST2pzMPpYUd2XHy84cZjSPzw&sig2=qsP6NTtpR2TQqNNAsTu9GA&bvm=bv.79189006,d.aWw ….there are no words to express how appalled I am at the attitudes of these other women! After what that poor girl went thru! She should not have had that happen to her nor should any woman. It’s a pity it was 2 yrs ago or I’d give them all a virtual slap and tell that girl she has every right to feel that way and that her body is HERS- not a playground for doctors- and she has a choice in the matter. It’s disgusting the way people/doctors behave.

    • Victoria says:

      Part of the reason she was given to have the exam was that her mother (or her mother’s side of the family) had a history of endometriosis. Do correct me, but if the patient herself had endometriosis surely she would know about it, to an unpleasant degree, every month? I don’t see how an exam on a symptomless woman could have helped with that.

      • Diane says:

        Seriously! I’ve known people with endo…you KNOW you have it, because the pain is excruciating. And not only that, but endometriosis cannot be found with a pap or a pelvic, ever! It’s uterine tissue growing outside the uterus! As far as I know they either treat symptoms (it’s one of the non-birth control, therapeutic uses of the Pill) or do endoscopic surgery in very extreme cases.

        That poor young woman went through a traumatic experience. The people on that page who were commenting that she needed therapy and was overreacting for feeling violated were completely off the mark. THEY were the ones who needed therapy, and so did that doctor, who frankly sounded downright sadistic.

    • Alex says:

      I wonder what goes through someone’s head when they type stuff like that up? I guess written in all pink is supposed to make it seem non-threatening, like the opposite of the “dangerous/combative/battle” colors?

    • Kleigh US says:

      You know I think its sick that pap smears are the first thing on pples minds when think about woman needing health coverage like we are all just upset unless we can have a pap smear.

    • Alex says:

      That doctor was outright tormenting her! Look at all the waiting naked- that’s something militaries do when they capture people (at least, it HAS come up & sometimes gets integrated into training). This is obviously something she has a problem with & that should have shut things down right then & there.

      Then she ask a question only to negate the answer- why ask if she wants to put on the headphones as a coping mechanism if she’s just going to tell her not to do it? She makes a deliberate point of displaying everything she’s intending to use & expounding on everything she’s intending on doing- this isn’t to accentuate an anguishing situation?

      Her mother is at fault, too. I know she wasn’t in the room for all this, but she shouldn’t be trying to corral her into all this any more than a father should be driving her to let some woman “play doctor” on her. Actually, I’ll bet if it was her FATHER pushing her into all this- the responses would be very different. Same if it was a MAN that actually did the actions.

      That really riles me up (the whole thing, of course- but the whole “if a woman does it to another woman it’s not an attack” thing). What’s the idea? Does someone think: “My body’s my own- and hers, too”? It’s like the idea that if someone has the same type of anatomical features as someone else, then it’s the same as their own features.

      I’ve noticed that there’s something of a general trend where someone feels some kind of propioceptive sense with anything they notice, too. If they’re aware of it, they think it’s an extension of themselves- or at least act like they do.

  47. adawells says:

    New guidelines from the Scottish Cervical Screening Programme on opting women out of the programme.
    nhsforthvalley.com/…/Opting-out-Women-from-the-Scottish-Cervical-Sc…
    It is staggeringly patronising, and seems to be confusing women with learning difficulties with women in general. A face to face consultation must be held with the woman signing the declaration in the doctor’s surgery, so that the doctor can tell you about the benefits of screening, (no mention of harms), and assess whether you are of sound mind, or not too mentally subnormal to have a mind at all. No sending opt out letters to people to return in the post.
    It also says that although a woman has a right to choose, she can only opt out with the doctor’s agreement. In other words, only if the doctor says so.
    I was disappointed to spot that Scotland will only be changing to the slightly less stringent screening arrangements that English women have after 2016, well after the more civilised countries have introduced HPV self sampling, no doubt.

    .

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Ada,
      they know the power imbalance means most women will be talked out of the opt-out and as usual, they ignore the fact they don’t have power to force women to do anything. Challenge this and it falls over like a pack of cards. You don’t need a doctor to agree it’s fine for you to opt out of elective screening, but of course, they know many women will just accept this sort of treatment. I wonder how Dr McCartney feels about these face to face requirements etc. I wonder whether she plans to publicly challenge them.

    • Moo says:

      So if a women is assessed as not competent enough to opt out, is she arrested, hospitalized and forced to get a Pap test? What happens to women who just bin the letters? Does someone show up on their doorstep? Seems a terrible waste of resources and money. It must just be assumed she being held at home against her will and terribly abused and not allowed out if she does not show up for Pap tests.

      • Alex says:

        And all that can tie into pandering to the Muslim population there. Saying “Well, it COULD happen in some of those houses & there’s no difference between your house & their house.”

      • Alex says:

        Forgot to add: This would be in an effort to “not discriminate.” You know like how they might say that no one can wear any religious things in order to functionally ban bhurkas & such, but they come down on people for wearing crosses & yamakas. “Oh, we persecuate everybody” type of shit.

      • Victoria says:

        I thought the same: what happens if you just ignore the letters? There will be a phonecall. I got one but it was at least to say, “So you definitely want to opt-out? Okay, we’ll send out the form.” It felt intrusive but it was the only way to get the end-result I wanted. People can’t be forced to attend their GP surgery. Sadly I think they’d wait until the patient has to attend for other reasons and turn that into a chance to force them to sign an opt-out form. Part of me wishes I hadn’t signed a form because I don’t think I should have to. I also don’t agree with the wording, which was along the lines of: “I understand the risk I’m taking and that I have been strongly advised against opting out.”

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Ada
      Do you mind if I copy your comment onto Dr McCartney’s website? I won’t include your name, just the content and link. I’m sure she’s aware of it, but it might prompt her to write something for the Scottish papers, advising/warning women and challenging this program that’s supposed to respect informed consent.

    • Alex says:

      A big problem with that is if they try to force the issue, she’s actually in the building- turns things into a trap. It’s not like they don’t ambush people with things (at least in America).

      That thing actually says “a woman has a right to choose, but she can only opt out with the doctor’s agreement”? Does that mean from the test or getting nagged about the test & getting that “opt out/off-the-mailing-list status”? It’s not unheard of for them to say that people are mentally unfit to handle themselves when these people argue with them.

    • adawells says:

      Hi Victoria,
      I agree with your post that it is so wrong of them to phone you up and ask why you are not attending for screening. I feel angry that it happened to me, but, at the time, it gets you the result that you want (to get off that ruddy recall list), and you say things that later you think they had a real cheek to ask.

      My phone call was in 2003, and at that time we didn’t have the internet connections that we have now, and it was difficult to get informed about such things. After having been on this website for about a year now, I could confidently tell them why I am not having smears, and could also reel off the statistics and evidence to them. Back in the 1990’s and in 2003 I had to fall back on explaining about my personal life as it was the only information I had to hand at the time. Also, at that time, I had no idea what I had to do to opt out. Opting out just wasn’t talked about, and even now, so many women are amazed that they can opt out when you tell them. The whole programme has been rolled out as mandatory, that the only option women believe they have is to string them along with comments like “maybe next time, can’t get time off work, it’s my period etc.”
      It is great to see so many women posting on websites that this test is not mandatory and that they can choose. Many more women, than actually reply, will read these posts and the seed of doubt will be sown, and hopefully the house of cards will fall down.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Ada, this is why it was SO important NOT to give women access to anything that might enable them to fight back. As you’ve mentioned, you could fend off any pap test pressure now because you’ve managed to get to the evidence. The power imbalance is bad enough in the consult room but made worse when you have nothing other than, “I don’t want to have a pap test”…that is so easily challenged, but I’ve found doctors and others back off quickly when they’re faced with an informed woman. You may be asked in a patronizing way, “where are you getting your information?”…I always enjoy replying, “Oh, the BMJ, The Lancet, MJA, NEJM etc…” crickets chirping….and I’ve found many GPs have a poor understanding of the actual evidence, many seem to rely on the one-sided presentation given by the program. (and of course, paps = $)

        The other thing I’ve found, I don’t feel intimidated, embarrassed etc. declining a pap test or mammogram because I found the information I needed to make an informed decision, so the old scare stories etc. roll off my back like water off a duck’s back.
        Many women report feeling uncomfortable, turning red, starting to stammer and apologize when they’re faced with pap test pressure, I think you feel more confident when you know exactly what you’re rejecting. You’re right too, no need to plead your case, and give out personal information, “we were virgins when we got together”…”Yes, I’m sure he’s faithful”…stick to the evidence, it’s powerful enough.

        Some GPs are prepared to lie or simply have no idea what they’re talking about, for example, a colleague used the Screener, knew she was HPV- and couldn’t benefit from pap testing, so firmly declined further pap testing. Her doctor tried to tell her she still needed pap tests, “not all cc is linked to HPV”
        The fact is almost all of it IS linked to HPV and it seems the super rare cases that “may” not be linked to HPV, are usually missed by pap testing anyway, you may even be disadvantaged by pap testing, (false negative) if you’re unlucky enough to get one of these incredibly rare cancers. (about 200 cases a year in the whole of America)
        Some women are told, “you’re biopsy told us you’re HPV+” BUT the biopsy was performed 12 years ago! Most women who were HPV+ a few years ago (or even 2 years ago) WILL not be HPV+ today. This seems to be a common story and also, the one about HPV suddenly springing to life again sometimes in the future. A woman can however, be re-infected with HPV, that’s why women will be offered HPV testing 5 times in total under the new Dutch program. (those no longer sexually active or confidently monogamous might choose to stop all further HPV testing – this information/option will almost certainly be kept from women here)

        So even if women access HPV self-testing, they also, need real information to fight off pressure to stay in the program. Thankfully, as you say, it’s easier to find the information now, I had to take myself off to the Medical Library and chat to some of the academics in that Faculty. An informed woman can also, protect herself from excess, HPV+ women can decline an immediate colposcopy/biopsy and opt for a pap test every 5 years. (until she clears the virus)

        Over the decades I’ve noticed how censorship and intimidation is used to keep the evidence from women. It’s viewed as a huge threat to the program. It was always the intention of this program to convince women they should just screen, don’t even think about it, it’s part of being a responsible woman. The one article that appeared here that was critical of the program and gave women most of the evidence caused an uproar and the program went into damage control. We heard, “we know this testing saves lives (make up a figure) we certainly hope women will not read that article and decide not to have pap testing, we’d hate to see women lose their lives from this preventable cancer”.
        This is why I have nothing but contempt for this program and all who feed off it.

  48. adawells says:

    Further to my last rant, this document also says that any Scottish woman who opts out will be sent an ” opt out reminder letter ” every 5 years to remind the woman of her opt out status. No doubt this will be a chance to post more propaganda leaflets to the woman.

    • Victoria says:

      Another thought: will women have to opt into cervical screening by signing a form for that as well? Answer: no.

    • Diane says:

      You know, in thinking about the official opt-out letter…it honestly seems like the sort of thing they’d do here in litigious America. If a woman here declined a pap and came down with cervical cancer as a result (a one in a million chance as we all know), she could find a lawyer who would sue for malpractice, with the claim “the doctor didn’t tell me just how DANGEROUS it was to skip a pap! She owes me millions of dollars in damages!!”

      And I’ve heard of that sort of thing happening for other “dangerous” procedures…I read about an athlete who had a lot of cortisone shots because she needed to keep competing. Before he gave her the last shot, the doctor made her sign a waiver saying that he’d advised against the shot and that she was acknowledging it could have health risks.

      As to why they’d do it in Scotland…as you all have said, it’s another way to try to ambush women. Get them into the doctor’s office. Put them through the wringer in that “consultation,” even if they’re there for another reason. Bully them into staying on the pap registry, or mislead them into doing so.

      But as others have said, what can they possibly do if a woman refuses this “consult” and also refuses to show up at the pap appointments? Refuse to treat her at all, for anything? Report her to the authorities? It’s not a crime to refuse a cancer screening test. I wouldn’t know the laws in the UK/Scotland well enough to know this, but can they kick her off her doctor’s registry if she doesn’t toe the line and sign the opt-out?

  49. Diane says:

    I read through the entire Scottish policy PDF and was quite sickened by it. In the “barriers to screening” the excuses given for refusing a Pap are pretty standard nonsense. It’s all “if a woman refuses the pap she clearly doesn’t have enough information about it, she’s ignorant or she’s incompetent.” There isn’t a single entry in this list that says “has weighed the cost/benefits and decided against it” or “has actually read up on this issue and has decided not to be screened for a rare cancer.”

    Personal reasons for non-attendance
    • Embarrassment
    • Fear of the screening test
    • Fear of what might be found
    • Adverse comments about smear testing from other women, the media or other sources
    • Lack of understanding of the purpose of screening and / or the operation of the National Screening programme
    • Dislike of doctors / medical service
    • Previous bad experience within the health service
    • Concerns about having a male smear taker
    • Ethnic differences, for example language barriers

    Practical reasons for non-attendance
    • Screening only available by appointment
    • Appointments available only during working hours
    • Fears about lack of confidentiality
    • Expectation that there is a cost for a smear test

    Factors influencing attitudes and beliefs about screening
    • Availability of adequate and appropriate information

    • Attitudes and beliefs about:
     Health issues in general
     The seriousness of cervical cancer
     The individual’s personal susceptibility to the disease
     The effectiveness of cervical screening
     The screening procedure
    • Uncertainty about the test and / or the outcome of the test
    • The implications of a ‘not normal’ result
    • The importance of cervical screening in a woman’s life

    Factors that may cause dissatisfaction with cervical screening
    • Inadequate information or communication
    • Unclear or ambiguous information
    • Impersonal treatment by smear takers
    • Unanticipated discomfort or pain caused by taking the cervical smear, particularly where this is not well managed by the smear taker
    • Perceived incompetence of providers
    • Unsatisfactory physical environment
    • Lack of privacy
    • Any discrepancy between expectation and experience
    • Uncertainty caused by long waiting times for results
    • Inadequate time allotted to taking the smear

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      It’s sickening, it shows how little respect they have for women, treating women like idiots.
      With this sort of attitude they must have been appalled when Dr McCartney publicly stated she does not have pap testing.

    • Victoria says:

      “Expectation that there is a cost for the smear test” as a reason not to have one. They really think that’s a concern of people in the UK?

      • Diane says:

        Great point there! Aren’t doctors’ visits on the NHS always free of charge to the patient?

      • Victoria says:

        Hi Diane,
        As far as I know, all visits to a doctor are free in the UK unless you were choosing to see a physiotherapist (say after your GP says your niggle from running is nothing and refuses to refer you to an NHS physio), cosmetic surgeon, or any other situation that’s entirely your choice (where you’re referring yourself to a specialist). I just can’t see how anyone who’s lived in the UK for a long time or their whole life could think that they’re going to be charged for a test they’ve been “invited” to have (especially when it takes place at your GP surgery, where all your other visits have been free).

  50. Diane says:

    Oh, and one more thing about that Scottish program that bothered me a lot: it said that a doctor could NOT accept a parent’s opt out on behalf of their minor child…because the parents might not know if their kid has been sexually active.

    So the way that is phrased, that seems to imply that the doctors will be sitting down with teenage girls – who might not have done the homework and might be a lot more compliant and trusting of doctors by default – to try to convince them to have paps. Yeah, how is THAT going to go? Scare tactics, here they come…

    • Moo says:

      I quickly looked up NHS Scotland. The cervical screening programme “invites” women aged 20 to 60. Teenagers are not part of that. They might be coerced into pelvic exams from doctors but not Pap tests. Some teenagers do want access to birth control without their parents knowing about it.

      • Diane says:

        Hmmm…I wonder why they referenced minors at all in the policy document then. It’s understandable that minors might want BC or abortion services without their parents knowing it, but if Scotland’s NHS doesn’t recommend Paps for teens, it’s weird that they would be mentioned in the doc.

        In the States it’s pretty much “if you’ve had sex you get a pap” for many doctors, despite whatever the recommendations are. I once read a blog about a mother who forced her mentally disabled 12 year old to go for a pap…

  51. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2407/14/207

    Australian women on this site, did any of you receive a HPV self-testing kit in the mail?
    Papscreen and others are conducting a trial, to see if sending unscreened and under-screened women a HPV self-testing kit prompts some to use it…and if they’re HPV+, convince them to get into the GPs office for follow-up. Names were taken randomly from the electoral roll.
    Those women who test positive for HPV 16 or 18 would be advised to have an immediate colposcopy and biopsy. Unnecessary, they should be offered a pap test, nothing more. (if they’re aged 30 to 60)
    Sounds like they want a lot of information, you don’t have to give them your doctor’s name, but I wouldn’t trust this mob for a second, this is IMO, a plot to get more women into the official program. They cannot stand the fact some women choose not to test so have to plot and scheme to “reach” these women. Well, I don’t want to be “reached” and I’m sure many other non-screeners feel the same way.
    This group will not accept NO for an answer. IMO, they believe they have the right to pursue, pressure, manipulate, mislead etc. to get women screened. The list of “excuses” never mentions some of us have made an informed decision not to screen, I have, and decades ago now. We don’t need an excuse anyway.
    Note this is not to assess whether women generally would prefer self-testing, no, they already have their claws in these women, it’s the stray members of the herd they’re after, tempt them in with self-testing and then I’ll bet you’ll feel the trap spring shut.
    Sadly, I didn’t receive a kit, I wouldn’t have used it, but certainly would have had a lot to say about their little program.

    • Diane says:

      It’s a pity they’re not sending out those kits because they’re switching over to the Dutch system. Recommending a colposcopy and a biopsy for simply having HPV 16 or 18 is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. There’s already been a lot of research done on the benefits of self testing, from what I know, so the whole research angle does seem to be a smokescreen here.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Diane, I can tell you Australian women will never see the likes of the new Dutch program, it would see testing, excess biopsy and over-treatment rates plummet, that would never do, vested interests would be out scare mongering and causing trouble in a heart beat.
        I firmly believe the whole review process has been getting all vested interests together and finding something they’ll all agree to, so they can safely funnel women from one excessive program to the next. Any mention of the Dutch program and we get, “we have to do our own research, we have different factors to consider”….we do? What?
        This is rubbish of course, they know they’d never get the Dutch program past vested interests, and it may alert women to the awful excess and avoidable over-treatment that’s been going on for decades. When women have no clue, they can pass off excess as thoroughness, being safe and sound, but when women see the evidence and what’s been happening in the Netherlands and Finland, more will ask questions and go looking for answers. When you lie to and deceive women, harming huge numbers, you have to be very careful about making any changes, cover your tracks is the first priority.

      • Alice (Australia) says:

        There is a simple, sad and criminal reason behind the recommended biopsies.

        The medical establishment is aware that the vast majority of women self-clear HPV without any medical intervention, and the establishment do not like it: there is no money to be made on self-healing women. Therefore, the establishment needs a way of pushing the infected woman into having cervical biopsies. As the cervical tissue is being torn and damaged during the biopsy, the virus gets a perfect chance to get deeper into the cervical tissue, entrench there and potentially turn into high grade lesion or cancer. By biopsying the women with HPV, the medical system eliminates the women’s chances to self-clearing the virus. It is done so that the medical establishment gets a perpetual money-making case: the woman with entrenched HPV will have tests, treatments, more tests, more treatments, she will submit to a life-long cervical screening, which she won’t miss anymore because she will be declared a cancer victim miraculously saved by the medical system. If only the poor waman knew that this very system let the desease to develop in the first place….

        If only the women knew the truth about where they are heading by trusting their health to the system like Australian health care system! This system not only acting dishonestly and unethically, it is outright criminal. The proposed biopsies for all women who test positive for HPV 16 and/or 18 amount to a deliberate bodily harm and possible manslaughter!

    • Moo says:

      The authors of the study even admit that the self HPV testing kit is more accurate YET they do not propose to offer it to ALL women. I can understand that some women who live In remote areas might want to participate although do they offer travel and accomodations to these needing to “further investigations”? Some women will not participate in cervical screening ever which they cannot seem to accept. They also do not seem to know that some women would prefer “alternative” or natural therapies if they do have cervical dysplasia.

      What are the current stats on HPV strain 16 and 18 developing into cancer in non HIV infected or immune compromised women?

    • Alice (Australia) says:

      Here we go again: Papscreen is raking through our Electoral roll with its dirty greedy hands again!

      It proves again that Australians shouldn’t trust the Australian government with one bit of their personal information! Why was the Papscreen given access to the Electoral roll data?! The electoral roll should be for elections only. But not in Australia! The Australian government forces people to provide their personal information to the Electoral Commission, to the Australian Beaureu of Statistics, to Medicare… and then give unlimited access to this data to whomever they fancy. How on Earth can anyone agree to register for myGov portal, or eHealth, or MyHR, or PCHER after that and believe any of their security and privacy promises? Any personal information we disclose to the Australia government will immediately be misused against our interests.

      • Diane says:

        Do you have the equivalent of HIPAA in Australia? In the USA it’s a law that basically restricts who can have access to your medical records. If you need to give access to someone, or even order a copy of your own test results, you have to sign a form specifically authorizing that release. Usually the only ones who can access your health records are your doctor and the insurance company and again, you sign off on it. Even the pharmacist can’t, when he’s filling your scrips – all he has is your insurance information, the list of medications you take (for cross-checking for interactions) and your doctor’s scrip, He doesn’t even know why you’re taking the med. As far as I know, the only exception to that is in a public health crisis, and then it’s still pretty restricted – like if you have Ebola the doctor is mandated to report it to the CDC immediately. But the CDC isn’t going to get their claws on your whole file; only your Ebola-related symptoms.

        If you do have such a law in Australia, it would seem that this would be a clear violation of it…and if not, maybe it would be time to start advocating for privacy of medical records. As you say. there’s no reason Papscreen should be using voter registration information for medical canvassing and research purposes.,,or for anything, really. If you’re handing over sensitive private information you need to be able to have confidence that it won’t be exploited that way.

      • Alice (Australia) says:

        Diane,
        The privacy laws in Australia work in a way that the only people who are restricted to have full access to the medical records are the patients themselves.

        The government agencies can do with our personal data whatever they like, and anyone hiding behind the label of “medical research” or “public interest” can access all our medical data too (that’s how Papsreen got access to the Pap register and to the Electoral roll).

        But when the patients want to see their own file or have a copy of their test results — they have to jump through obstacles, lodge access requests with privacy officers, make extra appointment with their doctors, pay for the unnecessary, and rely on the mercy of the doctors to actually release the copy, because in Australia the medical records are about the patient and paid for by the patient, yet they are legally the property of the medical institution.

        We have recently had a massive redesign of privacy laws in Australia, but it didn’t help the common people one bit. The reality remained the same: Australians are forced to disclose their personal data to many government agencies, and then have no control over their safety and privacy anymore. If it profits someone who can lobby their interests with the government — the access to the data will be granted.

      • Diane says:

        Wow. That’s just all sorts of screwed up. It’s beyond screwed up. I’m sorry it’s like that. I’m very surprised, really…with our screwed up healthcare system in the USA, I always think that other industrialized countries have better systems in every way. But this definitely seems to be engineered to protect doctors, facilitate opportunistic “research” and “outreach” like the new Papscreen initiative, and take away patients’ agency. Not having easy access to your own records and test results is such a major setback. I’d imagine that with all those obstacles, many patients who want their records end up being discouraged enough to give up.

        i guess that’s one thing about USA healthcare that is good – they have passed a lot of legislation (usually at the state level) that mandates your access to your records and test results. The hospital/doctor is allowed to charge you up to 75 cents per page in photocopying, but I’ve actually never seen a doctor do that. Most of them make it very easy to get your results – the big lab company, Quest, actually has an online portal where you can do your HIPPA formalities online and get emailed when your test results are in. There’s sometimes a time lag (in a few states they have to delay your results for a week or 14 days so your doctor can ostensibly discuss them with you first) but they still have to give them to you.

        When I was in France it was similar, actually- they actually mail your original X-ray films to you.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Thank you for info re Quest. I use them quite a bit. That will simplify my life.

  52. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    I like reading this man’s comments on the net, he’s informed about women’s cancer screening.
    This is one of his latest posts:

    ” I do not agree that rape is about sex. Yes, I am a male. I was Treasurer, Vice President and President of a large fraternity chapter (130+) and saw a minority of members engage or attempt to engage in what I later came to understand as misogyny. They were indeed legitimized by dehumanizing young women.

    Rape need not involve sexual intercourse (penetration, penetration with a foreign object, etc.). In these cases, it’s more obviously about the power stroke and proving who is really in charge. I don’t think modern Women’s Wellness gets off the launch pad without this impetus. It sure wasn’t about the healthcare threat or the ability of the screening technology to be effective.

    There is a reason we talked about notches in the belt, etc. It was a power stroke to “nail” a female under even situations where informed consent seemed to be improbable. But truth be told sexual gratification wasn’t a prerequisite to a successful foray. Truth be told, there is a desire to subjugate and often humiliate our female partner (before we learn to love them and maybe…sometimes after).

    The good news? That raw and perhaps even evil impulse can be tapped to make us dynamic and redeemed. We can wow the women we love in part because of the not necessarily benevolent beast inside.

    Poorly articulated but yes… rape is about power more so than gratification and sometimes “normal” sex (even to your partner of decades) is too.”

    Interesting, he’s made some very critical comments about women’s “wellness”…here is an informed man.

  53. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    It’s an interesting area, IMO, medical predators are motivated by both sexual gratification and power. I notice one other man made the comment, rape is partly about sex, I don’t pull out my penis when I rob a bank.
    I always felt pap testing was an open invitation to predators, the system encouraged opportunistic pap testing, approved of linking the Pill with pap testing (and HRT, pre-natal care etc.) didn’t care about informed consent or even consent. I even noticed the Medical Board might make the comment that having a pap test or not was up to the woman, but they’d conveniently make no comment about a doctor refusing to prescribe the Pill without a pap test. I consider medical coercion = an assault. The system dances around the lack of informed consent and consent in women’s cancer screening, but it’s a very serious matter. No one has clean hands when it comes to the appalling treatment of women, which goes far beyond unethical conduct.

    • Alex says:

      You know what’s interesting: If someone said “Let me do (the exact things that go on) or you’re fired from this job/you can’t live in this apartment,” that is a coercive attack if accomplished. If not, it actually still is an attack- just like how pulling the trigger is the act of killing, it’s just sometimes not effective.

      I wonder a lot about that. What kind of woman worries about equal pay or sexual harrassment in the workplace, but yet thinks that “what the doctor says goes” in a medical office or a hospital? For crying out loud, if you so much as make a dismissive joke about women cooking dinner or moping a floor, it’s like everyone’s ready to break out the hedge clippers (this whole situation is probably a bit male-specific). Yet if the doctor goes about self-electively probing probing people, that’s okay with them. If this includes various dangers that someone is being put at risk of, so be it. If it costs them money hand over fist, fine.

      I know this is extremely cynical, but I figure that last one would be the only thing on that list that would actually give someone a bit of a “clang.” Actually makes my stomach go a bit cold to think of raising a daughter with a woman like that. I know it’s not ALL of the American women that are like that, but if a bunch are & then another bunch act like them that’s a lot of landmines to step on. I don’t know if that comes off like victim-blaming & I don’t mean it that way, but I definitely don’t want these traits in a wife (or whatever she is)- a massive part of that is distrust of how she’ll be with our daughter.

      Not to ramble on about myself, but I just thought of how a woman like that might not find me a good prospect in the first place. Maybe I’m worrying for nothing, especially since I’m not anywhere close to rich. It’s not like someone is going to try to lie & seduce their way into fame & fortune with me! A benefit I didn’t even think of, haha!

  54. Emily says:

    Yknow it’s funny how almost every forum about this sort of thing I look at I always see “Elizabeth” usually with an (Aust) attached to it who talks exactly like you do ;) damn girl you really get around lol! Good for you imo….i only wish there were more out there like you and the other awesome gals (and alex too :))on this site who I have had the good fortune to gain such valuable knowledge from.

    • Precisely, Emily. :-) If we ever see the health care systems evolve to respect women, to treat them like humans, and to actually CARE about HEALTH rather than power and money, it will be because of people like our Elizabeth!

    • adawells says:

      Exactly Emily, it is hard to find a site that Elizabeth’s name doesn’t appear on, and I am hugely motivated and cheered by all the hard work she has put in over the years, and instilled to trawl online myself and alert more people to the truth about this test.
      Reading the Scottish brochure about reasons women opt out of screening, I kept thinking that any minute now they will list:
      “Having an online encounter with Elizabeth from Australia” as one of the reasons!

      However, the closest it got was:
      “Adverse comments about smear testing from other women, the media or other sources”

      Now, who could they possibly be referring to, I wonder!

    • Alex says:

      Thank you, Emily! That means a lot to me & it’s my pleasure to share insights & information that I have. I do so love to shot holes in bullshit (so to speak), and I very much like to sharpen people against things like this.

  55. IMustBeSurrounded says:

    Hello Everyone!

    I posted WEEKS ago and many of you gave me such kind and thoughtful responses. Elizabeth – you posted such a great reply…I felt like a celebrity was responding to my post!

    Well, things in my life – healthcarewise – have come to a point that I long suspected they would. It looks like I may have to stand my ground at the doctors office and I need to start getting my thoughts in order.

    Here is the situation. I have two medications I called in to get refilled. One is a sleep medication – it’s an anti-depressant and the side effect makes you drowsy. It’s one I’d actually like to wean myself off of (I’ve started to cut them in half) The other is a migraine medication. Neither of these medications are narcotics.

    I had the pharmacy fax the doctors office for refills the other day. The medications were successfully refilled – but with only ONE refill. My doctors office called and said “You can have one refill, but the doctor wants to see you for an annual”

    I was VERY firm with the girl on the phone. I told her “No, I will not be doing that, I’ve made an informed decision not to” She said “Ok, well I’ll talk to the doctor and let her know” I replied with “Although, there is a medication that I would like that I would rather not discuss over the phone (there is) so I would like to make an appointment to discuss that. But if my prescriptions are going to be held hostage until I have an annual, I will find another practice to go to” She said “No, I don’t think that is the case”

    SO – I have an appointment tomorrow (that I may not even keep, because I have to see if I can afford the copay) for this other medication. I am sure that my refusal to get an annual will come up.

    I am actually not even sure what an “annual” would entail – but I have a feeling I will have to battle the “Well Woman’s Exam” nonsense.

    I am also wondering if I am being a bit harsh. No, I do not want any of the bikini medicine, but I am wondering how far I should compromise, if at all. I am fairly new to this doctors practice, so it’s probably not unreasonable that they would want to see me for something more in depth than my other visits (or is it?)

    To be honest,I am ok with a blood panel (as long as I know everything they are testing for and I approve it all) and I wouldn’t mind having my skin looked at.

    I am planning to battle the well woman exam with “A pelvic exam is not useful and is no longer recommended,” “a pap smear is an inaccurate test for a cancer I have a very small risk of ever catching and it can often lead to follow up procedures that are psychologically and physiologically harmful. Further, in my experience, the pap smear not only tests for cervical abnormalities, but my bill is run up with a litany of tests for yeasts that I don’t care about and STD’s I am certain that I don’t have – never-mind the fact that those are panels that I did not approve.” BUT I am having trouble finding solid evidence against the clinical breast exam- even though I know it’s useless.

    My next step is to cite each of my statements with a source so I can say “According to _____ this test is not recommended” – that will be a project I am going to work on today.

    If anyone has any ideas or input on my discussion with the doctor, please let me know. Thanks for all of your stories, wisdom and support! I look at this site several times a day!

    Take Care.

    • Moo says:

      You do not need to present evidence to say no. Just say you do not consent to the specific test or exam.

    • Diane says:

      “Annual exams” for women definitely usually seem to always include that “well woman” pap/pelvic/breast exam BS, yes. However, if you think your doctor will listen to you, maybe you can tell her you don’t want that and agree to come in for an exam that includes a blood panel or whatever you think you need for your medicine. You could ask her to put a note in your file that you are NOT to be asked about gynecological exams during your visit.

      As Moon said, you don’t need to give a long, drawn out explanation as to why you don’t want something – you just have to say no – but if the doctor tries to debate it with you, it can definitely be helpful. I’ve had very good luck with doctors over the past few years (excepting one resident/intern who was very angry I wouldn’t discuss paps with him) but my general spiel is something along the lines of, “As per the NiH I have less than a one percent chance of ever getting cervical cancer, and I know it’s not even one of the top ten cancers in my state. I’ve made an informed decision not to have this optional screening test.” In the one case where this didn’t work (Planned Parenthood, whom I’d called to see about getting the Pill without a pap/pelvic), I countered with “there’s nothing in a pap that would have any influence on your decision to prescribe that medication.” It didn’t work with Planned Parenthood and I basically ended up shrugging and hanging up the phone, but it might work with a regular doctor. If you’re telling her flat out “but there’s nothing about cervical screening that has any relevance to this medication,” if she’s stubborn she might budge.

      And if not, yes, it might be time to see a new doctor.

      I do have to say that while I strongly disagree with paps, pelvics, mandatory physicals and such, I do think it’s reasonable for a doctor to want to touch base with you from time to time if you’re taking longterm medication or you have a chronic condition. I have a few chronic illnesses, and my current doctor wants to see me every six months or so to check in. My meds include something that can influence blood pressure and something else that can influence potassium levels, so those actually do need to be checked periodically. With my current doctor it’s usually “everything cool? Anything you want to discuss? How is (my chronic illness) doing? Let’s do the bloodwork, get your blood pressure and get you out of here.” She did ask about paps on my first visit but when I said I wouldn’t be doing them, she said “okay, I’ll just put that in your file so I won’t ask you again.” And I don’t have a problem with the specific checks she wants to do (blood pressure and basic bloodwork) because I know there’s an actual valid reason that I agree with. Bit of an anomaly in the medical profession, because most doctors seem to have terrible God Complexes, but you never know.

    • Kleigh US says:

      By annual do you mean gyn and pap smear? or just a follow up on those meadications. if its about the whole you cant get unrelated meadins untill u have a pap that is not legal.

    • Kleigh US says:

      pap smears and gyn exams are not related to those meads, that probly gets most of her other femail patents in for paps but its a try on. she cant legaly force you.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Hi IMBS, the compliments I receive on this website could lull me into a false sense of security, I might have to head over to the Planned Parenthood of Arizona website for a reality check, to see that women still face the same old problems. The moderator over there considers my comments, “spam”.
      It’s comforting to know there are many more informed women out there now, at times I felt like the eccentric shouting some sort of nonsense in a public park.
      “Mammograms are harmful, (rising inflection) what’s that crazy woman talking about?”

      Anyway, I can’t recall your age, but the annual medical exam is not evidence based, it was never introduced in the UK or Australia, they did a 10 year randomized controlled trial that showed no benefit, but the Americans had already introduced the annual physical. (and it exposes you to the risk of extra and unnecessary tests too)
      The NHS (UK) has introduced a general wellness check fairly recently, and it’s been criticized as a waste of money, of no proven benefit, and it exposes well people to risk.

      I know many people here see a doctor every couple of years, especially after age 40, to have a blood pressure check, perhaps, a blood test to check various things, some need scripts refilled etc.
      More and more these routine checks are being challenged, even in those 40+.
      Doctors here are being told not to routinely test for Vitamin D, we seem to have an epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency here with lots of people taking supplements. There’s some controversy now about cholesterol, I’ll have to take a closer look at that. I’d be cautious about statins, they tend to be overused. As you’ve mentioned, we should monitor what is being ordered, the CA-125 blood test is not evidence based and can lead to unnecessary surgery, that was tacked onto one of my blood tests a few years ago, needless to say that won’t be happening again!
      So we have to be careful just agreeing to “stuff” or sitting back and letting it happen.

      As far as a routine breast exam is concerned, there is no evidence of benefit, now if that’s the case, why bother? What are you doing if you agree to something that is of no proven benefit, putting yourself through an unnecessary exam, some might find it embarrassing or uncomfortable, and also, you’re possibly exposing yourself to risk?

      A routine breast exam can trigger a cascade of extra tests and procedures, you have the CBE, your doctor feels “something”, you’re referred for a mammogram, your breasts are exposed to compression and radiation, you might have a biopsy, you might end up over-diagnosed, have unnecessary surgery, chemo or radiation, you might get cancer or have a heart attack as a result of this over-treatment…add the expense and stress of it all.

      This is the reason we need to stop and think before we accept the casual medical reach, “while you’re here, I’ll just…”

      As far as I’m concerned the best things we can do for our health are basic and of proven benefit – manage stress, stay active, eat well, manage your weight, get enough sleep, don’t smoke, alcohol in moderation, laugh, enjoy life, try to be positive, develop and foster close relationships, stay mentally active and connected to the world etc.

      There’s an old UK article called, “Hands off my chest, doctor” and a few medical journal articles I can post for you. Also, you might mention this exam is not recommended in the UK and Australia at any age.

      The one important screening test IMO, is your blood pressure, one fairly small RCT established the value of keeping an eye on your blood pressure. The rest is up to us and it should be an informed decision, know what we’re agreeing to, what this test/exam can and can’t do and where it can lead. This includes pap testing, mammograms, routine health checks, routine blood tests and bowel screening (FOBT, colonoscopy etc.)
      The next layer should be presented with scary music – CA-125 blood test, routine brain and lung scans, thyroid checks, routine body scans (gulp…) etc. (Actually, I’d add mammograms and pap testing for HPV- women, and pap or HPV testing in those under 30 to this list)

      Skin checks – I check myself every few months, my husband checks my back, if something new appeared that worried me, I’d see my doctor. My dermatologist got a huge tick though, I asked her about a full body skin check a couple of years ago, it seemed to be the new craze. Now instead of simply recommending it, she considered the Q and said, “you have very few moles or anything else, just keep an eye on things and see me if you’re concerned about something” .
      Why doesn’t that happen more often these days? (some say legal liability, excess breeds excess, profits, the old feeling of better safe than sorry etc.)

      Any of the other well woman nonsense is not recommended, it’s of no proven benefit or poor clinical value and exposes you to risk. Routine pelvic, rectal, recto-vaginal, visual inspections of the genitals, TVU etc….RUN at the very suggestion.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        The other possible harm from a routine breast exam is a false negative, some women may ignore a change or delay seeing a doctor if they’ve only recently had a satisfactory/normal routine breast exam. So add that possible harm to the list. Delay can mean a later diagnosis and poorer prognosis.

    • Alice (Australia) says:

      IMustBeSurrounded, you have a very good attitude to blood tests: “I am ok with a blood panel — as long as I know everything they are testing for and I approve it all”.

      This is how every patient should behave: get a comprehensive lest of what exactly they are tested for, don’t be satisfied with some vague doctor’s remark “we are going to do a few tests”. And demand a copy of each single result to be given back to the patient — not to another doctor, not to some pesky register, to to the government database, not to the insurance company, but to the patients first and foremost! And only then to the others, if the patient agrees.

      We should kick the medical system with his bold point, and kick hard: it is our body, our health, our time and our money, and so every bit of medical information must be ours too. The doctors are there to serve the patients, not the patients are to be pushed around for the convenience of the system.

    • Alex says:

      Here’s a few things”

      First: No, you’re not being too harsh. Why make any concessions? Especially considering that they are there for YOUR benefit, not the other way around. I know that sounds arrogant, but they are not equal partners with you about your body- they aren’t co-people with you.

      As for the tact you are thinking of using, I’d go with things that are less easy to argue with. I know I’ve said this a whole bunch of times, but it states things aptly: Properties don’t change by designation- just like if a doctor poisoned someone with a needle, it’s still murder. This is true with other assualtive things, as well. Any interface with sexual areas as a product of someone else’s decision-making is an attack (I know that’s kind of thin of a way of phraing it, but I did the best I could with that & there’s no way to say something so someone else can’t lie or twist your words on their own, anyway).

      Reality doesn’t take a coffee break for doctors. What happens is what occurs & if it’s an attack done with a medical methodology, it would just be termed an “iatrogenic assault.” By-the-way: I’d bet if you said these things to them, they’d come up with “I thought you said that properties don’t change by designation,” as an argument. The counter to that could be “Uh huh, that doesn’t mean that there is no such thing as an apt designation.”

      Ultimately, just making the point that you are unconvinced of its safety & utility and that you find the dynamics of the situation unsuitable for you might do it. I’ve heard of asking them to put their claims in writing helps, too.

      If they keep arguing (as if something ceases to exist, despite its existANCE), you could always blatantly point out that this is what they’re trying, point out that you weren’t outsourcing your decisions to them, make the point that you weren’t putting anything forth for them to ratify, threaten to file complaints (I forget if it’s with the medical board or the AMA), or just walk out. If you say “If this continues, I’m going to walk out” & they continue, walk out right then.

  56. Alex says:

    Just read a bit about something: Apparently, there’s some sort of deal that the U.K. is looking to do that would basically outsource the NHS to America. Don’t really get it too much, but it might be something to look into. It DOES seem that the U.K. does things better than America, at least- that deal might be a problem.

    Does it mean that they’d start importing doctors? Doing medical things America’s way? That all the pay goes to American groups?

    • adawells says:

      This wouldn’t surprise me in the least, as the pap test was an American import which became the basis of our own screening programme. Paps were done on only about a quarter of married women in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and a British politician went to the US to inspect the cancer clinics in the early 60’s but came back saying that such a system wouldn’t work in Britain, because Britain had a socialist style healthcare system and the US model was privately market driven. However, in 1965 the US healthcare system donated $50,000 to Britain to set up a pap smear programme, the equivalent of about $400,000 in today’s money, but we didn’t get our call and recall system set up properly until 1988, as many people were divided over the reliability of the pap test and whether such a programme could be affordable in a post war bombed out Britain.
      Unfortunately, pap smears became a political and emotional issue for the public, and, as Archie Cochrane said, the medical evidence of inconclusive tests was ignored, and all women were railroaded into the programme. No information, no choice. Every woman was told she had to have it.
      Well woman clinics were also a US import that we didn’t have before either, but they became briefly fashionable during the 1990’s, then died out completely in the public sector when women believed they could be struck off their GP’s list if they went to the well woman clinics for paps and not at their local surgery. They now only survive in the private sector and where their clientele is usually rich, celebrities like Sharon Osbourne or porn stars wanting plastic surgery. There has been a lot in the news that the present government is trying to privatise as much as possible of the NHS and I have also read that the screening programmes would be an ideal part of our healthcare to make private. I have mixed feelings about this: on the one hand making pap screening private might mean women would have more choice whether to attend or not, but from what I have read here in these posts, the US private companies are doing a very good job of brainwashing women as our state run system here.

      • Alex says:

        Well, if it’s privatized, does that mean that they start pulling all the “sneaky salesman” type of shit or that it’s easier to cut it off & let it die?

        It seems that when things are integrated into government “terrain” they may not be of as good quality (“good enough for government work”), but typically have more stability. They get their funds from taxes & such, so they don’t get starved as easily.

      • adawells says:

        Yes I think it will come to that. I really think the NHS is a good thing, and it is great that when you are ill you don’t have to pay for anything, but I think it should have left screening programmes well alone. These types of programmes are more of a lottery than essential medical need, and IMO they should always have been an optional extra that women could pay for if they wanted to, and leave the rest of us to get on with our lives. It suits the private healthcare system better. In the NHS system they worked out a cost per head if 80% of women screened, but as the numbers have dropped to about 75% it now costs more per head to run, as they say the treatment gets more expensive for women presenting later with more advanced symptoms. I don’t believe this argument as I think this cancer is so rare, that the less women screen I don’t think it will follow that the cancer rate will shoot up. We can only wait and see.
        In the UK we have both private and state controlled healthcare. I think a lot of Americans might think that we only have the NHS and no choice, but that’s not true. You can pay to join a private company, and go to private hospitals, but the same surgeons will be working at both. The only difference is that the private hospital will be like a hotel, own room, privacy, and the state one will be like the unemployment office.
        If screening did go private I’d really dread schemes which stipulated women had to have paps or even if employers could demand it of their staff. Both ways seem to rob people of their free choices in the end.

      • Karen says:

        “in 1965 the US healthcare system donated $50,000 to Britain to set up a pap smear programme” This is really interesting, I wonder what the motive behind could have been?

      • adawells says:

        Yes I find it very curious that the US health service made such a donation, but on further reading through this very long-winded speech in the Hansard from April 1965, it is not clear that the money was used exclusively for cervical screening or for the prevention of cancer in general. Sorry, I may have jumped the gun a bit there. The speaker talks a lot about setting up a cervical screening programme in the speech, and this donation went to the Royal Cancer Hospital (now named the Marsden) so, on further reading, it is difficult to say for sure what it was spent on. It would be interesting to find out, and what the advantage to the US was for donating this money. The speech is very long so here’s just the paragraph.

        CANCER (RESEARCH AND PUBLIC EDUCATION)
        HC Deb 02 April 1965 vol 709 cc2069-922069
        2.30 p.m. Mr. Alan Beaney (Hemsworth)
        “Then there is the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Cancer Hospital, the largest single cancer research centre in the country. It has a total current expenditure—for 1963–64—of £657,640. It received grants from the Medical Research Council of £340,670 and from the British Empire Cancer Campaign it received £172,418. It is rather remarkable to note that among other grants there is one of over £50,000 from the United States of America”s public health service. The hospital has expressed its grateful thanks for such a donation, and I am sure it is grateful, but, nevertheless, I believe it to be a shameful national disgrace that our nation should be dependent upon the charity of America in this most important field of research work.”

  57. Si says:

    Another misinformed article about your visit to the gynaecologist from a feminist blog that should know better. First rule of feminism 101: Respect women’s right make decisions about her own body.

    http://everydayfeminism.com/2012/10/gyno-visit-101/?utm_content=buffer35830&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

  58. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Ada,
    I doubt the incidence of cc will shoot up either, anything rare is not really capable of shooting up. We know about 5% of women can be helped by pap testing so if we adopted HPV primary and self testing from age 30+ we could take 95% of women out of pap testing anyway, and if we then told those HPV- and no longer sexually active to go away and get on with their lives, well, the health system would have a lot more money. Also, factor in fewer women have colposcopies, biopsies, “treatments” and fewer left with damage to the cervix. The flow on continues…fewer c-sections, premature babies (very expensive healthcare) infertility, miscarriages, high risk pregnancies etc.
    I think one of the problems with screening is the influence of politicians and vested interests. One of our independent politicians, who often makes a lot of sense, came out with a clanger recently, he’d spoken to the Head of the AMA and accepted that more time and money should be spent on screening, and getting people to have the tests. I’ve sent him an email.

    I agree with you, we waste an absolute fortune on screening and the more I read, the more I’m convinced it does little more than harm and worry people. (the exception is blood pressure screening)
    I’ve decided not to have a colonoscopy, the evidence is far from persuasive, screening does not change all cause mortality. I know quite a few people who’ve decided against a colonoscopy, but do a FOBT every year. Of course, this test can send you down the funnel to the colonoscopy screening room anyway. False positives are also, a consideration, they cause such fear and anxiety, which can have a lasting impact. I spoke to someone recently who got a positive result on her FOBT, she was terrified and had a colonoscopy in the private sector, nothing was found so she’s left wondering whether they missed something. We know this test often misses cancers in the ascending colon. Now she has the nightmare of re-testing (FOBT) in 12 months time, and she’s worried sick about it. This is what I want to avoid, something looks like an easier option, you can tell yourself you’re doing “something” about bowel cancer….and you end up in a mess.
    Her GP has now suggested she have an endoscope to see if she has bleeding in the stomach, to ease her nerves…and so the fishing expedition continues.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Here’s a bit of news from the US Left Coast. Dr Abrams was finally arrested. HIs med license was suspended. He first appearance was a week ago from Monday. That morning, KUSI-51 San Diego ran an “important story about women’s health” enough so to run promos on and on. The story was about “available screening to prevent cancer.” It went on with stats & numbers, and a live interview with Dr Mona Hacker (I couldn’t invent this any better). You can imagine the BS spewed. This is liberal US tv. Not reporting the news, but creating it for a public it believes is too stupid to think.

      As for the hubbub about blood testing etc. I’m not afraid of blood tests. Yeah, last time I wrote this others replied about the inaccuracies etc. Yes, and the windows of normal ranges were set long ago and probably need to be reset too. However, a test such as the Chem-20 or metabolic panel is a quick check of one’s important organs & functions. Especially thyroid. If you were exposed to mono or epstein-barr virus you should have this test. You are likely to have hypo thyroid or develop an immune type attack on the thyroid. If you become tired, gain weight, can’t metabolize fats…might be the cause. Also, if it runs in the family. Once when hospitalized I had the CA-125. This is hated here. If it comes up positive, then make up your mind in advance how you’re gonna handle it. For me, it was negative and that was good. Eliminated the need for diagnostic procedures.

      Avoid the FOBT. This is notoriously inaccurate. Any anal scratch from a big turd or TP will automatically make this come up positive. As for colonoscopy? We did that. Simply b/c it runs in the family. Genetics plays a bigger role in our health than almost everything else. What’s discussed here about the pap is dead on fact. I pulled my file, and lo & behold a picture of my dysplasia was in the exact area where the spatula is dredged. Hmmm. My thought is that painful scratch gave me the problem. HPV wasn’t tested back then, so if I was fighting an infection then the pap simply dug it in deeper mandating treatment. My faceoff with current gyn is coming. I’ve postponed it long as possible.

      The person who said to know what is being ordered in blood tests, and demand a copy of results for your own records has the right idea. And the simplest cancer preventative? Aspirin. Yes, take one per day. For your heart too.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        C&M, My mother had surgery for bowel cancer a few years ago, she was about 77 when she was diagnosed, she’d fine now. (and 82) I don’t consider myself high risk because my mother was older when she was diagnosed, her specialist tried to sign us up for colonoscopies, but I wanted to do some research first.
        I’ve decided not to have one, I figure something has to get you in the end. Also, you’re only considered high risk if a first degree relative gets the disease before age 60. (I think it’s 60)
        Also, a diagnosis at close to 80 carries a fair bit of doubt, would the cancer have taken my mother’s life? Or, would something else have happened first? The cancer might have ticked along never threatening her life? (if a colonoscopy hadn’t picked it up)

        I’ve read and spoken to a few people who developed diverticulitis or IBS after a colonoscopy, perhaps, just a coincidence or was it caused by trauma during the scoping process?

        My mother was having a few screening tests, but had a serious issue after a screening colonoscopy last year, she won’t be having any more. Each time they take her off her meds for a GA, it takes months to sort her out again. Also, GA in older people can lead to confusion and memory loss, my mother was a very confused woman for many weeks following her last GA, and she’s never entirely made up that ground. My sister found several articles on the risks of GA in the elderly, and you got it, memory loss and confusion were mentioned.(sometimes it’s weeks, months or on-going, the latter usually/often with some improvement)
        Also, as you get older these screening tests are far more likely to find “something” and then it all starts….I wonder how many older people actually die as a result of screening tests.
        Aspirin, I was doing that, but then a gastro specialist at the evidence live conference told me it was a bad idea. I intend to do some more research into the area. His concern was bleeding and irritation in the stomach.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Elizabeth, I doubt you get many colds. You’re very intelligent, no virus is gonna get past you. You’re right on all accords. My husband’s uncle died from colon cancer. It ate him inside out. An awful way to go. Anyway, we both had colonoscopies around age 50. I have bowel issues due to my meds & thought I’d have problems. I was normal. He on the other hand, had a small polyp removed near the area where his uncle’s cancer began. He’s the household dietary health guru, so I chock it to genetics. I totally agree on no screening in the aged. Besides the GA, what’s the use? Time is ticking anyway. For us, another thing, if we feel it’s warranted.

        And aspirin, right again you are. We use enteric coated aspirin or buffered aspirin. Both will protect your stomach. There’s also the low dose but I’m not sure of the protection level. While doctors are careful about aspirin, they don’t care about NSAIDS. These attack the liver, kidneys, and stomach. Thank you for taking the time to reply.

        While I’m here, there’s an article on http://www.prophecynewswatch,com 11/18/14 regarding vaccines being used to impose sterility. This was done in Mexico & Nicaragua, now the WHO & UN is doing it in Kenya where the population is growing too fast. They are using tetanus vaccines, as was done in the other countries. These vaccines are being given only to 15-45yr old women, not men or boys, and in a series of 5 injections vs 1 for normal tetanus. The vaccines contain HCG which is human chorionic gonadotrophin which causes the female’s immune system to attack the fetus causing an miscarriage. The War On Women goes on.

      • Diane says:

        One more thing to add about colonoscopies that nobody ever talks about: they apparently can lead to spleen rupture. They claim this is a “rare” complication, but I wonder if there are cases that fly under the radar or aren’t correlated to the colonoscopy procedure.

        And that gets me to thinking…usually the spleen only ruptures if you have blunt trauma, like a very hard blow to the abdomen or a car accident; or if you have very advanced stages of some infections and diseases, like leukemia or mononucleosis. So what in God’s name are they doing to people in colonoscopies that is the equivalent of blunt trauma and is severe enough to rupture internal organs that aren’t even anywhere near the colon?! That is a real red flag.

      • Alice says:

        With colonoscopies and cervical cancer, there is an amazing fact: there is a much higher chance to get a serious injury or even die as a result of colonoscopy than there is a chance to get cervical cancer. And yet colonoscopies are recommended as a “safe and effective” means of screening, while cervical cancer is declared to be a “very common” disease and needs to fought on all fronts. Is there any consistency in the medical world (besides paternalism and greed)???

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Way back, when I was brainwashed into my cryosurgery, I was told my dysplasia was stage iV and that it would take at least four years to progress to cancer. However it was necessary to move quickly into cryo to “save my life.” I think I already said the disease drawing of my cervix showed exactly disease invasion of tissue where that spatula would trace, moving left to right in circular motion. Like a 180′ smear from 9-3 if looking at a clock. Interesting no disease on the bottom side. If the disease had attacked on its own, why would it choose the top portion of my cervix only and not move outwardly in equal directions?

        RE injuries during colonoscopies. These “tubes” are meant to turn in one direction following the reverse curves in one’s colon. Movements must be slow and intelligently thought through. We both were told at one point to turn our bodies making it easier to maneuver the scope. Given what we know about colposcopies, it’s easy to imagine damages inflicted by an ignorant impatient doctor.

        If I had lubular carcinoma or “pre-cancer” in my breasts, I’d be cautious whether deciding to do nothing or take action. Genetics, repeated blood tests, and how my relatives did would play into my decision. Cancerous cells secrete hormones to hijack existing capillaries & further build nutritious & oxygen carrying blood vessels. This is how they spread, with the mother tumor secreting hormones preventing the metastatic tumors from growing, until the mother is killed off or removed. My mother in law had breast cancer. She also had old school HRT too. Her tumor contained two types of cancer, with the center of it being aggressive. She’s 7yrs out. I pray we never have to confront these issues…

      • Alice says:

        Cat&Mouse, I always thought that there is some alarming yet hidden fact about Pap smears: if a woman has a superficial HPV infection on her cervix (those are very common and nearly always clear on their own if doctors don’t interfere) and gets a Pap smear, the damage caused by the smear to her cervix tissue lets the virus to get deeper into the tussue and increases its chances of developing into abnormalities rather than clearing. This is precisely why the countries who do not pap young women have the lowest rates of cervical cancer, because young women are most likely to have an HPV infection at some stage. And that’s why women who naively trust the screening programme, have 77% chance of being diagnosed with some kind of cervical abnormalities during their lives.

        Regarding colonoscopies, in addition to physical damage like bleeding wounds, diverticulosis and ruptures caused by the doctor, and biolological damage to intestinal flora caused by the preparations, there is a high risk or serious infections like hepatitis and HIV because colonoscopes are impossible to sterilise 100%.

    • adawells says:

      About this “increase in cervical cancer” if women choose not to screen – I’ve been studying the UK national statistics charts and all go on about the increase in cancers diagnosed as a result of the “Jade Goody effect”. (God, I hate that phrase). There is a spike in cases diagnosed around 2009 when she died and more women went for screening tests, but then it goes down again. So where have all the increased cases of cancer gone since 2009? It’s not like cc is the bubonic plague and if one person gets it, there is a sudden load of cases. So yes, after all the fuss has died down, the cases of cc go back to normal reporting and have been flatlining ever since. Surely the spike in incidence was a rise in finding cases of CIN3 which were treated as cancer? These would have reverted to normal in non-attenders had Jade Goody never had the disease. I eagerly await further statistics for the most recent years, but I feel they will show that less screening attendance doesn’t affect the death rate of cancer at all, and this is proof that the more people attend screening the more cases of “pseudo-cancers” they find.

      Also agree on your other point. I’ve seen so many women post that smear tests are a painless, doddle and they don’t know what all the fuss is about and see no harm in going. Clearly they have not been informed about the other procedures which await them, should they get an abnormal result, and it is obvious that they have not made an informed choice to attend.

      We also await our letters for the new NHS Health Check for the over 40’s, but nothing has appeared so far. I read a report that this is so badly attended by people that at best only 25% bothered to attend pilot trials, and these were people, who really went because they wanted the endorsement about how fit and healthy they were. I’m sure some financial incentives to the health police, oh sorry, I meant GP’s, will sort that out…

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Cat & Mouse, that’s very interesting about your dysplasia. If that’s the case, it would make the pap test an even better business model.
        If we had the option of being awake during the colonoscopy, we could let the doctor know if they were hurting us, pain, stop!
        I’ve never heard of an Australian having a colonoscopy while they’re awake, it’s always under a GA. My mother had a few issues after her last colonoscopy, more to do with the GA than the procedure (although she does have diverticulitis that suddenly appeared after her 3rd colonoscopy – call me suspicious) Her surgeon would like her to have one last check, but said he doesn’t do colonoscopies without a GA, some patients would find the procedure disturbing or painful, also, he can work better with a relaxed patient. (does he mean faster?)
        I wonder whether it’s easier to just knock us out, then they can do as they please, they don’t have to worry about our bodily privacy, our concerns etc.
        My cousin is a midwife and she said it often takes longer doing a c-section these days with a conscious patient, (most women have an epidural) previously women were knocked out and they could work without worrying about the patient’s privacy or consent, you could invite in medical students etc. Now there is also, usually a husband/partner in the room as well, although they’re kept out until the woman has been prepped, even though others may be allowed to wander in during that process. I suppose they don’t want a partner challenging them or supporting the woman in a way that makes things more difficult for them.

  59. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Oh, Diane, the stuff of nightmares.
    One thing is for sure, if people choose to have a colonoscopy, go to someone with the right qualifications, has some experience, who does them all the time, someone with a decent reputation; a ruptured bowel (or spleen) is life-threatening.
    If the doctor meets resistance and can’t work through it without getting rough, s/he should abandon the procedure, some people have scar disease as a result of surgery, infections etc. I’ve heard some doctors apply pressure to or massage the abdomen to help move the scope.
    At the local private hospital there is a female gastroenterologist (aged about 40) with a solid reputation, that’s all she does 3 days a week, colonoscopies and endoscopies.

  60. Alex says:

    Just read two things that I have mixed feelings about: One was about woman that are trying to become police officers (or, I think, any job in law enforcement) being forced to have virginity tests. The other was about the same sorts of things being done to males in Lebanon over suspicion of homosexuality. Both of these were in Russia Today (on the site) & the second one you can find if you Google “Test Of Shame.” The first one I guess you’d just type the general description in.

    Here’s where my mixed feelings come into play: With the first one, as much as I tend to disagree with that practice & other things of that nature, I figure these cops are maybe pulling the same thing or putting someone in a situation where this would happen to them. I don’t imagine the security & hygiene measures differ very much over there than they do over here (and this is probably, like here, prior to any ascertaining of guilt- much less proportionate guilt). So I’m wondering if this is something that they have coming because it’s what they do, but also if maybe they’ll be more likely to throw these kinds of things at people (because of this situation)? Or maybe not (again, because of this situation)?

    On the second one, I liked how they outright said that this is rape. A lot of times people angle around that, but it is an unconventional variation of raping someone. We’ve, of course, discussed that point at length & I hope my feelings on the matter are obvious. I’m just wondering if them pulling this kind of thing on women has just expanded in kind of a karmic backback sort of way. Of course it would expand, why wouldn’t it? This is the kind of shit they pull, why wouldn’t they add to it? If nothing else, they might be gay themselves & have figured out a way to be aggressive about it.

    One thing was for shit-sure: When it started getting aimed at dudes, a spade was called a spade. As an interesting side-note, it seems the doctors have been ordered not to do this & will get charges if they do. Wouldn’t it be great if they did the same things here with the stuff that gets imposed on people? (and in the other countries, too- it just seems most of the people on here are from the U.S.)

    Other things on general medical subjects (all of which spooked the shit out of me): Apparently, they’re trying to read people’s thoughts (reading the “innver voice” like when you read quitely), are trying 3-D printed organs & there’s some type of algae with a virus in it (or that can carry a virus) that makes people mentally slower. Don’t know how many of these things are true or how plausible they are as situations, but I just thought I’d mention them.

  61. Moo says:

    FOBT is not a good test. It can give false positive from eating certain foods such as red meat, certain fruits and vegetables and other conditions such as hemhroids, nose bleeds, gum bleeding, stomach bleeding from aspirin. It can give false negatives from vitamin C.

    The FIT test only gives a positive for human hemoglobin. It is more accurate then than FOBT but still can give false positives.

  62. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Post from the Australian Doctor site:

    “Clearly all clients should be properly informed if risks and benefits, so that they can give informed consent. Whilst mass studies may suggest there’s no benefit to screening, there can be benefits to individuals. At 25 I was diagnosed with early cancer of the cervix as part of a regular checkup, but treatment had to wait until my daughter was born, as I would not terminate her life. Breastfed and lactose intolerant, delays continued until I could find a milk she could tolerate. By then (1 year later) the cancer had spread requiring more extensive surgery than was originally expected. After the surgery, pathology results dictated further surgery within a few weeks so at 26 I had a hysterectomy. I had not had been aware of a problem before the pap test. I was very glad I had that test as the cancer might otherwise have been inoperable. 35 years cancer free is a pretty good outcome from my perspective. I’m so glad I had the test and that I had my children young. The issue that really matters here is about informed consent. Our bodies, so our decisions, with the job of the doctor to advise and inform about the science, not to push their personal view”

    Personal accounts often scare women into non-evidence based screening. I’ll act on the evidence, not fear or anything else.
    I also, wonder how many of these women were over-treated, they were told they had carcinoma in situ (CIN 3) and put 2 and 2 together and got 8. I know some women decades ago had hysterectomies for “persistent abnormal cells” etc. (It probably still happens in the States with women on the pap/biopsy/treatment merry-go-round for decades)

    Do you recall the older woman who posted on the BlogCritics site about her early hysterectomy for “cervical cancer”, she worked out decades later it was probably unnecessary, she had never been sexually active when she was forced into a pap test, not even a kiss. It was quite tragic, the experience was so traumatic she avoided any sort of intimacy and chose to remain single and celibate. I think she was in her 60s or early 70s but was relieved to have finally worked out the mystery surrounding her diagnosis.

    Even if a woman is “saved” by an early pap test, women still need to know about the evidence and have a choice, we know early screening causes a lot of harm and usually misses these rare cases anyway. Note the Finns have never tested women under the age of 30. (I think that’s the case with the Dutch as well) These countries don’t appear to have more cc in young women.
    We also, know that young women with a real issue are likely to get a false negative pap test, which may falsely reassure and lead to a delay in diagnosis.

    • Elizabeth, I also wonder how many women have been over treated. This article might already have been linked on here, but if so it’s such a good one I’m linking it again: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2013-08-18/what-if-what-you-survived-wasn-t-cancer-

      from the article:
      “There are plenty of scientific unknowns. Take the commonly diagnosed breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ, which accounts for about a third of new U.S. diagnoses, 60,000 a year. In these cases, the cells lining the walls of milk ducts look like cancer, but they haven’t invaded the surrounding breast tissue. DCIS was a rare diagnosis before the introduction of mammograms, which are highly sensitive to milk-duct calcifications, and the JAMA article labels it a “premalignant condition” that shouldn’t even be called cancer. Arguably, a lot of women who think of themselves as “breast cancer survivors” have survived treatment, not cancer.”

      It looks as if they are picking up milk duct calcification in mammograms and labeling it as cancer. Other types of ‘cancers’ as well are actually harmless and are not going to kill you. The screening process is not an exact science – it’s subjective and full of human error. But the biopsies and so called treatments can be harmful.

      Recently there has been a push to screen for lung cancer, but screening and lung biopsies can be very damaging:

      http://consumer.healthday.com/health-technology-information-18/cat-scan-news-88/for-many-risks-of-lung-biopsy-may-outweigh-benefits-study-655360.html?related=true&utm_expid=38353063-2.r5ETjFV6SrG5_xobVbsyDw.1&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.ca%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3D%26esrc%3Ds%26source%3Dweb%26cd%3D3%26ved%3D0CDEQFjAC%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fconsumer.healthday.com%252Fhealth-technology-information-18%252Fcat-scan-news-88%252Ffor-many-risks-of-lung-biopsy-may-outweigh-benefits-study-655360.html%26ei%3DBj1wVPzDFYP0oASku4DQCw%26usg%3DAFQjCNEHbd9a42CbSCK58euEpf7lAWxrow%26bvm%3Dbv.80185997%2Cd.cGU

      And it was good to see this article titled Overstating the Evidence for Lung Cancer Screening: http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=413567 and wouldn’t it be wonderful to see the same for cervical cancer screening.

      This was an interesting article about lack of disclosure related to biopsy risks: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/08/us-cancer-trials-idUSBRE8A714Z20121108

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Thanks Sue, I’ll take a look at those links.
        There’s been some talk about changing the name of some of these things, removing the word “carcinoma” from carcinoma in situ, which is CIN 3, a “precancerous lesion”, not actual cervical cancer.
        You can understand the confusion, why some women walk away with the label, “cancer survivor”.
        Lobular carcinoma (LC) is also, confusing, and is not cancer, some breast cancer survivors had LC.
        The term pre-cancer is confusing as well, some argue there is no such thing as pre-cancer, you either have cancer or not. CIN 3 can progress to cc, but in the majority of cases does not become invasive cc. Pre-cancerous bowels polyps will progress to cancer in about 3% of cases, but many believe a polyp removed is a life saved from bowel cancer.
        When we didn’t search for these things, we were blissfully unaware, we’d probably all be “pre-cancerous” if they looked hard enough.

      • I remember the talk of changing the names to something other than ‘cancer’ when it’s only CIN3, LC, and other acronyms that sound scary and confusing. So far nothing has changed. After all, why would they want to change something that encourages followups, that would lose them business and take some of the fear and confusion away. When people are confused and afraid they are more likely to listen to their doctor’s advice, and less likely to do their own research and make their own choices. People are also more likely to respect their doctor’s knowledge when they themselves cannot make sense of what they are being told. Hence many good reasons to label ‘conditions’ with confusing, scientific sounding names. I have heard the different levels of CIN described as ‘inflammation’, ‘moderate inflammation’ and ‘severe inflammation’ respectively, which could all be occurring for various reasons – perfumed bath wash, tampons, sex, mild infection, etc. To slot all these conditions under the broader umbrella of ‘cancer’ is just wrong.
        I agree that we’d probably all be ‘pre-cancerous’ if they looked hard enough. Their job is to find things, and they have come up with many inventive ways to do just that.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        If there’s one bite of good advice I can offer it’s this. We’ve talked about it re gyn offices & related procedures. Sterility. Reusing equipment. Although a few years ago, it was widely publicized in Southern California US that a hospital or surgery center was not properly sterilizing equipment used in colonoscopies. People were exposed to hepatitis and cancer. While some of the equipment is disposable, some must be scrubbed in chemical sterilizer. Some pathogens & especially that brain-wasting disease are very hard to kill, even with autoclaving. Usually the employee assigned to that task is lower paid, and lesser educated.

        This also happens with bone banks that supply used cadaver bone for medical procedures. My husband insisted that my own bone be used in my spinal fusion, against the doctor’s wishes. Few months later the bone bank was closed due to importing contaminated bone. Although they “guarantee” the used bone is sterilized, chemically soaked & radiation treated, it still can transmit cancer & other problems. If it’s bad, contaminated, your body cannot integrate healthy tissue onto it. It terrifies me. In NY about five yrs ago this happened again. Greedy mortuary directors harvested like horrible tissue, lying in their paperwork. Processing centers never bothered to independently certify “product” safety, and it happened again. Lives ruined over a quick buck.

      • adawells says:

        Thank you so much for linking the Bloomberg article. Myself, and I’m sure many other women new to this website haven’t seen it before. It was a great read. I’ve also just started reading the Violet to Blue blog too. There is so much to read on this site, it is a real treasure trove.

        Because I’d sucessfully opted out of screening in 2003, I hadn’t engaged with any of these issues before. I’m very grateful for all the hard work that has been going on over the years to free women from this medical dictatorship.

    • Kleigh US says:

      I remember a male school friend told me years ago that his older sister who was about 20 had an abnormal pap smear and that her gyn told her she had cc and needed to go ahead and get pregnant bc she might have to have a histerectomy. All i have to say is wow. there are doctors that are telling young girls and teens to go out and get pregnant bc they have a abnormal pap and scare them about there fertility. its awfull hear. How can doctors legaly tell woman they have CC bc of an abnormal pap? And how can these woman be so misinformed about what a pap screens for? It just blows my mind.

  63. Alex says:

    There was alos some article I was reading about a pregnant woman in Ferguson (that town in Missouri where there’s all kinds of protests) that apparently got raped by a cop that had be sexually harrassing her for a while before that. They kept calling it sex & intercourse, though.

    The whole story of what transpired goes as a threatening, taunting situation of sexual abuse- yet they keep calling it sex & intercourse.

  64. IMustBeSurrounded says:

    Hello Everyone!

    Last weekend I posted about preparing for a doctors visit where I was concerned that they may be withholding medication from me until I had the “Well Woman’s Exam.” First, I wanted to thank you ALL for responding to my questions and concerns – I was so honored that you took the time.

    I also wanted to let you know about the results of the appointment. Some of what I am going to say is what you all have said before, but I am going to repeat it – because you are right on these points, and it’s worth repeating.

    – I created a short sheet of bullet points to have on hand in case I was questioned about my decision to not have screening. Though, you are right a simple “no” should be good enough. For the most part it was. My Nurse Practitioner did ask why I didn’t want to have paps or breast exams – I cited their inaccuracy’s as one of the reasons (and some other reasons too that I fail to remember!) She said I would not need these exams to get my migraine and sleep meds filled, but simply needed to come into the office at least once a year for “something.” So – as Kleigh said “It’s a try on” to try to get you to come in for a Yearly Physical or Well Woman Exam to get your meds. I think if I hadn’t started questioning this process and researching as I have these past two years, I would have agreed to the exam – not knowing any better.

    – I actually encountered very little resistance when I told the NP I did not want the Well Woman Exam. It was almost as if she knew that it was BS anyway (but maybe she didn’t) This goes to show – as many of you have said – when you stand firm, and question certain processes, they seem to back down very easily. Just the same, it’s important to find a doctor, nurse practitioner or any other medical professional that listens to you and is on the same page.

    – Which reminds me. When I was a teenager in the 90’s, I briefly went to an NP in another town. I thought I needed a pap to refill my pills with her – but she looked at me and said “paps are a wonderful way for gynecologists to line their pockets.” As the conversation went – she had no intention of giving me one. If I remember correctly, I got my refills and went on my way.

    – Back to the Well Woman Exam. So my NP goes “Well, it’s not just the breast exams and paps. We also talk about life and how work is going and about your home life.” I am sorry. SERIOUSLY?! This sounds very noble, but my doctor or NP (neither of whom I know very well at ALL) expect me to have a discussion about work or my home life? These are conversations I reserve for only those very close to me – and even then, I am pretty selective with what I present about either topic. I am not interested in having details of my home or work life recorded into somebody’s digital records of me. Nor do I believe that these people who are complete strangers – and whom are NOT experts in medical health – could be of assistance. This is not to say that others have not been helped by answering these questions. But in my case, I have no interest in sharing the details of my personal or work life with health professionals unless it pertains to an issue I am having.

    – I actually was so worked up over having to fight for my medications, that I was getting angry and nervous waiting for the appointment. This caused my heart rate to shoot up when they checked it with that pulse-ox thing. If this happens to you in any setting and they start freaking out that something is wrong with you – relax for about 10 minutes (if you can) and have them test it again. In my case, nobody freaked out…and I let them think their pulse ox meter was acting funny.

    Overall, it was a good appointment. I got clarification on how to get my prescriptions refilled. I received the new prescription I knew I needed (without any hassle or testing) and I have an order in hand for a blood test. I know and approve what the tests are for. I told my NP at the end that I was pleased to be working with her.

    This goes to show everything many of you have said. It proves many points. Again, I thank you ALL so much for replying to my post. I took notes from your posts and it was very helpful.

    I keep my eye on this site several times a day – and I hope those of you that are celebrating holidays over the next several weeks have a wonderful time.

    Many thanks and Take Care!

    IMBS

    PS – wouldn’t it be nice if articles on the internet and doctors stopped referring to visiting the gynecologist as a “natural part of being a woman?” GAH!

    • IMustBeSurrounded says:

      OH! And ANOTHER THING. My NP said she had had a pap smear recently (I guess she doesn’t view all of this as BS – but that’s up to her) she said that the doctor that did her pap said that HPV Testing was going to replace Paps because it’s more accurate. This brought two points to mind – that she just made an admission that paps are inaccurate (ok, fine – many medical professionals do realize this test is kind of a mess) But ALSO – with HPV testing…ok, so you find out you are HPV positive…then what? The question is – what do you DO with those results? This has been discussed before on this board, I know and I think it’s an interesting point. So you are HPV+…do you then consent to some possibly unnecessary follow up procedure or test that is most likely damaging? It sounds like we are about to get off of one merry go round and jump on to another.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        IMBS,
        Women can self-test for HPV, there’s no need for a speculum exam, but most won’t be offered HPV self-testing, they’ll have to demand it or source it online.
        Women here have already been told the new HPV test is just like the pap test, so they don’t plan to promote HPV self-testing, in fact, it will only be offered if a woman refuses the invasive HPV test for 6 years. Of course, you can order the HPV self-testing device on line and our GPs can supply it, but women will have to stand firm, this option is being kept quiet and is clearly only on offer to informed women.
        About 5% of women aged 30 to 60 will be HPV+, they should be offered a 5 yearly pap test. (until they clear the virus)
        It should be as simple as that…but some countries will use this test inappropriately and excessively to continue to generate business for vested interests. (as they’ve done with pap testing)

        I think the changes to our program will only get through if they keep a little something there for vested interests. I assume over-using the HPV primary test (and using it inappropriately) and shooting HPV+ women off for immediate colposcopy and biopsy were the sweeteners used to get vested interests to quietly accept the changes.
        With most women in the dark, the powers-that-be know vested interests could easily spook women and cause trouble.
        Vested interests have enjoyed huge profits with our excessive pap testing program for decades, from over-screening and high excess biopsy and over-treatment rates, they wouldn’t be happy to take their claws out of the healthy cervix market.

        Our program is likely to be HPV primary testing, the invasive version of the test, 5 yearly from 25 to an absurd 74. (so about 10 or 11 tests when 5 is enough, many women (if they had access to the evidence) might choose to test for HPV once or twice, those HPV- and no longer sexually active or confidently monogamous)
        We know 40% of those aged under 30 WILL be HPV+, almost all are transient and harmless infections that will clear naturally in a year or so, but as usual, we’ll continue to worry and harm our young women. So we’ve included women from age 25 in the program.
        It means roughly 45% of women will be HPV+ and probably sent off for immediate colposcopy/biopsy, that’s 40% of those aged under 30 and 5% aged 30+

        So HPV primary testing, following the evidence, means only about 5% will test HPV+ and these women should just be offered a 5 yearly pap test. (until they clear the virus)
        So apparent improvements in the program can be compromised by excess and ignoring the evidence. If you don’t test women under age 30, the 45% HPV+ comes down to about 5%…not enough $$$ in that for vested interests so we’ll toss in those aged 25 to 29 to boost the numbers coming their way.
        I view it as a turf war on the healthy cervix, vested interests vying for their share of the action.

      • adawells says:

        At least in Australia they have been open about when they are going to bring in HPV primary testing. In the UK I have found it very difficult to find a firm date for HPV testing being brought in, except that it will be by about 2017. That’s the only bit of info I have been able to find on this topic. I think they are still undecided what kind of HPV test it will be. They clearly don’t want women to hold off getting paps in the meantime. This article appeared recently in the Independent newspaper:

        http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/new-urine-test-could-replace-invasive-smear-tests-9736609.html

        If they do bring this urine test in, will it only be available to women who have made an appointment to see the quack, or how will it be issued?

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      IMBS, pleased it went well, amazing how things change when women have access to real information, that’s why they’ve kept the evidence well away from women. The screening “stories” fall away when a woman is informed.
      The reasons put forward to keep women coming through the door smack of desperation, as if any of us need to see a doctor ever year for a chat about our lives. It’s just ridiculous.

  65. Alex says:

    I’ve got a question for all of you: Do you notice an increase in compositional thinking (that a situation is what it consists of) or is less “calling a spade a spade” & instead making up bullshit?

    I ask because of that article about Ferguson & how there was an article about this very thing (“When you call a rape anything other than rape, you are just making excuses for rapists” in the Guardian). I just wonder if maybe it’s more of an American thing (which I’m getting closer & closer to believing- not as a complete & total thing, but it seems to be frequently endorsed here).

    I think it was the same article that mentioned that judge that basically wouldn’t let that woman say anything that denoted an attack on her- which was EXACTLY what the trial was about! How the fuck is she supposed to get her charges across without getting them across? She can’t- and then she can get locked-up for false accusations & filing a false police report & shit like that.

    And people wonder why I’m not a big fan of taking things to court!

  66. Kleigh says:

    That whole talk about home life sounds like she wanted to screen for domestic violance. Theres been a push latly for all doctors to do this to woman at every consult. I think its a bit intrusive and I dont want them prying in my life. I think if a woman wants to tell them and . L p help thin that should be up to them. I dnt aogree with it . t

    • Alex says:

      What talk about home life? Well, about the subject- that’s the way they are, isn’t it? They really have a mindset that has a very “managerial” aspect to it. There’s all kinds of excuses, but there’s still the concept of them running other people’s lives & making their own decisions to do this or that.

      There’s really no reason for them to presume that this IS what’s going on just because it COULD be going on. Seeing as THEY are the ones being abusive in plenty of instances, I’d be wondering if this is trying to generate a face-image to build credibility. Not for nothing, but there’s been a lot more dictatorial conduct across the board & it doesn’t strike me as implausible for them to try to force things on people- penetrative stuff included.

  67. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Vested interests and the program are clearly frantic they’re losing control of the herd, more misinformation and scare-mongering.

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/northern-beaches/regular-pap-smear-testing-vital-for-detecting-cervical-cancer-in-australian-women/story-fngr8hax-1227103767710?nk=f951f6f61d89675ff74c1a277484ab9b

    Another woman who had treatment for “cervical cancer” in her doctor’s rooms, yeah, sure…interesting they assume women are stupid enough to believe this “story”.

  68. Karen says:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2850090/Young-mother-s-Christmas-smear-test-reveals-cancer-s-spending-final-months-campaigning-lower-screening-age.html Healthy, symptomless 26 yrs old is told she has terminal cervical cancer after her first smear test. I would have thought metastasized terminal cancer bound to kill someone in a year definitely has symptoms. Does not add up to me, not at all.

    • Mint says:

      I agree with you Karen, this story doesn’t add up.

    • adawells says:

      Dead right this doesn’t add up. This “healthy, symptomless” 26 year old is later described in the article as:

      “She was working as a waitress, but was forced to give up work when she fell ill”.
      If she was so ill, why didn’t she get treatment then? She must have had her first child at 18 and the other at 22, so she must have been in a lot of contact with medical care then. Did she not raise any symptoms then? Her case has absolutely nothing to do with the cervical screening programme.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        These “stories” are so common it says a lot about the information they give women about this cancer and testing, if someone who has some “abnormal” cells removed in the doctor’s rooms is left thinking they had or would have developed cc, well, that’s just cruel.
        This sort of “misunderstanding” would serve to scare others into testing and “treatments” though and you notice, no one ever corrects these women or challenges their “stories”…I guess they have a bit of a laugh at her expense. Yet when a man talked about his “treatment” for prostate cancer, he was instantly challenged/corrected by a urologist.
        It says to me that most in medicine think it’s fine to mislead women in this way, the old double standard is alive and well.
        No informed consent, often no consent at all, no real information…and no common decency.

  69. Karen says:

    btw sorry for hate porn ie the Daily Fail…

  70. Alex says:

    Something I’ve being wondering: Do you think that the fawning (for lack of a better word) that people do over doctors makes their pushy-ness worse? I get that it could feed their ego, sure- but what about it fanning a fire? Like when someone doesn’t do anything back when someone tries the wrestling & fighting method of imposed penetration (they seem make the suggestion to not fight back to women in college). Doesn’t it just reinforce the idea that they are the “swayer” of the situation?

    I’m remembering that movie Law Abiding Citizen where the guy that broke into the house kept saying “You can’t fight fate”- that’s what I’m thinking about. It’s like affirming their bullshit if you don’t go against them.

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