Discussion Forum

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.
Gallery | This entry was posted in pap test and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

496 Responses to Discussion Forum

  1. Ro, I could find no evidence to support the rumor that screenings will be mandatory under Obamacare. Insurance companies are required to cover screening based on evidence provided by the U.S. task force. The task force studies research evidence and then provides guidelines on what to screen for and how often to screen. For example, based on the best research evidence, insurance companies are required to provide coverage for pap smears every 3 years. Insurance companies will no longer pay for annual pap smears because research has shown annual pap smears to cause more harm than good.

    Physicians typically ignore recommendations and evidence, and continue to perform pap smears too frequently. They do have a business to run after all. Gilbert Welch provides evidence of the harms that result from over screening, over diagnosis (diagnosing something that is harmless as ‘cancer’), and over treatment (treating/removing/radiating healthy people). Obamacare might help to put an end to unnecessary pap smears as well as other screening that is done inappropriately.

    If I’m remembering correctly, wasn’t it a member of the Republicans who mandated (by law) that pregnant women seeking abortion had to undergo vaginal ultrasound?

    • Alex says:

      Thank YOU for setting it up!

    • Ro says:

      I hope you’re right and the rumors aren’t true! I certainly hope that Obamacare provides a positive change.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Physicians also get sued for not at least recommending treatment. What I observe is the pendulum swinging toward us, as we gain power over others deciding what is best for our bodies.

      As for abortions. The ultrasounds are a bid to get women to reconsider having one performed. It may also diagnose a problem that would seriously complicate the procedure. What we’re never told about abortions is the hacking and killing that women suffer. Femanazis demand abortion on demand regardless of reason or trimester. Nobody has ever discussed the emotional consequences for which women never receive counseling. This I know from friends who’ve had them. We aren’t told that the hormone shock, if repeated, can increase breast cancer. This hormone shock is different than if our bodies miscarry. Our cervix’ also get damaged and may not be able to hold to term a future pregnancy we actually want. Again, I know this thanks to friends. More women get hacked, molested, infected, sterilized, and die each year due to abortions. The law does nothing to prosecute due to rage of being “anti-abortion,” Pure insanity… This doesn’t address that the infant feels pain during the procedure. Its reactions cannot be good for our uterus’ either.

      If you’re gonna have one, get it done early. What I say this time may not be popular, but it is truthful.

    • Alice (Australia) says:

      Cat&Mouse, I believe that every person should be free to decide for their own body. In the modern world, bodily integrity and autonomy is the last bit of freedom we have left. Everything else is controlled, prescribed, made dependent of others, accounted for and put in some database.

      I strongly believe that abortion should be the woman’s decision. The anti-abortion believers like to push the line about emotional consequences and counseling. Such consequences do exist, and women should be notified of them and offered the counseling if they like, but ultimately it should be the women’s decision alone. Safe abortion services should be available on woman’s demand. It’s her body and she should be able to choose as she likes. For as long as the fetus can’t exist outside of the woman’s body, it’s not a separate person. And, therefore, all the religion and politics should be removed from this private matter.

      With all the negative consequences of abortions so colourfully presented by anti-choice followers, the harm is much lesser than being forced to give birth to and unwanted child. You are saying that you knew women who suffered as a result of abortion. I bet everyone knows someone like that. But there are also women who commit suicide when forced to continue the pregnancy. Or those who die while being forced to seek the last resort in illegal abortions. If only they had a choice…

      Once again, I do believe that every private matter should be decided by the individual alone, and the medical system should be assisting with the choice made.

      In Australia, for example, abortions are still in the criminal code. Which is unbelievable for a developed country. Personally, I am shocked by that.

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      Well said Alice. I don’t want to get into an abortion discussion but I see a lot of the anti-abortion arguments as being the same emotional hyperbole that is used to convince women to screen. Women deserve to have bodily autonomy and to hear all of the facts before making a decision. If given all of the facts and allowed to make an informed decision a woman may choose to keep the baby, adoption, or she may choose an abortion. When allowed to make an informed choice and offered support with whatever decision she makes, such as counselling, a lot of the emotional consequences can be mitigated. Abortion is an emotional issue hot-button issue but I see the whole point of this blog as fighting for women to have bodily autonomy and to be given full unbiased information to make informed health care decisions. Someone posted on this blog that studies have found that women in the medical setting are not viewed as equal partners in their healthcare. That has definitely been my experience both in the past and now with doctors. It’s very frustrating. We have the right to make informed decisions about our body.

    • Alice says:

      ADM, you are so right! Pro-screen is indeed using the same approach: hide the true facts, deprive women of choice, and don’t let them decide what is going to be done or not done to their own bodies.

      Freedom, above all, consists of bodily autonomy, access to the truth, and making decisions for oneself alone.

      Too often, medical establishment takes some or all of the above from women. That’s why we are here, on this website.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a great idea. Thanks for setting this up.

  3. Alex and Anonymous it was my pleasure, it was a fun and easy post to put together and I agree it was a great idea.

    Ro, I hope I’m right too! I live in Canada but I can tell you I would leave the country if pap smears became mandatory. I have not had a pap for quite some time and I have no intention of having one in the future, but I can remember very well how guilty I felt at first by opting out. The propaganda had done its job well; I was indoctrinated into believing I was being irresponsible and selfish by not having paps. It took some time but now I just feel a deep sense of relief. My cervix and uterus are healthy and intact, and I believe it is because I have never been the victim of a false positive or any of the ‘treatments’ that follow. It is a tragedy that women have been kept misinformed, have had consent withheld, and the overwhelming and persistent onslaught of propaganda has kept so many in constant fear of this rare cancer.

  4. Mary says:

    This article makes me angry that we have some male gynaecologist saying a good time to have a pap smear is when you are pregnant. I wonder why other countries don’t follow the UK’s lead and recommend not performing them on pregnant women because of the high chance of false positives during pregnancy.
    At least this midwife has spoken out about psychological harms of internal exams. It seems to the first time I have actually read this in some kind of mainstream publication.
    http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/birth/the-ins-and-outs-of-internal-examinations-20130821-2satp.html

    • Chrissy (UK) says:

      Mary, he also describes an internal examinaton as ‘quick and easy’. Due to the fact that he is male and has NEVER been on the receiving end of one, how the hell would he know?

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no reason to internally examine a woman from the beginning of a pregnancy until the birth of the baby. Women cannot benefit from them. They are used as a tool for HCPs. If you are not dilating according to their “policies”, you risk a cascade of intervention. Any midwife or doctor worth her or his salt will now how the labour is progressing from observing the mother.

      As for the comment on the link from the MALE gynaecologist, that “paps cannot cause a miscarriage “, I would like to see the evidence to support this. Doctors like this man appear so desperate to control pregnant women by insisting on unnecessary paps and internal exams to give the impression of “care”.

      Most women will not need a doctor throughout their entire pregnancy. They are not ill, but it doesn’t stop gynaecologists like the one in the link undermining a women’s confidence and her ability to give birth. Doctors like him like to swoop in at the last minute to “save” her by performing an unnecessary episiotomy or a c-section. Sadly it happens everyday.

      • Anecdotal evidence would agree with you Anonymous. Paps can and do cause miscarriage/premature birth: http://www.steadyhealth.com/Miscarriage_after_a_pap_smear_t90852.html?page=3

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Here’s how that goes. You see the md on your 1st preg check. The whole pelvic is your introduction/indoctrination that you need the md to get through the pregnancy. I hate epesiotomies. If a woman is messaged, allowed hot packs, patience to stretch, they aren’t necessary. As for C-section? I’d rather have one than be stretched out to where I’ll never recover. Note to all: Ask to see the different speculums. The small is for virgins or pediatrics, medium for sexually active women, and huge for those given birth. Most penis’ aren’t so large.

        Never consent to vaginal hysterectomies. Guess how stretched out you are for that. Check youtube. Wonder why they’re called hysterectomies? The hysteria is being removed. Thanks male doctors. Men do get their own PMS.

    • Jola says:

      I’ve never been able to accept and understand the absurdity of pap smears from pregnant women – then the changes can be very huge as hormones work in a different way during pregnancy. As far as I know, such medical stupidity isn’t practised in Europe. There is also one thing I’d like to say. The so called results of the pap crap has its classes, in Poland called groups. Class one equals group one and class two is an equivalent of group two. I’ve read somewhere on the net that in the UK or the USA in the case of class (group) two, ”medical prcedures” are started. In Poland in the case of group (class) two nothing is done – no intervention into the female body as such changes are considered normal and nothing to worry about.
      Do you know if it’s true with class (group) two in the US and the UK? If it’s true it’s a gross mistake.

  5. Cat&Mouse says:

    Sometimes cancers and other diseases, such as herpes that can threaten the baby’s life are detected and disaster averted. However, I agree here. The last thing I feel I need is being mechanically felt up, and having my cervix damaged when I need it to carry and protect the life growing inside me. Who says the doctor won’t deliberately damage the mucus plug or set up the body to miscarry if “he thinks” we shouldn’t be pregnant?

    RE Obamacare. Get this! My doctor who’s opting out, says care providers are responsible for collecting the first $10,000+ deductible. Imagine all of us who can’t pay our bills now being expected to fork over the first $10K before ObamaCare actually kicks in!!!!! Nobody elected nor on tv has explained this. Imagine your doctor now becoming a collection agent for the government. How many offices will be robbed by druggies looking for an easy $$ score? No Thanks.

    • Alex says:

      I don’t understand: they’re collecting money that goes toward Obamacare? Like it buys a key? I would think that would cause the same problems as when the doctors themselves try to lie or back people into things so they can get paid. Besides, someone could always pay for that plan on their own (it’s what they’re going to be doing, anyway). I wonder if the cash serves as kind of a reminder of things- like returning to the scene of the crime or stealing something from the victim as a souvenir? Maybe everything they buy is like that?

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Money collected for ObummerCare does not go to pay for the program. Instead, it is a huge deductible. Patients pay the first $10,000US then the “Care” kicks in. Private plans provided better care, cheaper premiums, with far cheaper deductibles, before this boondoggle came along. This is the democrats plan to blend the tens of millions of illegal aliens occupying US. Since they don’t pay, cash payers are stuck footing their bills. Insured payers get screwed too, but not as much since they benefit from contracted fee schedules. CA lifetime politicians and multi-millionaires, Senate democrats Pelosi & Feinstein insisted that OblammaCare be voted in to law before it was even discussed.

        We were promised by President Barry Hussien Obama that we could keep our present health insurance, and that his system would lower costs by $2,500 minimum… Lies. Many people living in US are scared at the direction things are headed. This administration does what it pleases, lawful or not. Nobody challenges it for fear of being called racist. No transparency, no accountability. Please pray for US. Nobody here will challenge this new status quo.

  6. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Talk about swooping in and “saving” the woman, read mislead…this is the sort of thing that needs to be sorted out and fast. This man is the health expert for CBS so has a huge audience.
    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/video/7534156-dr-max-gomez-yearly-pap-tests/

    An American doctor recently said they should stop doing unnecessary exams that simply put women through unnecessary, risky and unpleasant investigations, and then pretend they saved them.
    This is the perfect example, in my opinion, the doctor has performed an unnecessary exam, a routine pelvic exam, found a benign cyst on the woman’s ovary, obviously put her through some sort of diagnostic procedure and then reassures she’s fine, it was benign.
    This woman has been led to believe if she had skipped the annual pelvic, the results “might” have been tragic.
    Has this woman been misled? I think so…

    In my opinion, some doctors are desperate to keep the annual exam alive, they rely on the income and some may wish to keep doing these exams for their own reasons. (outdated, incompetent, perverse etc.) Now that pap tests have been wound back, they have to find a way, so scaring and misleading women into annual pelvic and breast exams is the tactic and convincing them that annual pap tests can’t really hurt.
    WRONG on all counts.

    The VERY reason the routine pelvic exam is not recommended is because it is NOT a screening test for ovarian cancer and it finds harmless things that expose us to risk, even unnecessary surgery. Perhaps, this woman faced surgery…certainly she would have had a TVU at the very least…all for nothing and a negative experience easily avoided – my advice: avoid these doctors like the plague.

    The profession needs to come down hard on doctors who promote these exams, using fear and misinformation, for their own interests. If an exam is of poor clinical value and exposes us to risk, why is it being done? At the very least the evidence should be presented to the woman so she can decide whether she wants the exam or not.

    This doctor also, sees no problem with annual pap tests, doctors just shouldn’t over-react to abnormal results. In my opinion, this shows a complete disregard for the bodily privacy and health of women. It takes no time at all to discover that annual pap tests simply lead to huge over-treatment rates, they risk our health.
    The fact is most women cannot benefit from pap testing…women concerned about this rare cancer should be offered evidence based screening. Doctors should not promote unnecessary exams and tests, it’s bad medicine.
    The medical authorities should challenge this man, the damage he must be doing is awful to contemplate…and to his trusting patients.
    I would hope if a doctor came out with this harmful advice and deceptive presentation here that other doctors or the medical authorities would challenge him….and warn women.
    I hope….
    Naturally, there is nowhere to leave comments. These sorts of people must always have the last word and make it difficult to be challenged. ACOG should be doing that and other medical leaders.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Well said. Notice the little disclaimer at the end? The expert under his breath comments on how unnecessary all these are, but then again says to have them done anyway. Anything that can be done to undermine us taking our care into our own control — and literally out of their hands. Notice she was pretty and thin. A “joy” to “thoroughly” examine no doubt. “…yes, every year, until you’re 30+ and have had 2 kids…” Was he panting as he felt your ovary?

      The woman here had to go through a vaginal ultrasound. This is invasive, and somewhat painful. Especially if a you’re ovulating. This woman here may have been ovulating. I was Dx’d w/benign cysts that turned out to be from ovulation. I had multiple ultrasounds and “thorough” internal exams. They didn’t want my hubby there but didn’t dare say it b/c I’d have told them he was staying. The female ultrasound techs were the worst to my hubby and to me. Talk about being treated like meat by your own kind.

      You can train your hubby/lover to feel your organs internally as well as you checking his prostate. I know this sounds strange. Who do you prefer poking around there? We can also get kits to check our own cervix at http://www.beautifulcervix.com

      Look at the video again. If the ovary wasn’t tender, the md would’ve known nothing different! He cannot literally “feel” the ovary. Only the ultrasound, bloodtest, dna testing would show any growths or likelyhood of getting them.

      We’re supposed to be in control and ask questions, report generic meds that have bad side effects (or don’t work) but whenever we do, we end up being “punished” by the md’s & nurses we pay. Try doing this at Kaiser HMO. You’re blacklisted. And bullied. Here, research shows these tests to be BS but hey, doctors always know better! Just listen to the MAN.

      My cousin has fibroids. She is good looking. Everytime she has an exam, first thing is the pelvic. Like any doctor can actually tell if there’s changes like he’s checking his childhood marbles.

      Testicles are easy to feel. Yet, my hubby was sent for an ultrasound after very little physical exam. They cannot determine what our innards are doing no matter how much they feel around.

      A breast exam cannot feel anything but a digital mammogram can detect milk duct cancer in its earliest stages. Jerks.

    • Mary says:

      Elizabeth I don’t know about you but I never hear Australian women talk about having ovarian cysts. It is a normal part of the menstrual cycle. But American doctors have turned harmless cysts into a disease and American women always seem to be talking about them.

    • Elizabeth: “The VERY reason the routine pelvic exam is not recommended is because it is NOT a screening test for ovarian cancer and it finds harmless things that expose us to risk, even unnecessary surgery.”

      Yes, this is so true. Palpation-based diagnostics in general have poor specificity, and the bimanual exam to detect ovarian cancer has been proven to be ineffective. According to Westhoff et al., 2011, the bimanual examination as a sole modality does not detect ovarian cancers and research has demonstrated that “bimanual examinations do not lead to earlier detection of ovarian cancer”. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/jwh.2010.2349

      Elizabeth, the news item you linked was horrifying and I’m thankful you have deconstructed the issue so beautifully. I agree it is an issue that needs to be sorted out and fast. We could be in for an onslaught of propaganda pushing women to have annual pelvics that can only lead to even more worry and potential harms. Will it never end?

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Doctors using bimanual method could not detect ovarian cancer even if the woman actually had the cancer. Until it was far, far advanced. The roving finger cannot detect prostate cancer or benign disease either. Until it is far advanced.

  7. Mary says:

    I just read of a case of a doctor who just 11 days after being allowed to work unsupervised ( I presume because of previous complaints about him) sexually assaulted two women with pelvic exams. One woman describes her feelings and they are such an accurate description of how it feels. I have felt the same way even though I wasn’t assaulted.
    “His first victim, an 18 year old , told how she shielded her face with her arm during the examination in a ‘‘silent scream’’. She had been suffering from abdominal pain for several days and her boyfriend suggested she see a doctor.”
    The woman said she later ‘‘crumbled’’ and her boyfriend had to hold her up as she cried uncontrollably. She felt she had been violated.”

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Mary, I agree, ovarian cysts are perfectly normal, if we viewed them as abnormal or suspicious we’d be having investigations every month and sometimes, twice a month. (double ovulation)
      American women have been horribly misled by doctors, I even had an American woman on a health forum ask me, How do you know you don’t have ovarian cysts, if I don’t have pelvic exams? She was obviously floored when I told her I would have ovarian cysts now and then, all perfectly normal, it’s called ovulation. I knew when I was ovulating…the feeling of pressure and sometimes, even discomfort…and then it was gone. All with no medical assistance, it’s a miracle, no, it’s mother nature. I used the Billings Method as my only method of contraception so had to listen to and watch my body. It became second nature and turned out to be a very positive thing, I felt sort of in tune with my body. It also, increased my protective instinct…leave my perfectly normal body alone.

      Now I’m told because I’ve never used the Pill, I’m at higher risk of ovarian cancer, PLEASE, give me a break.
      Why was the Pill out for me? The medical coercion/assault (by a male doctor) that was tied to a prescription was a large part of the reason.

      Also, there was no Pill until fairly recently, I have many older female relatives who lived into their 80s and 90s with no Pill, pap tests or anything else, they responded to symptoms and they didn’t have 15 kids each, most had one or two and they were born in bush hospitals or at home.
      So the latest scare-mongering about ovarian cancer is more of the same, training women to be afraid of their bodies to force them into medical and commercial control.

      The risk of ovarian cancer is low, and maybe, slightly higher for me because I’ve ovulated every month without a break, but the risk is still very low.
      Like my female relatives I’ll take my chances, rather than accept much higher risk with medical meddling. If I decide to obsess about something…it will be heart disease. The family tree shows strokes and heart attacks take out most of the males in their late 60′s to early 70s and the women in their 80′s and 90′s.
      On your other post:
      Mary, we give rogue doctors, rapists, murderers too many opportunities in this country, the first consideration should be their victims and the public…otherwise as we see far too often, we end up with more victims.

    • Alex says:

      I still get suprised when someone says that these things aren’t attacks. It’s unbelievable! Their dispute of reality is off the wall- it”s like they’re saying “what happens isn’t what occurs.” This situation, that has these properties, is what took place. It reminds me of Lars G. Petersson (actually, if you Google him, there’s a good article under Military Abuse & apparently he wrote a book titled medical rape- might be worth looking into, particularly if you or someone you know is looking into being in the military).

      On a broad level, what’s the deal with people NOT fighting back here? It’s like this concept escapes them, no matter what. Also, isn’t it amazing that anything that happens is considered a biological issue? I truly do believe doctors see life, itself, as wrong. They definitely make money off of problems (or the impression of them).

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        It’s all rationalized via big words. You aren’t being violated, you are being “examined internally.” A child doesn’t receive a painful shot, instead it’s just an “innoculation.” You don’t want to get sick do you? “This is just routine; Strictly routine; We do it all day long.” And the, “most women say this just gives them cramping. A couple ibuprofens should take care of it.” Then afterward, “oh, it was really that painful?”

        Yeah. Bullshit. Like they don’t already know. We are talked into it, promised the experience won’t be horrible, then treated like freaks b/c we “supposedly” had a painful outcome. This is why nurses/doctors make the worst patients. They don’t like experiencing the con they pull on everybody else. Violation takes a different meaning when they’re on the receiving end.

  8. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Cat and Mouse,
    The site “Beautiful Cervix” should be renamed, Mutilated Cervix…by the time a woman is in her 50′s more than three-quarters will have lost some of their cervix. Now this is supposedly to screen and prevent a rare cancer that carries a lifetime risk of just 0.65%…(my cervix is in the minority, it’s in-tact…why? I’ve never had a pap test) That site actually has shots of the cervix after these “minor” treatments, just horrible, it turns my stomach. If we were doing these “minor” treatments on the healthy penis it would have been stopped before it even started. It shows how little they care about our precious asymptomatic bodies…our reproductive organs and breasts are treated with near contempt. Disposable objects, things to be used to maximize power and profits or for their titillation.
    I also, have zero interest in checking or allowing anyone else to check my ovaries or cervix. They will be left undisturbed. I’d only consider an exam or test if I developed persistent and unusual symptoms that called for an exam/test. I know some women check their cervix with a mirror, but I think the obsession with the cervix is bizarre, unhealthy and largely motivated by the insane focus on this one area by the medical profession and others. We don’t shine a light into our ear canal or into our mouths, why the focus on the poor cervix? We need to change this focus…and finally promote healthcare that’s actually in our best interests. Heart disease is the No. killer of men and women, it would be more productive if they talked about that for a change.
    The routine rectal exam for prostate cancer is also, unreliable, and no longer recommended here. My husband has refused it and won’t be having PSA tests.

    None of these exams are helpful and all endanger our health. Even breast self-exams are unhelpful, they simply make women anxious and lead to excess biopsies. Clinical breast exams – no proven benefit, but they lead to excess biopsies.
    I’d also, be very careful with the CA-125 blood test, it’s very unreliable and can lead you into surgery after a false positive. I’ve refused it in very clear terms.
    Almost every intrusion on the asymptomatic female body is unnecessary and risks our health.
    I understand you have health issues, but even then you’re wise to be cautious and protect your body from excess and non-evidence based medicine. Having a support person by your side is also, a sensible protective measure.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Please take my experience to heart. I temper our protective natures against exams with reality. US Planned Parenthood only screened me during pelvic exams for STD’s. I was exposed to HPV and had dysplasia. I was treated, tortured, but today I’m healthy. Thanks to this forum now I’m in charge and can say no to pelvic exams with good medical reasoning.

      Ten yrs ago I became extremely ill; although it were a bunch of little illnesses that snowballed. Finally my hubby convinced me on a Sunday to go to the ER. Since I’m older no pelvic was done but an abdominal ultrasound turned into vaginal ultrasound w/o me being informed. There were other things… I was not told I nearly died b/c my pancreatic lipase enzyme was 4000+. Finally my gallbladder was removed. More labs, another uninformed vaginal ultrasound. Thankfully, the CA-125 & other tumor markers all came back normal that convinced them I didn’t have cancer. And to finally leave me alone. My colonoscopy proved I’m healthier than most of them. There are benefits to holistic eating.

      I’ll take lab tests over the degrading useless internal probing anytime. They can be repeated, and now I have baselines to fall back on if in the future any problems appear.

      When you’re sick, in terrible pain, then really you’re at their mercy. Had I known the written orders, I’d have said no internal tests until my blood work indicated otherwise. The external ultrasound showed my stone laden gallbladder clear as day. The ER md’s lied to me, my husband, about tests and withheld info about the tests that were ordered.

      We’re supposed to be proactive and participate in our care. But we always are discriminated against and treated as if stupid when we exercise that right. I’m glad the golden rule applies to them too. Thanks to this site I know the facts. It’s OK to say NO.

  9. Karen says:

    Elizabeth, I agree with you 100%. To me the beautiful cervix project proves the obvious- the cervix is political capital- and looking at it with mirrors and lights is a sort of symbolic act of claiming it back. I just want all of this to go away, just like my boyfriend is not encouraged to fiddle around his throat with mirrors and lights and cameras, although he could get throat cancer, and men have the same small risk of getting throat cancer over their lifetime as women of getting cervical cancer. I am also not going to have the HPV test- I just do not believe anything, anything good comes from cancer screening for women. Look at the track record of the discipline- bad bad bad bad. I read bits from a study about HPV dna testing, how someone with a negative HPV dna test has less than 1% chance of cervical cancer in the next ten years, but if (roughly speaking) someone has less than 1% chance of getting cervical cancer in their lifetime in a developed country anyway, why should this matter at all???

    • Mary says:

      And that less than 1% statistic is taking into account women who have new partners, because they’ve modelled it on the population . So in reality if you are with the same partner it is zero chance.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Even if you’re with the same partner, they assume somebody is cheating. Nurses/doctors will bully you, but they rarely stick up for you, and they won’t advocate for you against an HMO system. I’ve found 98% gutless. They won’t document things that will help you either.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Mary, the thinking is, yes, but can we safely assume he’s faithful.
      This testing is full of assumptions about us and our partner, there is no regard for the individual.
      It would be an easy matter to give women clear information, but that would mean giving women more control….and that’s unthinkable. Instead they choose to direct the herd into screening…who cares how many are actually at risk or how many will be harmed as a result? BUT the individual can refuse to be treated like a number, we can walk away and reclaim our individual status.

  10. Ro says:

    In regards to Obamacare, in 2014 it is a requirement by law to either be insured or pay a penalty. There are no exceptions; this applies to everyone. My concern is that they’re focusing very much on women’s health care. I saw a segment on the news and the entire segment was about prenatal care, STD tests, pap smears, pelvic exams, breast exams, and mammography. While I’m still uncertain as to how much they’re going to push these services, all of them have been made completely free. My concern is that they will say these exams are mandatory in order to carry insurance, and as I mentioned before if you don’t carry insurance, you will owe a penalty. I really, really hope that they’re just over-sold optional services as opposed to something everyone must do.

    • Alice (Australia) says:

      Those are my hopes also!
      Even though I’m from Australia and have never been to USA, I’m dreading that if USA introduces compulsory medical exams/tests for compulsory health insurance, Australia may do the same.

      Australia already has compulsory Medicare and heavily imposed private health insurance. It also copied pap smears incentive payments practice from UK. I wonder what’s next… Sadly, Australia is very good at copying privacy-invading and autonomy-violating practices from other countries like UK and US.

      US residents, please don’t let those horrible regulations and laws about compulsory medical examinations to be implemented! It will not only hurt American women, it may damage women in many other countries.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Alice, I think we’re likely to copy th UK call and recall system for cervical screening.
      The screening rate is falling and they’re looking for ways to give them “greater control of women”. There is an Australian study that recommends the adoption of the UK style call and recall system.
      It will be a dark day if it’s introduced here…red letters arriving on a regular basis, more pressure in the consult room and from your Clinic. The introduction of that system in the UK saw some shocking conduct by doctors, nurses etc. ie. medical practices sacking women who refused to have a pap test etc.

    • Alex says:

      Elizabeth- What do you mean by “sacking” women? I know they pester & pressure, but what happens if they don’t go?

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Hi Alex,

      They sack you as a patient, remove you from patient records, this became a problem in the UK when doctors were chasing high targets, 80% or more. Those women who refused to yield to pressure were simply sacked by the practice. Other dirty tactics are used as well, getting the receptionist/nurse to call you, flag your file, visit or chase you etc.
      Some women were told they must attend counseling with one or more doctors at the Clinic before they could opt out of testing, this is untrue. I contacted the NHS when this was mentioned on the BlogCritics site and they confirmed it was an over-zealous doctor, it was not a requirement at all. I knew that HAD to be the case, how on earth can you demand counseling simply because a woman doesn’t want an elective screening test?

      The idea here is to gang up on the woman in an intimidating setting, to scare and pressure her, some women were reduced to tears. I spoke to one woman on-line who left distressed after one of these sessions, the doctors had called her foolish, stated she was likely to die from something preventable etc.
      These doctors are stepping way over the line – women should refuse to attend these sessions and report the doctor for suggesting it was “necessary” or a requirement.
      As more women fight back, hopefully, we’ll see less of this sort of conduct, it will become unsafe for doctors to behave like thugs.

      Sadly, too many women accept this outrageous conduct and end up with no medical care or they give in and have the test. It’s another ugly feature of women’s cancer screening, bullying, manipulating and coercing women into testing to maximize coverage.

      It’s a try-on, a complaint would see these women reinstated very quickly, it’s way beyond unethical conduct…but then I wouldn’t want to use a practice that thinks that’s an acceptable way to treat women. I’d be sacking the doctor.

    • Alice (Australia) says:

      Elizabeth, the introduction of UK call-and-recall system will indeed be a dark day for Australian women. Annoying letters, pressure, violation of privacy, misuse of personal contact information and medical records… And we will be forced to pay for all that through our taxes!

      If it ever happens, I will demand to be excluded from Medicare and my information to be deleted from all medical databases. This will make it impossible to seek medical help if I ever need it, but I value my privacy and independence above all.

    • Si says:

      Alice, do you know if there is an option to drop medicare in Australia?

    • Alice (Australia) says:

      Si, I haven’t researched the procedure of “exiting” Australian Medicare yet. But I thin I will have to in the future.

      As far as I know, the person will still be required to pay Medicare Levy, even if they are not a part of Medicare (for example, temporary professional migrants in Australia are required to have their own private health insurance and not allowed to use any Medicare benefits, but they still have to pay Medicare Levy in addition to their Australian taxes).

      But even if I am still forced to pay 1.5% of my Income to Australian Medicare, I would still prefer to unenroll from Medicare, and have all my personal details wiped out of their database, because I am sick of how Medicare shares, discloses and misuses our personal information. I have caught Australian Medicare leaking out people’s data as far as foreign research companies. I had enough, personally. Medicare preys on people’s desperation: people are forced to go to doctors when they feel crook and that means they are also forced to supply their personal information (because, even though Australian law says that we can seek medical help anonymously, in reality doctors don’t offer us that option). Australian Medicare is not a system that just “helps people to have access to affordable health-care”, it became the largest collector and distributor of private information about Australian people.

      If, as Elizabeth mentioned, Australia implements UK’s call-and-recall model for screening, I bet it will be either run by Medicare, or Medicare will supply the re-calling company with our details. Either way, I do not wish to be a part of that massive call to rape and slaughter.

      Once I discovered what Medicare does to information we entrusted it with, I chopped up my Medicare card and haven’t told my Medicare number to anyone anymore. If I have to deal with a medical establishment, I just tell them I don’t have or don’t use Medicare. Now I’m just paying for everything twice: full price out of my pocked to doctors and then 1.5% of my income to Medicare via my taxes. Personal freedom is very expensive to keep in Australia. But I will pay for mine for as long as I can. And if I can’t afford a medical service I need – too bad. My freedom is not for sale.

      If anyone asks me what was the biggest mistake I made in Australia, I would say: enrolling into Medicare. I wish I did a good security and privacy research before I subscribed to this massive scam of Australian Medicare.

    • Carol says:

      So, does anyone know how to unenroll from Medicare in Australia?
      I searched all over the Internet for the information. There are plenty of sites that tell how to enrol, but not a word about how to unregister from Australian Medicare. :-(

      I would really like to take my name and other details out of their database. I know I will still be forced to pay Medicare levy, but I don’t want to be a part of the system/organisation that invades people’s privacy, disseminates lies, and supports and runs harmful screening programs.

    • Diane says:

      There actually IS an exception to the ACA: if it would take more than 8% of your income to buy insurance you can opt out without a financial penalty.

  11. Moo says:

    What exactly are the consequences of getting an HPV test? Some HPV lab tests only give a result of positive or negative. Since there are several strains of HPV, some quite harmless – what is the point? Only a few strains MIGHT actually cause cervical cancer in some women. The treatments are terrible LEEP, conization or hysterectomy. Women are being mislead.

    Are HPV tests very specific to the HPV strain or just all lumped in together high risk or low risk?

    • Alex says:

      I’ve heard of women that’ll die virgins because of these tests (I think it was a LEEP, specifically)!

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      LEEP is a treatment. It’s an electrified wire loop that cuts, fries (cauterizes), and removes a hunk of your cervix. I knew a woman w/CC that had this under GA. She’s ok today; far as I know it went ok but she had very heavy post-op bleeding and pain 10/10. Make sure you look up this procedure on YouTube. Soo surprising what you find there. What “they” don’t want us to see.

      I had creosurgery. The surface of my cervix was frozen 2x in one “session” via a donut-shaped disk that was chilled via a tank of liquid nitrogen. The md provided me no pre-anesthesia, no sedation. He said the cold would provide its own pain control. I was terrified. The cramping afterward was so intense. Plus, when you finally stand up, the now defrosted, and now liquified remains of your cervical tissue that just got cold-fried runs out of you. Mine worked the first time, if not the md would’ve repeated it two more times. Afterward, I was biopsied at 3 months, paps every 6 months for 2yrs.

      Now I find out that my dysplasia (grade 1+?) didn’t require this. Two comments. The asshole I ended up marrying (I had bad self esteem back then) had screwed around on me and may have delivered this virus to me. So perhaps this was good in the long run?

      I read on Topix that the virus goes into hiding or dormancy for 15, 20, 30 yrs and can resurface again on your cervix if your health gets stressed. I don’t know the truthfulness of this; haven’t had time to research it. Help me if you know anything about this, please.

    • Alice says:

      Cat&Mouse, I have doubts about HPV dormancy theory. If we were truly unable to fight the virus and develop immunity against it, the vaccination would have been impossible. Yet we have been sold Gardasil for quite some time now. Something doesn’t add up in the medical area. It looks like quacks just want to make money on all fronts: vaccines, screening AND treatments.

    • Alex says:

      I don’t know anything about that, but maybe Elizabeth does (or someone else). I’d be more concerned that your body couldn’t fight it off if your health is stressed like that.

      There’s a lot of false information out there about viruses & such (one minute you can get a vaccine & that’ll give you an immunity, the next minute it won’t last, the next it won’t actually work without some kind of enhancer that actually makes you have the full-blown problem you were worried about in the first place- that you might not have even gotten & weren’t informed that it would give you this problem, at least you get a bill for it & every other “hospital service” that may or may not be IMPOSED through whatever means of compulsion).

  12. Mary says:

    Moo they test for the cervical cancer causing strains.

  13. ChasUK says:

    I have just read on the webmd.com site that HPV tests can also show false positives: copied and pasted exact wording: • An HPV test is highly reliable for finding HPV when it is present. But an HPV test may come back positive when you do not have an HPV infection. This is called a false-positive test result.
    The rate of False positives is around 15% for HPV and HIV – imagine being diagnosed with these then treated – all for nothing – I do not see the point of even taking any of the tests? I am happy to take my 99% chance of nothing wrong than 1% of a possible problem.
    These figures from BMJ are for age at start of screening per 10,000, alive 10 years after with screening, alive 10 years after with NO screening, number of deaths:
    25 10,000 9963 9962 1 death
    35 10,000 9863 9859 4 deaths
    45 10,000 9713 9708 5 deaths
    55 10,000 9457 9450 7 deaths
    This kind of puts it into perspective for me. A third of them are also missed by the pap!
    Also copied form doctodoc.bmj forums:
    The incidence of cervical cancer peaked in the UK in 1950 with 11 deaths per 100,000. By 1964 it had already declined to 9 per 100,000. In 1964 rudimentary screening was introduced. But it was not until 1987 that a national programme of call-and-recall screening was introduced. By then mortality had already fallen to 6 per 100,000. Since then it has fallen to just above 3 per 100,000. There is alot of information coming through via the BMJ site and is really worth checking it out.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Chas, I understood by false positive HPV test that meant positive for HPV, but no high grade CIN found on the pap test or at colposcopy/biopsy. This is because most women with HPV simply clear the virus within a year or two. It’s only the rare cases that go on to cause changes to the cervix and eventually invasive cancer.

      The concern about false positive HPV tests is disingenuous IMO, because if you adopt the new Dutch program they minimize those getting a positive HPV test by excluding women under 30. Many countries like the States, UK and Australia won’t do that, so HPV primary testing becomes unworkable. The States have “solved” the problem by doing both tests on those 30 or more…this way maximizing over-investigation, (and profits) using both tests causes the most confusion, the HPV test should stand alone and be offered only to those aged 30 or older and only every 5 or 10 years. (depending on age)
      It’s not difficult if you follow the evidence, but I see this testing as a tussle between competing interests who all want a share of the profit-making cervix.
      They claim it’s safer to over-screen, stay with excess, but it’s all about keeping vested interests happy…misleading women is easy. Most women have no clue, hardly surprising with the fierce suppression of all real information over decades.

      I’m with you though, I won’t be testing for HPV, rare is rare, but for those who wish to test, the new Dutch program is IMO, the best in the world.
      Also, some countries send HPV+ women off for immediate colposcopy, this is overdoing it, they should simply be offered a five yearly pap test until they clear the virus.
      The cuurent review here I see as a juggling of vested interests along with the evidence, trying to find a space that keeps most people happy….forget what’s best for women, they’re of no real concern.

  14. Moo says:

    http://www.questdiagnostics.com/testcenter/testguide.action?dc=TH_HPV_HighRiskDNA_HybridCaptureII
    ” This nucleic acid hybridization method utilizes a DNA probe cocktail specific for intermediate/high risk serotypes (types 16,18,31,33,35,39,45,51,52,56,58,59,68). Results are reported as “not detected” or as “detected” for high-risk HPV serotype. The specific serotype(s) cannot be reported.

    Concordance with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results is estimated to be 83%.”
    Which means 17% or more inaccuracy.
    “Below is a summary of follow-up recommendations for specific combinations of HPV and cervical cytology results1:
    Age ≥30: Pap test negative/high-risk HPV negative: Routine screening with Pap and high-risk HPV at 5-year intervals
    Pap test negative/ high-risk HPV positive: Repeat Pap test and high-risk HPV test at 12 months; or test for HPV genotype 16 and/or 18
    Age 21-29:Pap test ASC-US/ high-risk HPV negative: Resume routine screening
    Pap test ASC-US/ high-risk HPV positive: Colposcopy”
    So just more testing, more biopsies, more damaging treatments.
    Just do not get a HPV or pap test unless you have symptoms and you do not want to use natural treatments.
    ? Is there a specific serotyping test for strains 16 or 18 that are considered high risk readily available?

    Yeah now I went to the doctor for a broken wrist. He looks up the records and says “you are due for a physical from head to toe”. Well he is not looking at my vagina. I am just declining the whole physical. I do not want it since it is going to be a huge struggle with his predatory attitude. He already did blood tests: glucose and cholesterol which must be fine if he did not mention them.

    If he had asked for a pap test I was prepared. I was going to ask him if he knew the difference between an hand and a vagina. Some men don’t know the difference.

  15. Moo says:

    I have not found any research reference to proving that HPV virus resurfacing/reactivating after x number of years. Other viruses do that such as pox viruses (chicken pox -> shingles). http://www.idsociety.org/2012_HPV_Reactivation/ ““Taken together, our data raise the possibility that reactivation risk may increase around age 50 years and contribute to a larger fraction of HPV detection at older ages, compared with new acquisition,” the researchers wrote. -” hypothesis but not proof, no supporting facts — not science.

    Around 50 years old – menopause – hormones change and same with pregnancy – HPV infection might occur and maybe linger longer than a few months. This does not mean that the HPV infection cannot clear up on its own or that women need disfiguring treatments and surgeries or that the virus is reactivating.

    I am sure that fomites play a role in transmission of HPV either public toilets and doctor’s office which are so filthy. Ever get asked for a urine sample and the washroom you have to use is beyond belief! I know a man who got HPV warts from his urologists office. He was not fooling around on his wife.

  16. Moo says:

    I need these panties NO MEANS NO or I love (informed) CONSENT not that my doctor will ever see them.

  17. Apparently part of the reason for the lack of clarity about Obamacare is due to doctors’ reluctance to discuss the changes. Obamacare threatens to have a negative impact on doctors. Doctors will be paid less under Obamacare, and they will be paid based on the quality of their work. The incentives to perform unnecessary tests will be removed. Consumers of health care will have more control and will be given more of a voice regarding what constitutes quality care:

    “Under Obamacare, doctors will be paid based on the quality of their work. Currently, physicians are paid per service, regardless of performance. About $1 billion in federal health care payments will rely on patient-satisfaction surveys, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    “Supporters say paying for performance removes a lot of bad incentives in the current system. It removes the motivation to do unnecessary tests and hospitalize people who don’t need it,” Wall Street Journal added.
    - See more at: http://madamenoire.com/284659/most-say-doctors-arent-talking-about-obamacare-leaving-patients-without-critical-information/#sthash.F32MBwCm.dpuf

    • Ro says:

      That certainly sounded very reassuring! I really do hope that’s the case. I think another reason for the lack of clarity is that there’s such a divide in our government between political parties. Democrats are promoting Obamacare, while Republicans are against it. You have one side who are promoting something very persistently, while the other is constantly speaking negatively about it. It can make it difficult to figure out what is the truth and what is just being said for the sake of political argument and to get people on one side. That’s why I envy countries who have unbiased media sources. As far as I know, every network here is biased to one party or another. There’s nothing that is all facts and laid out simply. Enough about politics, though. I think that’s probably a very good point – that doctors are afraid of losing money. I believe all doctors should work off of salary, anyways. In my opinion, that would cut back on everything unnecessary if they all got paid the same amount rather than for individual services or procedures. If Obamacare eventually gets to that point, then I think it would be a great thing.

    • Alex says:

      It might cut back on SOME stuff, but what about the general pervyness? They might also simply like causing problems or lying. There’s plenty of perceived control of life & death, as well as whatever issues are directed specifically toward women. Don’t forget, money can just be a cover (it looks like their just motivated by money, but maybe that just hides the fact that they’d do the same thing for free or at a cost to them).

      I remember hearing something about microchips with Obamacare. At the very least, it seems to apply to all implanted things, but it might very well be a start-off step. Maybe it’s put in more & more things and then any argument toward it is deemed invalid (since it’s so “safe” & “can save lives” & it’s “the wrong answer” to do otherwise- sound familiar?). I’ve noticed things getting progressively more bossy & dictatorial in this country and it tends to have an “entitled to do whatever thing because they want to help” kind of vibe. There might very well be medical problems attached to legal problems, instead of being directed on their own. Bleak & scary, but I figure it was worth mentioning.

  18. Moo says:

    Maybe photo I’d with a microchip in the card like what is in credit cards. There is fraud with healthcare insurance only for the most part it is the medical providers that are doing the most of it.

    I live in Ontario so I do not “pay” for visits to the doctor or tests. I just feel that some doctors order too many tests or want to unneccessary tests such as cancer screening (pap, mammogram, colonscopy) . Most of the doctors are on fee per service. I am registered to only one family MD which is allowed after years of the walk-in care. I do not feel that I am receiving much better care except that the vists are somewhat longer (8 min vs3 min). Now I am pressured for cancer screening tests.

    I would not be so quick to dismiss Obamacare my American friends. It means that some poor people will have basic care. Canadians find the situation of some American’s appalling. We even have special charities such as Herbie fund for children around the world to be treated when they cannot get help in their own country.

    • Alex says:

      A lot of people DO find American healthcare appalling. It’s NOT of good quality (which includes being antagonistic), it IS expensive, and it tends to be a major hassle to actually go about getting.

      This culture has numerous unofficial problems that, basically, rot the foundations of whatever you’re dealing with. What that looks like, specifically, depends on the situation you’re dealing with. I’ve noticed that in this country, there’s a heavy trend of people trying to live other people’s lives & make other people’s decisions or impose their own- that can be different problems, depending on mechanics. This is in a country that’s supposed to have freedom of choice & independant decision-making.

  19. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Mary mentioned that Australian women don’t worry about ovarian cysts, whereas American and Canadian women do because they have routine pelvic exams that find harmless cysts so often…and these women often face unnecessary surgery. Something normal is painted as possibly, sinister.
    This is the perfect example of an unnecessary exam finding something normal, “treating it just in case” and then pretending they saved the woman.
    So many surgeries are performed every year to treat/remove harmless cysts (and sometimes the healthy ovaries go as well)…something normal being turned into a problem for medical profits.
    If you don’t have these exams, you can forget about harmless ovarian cysts.
    http://www.besthealthmag.ca/get-healthy/girlfriends-guide/should-you-worry-about-ovarian-cysts

    • Alex says:

      I’ve got to ask: Why do women bother with any of this, at all? I’ve been thinking about pressure (in the social sense) & it seems to boil down to wanting to make these people happy. Whatever it is, it’s a question of the other side not being upset. Consideration should not be present for these people! Not everyone’s misery is a bad thing.

      I hope that doesn’t come off like I’m trying to dictate your feelings, but there is absolutely NO WRONG in disregarding these people’s feelings.

    • Diane says:

      Alex, don’t forget that a lot of doctors blackmail women into these tests by withholding birth control or other medications. It’s easy to say “well, they could find another doctor” but a lot of women don’t feel assertive doing that, they’ve been conditioned to believe that the tests aren’t anything to worry about, or they really need the medication then and there.

  20. ChasUK says:

    Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your response, maybe I am not understanding properly, but the way I read it was, as per copied and pasted: “But an HPV test may come back positive when you do not have an HPV infection. This is called a false-positive test result”. http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/hpv-genital-warts/human-papillomavirus-hpv-test?page=3 This is for the HPV test alone, not pap/smear test. Am I reading this wrong? It is possible to have a positive HPV test but actually be a false positive, told you have disease but do not? Perhaps you could check the web site where it states “what to consider”? My head is so muddled these days, so much to read – thanks again

  21. Mary says:

    I did a little research and it looks like there’s an arbitrary cut off point whether it’s decided you have HPV or not.
    “At the optimal cutoff (1.0 pg/mL), the HPV assay was more sensitive than conventional Pap testing (88.4 percent versus 77.7 percent) but less specific (89 percent versus 94.2 percent).”
    So it is possible to have a false positive it seems. I suppose it would mean that some women have caught the HPV virus and are in the process of clearing it and there are a few remnants of HPV still lying around.
    http://www.cap.org/apps/cap.portal?_nfpb=true&cntvwrPtlt_actionOverride=%2Fportlets%2FcontentViewer%2Fshow&_windowLabel=cntvwrPtlt&cntvwrPtlt%7BactionForm.contentReference%7D=cap_today%2Ffeature_stories%2Fside21000.html&_state=maximized&_pageLabel=cntvwr

    • Karen says:

      http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3215506.html

      I am wondering about this study, the women whose partners used condoms did not develop any lesions, but still caught HPV. This study would suggest to me personally that my chances with not getting cervical cancer are even better than 99% (I can admit here I never in my life had sex without condoms). In order to improve this excellent (and for me completely fine) statistics any further, a quasi-foolproof test would be needed, and in order to develop such a test, the disease would have to be well understood, and one can only wonder why would there be no cure in such a case.

    • Alice says:

      Karen, I still can’t fully understand how exactly HPV behaves. There is too much confusing information: pro-screen mob tell us the “facts” that good for them, some scientists say differently. It’s hard to know who is biased, and who isn’t.

      However, if one applies some logic, the condom facts do make sense. According to that article, the women whose partners used condoms did not develop any lesions, but still caught HPV. HPV appears to be highly contagious, which explains why the women got the virus. But, because of condom use, the HPV load was low, especially in their cervix region, so the amount of virus was not enough to cause any lesions. If the women’s immune system was not compromised, they will fight the virus off. They will probably even develop immunity to it, akin to vaccination.

      The medical establishment is still pushing a line about “it’s impossible to get rig if HPV, it just becomes dormant and may easily re-manifest later in life, that’s why it is important to pap-smear even if you are HPV-negative… blah-blah-blah”. But if we are unable to develop immunity against HPV, HPV-vaccination is a scam.

      The bottom line is: either HPV-vaccination is a fraud, or the demands that women keep pap-smearing regardless of their HPV-status are a groundless lie in order to keep the profits. Either way, quacks are taking us for a ride.

  22. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Which makes sense, you might still test HPV+ even when your immune system has almost cleared the virus. The fact is most women clear the virus in a few years. It’s only the rare cases that persist for many years that go on to something serious. (Adenocarcinoma is the exception, it can develop fairly quickly, it’s an even rarer type of cervix cancer that young women tend to get, those VERY rare cases, but pap testing doesn’t help them anyway, the test usually misses these very rare cancers. (False negatives) The test was designed to prevent squamous cell, the more common type of cc. (but still rare) So we see the countries that do pap testing on young women have the same incidence and death rate as countries who screen and over screen them. (with very high over-treatment rates) I suspect Finland would see fewer deaths as young women are given helpful information, see a doctor with persistent and unusual symptoms. Our young women may rely on pap testing and be falsely reassured by a normal pap test, and are often worried/harmed by false positives. We also, have doctors who do pap tests on women who present with symptoms, when they should be referred for a diagnostic assessment.

    This is why the new Dutch program will offer five yearly pap tests to the roughly 5% who are HPV+ and then send them back to the HPV primary testing program when they clear the virus. The Dutch will not do pap testing on HPV- women, that’s 95% of women aged 30 or more. (and they’ve never pap tested women under 30, they’ll also, be excluded from HPV primary testing….protecting young women from these programs.
    The new program will also, protect the vast majority of women who cannot benefit from pap testing. Most countries ignore the evidence and maximize risk and harm for no additional benefit…and some women lose their lives, missed in the muddle of excess.
    I’ll take a look at the references. HPV Today is a good source of information, you have to register, but it’s free.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      What do doctors fear most? A patient who’s informed and in charge. The PR folks encourage such behavior but only if it helps us “climate-ize” ourselves to accepting whatever is recommended. Agree?

      Can HPV be screened via blood test w/o having to go through a pelvic exam?

      Also, If my husband gets oral cankers (since his childhood) can this give me a positive result to a screening? After all, oral cankers are also a form of HPV. Could anybody please help me here?

  23. Moo says:

    the difference between cold sore and canker sores. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/canker-sores
    HPV and mouth cancer http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/hpv/hpv-oral-cancer-facts.html

    cold sores, canker sores and mouth cancer are not alike.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      I’m not worried about mouth cancer. My concern is if there’s any connection between mouth cankers and the HPV strain that causes CC. There shouldn’t be any connection, but I’d like confirmation if possible.

  24. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Alice, this is one of several articles that consider a call and recall system for Australia. There are also, some interesting figures given, facts never released to women, including the harms of over-treatment. (increased perinatal mortality) So often these discussions focus on lives saved by screening and the cost of the program…while the harms of screening and actual value of the testing comes a poor second. No one ever seems to consider whether we should be spending millions screening for a cancer with a 0.65% lifetime risk, a program that condemns huge numbers of women to painful and damaging excess biopsies/over-treatment.

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/10/734

    It’s incredible that in 2013 we’re still talking about the safety of 3 yearly testing from 25, the Finns and Dutch acted on the evidence LONG ago. IMO, there are many in this country very happy with this level of over-testing and over-treatment, and with women completely in the dark, why mess with a great business model? It’s convenient deafness and blindness to the evidence, IMO, and that has enabled them to stall for decades.

    If our doctors are just working out there are FAR better ways to screen for this cancer, we must have the thickest doctors in the world, that’s not true, so…do we have the most unethical doctors in the world? Certainly the AMA and medical leaders should have done something about this testing a long time ago, they’ve sat back and joined the, “Get Screened Every Two Years or Die” chorus.
    I lost faith and trust in our medical associations a very long time ago, I know they don’t protect women or treat us honestly, fairly and respectfully, on the contrary, they give women BAD medical advice that harms many for no additional benefit over an evidence based program.
    Hopefully, when the Old Guard retire, we’ll see change, but I fear their underlings have been trained well…to protect the program, not women.

    “The reductions predicted in the number of treatments for high grade precancer is an important benefit associated with increasing the recommended screening interval, especially in women of reproductive age. This is because such treatments are associated with an increased risk of obstetric complications, including pre-term delivery, low birth weight and premature rupture of the membranes [16] and for some treatment modalities, increased perinatal mortality and other serious pregnancy outcomes [17]. Our baseline findings predict that 300-600 fewer women in Australia would undergo such treatments each year under a 3-yearly recommendation”
    AND:
    “A substantial body of evidence has now found that screening in women younger than 25 years of age does not substantially lower the risk of developing invasive cervical cancer”

    You don’t say, the Finns could have told you that in 1960.
    Reducing testing to 3 yearly from age 25 will save 300-600 women from unnecessary treatments, (probably more) but almost all of this damage could be avoided with HPV primary testing/HPV self-testing, and only offering a 5 yearly pap test to the 5% who are HPV+ and aged 30-60. This shouldn’t be about saving money, (although that’s a factor) it should be about doing the most good, with the smallest impact on the healthy population of women. It’s possible, but we’ve always chosen to do the most harm for no additional benefit.

    • Alice says:

      Well said, Elizabeth:

      Australian medical system does everything to protect the program, not women

    • Alice says:

      Elizabeth, the article you linked to is shocking (as per usual in Australian medical system):

      As the HPV-vaccinated cohorts mature, cervical screening will inevitably become less cost-effective over time, because the average risk of cervical cancer in the Australian population will eventually fall due to vaccination. In this context, measures to increase the efficiency of screening are of interest.

      Which, in the Medical system’s mind, means: after we vaccinated women against HPV, cervical cancer will nearly disappear. We should now urgently think of new ways of making money!

      The National Cervical Screening Program in Australia uses a reminder-based system, in which women who are registered on state or territory cytology registries are sent a letter if they do not have a screening test at the recommended interval. We have previously suggested that if the recommended screening interval is increased, a move to a call-and-recall system (in which proactive invitations to attend screening are issued) could be considered in order to increase compliance with the new recommendation and to limit late re-screening. The use of a call-and-recall system in England, and other differences in the organisation of screening, have been associated with a higher degree of compliance with the recommended interval in England compared to Australia.

      Key words: increase compliance and higher degree of compliance! Doesn’t matter it is a rare cancer, doesn’t matter you don’t want to screen, doesn’t matter you are vaccinated. We need full waiting rooms, we want money, we will strive for higher compliance. There is no way to get yourself out of the “successful” UK’s call-and-recall system. In Australia, the woman, after some hassle, can still delete herself from a pap smear register. Can we trust stupid women to make such decisions? No way! We must copy UK!

  25. Moo says:

    HPV and condom use.
    Yes condoms do help prevent HPV infection in women but it depends on the sexual practices used by the couple. The condom only covers a certain part and HPV can be on the scrotum, under finger nails, the perinatal region, or surfaces, toys etc.

    Women should not wipe their front and then back with the same toilet paper. Probably you were always told by your doctor to wipe front to back. We’ll if a woman has HPV warts in her labia then she will spread them to her anus using that method. So anal cancer due to HPV is often assumed due to anal sex which is not always the case.

    Vaccines could lead to no change in testing
    Nothing much is going to change testing, not even the vaccines. The vaccines only are for a few strains of the virus. There are other strains that could cause cancer so that will be the scare tactic. The way to stop all this nonsense is to better inform women and stop paying doctor incentives to do paps on top of what they already get paid.

    I would do Pap tests if I was having a say in how frequent and if I could decide to refuse colposcopist and treatments without hassles. Instead I want to avoid being in the provincial database so I am not testing at all. I think it would cost me around $300 to get an undocumented Pap test at a naturopath (consultation fees plus lab fees and shipping) but I cannot afford it. I could get pap tested at my doctor (while he makes$$$$ from it) but at great emotional cost to me (survivor of abuse) and possibly sent for further treatments and biopsies.

  26. ADM (Canada) says:

    The week of Oct 21 is cervical cancer awareness week and my Dr’s office is holding a pap clinic that welcomes walk-ins. I cannot wrap my brain around the focus on this rare cancer. No other cancer, besides breast cancer, gets this amount of focus. I guess all the Dr’s will be getting their $2000 bonus this year.

    • Ro says:

      ADM – Here in the US, at least where I live, they offer free paps/pelvics and mammograms year-round at several clinics. A few of my friends and I were discussing how raising awareness for cancers is such a big deal, yet they only raise awareness for cancers that have screening programs. Not one word about lung cancer or brain cancer or thyroid cancer. They don’t even so much discuss bowel/colorectal cancers. The main focus always seems to be cancers of the female organs (cervical, uterine, ovarian, breast) and prostate cancer. The general opinion among all of us while having our discussion was that the money that goes to these awareness foundations is a waste because it could be going to help people. If you are of the belief that there is already a cure for cancer, then the money could go towards finding cures for other illnesses. If you’re of the belief that a cure has not been found yet, then the money could go towards finding a cure rather than making people aware by sending the entire population to participate in screening programs. When you think about it, I wonder how many lives could have been saved with all of the money that goes into these awareness campaigns? Whether it be those with cancer or other illnesses. Sure, being aware of your body is important and if you feel like you need/want to participate in any program after being informed, then you should be able to access it and do so. That being said, there’s a difference between awareness and scaring everyone into constantly monitoring their bodies.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        I understand medical testing. There’s I, II, and III stages to testing. First is to see if it works & won’t kill. Second is to find the right dose. Third is a blind test vs a known treatment and placebo. There is a big time reason why, in the sense of what you say, the medical community is pushing so hard to find people to screen and treat. Especially the early detection treatable diseases with high cure rates. Without people cranking through the turnstiles, there won’t be cancers to find, treat, and “discover” which treatment works best. Those unfortunate who are Stage III+ and IV will quality when a new treatment takes stage.

        Governments, insurances, and pharm companies now want to see what’s cheapest and works best. The end race to the cure and big bucks. So they need lots of people to diagnose and cure. At this stage it’s low risk but high reward–to them anyway. In honesty, I feel some testing is beneficial. But why mammograms every year if totally normal? Why pelvics if they are useless? How about a cure for the common cold? How about something to help my sex life when I get old? Was not my contribution to society worth something?

        Last night my hubby had to visit Kaiser urgent care. He told the nurse about this site, and asked if Kaiser practiced the new CDC guidelines on pelvics. She had no clue. He said she became very puzzled when he told her the bimanual can’t detect cancer even it it’s already there.

  27. Moo says:

    I actually found the website and the list of what they get paid for their cancer screening incentives.
    http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/fht/docs/fht_compensation.pdf pg 11
    Service Enhancement Fee of $6.86 is payable to physicians for each
    enrolled patient he or she contacts for the purpose of scheduling an appointment for pap test and others.
    Pap smear pg 12
    This Service Enhancement Fee is payable to the physician and calculated annually on an individual physician basis, based on the percentage of female patients enrolled to the physician who are between 35 and 70 years of age and who have had a Pap smear in the past 30 months.
    Percentage of Enrolled Patients Fee Payable
    60% $220
    65% $440
    70% $660
    75% $1320
    80% $2200
    Usually recommended that if a doctor works 40hrs per week that he have a roster of 1300 to 1500 patients. Mostly likely some will have different gender splits depending on the gender of the physician and the practice. (women will tend to see the female doctors in a practice)
    Some other document I found stated that a pap test code could be added on to any other assessment or other procedure for billing. Usually if you have more than one concern you are told to come back for another assessment so they can bill that. ONLY pap test is allowed a double billing.
    Any wonder we are harassed and harassed and treated badly when we refuse pap tests.

    • Alex says:

      Wait, you mean they get paid for “asking?” I don’t understand what you mean at the end, is it that they can attach the “inquiry” (that they get paid for) to anything else & get paid more for it or is it with the test, itself? And it just applies time after time (like they keep scheduling appointments & they keep getting paid when they just attach a code that says they asked or did something?)?

      I don’t really need to wonder why they don’t just lie & leave the woman alone, but I would’ve thought that women would get suspicious on that fee-for-action situation alone. The more actions they engage in, the more cash they make & if they lie or actually cause problems it makes them even more- all while the patient potentially thinks this isn’t a trick (there can also be a lust for lying as an incentive).

      Then there comes the “Oh, they’re not all like that” response, or you get someone saying “Well, you get good & bad in everything.” And here I thought that was what certification was for!

      Let’s not forget “They save a lot of lives” (whether they actually do that or not. What’s that supposed to mean? That it’s okay for them to screw up some people’s lives if they save others?

  28. Moo says:

    The government is allowing them to do this. Most people have no idea.

    I should contact my member of provincial parliament and complain. With cuts to funding doctors should not be getting these incentive payments. There might be an argument that all the screening will save money in healthcare by catching cancer early. However I happen to know that they use the FOBT to screen patients that will be referred for colonoscopies, the information/instruction pamphlet with the card kit seriously omits instructions about diet and medications before the test. The test is going to give many people false positive for blood in their stool for such activities as flossing their teeth, eating red meat, broccoli, and many other foods. So a ridiculous amount of people are going to be referred for colonscopy which is invasive and does have risks. So what is expected when the cervical screening/pap train is so ridiculous and harmful.

    I found a blog that totally exposes the HPV myth as the cause of cervical cancer and the farce of the HPV vaccine. I will post it up tomorrow

    And I might remind people there is absolutely no proof of HPV later reactivating in women after 20 or 30 years after an initial infection. There was no study ever done that proved this. It was just a “theory” that someone made up and it was taken as fact. Older women are likely to have new infections because hey who is checking what strain of HPV they have. They would have to know the original strain and prove that the same strain reactivated in the later infection. Even some women were likely infected at their doctors office or by formites.

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      I was quite shocked when I came across the incentive payments for Dr’s in Ontario. I thought for sure with funding cuts to nurses in hospitals and wait lists for specialists and MRI’s etc…that the government would not spend precious money on incentive payments to push screening especially for a rare cancer. The focus on screening does not cost less money vs. only treating those who have cancer. At any time less than one percent of the population has cancer and needs treatment. Yet if the intention is to screen the entire population of a province on a regular basis the screening tests cost money and there will be rates of a faulty test that needs repeating and false positives that need further investigation. Then how many people will have a false positive and undergo full treatment for cancer unnecessarily. Then add on that Dr’s will push screening to get payment. Overall screening puts more people into the system which not only costs money but causes the wait times and doctor shortage.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Alex,
    Can’t find the relevant post, but you asked me about the German proposal to penalize those who don’t take part in screening programs.
    Here is a BMJ article on the subject, you might not be able to access the article, but the rapid responses are interesting.
    I wasn’t surprised to hear it didn’t eventuate on ethical and legal grounds.
    That’s why these “mandates” in democratic countries are try-on tactics to increase coverage, they know most women won’t challenge them and even fewer will take legal action/report them etc. It’s all about safety, how safe is it for a doctor/the profession to coerce/pressure/harass/scare/mislead a woman into screening? I’m talking about the doctor’s safety, not the woman, they couldn’t care less about her.
    http://www.bmj.com/content/333/7574/877.4?tab=responses

  30. Lynne says:

    Sue – Just an idea but maybe a separate section devoted to this health insurance reform in the states might be a good idea?

    I think it would be good for women like us at this forum and the Women Against Stirrups site to have a kind of “plan of action”, and have information as it trickles in from women using the exchanges or having the difficulties like Ashley had, in one section of your site?

    By plan of action I mean dealing with doctors who are holding insurance forms hostage, and seeing what will actually be done (exam wise) with women using the exchanges.

    • Alex says:

      I’d also suggest people start extra sites (look what happened with Blogcritics). This site works cool, but I would suggest no having all the eggs in one basket with this- especially since a lot of women seem to bottle up what they actually feel about all this & just give the more “approved of” answer (“approved of” by who, though?). Getting information to base decisions on is rare, too.

      A lot of things are to help the doctor & disregard the patient. The attendant being there to protect the doctor & not the patient is a good example of that. They’re only there to cover for the doctor & say that nothing bad happened, not to keep the doctor from doing anything like that. People sometimes forget that someone that’s in the position of support can be cut from the same cloth as the one you were worried about in the first place.

  31. Moo says:

    A few posts back someone was asking how a woman could tell if they had HPV without a doctor. Ok there are about 40 strains of HPV that affect the genitals. Some cause warts only, some cause cervical dysplasia (and supposedly eventually cancer) and some cause both. To look for warts on a male soak a paper towel with vinegar (yes ordinary household vinegar) for a few minutes on penis and scrotum. The warts will turn white. For women you could probably see any external warts (vinegar will sting the inner labia). To see the cervix you need a speculum which you would have to get from medical supply. I have even heard of people stealing them from clinics. Just make sure that you get a new one or one only used by yourself, no sharing. Then vinegar can be put on the cervix. After about a minute any parts that appear white are infected with HPV (dysplasia). This same procedure is done in a colposcopy. You could use h2o2 (3–7percent) on HPV affected areas or various other cures such as green tea extract instead of having some doctor cut or burn parts of your cervix off. Or just take certain vitamins: folic acid, zinc, B’s, C and let your body heal itself. There are other ways to help such as do not smoke, have a partner that smokes, stop using hormonal birth control. Some naturopaths do paps and have protocols for healing cervical dysplasia.

    • Alex says:

      H202 is hydrogen peroxide, right? Just making sure that was the reference.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Moo, excellent info. Can you tell me please, if HPV can be detected by a blood test or in any way w/o involving a pelvic exam? It would be nice to screen for this w/o being handled like a bowling ball.

  32. F.L. says:

    Hi Alex,

    There are already some other sites on this topic that are giving voice around these issues. One of them is the Women Against Stirrups site. Also, ALL of the comments from the old Blogcritics site were saved/preserved and the site is available for anyone to add to the discussion. That site is at:

    http://unnecessarypapsmears.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/over-10000-lost-comments-on-unnecessary-pap-smears-find-a-home/

    It appears that the site was intended as a forum to continue the discussion thread that had started on the old Blogcritic’s site.

    In addition, anyone else who wants to start a blog on this topic should certainly do so. The more blogs the better!

  33. Moo says:

    No there is no blood test for HPV. Depending on what country you live in there are self tests for HPV that involve putting a swab like device into the vagina. This can be done at home by the woman herself and sent into a lab for processing. Digene has a self HPV test that is available in the Netherlands and some other countries. Digene makes an HPV test for Canada and US that is only available for doctors to use while doing a pap test. So you have to wonder why?

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      You scored again Moo! Figures; that we women aren’t trusted to harvest a swab of our own cervical mucus. Doctors don’t trust us and won’t answer our questions truthfully , treat pain they claim we cannot feel, nor to allow us to pick our spouses or whomever we choose as our advocates and/or chaperones into the exam room w/o a fight either. But they demand binding consent, full payment, and unquestioned loyalty. As if they have full control of our vaginas.

      How I’d like to put them, naked, into the stirrups, and perform a bimanual pelvic on them while discussing what their body parts look like.

  34. Moo says:

    Believe or not last time I totally refused a pap test I told my doctor that I was trying to get pregnant and did not want a pap test. (obviously the treatments for abnormal pap tests destroy fertility so why risk it) He told me that if I got pregnant and refused a pap test then I would be denied prenatal care. ????? Whose pants are on fire?

    So I want help with fertility issues and I am getting nothing. When I bring up the subject he is all on about pap tests. Probably I am considered too old but really at my age most women do not want more babies, stopped trying, would be horrified to be pregnant or had such damage done to them as a result of “abnormal Paps” that they could not sustain pregnancy. I do not believe that statistics that I have 1% chance of conceiving or every pregnancy over age 45 is too high risk.

    Right now I am charting my basal body temp, taking vitex, tonnes of prenatal vitamins, and now starting a baby aspirin per day. Any ideas?

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Moo, I’m glad finally I get to offer you advice. I like what Lynn says above. Ask your md if he’ll compensate you for any damage he causes. Also, find another md. If this a**hole refuses to answer your questions now, imagine what he’ll become when the demands arise for you to have amniocenticis (sp) testing. [I bet he nags/whines like a baby to his wife] On the flip side, it may be good to be screened before pregnant in case of problems.

      However, find another doctor. After the pap he’ll want to thoroughly feel your insides to make sure you can have sex safely… [I'm guessing his reason for palpating your uterus]

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Fertility is an unknown, we never know…
      My healthy friend had so much trouble getting and staying pregnant in her mid to late 30′s, she went through 5-6 years of heartache, whereas my SIL fell pregnant three times in her 40s and very quickly, (42,43 & 45) after 2-3 months of trying, they lost one baby (nothing to do with her age), the other two were born prematurely, but are now fit and healthy 3 and 4 year old boys.
      Of course, with the awful levels of over-treatment that flow from over-screening with the pap test, huge numbers of women have some damage to the cervix…this can mean infertility, miscarriages, c-sections, premature babies etc.
      Shamefully, (and conveniently) there is not much research in this area, the numbers would be interesting, but they don’t want to know….and definitely, don’t want us to know!
      The cervix is there for a reason…yet IMO, has become an object to be abused for profits and power. There needs to be a LOT more respect for the asymptomatic female body.
      I wouldn’t use a doctor who told me pap tests were necessary when you’re pregnant etc…they are never “necessary”…only an option, but should not be done during pregnancy or within 6 months of giving birth. (a false positive is even more likely due to hormonal changes or birth trauma)

    • Alice (Australia) says:

      Moo, you definitely should try to find another doctor, for your and your prospective baby safety. This doctor is lying to you, pressuring you and denying you proper health care service. You wouldn’t want to be in his “care” when you are in most vulnerable state – pregnancy.

      Pap smear is an elective, optional test . Always. Anywhere. In any country. For anyone, pregnant or not. If any quack says otherwise, it is a figment of his imagination, ignorance or greed.

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      The Dr is behaving unethically and needs to be reminded of his ethics:

      24. Respect the right of a competent patient to
      accept or reject any medical care recommended.

      He is also violating medical law by engaging in coercion and should be reported to the local medical association. You have a right to refuse any test or treatment without fear of reprisal and to have your concerns addressed.

  35. Lynne says:

    One way to shut him up is to tell him you’d agree to one after your pregnant, but would he sign a legal notorized document that if his almighty pap causes you to lose the baby, he will gladly compensate you for pain and suffering, as well as mental anguish, with additional compensation should you be deemed infertile.

    My husband’s doctor kept pushing a colonoscopy on him. Last time I went with him to the doctor i mentioned the fact that colonoscopies can perforate the bowels. I was told it was “nonsense” and that the risk is minimal. So I asked if he would compensate my husband for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and pay all of his medical bills if that happens and put it in a notorized statement.

    Guess what his doctor never mentions anymore?

    • Alex says:

      Another idea is try getting him to put his “sales pitch” in writing. If he’s saying that it’s useful for this or that, how safe it is, that he’ll deny medical care, etc… . Recording this discussion can be useful, too.

      Sometimes elaborating the situation can get them to back off (bringing up that this is an iatrogenic attack & has aggravating factors on top of it, that he does not have the option to attack the patient, etc…). You’re basically “making your case,” so that way it demonstrates that there’s no angle to use (no legal wiggle-room because the situation is depicted in sharp relief, you know how things line up & wouldn’t be easy to trick with false information, you’ve got some solidness to you & wouldn’t be easily pushed around).

      Keep something in mind: It seems that a lot of times people that like to attack people in that way don’t really like a solid target. They seem to like the situation of “taking a sledgehammer to a teacup.” Also, they seem to burn out when posed with a sustained conflict. Contrary to what you might hear pretty often on this subject (at least, in Amercia), fighting back is an effective option.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Lynne, that’s clever, I’ll keep that in mind.
      I’ve decided not to have a colonoscopy, my mother had surgery for bowel cancer a couple of years ago, but she was close to 80 when she was diagnosed, we have to die of something. Her specialist recommended we all have colonoscopies asap, we’re “high risk”…but when I questioned him more closely, he admitted we have a “slightly” elevated risk as our mother was older when she was diagnosed, you’re high risk if your first degree relative gets bowel cancer before age 60. So the sweeping statement to screen is only modified if you’re aware enough to challenge them.
      As it stands colonoscopies do not lead to a reduction in all-cause mortality (more heart attacks in the screened group, they don’t know why) and as you correctly point out, carry serious risk. It may be the FOBT is just as effective, Dr Gil Welch and his team at Dartmouth are doing a RCT to compare the effectiveness of both tests. You can’t discount the preference for the colonoscopy may have something to do with the great profits it generates for specialists and hospitals.

  36. Moo says:

    Some swabs for bacteria are needed during late pregnancy to prevent risk during delivery namely strep B for STD(which likely people knew they had before). A Pap test is for cancer which cannot be treated during pregnancy anyway. Any tumour in the cervix that would be large enough to interfere with birth would show up on an ultrasound. So it baffles me why a Pap test is “routine” in early prenatal. I would even refuse 6-8 week ultrasound. In fact I would not bother even telling my doctor I was pregnant until at least 20 weeks if I could. (We’ll not there yet) . Hoe scraping the cervix, disturbing the mucus plug and sticking a brush up the os 1-2 cm is not going to do anything baffles me. Many women claim that they were told their miscarriage a few days after a Pap test was not caused by the pap. Yet the medical community insists that paps and pelvic exams do not cause miscarriage.

    The cervix has a purpose in fertility, pregnancy and even sexual enjoyment. Even a natural miscarriage I let nature take care of that since a few d/c procedures or any procedure that dilates the cervix weakens it. So the fertility testing ultrasound of Fallopian tubes, entrometrial sampling etc that need some tool rammed up through the cervix damage it. The cervix is supposed to protect and filter and store sperm. It is a barrier to the outside world for the womb.

    Many women have said their hospital deliveries were nightmarish rapes with people constantly coming and going, medical personnel sticking their hand up their vagina constantly to check their dilation (disturbing and maybe not necessary) the awkward posture of birthing, the bright lights, noise.

    Yeah there are issues with my doctor that need work. However he has been leaving me alone lately – not pushing the paps.

    I am believing that most issues of fertility can be addressed with lifestyle changes (diet, avoiding toxins, exercises) and monitoring mucus and basal body temperature. It can be difficult to get information sometimes because everyone is selling something.

  37. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Moo,
    “So it baffles me why a Pap test is “routine” in early prenatal”
    Here it’s about coverage, pregnancy is a great time to “capture” women, the Pill, pregnancy and childbirth, even menopause, have been used to pressure/coerce women into elective screening and general excess. You’re wise to be cautious. I believe pregnancy is normal, like menstruation, almost all of the meddling that goes on during pregnancy is unnecessary. (and potentially harmful)

    I was shocked to see an American program featuring three gynecologists – their patients have a LOT of internal exams. The initial exam here was the invasive one, bimanual pelvic and breast exam and a pap test. More doctors here have ditched that exam now, neither exam is evidence based and both carry risk. I suspect women are still hassled about pap tests, but they should not be done during pregnancy or for 6 months following delivery…and can never be “required” for anything.
    I’ve read and heard it’s easier to give birth when you’re upright, but until recently, most women gave birth on their backs, sometimes in stirrups, and in the States, an episiotomy was routine in the 1970s – childbirth was a nasty medical experience. Most of the cutting was unnecessary, women were then left to endure pain and discomfort for weeks/months after delivery. Once again, no regard for the female body or for the well-being of the woman.

  38. Moo says:

    The only reference I could find about pap tests during pregnancy other than the indoctrinated “you have to have them”.
    PREGNANT WOMEN
    Pregnancy does not accelerate cervical lesions, and cervical cancer occurs in only five of 100,000 pregnancies.49 The rate of CIN 2,3 is only 3.7 percent on postpartum follow-up for women with prenatal ASC-US or LSIL.49 Postpartum regression is common in women with CIN 1 (36 percent) and CIN 2,3 (48 to 70 percent).50,51 Management of nonadolescent women with ASC-US or LSIL is the same as for nonpregnant women5,6; however, because of the low risk of cancer, the initial colposcopic evaluation can be deferred until at least six weeks postpartum.5,6 When necessary to rule out invasion, colposcopy and directed biopsies are safe in pregnancy,52 but endocervical curettage is unacceptable.5,6 Because cervical changes in pregnancy can mimic CIN, colposcopy should be performed by experienced colposcopists.5,6 Treatment is unacceptable without confirmation of cancer7,8 because of the risk of complications such as hemorrhage or fetal loss.53
    Pregnant women with HSIL should undergo prenatal colposcopy5,6 with biopsy of lesions suspicious for CIN 2,3 or cancer.5,6 Colposcopy should be repeated no earlier than six weeks postpartum if no CIN 2,3 is found.5,6 For pregnant women with CIN 2,3, repeat cytology and colposcopy may be performed every 12 weeks with repeat biopsy if the lesion worsens or cytology suggests invasion.7
    American Family Physician. 2009 Jul 15;80(2):147-155.

  39. Lynne says:

    Elizabeth – Also the fecal test has a very high false positive rate. A person’s diet can give them a false positive. Too much fiber, red meat, and even aspirin can trigger a false positive.

  40. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Lynne,
    Yes, that worries me, and after a positive FOBT result so many go straight to colonoscopy.
    At the very least people should re-test a few months later, but then even if you got a negative result, (no blood detected) many would still worry about the first test result. The end result is the day procedure room. It’s a bit like the Americans piling up the cervical screening tests and the absurd articles that address the resultant confusion: “What to do if your pap test is abnormal and your HPV negative or your pap test is normal, but your HPV test is positive?”

    The FOBT is an example of a “simple” test that can lead you elsewhere. We should know about the diagnostic and treatment trail BEFORE we test, it’s often too late after we get an “abnormal” result.
    My BIL is having PSA testing every year, he says he won’t panic if his levels start to rise, just watch/monitor them, but I know Dr Welch and others say this can lead to lots of anxiety and eventually people cave and just want it checked out, “to be on the safe side”…of course, if the man is over 50 he’s very likely to have some non-life-threatening prostate cancer (the biopsy will confirm cancer) and that might mean losing the prostate gland and ending up impotent and incontinent (urine and/or feaces) or enduring more biopsies.
    Once you get a suspect biopsy though, some men opt to have the prostate gland out; cancer screening is a slippery slope.

    My husband has decided not to have PSA testing and the routine rectal exam is not recommended here. (he wouldn’t have it anyway, it’s unreliable) He gets no grief over these decisions, yet women who decline mammograms and pap tests are reckless and everything else. The double standard is alive and well.
    A friend (mid 40s) saw a new GP recently and when pap tests came up, she told him the truth, “I don’t have them”…there was a sharp intake of breath and a look of horror, “You don’t have pap tests!”
    He was horrified that an intelligent woman could be so careless with her health.
    “On the contrary, that’s why I’ve declined pap tests” was her response.
    It really is incredible that screening is viewed as compulsory FOR WOMEN by so many doctors, these unhealthy attitudes need to change and that starts with us challenging them, and sacking/avoiding the doctors who still dwell in the Dark Ages.

  41. Judy says:

    Elizabeth, that double standard truly is mind boggling in this day and age. Its breast cancer awareness month in the U.S., with all of the usual “catch it early” hype about mammograms in the media. If any question is presented in these articles, its always as to when a women should start screening, at 40 vs. 50, never if she should start, and its never, ever addressed that a woman has a choice in this matter and should be presented with the pros and cons and then decide for herself whether she wishes to screen. Yet every article that ever appears about prostate cancer screening has the slant that there are risks to screening and that the man should weigh the risks and benefits and then decide for himself. It just makes me livid.

    • Ro says:

      Judy – I saw an article the other day that said women with a strong family history of breast cancer should start having mammograms done as early as age 25. It makes me livid as well that the risks are never listed when it comes to women’s screening programs. Furthermore, they’re never presented as an option or a choice. It’s so disrespectful to women and their bodily autonomy.

    • Alex says:

      It is an interesting concept, isn’t it? That, for all purposes, reality doesn’t apply to women? If someone that has that style of reasoning, they’re not trustable. If these things are imposed (deception included), that is abuse- no matter if they have any utility or not. IF they do have utility, then it’s the patient’s own decision whether to utilize them or not.

      By-the-way: What happened to the icons on the side that used to be there? It says there’s no public comments to display.

  42. Moo says:

    I have to say this. FOBT fecal occult blood test is very inaccurate. Google FOBT and John Hopkins hospital and see what foods, even flashing teeth can cause false positives. colonoscopy have risks that are not worth it if you do not have family history or problems already. I know someone who was bullied into it and got back a letter saying now they are at risk of HIV, HPV and hep B because the equipment for colonscopy was not properly sterilized.
    FIT test is more accurate as it is detecting only human hemoglobin and not going to react to citrus fruits, brocholi or red meat. It would still give false positive to gastric bleeding or bleeding gums.

    Are some colon polyps so slow growing or benign that they are never going to cause cancer? They do not need to be removed or detected. Doctors like to scare people with the whole colon bags thing. Cancer is terrible but why torture people over 80 with all the tests and procedures? Let them die in peace and dignity.

    • Lynne says:

      Colon polyps are like “abnormal cells” in pap smears. The majority of them are nothing to worry about. The majority of people over 50 will have polyps in their colon. Again it is a money maker to have these things removed, just like chiseling away at the cervix for cells that won’t cause any harm.

      Another thing about the false positives with the fecal tests – Read up on how long you have to change your diet. Some advise changing the diet for 6 to 8 weeks prior to testing. And of course the next step would be a colonoscopy, “just to make sure”.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      About 3% of polyps go on to become bowel cancer, of course, the presence of a polyp, especially if the pathology confirms “pre-cancer” or anything remotely suspect…often means intense worry for the patient and relief it was caught in time. Dr Oz and his “scare” seems to be an example of hysteria over nothing.
      97% of polyps never bother us, but everyone seems to forget that fact, to be fair, most don’t know that fact and assume all polpys would turn nasty at some point.
      As we get older we develop all sorts of things on our skin, age/sun spots, pigment changes and the same occurs inside our body…in other words, almost all of these changes are perfectly normal.

  43. Moo says:

    I have read a few internet blogs from women complaining about mammograms. They cause pain because the breat is compressed between two plates with 50 lbs of pressure. Some women complains of long lasting pain, discharge and disfigurement (swished, flattened, distorted) of their breasts. Other women nothing can be seen since their breasts are to dense. If nothing is wrong why bother. Other imaging technologies are better for investigating lumps that are causing a problem.

    The “screening” programmes just have to justify themselves into funding by getting victims.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      I keep emphasizing the other side of screening. Sometimes a bona fide cancer is found. My mother was receiving hormone replacement. Routine screening found her cancer. The tumor had a core tumor that was aggressive. She is now 7+yrs post. However, my husband’s uncle was not screened. He died of colon cancer. None of these programs are strictly positive, nor are they negative either. But some are indeed a waste, or forced upon us in motivations other than medical.

  44. Judy says:

    I’ve known women who ended up badly bruised after a mammogram, also. Of course the screening programs have to justify themselves to keep getting victims. These imaging centers in hospitals, in the U.S. anyway, cost a fortune to operate and employ a lot of people. The last thing they want is for women to be given informed consent and then decide not to screen – it would cut into their profits. As in so many areas of women’s “healthcare,” money and control are the top priority, not the women themselves.

    • Alex says:

      Isn’t it odd that whatever they say in approval of themselves is seen as justification? “This doesn’t actually help with anything, but it’s still important because of… well, nothing- but we still want things to go this way.”

      I’ve got to say: the term “justified” can cause a bit of an issue because it’s making the point that someone is “unjust” for blocking whatever action that someone is trying to do. It casts the patient in a “bad guy” light for halting something that they don’t want to have happen to them. Also, it can imply that utility (or possible utility) generates a situation of arbitrary discretion for someone else- that they “fire at will” & assume some measure of proprietorship of the other person.

      Keep in mind: this is the exact situation that someone that’s aligned this way would go for. If this is the “layout” of the medical environment, then don’t you think it’s going to attract “people” like that? It’s certainly seems the designation is that whatever they do is fine because they did it.

    • ladyprotips says:

      Unfortunately, at the moment, mammography is the best screening tool we have in regards to breast cancer. However, that doesn’t make it great. But other tests are in the process of being patented, such as MBI. It’s important women understand that yes, mammography is the best we currently have, but it still doesn’t decrease chances of dying from breast cancer that drastically, and women should be allowed to make this decision for themselves.

  45. Lynne says:

    Cat and Mouse – I agree that there are positives to screening, and in some cases they do indeed help someone like your mom. Hormone replacement does increase a person’s cancer risk. But for a lot of people its about as reliable as tossing a coin. Screening a person with a higher risk is certainly warranted. Glad to hear your mom is okay :)

  46. Moo says:

    Hormone replacement does increase cancer risk so why exactly are/were doctors prescribing it? The “information” that the medical community is giving out is constantly changing. Women were told “soy, soy, soy” and now that is all changed. The research was biased because unfermented soy is not healthy.

    If you want to see a diagnostic protocol for breast concerns download this pamphlet http://qap.sdsu.edu/screening/breastcancer/bda/index3.html. Any suspicious symptom is outlined here such as lumps, pain, nipple discharge when not lactating. There is also a risk assessment table at the beginning. Regardless of risk, it pushes that all women should be screened at age 50 every two years and CBE (clinical breast exam) every year. Sorry, I do not agree since I do not need my breasts compressed and irradiated so often. I would rather just go with self exam and consulting my doctor if I need to.

  47. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    I can understand why some women turn to HRT, I decided I’d only “consider” it (and that would mean doing my own research) IF the symptoms became debilitating and nothing else worked. I can’t eat soy, I react to it and my system gets rid of it very quickly. (if you know what I mean)
    Some women go through years of hell and virtually become social outcasts, they feel uncomfortable socializing, working etc. never knowing when they’ll turn bright red and start sweating profusely, the next minute…they’re freezing cold. Some women flood with no warning and fear an embarrassing accident. I have a friend in HK who lived with that worry for about 5 years. She also, hated friends trying to kiss her, her face was always wet, she’d carry facial blotting papers with her.

    I found the temperature variation annoying, but dressed in layers, bought cotton shirts etc. I managed the symptoms that way. Also, night sweats can mean you get little sleep so you ‘wake” feeling exhausted, irritable etc. Yoga can help, herbal tea or a warm (not hot) bath. Again, light nightwear and layers on the bed…sheet, light blanket, warmer blanket etc.

    The thing is: every woman will have a different experience, some symptoms worse than others, (I actually don’t like the word “symptom”…because it implies illness) overall I consider myself lucky, the temperature variation is easing, I’m sleeping well….it occurred to me recently that I haven’t been as sweaty lately…so fingers crossed, I might be heading out the other side. (At one stage
    I took a spare shirt to work and if I felt the need, freshened up at lunchtime)

    Some women breeze through menopause, others suffer a bit…or a bit more…or badly, we’re all different, but menopause is a normal phase of life, along with puberty, menstruation and pregnancy/childbirth. We shouldn’t allow the medical profession to medicalize normal phases of life – our bodies manage just fine in most cases, without medical management or interference.

    • ladyprotips says:

      I completely agree with you. My mother has had an absolutely horrendous time with menopause, she’s been completely miserable. HRT is the only thing getting her through it. However, the majority of women will be fine without HRT.

  48. Jola says:

    To Alex
    Hi Alex, you wrote in one of your comments about lack of respect to women and you mentioned childbirth in stirrups. I recommend a film to you about it – the film is very interesting and sad, I’m afraid. It’s about the attitude to childbirth in the USA (and I guess that not only in the USA). I can’t find the headline in English, but I’ve got it in Polish. The film was recorded in the USA and it is in American English. Just subtitles are in Polish. It’s really worth watching. Go to the YouTube and type: Porodowy Biznes which means the childbirth business. There are nine episodes.

    • Alice (Australia) says:

      Jola, thank you for mentioning this TV program. It is called “The Business of Being Born” and brings attention to problems in women’s health care, especially childbirth, in USA.

      Childbirth in USA has been monopolised by hospitals and obstetricians. Obstetricians are surgeons, and so they are not interested in normal births, they want to operate. Hence the high rates of unnecessary interventions and low rate of normal healthy births in USA, which is harmful for both women and babies.

      Midwives have been left out childbirth care in USA, even though a midwife can be the best advocate of woman’s interests when she is in the most vulnerable state. In the majority of births a presence of a doctor or a surgeon is not needed, and an experienced midwife can provide a more personal, gentle, private and humane care with more respect and dignity than it could be done in a hospital with a few personnel shifts changes and crowds of medical strangers and students walking in and shoving their hands into women’s genitals. Many women find this sort of experience worse than the unbearable pain. Hospitals, gynecologists and obstetricians act in the interests of their business, the medical system and statistics, not in women’s personal interests. This, unfortunately, often happens in other countries like Australia, not only in USA.

      The TV series can be easily found on YouTube and definitely are worth watching, especially for USA women.

    • Alex says:

      Thank you, Jola! I don’t remember which post that was, but I definitely remember mentioning things about that a few times. It’s absolutely appalling that what should be the happiest day of a woman’s life (and her man’s, as well) is turned into a traumatic experience. I really can’t believe more doctors don’t get killed for stuff like that- they turn a hospital stay into an attack (it doesn’t even have to be with pregnancy, but that’s especially twisted).

      So many things confound me: Like how so many women bottle up that this is a problem for them. It truly seems like she’s worried about getting smacked in the face emotionally as a response to her bring up that this is, was, or would be a problem (I’d think confrontation isn’t as bad as situation, though). That’s another thing: How so many women can be so callous & cruel to other women. So many times, it’s actually WOMEN doing these things (and it’s made out to be perfectly fine because of that!). It’s presented as a non-antagonistic situation, but that’s simply untrue.

      By-The-Way: Don’t know if you’ve been reading the things on Obamacare, but it seems women might get backed into all kinds of exams in order to get insurance (which would be illegal to not have- so it’s a de facto law). There were two commercials on that on Youtube (one for men & one for women) that were titled “Don’t Let The Government Play Doctor.” There’s also something about forced home inspections that seems like it might involve comporting people’s medical situations (as well as forcibly putting people on prescriptions, vaccines, and foster care).

      Just talked to the Italian consulate & it sounds like I’ll be able to just go on ancestry.com & get citizenship in Europe for my heritage. I’d highly suggest people do similar, but there’s a lot of potential for things to get worse here (just look at how they already are). It’s not like dictatorial behavior is an uncommon thing in America.

    • Barbara says:

      I watched “The Business of Being Born” (there are 10 parts, the link takes you to the first one). It is a great documentary! Very sad. But it is the the truth that is sad.

      It is all about women left out of their of health care. They are not allowed to decide for their own bodies. Well… technically they are given options, but every “option” given by the doctor is for the doctor’s convenience and is presented as if it was good for the baby. And if the woman refuses such “option”, she is immediately accused of being a bad mother. So, in reality, the is no choice.

      The perfectly normal and healthy process of pregnancy and childbirth has been completely hospitalised. Women have been convinced that their reproductive functions and organs require constant medical surveillance and intervention. Nearly every woman in USA goes to hospital to give birth, and then finds herself on a conveyor belt of inductions and interventions.

      If her labor takes too long, the doctor either wants to go home in the evening (day shift) or doesn’t want to stay up all night (if it’s a night shift). So the woman is given contraction inducing drugs. After that, the contractions become unbearable, and she needs an epidural. After the epidural, she can’t feel her body properly anymore, and so she is given more induction… Eventually the chemically-induced contractions become too damaging for the unborn baby and the poor woman ends up with an emergency cesarean. Now the doctor can go home or to sleep, while the woman is told: “See how good that you didn’t have a home-birth! You need a major surgery! Thanks god you were in hospital!” And he poor woman believes this lie and will tell all her friends and relatives that they should go to hospital too. The sad truth has been lost: if the woman has stayed at home and hasn’t been put through this cascade of unnecessary interventions, she would not have needed the surgery.

      Any medical system acts foremost for its own convenience, and only then, if the patient’s interests happened to be along the course, does something to help the patient. Private hospitals are business: they want their beds to filled and emptied quickly, with maximum profits. Public hospitals are always short of everything, so they also want their beds to be emptied quickly. No one wants to patiently and gently care about the woman’s naturally long labor. The approach is “simple”: induce, slash, lie, take the money – and off she goes, freeing the space for the next trusty victim.

      Obstetricians are surgeons, they know nothing about normal healthy births. They are trained to give medications and to operate. And this is precisely what they do.

      This happens not only in childbirth. Our “favourite” pap smears are a part of the same system. Women are convinced that their cervixes need regular surveillance and scarping. And then they end up in a surgery room and are told: “Thanks god we caught it early”, while the truth is there was 99% chance the cervix would have healed on its own if it hasn’t been scraped, biopsied or burned. Same conveyor belt: scaremonger, brainwash, screen, do unnecessary interventions, screen again, operate again, and then thank the medical system for saving the woman.
      Saving from what?? From something that our bodies are capable of fixing on its own.

      Any woman, who trusts her health to the medical system, is dealing either with her MP/GP who have very superficial knowledge of every aspect of health and just blindly follow guidelines; or is referred to an ob/gyn, who are trained to slash, burn and poison. Neither of them is interested in helping her body to heal on its own. Too long and not profitable enough. Business comes first.

    • Alex says:

      Barbara- Loved reading your post (it’s nice to see bad things called for what they are). You’re completely right, but don’t forget the potential for sadistic thrills & general pervyness. Sometimes money is the secondary concern. Women just get acted on in medicine- they apply influence at their discretion. It’s not strictly an order, but it’s “launching” this situation (whatever it is & whatever properties it happens to have).

      There are so many interjected actions with childbirth that have antagonistic dynamics & that doesn’t change if a woman does it. Sometimes it’s one thing or another, sometimes it’s a composite issue (like something that’s invasive & dangerous at the same time)- but I’ve noticed that with pretty much all of them , it’s disqualified. I mean, really: If a doctor poisons someone with a needle, it’s still murder- so how is any other thing seen as non-existant because it’s done by medical personnel? Is it only organ theft if someone uses a hunting knife to steal a kidney, but not a scalpel? Of course not, the situation is what it consists of.

      It also puzzles me that so many women have had such horrible experiences giving birth & don’t want that to not be her daughter’s situation. There are no “cautionary tales” or a general support for her giving birth naturally. On the contrary, they back up the doctor & act like their agent. Then, when something bad happens, they’re just “so sorry.”

    • D. says:

      What a great documentary! The only caveat: some parts seem to be deleted from youtube. I found the whole video here: The Business of Being born.

  49. Moo says:

    A matter of logic here. My huge question after doing some research on HPV infection.

    Some references:
    http://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Human_Papillomavirus_and_Cervical_Cancer

    “HPV (the types that cause cervical cancer) can only infect parabasal or basal cells–undifferentiated stem cells of the epidermis–most commonly in the transformation zone of the cervix, which is adjacent to the border of the endocervix and ectocervix. This area becomes more accessible during puberty, pregnancy, and when using oral contraceptives. Infection may be facilitated by micro abrasions on the surface; this allows better access to the basal cells, which are usually below several layers of epithelial cells”.

    So let’s assume that HPV infection can cause cervical cancer as most doctors will swear by “fact”.

    1. Microabrasions which can be caused apparently by sexual activity are how the virus can enter the cells. So if there is HPV on a penis or finger or object it is getting onto the genitals, into the vagina or onto the cervix by that method. How much microabrasion can be caused by sexual activities compared to how much abrasion is caused by a pap test with a spatula scraping around the cervical OS (where the transformation zone is in younger women) and sticking a brush up the cervical OS 1-2 cm (where the transformation zone is in older women)? So if there is one spot of HPV on the cervix already then the brush/spatula is going to spread it around everywhere like peanut butter on toast.

    2. If HPV is there in the cells then when they replicate and are shed they are going to be spread to other cells by sexual activity OR PAP TESTS.

    3. So why not do a test for HPV and find out if the HPV types associated with cancer are present in the vagina or on the cervix?

    Are the Dutch doctors the only ones who can follow any logic? Do pap tests make any sense to anyone since now it is generally assumed that cervical cancer is caused mostly by HPV which infects the basal cell layer through microabrasions?

    Further more not too many studies have been done on the transmission of HPV by formites (objects). Are people being infected with HPV from hand to hand contact, using public washrooms or from their filthy doctors offices?

    • Alice (Australia) says:

      Perfectly logical point, Moo! (I simply adore people who posses the ability to think logically! :-) )

      “How much microabrasion can be caused by sexual activities compared to how much abrasion is caused by a pap test with a spatula scraping around the cervical OS (where the transformation zone is in younger women) and sticking a brush up the cervical OS 1-2 cm (where the transformation zone is in older women)?”

      This could very well explain why women who never do pap smears rarely end up with their cervixes buttered for CIN of various degrees. The less scraping done to cervix, the less chance the HPV infection can get deep enough to cause trouble. Our bodies can easily fight off the superficial infection, but once HPV gets shoved into deeper epithelium layers by pap spatulas and brushes – welcome to surgery.

      So far, the Dutch medical system is the only one that acts precisely in the interests of women’s health and follows the “do no harm” rule. HPV self-test is liquid and can’t cause abrasions, and this is what they are offering to Dutch women instead of pap-scraping.

      It has already been proven numerous times that pap tests bring more harm than benefit to women. But they are cheap and lead to good profits for medical establishment, so they are still actively imposed on women and presented as “life-saving” tests, while the truth about the harm is kept in secret.

    • ladyprotips says:

      Moo, as gross as I think hospitals are, pap smears can’t spread HPV. HPV is a virus, and without a host it will become metabolically inactive and die. It needs to have living cells (on a penis, hand, mouth, or vagina) in order to survive.

    • Alice says:

      ladyprotips, nobody said pap smears spread HPV or infect people with HPV. The point was made that pap smears cause micro-abrasions that let HPV (if it is already present in the woman’s body) get into deeper epithelium layers and, as a result, become more difficult for the immune system to fight it off, which leads to much greater chance of cervical cancer.

      In other words: pap smears don’t cause HPV, but they may contribute to cervical cancer.

  50. mary says:

    Moo I read an article in the Medical Observer where it said 80% of transvaginal ultrasound handles were infected with various bacteria and viruses.

  51. Diane says:

    Rhetorical question, and forgive me if it’s been answered in another post…

    Let’s say, for the sake of argument, they do a Pap on a pregnant woman and discover she’s got full blown, bona fide, no question-about-it cervical cancer. What can they do about it at that point anyway? If she has chemo or radiation she will lose the fetus; if they operate on the cervix she will miscarry. And if they’re just going to wait until the baby is born to treat, well, they can wait for the Pap until then, can’t they (not that I think they should; I am against paps)? It just doesn’t compute for me.

    • ladyprotips says:

      That’s an incredibly unlikely circumstance, but I imagine it would depend on the stage of the cancer. Most likely, the doctor would tell the woman her options and she would have to decide whether or not to continue on with the pregnancy. That said, pap smears during pregnancy are something I have a hard time taking seriously.

  52. Moo says:

    There is very rare case when some strains of HPV will transmit to baby in the birth canal and cause eye infection or throat/lung infection with HPV. However it is not considered such a risk that Caesarian section must be done unless there are huge warts blocking the birth canal. It is mostly the “you wouldn’t want any infection you have to harm your baby” guilt trip and an opportunity to make money why women are almost forced to have paps and even colonoscopies during pregnancy.

    There is this ” preventing loss to follow up of abnormal pap” mentality. They can’t wait to treat an disease that will take perhaps decades to become cancer (if it happens at all) because even if they waited to the next pap, they might not be the ones that get the $$$$$ to do the biopsy and mutilation.

    The immune system in pregnancy is different so HPV will be more prolific. I have no doubts that doctors offices and maternity wards are so filthy with HPV that anyone could get it. They also want the pap done 6 weeks after birth and some months later. As if a cervix did not have enough happening to it during birth.

    I have read that some women refusing paps during pregnancy were rejected services by some ob/gyn and some even had children’s services investigate.

    If there were some huge cancer tumor then if would be visible in an exam or on an ultrasound. Cancer cannot be treated while pregnant and some women would abort.

    I just have huge concerns about Pap tests during pregnancy that they cause miscarriage especially during the first trimester. Ramming a brush up the cervical os could not be good for anyone.

    Another insight of logic, exam amniotic fluid and placenta for HPV after the birth and cell chances rather than scraping up a new mother’s cervix. Absolutely molestation free. Has anyone ever thought of that?

  53. Moo says:

    About the cervical canal. Shove the brush up there during a pap and spread the HPV. Apparently when a pap comes back atypical glandular cells ( the type of cells up in the cervical canal) the colposcopy MUST be done with the biopsy (using a sharp spoon up the os) and even an endometrial biopsy (shoving some metal rod up the cervical canal and pinching off pieces of the uterine lining). If they do not find what they are looking for (more atypical glandular) cells then they want to a cone biopsy (cutting out a huge piece of cervix) because that tumor ( if it exists) is hiding up there. I looked at the cytologist discussion board with photos of their slides. The cancerous glandular cells looked awhile lot like some other benign cells. Even the cytologists had trouble telling them apart with years of experience so what? They want to cut up some womens cervix just to make sure? ‘Cause it could be cancer or they were just needing to eat lunch.

    Sometimes the cone will be recommended in older women just because their transformation zone has naturally moved up into the cervical canal and cannot be “visualized” during the colposcopy. They NEED to find out WHY the pap is abnormal (it not accurate duh) so they want to do a cone.

    They just need to find what they looking for instead of leaving women alone to heal. They will say once a women has symptoms of cervical cancer it is TOO late! All CIN needs treatment. We’ll read a few studies and find out that is not so true.

  54. Moo says:

    Sorry I hate the auto correct feature. It keeps changing what I mean and using words I do not want. Please ask for clarifications.

    • Moo says:

      You have to wonder about the first article, the untrue statement that Pap smears prevent cancer. They do not. Having a Pap smear can no more prevent cancer than having a blood test or ultrasound. It is a cancer screening test and not a very good one at that. A pap might lead to a small percentage of women getting treatment that MAY remove abnormal cells (CIN3) thatMIGHT progress to cancer. It most likely will have a great number of women being treated for HPV infection that their body can deal with but if it was left alone and not scraped up all over their cervix they might heal more quickly.

      Comments on the second article:The UK system does not force pregnant women to get paps or colposcopist unless they were already having a serious problem such as having cervical cancer already. They also do not recommend pap until three months after birth.

      The American model is forcing pap at 8 weeks pregnant, and even several times during the pregnancy as well as 6 weeks postpartum. It even forces pregnant women to get colposcopist and claims that some treatments for condylatum and biopsies are “safe” if done by “experienced” colposcopists. They also claim that Pap smears NEVER cause miscarriage. I have read dozens of internet testimonies of women who started to spot and cramp after a pap and miscarried a day or two later. I have yet to find a study that shows that paps are safe during pregnancy and do not cause miscarriage.

      I can say that I would like a whole number of studies done on HPV and cervical cancer that would helpful. The problem is that HPV has never been grown in cell culture as far as I know.

      There was astudy done that found HPV DNA on surfaces (formites) in doctors offices. Please do not fall into the misconception that viruses do not survive too long outside the body. They do. How else do people get plantar warts from swimming pools or bath tubs? They are the same family of virus and they are not spread by sex or “direct contact” . The HPV virus is shed from the body with the skin cells that they grow in. So those skin cells on the pool deck contain the hPV virus and the skin cells on the toilet paper or people’s hand would have the HPV virus. The virus cannot reproduce outside of a cell but how long they remain viable (able to infect) outside the body is the question.

    • Ro says:

      In regards to the first article, was CC ever the main cause of death for women? I’ve heard that thrown around a lot, but never read or heard any proof to actually back it up. Second of all, at least they outright say that it isn’t a screening test for cancer, only abnormalities. In the states, they refer to it as a cancer screening. Any time a woman gets abnormal results, she’s lead to believe that it is cancer or will definitely lead to life-threatening cancer.

    • ladyprotips says:

      Moo

      “The American model is forcing pap at 8 weeks pregnant”

      Yes.

      “as well as 6 weeks postpartum”

      Yes.

      “and even several times during the pregnancy”

      No. Just the one at the beginning. After 36 weeks it’s a pelvic exam every week, but that’s actually going away.

      “It even forces pregnant women to get colposcopist and claims that some treatments for condylatum and biopsies are “safe” if done by “experienced” colposcopists.”

      In America it’s mostly gynecologists who do colposcopies, not a specialist. My mother’s OB/GYN did all of hers.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2582798/ -HPV and Cervical Cancer

      “There was astudy done that found HPV DNA on surfaces (formites) in doctors offices.”

      I want that study, because I doubt it’s true.

      “Please do not fall into the misconception that viruses do not survive too long outside the body. They do.”

      I’m a biology student. No they don’t. They have to have VERY VERY VERY specific conditions (cold, moist place) to survive longer than a few seconds.

      “How else do people get plantar warts from swimming pools or bath tubs? They are the same family of virus and they are not spread by sex or “direct contact” .”

      They are still different strains of the virus. Plantar warts can survive because they need a cold, moist area (i.e. a swimming pool).

      Yes, gynecologist’s lie, ALL the time, and they’re raking in the gold because of it. However, biology is a real thing. Honestly, if what you’re saying was actually true, then everyone would be constantly and aggressively exposed to several oncogenic strains of this virus, and many, many people would be dying from HPV-related cancers every year.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        ObamaCare will NOT weed out any assholes. The assholes are the only ones NOT opting out of that plan. There’s plenty uneducated women for those md’s (in name only) to play doctor on.

        Virus surviving outside the vagina? Have to agree. Nobody’s mentioned how HPV gets into the vagina; which most likely is a penis, finger, or mouth. Warm moist surface. Why aren’t men being treated for HPV? Can’t they simply reinfect women?

        Virus can survive on doorknobs & handles etc in doctors’ offices. These surfaces aren’t cleaned any more often than a doorknob in a public bathroom is wiped clean. How many women don’t wash their hands before touching themselves in the bathroom? Or make their lovers do same before touching them? Or lets say excess KY spills over onto the exam table and goes through the paper condom. Then you put your naked ass & nervous warm moist vagina on that same table, onto a new paper condom that just ripped through. Virus to go? How about the doctor’s pen & Rx pad? His/her lab coat w/long sleeves? Hep A can cause a restaurant to be closed permanently due to how long it survives “outside.”

        My dentist wipes every surface touchable in the room between patients, even the chair’s armrests & headrest. Now I know why and won’t complain about his high fees. My husband is a germ freak and I love him for that. He told me about washing my hands before undressing in the bathroom. He has seen ill & fevered fast food workers use the bathroom for #2, and come out with totally dry hands. What are the chances that flimsy tp failed to contain their mess?

        Nice to read that HPV can be tested via urine. Again, are men being tested? If a man doesn’t thoroughly wash his underwear etc he can also source out yeast infections. Both partners need to be treated.

        And, I suggest you all go on YouTube and watch cervix cryo surgery. See how destructive it is. No pain? I had one; pain was included free of charge. Watch the woman shake while her cervix is being frozen 2x.

  55. Jola says:

    Just one more thing from me – I doubt they will ever stop harassing women. I wonder how many site they are going to make about the topic. I just don’t know what to say. Words fail me.

    • Alex says:

      Well, that depends on how you look at things. If you mean that they engaged in a desisting of activity that was self-generated, then they probably won’t. The specific situation of “them stopping,” though- that’s a different story. They can always be neutralized, in one form or another. The most important one, in my opinion, is things being prevented at ground level. It doesn’t make any difference one way or another how things are aligned administratively, the presence of implementation is the issue. Their can be all kinds of laws to prevent these things, but they still functionally OCCUR. Same’s true in the opposite direction (legal mandates without implementation).

      I don’t really figure it’d be wrong to impose these actions on them punitively- they forced this on someone, so this gets forced on them. I’m more of a combatively violent person when things get started up, but that obviously doesn’t apply to everyone & I keep thinking about that case in Pennsylvania with the 11-year-olds. Couldn’t help but figure my soul would go away (at least for a while) if that happened to my daughter.

  56. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    I don’t know whether any of you have watched “An Idiot Abroad” by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. I saw an episode last night where they pressured Carl Pilkington into a digital rectal exam to screen for prostate cancer. Ricky scolded Carl for refusing the test at an earlier medical exam, “a simple test and you know your prostate gland is okay?”
    In fact the routine rectal exam is controversial and NOT recommended here (and I doubt it’s recommended in the UK) nor is PSA testing. So men are getting mixed messages.
    The exam could have endangered Carl’s health for no benefit. Also, no one should ever be bullied or pressured into screening.
    I note in the paper today that an Australian specialist disputes the findings of a study into the benefits of PSA testing. The study found a reduction in mortality from prostate cancer in men aged 50-70 who had regular PSA testing. Can’t remember the %, think it was about 24%

    Couldn’t help but cringe when the male doctor (after examining Carl) stated that, “men are not used to these exams”…continuing the paternalistic view of our bodily privacy, women are “used” to these exams, or…should be used to these exams, or…will have to get used to these exams.
    Of course, this is nonsense, almost all routine invasive exams and tests pushed at women are unnecessary…this is the sort of attitude that must be challenged.
    Also, some/many women who have regular pap tests never get used to them, some hate them, find them distressing, violating, painful etc. Some women are left traumatized after childbirth etc.
    I doubt it’s true that MOST women are used to these exams and tests. It’s just that the medical profession doesn’t care and by telling us how we feel, we have the problem if we don’t agree with their sweeping generalizations. It’s another way of neutralizing our voices and rights and treating our bodies like medical property.

    • Ro says:

      I haven’t watched it, but that does not surprise me. In America, while there may not be as much coercion from doctors in regards to the prostate exam, there is coercion from peers most definitely. Men here are expected by their friends and family members to participate in the screening. Also, I’ve heard it stated before that women are “used” to these exams. I remember when the whole TSA security thing started, I heard someone say “well at least women have yearly exams, so any sort of security checks will be a piece of cake for them”. Paternalistic, indeed. A final point for this comment – it’s interesting that breast cancer, cervical cancer, and prostate cancer are considered to be the most common, when past statistics would say otherwise. What’s even more interesting is that there are screening programs for these three types of cancer, and no others (with the exception of screening for colorectal cancers, but that doesn’t seem to be pushed near as much, even for high risk people). Lastly, the lack of information in regards to HPV and cervical cancer is mindboggling! I just spoke with someone who previously worked in the medical profession about HPV and was discussing natural cures I had heard about in regards to possibly clearing the virus. When I said that the treatments might be useful for men as well, they said “Can men get HPV? I thought only women could have it.” So that just goes to show that even some working in the medical field are not being told all of the facts. My question is, what ARE the professors at colleges and universities teaching their students if they lead them to believe that only women can contract HPV?

  57. Moo says:

    I have found some studies where HPV has been grown in tumour cell lines, not normal human cells.

  58. Mint says:

    I had another interesting call from my surgery today.

    “Hello, is that Mint?”
    “Yes”
    “Oh hello, I’m the new Practice Nurse at *** surgery and I’m calling you today because according to our records you haven’t had a smear test for over 5 years”
    “How do I know you are calling from my surgery?”
    “I’ve got your records in front of me, I can confirm your date of birth”
    “I know my date of birth”
    “I need to speak to you about your smear test”
    ” How do I know you are a nurse?”
    “You are wasting my time”
    “You called me!”
    “Goodbye”

    I know it was the surgery as their number came up on my phone!

    • Alice (Australia) says:

      Mint, this is priceless! :-D
      “You are wasting my time”, says a person who intruded your private life with her phone call after digging into your personal medical records without you asking for that, and attempted to advertise you an outdated, unreliable, dangerous elective test.

      I loved your responses! Indeed, how do we know…? The medical establishment thinks it’s their privilege to ask questions, and the patients have to answer or provide proofs. That nurse didn’t particularly enjoy being put on the other side of the fence, did she? ;-)

      Yesterday I’ve been speaking to a friend. Initially we were discussing door-to-door marketers, then spam, and eventually the annoying medical “reminders”. She is a bright girl: she said when she was filling the paperwork in her doctor’s medical practice a few years ago, she brought a fat marker with her and wrote all across the top of her form “no screening, no reminders”. And she hasn’t been harassed so far at all. Perhaps, we all should do that.

    • Alex says:

      Nice! Never thought of “endless loops” as a strategy. Plus, the whole credibility angle was a nice turn-around- since they always act like something has to “pass muster” with them.

      I always wonder what happens when that “need” goes unfufilled? I guess it doesn’t happen, so it doesn’t occur? Oh,no!- a GOAL is hanging in the balance!

  59. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Incredible we have limitless resources to chase women for pap tests, but struggle to care for the elderly, those actually unwell, for the mentally ill etc.
    Yes, vested and political interests certainly control women’s healthcare.
    I could top you though Mint, I’ve never had a pap test so no pap test in 55 years, that would blow up their recall system…that would make my day.

  60. Moo says:

    Some ways to stop the pap pestering:

    1. Send an anonymous letter to your doctor saying it was sent on behalf of a patient who is survivor of childhood sexual abuse and they need many accommodations for exams. You can find this on line. It is just too much trouble for them to accommodate. Plus they will not want to be threatened with the fact that they are harming their patient more by pestering, that is legally.

    2 . Just tell them to stop calling. Note it on the chart. Harassment is illegal. However keep in mind that employees are just doing what they are asked to. Often doctors are given incentive payments to even remind about paps.

    3. If you know your doctor receives incentives to test, offer him/her money not to test. Actually they should not accept.

    4. If there is a central registers that sends out letters ask that they stop sending them. I have done this but I cannot get my personal information removed.

    5. If you are going to get any pap or HPV testing done ask that your doctor send it to a lab that does not report to the central registry (well beforehand) and tell them they have no permission to share that information with other medical offices.

    6. Make up a fake lab report and give it to your doctor. I am not sure how this goes legally because if a doctor fakes medical reports it is illegal.. Faking your own might be troublesome but would save some hassles. Rarely are they going to check.

    • Alex says:

      A good list, but I partially disagree with the second one. Occupational doesn’t mean fictional, so it makes no difference if someone’s “just doing their job.” This situation is being brought into being & that’s the point that should be focused on. The ones that put it into practice may not have masterminded the whole thing, but you’ve frequently got to “cut off the arm to cut off the head” (both figuratively & literally- you never see someone feeling bad about breaking someone’s arm to not get put into a choke hold).

      I know this might come off as ruthless, but there are occasions where you don’t have a “perfect enemy.” Someone might not make it obvious that they get off on causing you harm or that it really doesn’t make any difference to them one way or the other (and that disregard isn’t exactly a state of friendship, now is it?).

      Not to make anyone paranoid, but there are a bunch of other reasons I mention this is. One is because of the growing trend of administrative attack in America- that whatever is done, as long as it’s done officially, is considered fine no matter what the properties. I’ve said it before, but it’s like the concept of saying “whatever a priest does isn’t wrong” or “whatever the doctor does isn’t an attack.” The same idea applies to “whatever a cop does is protection.” That “what if something else happened?” type of answer is still pretty common as a defense for whatever lunatic shit someone pulls, too.

      More & more there’s been things getting legal support or functional enforcement regardless of laws & a sanctioned attack doesn’t consist of different things. It’s a coin-flip if the court helps you out or screws you over & things might very well turn around on you if you don’t get declared right (false accusations & such). That can definitely have implications with regard to imposed medical situations (or law enforcement ones involving doctors). Nobody’s got any money for legal fees, either.

      Everything is considered slander or politically incorrect or otherwise offensive- so a variation of censorship both in & out of the media. They’ve also been getting weird with religion, like they’re trying to ban it functionally by responding to it with hostility or deprivation (something that happened in both Germany AND the Soviet Union). Companies have been acting more & more like employees are their machines (and insurance companies have been acting the same way with coverage holders). Not to sound paranoind, but these are all warning signs.

      Another thing is facilitation of attack. For instance: the computerization of information makes a lot of things easier (harassment is an obvious one with the various registries, but maybe that turns into grounds for warrants- ex: “you don’t have a record of this or that so now you’re under arrest.”). Definitely sounds like what happened in Romania.

      I’ve been wondering for a while on those “abuse screenings” that get integrated into exams. Don’t know if someone is throwing anything extra into these exams or if they’re just deriving information from something that’s already taking place, but how hard would it be for them to lie or misinterpret something & get the woman’s husband locked up? Maybe there’ll be incentives for reporting domestic violence? They already are this way with cancer & surgery- why not with sending someone to prison? Ulterior motives are a serious possibility with that, too. Maybe getting back at someone or men, in general? Maybe a way of hurting the woman by hurting her husband (or getting her husband to think she lied about him to destroy their relationship)?

  61. Si says:

    This woman has written a thoughtful account about an early experience with an aggressive doctor who had invaded her body with a speculum without her consent. She now affirms that it was indeed sexual assault. The more these narratives appear in public forums the closer we move towards more women coming to the realisation that routine vaginal exams are not benign, they do adversely effect many women in a variety different of ways.
    http://skepchick.org/2013/10/providerassault/

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      Sadly she was assaulted and as she recognizes it wasn’t just the exam but also the fat shaming. What’s also sad are the comments where the posters have bought in the myths and lies surrounding pap smears including that it used to be a major killer of women.

  62. Mary says:

    OT but this is a fascinating report on statins. The same pressure tactics that are applied to pap screening are being applied to statins. Doctors are sacking patients for not taking statins, some need to have a target of 80% of their patients on statins. This story is on two parts. the link is to the second part but both are well worth watching. it has caused a bit of a stir here.http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/heartofthematter/

  63. Ro says:

    Something interesting that’s been in the media as of yesterday (at least here in the US), is that a 16 year old invented a blood test which accurately and affordably detects a whole slew of cancers. I can’t remember all of them, but one in particular was ovarian cancer. Considering the accuracy and affordability has been discussed so publicly, I wonder if that’s going to put an end to the old pelvic exams? Or will they find another reason for them to be necessary? Either way, the truth about accurate, non-invasive testing is at the very least being talked about in the mainstream media. One further thing I’m thinking about in regards to all of this, though; will there be “professionals” who start claiming that it can’t be trusted since a 16 year old invented it? I suppose only time will tell. Either way, I’m still impressed that the media has openly published this. Certainly one more step in the right direction.

  64. Moo says:

    Cholesterol is required to make testosterone. Disturbing that balance with statins really disturbs me.

    Really, I am sick of doctors threatening to drop patients for not doing some cancer screening or taking certain medication. I responded with “please put that in writing, why you are dropping me, sung it and I will pick up the letter”. The doctor never did it and was surprised when I came back. Maybe some will do what they threaten but they should be reported if they drop patients for no good reason.

    • Alex says:

      I’m not sure they SHOULD be able to drop patients, simply because of the potential for coercion. They use it as an angle to try & hi-jack people & impose their own decisions on them- whatever they happen to be.

      Flat salary (at a low rate), no incentives, no ability to drop patients, and- of course- no option for iatrogenic detriment. That sounds like a good plan, doesn’t it? Not good for people that want to be hostile through medicine, but that’s a good thing.

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      Cholesterol, namely the “bad” one is also needed to metabolize vit D. Taking statins to lower “bad” cholesterol then interferes with the bodies absorption of vit D which then leads to a greater risk of certain cancers. It’s also now well known that cholesterol is not a cause of heart disease and stroke. But I guess the medical community is ignoring that very important fact.

  65. Moo says:

    I checked it out and the official professional org says that doctors can only drop patients for serious issues such as the patient threatened to harm them or their family, or the doctor is moving or ill and has to reduce their work load or there is a serious breakdown in the relationship. Some are even paid a premium for taking on patients with “complex issues” or mental illnesses. They are supposed to drop patients for not following their instructions or refusing to make “lifestyle changes”. The better way to deal with it is not to be argumentative. You also need to educate yourself. You don’t like the prescription then do not fill it or do not take it. The doctor/patient relationship is supposed to be a partnership built on trust.

    • Alex says:

      I don’t understand- you said they’re only supposed to drop them for one set of reasons, but then that not following their instructions or making “lifestyle changes” are reasons too.

      Personally, I think they have too much discretion with their own actions. It SOUNDS good that someone decides what their own actions are, but then they decide that someone is oppressing them by not letting them run their lives. “I make my own decisions,” can cover both sides of this situation, but they mean vastly different things. It’s interesting that their style of medicine likes to dictate & the other ones generally don’t. The doctors & other medical personnel also tend to act like they’re in competition with the patient- like they’re trying to “outscore” the patient.

      Seems their self-esteem tends to ride on “outmatching” the patient & overturning their initiative. This would be a dangerous sign out of anyone else- certainly a woman would worry about dating someone like that. Same if their daughter was thinking of being with someone like that. If my daughter was saying how someone basically thinks that they outmatch her decisions & that the impetus of her actions hinges on their approval- I’d tell her to not be anywhere near them, much less be behind closed doors with them.

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      It is also in the Dr’s ethics that they have to provide care until the patient is under the care of another Dr. Dr’s also ethically have to respect a patients wishes to decline medical care of treatment or tests If a Dr refuses to provide care and drops a patient because of their declining a treatment or test and that patient is now without access to healthcare a complaint can be made to the medical board. If my Dr refused to treat me because I declined an optional screening test I would be asking them to put that in writing and then filing a complaint.

  66. I see doctors’ loss of autonomy under Obamacare as very positive:
    “Doctors understand that their professional autonomy will be diminished by ObamaCare. They also know that their incomes will drop. This will affect their personal lives. In anticipation of these changes, many physicians have already sold their practices to hospitals. Many have decided to retire early.” http://www.conciergemedicinemd.com/blog/2013/08/21/does-it-matter-if-your-doctors-oppose-obamacare/
    I am hopeful that the statement “professional autonomy will be diminished” means fewer unnecessary and harmful “tests” and “treatments”.

    • Alex says:

      Yeah, that might be good. It might also mean that they get directed to do all the things they already did to begin with. Not much way to know, since the wording is pretty vague & frequently the government says all kinds of things and does something else.

    • Mary says:

      Does that mean Obamacare will weed out all the greedy assholes? Good!
      Hopefully this means that medicine will attract a new breed of people who go into medicine to help people and not for the money. I am so sick of reading about doctors complaining how many years they put in to get where they are. So what ? Nobody twisted their arm.I would rather spend my life learning more and more (and then being rewarded) than being stuck in the same job or position all my life anyway, so I don’t understand what they are complaining about. If making money is their sole motivating they should have gone into banking.
      I’ve seen plenty of studies that show female doctors earn less than male doctors. I think they aren’t motivated by money as much as men are and as more and more women enter the field there’ll be less whining by this kind of doctor. Good riddance.

  67. Mint says:

    This is a quote from a Health Authority in the UK, that is aiming to improve the cervical screening uptake by eligible women age 39 to 64.

    “The telephone call from a nurse and the letter from a celebrity to encourage attendance for cervical screening were neither effective nor cost-effective in women with a prolonged history of non-participation in the screening programme”.

    Has the Authority given any consideration to the idea that some woman may have made an informed decision NOT to be screened?

    Why do HCPs think that mature, intelligent women would be impressed or influenced by a letter from a celebrity?

    • adawells says:

      Too right. I’m so glad this pathetic scheme failed. Amazing that they have no end of money for such daft ideas, yet elderly people and those in real need have to get by on long waiting lists.

  68. Moo says:

    I did find one article “how to divorce a difficult patient and live happily ever after”. Sorry I cannot put in the link. The example is a patient who gets an abnormal pap and is SENT for a colposcopy. They cancel the first appointment and then do not show up for another appointment. All this “not showing up” is going to be documented and they are supposed to seek legal counsel and send registered letter to fire the patient. Not sure that most doctors would bother.

    Another good reason for me to avoid getting a pap since I am never going for follow up. I will also try to avoid getting sick. If I get fired then it is back to walkin clinics again. I could not even get them to do paps when I asked. .???? What about patients using alternate treatments ????

  69. Moo says:

    Most the studies done of the unscreened show that they are uneducated, lower economic class, immigrant women. They are the people who have just a lower access to health overall. They are at risk for other disease more than cervical cancer for sure considering that their lack of resources might often prevent them from buying food regularly. However they might be motivated to participate in studies due to some “reward” such as free medical care, counselling etc. vaccines and drugs are tested on people in Africa.

    The rich, upwardly mobile and educated are not going to participate in the studies more often. They can also afford better food and alternative treatments, vitamins etc.

    I am sure there are few celebrities that never have Pap tests other than Jane Goody. For what I read about her is that she had a cone biopsy as a teenager and never submitted back to that routine.

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Moo, I don’t know all the intimate details of Jade’s history, but she got pap tested at 16, got an *abnormal* (no surprises there), had treatment… rinse and repeat for several years. I don’t know what the treatments were, but she said she found them so painful and humiliating that eventually she couldn’t face any more. Even when she developed symptoms she buried her head in the sand. Can’t say I blame her there.
      So one could argue, in her case, that pap testing from such a tender age actually contributed to her death.
      http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/6384#.UncfMS1FA2w

      As for those immigrant women… maybe they come from cultures which still value the old-fashioned notion of female modesty and thus the crank n’ scrape test is out of the question?

    • Alex says:

      I don’t see how deflecting an attack is a bad thing. An imposed interface with a sexual area is a self-defense issue, not a modesty problem. They’re not somehow down-trodden & immature for not letting someone infringe on them. I don’t know if that’s what you meant, but a lot of times a woman seems to be made out to be like a little old lady or just a joke if she doesn’t let someone do whatever they want to them.

      It’s not like she’s making sure someone isn’t touching their husband’s property or anything. What about with all that virginity test that they do in the Middle East? Are these girls/women somehow defective because they protest these situation? Of course not. It’s no different from a woman fighting back against someone taking a more direct approach & trying to snatch her up to aggressively play doctor.

  70. An encouraging article in the CBC re HPV testing: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/more-invasive-cervical-cancers-prevented-with-new-test-1.2325972
    But the article fails to mention the fact that pap testing women under 30 is not done in the Netherlands – and the article also does not mention self-lavage systems for HPV testing or the fact that HPV can be tested via urine (Trovagene) http://www.trovagene.com/Products-Services/Clinical-Testing-Services/HPV.aspx

  71. Moo says:

    Vinegar and visual inspection is done as low cost alernative to Pap smears in India for 15 years. They will treat any lesions with cryo. It is not done by doctors just trained health workers who can go out to the remote villages. They use metal speculums that they wash in hypochlorite and boil. They use a flash light to see any white spots after the vinegar is applied.

    The vinegar is exactly the same chemical as acetic acid used in colposcopies before iodine is used.

    Although I do not like the speculum use and reuse, at least the cervix is not being scraped up like the Pap test does. Remember the peanut butter on a bagel analogy I used before. HPV needs abrasions to enter the basal cell layer. If a vinegar spray is used then there is no rubbing the HPV infected cells around either.

    What ever happened to the Veda scope?

    Easy enough that even North American doctors could do this AFTER a positive HPV urine test. Sorry but that SHOULD be the future of cervical cancer screening.

    tHROW the Pap test out.

  72. Moo says:

    Check out Cerviva diagnostics new cervical cancer test. It is a urine test, takes 30 minutes for the test , better accuracy, estimated cost $5 each.

    Their website states that conventional paps are 50% accurate. Too many women had cancer when their pa test was normal. They do not mentional all the women damaged by the false positive paps.

    When is this going to be available?

  73. Moo says:

    I was right. Pap tests do promote infection with HPV.
    Read this paper: http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/04/11/jnci.djr061.full
    “Although the incidence of cervical cancer has decreased, the rate of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, the main cause of cervical cancer, has increased. Damage to the cervical epithelium such as that produced during a routine cytology screening procedure (Pap smear) may increase susceptibility to HPV infection.”
    “The procedure for collecting cervical cytology specimens, commonly known as a Pap smear, inherently disrupts the cervical epithelium. To effectively collect specimens for testing, the instrument used must dislodge cells from the deepest (basal) layer of the stratified squamous epithelium, the only layer in which low-grade dysplastic lesions are detectable. In addition, in the delicate tissue of the endocervix, which is a single layer epithelium, removing cells creates erosion that exposes the basement membrane to material in the endocervical canal. In a mouse model of HPV genital infection, we previously showed that this physical disruption of the endocervix leads to binding of pseudovirus (PsV) to the basement membrane and to a dramatic increase in susceptibility to infection (5,6). ”

    Stop spreading around HPV, doctors, like peanut butter on a bagel.

    I would not rush out to buy carrageenan based lubricants. There is some concern that they promote inflammation in the digestive tract when used as food additives. So what are they going to do in the vagina mucosa? Carrageenan is antiviral, so it kills HPV, HSV.

  74. Moo says:

    Just add this since I downloaded the above paper
    “Data from human studies are conflicting as to whether trauma may occur in the area of the transformation zone as a result of consensual intercourse. Recent consensual intercourse (<24 hours) was strongly associated with minor trauma of the genital mucosa, including the cervix, albeit on the forniceal surface thereof (12). However, magnetic resonance imaging of the anatomy of the coital act shows that the cervical os may not contact the male genitali"

    "The increase in cervical adenocarcinoma rates in screened Western populations, in which squamous cell carcinomas have fallen dramatically, remains unexplained (16–19). Although the rate of detection of adenocarcinoma in situ has increased in the United States, the risk of invasive cervical adenocarcinomas and related mortality has increased in white women younger than 50 years (16,19). Our findings raise the possibility that the increased use and frequency of cytobrush collection procedures to specifically sample endocervical cells may contribute to this increase. Cytobrush cell collection might render cells within the endocervical canal that are not normally traumatized susceptible to HPV infection."

    I said that ramming a brush up the cervical OS really was no good.

    At least there are some researchers out there with brains!!!!

  75. Kate (UK) says:

    I’ve always suspected that this *harmless* test could cause problems. Scraping at an internal organ, whether with a spatula or a stick, always sounded quite brutal. Maybe doctors don’t view it as a internal organ anymore.
    Our leaflet (the one that accompanies the summons – sorry, ‘invitation’) says that a brush is wiped over the cervix to collect cells. But then they also call the speculum a ‘small instrument.’ Yeah, right! Sugar coating everything to make it sound innocuous, as always. Same as calling it a ‘smear’ test rather than a crank & scrape!
    Anyway, here’s something you’ll find on the NHS screening site – I was just looking through it one day, snorting with derision at their *facts* when I stumbled across an FAQ section.
    Q: My cervical screening test result came back as inadequate. Why do I have to wait three months before repeating the test?
    A: This is because the evidence shows that the epithelium (lining) of the cervix needs at least three months to regenerate after a screening test.

    Funny that that little lump of meat (as they see it) takes so long to heal after a ‘gentle wipe’. When I’ve exfoliated my body, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t take three months for the skin to recover – but then I don’t end up sore and bleeding, unlike paps.

    One last thing. A non-conformist friend and I were talking about HPV recently, and she says it’s strange that whenever you mention condoms as a preventative, the ‘experts’ immediately claim they don’t offer any protection. If that’s true (which I don’t believe), and the HPV virus can pass through latex… well, surgical/exam gloves are sometimes made of latex, so maybe doctors could be spreading the virus during their useless ‘pelvic exams’. Conspiracy theory stuff, I know, but it would certainly add to their profit margins, eh?

  76. Jola says:

    I didn’t go for the 6-week postnatal check up cause I didn’t want to even hear about the pap crap. It is the time – the post partum appointment – when the woman is asked when she last had her pap crap – crank & scrape (BTW – very well said, Kate:) ).
    This is what they write about the postnatal check up: ”If required, cervical smear may be performed as early as 6-8 weeks. Routine tests are better delayed to 3 months post-delivery.” IF REQUIRED – do you feel it?! What bull…t.

    • Alex says:

      It’s a general theme, isn’t it? The idea that they have a transformative influence on the situation & reality is reformed by their discretion. Not a good sign, but not currently seen as a cliche trait with doctors (like the drunken “red-neck” beating his wife is, for instance). The allopathic profession seems to be pretty much entirely that way, so it doesn;t matter what their specific specialty is- that’s how they’ll be (and, as opportunities allow, they’ll try to interject something pervy into the equation). That general theme of being sexually antagonistic is pretty common to that kind of personality, it’s just using “medicine” as a means. This is an “iatrogenic attack”- which I imagine if people knew that word & used it frequently it’d end a lot of camoflauging arguments (like when someone says “but they’re a doctor, though”).

      Another point is that they talk this way to younger girls in school, too- undermining their own autonomy.

  77. Moo says:

    More likely to have an abnormal pap test 6 weeks after birth due to hormonal changes. Put it off unless you had abnormals before getting pregnant or you have cancer. Or wait 6 months to a year if you do pap tests.

    The doctors are could not be spreading the virus through their gloves. More likely they are contaminating the gloves from surfaces in their offices: door handles, tables etc. But even when the virus infection is in the outer parts of the vagina or the labia it could be spread to the cervix by the doctor during any part of the exam.

    When cancer screening tests could cause cancer, I don’t want them.

  78. I am not sure how many of you heard about the case http://boingboing.net/2013/11/09/feds-subject-drug-suspect-to-v.html where a lady was forced to have vaginal/anal probe, X-ray, CT Scan because it was suspected that she was carrying drugs. This case happened in El Paso, Texas

    It is horrible that this is happening in the US. I am very disappointed in the doctors who did not stand up for this woman’s rights.

    Misty

    • Alex says:

      I’ve got a very serious question: What happens when you call the cops for any reason? Someone tries to attack you or yours (perhaps iatrogenically), and you call someone like this for assistance? They’re not going to like that one bit (since they’re fans of things going in the other direction). Same with going (or getting brought) to the hospital for any reason. What are you dealing with as far as quality goes? I know people always say things like “they’re not all like that,” but they really don’t all need to be.

      This is frequently suprising because the cops have (at least currently) a reputation as protectors and medical personnel as healers. This type of activity is neither & it causes a bit of a “does not compute” situation. It’s antithetical. They molest people procedurally and/or medically & act like that’s not deserving of attack.

      The concept of whatever they do is a method to doing something comes up all the time- but even when something is a means to an end, the components of a methodology don’t cease to exist in their own right. What also drives me nuts is that people do “damage control” & try to make the people that do these things look good in spite of whatever happens.

      You know what’s scary? I was going to BE military police when I was younger. I was actually one year away from being able to sign up!

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        In the US, cops will question all parties. You will likely be asked to have a rape screening performed. Afterward if the exam is negative, and the doctor claims along with his/her chaperone that nothing extraordinary occurred, you will be rated as a 5150. That’s CA’s code for an unbalanced individual.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      This is the underside of US laws. In the “WAR” against terrorism, drugs, anything goes. Just like everything is fair in love and war. Same applies to child protective services. There is no place to go for secondary review. They do what they want; and always have a judge to rubber stamp it. It’s going to get far worse. TSA screenings are training us to accept this kind of Constitutional/personal violations. As do drunk driving checkpoints. The Patriot Act allows for everything we say and write to be copied and later reviewed.

      In the 60′s & 70′s, people openly questioned the establishment. Doing so now puts you onto at least one government “list” b/c now you’re legally considered a possible threat. The future? More centralization. Healthcare by government mandates is the beginning. Next cash will be foregone so computers can make sure everybody pays taxes. Afterward, just try rebelling. You’ll be the one isolated, like Sarah Palin has been for years ago calling out exactly what is happening today. Everybody here is consciously objecting to government regulations. Tomorrow you’re criminally obstructing.

    • Alex says:

      “Secondary review,” never heard that term before. It’s a good one. What you’re saying does seem to be true & it’s very questionable what goes on in a hosptial setting. I definitely remember one woman on here talking about how she had a rape kit forced on her when she was younger & imposed rectal exams tend to be a common occurance in emergency rooms (with men & women- but probably with children, too).

      I remember that two of my cousins went to the hospital when they were little because they got hurt & they made them take all their clothes (supposedly, they wanted to see if they had any marks on them from being hit at home!). Isn’t it plausable that they’d do other things to “check” for signs of abuse? Look at what happened in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania- that was one of their excuses for forcing pelvic exams on a bunch of 11-year-olds. Suppose they just curious at random? Maybe they get suspicious of something simply because of mere suspectability & they figure they’ll investigate by whatever methods they deem fit?

      What about where they try to keep the husbands/partners out of the room? The woman wants them there so they don’t try to back her into anything or to make sure things don’t get out of line & they seek to counter that. Distrustable in the first place. They say they use these exams to check for spousal abuse, but maybe they get something wrong & they guy gets nailed for something he didn’t do. They’ve already disregarded the woman’s input entirely (when she says something isn’t like that or didn’t occur, it’s ignored- just like if she refuses something, that’s not a real refusal or it’s not a good enough answer).

      Just had another side-thought: What is the doctor going to do? Split the couple up if they don’t trust the guy?

  79. Ro says:

    I’ve had a couple of thoughts over the past few days I thought I’d share. The first being that screening for breast cancer targets women and so it’s thought to be a disease of women. I know of several people who thought that only women could contract HPV. This has led me to the troubling conclusion that by focusing so much on just women, men with genuine symptoms or concerns seeking care might have a more difficult time doing so or they might be told it’s nothing to worry about until they become very symptomatic and very progressed in whatever it is they’re dealing with. Now I’m not saying that screening for men is the answer, quite the contrary I believe in finding cures as the solution (preferably all-natural ones), and not screening. As I’ve mentioned in my previous comments, screening, when used at its best, only has the possibility of detecting abnormalities which may or may not be cancerous and can be misdiagnosed. Anyways, back to the point. I feel like the whole pink I love boobies campaign is a slap in the face to men who DO actually have breast cancer. It’s not just women who get it. Those campaigns are sexist and leave out a whole group of people who suffer from a disease. That leads me to a follow-up question, prior to screening, was the percentage of men and women with breast cancer close to being equal? I don’t personally know enough about it to know that, but it would be interesting to know. In regards to the second part of my first statement, men are being led to believe that HPV is nothing serious while some women believe that all HPV leads to CC and that men can’t contract HPV! There may be some men who believe that as well, but this sort of thing generally isn’t the type of conversation I go around having with men. Once again, I am not saying by any means that they should do more screening as screening is NOT a cure, I’m simply saying that by focusing so much on women, they are neglecting an entire group of people who may really need care. That led me to a final conclusion which made me feel disgusted; they only focus on cancers that can be screened for. It’s a terrible thing. They don’t focus on risk factor or what’s more common – it’s all about the screening programs. To me, that is very sad. Not only does it over-screen an entire population of people, some of which are at little-to-no risk for certain specific diseases, but it also takes the focus off of serious concerns that patients may have. Also, another interesting thing to me is that they only have screening programs which involve our most intimate parts as human beings. Think about it; pap smears, colonoscopies, PSA, breast cancer screening – they all involve intimate body parts, and yet there’s no screening for thyroid cancer (which is much more common) or lung cancer (while I don’t condone smoking, it would certainly be helpful for smokers and perhaps be a wake up call to some of them) or brain cancer or any sort of non-intimate form of cancer. I suppose colorectal cancers aren’t intimate, but the current screening method most certainly is. It just doesn’t seem right to me. They have the technology for non-invasive methods. If only everyone started demanding it.

  80. Alixa says:

    Hi, I hope it’s ok to post here, I’m fairly new to the site and I’m so happy I came across it because it has been very helpful to me, as I come from a family that deems these things too private or “disgusting” to discuss, and I shy away from it.

    I have a story I’d like to share: I had my first gyno visit near the end of 2011. I did not have a pap exam because I was a virgin. I went in because I have very heavy debilitating periods and was given birth control. The following year I had to refill the prescription twice, and of course I had two options: come in for TWO pap exams, or go without the pills. So I went in for two pap exams in one year. At the top of 2012 I had another exam. Nearing the end of 2012 was my last exam (around October) and it was horrible. I didn’t understand why I had to keep having these exams considering I was not sexually active, and to this day I still am not (I think I may be asexual, but that’s another story!). I told my doctor my periods were still irregular and while not as heavy as before, they were still causing me to have to change occasionally. He got mad at me and told me it was my fault because I was lying about taking the pills. I was SO VERY confused as to why he thought this, because it was just so RANDOM and nonsensical? I was taking my pill every night at the same time. I have no reason to lie about this, what the heck? He went back and forth with me telling me I was lying. I just gave up talking at that point and sat back for the exam. He said to the nurse in the room, “Let’s make sure we get good and deep in there this time” which freaked me out. The nurse had a creepy smirk on her face (though to be fair, she always does…) and it was the most painful exam I have ever experienced. I actually yelped out a bit and grabbed the side of the exam bed. I got my prescription refilled and as soon as I left the office I started crying. Luckily no one else was in the hallway so I had time to compose myself before leaving the building. I don’t know if he did this because he was mad at me for arguing back? :(

    I also wish to add that my blood pressure was too high. I know birth control can cause this, but my gyno never told me it was high. I found out through a new primary care doctor I went to last year. But he was hellbent on getting me to have these expensive invasive exams while not caring about something birth control actually affects, even though I don’t actually know if the birth control caused that spike.

    Between being mistreated and blamed for a health issue I didn’t ask for, and the comment he made before the painful exam, I have not gone back to him – or any doctor for that matter. At this point I’m scared, honestly, and I cry a lot still thinking about it. I told my family what happened and they did not care. My own mother told me I was just trying to find fault with everything and rolled her eyes. I did tell a close friend of mine who understood and was supportive, and I appreciate that so much..but I’m still torn up over this and I’m not sure what to make of it. Sometimes I feel like I am being ridiculous like my family says, but the fact that I’m terrified to even go back to a doctor means something.

    i just wanted to share, and maybe ask for some a advice. I have not had a period in the last year and the last time I checked my BP, it was normal. I’m just not sure how to cope with this or if I just need to get over it. Thanks everyone and thanks again for this site. Have a wonderful day

    (one more thing, I have had 2 pelvic ultrasounds and nothing showed up. A woman told me she was in a similar position and a vaginal ultrasound actually showed things that the pelvic missed. I am not sure how often this happens. I suspect PCOS is a possibility because I have a few skin tags and some facial hair growth, as well as weight issues.) sorry for the long post!!

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Please tell us where you live. I want to make sure I avoid the jerk gyno you have. His “deep” painful exam was to “punish” you for “lying” about not taking the pills. Pure and simple. He might as well have dug a trench across your cervix. He’s positive you’re having sex. This was “his” way of showing you “he’s” in control and only “his” version of your life is factual.

      Could you find a sympathetic examiner to check for permanent cervix damage/scarring? Don’t disclose the real reason why you want the exam done again. Cervix scarring might earn him a rape w/foreign object felony charge. Since this was your first PAP, there also was no reason for him to go so deep. His intimidating advance announcement proves his harmful intent.

      You suffered assault and battery. So much for having another woman watch!! Proof the female nurse is the doctor’s friend. Maybe his lover too? Her mandate was to stop him when the exam produced such unreasonable pain. How could she approve of your torture? May God deal with both of them. I’m curious, was your appointment late in the day?

      In California, where I live, there is a Patient’s Bill Of Rights. And another separate HMO Patient’s Bill Of Rights. You have the right to be believed, and the right NOT to be harmed. Another right to be fully informed and consent in advance of anything.

      Besides yourself, who will suffer in the future for this exam? Your loved ones and friends. Never again go to an exam alone. In advance, sign a written release that you want this person as your advocate. If the doctor orders this person out of the room, immediately p/u your clothes and get out. Do not surrender the control you own. Your body; your exam. Don’t give in to any ultimatum about your advocate not being allowed in the exam. Remember, divide and conquer or united you stand.

      Read my older posts. My husband began going to my exams before our marriage. He insisted for my own meanness toward him come exam time. Now I can’t imagine having an exam w/o him either at my side or cautiously looking over my doctor’s shoulder, monitoring the exam. Nothing abusive will happen with him down there. He knows anatomy and what should/should not happen during an exam. And I prefer my husband watching the exam up close, if my examiner shows too much interest in keeping me covered with the stupid sheet.

      A couple years into our marriage a female physician’s assistant first asked my permission, and upon my approval showed him my cervix and explained the exam in detail. He reacted maturely and asked sensible questions. That was a learning experience for me. Finally I knew how an exam should take place.

    • Alex says:

      “Let’s make sure we get good and deep in there this time” and the nurse had a smirk on her face? Yeah, I’d say that was deliberate. For Christ’s sake- that sounds like something from a rape scene in a movie. By-the-way: an external ultrasound pretty much entirely overlaps whatever you’d be looking for (plus, no disease potential- on top of invasiveness, in itself, as a problem).

      Your family is dead wrong for saying you’re being ridiculous. Next time it comes up, try mentioning this: Any interface with a sexual area as a product of someone else’s decision-making is an attack (it’s simply called an “iatrogenic attack” when it’s done through a medical methodology). After all, if a doctor poisoned someone with a needle, it’s still murder. What if someone were to snatch someone else up to go aggressively “play doctor?” Is that a non-antagonistic situation because of tact? Of course not. Another thing is that it’s not someone making their own decisions if someone else is lying to them (and that includes someone getting tricked into believing their alignment on a situation is NOT an influencial factor).

      Dynamics don’t change because standards do. That’s an observation that’s turned into a bit of a personal motto. An imposed penetration is an attack. There’s also numerous risks & inaccuracies that add to things with this situation. Does a woman have less of a miscarriage because it was medically caused? No, of course not.

      If you’re interested in handling your own health more self-sufficiently, Rosemary Gladstar has some good books & one of them is actually titled Herbal Healing for Women. Another good one is Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Herbal Recipes. Googling things might help, too. Just type things in like you’d say them if you’re at a loss for words. I definitely remember hearing about diet affecting hormone levels in a major way (particularly with estrogen) & that a lot of female issues actually stem from problems with the liver. The liver processes lots of things & if there’s too much or it’s not working up to par, it can cause a problem.

    • Alixa says:

      Hi again all, thank you for your responses and advice. It feels good knowing people support me, even though it still feels bad my own family does not, so I thank you for your words.

      Cat&Mouse- Your husband sounds wonderful, I only wish to have someone I can trust that much in my life! This doctor is located in Maryland. I totally forgot to mention I had a colposcopy to check for cervical cancer after he talked me into getting a pap done while I still had a little bit of bleeding from the end of my period. I gave in. Got a false-positive on the pap smear, went on to have the biopsy and it was extremely painful but luckily didn’t last very long. If I had to say what the pain was on a scale from 1-10, I’d give it a 9. I am not sure if this is normal. I started researching and found it was pretty much impossible for someone with my details of never being sexually active, at all, to get it as it’s caused by strains of HPV which is sexually transmitted.

      Alex- Thank you for the information on the ultrasound, as I tried googling for information and came up rather short. Maybe it was a coincidence for that person but they gave me similar advice, such as try a endocrinologist.

      Mary- I will definitely be writing reviews on this doctor, good lord if it will help another woman, then it is worth it. I e-mailed the medical board of the state the doctor is in and they told me I could file an anonymous report. I printed out the forum and it was..very overwhelming, I’ll say, and seemed like it would be a waste of time and thrown out. I will also be looking to the pharmacy to get a blood pressure machine for home.

      I’m not sure what to make of this situation but I get emotional daily thinking of it. I try to not let it consume me but when I go over everything that happened, it feels very wrong and I feel violated. I am kind of scared to find a therapist, because the first and only one i went to actually knew this gyno! I was shocked, to say the least, and of course the therapist turned out to be horrible. My mother helped my pay and she even agreed with me that the therapist was rotten. So at least I knew I was not crazy there (ha). I can laugh about it know but jeeze, you know? Small world. As for my pills, I will try to go to a PP to see if I can get them refilled WITHOUT an exam, and looking into contacting a endocrinologist for my hormonal issue. And dealing with what happened to me being assault. If any other woman told me this story, I’d see it as an assault, but it’s hard accepting it yourself. Mostly because the people around me will get into my head and convince me I’m just a “crazy hormonal woman”. While it has worsened anxiety issues I already had, I will not let this take over my life. So I want to thank you all again for being so lovely and supportive and for the advice and recommendations. You truly have helped me see the ‘little light’ at the end of the tunnel.

    • Alex says:

      You’re very welcome, Alixa. It seems no one wanted to do anything like this for some people I was close to & I definitely start thinking about what the ambient environment would be (for me AND mine, if their ever winds up being any of the latter).

      If you’d like some more, here’s something you might find useful: Something I’ve noticed that is extremely frequent is the elevating of a problem into a non-issue (like someone saying “Oh, it’s nothing anyway” about a bad situation). Instead of properly demonizing a situation & moving foward, it’s sugar-coated & this will actually cause quite a fiew problems at once. One is that it’ll always “taste” like a lie, because it is one, so there won’t be any sense of solace or anything like that (it’ll be like constantly trying to fire an empty weapon).

      Also, it inadvertantly pretties-up a bad situation AND whoever caused it. Plus, especially if this is a typical social trend, it makes it a more hospitable environment for this situation to happen, whether it’s to the same person again or to someone else the first time (and maybe the whole thing wouldn’t have happened in the first place if that hadn’t been the case). Some people really “keep the lie alive,” too- so they won’t counteract an attack in order to maintain congruency (being very committed to “keeping in character,” basically).

      Hope this helps. It’s not often you’ll find a shrink that doesn’t espouse the “party line” or will try to bolster someone’s autonomy- particularly when it comes to hostile situations & defending yourself from them. That “sharpening” is pretty rare (ex: to actually support someone being better able to detect & deflect something antagonistic from happening to them- the “radar & rifle combo” isn’t very well-liked, from what I can tell). Another common one is them acting like there’s something wrong with them & how they see things, instead of someone else simply being the bad guy. Guess that generates a repeat cost (which is something else that doesn’t typically come up when discussing things).

    • Alice says:

      Alixa, it is unbelievable that they not only performed pap smears on a virgin, but also sent you to have you cervix butchered by a biopsy! To me it looks like a case of medical rape and female genitals mutilation, no less.
      Your family is wrong: you are not trying to find someone to blame. You are right in your feelings: you actually were abused and mutilated by the doctor, and had to endure excruciating pain during cervical biopsy procedure which was 100% unnecessary. This doctor should be in prison for what he’s done to you!

  81. Mary says:

    Alixa I am assuming you are in the US which is a pity because it seems that you cannot get the pill online. First let me say don’t listen to your family. Your feelings are real and nobody deserves to have their feelings dismissed.
    Secondly, if I were in your shoes I would rate this doctor very poorly on rateMDs etc. He sounds like an absolute bastard. Doctors that can’t find a solution to your problem but then blame the patient or call them liars or dismiss it as being all in the head should have their licences revoked. He sounds like the most incompetent and sadistic fool imaginable.
    These days I never go to a doctor for answers. Ever! I always do my own research and find my own solutions from the internet. Honestly, when I think back to the old days before I did my own research, I cannot believe how hit and miss doctors were.
    Doctors hate patients like me and they arrogantly try to tell us that we can’t tell the difference between a reputable site and an unreliable one. Well I use medical journals for my information. The fact is they know that their power is slowly diminishing with the advent of the internet and they are clutching at straws when they try to tell us we need them for information. We don’t. It really isn’t rocket science. As somebody else posted somewhere else on this site, they just memorise stuff and regurgitate it. They do not use their critical thinking skills. That is why they will give you advice that was either never proven or has been debunked. PubMed is a good database that is available free for lay people. I would go searching there.
    As for you blood pressure I would get a machine to use at home. My pressure is always high at the doctors but normal at home. They cause it to sky rocket.
    My advice for your problems would also make me think that you would need blood tests rather than ultrasounds or pap smears for diagnosis. You would need tests to check your hormonal levels. Why a doctor would think that you need a pap smear for your problems beggars belief. That’s what I mean about lacking critical thinking skills. Your problems point to a hormonal problem and not in anyway shape or form cervical cancer- especially since you are a virgin! What an idiot. Perhaps an endocrinologist would be more suitable.

  82. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/opinions/112309

    This is an interesting thread, I wasn’t the first to challenge the “information” on pap testing and cervical cancer, I LOVE that…more women are doing their research and challenging the propaganda.
    An interesting woman has responded to my post, she makes some great points.

    Horrible to think many elderly women are still being put through pointless pap testing. After menopause this can be a VERY painful and damaging test/exam (and it’s often painful for women before menopause)…it’s just cruel to put these women through pap testing.

    The Dutch don’t test past age 60, nor do the Finns, (they never have) and now the Dutch will only offer the small number of HPV+ women from age 30 TO 60 a 5 yearly pap test. (until they clear the virus) Once again almost all of the stress, pain, embarrassment and damage endured by so many women is completely unnecessary. Here we test every 2 years to age 70, when, of course, there is no evidence of benefit, just harm. Who cares? Certainly not the medical profession.

    • Alex says:

      In America (and, it seems, Germany) they shoot for even more. Not to act like you’re lucky for the problems you’ve got, but the country that CONSTANTLY talks about freedom & being better than any other country in the world not functionally being that way is a noticeable point. Since so many countries mimick America (it seems like that’s been happening less & less, though) that can be a bit of an ominous thing.

      In this country, there’s a heavy trend of someone trying to live someone else’s life & make other people’s decisions or impose their own (and that can be a variety of things, depending on the mechanics). This is a particualrly prevalent trait among medical & law enforcement employees. The properties of a situation don’t change because of designation, and that applies to administrative attacks.

      The culture here seems to hold to a few insane principles: (1) That reality is what they SAY it is (“thinking by adjucation”). (2) That altruism produces ownership (someone that “just wants to help” can do whatever they want & basically annex people with their decisions). (3) Intellectual negation has a transformative influence on the structure of the situation (that they counter someone’s discretion by giving them a bad grade- the “I have an A & you have a B at best, so I override your decisions without attacking you” argument). (4) That an imposed interface with a sexual area is okay, but it generally has to be elaborate & subtle (if it’s integrated into something else, is done only a little bit, or is done in an unconventional way it’s not really an attack). (5) That someone is innocent if what they do is a component to a methodology, if what they do is occupational, the presence or impression of guilt, and the presence or impression of desire for different results- regardless of if the actions committed are antithetical to that result.

  83. Moo says:

    I have just about had it with doctor’s yearly “personal health review”. It is all about FAT SHAMING and CANCER BLAMING.

  84. Moo says:

    What we really need to discuss here is not why virgins or low risk women don’t need Pap smears. What about women who feel they might like ab unbiased opinion about having an abnormal pap result in the past and do not like getting pressured into more paps, invasive colposcopies and damaging procedures? Not every woman reading this website has had only one lifetime partner, never been sexually assaulted or abused. Are they supposed to offer up their bodies to the pap Gods every year or even every three months? Any good advice to them?

    I read a recent epocrates bulletin that the trend in pap the stings is toward HPV co test with pap every five years.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Perhaps 15 yrs ago there was a huge expose or investigational article re how pap test slides are prepped, viewed, scored or graded. Included was what we have gotten to learn here as the usual “margin of error.” Here’s where it got interesting. Humans, highly trained, were employed to view these slides under microscope. They were allowed 15-30 SECONDS per slide. Their jobs depended on their speed and accuracy to maintain a certain “margin of error” and they were paid accordingly. The errors were regarded as acceptable since testing was so regular, the disease slow growing that “next time” it would be caught. Employees complained of job conditions/expectations and how much disease was escaping detection.

      Then computers using algorithms read slides and did much better than humans. Problem though, seriously abnormal slides having cell patterns outside mathematical parameters for where and how many cells would normally be present… and the computer simply ignored the slide.

      All this testing, and advanced painful & invasive biopsies are pushed upon us to cover for the accepted margins of errors. Doctors & big business cast aside accuracy b/c it’s easier to put us through the pain & stress of extra procedures. Fibroids, pregnancy, changes in hormones? Different results? Inaccurate test? Not until reading the “facts” here did I know what was really going on.

      We bear the burden, b/c of simplicity and cost containment, of them trying to separate us away from our advocates to be conned up on the rack for more scraping, cutting, burning, freezing, and PAIN & TEARS for this bs. We have to prove our health instead of them coming up with better & more accurate-non invasive & pain free-tests. Why? They can track our behaviors & generate statistics. Being naked and vulnerable, it’s so much easier to invade us for our own good & convince us to let them do other things to us, for our own good. And in process we tell them even more about our lives and then they dictate how we should live & raise our families.

      But the doctors and corporations ignore singling out the cheaters actually spreading disease. Or policing health providers too lazy to wash their hands or even keep their writing pens clean from virus’. Finding the source of infection would be work. Putting us through this creates jobs. And pain free procedures is too much work, and then us and our advocates would be too comfortable and ask to many questions.

      And while doctors can trust each other’s testing etc, WHY must each do their own full pelvic/rectal exam? Like our innards changed radically in one month when we changed offices?

  85. Susanne (USA) says:

    Hello all,

    I used to post on the old blogcritics’ page, but I’ve only popped in here every so often to read everyone’s comments. I am in a bit of a quandary about something and am not sure how to proceed. I thought perhaps some of you might have some thoughts that would be helpful.

    A few weeks ago, I went to the obgyn Dr. with what I thought was a lumpy area and she did an exam and could not find anything of concern. She did, however, note a cyst that I’ve had since I was 13-14 years old (am now 37). Last time I went to see her with a similar concern a few years ago, she also noted the cyst and said if it was something new or had gotten bigger, they might refer me for an ultrasound and likely would use a syringe to draw out the fluid and get rid of it, but because I’d had it since age 13-14, it was OK to leave alone and that it could very well refill with fluid were they to do the syringe thing. It also serves as a point of reference since it is something I am familiar with and would more easily recognize any changes were it to change.

    Anyway, on this most recent visit, the Dr. changed her tune and said I really ought to get the thing drained and that her office would refer me to someone who could do it (last time my Dr. said she herself could do it, but she didn’t this time). Nothing has changed with this cyst since the last time, but now my Dr. has decided to start the pressure for mammograms and such. Perhaps it is because I am older than 35 now. I just figured they’d give me the other Dr’s number and I could call (or not) to make an appt if I chose to do so and that no more would be said about it.

    Well, the other Dr’s office began calling me on a regular basis to set up an appointment, but I never answered their calls. It was and is very upsetting to me, so much so that I put a call-blocking feature on my phone that would hang up automatically if the other Dr’s office were to call. I just did not want to have to deal with or talk to them.i figured if you don’t answer your phone enough times, the unwanted caller will stop calling. Guess I was wrong.

    Now, my the head nurse at my Dr’s office called yesterday and left a message saying to call her back. I figured it was about the other Dr’s office and so I called back this a.m. and left the nurse a voicemail message. In my voicemail message, I said I knew what she was calling about, that I had left a message with the other Dr’s office (I told a little fib) but wasn’t sure if they got it and that I had made other arrangements and would she please relay that to the other Dr’s office. I figured that would put a stop to all the calls, but then my Dr’s nurse called back and left another message saying would I please call and let them know what other Dr. I had decided to go to so she could “document” it.

    I don’t know what to do now. I don’t want to have to call my Dr’s office back again and just wish they’d leave me the hell alone. I’m afraid though that they’ll then call my GP’s office to pressure me as well. I don’t know what to do. I am considering firing the obgyn Dr. because of some other things she has said and done, so I’m wondering if I should just send a written letter stating that.

    Sorry for the very long post. Just wondering what you all would do?

    • Alex says:

      Interesting idea with the phone blocking. I figure they’re in cahoots with each other & one’s trying to wrangle business & pleasure for the other. They get incentives for reaching different quotas (and that’s, apparently, legal), maybe they get paid for double-teaming someone.

      I’d personally suggest not even going to one, and there’s a massive amount of risk & inaccuracy to things they “suggest” (on top of all the other ways they impose various things on someone, it’s not someone making their own decisions if someone else is lying to them- deception vitiates consent)- so maybe they’re not the most trustable people in the world. Even if you had a problem, you’ re not necessarily going to get any help with it (even if it’s what you think you’re getting). Maybe look into more self-sufficient forms of handling your own situations (Rosemary Gladstar has a bunch of books that are good, one of them title Herbal Healing for Women).

      You’re eventually going to die anyway & whatever your span, whether you include something like this in your life is your choice.

    • Barbara says:

      Susanne, given that the doctor’s office is so persistent, I would’ve told them in short and plain words that you are not going to proceed with any further medical manipulations about this cyst. Full stop.

      The doctors may have “guidelines” (most of which, as we know, are in place to protect the doctors, not to look after our health) that force them to chase you, or it could easily be a plain attempt to make more money. In either case, it is your body, your health, and your decision.

      As to the cyst itself, given that is has been there for over 20 years without any change, you will get more harm in attempts to drain it than you will ever benefit from draining it. Puncturing the delicate breast tissue with a needle can cause all sorts of nasty consequences, while draining the cyst does not remove the reason why it appeared in the first place, so you are most likely to have the same cyst refilling again, or another one appearing. Which, of course, you will be told to drain again. (I hope you see the profitable pattern for the doctors here.)

      Even cancers, when they don’t change at all, are harmless, let alone cysts! So, tell your doctor that you don’t want to be harassed about the cyst anymore, ever. Especially if that causes you stress. It is harming you more via stress and worry.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Given we both live in US, I’ve experienced a lot of what you’re talking about. At first I was concerned, b/c cysts are fluid filled like a tumor etc. However, you had this since early teenager so I seriously doubt the threat potential. Still, ask your doctor the possible origin of the cyst, the cause etc.
      Remind her that you had it since 14yrs old. Chances are, that fact is long lost deep in your file. And that lost fact has now caused paranoia and the need for defensive medicine. And the new doctor you’re referred to is asking the first one why it was never taken out, so the previous doctor now is even more determined to “look aggressive” toward the cyst.
      Ask them to prove, based on the long history of you having it, why now it’s subject to change into cancer and warrants all the attention.
      As for the “documentation.” I like to make offices deal with my husband on issues like this. He has close relatives in the medical field. HIs best friend from high school is a doctor (the friend doesn’t like being grilled by my husband either). Anyway, simply tell your original doctor’s office employee not to worry about “documenting” the calls etc, b/c you are documenting them yourself and you are perfectly capable with following through on your own. After all, you yourself have been following through on this cyst, right?

      A note about HPV detecting etc. Still, no articles on testing/treating men who certainly do their part to spread HPV…

  86. Moo says:

    Either they call and if that is not answered they will send a letter. There are liability issues maybe with doctors having to contact patients about appointments and test results. So call that doctor and tell the, that you are not interested in coming in to their office, then hang up. Like any service you can refuse without giving a reason. If it was a dry cleaners or other service, you just stop using them. There is no obligation to explain.

    If you had a Pap test,do you know the result? This could also be why they are so persistent.

    Getting paid makes a huge difference. Depends on whether you have insurance coverage. If some doctor is not going to get paid then they will not deal with that patient at all.

    I heard about some woman who called the imaging office and said see did not want a mammogram and if she came in that they would sabotage the machine. I would not suggest that as if you do need any imaging for diagnostics in the future that you would be banned from that office. So do not make threats, even legal ones. If you have been abused make a complaint either to police or see your lawyer. The doctors association are mostly interested in protecting doctors not patients.

  87. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Hi Susanne,
    I don’t have an ob-gyn, never have and hope I never do, so I’ve had no first hand experience of being chased by an ob-gyn. (I know that image will cause nightmares)
    I suspect she’s covering her back, document it all – sort of extreme defensive medicine. I have a couple of cysts on my chest wall (close to breast tissue) – I showed them to my GP and dermatologist and both said to leave them alone, they didn’t recommend removal at all as the area is very likely to scar.

    I can understand why you don’t want them poking around with something that has been there for many years and has never changed, again it sounds like defensive medicine. The cyst is normal for you. (in it’s unchanged state)
    We’re all different, but I’d make these facts clear to them and stress you see no point rushing into something, if the cyst changes, then you’ll reconsider your position.
    It annoys me the bullying that goes on women’s healthcare.

    I also, worry about trauma to breast tissue, that’s why mammograms initially worried me, the radiation and compression of breast tissue. I’ve often wondered whether biopsies can cause issues, the research is sadly, lacking. I suppose my starting point is…leave normal alone. I don’t want anyone poking, scraping, cutting etc. when there is no good reason, and I will decide if there is a good reason. If my GP suggested I have the cysts removed, I’d get a second opinion and then make up my own mind.
    I’ve seen too many women (and men, but mainly women) over the years worse off after medical meddling, my younger sister is an example, an unnecessary cone biopsy that was both traumatic and damaging. (and could have been easily avoided)

    If you don’t feel you can convey this message to the nurse, do it in writing by letter, fax or email.
    I’d make my position crystal clear and then if they keep calling…well, I’d let them know in no uncertain terms that harassment is unprofessional.

    As for mammograms – if you don’t want them it will be exhausting dodging them for the next 50 years or so, I’d deal with it head-on. Fortunately, there are quite a few American doctors who are vocal on this subject now…and who make clear mammograms are controversial and that women have a right to refuse them. Dr Gilbert Welch has written some great articles, also, we have the Nordic Cochrane Institute leaflet…so you could also, mention that at this stage you won’t be having mammograms, please see the enclosed information. Make clear this is your informed decision, end of story. If you can’t work with this doctor, then I’d be doctor-shopping, find someone who’ll work with you, not hassle you until you give in to her.
    Nice to hear from you again, I hope more BlogCritics people find their way to our new safe haven.

  88. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Don’t worry about the fib either, they tell us whoppers every day, you’ve “made other arrangements” and that is to watch the cyst for any changes.

  89. Hi Susanne,
    I agree with Elizabeth. I have had a family doctor send me a paternalistic letter telling me I was no longer welcome to stay on as a patient if I did not agree to undergo regular pap tests. I had declined a pap test while seeing my doctor for an unrelated reason, and I received the letter a few days later. After reading the letter (and calming down) I phoned my doctor’s office and instructed the receptionist to pass on the message that I was no longer a patient there, and to please do what they liked with my health records. I have discovered that I don’t need a family doctor, I’ve been happier and healthy without one, and my reproductive organs are also healthy and intact. I realize this is not be an option for everyone but it has been working well for me.

    • Alex says:

      Why not make a bunch of copies & get a lawyer to point all this out in court? Not a huge fan of court rooms, but I’m pretty sure there’s some kind of “in absentia” style to do things like that. Either way, it’s like a tyranny at sea situation or something, isn’t it? Like they’re saying “You do as I say or get thrown off the ship.” With pretty much any subject, it’s a constant theme of them basically trying to kick someone out of themselves.

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      You could have reported that Dr to the medical board as what he was doing was abandonment. A Dr cannot terminate a patient unless that Dr’s services are no longer required, another Dr has taken over care, or sufficient notice has been given that the Dr is terminating care. In the case of the letter that is not sufficient notice and the reason for the termination was also unethical as a patient has the right to decline any medical care without fear of retribution. What that Dr was doing was unethical and they knew it.

  90. Moo says:

    There is no need to contact a lawyer unless there is something serious going on. Phoning back is no really harassment until someone is asked not to call. The medical odpffice does have some obligation to show that they are not abandoning a patients medical care. Also they could think that a person was on vacation etc. some doctors are also required to communicate to a patient the risks of them refusing treatment and document it so that they have some defense if the patient or family try to sue later for malpractice.

    All that needs to be done us send a nite that you are refusing a particular service and would no like to be harassed about it. If it comes up at a subsequent visit then you might consider getting another doctor.

    I used walk in clinic for critcal care for years without much harrassment about paps, mammograms. Now I am registered with a family doctor. The harassment for cancer screening is constant to the point I feel it is negatively affecting my care on other health issues. I am still going to refuse paps, mammograms and FOBT tests. For the FOBT I might take the card and develop it at home but avoid sending it to the lab since I do not want to be in the government registry. There is the cancer screening push but if he decides to drop me for refusing then he is going to have to do formally.

    Everyone look up the definition of neoplasm and discover something very interesting. Most of the cancer screening is rather like biopsying every mole and freckle.

    These large population screening programs are just giant experiments. Some countries like Sweden have enough wisdom to stop as they do more harm. In canada it is just people trying to keep a budget going and their jobs. The data collected is not being analysed properly or published in entirety.

  91. ADM (Canada) says:

    I meant reprisal not retribution.
    That letter is also coercion as it’s taking away your informed consent with the threat of losing access to medical care unless you submit to their demands of a pap smear. In one letter that Dr violated three of their ethics. And it’s in writing.

    • Alex says:

      You’re absolutely right, ADM. Whether it’s informed or not, the patient’s consent is not outsourced to them. They try to “hold a gun to someone’s head” and then act innocent. Ever notice how they always claim “self-defense” not matter what? Like they’re doing something that can never be wrong & the patient is attacking them by comporting their own medical situation. They also act like assualting the patient, which they ARE liable, is an acceptable method of deflecting lawsuits for things they are NOT liable for. They’re “just protecting themselves” against unfair malpractice suits, so it’s okay for them to do worse things than an unfair lawsuit to the patient to achieve that goal.

      Tell me if this theme sounds familiar: “They DARE to decide what happens to them?!” “To ALTER what we have set in moiton?!” “They have the AUDACITY to counteract OUR actions?!”

    • There are so many great points being made. ADM, unfortunately this was some years ago now, and I was so p’od that I burnt the letter from my doctor shortly after reading it – short term gain. Although in an ironic twist, that same doctor who wrote the letter has ended up on the College of Physicians and Surgeons for my province, and also just happens to be on the Discipline Committee. Kind of sick and twisted but it seems to be par for the course as far as doctors go. If I were to have saved the letter and made a complaint to the college I doubt it would have gotten very far. Informed consent, abandonment and ethics all look good in theory, but if you peel back the layers in terms of what happens to women in reality it doesn’t add up to much. It is extremely frustrating. Burning the letter and “firing” my doctor was huge though in terms of personal satisfaction. And as I’ve said I have been much happier and healthy without a family doctor. I might have gained some ground if I had gone to a lawyer but I never thought of going in that direction at the time. Back then I hadn’t realized it was a common issue.

      • I forgot to add that I wrote to three different law firms about a year ago. The subject of my letters was in regards to women being denied health care when they refused “optional” screening for cervical cancer. I wrote about women in general as I was motivated (and incensed) by some of the comments here and on Blogcritics about women being denied birth control pills, and about having other health issues ignored (such as cardiac issues) and also pregnant women being coerced into paps that increase chances of miscarriage and premature birth. My letters were ignored. I wrote a second time and finally got one reply from one of the law firms. The reply was: “Sorry, I am unable to help you with this”.

    • Alex says:

      You know, this gets me thinking once again: Why don’t a bunch of women start up a whole bunch of new feminist groups & bring all these things up? Same idea with having more & more websites devoted to this general subject (“disqualified abuse,” I guess would be a good term).

      It’d be a good idea to not have things be too centralized & easy sabotage- but also to have a broader chance of hitting something. Like the idea of dropping lit matches in a bunch of different places, instead of just one & hoping for the best. I think the regular feminists would either have to stridently agree or have it become blantantly obvious that they disagree & are not all they made themselves out to be.

      The doctors, themselves, can’t very well say “What happens isn’t what occurs” or “The situation ISN’T what it consists of,” or else they’d look crazy (or antagonistic, or incompetant, etc…). The law can’t do anything like that, either (for the same reasons & they’ve already been acting more & more like vicious dictators). Add all this in with the observation that they are the ones that’ll be teaching the next generation of employees & that’s a serious amount of warning light.

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      I understand why you burned the letters. I did the same with the “you should have a pap” from my Dr’s office. Thankfully my Dr’s office seems to have so far respected my wishes. It’s so infuriating to get those letters.
      Yesterday I saw a Dr who is connected with an natural health place and all I got was how I should be having paps and need a hysterectomy because I’m not using it and basically she medically hexed me. I was hoping because she was connected with a natural health place I would get a different perspective on a couple of health concerns. Instead I got the same medical model perspective and out of date information combined with I must have been abused because I’ve declined intimate exams. She said every myth and lie about paps and hysterectomies that it was almost funny. Of course everything I’ve read is not true even when I pointed out that the information came from medical sources. It frightens me that other people she deals with aren’t as informed as I am.

      • ADM, it was satisfying to see the letter burn! But it’s sad that we have to resort to burning letters in the first place. It is good to explore other options by going to more natural health based providers and I’m sorry you were met with more of the same uninformed “care”. I can see the same thing happening to the naturopaths in my area as the female-based practices advertise paps alongside “natural” healing.

        Maybe we need to start an official organization that promotes ethical health care for women that is free from coercion, abuse, and exploitation. I found this interesting site with principles that could be applied to our topics of interest as well: http://www.positivebirthmovement.org

  92. Susanne (USA) says:

    ADM, I did not know that about Drs not being able to drop a patient without first giving them time to find another provider. It makes me even angrier to learn that as something very similar happened to my mother during her illness. She sought a second opinion from the brain cancer experts at Duke University — they are the foremost experts in the world on this particular disease — and they recommended a different course of treatment involving a new drug that had very promising results. They ran a number of tests on my mother during her consultation with them and determined her current treatment, which is/was the standard first-line therapy for her disease, was not working. Their recommendations were passed on to my mom’s doctor in our hometown.

    Shortly after we returned home, my mom received a certified letter in the mail from the hometown Dr stating that he could no longer see her as a patient and neither could any other Dr within that group practice. That left my mom without a Dr. and she and my dad had to scramble to find someone else who would see her on such short notice and provide treatment/care for her illness according to the recommendations by the experts at Duke. I’m not sure what exactly the original Dr’s reason was for dropping her like that — I suspect some of it had to do with a bruised ego, but my dad also seems to think it came down to money, since the treatment suggested by Duke was not yet FDA-approved and there might have been some hoops to jump through with the insurance company to get it covered. Thankfully my parents’ insurance did cover the treatment.

    My mom could have traveled to Duke for treatment, but that would mean flying across country every two weeks. Not good for someone who was very ill. She ended up seeing a specialist about 4-5 hours away and she and my dad and sister would drive down there every two weeks for the next couple of months until she was able to get in with a local specialist who then worked with the other Dr and the Duke team to coordinate her treatment.

    As for my situation, I would like to make clear to the doctor that I have made a decision and am requesting that they cease any further communication on the matter (no more phone calls or letters) and respect my wishes. I’m not exactly sure how to go about doing that, though. I am wondering if another phone message to the nurse would suffice or if a written letter is necessary. I don’t want to be making a bigger fuss than needs to be made.

  93. Moo says:

    The doctor has to give notice but it is a limited amount of time and as we know this can be a huge inconvenience for someone who has to travel to another doctor.

    I might suggest a phone call late at night, to ensure you get a machine or message service. Just state the fates and do not make a huge fuss. You might have to use this doctor at some point.

    I am wondering that if a polyp or fibroid is really a neoplasm, although usually benign, is it going to affect a pap test result? So then every women over 35 with a fibroid or polyp (which is common) is going to get a colposcopy and endocervical sampling in Ontario. Wow that is too many and too painful.

  94. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    It’s amazing the pap test story has been firmly established as ALL good…a MUST for all women.
    We hear that story over and over…over decades I can only recall one critical article on pap testing in the media…ONE in 30+ years.
    Many (I’d say most) don’t seem to question the need for and value of pap tests. The story/message has never been challenged, so it must be true. You can understand why some women look at us and assume we’re ratbags.
    It’s been a hugely successful indoctrination, one deliberately engineered to make women feel like they can’t reasonably decline the test. In many cases women are simply forced into testing. Can you imagine the profession making prostate screening a requirement for Viagra or a flu shot? Yet even at this late stage coercion is still the norm in the States and Canada. Yet these countries probably pride themselves on respect for women’s rights, equal opportunity etc.

    You can hardly say informed consent or even consent itself is respected in the UK with women being chased and harassed. Even here pap testing is often presented as a must, “when was your last pap test?” “You’ll need to have a pap test”….TELLING women they need pap tests or assuming consent. Paying our GPs target payments also, adds to the unethical design of this program, especially when this payment is never mentioned to women.

    This testing only works with coercion, unethical practices and dishonesty – that’s the only way they can get 80% or the majority screened…you need to screen most women to prevent a rare cancer and justify the testing/program.

    Pap testing IS a feminist icon…and the hysteria attached to it is almost blind “religion-type” faith/fervour…as a younger woman I would have felt uncomfortable revealing my no-pap-test status, but something comes with age…bring it on! Now I make clear I don’t have pap tests, I almost relish the opportunity to “reveal” myself to the profession and particularly, to other women, and letters, phone calls etc. would give me an enjoyable project, a teaching opportunity, “this is why your conduct is unacceptable”…etc. Perhaps, a letter to the Medical Board.

    So don’t despair…I put pap tests out of my mind as a younger women, turned off the TV, ignored their posters etc. feeling guilty, intimidated, uneasy/anxious etc. NOW with the benefit of age I’m confident in my decision and almost proud to say, “I’m 55 and have never had a pap test”…and never will.
    BUT I remember the discomfort that was ever-present for a long time, the “climate” that silenced most of us…I can’t think of anything else as oppressive in my life. Maybe that’s why the screeners are often so self-righteous, judgmental and emotive, they had to overcome so much mentally and physically to cope with this test every year or 2. That’s another point: can you think of anything else that prompts the wagging finger or sharp intake of breath as much? The…”you DON’T have pap tests, are you crazy?”
    The reactions are so extreme, it confirms in my mind that many women have been totally brainwashed. The system has been hugely successful…they wanted women to just do it and not to look at the test too closely, make it a habit…and sadly, many women have done just that…they just do it.

    • Moo says:

      The younger women are being told that they do not need to be tested until they are 25 if they are listening. Only now they are supposed to be terrified of having HPV. So will they are be lining up for paps as soon as they turn 25? I doubt it.

      The “habit” of pap testing used to start when a young women wants hormonal birth control and is forced into testing to get it. Now that might not be so easily enforced. Now the forced pap testing is linked with pregnancy and mothering. I can clearly understand why the risk of miscarriage is not explained but rather the risk of cancer and baby being infected with throat HPV (extremely low <0.1% when mother is HPV 16 or 18 positive) and there are no studies published about paps causing miscarriages (?) .

      I think that older women are questioning paps as they have low "compliance" around 40%. Any women over 35 getting an abnormal pap is going to be referred to colposcopy and biopsy. A result of ASCUS or AGUS is going to get a biopsy or even a cone for no reason other than 50% of those are only due to hormonal changes or fibroids! polyps. Why are women being lied to and told that they could have cancer? The percentage is low and some women are getting cones and hysterectomies for really dodgey diagnosies. So how many times is a women going to show up for colposcopies when the "treatments" do not cure and are painful and damaging? I consider pap testing damaging considering how HPV needs damaged cells to infect. Scrape up a cervix and put in unsterile gloves from your dirty doctors office. Sorry no pelvic exams for me.

      Some older women like me just decided enough nonsense and no more paps or other cancer screening. Even antibiotics I find are causing me extra problems from the primary problem. More people are turning to herbs and alternative medicine if they can afford it. That stream needs to be regulated only that government is too corrupted by big pharma that some herbals are banned and information is suppressed.

      I get that "what if you have cancer" all the time but I know that the body can heal itself of some cancer and everyone has some cancer and precancerous cells in them. I am tired of all the hype and drama.

      Cancer treatments kill people yet people line up for them when they do not often extend life with any quality or less suffering. An elderly couple jumped to their deaths the day after the government in Canada announced they were not allowing assisted suicide for people suffering with terminal illness. Instead people are supposed to die with medically induced suffering instead.

  95. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    The other point: as a younger woman I probably would have felt guilty, defensive, emotional and embarrassed…even cornered, if I’d been harassed about pap tests. I simply avoided doctors.
    Over the last few years though a sort-of calmness has descended which enables me to speak about the subject and to stand my ground. Doctors IMO, find this unfamiliar, they expect us to start babbling “excuses” etc. It takes them back when someone takes a calm, confident and informed position.
    A colleague told me recently that she feels more comfortable with doctors now, and is usually 15 or 20 years older than them as well. Some of us may have just had enough after decades of dodging and weaving….whatever it is…wait for it, it’s coming. Definitely one of the benefits of age.

    • Alex says:

      You what to know something interesting? The Mongols actually married a woman that was somewhat older than them deliberately, figuring that she’d be able to give better advice. They also held it as unmanly if a guy didn’t pay any attention to it.

      Sometimes drawing attention to someone’s responses works for getting them to re-think it. Not to pat myself on the back, but a lot of the stuff I say about the “dynamics of reality” (for lack of a better term, although that one seems pretty apt) seems to work, at least for ending the argument. I don’t know if they really come to a different conclusion or hold anything in a different esteem, but it’s pretty damn hard for someone to say “What happens ISN’T what occurs,” and still have ground to stand on. That’s something that really zooms in to the level of addressing foundational bullshit.

      Try saying “The properties of a situation don’t change because of designation.” When I say that and/or that it’s still murder if a doctor poisons someone with a needle & that a situation is what it consists of- that’s the end of it.

      All the different “medical utility” type of things can be disputed in a “How do you know?” or “Where did you hear that?” kind of way- but the point about something of this nature being imposed on someone being an issue in the first place, regardless of utility, is something that doesn’t work that way. Also the point that, if they’re the types to do something like that, how can they be trusted with anything? If they’re certified, on top of that, what else does that mean?

      It works with all kinds of other subjects, too. When something is “deemed” safe, but doesn’t actually have that quality / When someone is “certified,” but is still incompetant or antagonistic / When something has alway been “fine” in the past, but might be made of different things in the present / Different things along the same lines with law enforcement (or any of this medical stuff being imposed in a police-induced situation). All of the bullshit that gets thrown out as an argument is based on “thinking by adjucation.” Reality is what it is & that’s not something someone can really dispute (since whatever they say would then be what the situation IS). I know this was long, but it’s been a useful strategy for me & maybe it’ll be useful for someone else.

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      What I find frustrating is that a statement of I don’t have paps or I’ve made the informed decision to not have paps turns into an opportunity for the Dr to lecture and shame you and attempt to coerce you into paps. I remember hearing once that when a man says no it’s no but when a woman says no it’s time for a discussion and attempts to change her mind. That’s been my experience and also time to ask more intimate questions that stem from attitudes of women are sluts and their partners too and they cheat. I stood my ground and the Dr finally gave up but it wasn’t a quick process. If you’re a woman who doesn’t have paps you’re viewed as ignorant and a target for lecturing. I am still left wondering about what the obsession is with paps and a rare cancer.

  96. Moo says:

    WHY the Obession with pap testing and a rare cancer???? I would like to know.

    I know that my doctor can bill public insurance to ask me if I want a pap twice biannually. -Just for asking me. I can stick my fingers and my ears and say lalalalalalalalalala while he lectures me. Of course he is never going to stop asking me if he gets paid for it. It is an easy $6.86 and if he can coerce me then he makes about $30.

    It is also the concept of the “silent killer” that intrigues them. They are no symptoms of cervical cancer until it is TOO LATE they say. They want to believe that they diagnosed a predisease that we did not know we had and they saved our life. I am sure that they are other “silent killers” that they do not receive incentive payments to test for.

    Why a “silent killer” when all they need to have self HPV test kits available for people to use anytime they want. It is total bunk that men could never be tested for HPV. If a lavage or scraping can show HPV infected cells in a women then there could be some urine test and skin rubbing cloth that is applied to the penis and scrotum to test men. I am sure that it would be less damaging to men than scraping a cervix. Then men could be treated because men usually have more sexual partners than most women do. They could be lectured about spreading disease and CANCER.

    What is the REAL REASON why the digene self HPV test is not available in Canada?
    Why also is HPV testing in Ontario not free but $90 and has to be done WITH a Pap test?
    Does anyone have those answers?
    WHY does my personal information have to be entered into a public data base if I get a pap test and I can never have it deleted? They actually passed a LAW to make it so. That itself seems on the road to genocide or population control.

  97. Mary says:

    ADM I Have had that experience too especially with male doctors. For example they will give you several options but if you don’t pick the option they want you to choose they keep asking you for your answer. The last time I went to my regular GP, I asked for the pill. This was several years ago now. He kept trying to get me to try something else, Mirena, Nuva ring etc. I kept repeatedly saying: “NO. I want the pill!” He finally gave in but not without a threat of a breast exam the next time I visited! And he only gave me three months supply. I decided never to return and from that moment onwards it was the pill online for me even though it costs more.
    But it’s true what you say about women saying no, they do not accept it the first time you say it. You have to repeat yourself several times.

    • Alex says:

      You know it’s interesting that they threaten people with these procedures & then act like there’s nothing problematic about them. Look at when they catheterize someone at the hospital because they don’t like someone or to get back at them for a perceived attitude. That’s an issue on a couple of levels: the nature of interface, pain, and very possible infection (that might very well be fatal- a lot of people die from hospital-borne infections to begin with, but some of them are from that). All of this from someone, supposedly, trustable to at least not be an enemy.

      Same with the skits about rectal thermometers on T.V.- Why else would it be a threat? It’s imposing something of this nature on someone, which is a problem. The reasoning is “You don’t want someone sticking something in there, so here it goes.” When that happens in real life, it’s not a joke. I don’t particularly like when they make jokes about this sort of thing, for that exact reason- it gets associated with a joke & then not taken seriously.

  98. Moo says:

    check for the date when they submit in their yearly quotas to get their incentive bonus for pap testings. Avoid going to the doctor a few weeks before the deadline because they are desperate for women to get paps. Opportunistic testing.

    • Graeme NZ says:

      In NZ they get the nurses onto the phones to try and achieve targets. In the waiting room you can hear them calling women and fending off what are obviously excuses by the women. If it was not so disgraceful it would almost be amusing.

  99. Moo says:

    for the adenocarcicoma diagnosis is on the rise scenerios. It is just another poor excuse for pushing paps and scaring women. For abnormal pap results of atypical glandular cells, this is what someone on one forum posted up.

    “Glandular Cell Abnormalities are usually atypias due to inflammatory responses. The glandular epithelium is a thin (single layer linning) and is susceptible to irritation from a lot of possible causes including hormonal, microbial, physical and chemical agents used for douching. However, few cases of dysplasia do occur and that’s why gynae cytopathologists are concerned when they see glandular cell abnormalties and wants to rule out this rather serious condition. ******Dysplasia in this area being a single layer of epithelium translates to Carcinoma In-situ, unlike the situation in the multilayered squamous epithelium that can be graded into Low and High Grades.****** I will advice our cytopathologists to include their general inclination as to the probable reactive or dysplastic process whenever possible as an addendum to Glandular Abnormalities report. This will decrease the anxiety of our clients. Your case will turn out to be normal again or at worst a reactive atypia, this tend to be the usual trend for cases similar to your own. I will be interested in knowing the result of your colpo, please.”

    From one paper I read, it seemed that only 10% of all AGC paps were due to cancer. Yet, the recommended treatment was aggressive, a cone biopsy.
    Since as mentioned the single layer of cells is rated at a higher atypia, it seems more serious. If it is just an inflammation then it is going to resolve on its own.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Radical treatment for all? Looks like a shotgun approach to something a sniper should be doing. Treat all women like the 10% b/c doctors feel we can’t be trusted to return for f/u testing and that we’re gonna screw and spread, so we must be racked & scraped. Men can’t imagine their penis spreading anything nasty and having it frozen, fried, or cut… The worse offenders are those who are NOT circumcised; a microscopic bug incubator. Remember that women.

      Moo, the dysplasia you describe was ME 30 yrs ago. It ended with cryosurgery.

  100. Moo says:

    I do not believe that cryo is done in CAnada so often now. It is punch biopsy for any suspicious lesions on cervix first then LEEP or cone as diagnosis determines (LEEP or cone for most CIN II and all CIN III). It is LEEP or cone for anything endocervical. Laser, acid for intravaginal warts. Cryo is just used in office for external warts.

    I think we might need a report to moderator button for these trolls popping lately. Please be cautious and do not contact anyone offline (or by personal email) even though you feel like they really need help. Maybe some of us are just too kind hearted. I even hope the voyeur gets help.

  101. Moo says:

    I was reading an article I should have bookmarked and posted. It had statistics from studies about how effective some of the conventional treatments were. Some of the treatments were for genital warts and there reoccurrence. It was a shocking amount of effectiveness in some cases only 40% effective. I wonder I how effective LEEP are when some women are having three of them and then end up with a hysterectomy. The LEEP does not kill HPV infected cells it only removes tissue that is thought to be infected. It is destructive. It is does not stop more infection.

    Apparently some studies have shown that green tea extract does kill HPV infected. Cells at quite a good percentage rate but why are these protocols not used with the LEEP. Women are not even told that some dysplasia will heal on its own. The mandate is to treat all CIN II and III with destructive therapies in women over 35.

    Just seems that the medical community is not trying hard enough and just treating every abnormal pap over age 35 with destructive therapies. Why are medicinal therapies not being developed? It seems that the interventions are prone to cause more interventions, more destructive procedures and surgeries and more interventions during fertility crises and birth. It profits the doctors more. The medicalization of women’s bodies from menstruation start to death is just accepted? Not by me.

  102. Ro says:

    http://t.healthyliving.msn.com/health-wellness/women/sex/why-no-one-is-getting-their-period-anymore-1 I read this article, and it just doesn’t sit right with me. Does anyone know if taking BC on this type of schedule actually does reduce cancer risk? In which case, isn’t that a counter-productive argument with gynos who say that BC increases risk of cancer? It’s all a lot of mixed statements and very confusing.

    • Alex says:

      I know this might sound creepy, but does it seems like there’s a general effort to maintain a state of childhood? I’ve noticed a general “make things child-patterned” with a lot of different stuff, lately. Also, I’ve noticed people treating children like grown adults, too (maybe it’s just a “backward” thing).

      Take shaving, for instance (I know a woman shaving “certain areas” isn’t necessarily a point like that, but it’s everything combined so bear with me a second). It’s actually not an unheard of trend with men, too! With either gender, hair grows in where it wasn’t before.

      Then there’s medically cancelling menstration (like in a young girl). The medical professions, as a whole, do have a tendancy toward “paternalism” (although I think “autocratic hostility” is a better term)- especially with women. They seem to have some kind of issue with people giving birth, as well.

      Then there’s basically stalling mental development at school (a lot of the information is useless or false- some of it possibly leading to serious problems later in life, undermining the capacity for critical thought or innovation, trying to teach a blind trust like a child would have in their parents, etc…). This happens with all kinds of medical actions, as well (delivery room stuff that can make the kid retarded, vaccines, medications that rot the brain, etc…).

      Even T.V. shows are like that- the shows are either very “dialed down” to the point of it not really being an adult level or they’re very immature (adults acting like little kids, particularly the men). The shows for kids seem designed to stagnate them at that level & not introduce more complicated themes. There’s no references to any “workings of life” or historical situations- positive or negative. There’s not even any more advanced descriptive language than what a child would tend to use. Not for nothing, but it can be real useful to be able to put words to a situation ( “iatrogenic detriment”/”imposed interfaces”/”antagonistic to your alignment”).

  103. Moo says:

    If some women want to forgo menstruating at all by continually taking hormonal birth control then if they are making an informed decision about their health fine. Maybe these are the same young women who are going on line to buy their birth control pills and shun medical interference and nonsense pap testing. I remember being a teen and young women and I hated having my period because it was inconvenient and sometimes painful. There are some better menstrual protection products out there such as the cup, better pads etc but some women just hate using them. Tampons are not too healthy either.

    Seems weird to me because I am wanting to be more natural. Getting a period on hormonal birth control is not really a period anyway. The week off is just to let a women bleed to confirm that she is not pregnant that somehow some scientist or doctor thought was a good idea. She could just use a urine test from the dollar store for that if it was worrisome.

    I knew about this years ago but was rather suspicious of hormones anyway. I knew a young women who had hemophilia. Ok it is very rare for a women to have hemphilia but her father and brothers had it and her mother was a carrier. She just happened to get issues when she started her period she would bleed for a month and have to be hospitalized. They put her on continual hormones so she never got a period. It did not prevent her from becoming black and blue with bruises if she had an injury though. She could never have children.

    Some studies have been done showing that hormonal birth control lowers risks for certain cancers but raises others.
    ” A number of studies suggest that current use of oral contraceptives (birth control pills) appears to slightly increase the risk of breast cancer, especially among younger women. However, the risk level goes back to normal 10 years or more after discontinuing oral contraceptive use.
    Women who use oral contraceptives have reduced risks of ovarian and endometrial cancer. This protective effect increases with the length of time oral contraceptives are used.
    Oral contraceptive use is associated with an increased risk of cervical cancer; however, this increased risk may be because sexually active women have a higher risk of becoming infected with human papillomavirus, which causes virtually all cervical cancers.
    Women who take oral contraceptives have an increased risk of benign liver tumors, but the relationship between oral contraceptive use and malignant liver tumors is less clear.”
    from the National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/oral-contraceptives
    Then there are other health factors these women should understand about using hormones that they can increase risk of stroke and blood clots, they should not smoke. If they feel that they are informed then they should do what they feel is good for them.

    • Ro says:

      Moo – Thank you for your reply! I always had a feeling that tampons did more harm than good (especially after learning about toxic shock syndrome!). I, too, try to be more natural so I think that’s a big part of why this didn’t sit well with me. I don’t think any woman actually ENJOYS having a period (unfortunately, periods are nothing like advertisements for feminine products would lead us to believe). That being said, I think that if you have a lot of problems with it and are informed and really want to do this – then more power to you! I just didn’t necessarily care for the way the article was worded as if women who continued to have regular periods or go without BC were not as wise as those who chose to do differently – as if our body’s natural functions are a curse! I think it’s wonder that your friend with hemophilia was able to use BC to help her! I think there are pros and cons to it, but in certain situations the pros would far outweigh the cons. So, essentially, cancer risk doesn’t necessarily change, rather the risk is for other cancers? I agree, it’s all about choice. However, as I said before, the way the article was worded just really seemed quite set on making women feel like not having periods was the right thing for everyone to do in this day and age, and that periods are nothing more than a thing of the past.

    • Ro says:

      I meant to say wonderful, not wonder. Sorry for the typo.

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      I’m unsure about how healthy it is to be introducing artificial hormones into the body for a prolonged period of time and not letting the body do what it does naturally. But if a woman chooses to do that and does it with full knowledge it is her choice to make. There may be no long-term side-effects and it may be beneficial. I understand that for many woman their cycles are difficult and no periods would be a great relief. But what bugs me is the medical model opinions on the menstrual cycle. Over the years I’ve had Dr’s say to me how annoying periods are and why it’s so great to have a hysterectomy and to be free of bleeding. Even just last week the Dr in her attempt to sell a hysterectomy said again how annoying periods are. None of those Dr’s ever asked for my opinion on my menstrual cycle or considered the possibility that I don’t find it annoying and that I could view it as part of my femininity. Menstrual cycles are lumped in with the misogynist attitudes about the female sex organs. I don’t know if these attitudes will ever change considering it’s a system that used to view being female as a predisposing health risk factor for insurance.

  104. Ro says:

    Alex – Yes! I agree. It’s sort of switched. People treat adults like children and treat children like grown-ups (not all around, but in certain respects, as you mention in the next part of your comment especially aesthetically).

    As for shaving, there’s a lot of weirdness surrounding that. Among my peers, there seems to be this idea that shaving “certain areas” prevents infections, when actually it makes it easier for infections to occur. There seems to be a lot of misinformation for the sake of a trend. People are entitled to do what they want with their bodies, but the reasoning behind it seems a bit off in some cases.

    I feel like a lot of things are done for the sake of medical purposes. Some of it is actually necessary in certain situations, but it is not necessary for everyone or for people who are healthy and not suffering from anything. It certainly does seem paternalistic as women seem to be the main target for such things.

    Something interesting – at schools in the Netherlands, teachers are held to the same standard as American lawyers. They have to go through a grueling education process and gain several certifications before being able to teach. The Netherlands and surrounding countries have the highest success rate of education, but kids are in school for fewer hours and are taught things that are applicable to life and how to get a career in this day and age. It seems that in general, that part of Europe is steps ahead in treating people like actual human beings and putting peoples’ needs before money or selfish motives. I’m sure things still happen there, as they do everywhere, but the system itself seems much less corrupt.

    I don’t think I’ve noticed it as much with TV shows, but advertisements – most definitely. I guess it depends on what you watch. I can say, though, that when I first started commenting, I had to look up some of the words you use. So I think that speaks for itself in regards to the vocabulary that is being taught now.

  105. Moo says:

    My huge questions

    1. I go to the doctor to get help for fertility issues. He asks me when was my last Pap test? Does that have anything to do with fertility? We argue, he gets angry and tells me that I would not get any prenatal care without a Pap test. I live in Canada. As I understand Pap tests can cause miscarriage. As far as I know getting an abnormal pap will lead to “treatments” that adversely affect fertility. Are there fertility benefits to getting a pap and further treatments from an abnormal result?

    2 . My doctor tells me that women my age have 1% chance of getting pregnant naturally. I disagree with this statistic because where is it coming from? Most women at my age, 49, do not want anymore children, some have started towards menopause, etc. He will not do anything about fertility issues until I get a Pap test and ambushes me almost anytime I show up sick. I recently had an ultrasound for GERD and prescribed rapabrazole (proton pump inhibitor). He never showed me the ultrasound results yet he will feel my uterus and ovaries when he is saying he needs to check my stomach. Should I confront him about all this?

    3. I have decided to do my own research. I am taking vitex (chasteberry), taking basal body temperature, doing luteinizing hormone urine tests, taking a baby aspirin everyday, taking prenatal vitamins and extra B,C, E, D, A, calcium, trying to eat better. I did some castor oil packs but I heard that can cause miscarriage if it is done at the wrong time. Is there anything else that I can try?

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      The Dr is acting unethically. You cannot be denied access to medical care for refusing an optional screening test. Ask him to explain how a pap test is linked in with fertility issues and to give citations such as research studies. If he refuses to give you medical care in regards to fertility issues for refusing a pap test ask him to sign a form/letter you created stating as such. It can say that: I, Dr (insert his name) is refusing to provide Moo with access to medical care regarding fertility concerns because she is refusing the optional medical test of a Pap Smear, then his signature and date. I highly doubt he would sign it. My bet is he wants his $2000 for reaching the screening target.

    • Alex says:

      A major point that is totally omitted (by the doctor) is that pap testing can cause a miscarriage, so it’ll counteract this goal of having children like a time-delayed poison. Also, since he’s trying to push this situation on you- he’s not trustable at all.

      It doesn’t seem like there ARE any benfits to pap testing, anyway. Someone baselessly connecting one thing to another that just so happens to be true once in a while doesn’t mean “effective deduction” it means “random guesswork.” Gambling as a medical technique, but it’s reckless to “gamble” with not having any medical procedures applied! Also, who is he to NOT show you the ultrasound results?! This situation is supposed to tell you what’s going on with your own health & he DARES to hold back that information from you?! It’s not his decision to make.

      Make sure that the vitamins/supplements/whatever that you’r taking are natural (if nothing else, the synthetics don’t absorb as well- even if the numbers say a certain amount, you don’t functionally get that much). There are numerous books on the subject (Rosemary Gladstar has a few & I think the subject of fertility is mentioned). High stress can cause problems, but it’s pretty stressful to “maintain” that un-stressed state (like thinking about not thinking about something). If you’re keeping a straight face & a mellow tone of voice, but you still have a bunch of people antagonizing you- that’s not really low-stress, is it?

      Not sure how likely it is to have a child at 49, but I could have sworn I heard something along those lines before. It was something along the lines of having to time things well & keeping a good bodily state (nutrients & such). Keeping in shape (like working out to a level that would actually challenge the body) seems to be pretty important. Not just for the delivery (which it would make a lot of sense to do naturally, as it’s more facilitating to labor & the hospital version tends to throw in things that are very dangerous to begin with- whatever the age someone’s trying to do this). You’ve got to deliberately “get things in gear” instead of it just happening whenever like when a woman’s younger.

      I guess a lot of things have to do with re-assessing a baseline. The idea that the hosptial is a dangerous place runs contrary to the first thing someone hears about it. Same with medical care- not getting a benefit & being harmed instead of helped is not what people tend to hear at first.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      In US, cryo is still used for dysplasia, depending on md’s preference however. What would they give you to increase chances of conception? After my cryo, I received Clomid. The second increased dose produced a multiple birth.

      I am compelled to respond to another’s comments re shaving. I shave. It is hygienic, and I decide how much hair I want to keep and where. The only problems I’ve ever heard of could range from razor burn, topical reaction to what’s used to prepare the hair for shaving, perhaps ingrown hairs, nicks, but no infections. Contrary, excessive hair acts as a bacterial growth medium, with increased stink…AND the chance of actually spreading fecal bacteria up into the vagina due to rub transfer.

      My decision to shave has nothing to do with wanting to remain childlike in appearance. That is warped.

      Transfer rub is also why I am cautious about wearing thongs. Tampons? Not meant to wear for long hours. Otherwise hygienic as oxygen contact is what degrades blood and assists in bacterial propagation. Should be common sense for a woman who knows her body.

  106. Moo says:

    I could do a form but then he is going to come back with his own letter dropping me as a patient. He threatened before but I called him on it and he never formally dropped me. So if he drops me or I fire hum, then I am back to going to walk in clinic for help with acute illness but nothing else. Likely any other conventional medical doctor is going to do the same thing with coersion cancer screening tests. So it is really pointless to go the legal battle route.

    I want to understand why doctors are doing paps on pregnant women other than “to make money”. A logical argument can go far if presented in a certain way. I know for example that the manufacturer of the pap brush does nort recommend it be used on pregnant women. Although there are no published studies that show Pap tests cause or do not cause miscarriage, it does not mean they are safe. Obviously the manufacturers has done their own studies, not published, that the brush is not safe for pregnant women otherwise they would not what to omit that in their instructions for liability. How many doctors read the instructions. I would point that out. Also that treatments for any abnormal Pap test would only be safely done after birth. I would probably decline 6 weeks postpartum testing as well. There is too much hormonal stuff going on then to get a normal pap. Women are horribly mislead. But I forgot I am not pregnant yet.

    I also found out that if a women gets pregnant within one year of having a LEEP then the risk of miscarriage is high. So why risk getting a Pap test when I am running out of time. Not that I expect any doctor to understand that reasoning.

    For over ten years I used the walkin and any inquiry for anything other than acute care was “see your family doctor”. “I don’t have one” would be greeted with “well get one” . I did find one who suggested clomid but misinformed me about risks and costs. I am not sure if I would take it because I would want to be motitored while on it.

    I am looking for natural options more that I can do myself. This what I am after.

  107. Moo says:

    I have heard that hospital births are the most traumatic “rape” events. Medical personnel constantly putting their hands up a woman’s vagina to check dilation, to many tests, too much monitoring, too much control over everything. What could be a wonderful experience is stolen from a woman.

    The lithomy position, women on her back with legs up and splayed, is the worst possible position for giving birth for the women. It only is to give the doctor complete control. Women naturally give birth either squatting, standing, kneeling on hands and knees.

    Women need to take back their bodies and their births.

  108. Moo says:

    There is a negative attitude towards menstruation.

    There was a joke that if men menstruated they would be bragging every month about how much and how long.

    Promoting hysterectomies is dangerous. It is major surgery. Other organs such as the bladder can prolapse. If the ovaries are removed a woman will immediately be pushed into menopause instead of almost a decade of getting there. Some women still cycle hormones for as long as 7 years after they stop menustruating. The ovaries provide hormones that protect against Herat disease. Even fibroids can shrink after menopause or be removed by other methods that women are often not told about at all. I would kick a doctor in the head for suggesting it for anything other than dangerous cancer.

  109. Mary says:

    Moo you need a FSH test and an anti mullerian test which would give you an idea of the quality and how many eggs you have left. I don’t see why your doctor would not at least order these simple blood tests at the very least, unless he is an absolute arsehole. Also at your age time is of the essence, so he is being a bastard by delaying any medical care.
    At 49 it is rare to get pregnant naturally although not impossible. Any celebrity that has had children past their mid forties probably used donor eggs.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Did any of the Australians here see the on-air mammograms on the Today Show? Lisa Wilkinson and Georgie Gardner tested to raise awareness. Give me a break, we’re drowning in awareness. “Most women are too busy etc.” when the reality is many of us have made an informed decision NOT to screen.
      It was misinformation galore and women were told mammograms are a “vitally important” test. Women were also, advised to do breast self-exams (not recommended) and to start having mammograms at 40, highly controversial. (our program targets those aged 50 to 70) There was no mention of uncertainty of benefit, false positives, over-diagnosis or over-treatment….just a one-sided sales pitch for screening. DO IT…

      They also, interviewed a radiologist, umm…they have a vested interest in screening.
      I’ve written to them…and I saw an article in Australian Doctor concerned about the program, but I haven’t seen any criticism where women might see it….it seems anything that promotes the program is okay to leave out there, no matter how bad the information.

      The on-air screening was prompted by a US newsreader who had cancer picked up after an on-air mammogram, she’s having a double mastectomy. I understand she’s 40, so screening would not even be recommended for her in many countries, and who knows what they found, has she been over-diagnosed?
      Anyway these on-air tests will serve to scare many women into screening….when screening should always be based on the evidence. Reacting to fear is not in our best interests, I’ll act on the evidence.
      http://www.australiandoctor.com.au/news/latest-news/concern-at-tv-mammography-coverage

      • adawells says:

        I agree with Nina. You really are the best, Elizabeth, it has been fantastic to see your comments all over the web. I worked in Darwin for a year during the 1980s and as a young woman there I was astonished by the number of women who talked about their hysterectomies. I had never heard of youngish women having these in the UK. Back in the UK I hit the roll out of our call and recall system in 1988, and after two shockingly painful paps committed on me during the 1990s I have declined them ever since. As you say in an earlier post, fighting the system when you are young with no internet for help, was a lonely battle, but now that I’m middle aged I’m finding it easier. Don’t ever stop the fight, you have given a great deal of help to women you will never know. I have been very grateful for all your knowledgeable and informative postings. Best wishes always.

      • adawells says:

        Hi Elizabeth,
        I do think that the genie is out of the bottle now and that the screening evangelists are getting scared that less and less women are believing all the propaganda. I read that in the UK only about 40% of twenty somethings are getting screened. This younger generation is in to social media, has attitude, and is probably being warned by their middle-aged mums that pap testing is not all it’s cracked up to be. Certainly the screening organisations are now putting all their weight into trying to dupe younger women into going for screening, even though they would save more lives by putting this money into other things no doubt, but then they wouldn’t get their honorary degrees, new years honours and cash bonuses if they did that would they?

        Interestingly, as well as the continuing decrease, year on year of UK women attending for their pap tests, there has also been a continuing decrease, year on year, of deaths from cervical cancer in the UK, yet the pro-screening lobby claims that their programme is solely responsible for the decrease in deaths. If this were true, deaths should increase as more and more women choose not to be screened, but this isn’t happening.

        I certainly think that the NHS cervical screening programme which was rolled out in 1988 was in breach of our human rights. I do not see how the 80% screening threshold is compatible with women having a right to choose to be screened, and I do think that they are having to tread more carefully on this issue nowadays, as more women are aware of their rights. From what I’ve seen of the new NHS propaganda leaflets, they are a step in the right direction but they don’t go nearly far enough.

    • Nina says:

      Elizabeth, thank you very much for writing to this medical mafia!
      If we ever see the end of coercion, lies and malpractice in women’s health care, it will be because of people like you. I simply admire your actions!

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Thank you Nina and Adawells for your kind words.
        It always takes me by surprise because I’ve been called all sorts of things over the decades, none of it complimentary, simply because I questioned the whole rotten business called women’s healthcare/cancer screening and refused to play their game.

        I must say I can FEEL change at this point, and that’s such an enormous relief.
        After many years of rejected, edited or censored comments, being banned from sites because of my “reckless comments that could cost lives”…now I find I’m in good company and on some sites, in the majority. I’m impressed that the NY Times piece contains lots of informed comments. (although we’re still miles behind here in Australia)

        I’m more motivated than ever to keep chipping away, to reach as many people as possible and keep challenging the system. Finally, we’re having an impact. I think we have a lot of people worried and that makes me very happy.

        Adawells, I think we must be roughly the same vintage, I agree it’s easier when we’re older, something happens, I’ve found middle-age to be empowering.
        I’m no longer intimidated by doctors, at this point I’d see it as an opportunity to educate if a doctor recommended a pap test or mammogram and I wouldn’t hesitate to challenge rudeness, misinformation etc.

      • Alex says:

        Elizabeth- I’m wondering if it’s mainly the “Anglo-Sphere” that’s like that? It really does seem that America, Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand all seem to act with massive similarity with this subject. Not to be offensive, but Australia seems to act like America if it were drunk (doing the same things, but with less subtlety).

        It also seems to apply to spying, too. Maybe there’s a link? A baseline drive to hi-jack people’s lives? I mentioned that OODA loop before (it stands for Observe Orient Decide Act- you’d need to observe in order to decide & act). I know this isn’t a site on tactical things, but the degree of information gathering (which includes medical information) that’s been going on is not a good sign & they’re already pretty confrontational with medical things.

        Let’s say it shows on a woman’s medical records that she hasn’t been probed this year (or month, or week, or whatever incriment), maybe that opens the door for harassment on the subject- that already seems to happen fairly often. Maybe that turns into her kids getting taken away because she’s designated an unfit mother, because she doesn’t get these tests (“it would effect the child’s well-being if she died”). Maybe this applies to children, too.

        Maybe it’s to just get a sense of controlling something by awareness? That happens a lot with martial arts (that someone thinks if they know a move or a set solution to a problem that they have a wield of that situation- a sense command of something by mentally encompassing it). Still not a good sign, either way.

        I’m not trying to randomly spook anyone, but these things DO run through my head sometimes. It’s interesting: I saw a sign from a protest in Spain & it said “My body, I decide.” I’m tempted to make a remark on that not being the general sentiment in America & parts similar to it, but maybe that kind of solidifies the situation? Sometimes it seems to have a discouraging effect to do things like saying “Is it like that here? No, of course not!” It can also be demonstrative, though- so I don’t know on that.

  110. Moo says:

    He should change his name to doctor dumb ass.

    Good to know about these tests but really they are not going to give me much hope if I cannot fix the problem and get pregnant. I am going to look them up. Thanks. I do not $$$$$ for IVF.

    Next time I go I am going to ask to see or get a copy of my abdominal ultrasound. I feel as if he is deliberately withholding information from me. He also had me do a fasting glucose and cholesterol screen but just said the results were ok after saying I never did them at first. I told him that I did them already and look at his computer. I would like to know the numbers. He keeps asking me to come in for a physical which is just going to be about his cancer screening goals and fat shaming etc, not about any of the medical issues such as infertility that concern me. He will try to get me to do a breast exam , pelvic and pap, none of which I going to do.

    At the next visit, which will not be happening until I become very ill, I better get what I want or I am going to fire him, make a complaint (not that it will do much) and go back to walk-in clinics when I am sick.

    If all roads lead to Rome then it seems that all doctor’s visits lead to women’s vaginas.

    I am tired of the conversation “when was your last Pap test?” “When was your last period?”

  111. Mary says:

    No Elizabeth I couldn’t watch it. (Couldn’t as in because I would have puked). I made some comments here and there on various sites but of course people reacted like I was insane.

    Did you read the comment in the Medical Observer in regards to the contraceptive pill being made OTC? It beggars belief. I quote:
    “Dr Gino Pecoraro, the AMA’s spokesman for obstetrics and gynaecology, said the AMA did not support the COCP being supplied without a prescription because it would remove “point of entry consultation”.
    “It’s one way to get women to go to the doctor, and once they are there, they can have a whole heap of checks and balances undertaken,” he said.
    “No one is going to give you a pill script, unless you can say that you are up to date with your Pap smear, and… unless they check your blood pressure.”

    Oh yeah? I’d like him to try that with me. I’d see him in court.

    • Alex says:

      Something I think bears pointing out is that what he’s doing is using facts for an argument (and that doesn’t mean what it sounds like, so hold on a second). What he’s saying is STRATEGICALLY FACTUAL, so he’s saying something that IS TRUE in the “argument slot.” His reply is something that is true, so it’s now using something inagruable as ammuniton. This is what he’s “swinging” in this argument. I don’t really know what to call this, but it’s an attempt to make his whole argument non-debatable.

      Another point is to make it seem like there’s something “dying” or “hanging in the balance.” That situation (of their attempted actions taking place) is “on the line” & I guess the idea is to make it feel like a loss for this to go away.

      What is suprising is how blatant they are when they talk about this. The reply “So, it’s a way of forcing internal exams on a woman?” would probably take the wind out of their sails on the spot. So they are imposing a penetrative situation on someone that also has severe risks & high levels of inaccuracy? What wonderful people! And trustable, to be sure!

  112. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Mary,
    That really is disgusting, does he refuse to prescribe Viagra until men agree to prostate screening? No.
    There really are some unhealthy attitudes within the AMA, those who still view medical coercion as best practice when it comes to women.
    They’re clearly desperate to maintain their control over women and keeping the Pill on script is a great way of doing that…it’s bad medicine. Thankfully, women can get the Pill online now and cut out this sort of medical abuse…it’s a misuse of prescriptive power. I also, don’t believe most doctors behave that way, they know if the woman complains, their conduct cannot be justified…it’s medical misconduct. Pap tests, pelvic and breast exams are not clinical requirements for the Pill. End of story.
    A refusal to provide the Pill because a woman declines medical excess is a dangerous step, I’m sure it still happens, but only when the doctor thinks it’s “safe” to do so.
    The AMA needs a major clear-out of the dinosaurs….move into this century.

    I was reading the Q and A section for the Cervical Renewal Committee, all very depressing.
    Q: Will women still have to have vaginal exams in the future?
    A: Yes.
    Making clear they don’t intend to offer women HPV self-testing…it seems to me they’ll stay with 3 yearly population pap testing from age 25 to 70, so IMO, the whole review process has been a waste of time and money…a bit of show, basically juggling vested interests to find something acceptable to all parties…forget what’s best for women.
    You can imagine though…moving to the new Dutch program would take 95% of women out of pap testing and see over-treatment/excess biopsy rates plummet, that amounts to millions for vested interests. Population pap testing is IMO, a commercial, not a medical, program.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Remember, they call it a hysterectomy b/c they remove our hysterical pms. Doctors are supposed to perform a prostate exam before Rx’ing Viagra. Supposed being the byword.

      Doctors refuse to ditch pap/pelvic exams & go with HPV testing due to cost, and b/c they would no longer have jobs doing what they do most. Listening to sex stories, creating stats and gossiping.

      What doctor will stop the revolving door of teens, young, and mature women discussing their sex lives? From first time details, to anal & lesbian experimenting. Doctors have enjoyed locking our stressed husbands outside while we stress inside. They get to stare, smell, and feel our breasts, vaginas, and rectums. Foot fetish? Right there in front of their faces. Do we lubricate, orgasm, do we feel `that’? And so much the better if we shave.

      The AMA chief gyno named “Geno?” Imagine him letting his lifestyle go by the wayside. “Tell me Geno, do you prefer a pizza pies or a tha vaginas?” Doctors will never, willingly, take those two fingers out of our lives.

  113. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    https://www.inspire.com/groups/national-cervical-cancer-coalition/discussion/colposcopy-last-week-starting-to-think-this-is-all-a-scam/

    So much damage and totally unnecessary and avoidable.
    This woman is starting to have doubts, it doesn’t make sense? Often after a traumatic experience women will start to question, why are we removing every “abnormal” looking cell on the cervix, yet don’t have anything like that level of diligence for anything else. We’re obsessed with the cervix, with a rare cancer.
    The damage has been done, but hopefully, some of these women are prompted to do some research…and will feel strong enough to sack this system of abuse.
    There is more female support/more doubters around these days, some of the women posting felt the same way. Of course, the system/control, fear and ignorance drags most back for more.
    Before this and a couple of other forums appeared it was difficult to find unbiased and real information on this testing and these procedures.
    It breaks my heart to see what the medical profession does to women, this is NOT medical care.

    • Moo says:

      The above story
      “My pap came back LSIL and my doc said I have HPV 16.” I have to doubt that the HPV test came back positive for HPV 16 specifically. I am under the assumption that most commonly used HPV tests with paps only tests for either low risk or high risk serotypes and not specifically each strain. So does the lab report really say positive for HPV serotype 16 or is the doctor just trying to scare her?

      • ladyprotips says:

        I believe it. My dad is a pathologist and he said when he retired (2010), typing HPV was just coming to his hospital (a small town relatively rural hospital). As this article was 2011, it’s entirely possible they were able to type it.

      • Moo says:

        Yes it is possible to type a specific HPV stereotype 16, 18 or whatever. It is just that the HPV tests that are used for cotesting with paps (done in the doctors office with the regular pelvic exam) lump the stereotypes together as low risk and high risk. To. Be clear look it up yourself from manufactuers websites. This is because it would be too expensive to test for all stereotypes separately and report each. Apparently only cancer tumors are tested for specific stereotype, that would be done from biopsy tissue from a colposcopy or surgery.

        Huge difference. Believe what you want.

  114. Si says:

    http://qz.com/167854/doctors-shame-women-more-than-men-about-their-bodies-and-behavior/
    Interesting study on doctors shaming women more than men about their bodies and behaviour. Something we’re all familiar with… I wonder if any of the researchers have noticed the elephant in the room re the obsession with women’s reproductive healthcare.

  115. Moo says:

    What I really want to know – Are Pap tests necessary during pregnancy? I heard they are pushed at the first prenatal visit. What are the facts only?

    Apparently the instruction insert from the manufacturers of most pap liquid prep kits says not to use the endocervical brush after 8 weeks. I cannot find any published study about the risk of miscarriage and pap even though from many personal testimonies, women are experiencing bleeding and miscarriage within 48 hrs of a Pap test. I am not talking about STD testing, tests for bacteria (especially strep B) or speculum exam of the cervix, just pap. If a women has had a pap recently the why is she being pressured into paps when pregnant and 6 weeks post partum?

    I am reading conflicting views. Many are recommending no pap since harm could be done, others are about “compliance” and “opportunity”. A women with cervical cancer diagnosis can very well get pregnant and may be wise to be followed during pregnancy with colposcopy. I just think that everyone else should be left alone. I even heard one women that was scared into thinking her daughter would be born with throat cancer because she had some warts. How rare is that? Many documented once or just a “theory” about an extremely abused child. How stressful and damaging is a colposcopy and biopsies during pregnancy?

    Are obstetrians and midwives refusing patients who will not pap? I really want to know.

  116. Si says:

    The BMJ & Dartmouth Institute are sponsoring a conference on ‘The legal and ethical implications of keeping patients in the dark’ at the Summer Institute for Informed Patient Choice in June this year. For any American’s or Elizabeth – it’s an open forum at Dartmouth Hanover NH. You could also recommend your doctor might like to attend next time they try to withhold care/birth control until you submit to their bikini medicine.
    http://siipc.org/

    • Moo says:

      Keeping patients in the dark is about informed consent. It is. It just about the ethics of pelvic exams on in symptomatic women but many many other issues.

      Some issues that are important are not informing patients about alternative therapies or just neglecting to give information. What comes to mind in my personal experience is when I saw a surgeon about a lipoma on my back about 2 cm from my spine. She told me it was benign and surgery not covered by gov insurance. I would have to pay her $450 for surgery that would give me a scar the size of the tumor. At that time I did not have the cash and the tumor was about 2 cm. she said it might grow or not. Several years later it was very large and causing pain. I went to a other surgeon who told me that it was 0.5% cancerous. I also found out on my own that gov insurance only covered excision of tumors larger than 4 cm otherwise they were considered cosmetic. with that info I would have seeked help years before. So who was keeping me in the dark?

      There also seems no point in giving patients blood glucose and cholesterol tests without discussing the results so they could consider lifestyle changes. These are done only to medicate.

  117. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Si, there is also, another conference on evidence based medicine in Oxford in September. (with many of the same speakers from the 2013 Evidence Live Conference)

    Dartmouth…oh yes, I’d love to go, but it’s difficult (and expensive) to get to Dartmouth from Australia.
    Interesting…I didn’t think Peter Gotzsche from the NCI spoke that well at Dartmouth, he receives a hostile response from many of the screening zealots in the States, he seemed far more relaxed in Oxford. I noted he didn’t have much to say about mammograms at Dartmouth…many would have given up years ago, it says a lot about the man, very impressive that he’s still fighting on more than a decade after the first report was released.
    He’s definitely in my medical hall of fame.
    By the way the lectures from Dartmouth 2013 are online…some very interesting speakers.

    • Si says:

      Elizabeth have you checked out the Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law? There’s an AABHL 2014 conference in Perth, maybe not in the same league as Dartmouth, it looks really interesting and a lot more affordable though you have to pay $$ for membership. I get a newsletter and go to the occasional forum through the Queensland branch QLDHEAL, though I would have dearly loved to go to Dartmouth 2013 – I’ve watched the online lectures thanks for the links.
      https://aabhl.org/article/aabhl-2014-conference-2-4-oct-perth

  118. ADM (Canada) says:

    Word is starting to get out about the effectiveness and possible dangers of mammography. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/12/health/study-adds-new-doubts-about-value-of-mammograms.html?_r=0
    Now if only they would study pap smears and their effectiveness.

  119. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/mammogram-study-adds-new-doubts-to-lifesaving-value-20140212-32hnl.html
    Yet another quality study showing breast screening is of no value, but leads to over-diagnosis.
    Yet the Cancer Council here are still protecting commercial interests, not women. We’re told screening will not stop based on one study, when in fact, it’s now numerous studies going back over a decade.
    Also, the usual lies are trotted out..you’re less likely to need a mastectomy if you screen, when in fact, the reverse is true, you’re more likely to have a mastectomy WITH screening.
    Hopefully, more women will be prompted to take a closer look at screening.

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      We posted the same articles from different sources about the same study. This line from the articles is interesting: “Kalager, whose editorial accompanying the study was titled Too Much Mammography, compared mammography to prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, screening for prostate cancer, using data from pooled analyses of clinical trials. It turned out that the two screening tests were almost identical in their overdiagnosis rate and had almost the same slight reduction in breast or prostate deaths.
      “I was very surprised,” Kalager said. She had assumed that the evidence for mammography must be stronger since most countries support mammography screening and most discourage PSA screening.”

      It shows how cancer screening for men is researched and examined for effectiveness and potential for harm with the results accepted and implemented and screening recommendations changed. With women’s there is a prevailing attitude of screen and don’t question with results about it’s effectiveness and potential for harm ignored. It really shows how much there are vested interests involved who do not want the programs to change.

  120. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Interesting the same names with a major vested interest in screening are already trying to discredit the study. It’s the same names, many of them are radiologists…hope women see their “concerns” all amount to self-interest and preserving the millions they make from screening.

  121. Mary says:

    Elizabeth, I was listening to the radio about the mammogram study and I only caught it half way through but they were interviewing somebody about the psychological effects of screening when there are false positives. And this woman said that in the UK they are going to or she was saying they should (I didn’t hear which) send a letter to women saying “have you considered screening?” and list the pros and cons instead of sending the invitation like they do now.
    Wow ! Choice and informed consent in the 21st century. Fancy that!

  122. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2014/02/patients-lost-trust-doctors.html
    Are they kidding? I commented, talk about missing the elephant in the very small room, now let’s ponder: why have patients lost trust in doctors?
    I hardly know where to start…or stop. (as usual…)

  123. Adawells says:

    Just today there has been another article about whether to have a mammogram in today’s (UK) Guardian, newspaper. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/feb/16/should-i-have-a-mammogram
    and also from 2012, this excellent article from a Cochrane Institute researcher http://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/jan/23/breast-cancer-screening-not-justified
    Sorry I can’t get the links to work.
    As a 52 year old Pommielady I have to say that I received my “invitation” for mammogram last year and I sent it back having filled in every bit of white space saying why I do not want to have a scan and what a waste of public money it is. I don’t think it’s going to be like the Berlin Wall coming down, but the cracks are certainly beginning to show, and the pro-screening lobby must be wondering how they are going to get out of this one. If the breast screening programme is being disclosed as fraudulent, the general public must also start asking questions about the cervical screening programme too.

    I have just been reading a very interesting article about osteoporosis screening, which analysed women’s perception of health screening. The conclusion drawn from this piece of research found that rather than empowering women, health screening programmes caused women to feel less positive about their bodies as the screening procedures caused them to feel as though they were sick, ailing and less able to do things they had previously undertaken before:
    “Making the invisible body visible. Bone scans, osteoporosis and women’s bodily experiences”, Univ of Copenhagen, 2005 The study found that medical surveillance increased the women’s dependence on scanning technology and doctors, creating new illness experiences, with women believing their bodies less capable than before and increasing their compliance with any medical treatment.

  124. ChasUK says:

    The mammogram figures are dropping, so now they have an advert on UK TV for the over 70′s, guess they need that 80% to keep the programme going, like any screening 80% or no difference is made.

    • Adawells says:

      OMG I haven’t seen these adverts yet, but I thought they were also trying to lower the age too to start at 47. Anything to try boosting the figures. http://www.rcn.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/554167/BCOC_Campaigns_early_2014_20.12.13.pdf

      BTW I have been reading loads of RCN documents, and came across one which covers the topic of persuading the over 70′s to keep going for mammograms, when they are no longer on the recall system. On the woman’s final mammogram the radiologist and the nurse have a pre-rehearsed discussion with the woman before she leaves. This discussion is basically scripted and practised ad nauseum, so that the woman doesn’t know it is and assumes it is a spontaneous chat. During this, the woman will be coerced into continuing her mammograms every 3 years. The authors saw nothing wrong in this at all, since they called this “empowering” these elderly ladies, and not coercion. It was in a large pink document of over 100 pages which I thought I’d downloaded from somewhere, but I can’t seem to find it at the moment.

      • Karen says:

        Adawells, this sounds like a super interesting document.. I go and look for it too, but if you stumble upon it, would you mind sharing a link with me too? I wonder how involving nurses and radiologists in this is justified towards them, I mean is such theatrics really within their professional boundaries? And who could have written such a script, which discourses/disciplines of psychology(nudge units?) could be applied?

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        If you look at the “fierce” defenders of screening, most have a vested interest. (some are ignorant/incompetent, brainwashed etc.)
        There is one man who aggressively attacks anything that casts breast screening in a bad light; he’s head of radiology at a major American medical school. I’ve also, seen his articles with the comment at the end, “No conflict of interest”…what? You must be joking.

        I wouldn’t be taking advice from a radiologist or from anyone else with a vested interest, and sadly, that’s most people with the power and influence to get into papers and onto the television. I’ve also, noticed the vocal radiologists defending mammography always hark back to old studies that were discredited by the NCI ages ago. (they’ve got nothing else to work with)
        When someone finds fault with everything negative about screening, publicly and aggressively dismisses it as soon as it appears and makes threats, “some women will die if they accept this poor research and stop screening” = vested interest. Attack is the simplest form of defence. Don’t get too close or you’ll see my argument looks like swiss cheese.
        i think ego comes into it too, if you’ve been banging on about something for decades, some can’t accept they were wrong.

        The NCI is an independent, not-for-profit medical research group, I’ll take their research any day ahead of the protests from the Head of Radiology at X or Y Medical School.

        The Australian program is being extended to include those aged 71 to 74 (from memory) there is no evidence of benefit, but what the hell, when did they ever worry about that? It’s good political brownie points and more profits for vested interests. We’ll harm some of these women, of course, and possibly kill some of them, over-treatment might mean surgery and/or radiotherapy and chemo, these things knock you around and I imagine are more likely to end in death (from heart attacks or lung damage) if you’re older or in poor physical shape.
        Of course, this may help them reach their precious target, it’s clear those 50 to 70 are saying NO in increasing numbers. Gotta get the numbers up…find more women! We’ll be setting up Clinics in nursing homes and Universities next, nothing would surprise me with these people.

      • Karen says:

        Again the use of the word “empowering”.. why did this poor word got so co-opted, because it is so dangerous?

  125. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Chas, I don’t think screening 80% would help given the evidence, not that anyone is interested in the evidence, but more and more studies are showing the risks exceed any benefit provided by breast screening and benefit is debatable anyway.
    As for cervical screening, as we all know, when you’re looking for a needle in a haystack with a defective pitchfork, well, it’s all a bit futile, and we harm heaps, now we can identify the handful at actual risk, but choose not to, too much money is made harming the masses.
    Keep piling up the tests and keep day procedure busy.

    • Alex says:

      “Looking for a needle in a haystack with a defective pitchfork,” dead-on analogy with that Elizabeth!

      I really don’t think medicine (allopathic medicine, at least) is geared toward assisting people at all. More & more it’s about malice & money. It’s an avenue to affect someone, plain & simple. Since all kinds of medical information includes your address & phone number, this can be “hitting someone where they live” in a residential sense, too.

      It’s also a point that they may or may not know various things about your life & about the people connected to you. It seems they think they’re perfectly free to just ask about things & it can be pretty hard to shut someone’s questions down. What do you say to them? As it is, they don’t listen when someone refuses something at the top of their lungs & there’s no reason to think your words will shut down their actions. I guess you can just lie & mixing lies with the truth can be useful, both for deception & acting like they “misunderstood” or “incorrectly filed data” (they do it often enough).

    • ChasUK says:

      Thanks Elizabeth, once again you are correct, very little evidence. I still cannot believe how much they protect these programmes. Another site worth a look is Science Daily, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140217085248.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fhealth_medicine%2Fcervical_cancer+%28Cervical+Cancer+News+–+ScienceDaily%29

      • Karen says:

        This is really interesting too:
        “Some types of papilloma virus might prevent cervical cancer”
        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130410082417.htm

      • Adawells says:

        This looks like really good news for anyone who has an abnormal smear and might spell the end for invasive treatment of the cervix, but not the dreaded smear test itself, I fear. With the problem in Africa and the developing world there is no way that they will be able to afford a cervical screening programme like we in in the first world have to endure. I hope that developments in combatting this disease in Africa will result in some sort of solution, which will make our horrible smear test procedure a thing of the past.

  126. Moo says:

    My doctor can make $6.86 for just asking me if I want a Pap test, flu vaccine, or mammogram each every two years. He gets $7.00 for trying to give me an FOBT card though. I wonder why that is higher. If I actually do these tests I know that if he makes a quota he will receive $2200.00 incentive bonus for the year for getting patients on his hit list. The government provides the hit list.

    Surprised when talking to a friend. She told me that she “missed” her pap this year when she got her yearly checkup. She said the doctor would “check” if she needed it or could get it. She was surprised when I told her it was changed to every three years if normal before and that if she wanted it every year she would have to pay for it. The doctor never explained this.

    I found a government doc that states the change in funding paps every three years from yearly will save $millions. I wonder just how much $$$ would be saved from cutting the incentive bonus and hit list. I would rather the money be spent on people who are sick.

  127. adawells says:

    I just wondered if anyone had seen the photos of Beth Whaanga, which appeared in the UK press recently? I’m really shocked by them. I noticed that the operation is called “breast reconstruction” and not “abdominal mutilation”. I understand that she had the gene, which means she has a 45% chance of getting breast cancer, but I’m not sure I would have opted for such drastic surgery myself.

    • ChasUK says:

      Thank you I have just looked at the pictures, how awful! 45% risk of cancer, but I would look at it as a 55% chance of my body doing its job and not getting cancer. What is it with womens medicine, they deem every bit of our bodies as disposable, well not mine and not many others too. Just checking that rcn link now, thanks again.

      • adawells says:

        Hi Chas and Karen,
        I’ve found the booklet and it wasn’t an RCN one at all. It’s from our very own “National Harming Stasi” and it’s called NHS Breast Screening Programme Annual Review 2010. http://www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/breastscreen/publications/2010review.html
        If you turn to page 10 there is a chapter called Improving awareness in women over 70. Prof. Amanda Ramirez talks about her PEP Intervention programme, where the 10 minute scripted coercion talk is aimed at the unsuspecting woman to get her to continue with her mammograms. I quote:
        “The PEP intervention is a scripted, 10 minute, one to one interaction between a screening radiographer and a woman….The radiographer is given careful training beforehand, including detailed preparation around the script or conversation. It is very much an interactive script with room for women to ask questions and the woman will probably not be aware that it is scripted at all. However, the conversation has been carefully designed to maximise change in behaviour. This is not about scaring women about breast cancer. It is about empowering women to take control of their health…”

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        “It is about empowering women to take control of their health…”
        Of course, it is…that phrase is often used to justify disgraceful medical conduct. Control of your health always means doing what they want us to do…
        it reminds me of the tips sent to our GPs on opportunistic pap testing and suggested answers to any of our concerns. So the pap test is raised, if we decline we’re asked why and there we have a list of responses…hopefully, it ends with the woman having the test. (even if she doesn’t want it)
        How did we move so far away from ethical screening, where a simple, “No, thanks” must be accepted, screening is supposed to be our choice to accept or decline as we see fit. We shouldn’t need an “excuse” or have to engage in a debate defending our position. (an unfair debate in the doctor’s territory) I think this is why real information was suppressed, so women really couldn’t defend their position apart from, “it might hurt” etc.
        In the prepared answers there is no response for, “I’ve made an informed decision not to screen.” No wonder some women say they didn’t realize testing was optional.
        The manipulation of women is another demonstration of the attitudes at work here and their disrespectful view of women.

  128. Karen says:

    Hey Everyone, if you would like to know how thoroughly corrupt and evil the gyn industry is, just look at this: http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.owningpink.com%2Fblogs%2Fowning-pink%2Fthe-book-tour-week-1-the-truth-not-the-hype&_back=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.blogher.com%2Fdiscovering-my-erotic-creature%3Fwrap%3Dfree-tagging%2Facceptance%26crumb%3D5172

    This vile gyn Lissa Rankin has written a book with the vile title ” What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend ” (again trivialising and normalising the protocols and methods of an industry founded by a man experimenting on slaves). Ok so she wrote this vile book, and what she did.. a f–ing launch party IN A STRIPPERCIZE AEROBIC STUDIO!!
    “The Sexy Launch Party
    No book launch would be complete without a launch party, and the one hosted by Sheila Kelley’s S Factor was a hoot- smoking hot women dancing on poles, while we chatted, talked about vaginas, sold and signed books, and rallied together to empower women. The whole thing was very chill and relaxed, and the S Factor women were definitely my peeps. They GET what my book is about, so I didn’t have to sell the book”

    Could anyone have made this ghastly shit up… it is fun to pretend you sell sex, it is friendship to let a stranger touch your vagina, and profiteer on the privilege.. if there has ever been a disgusting hypocrite, this Lissa Rankin, MD is one. Look at this esoteric/empowering stuff she posts, she collects email addresses under “The Daily Flame”

    (“Here’s a sample of the type of message you’ll receive:
    It’s time for an unabashed love letter.

    I adore you so much I want to pinch your cheeks and kiss them while wearing bright red lipstick so you can see all the evidence. “)

    She has posts on her blog like “Coming out of the Spiritial Closet”(http://www.owningpink.com/blogs/owning-pink/coming-out-of-the-spiritual-closet), she wrote a book called “Mind Over Medicine”
    so ok, she talks the talk, but does she walk the walk? Obviously not, when it comes to pelvic exams on asymtomatic women… see what she thinks of the new pap guidelines- http://www.owningpink.com/blogs/owning-pink/no-more-annual-paps-ladies

    “What concerns me about these new guidelines is that women will mistakenly assume that they need only visit the doctor every three years- and that women younger than 21 will avoid the gynecologist altogether. But what about STD testing? What about contraceptive counseling? Often, the “Honey, it’s time for your first Pap smear” visit arranged for an 18 year old girl by mom is the first chance a doctor gets to educate a young woman about her health. Mom may not know she’s sexually active, so that visit turns out to be a good time to talk about safe sex, discuss birth control, and educate about things like the morning after pill. If Mom now thinks her daughter doesn’t need to see a gynecologist until she’s 21, she may wind up there before 21 pregnant, with a host of sexually transmitted diseases.

    Annual exams are also an opportunity for a woman to discuss preventative health issues with her doctor- other cancer screening opportunities, hormone balancing issues, sexual difficulties- whatever. If women are discouraged from annual Paps, will they mistakenly also be discouraged from yearly opportunities to become empowered about their bodies?””

    EVERYTHING about this paragraph.. as if 18yrs old girls were dogs, but if someone would try to arbitrarily penetrate a dogs vagina to “educate” them they would end up worse than a mother who does this to their daughter in the USA. A 18 yrs old has maybe a 1:million chance to get cervical cancer, so she justifies violating this hypothetical 18yrs old by saying they can’t listen otherwise (and what happens then, not all young people are sexually active, and there is plenty of information to be found on the internet and books). These hidden threats and coercion through the flowers… oh how I hate vile people like this Lissa Rankin, MD co-opting discourses of empowerment and feminism.
    On her website she advertises this fucking absurd (what on earth is this…”essential life skill”?) of her comrade Kim Amani (http://www.owningpink.com/blogs/owning-pink/can-strong-vagina-keep-you-getting-botox)

    “Can you shoot ping pong balls with your vagina?
    If you can’t you aren’t alone. 99.9% of women haven’t mastered this essential life skill. Once you do, you’ll have more (and better) orgasms, and be able to cause your man to ejaculate (or not!) ”

    Lissa Rankin MD, do you know what an essential life skill is? Seeing through the BS of people like you!

    • Alex says:

      This chick’s probably a flaming lesbian! People forget about that angle- just because someone’s straight that doesn’t mean that they aren’t aggressive about it, same goes for homosexuality.

      That empowerment angle is pretty sneaky. There’s nothing empowering about having someone else comport what is done to your own body. How is someone else telling you what’s going to happen a personal decision? I’m willing to bet if DAD orchestrated this situation, it’d get considered a problem. Is it supposed to be sweet & nuturing because it comes from mommy? Or maybe because she’s also female, it’s like she’s doing this to herself? Either one is untrue, but so is the idea that lacking of bodily autonomy is being empowered.

      As for shooting ping pong balls- if 99.9% of women can’t do it, how do that many guys get off at all? That angle of being sexually capable, or not, is kind of a subtle slam to someone’s womanhood- which was just called into question because she doesn’t outsource her decisons of what goes where to other people. That “or not” part strikes me as an added jab about holding sway. It’s actually sounds a little confrontational, doesn’t it? Like she’s deliberately cutting things short just to cause the guy a problem.

      It’s the exact same concept as a man not being large enough to please his woman & thus not very manly (a popular sale-pitch for various enlargement products, I might add). Oddly enough, something women see right through in that situation! If someone were to add in “Oh, add let someone stick something up your ass or you’re immature & unmanly,” that would be roughly the same proportion as what’s pitched at women.

      • Karen says:

        I am with you Alex on this one… she seems CUNNING, in a predatory manner. For example this “Daily Flame”, I bet the niceties are written by a bot, they cost nothing to send, and an email database of gullible people prone to such manipulations has value. It is all very 1984, the whole doublespeak about empowerment. If someone endorses any coercion related to pelvic exams (HATE SPEECH) and actually admits coercing women into pelvic exams(RAPE) they can chew on their esoteric/empowering/feminist nuggest all day, I will not buy into it. The harms of mammogramms are pretty much mainstream knowledge at this point (so are the harms of pelvic exams on asymptomatic women btw), and of course I see it as a very positive sign that she is critical of mammogramms, but the whole making gynaecology sexy/friendly/cool- ie empowering thing, via pairing it to lifestyle choices such as the strippercize aerobic (again the same “liberal” feminist freedom principle, a womans freedom to objectify herself, to consume, to cast aside any dignity?) is so hypocritical and disgusting, and on top of that, the whole co-opted empowerment discourse applied to coercing poor 18yrs olds to get pelvic exams. And don’t get me wrong, regarding esoteric knowledge, I am just as angry about spiritualism being co-opted as feminism, and I regard such knowledge very highly. And if she is beyond this ugly faux-empowering nonsense, why does she not pull this content from her Owning Pink website, or at least publish a disclaimer?She does seem to manage her brand very consciously, so it would make sense.

      • Alex says:

        Yeah, “cunning” is the right word. Something can’t be deliberately refined like that without someone knowing what they’re doing (it’s like saying someone camouflaged something by accident). It’s weird how so many things are the opposite of what they’re described as. I’ve noticed this as a constant thing in America.

        Another thing is the constant ploy of innocence. Someone deliberately does something & it’s somehow an accident. Someone argues tooth & nail against something & then pretends to be on the same side as the one they were arguing with (especially when they’re losing). Always acting like they’re in pain, so someone feels bad about going agaisnt them (that wincing, hurt look people get when they dispute things like this is noticeable).

        Another thing that worries me is things like this going on in the schools. Misinformation & at a young age, of course- but since you get arrested for general behavior now, not just “misbehavior, it really worries me that someone’s going to try to dispute these things & get in trouble. Of course, that can turn into similar problems coming from a law enforcement angle (and from doctors, while captive). Apparently, strip searching anyone arrested (regardless of what assumption they were arrested under) is perfectly legal & they already go after kids this way.

    • Alex says:

      One more thing I forgot: simple lying can be a subtle tactic (because it’s sometimes unexpected).

      They keep saying things that are in direct contradiction to the situation. They’ll say something causes problems that don’t, something fixes problems that don’t, something’s safe & it isn’t. This is with medicine, in general.

      That whole thing about “empowerment” is the exact opposite of what goes on. These people are manipulating someone & then saying “it’s empowering them.” The same goes with “encouraging” people to get tests & such. It’s pushing them into it (whether through deception, coercion, or whatever). Really displays that this is NOT what they are inclined toward. Actually writing a script, which is camouflaged to look like it’s non-scripted conversation, and is rehearsed beforehand is not accidental.

      Just wondering: Do you think “empowering” is like some kind of joke to them? Maybe they figure they have this impetus to drive an action are transferring (“empowering”) that impetus to someone else- like running a current through somebody that’s geared in a particular direction. I know that’s a bit complex & I guess it could just be simple contradiction, but sometimes that long, winding, bizarre reasoning is exactly what you run into. Especially if somoene’s trying to use confusion to conceal something.

    • Alex says:

      Just realized: the name of this chick’s site is “owning pink.” What does that sound like? Considering that “pink” is a reference to a particular spot on a woman’s body, that’s a bit of a red flag.

      According to her, even her daughter said “Mommy you love vaginas, don’t you?” Wow creepy is that? This kid’s young enough to still call her mother “Mommy” & this is a situation that she is picking up on. Obviously, the woman thinks that it’s not wrong for the mother corralling her daughter into this situation- so what happens when this daughter gets older? Her mother’s probably going to think that she (pardon my expression, but it is apt phrasing) “owns her daughter’s pink.”

      She has a real non-threatening, hippy-ish, “I identify with you” kind of demeanor, but she’s a snake in the grass. Look at how she’s saying all kinds of things about basically being liberated & empowered, but yet is trying to commandeer the woman’s situation & applaud one that undermines a woman quite severely. Saying that the doctor will probably require an exam to get birth control & not mentioning that that’s illegal, much less a coerced violation of both her body gives lie to that whole “women’s lib” theme.

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      I own Lisa Rankins book Mind Over Medicine and really like. She is also not a “flaming lesbian” but is married to a man and has a daughter. She wrote “What’s Up Down There” before Mind Over Medicine and over the years has changed her opinions about healthcare. She has discussed cancer screening including that mammography does not save lives and that it is a woman’s decision to make. She is an advocate of taking charge of your health and your body including saying no to your Dr and declining tests and procedures. She even discussed that people should know the pros and cons of cancer screening and consider them and the potential harms: https://www.facebook.com/lissarankin/posts/705934769435947
      Personally I would want a Dr like her.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        I don’t know anything about her, but recall when I posted a fairly strong comment on her website, she thanked me and agreed with many of my points. In sharp contrast there is another American doctor who closes down threads, deletes posts, she IMO, protects pap testing and clearly does not want her patients to know the evidence. (or to imagine they could decline pap testing, pelvic exams etc.) She was very threatened by open and informed discussion on her site.
        Of course, she wrote an article on breast screening which appeared on the Kevin MD site, she’d take it for granted that she can say whatever she likes with no censorship, yet denies that right to those who post at her site. If she doesn’t like your posts, end of discussion.

  129. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    “A few weeks before our wedding my partner broke down and told me she wasn’t ready for marriage. She had been to a doctor and told she’d need VERY INVASIVE exams before she could get pills. A visual inspection of her genitals and a rectovaginal exam. She was told the bimanual and smear could wait until 3 months after our wedding. She was still a virgin at this time. I’m pleased to say my girl walked out of the doctors rooms. I went to the Medical Society and spoke to a couple of people who told me doctors could make anything a requirement for the Pill, but that NONE of these things were medically required for the Pills. So, why are women DENIED scripts until they have these exams? This sets every woman up for abuse. I accompanied my partner to three doctors and found a doctor who agreed these requirements were unethical and gave her the script and an assurance no demands will be made later. We’re currently researching smears ; 2 virgins here. Wedding in May
    —Guest Scott”

    Saw this on a forum.
    Hopefully, their research makes clear pap tests are a waste of time for 2 virgins, (and risk the woman’s health) although that information is hard to find. You often see things like: you’re at risk if you’ve had sex, even once, but they conveniently omit that’s only the case if your partner is HPV+ (and the risk is very small anyway)
    Anyway, nice to see a supportive partner, together they have a better chance of avoiding medical excess and abuse. It reminded me though how many happy occasions (or should be) are ruined for women because of medical mandates. This woman almost deferred her marriage because of the threat of medical abuse.

    • Alex says:

      And you know what’s sick? These women might get made out to be immature for avoiding an attack because it’s an unconventional method of abuse. If this guy she was marrying was getting dictatorial like that & she decided to not marry him that would get seen as perfectly valid!

      I’m sure someone would probably tell this woman “Oh, that’s no reason to not get married” or “Yeah, it’s a problem- but you can’t let that stop you from living your life.” Of course, she’s not “living her life” if other people are arranging what is done in that life. She’s somehow letting other people push her around by not letting them push her around. It’s like they’re completely ignorant of coercion as a concept!

  130. Moo says:

    Studies published that found 1/3 to 50% of all men over 50 years old had some degree of prostate cancer found in autopsies. All had died of other causes.

    Somehow I think that most womens cancer could be the same. How many women could live comfortably with a breast tumor, cervical dysplasia or uterine growths that are just causing mild or no symptoms?

    If I have cancer and it is not causing me a problem and it is not likely to kill me in the next couple of decades, please leave me alone. I do not need cancer screening to make me become a cancer patient. I would refuse conventional treatments anyway. Cut, burn and poison are not living to me. Even early detection so I could start natural alternative therapies really does not appeal much to me. I cannot see living on vegetable juice, cutting out sugar etc.

    The argument I get from the doctor is that I am going to die of cancer if I do not get screened. The screening tests do not prevent cancer. I think the treatments are terrible which they do not mention. They push the screening as preventative medicine when it is not. They should be discussing lifestyle (other than drinking and smoking) and diet (what do MDs know about nutrition? Very little). They just ask if you eat so many fruit or vegetable per day, how many eggs not what to eat or how to get better food if you cannot afford it. Strange but we have a drug plan not a meal plan.

    • adawells says:

      In Dr Margaret McCartney’s book “The Patient Paradox: why sexed up medicine is bad for your health” on page 57 she gives some examples of cancers found in bodies after they had died of something else.
      In the US a study of post mortem examinations found that 7% of bodies had got an unsuspected cancer in them, when these people had died of something else.
      “In the journal Human Pathology, in 1994, Swedish pathologists described how, in a series of just over 3,000 postmortems, around one in 20 people had an undiagnosed and unsuspected cancer.”

  131. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    I read somewhere for those over 50, a fair % will have cancer somewhere, but in most cases, they’ll die WITH the cancer, not FROM it. Previously we didn’t know about it or look for it so were blissfully unaware.

    Moo, we certainly don’t need treatment for most dysplasia, although if you’re HPV+ and aged 30 to 60 and have an abnormal pap test (CIN 3) I can understand being treated, of course, that doesn’t currently happen, HUGE numbers have treatment for dysplasia, and sadly, often very young women.

    Fibroids, unless you’re symptomatic and they’re bothering you, forget about them, but in the States with all the annual poking around, it seems to me many women end up having procedures or hysterectomies to get rid of them. Also, ovulation is normal, yet American women have been trained to fear cysts on their ovaries – there is even that “doctor” on the net who convinced a young woman to keep having annual well-woman exams because he found a harmless cyst.
    So he did an unnecessary exam, found “something”, did some further diagnostic procedures and what a relief…nothing to worry about, but the young woman then says, “I didn’t even know it was there, it might have been something serious”. Now convinced to keep having her exams.
    This is medical dishonesty, pretending you’ve saved someone’s life: it’s a huge problem in the States.

    If it’s not broken, leave it the hell alone is my motto, don’t go looking for trouble.
    I’m pleased they’re thinking of renaming some conditions, removing carcinoma from DCIS and lobular carcinoma. Once we hear carcinoma we think, Cancer! These conditions are not usually life-threatening, it’s pre-cancer that usually stays that way. Hopefully, fewer women will agree to damaging treatments if the word Cancer is removed…hope so.
    It can be hard to get our heads around the fact that even invasive cancer might not be a problem, it might not progress, or it might regress.
    We need to re-think our views on cancer so the very word doesn’t send us into a blind panic….cut it out! Take a breath and do our research and ask lots of questions, and a great starting point, don’t go poking around looking for problems, with technology becoming ever more sophisticated, you’re bound to find something “wrong”.
    Taking the fear out of cancer will not be easy after decades of scare-mongering.

  132. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-mammograms-breast-cancer-acr-gilbert-welch-20140219,0,294785.story#axzz2txT0A9yK

    “Stop lying about mammograms”, wow, Go Dr Welch!
    Dr Welch, please come down to Australia and take on our liars.

  133. ChasUK says:

    http://www.gp-training.net/it/synergy_archive/synergy_coding/sm
    I found this – note the first page on smear exemptions and page 2 – never removed permanently from the system. Also this on increasing uptake and informed consent http://apps.who.int/rhl/reviews/CD002834.pdf

  134. Ro says:

    I know I have not posted in a while, and this is way off topic from everything, but why is screening considered a life-saving procedure? I’ve mentioned this before, but all it does is, at best, detect abnormalities. For example, with all of this discussion lately about mammograms being harmful, the general consensus is that they’re worth all the harm caused as long as a few are helped. The same tends to ring true to paps/pelvic exams. Whenever I mention choosing not to have them, the response is always that yes it is my body, but I must be prepared to deal with the consequences of not screening. The pressure is starting to wear on me, honestly. It’s basically as though you have two choices: invasive and inaccurate screening methods or death. While I know that it isn’t true (I’ve read the statistics and done my research), I can’t help but worry about it sometimes. It doesn’t even make sense, either. I’m not concerned about lung cancer or brain cancer or anything else. Then the argument falls into place that they don’t have screening programs for those types of cancer, and it’s important to take advantage of the screening programs we have in place to be as preventative as possible and protect our bodies (which usually end up causing awful side effects more often than helping people). Then, you have to understand that it’s incredibly odd that we only have screening programs for intimate body parts and not only that, but doctors are paid by pharmaceutical companies to push chemotherapy and radiation. So if they’re actively screening people, that would create more opportunity to sell it. It’s all just so terrible and most days I feel like I really have no one to talk to about all of this. Anyway, I just needed to get this all off my chest. It’s nice to have a place where I can vent all my frustrations.

    • Moo says:

      One of the huge problems with the Pap test nonsense is that cells produced during pregnancy mimic cancer cells. Often they cannot be told apart by technicians processing the slides because they are processing too many slides or a machine is used which the techs admit make too many mistakes. The doctors are paranoid. Women are treated for cancer when they were just pregnant and had an early miscarriage. Some women refuse a d&c and the fetal remains will naturally come out but it can take months. So if a women never knew she was pregnant the first place (irregular or very light flow one or two months especially using tampons). So no birth control method is 100% effective. Every wonder why too so much infertility and IVF in western countries.

      Cancer is not 100% due to genetics. It can be caused by toxins I the environment but also by toxins produced by microorganisms in the body. One Italian doctor claimed all cancers were white and that they were caused by a fungus. He uses baking soda to kill cancer tumors. Other methods use various diet and body cleansing regimens that do work for some people. I hear about too many people dying of chemo and radiation and it’s effects that weakness the body and the immune system. Someone has chemo for cancer but they die from a viral ling infection etc. A huge amount of lying going on and denial of the truth or just. It wanting to change anything.

      Even in veterinary studies they have better treatments and knowledge because they are not corrupted by big pharma and greed. Farmers cannot afford it so the traditional knowledge is melted in with the new.

      You can refuse all cancer screening or you could choose to screen but the only use natural or alternative therapies to cure. Or you could change your lifestyle to prevent cancers. Or you could just accept that most people will get cancer and live with it and maybe die from it eventually.

      I do not buy that some cancer screening test is going to save my life. Some women beat themselves up about they missed their pap one year. Or they thank God they did not need chemo or radiation (the tumor was not cancer then) .

    • adawells says:

      Hi Ro, I worry about these things too, but then I look at all the evidence again and again, and I still think I’m doing the right thing by not having cervical screening or mammograms. The cervical screening test is only 80% accurate at best, so I could just go to my doc now and ask for one, but one test on it’s own isn’t going to give very much information, and is still no guarantee that I’m not going to get cancer.

      As I understand it, this is because the cervical screening test is more like a “tracking device”, which assesses and monitors cell changes over a period of years, which may eventually lead to cancer. This is why it has to be done so frequently and at regular intervals for it to make any sense, and why they are so keen to keep women locked into their system of recalls. A single test on it’s own, will either come back normal (result=do nothing for the next few years) or abnormal (result=wait and see, 95% chance of doing nothing for the next few years). I’d rather live my life without these tests, and have excellent, respectful and prompt medical care, when I do feel that something is wrong.

      • Ro says:

        Adawells – I’ve heard that it’s only 80% accurate at best, as well. At worst, I believe it’s only 67% accurate which isn’t that fantastic. Who’s to know what percentage of inaccuracy you’re at risk for? It’s unpredictable. Furthermore, with HPV testing having a minimum accuracy of about 91%/92% all the way up to 98%, that certainly seems like the absolute best option if one is interested in screening.

        That’s an excellent point you made about CC screening being more of a tracking device. Because of its inaccuracy and different things that can cause false positives or negatives, they have to make sure the results from the prior test were actually accurate and telling. I agree with you on your last statement entirely. I’ve come to the conclusion that at this point in my life, I’m more happy to just eat healthy (try to eat organic as much as possible and avoid GMOs), and exercise daily. Also, try to minimize stress as much as possible since it can cause a multitude of ailments. As Alex and several others have mentioned before, quality of life is often forgotten in medical situations. Sure, some people who don’t screen might have shorter lives, but their lives may be of better quality. They might experience less pain, stress, worry, and other sicknesses/problems as a result of particular treatments. So I think I’d do well to keep that in mind, too. For me, personally, quality of life is very important. I think the most difficult thing is that everyone around me seems to rely so heavily on doctors (even those who are completely healthy and symptom-free) so at times I feel as though I MUST have some sort of health problem and that it just hasn’t been diagnosed yet. I know that’s a terrible way to think, but as I’ve mentioned before, everyone I know is on medication for something-or-another. I’m in my early 20s, so considering that in the past the general consensus was that most people this age are healthy, it’s thrown me through a bit of a loop. I don’t know if it’s that way in the UK, but here there seems to be a trend of turning healthy people into patients.

  135. Ro says:

    Oh, another thing I forgot to mention, I saw a campaign the other day encouraging women to love their bodies (not the physical appearance, but to love their reproductive organs). The caption was “what are you scared of?” and it was a woman wearing a bra and underwear that had illustrations of the reproductive organs on the outside. My first thought was that women are scared of those organs because we’re taught they’re going to kill us. Perhaps that was the point, though? It would be great if that was, in fact, the intention behind it; that women shouldn’t fear their own bodies. But I don’t think that was the idea behind it.

    • Alex says:

      Ro- There’s no way for you to say something so someone else can’t lie or twist your words. Same goes for someone being able to keep arguing in spite of whatever you’ve said. Especially if that someone thinks agreement is defeat, they probably keep arguing & arguing. I don’t know who these people are, but sometimes this comes up with complete strangers.

      I’d just explain things like how we talk about on this site- particularly the thing about how properties don’t change by designation. I remember you thought “a situation is what it consists of” hit things right on the head & what happens IS what occurs. Imagine someone saying “But still” in a group argument about these things after saying that?

      Simple accusations can put things in sharp relief, too. “So you’re against bodily autonomy & think it’s what someone else says goes?” When they say “No, of course not” you could maybe follow up with “Well, do you think reality takes a coffee break for doctors?” They most likely won’t answer in the affirmative. How can they argue that it’s something that’s high risk, low utility, and invasive- but yet ISN’T any of those things & thus isn’t a problem on those levels, all of which would be serious individually (never mind in combination like it is here).

      I realize that this has been a big problem for you for a while & it’s not always so easy to shrug things off when someone else keeps acting like it’s true. There is a bit of a presumed honesty & accuracy with people & just realizing that that’s not a 100% trustable situation might make things easier. Maybe at some point in the argument you could say how you don’t appreciate them trying to undermine you. They might not try to argue anymore, but if they do this whole argument can come up (or come up again).

      • Ro says:

        Alex – I took your advice and explained it in that matter to someone I was talking with – that things are exactly what they consist of, regardless of how it is presented. Rather than arguments, I found support. That statement definitely helped them to see things from my point of view and understand where I was coming from.

        I honestly think the biggest thing is that they constantly push it as something that will save the life of everyone who participates. Even if that isn’t what’s directly being said, that’s how it sounds. As always, you’ve raised some very good points. I should make note cards and keep them with me LOL.

      • Alex says:

        Thanks, Ro. I’m glad it was helpful to you.

        It IS as though these tests saves everyone’s life that gets them & that implies that there’s a pre-existing life-threatening condition (because it would have to be this way for what they’re acting like to be true– “implicit reasoning” I guess would be the word). There’s also the concept of the “road not taken.” Somoene might very well get themselves paranoid because they think the “road” they’re on might just lead into a dangerous place & they don’t foresee it. Same thing applies to the other road, though.

        Maybe it also has to do with the fact that acceptance of mortality comes off more like approval or eagerness to die than awareness or the fact that they’re going to die at some point. One needn’t become suicidal in order to notice that one day they’ll die, but it kind of feels like an accomodation, not just being AWARE of the situation.

      • Ro says:

        Alex – I think it does tend to come off that way. Then the emotional argument always gets brought into place, “well don’t you want to do this or this or be there for your kids or your parents, etc.?” So I think that’s a big part of it as well. However, anything could happen to anyone at any time. It’s a sad truth but a truth nonetheless. Death is as much a part of life as living and I do think that recently there has been more of an obsession with living forever. A lot of people, when questioned why they’re fans of the vampire films/movies/books that are popular right now, say it’s because of the immortality aspect. Another thing I noticed that sort of correlates with that is that some people place doctors and scientists at the same place as they would God. I have stated before I do believe in God and once again this isn’t meant to start a theological debate. However, that being said, I’ve heard several people say that doctors and scientists will save their lives, not God. Even if someone does not believe in God, to place a human being on such a pedestal is wrong. I would think most people would agree on that, regardless of their beliefs. Doctors and scientists are humans and thus can make mistakes. They don’t have a cure for everything. Every time I hear something along those lines, it just really rubs me the wrong way and I can’t help but cringe. Doctors and scientists are viewed as super humans when in fact they are simply normal people gifted with great intelligence. Unfortunately, that gift can be abused, but it is a gift. It’s no more than that. It’s the same way that there are great artists and poets, great astronomers and philosophers, etc. So I think that there’s a possible correlation between this and decrease of religious practice/beliefs throughout the world. People are beginning to think that technology and doctors and science are perfect and free of fault. I know this isn’t anywhere near everyone who believes this, but my generation in particular seems to place technology, science, and the medical field very highly.

        Sorry for that rant, that definitely went a bit off topic but it was an observation I made recently. Anyway, this generation likes to think that we can live forever on earth and there will be some miracle treatment to make us live hundreds, thousands, or even an infinite number of years. So you certainly hit the nail on the head with that one.

      • Alex says:

        You know what that traces back to (at least historically)? It mostly seems to come from philosophy from the 1700s. The church had been saying whatever they wanted was real because of whatever mystery reasons they came up with & then the belief that there has to be a physical, tangible substance for something to be real came up. It seems to have been started by Francis Bacon (and I believe Renee Descartes was involved in all that, too). This all sounds good at first, but it’s ultimately inaccurate- if two people are doing something, that action is NOT a substance. This doesn’t even get into the point about what religious beliefs people have or whether the church used religion as something of a counterfeit trademark on their various bullshit.

        Another point is that this merely switched the situation from the priests to the scientists. Same properties, different methods. There’s also a bit of an unsung belief that scientists never lie, are never wrong, and never have pre-existing biases which is not true at all. The belief that there’s a definite ground floor conclusion reached with science is another thing that comes up. That belief thattheir conclusion is what was found at the “end of the road” is very common.

        Sometimes people feel like they have control over a situation because they mentally encompass it. That’s something you see in martial arts sometimes: A person will learn a technique (an “answer” to a particular problem) & feel like they have control over that situation. This would be like someone thinking that they can control whether or not they get shot because they know how a gun works!

        Something that seems to connect to that is that in science, what’s maintained is sometimes maintain in spite of it not being true. They’ll edit the report to match the claim, instead of the situation. It’s as if they think something is or is not real simply because they certify it as such. “Nothing’s real until we get there.”

        I guess maybe that excites that “reality is what I say it is” feeling? That false sense of discretion over reality works exactly like a drug addiction. I’d go with morphine as a comparison.

        I believe in God, too. I also have a “Good & Bad WOLF” style of ethics- which sometimes clashes with various religious beliefs. I also believe in the afterlife, especially since the concept of one came before getting paid for it. There’s a bit of a belief that religious people are dictatorial & that’s sometimes true, but someone isn’t being less dictatorial by being less religious.

      • Alex says:

        I’m arguing with someone on Happier Abroad right now about dictatorial practices in medicine & other things. If you all want to look at it it’s in the Why Are Flu Shot Free In America? thread.

        The guy is HouseMD & it might be useful to take a look at how he sizes things up & argues about things. I wouldn’t suggest directing him to this site (since he seems liable to start shit & obviously isn’t simply mistaken about things), but if any of you’d like to chime in be my guest. Just to mention it ahead of time- some of the guys on the site are a bit woman-bashing, but there’s a lot of threads & posters.

        There’s also a women’s section. Might be useful to post things about medical situation & cultural differences there?

      • Ro says:

        Alex – I knew some about philosophy and how those ideals came about, but not to that extent. You know what’s interesting? That so many people take one person’s viewpoint as being the ultimate answer/solution/explanation rather than looking further or seeing if anything else is a possibility. It’s just shocking I suppose that the ideas of one or two men changed and shaped things so drastically.

        Another interesting thing I found out in regards to spirituality/the afterlife and the medical industry is that a pagan god is associated with the medical industry in the US. You know how there are snakes or just one snake printed on all medical logos? The snake is called Asclepius and it was thought to be the god that carried people into the afterlife. Interesting that prior to the idea of pagan gods, the snake or serpent was considered to represent evil. I just find it incredibly interesting that it isn’t okay for companies to align themselves with Christian beliefs or Muslim beliefs or Jewish beliefs, but it’s perfectly fine for an entire field of work to be represented by pagan beliefs. I thought there was supposed to be neutrality for public businesses?

        Also, I read some of the commentary on the Happier Abroad forum. Sometimes you can’t argue with people. Love how he used the old, “you’re the one sexualizing it so obviously there’s something wrong with you,” argument. Hypothetically speaking, even if intimate exams were not sexual for the doctor or patient, it would still involve sexual organs thus making it sexual in nature (even if there were no impure thoughts or attraction taking place). There doesn’t need to be any sort of attraction for something to be considered sexual. For Pete’s sake, in my high school health text book, they referred to gynecologist visits as “protecting your sexual health.” While these exams are potentially always sexual, I have to hope that in severe, emergency situations where they are the best option, it is not sexual in any way. I know that with ultrasound technology and the like, that isn’t necessarily so true any more but if that ever were to be the case, then I’d just hope that it’s approached with grace and the patient is given respect and treated in a dignified fashion.

      • Alex says:

        You’re right about that, but I think it had a lot to do with “striking while the iron is hot.” The public was sick of the church’s bullshit & someone said something nuts in a very convincing way. The situation seems to have had a theme of “maybe anything is true” because they were more open to possibilities.

        I guess the fact that someone can keep arguing even after being wrong might get someone to doubt themselves. Like the idea of “the good guy always wins because he’s the good guy” or “if you tell the truth, it’ll be believed to be the truth.” These are urges, but not necessarily what happens. Someone “withstanding” an argument might get seen as evidence that it’s not true. Doesn’t make sense, though- since not all things are making a presumption or a prediction. It’s not always a bet.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      I think loving your body means protecting it from harm and that includes rejecting non-evidence based screening tests or exams or anything that doesn’t pass our risk v benefit assessment.
      If we listen to our bodies, instead of the screening enthusiasts, it usually tells us when something is wrong – symptoms, and we also, get a feeling when something doesn’t sound right. On a health forum a young American woman decided not to have a cone biopsy, “my body told me not to let them do it”. I think she was right to listen to that inner voice. (she had “persistent low grade dysplasia” and was only 23)
      I think women need to re-connect with their bodies, to respect, trust and listen. Having bits scraped, poked, removed etc. is not something I’d allow unless I was satisfied it was absolutely necessary.
      I’m not scared of my body, we work together, but for many women control has been handed to others, they’re in the driver’s seat but someone else has the controls. No wonder these women are consumed by fear.

  136. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    It’s hardly surprising the pressure gets to some women, the entire system is set up, not to inform women and promote informed choice, but to pressure, scare and mislead, even coerce.

    “Whenever I mention choosing not to have them, the response is always that yes it is my body, but I must be prepared to deal with the consequences of not screening”

    Equally, you have to be prepared for the consequences OF screening, this risk is rarely mentioned to women. If we’re looking at the odds, the chance of benefiting from a pap test is less than 0.45%, (0.65% is the lifetime risk minus the false negative cases – and that ignores natural decline) here the lifetime risk of an “abnormal” pap test, colposcopy, biopsy and/or treatment is a whopping 77%, the US would be similar, (if not higher) the UK a bit less…they don’t screen before age 25.
    Angela Raffle, UK screening expert, said that women who would be unhappy to have a colposcopy and biopsy might choose not to have screening. IMO, that’s an acknowledgement that these things are a significant risk, whereas cervical cancer is rare and your chance of benefit very small. So it’s a question of weighing up the risks and benefits, the answer will depend on our perception of risk. (among other things)
    NOW we know only 5% of women have any chance of benefiting from a pap test, those aged 30+ who are HPV+…if you’re worried about this cancer and want to test, you could protect yourself from the risks with pap testing by sourcing and using a HPV self-test. That might put my mind to rest.
    Routine pelvic and breast exams, well, I think doing some research there helps a lot, they are not recommended in many countries for very good reasons, they’re of poor clinical value and carry risk, even unnecessary surgery.
    American women are pelvic-examined to death and have poorer health outcomes. Where is the benefit? (to women)

    That leaves mammograms…the NCI summary helped me a lot. If I were unlucky enough to get breast cancer I’d have no regrets about my decision not to screen. I’ve made an informed decision, the best decision based on all of the available evidence. I’m satisfied the risks with breast screening exceed any benefit, that’s enough for me.

    I don’t worry about my decisions, but women who do, they stand the best chance if they follow the evidence – seek out HPV primary testing or HPV self-testing, and use it properly, never add it to a pap test, don’t use it too often and not before age 30. If pap testing is all that’s available and you want to test, the Finnish program provides a decent balance, 5 yearly from 30 to 60, 7 tests in total. It might take some doing to find a doctor prepared to work with you, but it’s worth the trouble, your health and life depends on it.

    • Ro says:

      Elizabeth – Thank you for your replies! They are much appreciated. You bring up some very good points – that there are great risks that come along with screening. Funny that you mention the UK! I was reading articles from medical journals and doctors in the UK after I posted here yesterday to find specific statistics, as theirs seem to be the most blunt and honest. One site actually admitted that they needed 80% of the population to screen in order for it to be effective! That alone proves that it is not as common as they would have us to believe. Another thing, I think I’ve mentioned this before, but their guidelines are much more lenient than those in the US, Australia, Germany, etc,. A little over half their population screens (and less than half of the population of London) compared to nearly 86% – 90% in the US. I know whether or not that’s the actual statistic has been debated before, but that’s the only one I could find.

      If I’m concerned about it in 9 years or so, I think I’ll go for the HPV self-testing like you suggested. I just looked up the statistics for cases of CC and it is most common in women 30 to 45. The website suggested this may have something to do with childbirth, and that CC is most common for women in that age range who have had multiple children. Considering all of the possible cell changes that could take place during and/or after childbirth, I have to wonder if it is actually cancer or something that would appear to be cancer-like? I suppose we’ll never know for sure since we aren’t oncologists and haven’t studied that sort of thing. Anyway, it is very, very rare in women under 25 and still fairly uncommon in women under 30. In my opinion, Finland and the Netherlands still have the most honest programs. Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t they have the highest success rates as well? Perhaps there’s something to be said for that.

      Thank you for posting that article again! It’s greatly reassuring. Once again, one of my favorite quotes on the matter, “You are not being irresponsible or reckless. You are making a serious, thoroughly well-informed choice and I would like to extend that choice to all women.”

  137. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2003/may/22/genderissues.publichealth

    “In fact, in 15 years, I don’t remember ever being given any information about cervical screening, the accuracy of the test, the possible results I could receive, or having any explanation of the results when they come through in the post, months after the test. Just pop your knickers off and get up on the couch.

    There could be a reason for this. Raffle says that the screeners realised in the 1980s that they needed to screen and treat enormous numbers of women in order to make an impact on mortality figures. Most would not have gone on to get cancer – but a very small number would, and it was these women they wanted to catch. If women realised how unlikely it was that they would personally benefit from screening, the screeners might not have got the numbers they needed to reduce cervical cancer deaths.” and:
    “Some women would say: ‘I loathe hospitals and I’m very confident in my own health. If I had to go to colposcopy I would regret it.’ Those women are best not coming for screening,” she admits.”

    Of course, the risks are greatly reduced now there is HPV primary testing and HPV self-testing, it’s just that many countries still choose to ignore the evidence, self-interest comes before women…so we stay with outdated population pap testing that worries and harms so many and misses too many of these rare cancers.

  138. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    That article is a beauty actually, we have someone from Cancer Research UK saying, “”If somebody suggested in 2003 we [should] introduce cervical cytology, no randomised trial would ever show it was worthwhile,” admits Dr Anne Szarewski, clinical consultant for Cancer Research UK. “However, it is impossible to turn the clock back. We haven’t got anything to replace it with.” (yes, we do these days, HPV primary and HPV self-testing)
    AND of course, the amazing Professor Baum, I recall the day I read these words and my heart jumped, “So it comes down to the level of risk with which we are happy to live. And now that I know my likelihood of an abnormal smear is so much higher than ever having cervical cancer, I think I’ll take my chances until the test improves. What does Michael Baum think of my decision?

    “You are not being irresponsible or reckless. You are making a serious, thoroughly well-informed choice and I would like to extend that choice to all women,” he says. I wonder how long it will take the rest of the medical profession to come round to his point of view.” (Indeed…)
    Sorry Sue, I’ve pretty much quoted the whole article, but it’s a good one. Unique for those of us living in Australia or the States.

  139. Adawells says:

    Screening rates are about 20% lower in London than they are elsewhere in the UK, because London has such a diverse population: mega rich at one end down to immigrant residents who hardly know any English. It has been a difficult nut for them to crack. I have to say that elsewhere in the UK, particularly in middle-class areas the “good girls” always run along to their smear tests, quite oblivious as to why they are really doing it, and these rates elsewhere are hovering around the 80% mark. It’s the London figure which brings the national total down to about 76%, and it is still falling gradually. As more women are finding out that they can delay, and miss a few, this is bringing the totals down, but getting off the screening programme is still very difficult. You need to avoid them for about 10 years before they will phone you/counsel you, and only the central screening body can issue you with your disclaimer letter to return. No other disclaimer letters are permissable. It was a very happy day for me when I finally got mine and returned it.

    In the 25-30 age group the screening levels are less than 30%. I think Scotland currently still screens at age 20 onwards and these girls are now the first cohort who have also been vaccinated with Gardasil at school, so it remains to be seen whether they will cave in to the pressure or stick to their guns.

    I do feel that it has been realised (by some) that the roll out of our cervical screening call/recall programme during the 1990′s is now regarded as in breach of our human rights, and the scale of the threats and coercion that was put upon British women in those years is starting to come out into the open. We are now in middle age and are questioning how much of it all was really necessary. Women who thought they were alone in this fight are finding many other women who have suffered as a result of this draconian screening programme. The NHS has definitely changed it’s tune, but whether pestering GP’s will change bad habits is another matter.

    • Moo says:

      I just have to ask what is this disclaimer letter that asks women to return to the programme? What does it say?

      Whatever harassment I am getting is just generated by my family physician in Canada. I opted out of receiving correspondence from the “registry” years ago. I cannot get my information deleted. Probably I am still on the lists they send my doctor otherwise he would not bother me.

      • adawells says:

        Hi Moo,
        That is the big question here in the UK. I’ve noticed women on Mumsnet asking how they can get hold of the disclaimer letter. I’ve searched very hard on the web, and I am sure it is deliberately not available or loads of women would be printing them off. I am sure some women have made up their own, and some women are saying that your GP’s surgery has them, when it would appear from this document called “Cervical Screening Factsheet v2″, which I found online, that GP’s surgeries do not hold them either. The call/recall system in the UK is based somewhere in the UK, (it’s called Open Exeter, but that doesn’t mean it is placed in Exeter, that’s another secret) and only they will send you a disclaimer letter, once you have been through all the process below. It took me quite a few years of refusing (and refusing to see a GP about anything else in the meantime), when I was telephoned out of the blue by a woman from the call/recall centre. It certainly wasn’t anyone I recognised from my surgery. After a brief conversation, during which I made it quite clear, the telephone conversation came to an end, and to my surprise the disclaimer letter appeared in the post a few days later. This must have been about 2004. I can’t remember the wording of the letter at all, only my absolute joy at having received it. Both my children were home births and I had to sign a disclaimer letter for these too. I think they basically say that if something goes wrong, you cannot claim damages against them.
        Here’s a section of the text from this document:

        Women who PERMANENTLY refuse cervical screening
        • If a woman permanently refuses cervical screening and becomes upset and angry when she receives invitations of this nature, she may be removed permanently from the National Screening Programme.
        • She MUST be given one to one counselling explaining the benefits of cervical screening and the implications of not having them.
        • Inform Call/Recall in writing, confirming that one to one counselling has been given & clearly instruct Call/Recall to send the “official” disclaimer letter.
        • Call/Recall will send the woman the letter which if signed and returned allows her to be permanently removed from the National Screening Programme.
        • Call/Recall will send a copy of the signed disclaimer to the practice for it to be entered in her medical records. Practice ‘in-house’ forms WILL NOT be accepted.
        Or
        • Primary care retain the official disclaimer and GP practice complete form in surgery when the woman has received one to one counselling of the benefits of cervical screening.

        • Once a woman is ceased from recall she will never be called for again by Call/Recall. THESE WOMEN ARE NOT EXCLUDED FROM YOUR ELIGIBLE POPULATION.

      • Karen says:

        Adawells- I wonder what makes them think they can just take liberties with people’s time, and order women about to go the one to one counselling (bullying?). MUST? Excuse me..? If someone has never opted in, why should they opt out? I remember receiving a few of these letters, and I just chucked them in the dustbin, unread. I haven’t seen my GP in many years, and moved houses since then, so I guess the letters are coming, but to my old address. I guess if a GP would try to pester me, how it is all my own good, etc., I would just tell them, that my civil rights are more important to me, and being serious about them is more for my own good, than some pathologists looking at cells scraped off from my cervix to help them meet some fat target bonus.

      • Alex says:

        Yeah, Karen. It’s like “Well, you have to give us a chance to overrule you.” That this interaction between the two is decided by them. It’s up to you who you are exposed to & how that interaction goes.

        They go & schedule something in your place (with a few things, apparently) to make it a confrontational situation & making it harder to counter. They launch an endeavor on their own & act like it’s you attacking them to counteract it.

  140. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    My guess is we’ll get a call and recall system after the completion of the current review. Our program coverts your coverage rates. It’s a system that corners women showing absolute contempt for consent/informed consent. I think many of these tests amount to assaults. Every visit to the GP means pressure to screen and some GPs sack, threaten, insult, intimidate, scare or mislead women who continue to refuse testing.
    Can you imagine men being treated that way? Yet so many think this is not only acceptable, it’s a good idea. It shows how little regard they have for women.
    Of course, if you’re informed, that helps with the dynamic in the consult room or when the receptionist chases you up. Sadly, doctors and the govt are rarely sued by women harmed by this testing, even when they were coerced into testing.
    Adawells, have you read the thread on practice nursing.com where UK nurses are slamming Dr McCartney? It explains a lot, a sort of stormtrooper mentality, “chasing” and ambushing women, the arrogance, ignorance and disrespect some of these women share is concerning. Who trained these women? How could anyone suggest these are appropriate attitudes in the practice of elective cancer screening?
    We should challenge these attitudes at every opportunity. Name and shame. Point the finger. Complain. These people are rarely challenged so it can have a big impact and make them stop and think about their actions and attitudes. It’s a good thing too that more wornen are admitting they don’t screen, so women and others understand it’s a choice. (Dr McCartney does not have pap smears and will decline breast screening when she turns 50) What is so shocking about a woman choosing not to have cancer screening? We don’t see this sort of intake of breath and judgement when a woman declines bowel screening, which says to me this is more about propaganda, bowel cancer is far more likely. The bizarre reaction to the rejection of cervical and breast screening says a lot about society, govt, some women’s groups and the medical profession and the way they view women. We have a long way to go…

    • Elizabeth, that is the part that is so maddening – the fact that women are continually thrown under the bus, “disposable” organs and breasts and all. I certainly cannot imagine men being treated in the same way. Why oh why is this allowed to continue? Women should not be, as you say, threatened, sacked, insulted, intimidated, scared or misled. This seems to be the norm rather than the exception, and I fail to understand why it is accepted.

      Here is something encouraging from a comment on a cytology job site: “FS Brooklyn : The field is in decline and badly so . Ten years ago our volume was ~ 66,000 paps a year , by the end of 2013 we barely cleared 41,000 . Some nearby labs saw larger drops” http://www.indeed.com/forum/job/cytotechnologist/Cytology-Jobs/t74998/p49 If you scroll down you will see in the last comment that the FDA is scheduled to decide on whether or not HPV screening will become the primary screening method. It makes you wonder just how many women are opting out of screening. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was hugely more than they are letting on.

      • Ro says:

        Sue – I hope the FDA decides that HPV screening should be the primary method (it’s more accurate and has the potential to be completely non-invasive). A non-invasive test or self-test would be best, of course. We can hope that, that is the future for the industry. It would allow women to make informed decisions and do less harm to the overall population. I wonder how many women are opting out, as well. I don’t know where you are, but I’m in the US. They promote that 86% – 90% screen regularly. I wonder if that’s taken from a particular age group and if it is dropping rapidly here?

    • Alex says:

      That’s a big part of why I look at birth control availability as a bit of an indicator. If they’re like that, chances are they’ll try backing her into corners with that. Not the only thing to go off of, of course- but it might be a bit of a clue.

      A lot of times this kind of thing is defended as a non-issue. It’s like things don’t “count.” Don’t really know when someone tends to first hear that, but it seems to cause a problem. It’s almost like a sleight-of-hand trick: if they’re looking to do something, the HOW of it is out of focus. The dynamics of that methodology (or any methodology, it seems) gets dubbed innocent sometimes- a means to an end is presented to never be a problem, in itself. I don’t get that, since the components of a methodology don’t cease to exist in their own right.

      I know I keep saying it, but a situation is what it consists of. Someone makes no sense to say that “what happens ISN’T what occurs,” but that is sometimes what gets implied. It’s not directly stated, but it would have to be true in order for the point that someone’s maintaining to be true. Maybe that’s part of why it keeps going & going- the logic is never brought right out & that makes there not be a solid platform for argument. Someone that’s looking to do these things probably won’t give you that as an opening, but it’s fairly easy to bring it up in a debate.

    • Adawells says:

      Hi Elizabeth, can you provide a link to the practice nursing website where nurses are attacking Dr McCartney? I’ve been trying to find it, but sites I’ve looked at need a password.

      I know of a couple of people who are nurses and believe me, I wouldn’t want to be their patient. The practice nurse at my local GP surgery once tried to talk me into smear testing during the 1990′s. It went like this:
      Nurse: You are due for a smear test.
      Me: I don’t want one, thank you, I’ve made a personal decision not to have them.
      Nurse: So you want to die, do you? How do you think your children will feel about that?
      Me: I’m not planning on dying, I’m in a low risk group, there has only been my husband, and I have made my decision.
      Nurse: Look, I’m the same. I’m true to my husband and I know my husband is true to me. I totally trust him, yet I still have my smear tests.
      Me: Then you don’t really trust him do you?

      She gave me a look that wished me all the cancer in the world and went away.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Hi Adawells
        Sorry, I should have included the link.
        I was alerted to the thread in April 2012, it’s in forum discussion and thread 15845.
        But, I can’t seem to retrieve anything older than 12 months old. I’ve sent them an email, the site says members can access material going back to 1998.
        I’ll post the link when it arrives…yes, I’m a member, registration was straightforward. (from memory)
        I’ve found it helpful, listening in on their conversations, for too long these attitudes/practices and the screening story were never challenged. It always comes as a shock when I post because they’re rarely challenged and are ALWAYS in the right, fonts of all wisdom and knowledge. When challenged, well, it can be interesting. I’ve been booted off a couple of “support” forums for informing women that dysplasia is not cancer and that most pre-cancer never becomes invasive cancer, how irresponsible of me!
        Many of these sites don’t like the evidence getting in the way of a great screening story.
        “I survived dysplasia”…

        They actually offer up the propaganda as proof the pap test is fabulous, risk-free etc. Some of the most vocal and aggressive people wouldn’t recognize the evidence if it bit them on the backside, I consider them medical bullies. Ignorance, power and confidence is a nasty mix.
        It annoys me too that women feel they have to disclose very private information to refuse something that should be elective. (I’ve only been with my husband etc.)

        With this particular group I posted and ran, but I understand many of the responses were not too bad. I haven’t actually read the entire thread, got side tracked and never went back there.
        I thought a link appeared on this site, I’ll check that as well.
        http://www.practicenursing.co.uk/default.aspx

        The comment made by Karen (I think) is spot-on, this is a mandated STI check for women.

  141. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    You can never trust them with figures, declaring a high % of women screen might make an unscreened woman more concerned about being in the minority. Everything is about manipulating and deceiving women, lying is not a problem for these people, it’s almost a game.
    Moving to HPV as the primary test would be a good thing IF it’s done properly; that’s unlikely in countries that currently seriously over-screen women and have never followed the evidence.

    The Dutch program will offer a 5 yearly pap test to a woman who tests HPV+, (until she clears the virus) but other countries will immediately refer the woman for colposcopy and biopsy. (if she’s HPV+ could you trust a normal pap test is the thinking)
    Also, if it’s used before age 30, well, 40% will test HPV+ and risk having unnecessary interventions when almost all would have cleared the virus by age 30.
    Improvements are only positives if they’re used properly…so we’ll see.
    The situation is so absurd here we only test women for HPV AFTER treatments, sounds like they’re protecting over-treatment to me, not women.

  142. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    You hear some amazing things, when I do, I look for a reason. It’s always there…
    You’ll often hear people arguing against HPV primary testing because it would result in too many false positives. What? The doctors go on to explain that most women who test HPV+ will never develop cervical cancer so HPV testing would causes unnecessary worry. Are you kidding me?
    They claim to be worried about the 5% who actually test HPV+ but have zero concern for the 95% having unnecessary pap tests, biopsies and treatments. It says to me they know if HPV testing is used properly their business will plummet…far fewer women having pap tests, biopsies etc. So vested interests would be terrified of the new Dutch program.

    They argue young women (under 30) would be HPV+ in great numbers, (true, 40%) so it wouldn’t work here, ummm, we shouldn’t be testing these women anyway with the pap or HPV test so we use our excess to deny all women the option of HPV primary and HPV self-testing. Worrying and harming our young women is so profitable they’ll keep them in the program until they’re forced to release them, usually when they can no longer deny the evidence “safely”, legal action hovers…
    America embraced the HPV test, but only because they’ve added it to the excess, this leads to even more over-investigation. A win:win for vested interests, a disaster for women.

    I’ve also, heard the argument it’s awful to label women HPV+ because it’s an STI…that should mean an education program, not dragging all not-at-risk women into testing and treatments. These comments IMO, are always based on ignorance or self-interest.

    Another old chestnut: we didn’t want to change a very successful pap testing program.
    Yeah sure, one that condemns 77% to colposcopy/biopsy (and often a “treatment”) for a cancer with a 0.65% lifetime risk. Hugely successful for whom?
    Better results could have been achieved with far less testing as the Finns have shown over the decades.
    Also, you hear HPV testing does not help, you need pap testing regardless of the result: rubbish.

    HPV testing is more expensive than pap testing – only if it’s used to increase risk, used properly it takes 95% of women aged 30 to 60 out of pap testing, so far fewer women having biopsies etc. fewer premature babies, c-sections etc. Used properly HPV primary testing would save a fortune and more lives. (and see colposcopy, over-treatment and excess biopsy rates plummet)

    If women want smarter testing, used the right way, they have to sort it out themselves, unless they happen to be Dutch.
    A good point was made on another thread: you need about 80% of the target population to test regularly to stand a chance of bringing down the already small incidence and death rate. As more and more women choose not to test, they become aware: of the evidence, that the pap test is not a clinical requirement for the Pill, you can get the Pill on-line or a HPV self-test kit etc. pressure on the program mounts and eventually, will force change. When you’re spending millions to screen for a rare cancer you need runs on the board…eventually, someone will ask the hard questions. It’s already started: why are fewer women having regular pap tests?
    I think it’s always a shock when an informed women fires back a response, they so rely on our ignorance and compliance.

  143. Moo says:

    Fewer women are getting Pap tests but it is not due to being informed I fear. It is about being able to get birth control without getting a Pap test.

    Myself, I never really knew the stats and truth about Pap tests until doing some research and also finding this websites. I had bad experiences with pelvic exams from the start over thirty years ago. You had to get them for birth control. I just assumed that the pill caused the cancer or made it worse. No fuss about HPV then because they did not yet associate the virus with cervical cancer. After I did not need the pill so I skipped the exams and Pap test for over a decade.

    I got a new doctor and wondered why the pressure. I just refused and the started to ask myself why. I found out about the quotas, the doctor bonuses, the stas and just more about cervical cancer and cancer screening. The doctors never gave info about the test other than you had to have it or it was for cancer. I know a few women who were sent to colposcopy without much info and their reports of it were horrific. Although some seemed grateful their unnecessary and painful biopsy showed they did not have cancer.

    I have not had much support from other women about my choice to not test. I have also questioned mammograms and colonoscopies. (FOBT) is pathetically inaccurate.

    The downside is that I actually feel in ever want to go to the doctor when I am sick because of the harassment for paps. I might not seek help for problems down there etc. I also feel I cannot trust my doctor because he just sees my body as meat for cash.

  144. Karen says:

    On a different note, if anyone feels like connecting to me(+ 2 NGOs, and 3 other girls) drop a line to leavegirlsalone@gmail.com. We are in the process of securing the first instalment of funding for an ambitious project, concerning the very topic of this amazing website.

    • Adawells says:

      Hi Karen,
      You can count me in for your project. I’ll email you the full document regarding your point above to me about opting out of the UK screening programme. I agree that we are being put through a lot of trouble to get out, when we never opted in in the first place.

      What grates with me is that the whole programme is like being on probation for a crime we haven’t committed. Having to report every 3 years to the authorities for an STD check is basically what the programme is about. Feeling that we don’t have access to other healthcare unless we go along with it all, is definitely an infringement of our human rights.

  145. There is an interesting discussion going on at this site: http://jezebel.com/redditor-asks-gynecologists-to-reveal-their-secrets-1534195372 The post “the other side of the speculum” has been linked there. The comments under a poster called “TrustMeI’mADoctor” are particularly maddening!

    • Alex says:

      Didn’t know where to put this, but if you Google “Spain Thousands Protest Against Tougher Abortion Laws” the quote from one protestor was awesome. She had said “Bearing in mind the situation we have now with abortion, this law will manipulate our bodies & rob us of the right to choose.”

      Not something I would expect to hear in America, but maybe it tends to be bottled-up over here?

  146. Moo says:

    Please be careful when reporting cervical cancer rates on this forum. I found from statistics that the number of new cases are reported and then the rates of cancer are reported from the total cases of all types of cancer. This inflated the numbers. These are not deaths or rates per population.

    In Ontario, Canada, 571 cases of cervical cancer were reported. The population of Ontario at the time was less than 12 million lets say. So 571 divided by 12,000,000 multiplied by 100% is 0.005%. Some people have been reporting statistics as high as 0.6% for Canada. Please check your resources.

    Some statistics are also highly extrapolated and manipulated. For example African countries tend to report high incidences of cervical cancer deaths. As most of them do not have much medical resources it is doubtful that autopsies to determine death are done when most women are never in a screening program or get treatments.

  147. Moo says:

    What is a baseline mammogram?

    I am sceptical about mammogram screening as well. I am not interested in compressing and irritating my breasts. So approaching the screening age of 50, I want to be prepared.

    I was told that I would need a baseline mammogram at screening age start of 50 because I do not have high risk (no personal history or family history of breast cancer, less hormonal use etc).

    My understanding is that a baseline mammogram is done when a woman is younger and used for comparison over item as more screening mammograms are done. Then if anything is found ultrasounds are done. If a women finds a lump herself she is going to have a diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound anyway.

    I greatly doubt that all these radiographer so keep these baseline records (required to store medical records for 10 years) and even if they would be used for comparison at all. If a tumor is found, it is a tumor and comparing it to a previous X-Ray is not going to change a diagnosis much? Same protocols followed.

    So why get more radiation from more screening mammograms? Since radiation causes cancer why would I want a baseline mammogram anyway or regular mammograms at all? The diagnostic mammograms are higher radiation but they are only used when needed such as finding a lump or dimpling or other sign of breast cancer.

    • adawells says:

      Hi Moo,
      I declined my first mammogram summons as I’m over 50, but I’m so shocked that in the US and Canada, it is offered yearly and to very young women too, when there is evidence that the radiation DOES give you cancer, especially if done at a young age. The Cancer Research UK website states that radiation for medical reasons is indeed a factor – see here
      http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/types/breast/riskfactors/

      As a teenager, I showed up positive for tuberculosis and had to go for a chest X-ray. On the above website it states that people like myself who went for these chest X-rays now have a 3 fold increase for getting breast cancer as a result. Another great screening programme doing more harm than good (for some anyway!). For this reason I’ve decided I’ve had enough radiation, and will not be taking part in mammograms.

  148. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/science-and-technology-committee/inquiries/parliament-2010/national-health-screening/?type=Written#pnlPublicationFilter

    This is promising, if it’s done the right way and they listen to the right people. Dr McCartney and several others have already made a submission.
    We are light years away from this sort of review in this country, we had the opportunity to introduce evidence based cervical screening, but after a lengthy and LONG overdue review looks like we’ll stay with outdated and excessive population pap testing. Not that it affects me, I’ve never taken part in the program and never will…I value and respect my cervix and the rest of my body.
    It says to me though that vested interests still control our programs, they have little to do with healthcare.

    • Elizabeth, this does look promising! Thank you for posting the link. From Dr. McCartney’s submission:
      14. NHS Screening
      c) Invitations and targets.

      “Screening invitations are sent out by a central office. However it appears that they come directly from the person’s GP. This is dishonest and designed to increase uptake rather than to increase informed choice. It has unintended consequences. For example, there are some patients who are so afraid of being pushed into cervical screening (because of pain, previous sexual assault, or informed dissent) that they become afraid to approach their GP about serious unrelated symptoms in case they are reprimanded or cajoled into screening. Rather than being allowed to make an informed choice, they feel as though their autonomy is not respected. This view has been formed from my own and other GPs’ experiences as there is scant or no research evidence investigating this aspect. Additionally, many readers have contacted me over the last few years to report their own similar experiences as patients” (Dr. Margaret McCartney). http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/WrittenEvidence.svc/EvidenceHtml/5793

    • Moo says:

      Thank you for putting up this link to the UK parliamentary discussion of screening programmes. I read through several of the personal accounts. I really feel that these women were harmed by screening and lack of informed consent. It is appalling the total lack of information given about whether early detection of cancer (no symptoms) is really helpful. These women were made to feel like a piece of meat being pushed through the medical cancer mill. I am truly expressing compassion toward them and their families.

    • adawells says:

      I was very pleased to see this. I hadn’t realised this was going on. The personal accounts are very moving and informative of the conveyor belt process to mastectomy, which this programme puts 20% of attendees on.

  149. Ro says:

    I was watching the documentary called America The Beautiful: The Thin Commandments. Essentially, it’s about society’s obsession with thinness. Not the fit or healthy or this-is-my-body-type thin, either. The unhealthy type of thin. Anyway, the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention or CDC publicized that the total number of deaths per year from obesity added up to 400,000. People challenged that number and it got lowered to about 350,000 per year. The number was challenged again, and finally someone on the board came clean and said that really only 25,814 deaths per year were actually caused by obesity. That number was padded by people who were perhaps “overweight” but died from completely unrelated causes and led healthy lives otherwise. That’s quite an inflation on the actual number of people who are harmed by obesity. The CDC are the same people who promote vaccinations and push screening programs as well as medications. It’s safe to say that doing your own research is a safe bet, especially here in the US where the CDC essentially works as a marketing agent for the medical industry.

    • Ro says:

      Here is a quote: “The director for the CDC at the time stated that the CDC didn’t plan to use the much lower obesity mortality figure in its public awareness campaign, nor did it plan to reduce its fight against obesity.”

      • Alex says:

        So they’re sticking to the same course, no matter what the situation? That thinking seems to show up in other things as well. Doing something in spite of a refusal, continuing something in spite of a directive to desist, saying something is safe when it’s not, saying something is accurate when it’s not, acting like there’s a major prevalence of something when there isn’t.

        I just started reading Birth as an American Rite of Passage & it hits a lot of subjects. One of them being the pyschological underpannings to various things that they do. Some people think that they (“they” meaning pretty much anybody certified) never do anything out of deeper mental alignments & that there are never any ulterior motives.

        It’s a very rough read, but it’s useful information. Makes a cultural point, too. I know I’ve mentioned this a few times, but it’s striking how much freedom is (or was) talked about in America & yet how much it doesn’t functionally work that way.

    • Alex says:

      That obesity thing is interesting. A lot of people ARE fat & die early, but maybe it’s cuased by stuff that causes obesity? Like not dying of the gunshot, but dying of lead poisoning? I’m not saying they made an innocent mistake, but maybe there’s something else causing a problem that they’re not telling people about (maybe because they said it was safe). Seems there’s a cause of miscarriages that gets unsung, too.

      Something I just read about was that the things that get added to food & water cause “stress problems.” It’s not being stressed-out, but these chemicals & such causing the same problems as stress. Effects on the nervous system & on hormones cause various problems, not just the “stress-related” ones.

      By-the-way: How have things been going with people pestering you about getting all kinds of tests done? I remember you saying that a lot of people were trying to grind you into doing things before. Anybody still trying to goad you into things or has that gotten better?

      • Ro says:

        Essentially, yes. Regardless of the truth, they’re going to keep doing as they please. Also, BMI is not an accurate way to measure health, so plenty of healthy people are categorized as being obese. If you saw them in person, some of them would even be very thin. So the health problems of these individuals were probably counted in the publicized mortality rate, considering someone’s BMI is how they measure obesity. Disregarding the truth over greed or other vested interests seems to happen a lot in this day and age, though.

        I’m sure that’s a wonderful book! Honestly, I don’t think I could bring myself to read it, though. Intentionally looking into things like that kind of just turns my stomach anymore. Another interesting concept that ties in with the ideal of people “never doing anything out of deeper mental alignments” is that Kristin Cavallari (I think that’s how you spell her name) publicly admitted to not vaccinating her children. The comments on the article were completely tearing her apart! One doctor even referred to people who aren’t doctors as laymen and said they shouldn’t have an opinion since they haven’t studied it. A lot of the comments were backed up saying that there’s never been a study to show a link between vaccines and health issues and since our bodies are already made of chemicals, it’s just adding to what our body naturally produces and therefore unable to cause harm. The truth is, there’s plenty of unbiased information out there for people who are interested. Vaccines CAN cause problems. Of course medical organizations aren’t going to do studies on the relation between health issues and vaccines because that would mean less money and possibly less health issues for people, which in return would mean even less money! Furthermore, it’s a bit like mixing lemon juice and baking soda. It makes a wonderful exfoliant for your skin that causes no harm. There are chemical reactions which cause it to have cleansing properties. If you mix baking soda with vinegar, those are still chemicals, and natural chemicals at that – but I certainly would NOT use them on my skin. That may have been a poor example, but hopefully it was a decent enough illustration of the point. All chemicals react to each other, but the reaction isn’t necessarily something you’d want on much less in your body.

        Obesity is a problem, yes. We as humans do need to exercise regularly and eat healthy organic foods – and that’s important. I have my own theory about the higher number of obese people in relation to their mortality rate. The chemicals used in non-organic foods are typically different forms of growth hormones to make them grow faster or larger. Some people can eat non-organic all their lives and lead healthy lives because they were born with a stronger immune system. However, for other people, their body takes in those chemicals and it affects their body accordingly. Of course, the FDA has approved these chemicals so the medical industry isn’t going to blame that for peoples’ health problems. So that would be a case in which someone did not die from obesity, rather chemicals destroying their body over time. This actually relates back to the point I was trying to make in the last paragraph. Not all chemicals are meant to be in the human body.

        You essentially said the same thing about food & water contaminated with chemicals. It can cause a lot of problems. Not just stress, but over time they can cause diabetes and even some cancers. Oh how I long for the good old days when everybody had their own garden and no one had to think twice about this sort of thing. By the way, it is illegal to use GMOs in many other places. The UK has a law requiring to label whether or not products have GMOs or added chemicals. I’m sure similar laws exist throughout Europe. Australia is currently fighting against it, and it’s looking like the people are going to win. It is illegal to use them in most places in Asia. The US seems to be the only country okay with it because we have people saying “your body is made up of chemicals, so more chemicals won’t hurt it”.

        Things have been going well with that. Nobody has mentioned anything. I’ve just been eating better and exercising and enjoying life and trying not to stress. I’m happier than I’ve ever been and I feel at peace with life. So to me, that’s really all that’s important. I feel a lot more confident now, too, so if anyone ever says anything, I think I’ll be able to dismiss it much more easily, rather than getting worked up over it.

      • Alex says:

        Glad to hear all that, Ro. It does seem that a lot of the world has a problem with those things (India’s another place where they’re clashing with that stuff). If nothing else, it’s not digested as well- causing someone to be fat.

        On that level, (herbs, dietary things, effects of different conditions with food, etc…) Arthur Haines seems good. He’s got a website I started reading & he wrote a book I’m planning on getting. He’s also on Paleoplanet.com sometimes. I know I’ve mentioned Rosemary Gladstar a few times, but this is someone I didn’t know about that also seems very knowledgeable. There’s also John R. Christopher & I was just reading a book called Cure Tooth Decay that mentions nutrition & physcial degeneration (actually, that’s the title of a book by Weston A. Price). Just thought I’d through a few of those in.

        I get what you mean & it IS stomach-turning to read some of it. I can’t believe anyone finds that situation suitable! I also can’t believe that a woman’s mother would teach her in a way that bolsters their way of doing things. That goes for a lot of things, but so much of pregnancy & childbirth is very hostile- however low-key something may or may not be.

        A big part of why I’m looking to move out of America is because I want to find a place that’s not so pervasively dictatorial & basically, antagonistic to life. It’s like the Borg Collective over here! I know that doesn’t apply to everyone, but it applies enough to cause problems- whether that’s what the majority is or not (and I’m not really sure which).

        I really hope I can get it because of my heritage. It certainly seems like it, but if not- that’s going to be a major project to get all the paperwork handled & they might give me a run-around or half the story or something on any step of this whole thing.

      • Ro says:

        I’ve mentioned this before, but I think this country definitely values all science as law and fact rather than theory. When looking back at history, science has been proven wrong many times. For example the whole “the earth is flat” thing. I was reading an article which had to do with religion and most of the comments were talking about how science was the be-all end-all, our emotions are just chemicals, empathy has to do with evolution, humans don’t have souls, etc. If a scientist says something, it isn’t questioned or debated. Since the medical field is an extension of science, it makes sense that the same ideology applies. Philosophy and the philosophy of religion/spirituality is more common in other countries, especially throughout Europe and Asia. They have an entire university dedicated to philosophy alone in Scotland. Since philosophy encourages people to constantly question things and figure out what they believe as an individual, and what is REALLY true, I think it has impacted those cultures more heavily.

        I came across his website not too long ago! He has some very good information. I haven’t ready any of Rosemary Gladstar, but I probably will in the future. I know you’ve mentioned her before, but so have a few other people so her material definitely sounds like it’s worth the read.

        I agree. Childbirth seems so hostile and you always hear about complications. The medical industry insists there would be more risks with natural births or home births, but they never mention all of the terrible things and mishaps of medicalized births. There seems to be a much more laid-back approach elsewhere, and home birth seems to be much more acceptable in some other countries. Developed countries (whatever that really means, developed countries don’t always act developed), might I add.

        In regards to your comment about the general society here being antagonistic to life, the US has the highest rates of death and illness among all age groups. I don’t know it’s from over-diagnosis or chemicals or what-have-you. Either way, that’s the case.

        I know that some countries will allow you to apply for citizenship once you’ve worked there for a while. Another option you might be able to look into is to work for an international company here in the US. After you’ve established with them, put in a request to be transferred to whichever country you’re interested in. If the request goes through, then you can apply for citizenship or dual citizenship if you don’t want to lose your American citizenship. Best of luck with applying for citizenship! I hope everything works out for you.

  150. Moo says:

    I am not particularly against cancer screening if people want it. I do not like the lack of informed consent, coercion, treatments pushed, registries that gather personal information without consent, lack of healthy lifestyle information given by medical industry. I would rather public funds be spent more wisely than on all the screening propaganda. I believe cholestrol screening and medications have caused the most damage. Time will tell.

    People are going to get cancer and everyone dies. It is just that some cancers will kill a person and others are slow growing and will not. The medical industry is saying they cannot distinguish between the lethal and non lethal forms so they push treatment on anything found. The problem of overdiagnosis and overtreatment is huge. So really is there more research being done on that aspect?

    As many of the women in the uk parliamentary review explained that being a cancer patient greatly affected their lives. Someone getting a cancer diagnosis is likely to suffer in personal and family life, careers interrupted or destroyed, not being able to get insurance (even travel without insurance) and not to mention the suffering from treatments that sometimes turn out to be unneccessary. So getting an early diagnosis may or may not “save” their life but it is often not worth it. It might not extend their life with any quality. Many people die from complications of cancer treatments. I know several.

    There also should be more options for people who want to do cancer screenings but would like monitoring rather than immediate treatments. I would like the option to screen and then follow alternative treatments rather than have to leave the system if I do not “comply”. However no doctors will seem to discuss natural therapies, either diet or herbs or accupuncture even chiropactics. I know the harassment is bad enough to screen but once a person is diagnosed then they are harassed even more to get treatments.

    My own mother refused cancer diagnostic tests in the hospital. She had been sick for months although her doctor was very slow to get her any diagnostic test. Once she had a scan that showed multiple “masses” she just wanted all the testing to stop. The hospital just offered her morphine. They pulled out her IV and she died in a few days. I believe during that time she was given no food or water. She could not eat anyway but I think she died of dehydration rather than cancer. This even further degrades my confidence in the medical system.

    How does refusing cancer treatments affect a person’s life. If they required other medical attention is that refused? Can they still access social support programmes for income supplements, housing? We know many women are threatened with doctors telling them they are banned until they get a pap or refused medications other than hormonal birth control. So what if they have an abnormal pap and refuse colposcopy or LEEP. Does all hell break out?

    Right now I going to use online diagnostic tools and consult with a herbal store if I am sick other than bleeding, broken bones. I am avoiding seeing a doctor just because of all the cancer screening harassment. Maybe that is not wise. I think eventually I will be telling my doctor off and just occasionally using a walk-in clinic when necessary.

    Making healthy lifestyle changes such as an organic diet is just out of reach financially for most people. Exercising can be done at home. However many people are working two jobs and family obligations make it very difficult for them to take care of themselves. Poor women are especially vulnerable to the dilemma. They might not have time but do not have the money for transportation to buy and cook healthy foods. They have more stress. So what is the point of some pink ribbon campaign offering them a free pap. Ridiculous.

    • Ro says:

      Moo – I agree, especially with the last part of your post, “So what is the point of some pink ribbon campaign offering them a free pap. Ridiculous.” Just imagine if all of the money used on these campaigns went towards stopping the production of chemically enhanced, genetically modified foods and providing GOOD food for everyone, particularly those in need and/or of lower income. The world would be a much better place and there would be far fewer people going hungry. It’s sickening to think about just how much money gets wasted on campaigns when it could be going towards making a big difference in the world. They could use it on food, finding safe and natural methods for treating different diseases, providing homes for the homeless – the possibilities are endless. I have no idea how much money is spent on these campaigns, but I have no doubt that between Canada, the US, Australia, and the UK combined it’s probably easily in the billions. Disgusting. I’m not saying that screening shouldn’t be available for those who want it. If they do – great! Information should be available for those who want it. But it should be honest, unbiased information that allows women to make an informed decision. Furthermore, the sharing of this information should not be so publicized that it causes women to have unnecessary worry and wastes valuable resources that could be used to help people. Information could be publicized so that people are aware of the screening programs without it being as overboard as it is right now.

      • Alex says:

        They seem to want all these problems, just as its own thing. Like I’ve said about a few things: it’s malice over money.

        As for screening- I honestly think if it exists, they’ll try to impose it on people. It won’t be an option, it’ll be an imposition. That’s the way they tick & they’d probably be this way even if they weren’t in this kind of situation (although, an easier angle might add to things).

  151. Karen says:

    I just wanted to show you this- I was reading the archived comments of the unnecessary pap smears blogcritics thread, and found this infuriating idiot who called himself “Dough Hunter” and claimed he is a gyn with over 47 years of professional experience. He left so vile and misogynistic comments( “It’s a good thing you have men to make the hard choices like this for you, they go out in the world and make decisions that save lives not get hysterical”.. …”Women, especially educated ones, are choosing selfishness over childbearing “for the benefit of society” at a rate that will cause the collapse of first world nations (barring sufficient third world immigration). You, individually, are choosing selfish devotion to your vagina over the lives of thousands of people.”) , that all the other commenters assumed he is a troll, but then-
    9608 – Sarah P
    Feb 20, 2013 at 9:27 am
    There is a Richard Douglas Hunter who is a Gynecologist in CA with a listed graduation date of 1965. It’s got to be a coincidence though, doesn’t it? A professional wouldn’t use terms like ‘smelly snatches’.”

    rest of the archive here: http://unnecessarypapsmears.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/over-10000-lost-comments-on-unnecessary-pap-smears-find-a-home/comment-page-39/

    (Imagine a vomiting internet meme here)

    • Alex says:

      Sounds like he’s being himself & that’s to be an abusive asshole. “To make decisions for you”- right there applauding imposed situations of this nature. “Choosing selfish devotion to your vagina over the lives of thousands of people”- so thousands of people will die because someone doesn’t get these kinds of tests done?

      Sounds like what a doctor would say if they were to be more without guile.

    • Karen, you have been doing some fine reading! I’m sure those of us who commented regularly all remember “Doug Hunter”! His comments brought on some fine retorts, including one by Jacqui that made reference to his “smelly wrinkled ball sack” ha ha. BTW the format on the unnecessary pap smears site has been changed recently. The format looks more like the old Blogcritics site now: http://unnecessarypapsmears.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/over-10000-lost-comments-on-unnecessary-pap-smears-find-a-home/#comments

      • Karen says:

        This is great I personally like the new format much more- and this archive is so important, it should be regarded as a piece of women’s history- the first online space for women to went their anger against a form of structural violence, perpetuated by the medical industry, for profit and power ( and 10,000 plus comments without the pro-s taking over!- not one doctor has managed to say anything convincing ).

      • Karen says:

        Also I really do wonder, why is it taking so long for Blogcritics to restore the comments? I am no believer in any conspiracy theories, BUT the few mainstream articles stating the obvious (ie that pelvic exams on asymptomatic women are harmful, that the pap test is outdated and risky) were released only after Obamacare, and the evidence has been here for decades, it does makes me wonder….

  152. Moo says:

    Wow tones of racism and eugenics. Give the infertility causing treatments to the poor uneducated woman because you are doing the world a favour, I suppose that this Nazi only thinks that rich white women should have babies. Probably he is a sperm donor. Yuck.

  153. Karen says:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2582507/Teenage-model-dies-cervical-cancer-doctors-refused-smear-test-young.html

    AAARGH… the Daily Mail (some affectionately call it The Daily Fail) is a right wing, misogynistic, xenophobic UK newspaper. They started a whole bloody campaign to lower the screening age for cervical cancer. Such stories feature regularly – but of course it does not make them representative in any way. They cherry pick tragic things happening to support their own agendas. They would never publish a story of a young man who had prostate cancer and died of it…

    • adawells says:

      OMG NO!!!! This newspaper is called The Daily Nazi in our household, for obvious reasons. It openly supported Hitler and Nazism during the 1930′s, and regularly runs hate campaigns against non-white members of the UK population today. It is really time that our health service stepped in to stop the lies and misinformation about cervical screening, but no doubt it will stay silent, hoping that these mad campaigns to lower the screening age will shore up adherence to its screening programmes.

    • Moo says:

      This a very tragic death of a young woman. She died because her doctors made a mistake. Cancer SCREENING and Refusing a diagnostic test is very different. Perhaps she asked for a Pap test and her doctor made a mistake in not giving her one because she had symptoms and said she was too young to have the test funded. It might not have even made a difference if the cancer was progressing so quickly anyway. She might have died from the treatments but we will never know the truth.

      Choice was mentioned. With the screening programmes most women feel they have have NO CHOICE. Why do they want to extend NO CHOICE to younger women? I would say let women have choice then there would be more funding for younger women who want or need a Pap test.

      Propaganda at its best.

      I recently found someone on the internet who I knew 20 years ago. I remember that she had cervical cancer. She stopped going to doctors and did her natural alternative therapies. Sorry do not know what. Today she is running her own business and has two children aged 10 and 8.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        This is a case of medical negligence, plain and simple. Our clinical guidelines state very clearly that a young woman in her situation should be examined. Symptoms demand diagnosis, not screening. I wouldn’t want a pap smear even if I had symptoms – it’s far too unreliable.
        This girl’s mother should be suing the doctors who neglected her daughter, not starting some nonsense campaign.

        No doubt, Ada, The screening Nazi’s welcome the media frenzy surrounding these very rare cases – after all, fear is how they get bums on seats, right? To hell with informed consent.
        And we can hardly expect the health service to correct any lies or misinformation when they’re been telling big fat porkies all these years!

        People never see the big picture when it comes to screening… we pump millions of pounds into bad programs which benefit few and harm many. In the meantime, many other areas of healthcare are struggling with limited resources…
        Think about it. What did Angela Raffle say about cervical screening? You have to screen 1000 women for 35 years to save ONE life. That’s at least 11,000 smear tests done to find ONE case. Factor in further tests, colposcopies, biopsies, ‘preventative’ treatments etc. etc… not forgetting the incentive payments for GP’s… that’s a HELL of a lot of money spent trying to save a single life. Meanwhile, people are dying through lack of care, denied medications or surgery which could save their lives because it’s deemed ‘too expensive’… yet we have the money to keep the screening machines rolling. It just doesn’t make sense.

        Oh, and by the way, regarding the opt-out procedure… my mother was offered a smear test a few years ago, completely out of the blue. She went to the surgery to have some bloods taken (she has arthritis) and the young newbie nurse asked her if she’d like one. She politely declined. She was 71 at the time, so if this nurse was looking to boost the screening figures she picked the wrong lady!
        Anyway, a few days later she received a disclaimer letter from the surgery. Just required a signature. No counselling, no faff… I did explain to her that she didn’t need to opt out because testing is supposed to stop at 65 and the surgery obviously screwed up, but she signed it and returned it anyway. Just goes to show, they can make things nice and easy for us when we’re no longer a cash cow.
        And no, I didn’t make a copy. *kicks herself*.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Exactly Kate, well said…

  154. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Moo, it’s disgraceful that they continue to mislead young women. (and all women for that matter) Long standing research shows those under 30 don’t benefit from pap tests, so urging young women to have them just means LOTS are harmed in day procedure after false positive pap tests. It’s risk for no benefit.
    Also, placing your faith in pap testing could cost you dearly, young women tend to get adenocarcinoma of the cervix, an even rarer form of cc and usually missed by pap tests. (false negative cases) So booming up the pap test can mean young women ignore symptoms and rely on their “normal” result. Young Finnish and Dutch women are urged to see a doctor if they develop unusual and persistent symptoms, like pelvic pain or bleeding after sex.
    For all the testing and treating of young women here, in the States and elsewhere, we have the same (or more) cases and deaths in young women as countries that don’t test at all before age 30. If the pap test worked we’d have fewer cases and deaths in young women.

    It also, amazes me that doctors would do a pap test on a symptomatic women, how could you trust such an inaccurate test? These women should be referred for proper investigation. Screening is inappropriate for symptomatic women. Diagnostic testing is very different to screening. The mileage made out of Jade Goody’s demise was opportunistic and deceptive, she had an adenocarcinoma and was symptomatic, she delayed further treatment after being traumatized by a biopsy (and it sounds like some sort of treatment) when she was only 16 or 17 years old. (she had abnormal cells removed were her words, from memory)
    Why on earth was a 16 year old girl having pap tests anyway? Jade Goody said the early treatment put her off having more treatment, hardly surprising…if we adopted evidence based testing and gave women balanced information informed decisions could be made.
    If Jade Goody had been Dutch, there would have been no pap tests and the advice would be: see a doctor if you become symptomatic, can’t help but think she may have been better off if she’d been protected from excess and non-evidence based screening.
    I cannot imagine how distressing it would be for a teenager to have pap testing and “treatments”. (something many older women find traumatizing)

    • Alex says:

      How did they finally diagnose this, anyway? Also, why didn’t they offer that beforehand? This article completely omits alternatives (isn’t there that CSA blood test that’s supposed to be very reliable?). It also would never read “Young woman dies from complications in surgery for misdiagnosed cancer.” They mention any other complications or aftereffects of treatments. They mention any miscarriages caused by getting these tests or someone committing suicide over one or more happening.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Alex, I understand the CSA blood test was blocked and never saw the light of day, there are powerful vested interests protecting population pap testing, they don’t want women self-testing or understanding the significance of HPV. Keeping us in the dark makes it easier to push excess. Imagine pap tests being offered to the 5% of women actually at risk rather than 100% of women (or attempting to “catch” that many), that would send a fortune down the drain.

    • Moo says:

      Thank you Elizabeth for clarifying. The doctors made a mistake. That young woman should have been given diagnostic tests and not just refused a pap. The Pap test is not a diagnostic test and rather not useful for investigating symptoms. The situation of this young woman’s death makes me very upset.

    • Kleigh says:

      I find it disturbing that hear in the states they have pushed back the screening age from 18 to 21 like thats any better. The Acog sees woman 21 “should” have a pap every till they are 30 then if no abnormals are found they can wait 3 years in between. I herd that they conceder this age group high rick for stds and that is the reson really thats no excuse. And quite franckly I am sick of people like the Acog making asumptions about my life and lumping all woman togeather. There are virgins and woman who use protection. If this is true why dont they push for males to be screened too. Its like the Acog thinks they are womans care takers and know whats best for us. Now they also want all woman to have domestic viloance screening even tho some woman are not in a relationship at all. Its one thing after the other to keep woman traped to these exams. This is in the US.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        It must be to mislead women into testing for STIs and to generate lots of excess biopsies and over-treatment, because the evidence has been clear for ages: these women do not benefit from pap testing, but produce the most false positives, and testing every year means BINGO – a goldmine of over-treatment. You’re right too, they focus on women, men get STIs as well…BUT testing for STIs should always been our choice, whether we’re male or female.

  155. Kleigh says:

    I dont know if anyone has seen the Mtv show Ackward with a teen girl having sex all the time. It is a American show. Well on one part of the show the teen girl went to the gyn to get birth control and her friend went with her. Well I do not remember the exact wording , but she was nervis and told her friend she didnt know what the doctor was gona do. Now on the show this girl is like 16 or 17 and her friend was telling her that the doctor was gona give her a pap smear and swab her cervix. And said that birth control and this exam was something that was all on the woman something woman had to bare. It made me angry for the fact this show was teaching teen girls that they should just ecepted that they will have to have a pap for birth control and gyn exam also they have no bussnes giveing a teen girl a pap smear. It just ticked me off. It seems these shows are always showing girls and woman going to the gyno all the time like its normal and right whaen your healthy. There has to be a brainwashing idea with these shows or they really think all woman go to a gyn.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Hi Kleigh,
      Disgusting, sending the wrong message to teenage girls and possibly putting some off using birth control. Even America has moved to no testing before 21, of course, many doctors are ignoring the changes and also, even if they skip the pap test, might demand a breast or pelvic exam. Sadly, doctors, especially here and in the States are not to be trusted. A research project here found some of our doctors test girls under 17, they mentioned this was inappropriate, but more needs to be done to discipline and educate these doctors. Allowing an “anything goes” approach risks the health and welfare of teenagers and also, sets them up for abuse by predatory doctors.

      • Kleigh says:

        Yes elizabeth, it does put woman off using birth control. I know that is one reson why my teen cusin refused to go on the pill my aunt offerd to take her to a gyno but she freked out and got upset a lil while latter she got pregnant. This sick idea of forcing woman to have paps has left alot of woman and young girls in bondage. Most woman have no idea the pill has nothin to do with birth control. My aunt is a good woman but thinks woman have to go to a gyn if they have a uti she thinks its connected to the reprodutive organs. I wonder who put that in her head. once I had a uti i went to a walk in clinic with a PA and all they did was take a urin sample. My aunt told me i should go have a gyno exam to make sure i was ok. Bc she has been made to belive utis are a gyn problem and olnly gyns can test for them.

    • Alex says:

      I bet if she had a black eye from getting beaten-up by her boyfriend, she wouldn’t say it’s something a woman had to bare. It’s so appalling that women think it’s wrong in some way to have bodily autonomy.

      It’s like: This is something I have a problem with, due to the mechanics. Oh, wait- it’s doesn’t count as a problem, because reality doesn’t apply to something that happens in a medical setting.” For Christ’s sake, it’s like someone told them “No only means no when a doctor doesn’t argue.”

      They never mention that this is a hig risk & low utility method of diagnosing something that’s massively rare to begin with. They also don’t touch on anything deliberately done by doctors like lying & tellsomeone that they have a problem or causing one themselves. Both of these things would generate a repeat costs if someone is coming in for more tests & follow-ups. Plus them getting extra bonuses for reaching target numbers. Both of these are possible with this subject, but it’s somehow immature to mention it- because it’s an invasive situation.

      It’s also sometimes considered immature to mention invasiveness as it’s own problem, just like pain is it’s own problem. This being antagonistic to someone’s alignment is deemed immature & something to ridicule. As if it’s not a good enough reason & someone is going to counter someone’s action of not getting these things done to them. I guess “sexual distress” is the word for having a problem with something on that level, whether it’s imposed or not. Maybe it’d be good for someone to know & use the term in a confrontation on this subject?

    • Moo says:

      Some young American women are using Planned Parenthood HOPE plan. They do not need a pelvic exam to get birth control pills, just answer a questionnaire. I believe however it is offered to women under 25 only. ( really? Another magical age).

      Women are given STD tests without asking. It is assumed that they could have them without knowing. Even if they say that they and their partners were both virgins before and neither with anyone else, the answer is “oh Dear, now, they are lie and TELL YOU that they were virgins.” The same thinking about women who are virgins unless they are grossly overweight are treated the same.

      If people want STD tests, fine. There are clinical urine tests. What bothers me about this new Cobas test is that it is a vaginal swab. Then a speculum exam will be used and so why not do the whole thing? with all the tests, pap, bimanual, rectal while they are at it. The Cobas could easily be marketed as a self test but it is not approved for that.

      Even UTI can be treated with herbs or alternate therapies. You have to wonder why those yeast infection treatments suddenly came on the market for retail sales. Women can also buy kits from the pharmacy for BV detection (bacterial vaginstis), ovulation predictors and pregnancy tests. Now one has to run to the doctor for all that. It just costs too much. So why the stall to get HPV tests into the retail market?

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Moo
        I have concerns about the HOPE program as well, many women have reported online they were pressured at the first consult and it continued, the pressure increasing at each consult. One woman was told she could “delay” the exams, making it clear they’d be “required” at some point.
        I think it’s safer if women go in prepared, some branches may be better than others and it may also, depend on the individual, some people see it as their duty to convince you to have these tests. I have a sinking feeling though this is an attempt to get you through the door, on the Pill and then the pressure starts…(if it didn’t start at the first consult)
        The thinking is probably: once on the Pill, you’ll want to stay on the Pill so easier to coerce/pressure you, just having you in the consult room might be enough to get you over the line and in the stirrups.
        I’ve heard too many women complain about this program to accept it really is easy access to the Pill without the unnecessary exams and tests.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      For Karen & Kleigh: Thanks Karen for the kevinmd story. Amazing the md author is female. This woman needs to be eval’d for narcissism. Only in her own mind can she be such a positive force for patients. Every time she has a bm plants everywhere spontaneously pollinate!

      Re MTV. What do you expect? Come the age of gansta rap, women are now classified as whores, pigs, and things men screw and throw away. This is MTV trying to be responsible…

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Several young women in the office were upset over the uncut video clip by Robin Thicke, a girl was naked at the start, (long distance view) he was in a suit, and during the clip the girls dance around topless in tiny g-strings, again the men are fully dressed. The song goes, “I know you want it” basically using the No means Yes theory. On the wall behind Thicke are the words, “Robin Thicke has a big dick”….very tasteful stuff.
        I could see what they were upset about, but then I’ve fumed over gratuitous female nudity for many years and listened to people (usually men) justifying it by saying full male nudity is pornographic, but full female is not, yet if we walk down the street naked we can be arrested for indecent exposure. Always sounded like a thin excuse to me.

  156. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    http://www.healthline.com/health-news/women-hpv-test-could-replace-annual-pap-test-031814

    “I think in the short term, even if the FDA adopts the recommendation, most gynecologists will continue with contesting,” Patel said. “This allows us to see who is at risk by being high risk HPV positive, but also allows us to pick up dysplasia and treat those lesions so they do not progress to cervical cancer.””

    This makes no sense because HPV- women are not at risk and don’t need “dysplasia” or anything else treated. Seems to me they want to add the HPV test to general excess, but don’t want to give up jumping on every tiny “abnormality” on the poor cervix.
    Of course, the evidence based program in the Netherlands will not even offer pap tests to HPV- women and that’s MOST women (about 95%) so that means no removal of “dysplasia” “pre-cancer” or any of the other nonsense in not-at-risk women.

  157. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Now here is a great idea, let’s make appointments for all women in the target age range to have mammograms then they have to show up or re-schedule – we don’t want anyone missing out on their test, do we?
    How unbelievable is the attitude, do we make unrequested appointments for men to have cancer screening? No, it seems this level of disrespect is reserved for women.
    Hope it never gets off the ground or women throw the invitation in the bin and send a letter of complaint. Honestly…it makes me see red. I’m surprised Finland apparently adopts this coercive and disrespectful tactic. They might get their backsides sued off with so much evidence now pointing to serious over-diagnosis and uncertainty of benefit, you can hardly make an informed decision when you’re strong-armed into the testing room. A pre-arranged (unsolicited) appointment means others have made the decision FOR you, grossly inappropriate.
    ww.warwickdailynews.com.au/news/support-for-breast-screen-initiative/2188577/#c819804

  158. Karen says:

    Some doctor bragging about how he aims to “stop being a doormat to patients” http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2014/03/stop-doormat-patients.html
    ““Because you are not taking your blood pressure medicine properly and you aren’t trying any of my suggestions about exercise or stress reduction, I am going to instruct my office to only schedule your appointments with me at 8am on Mondays. That will require you to make an additional effort to get here early and wade through the traffic. I will be available to you for emergencies, but I reserve my prime time appointments for my patients who work with me to improve their health issues.””

    Ewwwhehehe, who the hell these people think they are?

    • Moo says:

      The point is that patients are consumers. They are customers. They want a certain level of customer service or they will take their business, that is their healthcare elsewhere. With an insurance model. These are rate payers.

      Even in a publicly funded system. It is funded by tax rate payers and voters. They can demand what they want.

      So why do these service providers, doctors, think that they can book more than 9 patients per hour, keep people waiting for hours in their reception area, not let them have appointments when they are sick for days etc? If there is no choice ok but when there is choice patients leave. Dentists already know this and there is never the hassle with them.

      Every business has difficult customers and there are skills to learn to deal with them.

  159. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    That’s why a respectful working relationship is so important. My GP is patient and listens, she knows I won’t simply follow orders, I challenge her from time to time, but in some ways that makes her job easier. She knows my refusal to have pap tests, mammograms and a colonoscopy is coming from a sound base and knows I won’t be suing her if I’m unlucky enough to develop breast cancer etc.
    There are doctors I couldn’t work with, they’d be out for me. I’m amazed what some women put up with, rudeness, coercion…I’d be heading for the door and then sending a letter of complaint. Doctors are not our guardians, disciplinarians, judges or anything else, they’re providing a service. Just as I choose my hairdresser and accountant, I also, choose my doctor. Who is the right fit for me? Of course, I was not so brave as a young woman and chose to avoid doctors like the plague. Middle age has it’s advantages!

    • Kate (UK) says:

      And experience is a great teacher – IF you’re capable of critical thinking.

      I was talking to a colleague of mine some time ago, we started talking about the ‘Race for life’ (oh how I despise all this ‘Cancer awareness’ B.S.) and ended up on the subject of Pap tests. Turns out she had a cone biopsy for CIN3 at the tender age of 22, and of course classes herself as a survivor. So she was pretty shocked when I told her what I thought of her precious test. We got into quite a heated debate when I said I don’t have them anymore.

      Anyway, I did manage to make her aware of things she’d never considered before.
      For instance, our NHS sales brochure – sorry, ‘information leaflet’ – states that ‘abnormality can be caused by many things’. And then neglects to inform the reader of what these ‘things’ might be.
      I asked a lot of questions to which she didn’t know the answer, and I think it finally dawned on her that her knowledge was very limited and she agreed that the ‘powers that be’ seemed to be withholding information. Result!

      One of the things we talked about was the fact her doctor had told her the CIN3 had a 1 in 3 chance of progressing into cancer.
      I said, ‘That means 2 out of 3 WON’T progress. Yet how many women do you think, when they’re told they have a ‘pre-cancerous’ condition, tell the doctor they don’t want treatment? That they’d rather monitor the condition and only treat it if it gets worse?’
      Of course, she said she didn’t think anyone would take the risk of it becoming cancerous.
      The only way you can be sure if a condition – any condition – is going to get worse without treatment is to adopt the watchful waiting approach. How do they know precisely how many dysplasia/CIN cases would progress if doctors routinely slice off anything they don’t like the look of? It’s simply not logical, Captain!

      You know… if a woman goes for a routine mammogram (count me out!), and they find something ‘suspicious’, it requires further testing to determine the exact nature of the abnormality. Most of them aren’t tumours, and even if it is, it’s not necessarily a threat.
      However… what if, instead of running further tests, they simply tell the woman, ‘it MIGHT be pre-cancerous (DCIS) or cancer, but we can’t be sure. So we’ll just take the breast off anyway, ya know, just in case, and then the pathology will be able to tell if it’s cancer or not.’
      Outrageous, right? But I’m sure that if this was ‘the norm’, many women would accept this barbaric treatment without question. Probably come away from the whole experience feeling grateful to have escaped cancer, instead of being angry at being butchered.

      But isn’t this exactly what is done to the cervix? Treat everything just to be on the safe side because none of the tests are reliable and they can’t differentiate between real disease and fluctuations which may be due to your hormones playing silly beggars!

      ‘We’ll slice ‘n dice regardless of your biopsy results – IF you had a biopsy, that is. If the tissue we cut away shows signs of disease, we’ll swim in the warm glow of having saved another life, even though the ‘disease’ might have regressed on it’s own.
      If we treat you, a la conisation, and the tissue shows benign changes, we’ll pat you on the head and tell you what a lucky girl you are because we removed all the ‘pre-cancer’ and you will walk away believing you have escaped death. No matter how awful the experience was, no matter if the ‘treatment’ caused permanent damage, you will sing our praises to the high heavens and tell everyone how ‘important’ the pap test is because you believe it saved your life. It didn’t, but we’ll never admit that we make mistakes, and you will never find out. You don’t check your own pathology reports, you just believe what we tell you, right? So overdiagnosis and overtreatment will remain our dirty little secret.
      And thus, by bullying other women into testing, you will ensure we have a steady stream of frightened, compliant women desperate to be ‘saved’ streaming through our doors and lining our pockets for many years to come. Kerching!’

      Elizabeth, I wish I could approach the subject with the calmness you posess. Seems middle age has shortened my temper. Must be my hormones, eh? ;)

      • Ro says:

        Re: The cutting off body parts because of abnormalities thing. You know what I just realized? I’ve never heard of a man’s prostate or testicles being cut or removed because of cancer or benign tumors or anything of the sort. It seems that only a woman’s body parts aren’t important and a man must keep all of his. That really irks me. Perhaps I’m a bit out there with my ideology on this, but I truly do believe that there are natural cures and treatments that don’t cause any harm to the person for ailments and diseases. Obviously, everyone’s body is different and so treatments would not work on everyone (medical treatments don’t work for everyone either, I can’t tell you how many times taking a medication [even for a short period of time, as I have never had a regularly prescribed prescription] has made my symptoms worse or given me new ones) and sometimes diseases are invasive. If that wasn’t the case, we’d all just live forever. But when I look at older civilizations such as the Roman Empire or older Egyptian culture or even the natives here in the US, they had all natural cures for things and the life expectancy was no worse than today. In fact, it seems as though it was better. Those are just my two cents on the matter. As I said, that ideology may seem a bit out there and I may be wrong, but I just have a hunch that there are successful natural cures out there.

      • adawells says:

        Hi Kate, I completely agree with your latest post here. In chatting with a colleague, I too revealed that I had not had a smear test in many years, and got a look of horror and amazement that I had managed to stay alive all this time without having my cervix scraped on a regular basis. She launched into how I absolutely must get it done, but fell silent when I casually mentioned that I had no intention of doing so, as I had opted out of the programme.

        Just searching the internet and the NHS sites are full of personal accounts of women, who have just been saved from the jaws of death, and they always say that once their organs had been removed and sent for analysis, they were then found to have cancer in them, so wasn’t it a great job they caught it early. A common thread through all of this is that they couldn’t find the cancer first when these organs were still in their bodies. I’d really want to be convinced I actually had cancer before I had anything removed.

      • Alex says:

        Ro- I think you’re totally right about that. No one acts like it’s a badge of manhood to get your balls cut off, either.

        It’s also interesting how if a guy decides to not get his prostate scraped, cut, or burned because he feels some lower abdominal pain that is not considered faulty of him.

        I’ve said it before, but someone can have malice as a reason for doing something. There can be any number of psychologocial underpannings that someone won’t admit to for the things that they do. They might not admit to doing these things, either. If this happens from the top down, it’ll be a more broadly applied situation, instead of just an individual instance. It’s exactly the same idea as one guy being the type to go on a shooting spree, but can only do so much on his own, so he gets an army of people to do more damage.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        In response to Ada (I can’t see a ‘reply’ button!

        If women are so prone to deadly diseases, it’s a wonder the human race ever survived, eh?
        Aside from the fact that these women never actually see the reports and simply trust what the doctor relays to them, pathology itself isn’t an exact science. Two pathologists can read the same sample and come to different conclusions.
        Angela Raffle said that cytologists learn to report even the tiniest blip in a smear sample as ‘abnormal’ these days because they’re terrified of missing cases, which is more to do with protecting themselves against litigation than anything else.

        My best friend has been having gyn problems – excessive bleeding, periods that drag on forever – for the past few years. She’s been prodded and poked, scoped, treated (if you can call a D&C *treatment*) and they’ve found nothing. In fact, her problems have become worse. She had a couple of small fibroids before the D&C, now she has a lot more.
        She’s been given hormone tablets which help a lot, so I suspect she’s going through the perimenopause. We’re both 42, so it’s possible, right?
        But get this… her GP won’t prescribe her the tablets for much longer, apparently they increase the risk of osteoporosis. (Frankly, she’s a BIG girl. Always has been. And if her bones have managed to cope so far I doubt brittle bones are ever going to be an issue.)
        She can’t have the fibroids removed on the NHS because they’re deemed too small.
        So… she’s been told her only solution is hysterectomy. So tablets and myomectomy are a no-go, but they’re happy to perform major abdominal surgery on a clinically obese diabetic?
        I am dead set against it, she believes it’s her only option. She’s desperate, I understand that, but I think she’s taking a hell of a gamble with her health, considering some of the after-effects of hysterectomy. As I keep pointing out, she might be ok, but if she’s not, they can’t just pop it back, can they?

        Rambling again, sorry!

        Anyhoo, I went with her to her last Gyn appointment.
        He said, ‘I’ll try to retain your ovaries but if they look suspicious I’ll remove those too.’
        WHAT? I just looked him in the eye and told him, ‘if you do that, rest assured we WILL be seeking the medical reports, including pathology, and if there is no indication of disease we WILL be taking legal action.’
        Not that I think legal action would achieve anything – he can just use the ‘acting in the patient’s best interest’ excuse – but I just wanted him to know that his *expertise* meant nothing to me.
        I wonder how many of his patients have *suspicious* ovaries? Maybe it’s just easier to whip everything out – the ovaries often fail after surgery anyway, so why go to all that trouble to keep them? We should stop calling it Oophorectomy and call it by it’s correct term – female castration.
        So… the GP is refusing to prescribe the meds that help my friend because he’s worried it may lead to osteoporosis, and she’s scheduled for surgery which is likely to lead to ovarian removal or failure, which in turn will put her at a higher risk of… yes, you guessed it! Osteoporosis. Among other things.
        Common sense flew out of the window when they created ‘women’s health’.

        One more thing… there’s been quite a negative reaction among the public to the announcement that the NHS wants to share our medical data… medical records are supposed to be confidential, right?
        Well, seems to me that they’ve been sharing it for years… Cancer Research used to regularly state that… I think it was 80% or something… of women diagnosed with the disease have never been tested or haven’t been tested in the previous 5 years. How on earth could they know whether a woman has had regular tests or not unless they had access to our records. So much for patient confidentiality! Yes, I know they’re in bed with the NHS…

        And 5 years? Arbitrary figure, that. And the fact is that, considering it can take many years for the most common form of CC to develop, if this test were as *reliable* as we’re told then 5 years would still be ok.
        Oh, wait… they cut back the frequency of testing to five years for older women, don’t they?
        *Smells a rat*.

        Sorry for the long posts, folks. I’ll shut up now!

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Hi Kate
        I can assure you there has been plenty of anger and frustration over the decades, but something changed in mid-life, I felt comfortable enough to calmly and confidently declare I don’t have pap tests. The medical profession, women, everyone really….expects us to have pap tests, remain silent or at least start apologizing for our immaturity or silliness, but it has a real impact when we don’t behave as we’ve been programmed to do.
        Without emotion you suddenly have the upper hand…the reactions you receive vary from amazement, high emotion, to questioning, puzzled looks, sometimes, it prompts women to do some reading.
        When you throw off the propaganda….nothing works, they can lie and manipulate as much as they like, but it’s like water running off a duck’s back.
        As more women become informed and vocal…well, let’s just say the “pap test bean counters” will be VERY concerned, (that was Jacqui’s famous quote….) there is also, a feeling of safety in numbers, so more women will speak up and refuse to be silenced…and ignorance will not win the day. Once women only heard one story, now the evidence is starting to emerge.
        I think most women move through a range of emotions once they’re informed and for some, anger will remain, especially those who’ve been harmed by this testing. I was one of the lucky ones…I got to the evidence very early.
        By the way, your young friend with a CIN 3 result, this is the very reason those under 30 are not pap tested in Finland or The Netherlands. Young women often produce highly abnormal results due to a transient and harmless infection or the pap picking up normal changes in the maturing cervix or even inflammation caused by sex or tampons.
        The VERY rare cases that occur in young women tend to be false negative cases picked up when the woman becomes symptomatic. So your friend was almost certainly over-treated, but the system is so dishonest these women are left believing they are survivors, rather than victims of non-evidence based screening. The damage these programs do to young women is IMO, culpable, we know screening is high risk for no bnefit for them, yet we keep on screening and misleading, now I’d say the same thing about older women, most women are HPV- and cannot be helped by pap tests, so why are we continuing to test and “treat” them?

      • adawells says:

        Well said Elizabeth, I completely agree with your above post. Pap testing is the Female Genital Mutilation practise of the Western developed world.

        No-one likes to admit they have been fooled or tricked, and when confronted with the CC evidence most women are incredulous that they could possibly have fallen for all the coercion and bullying, as they consider themselves “empowered” to have gone along with it all, but I think the seeds of doubt are starting to sprout. Those of us who are now middle aged and bore the brunt of a dictatorial call/recall programme must speak out about our experiences. I do not want my teenage daughter to go through what I have done.

        The comments following Kate’s Guardian article kicked off with an obnoxious woman encouraging everyone to attend, but she had to temper her responses, when the stories of pain and anger followed on. We must continue to rationally and calmly state our case until women are truly able to make an informed choice about this dreadful business.

  160. There is an interesting role reversal theme showing up in videos and ads as in the following music video. It would be great if there was a video showing a man at the doctor’s office with chest pain, and being coerced, bullied, yelled at by the doctor over a prostate exam.

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GBT37_yyzY?feature=player_detailpage&w=640&h=360%5D

    • Karen says:

      Something like a young woman forcing an old man to allow her to examine his prostate, unless he is not getting blood pressure medicine.

  161. Moo says:

    The cancer screenings are getting more coercive even for men now.

    The male/female medical abuse or neglect is still there. Some women getting mastectomies will get breast reconstruction surgery. Men who have had a testicle removed due to cancer just have to walk around with one ball. Men with prostate problems really do suffer. Please do not belittle male suffering.

    Men who have sex with other men are being told that they need anal paps and more exams and “treatments” for those abnormals results. They are told all the cancer horror stories. Just a whole new market for doctors.

    Even colonoscopies – I saw one statistic that 1-3% of polyps are cancerous. The risk that they could become cancerous (I do not know). I am sure that the causes of occult bleeding are never even addressed in most causes. The screening tests, particularly the FOBT is very unreliable since even some foods can cause a positive result. As well the equipment used for colonoscopies can never be sterilized.

    • ChasUK says:

      For KateUK – sorry there is no reply button or post comment button. Tell your friend to take a look at this site http://hersfoundation.org/facts.html
      I know 6 women who have had a hysterectomy and after 1/2/3/4/5 years all of them have had types of prolapse……….meaning more surgery. 2 of them have had 3 more surgeries, 1 of them 2 more procedures and the others nothing but problem after problem. As for data sharing, everything is on there, from smear test and colposcopies it is noted on your record, the size/shape/colour/pubic hair is recorded…..do we really want or need that information shared? Oh yes I forgot – WOMEN are walking diseases!
      Oh and kate never apologise for rambling, we all have done it and still do, feel free any time!

      • Kate (UK) says:

        Thanks Chas!

        The HERS info is very illuminating – but I fear my buddy is going to go ahead with surgery no matter what. She doesn’t want to, but feels it’s the only way she’ll be rid of the bleeding.
        She’s just got her fingers crossed that all will be well. With her track record, I doubt it.
        I’ve seen the ‘information’ form she’s been given… if I remember correctly there was a mention that a small number of women experience a reduction in libido, or words to that effect. Nothing else regarding long-term effects. Typical.

        You know, my sister took her own life a few years ago. She’d been having mental health issues for years, and when we got to see her medical reports there was a form with some basic details on it. No mention of the (numerous) meds she was taking, or anything regarding her psychological state… but plenty of space for the doctor to report whether she’d had a mammogram and smear test. You can imagine what my reaction was when I saw that!

  162. Karen says:

    Seems like the Guardian is peddling the propaganda as well: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/20/women-not-undergoing-cervical-screening-cancer-risk-lives-campaigners-research

    As usual, not mention of informed consent, risks and false positives, the rarity of the cancer, and so on. The commenters seem to be clueless, the usual nonsense about “a little embarrassment that can save your life” hahaha, there is no solid scientific evidence to support that statement, and whether a stranger penetrating a woman’s vagina is a little embarrassment or not, is up for everyone to decide for themselves… I wish people would finally start to see the wood from the trees…

    • Alex says:

      I would say “Sexual dissonance” would be a better word- that seems to be the one where things are a problem on that kind of level. I guess problems are inconsequential?

      “Sexual distress” would probably work, too- but it seems to be more limited to when assailed in that way (like “damsel in distress”).

      They really do tend to omit the risks & ramifications, don’t they? It’s a bit odd that they worry people with this very rare cancer & yet don’t have any concern that it’s not an accurate way of getting an answer. If someone WAS going to worry about, that would be a big concern. It’s very noticeable when someone looks PAST a problem instead of AT the problem.

    • adawells says:

      I can only take so much of the Jo’s Trust website before it makes me want to vomit. This charity is supposed to be supporting those who already have a diagnosis of cancer, yet it devotes much of its efforts to pushing the cervical screening programme on women. I don’t think it is ethical for a charity to push a particular cancer test on anybody, and I find its attitude extremely patronising. It certainly doesn’t accept that women have any choice in the matter, referring to those who don’t attend as “persistent non-attenders”.

      They have even got a Cervical Screening Award, which they give yearly to clinics which have come up with all sorts of campaigns to increase the uptake, such as sending large pink letters to people. In any newspaper item about CC Jo’s Trust is always behind the story, speaking as though it were the voice of womankind. Are there charities, which use their resources to send letters to men telling them how often to see their doctor? This charity way oversteps ethical practice.

      I noticed that in the comments section of The Guardian article, members of the public had given the pro-screeners a run for their money, and there were a good number of people voicing their complaints about cervical screening, including one who said she would be struck off her GP’s practice list if she did not respond to her letter, so this kind of treatment is still going on.

      • Karen says:

        Ada- I have to admit I did not read all the comments, just could not bear this tsunami of patronising, misogynistic BS anymore.. I reported the last commenter called lizmint for hate speech- “hate speech against women- prescribing what and how someone should allow a stranger to penetrate their vagina. No mention of CONSENT, or CHOICE- penetration without consent is assault. Therefor this commenter propagates assault. This comment should be removed”

      • adawells says:

        Nice one! I’m so pleased you did. I also thought of reporting lizmint, when I saw that the comments had been closed. She seems to have toned down her argument a bit on getting a volley of replies against the screening programme. I think this is what Elizabeth is saying in her post, that at first pro-screeners think they are admired for going. They jump in with both feet blogging about their righteousness in being diehard attendees, thinking that they are setting an example to us all. It takes them aback to find that a lot of us women on the web think they are brainwashed twats!

      • Karen says:

        I personally think they are self-righteous brainwashed busybody-twats!

      • Kate (UK) says:

        Ada… you remember that Jade Goody’s diagnosis led to numerous campaigns to lower the screening age to 20? And that there was a review into the program after all this nonsense?
        Well, I’m reading Margaret McCartney’s book (Patient Paradox) at the moment and she mentions that the director of Jo’s Trust was present during that review and stated that ‘screening did not cause harm’.
        The arrogance of some of these people!

      • adawells says:

        Hi Kate, I have also read The Patient Paradox after finding it on Margaret’s website. Robert Music is a businessman, and obviously it is his job to promote Jo’s Cervical Trust. I don’t have a problem with this charity being there to support women who have been diagnosed with cervical cancer, but I have a problem with this charity using much of its resources in pushing screening programmes onto asymptomatic women, and regularly running ad campaigns to frighten women into going for their smear tests. I don’t agree with this aspect of their work at all. Their comments forums are full of terrified young women, trying to make sense of their abnormal smear results, consoled by smear test veterans, who have been through all the surgery and come out survivors, championing their butchered bodies. None of this would be necessary, if we all had truthful facts in the first place, but then informed women wouldn’t bother adhering to the programme would they?

        Apart from this, Robert Music has often made outspoken remarks along the lines of the smear test being a quick and easy, painless procedure, which women are silly to avoid. This is his standard comment, and appears in every newspaper article we see about cervical screening. I just wish he could experience the pain, so many women experience as a result of his propaganda.

        What also gets me about his stance is that, like all the pro-screeners, he fails to make clear the difference between the invasive adenocarcinoma, which kills women very quickly, and the squamous cell sort, which takes decades to appear. His charity should have a moral duty to inform women of this difference. From what I have read, the adenocarcinoma frequently fails to be detected by the smear test. Women like Jade Goody and other young victims may have had the adenocarcinoma, and hence many of them had negative pap smears before they died. Instead of being honest with the public about the smear test, being completely useless in the face of this particular type of cervical cancer, we are sold the story by Jo’s Trust that the smear test would have saved their life, so we should all trot along to our medical centres and get one done right away. The health authorities stay silent on the issue knowing that more honesty will see a drop in adherence to its programmes.

  163. Moo says:

    I found out that in (Ontario, Canada) a doctor can earn up to $13,0000 per year in incentive bonuses for pushing cancer and other screening tests and vaccinations. This is in addition to the fee they are pay for doing the procedures and consultation fees for an apointment.

    Where are all the health care dollars going? I really do feel that this is excessive. Is this really about patient care? It is really saving the system money? I would really like to see the total incentive paylout per year.

  164. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Well said, Adawells, and Jade Goody did have an adenocarcinoma, but that didn’t stop them from using her case to sell pap tests.
    IMO, these groups mislead women, it’s called “raising awareness” (read: scare to death) because it helps protect their turf, it has nothing to do with healthcare. The more women who “think” they were saved, the more women will focus on this cancer, view it as a great threat, test and keep testing, spread the word, pressure other women etc…
    So many women on the websites of these groups have clearly had false positives and been over-treated, yet you’re banned if you dare suggest such a thing. (for example: CIN 1 does not equal Stage 1 of cervical cancer)
    They also, have no interest in hearing about better testing options, like HPV self-testing or primary testing, which provides an insight, they’re not interested in reducing deaths and over-treatment, they just want women to keep having pap tests with lots being over-treated. Don’t rock the profitable screening boat, a fabulous business model.
    That’s why I say the cancer so many women fear doesn’t exist, there is no such thing as common cervical cancer, it’s rare and always was…and it was in natural decline before testing even started. It would be like whipping up a frenzy over thyroid cancer, people would think you were mad. Why are you worried about that? Yet they worry about something even rarer, cervical cancer. We’ve been trained to greatly fear a remote risk.

    We have a group here who have already started scaremongering, they know the program must stop testing those under 25, the damage being caused is getting harder to hide with more and more countries moving to protect young women. These groups intend to make it difficult by scaring and misleading young women, make them believe the govt is risking their health to save money. It says to me these groups often contain or receive financial support from those with a vested interest in screening. These groups are part of the problem and IMO, are not to be trusted…they also, often use women who’ve been unlucky enough to get actual cervical cancer to sell pap tests to others, IMO, they use these women to get to other women so they can use them too.
    Scare tactics should never be used to push screening, we should screen because we’re satisfied with the evidence…that’s why they prefer to use scare tactics, the evidence would shock most women.

  165. Kate (UK) says:

    Scaremongering serves these charities only too well – the more people fear a disease, the more ‘survivors’ testing produces, the more support the charity gets. Thing is, if a regular company uses dirty tactics or false advertising to ‘sell’ their products, customers will quickly realise they’ve been sold a dud and report them to Trading Standards or the like.
    But these charities, and indeed the NHS itself, seems immune from such regulation and are free to say whatever the hell they like. And the sheeple fall for it.
    I mean, if my boyfriend said that a pap test is painless, my automatic response would be ‘how the f**k would you know’?
    Yet some MALE director or spokesman of a cancer charity tells us a test is ‘painless’ or ‘worthwhile’, that’s ok?

    As for Jade… tested and *treated* from 16. End result…. death. So much for ‘preventing’ cancer.

    • Karen says:

      What really angers me is when these charities peddle their hate speech about how women do not have a choice, and how it is “no big deal”. This fucking test was a large-scale human experiment, as it became a population based screening framework, without clinical trials. It harmed masses, ate up millions of pounds, the harm is definite, the benefits are based on speculations. AND, it involves penetrating the vagina of women, and undermining their right for consent. So coercing women to allow a stranger to penetrate their vagina, through lies, threats and misinformation, on a mass scale, since decades is “not a big deal”…. you bet if there was justice, and a parliamentary committee set up, quite a few people would be deservedly jailed…

      • Moo says:

        I have actually quoted on this forum how a person from the cancer screening agency told the provincial parliament (Ontario, Canada) that women should not have to consent to have their personal information in regards to Pap tests collected because otherwise people would decline and the programme would fail. They just collect without consent from all the labs and that information is never allowed to be deleted. It all goes into a provincial registry that can be accessed by any health practitioner that a women sees. The information can also be used for “research” not much of which I have seen published.

        Read up on The Rape Culture and understand what the constant coercion and forced Pap tests are to women and the men (and sometimes women) who do it.

  166. Adawells says:

    I have just been looking at the Cancer Research UK website to look at the figures for cervical and breast cancer, and there are always 2 figures. 1 for cervix and 1 for cervix “in situ”. Is anyone able to explain the difference and what the “in situ” figure means, please? You can download the charts for free.
    http://publications.cancerresearchuk.org/publicationformat/data_tables

  167. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/cervical/Patient/page2#Keypoint11
    Adawells,
    Cervical cancer “in situ” is referred to as Stage 0 cervical cancer or CIN 3 – most of these lesions do NOT progress to invasive cervical cancer. There are various studies…some say about 12% of cases would progress to actual cervical cancers, others go higher, up to 30%
    These women do not have cancer and most would never develop cancer.
    Then you have the Staging for actual cervical cancer, Stage 1, Stage 2 etc. Some women confuse staging with CIN 1, 2 and 3, the latter (once again) is not cancer.
    Many women who’ve been treated for CIN 3 or the scarier sounding cancer “in situ” have simply been over-treated.
    The madness of Stage 0 cancer…once again, a great business model.
    Has anyone read “Saving Normal” by Allen Frances? Normal is rapidly disappearing when we have Stage 0 cancers AND with cervical cancer, we keep statistics for CIS or Stage 0 cancer. It could almost be viewed as an attempt to make cervical cancers numbers look a bit better, bump them up a bit.

    • adawells says:

      An excellent and very informative link. Thank you. By including the “in situ” figures it certainly bumps up the overall statistics to a whopping amount – a bit like including the figures for those people who have got a cough, and adding them to the figures for those who have died of pneumonia?

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Exactly, do we see Stage 0 or NOT cancer included in other cancer stats?
        I think it’s a step in the right direction changing the names for some of the non-cancer, no “carcinoma” unless it’s actually cancer. So DCIS, lobular carcinoma and cervical in situ cancers will be called something more benign…hardly surprising many people believe they have cancer when they see the word “carcinoma”.
        We have to change the way we think about cancer, not all cancer is life-threatening and after a certain age, about 50, many of us will have cancer somewhere in our body, but we’ll die with it, not from it, so what is the point searching for it and treating something that will never bother us? DCIS only became an issue when we started screening women, prior to that women didn’t know about it. Screen detected so often amounts to over-diagnosis and over-detection.

  168. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Also, it makes the cervical screening program look better, look at all these lives saved…it really is incredible the lengths they go to…to make cc look like a big problem, major threat, and to show how the screening program is worth the money, doing great work, saving lots of women.
    Of course, including the CIN 3 cases does not work when you consider the lifetime risk of cc is 0.65%, then it’s clear we’re “saving” women from nothing. They’d argue: well, we don’t know which lesions would move so have to treat everyone…Finland has shown there was always a way to keep over-treatment rates down, (although still far too high when you consider the risk from cc is so low) and now we know most of the ASCUS, CIN 1, 2 and 3 nonsense should be scrapped…confine your offer of testing to the roughly 5% who are actually at risk: those HPV+ and aged 30+
    If a woman is HPV- these classifications are irrelevant, she’s not at risk…HPV+ then you at least know the woman is at risk.

    • adawells says:

      Thanks for this also. I’ve read a bit about HPV testing, but how is it done? Don’t you still need to have the painful smear test in the first place to get some cervical cells to test whether they are HPV+ or -? Also, it is not clear to me how frequently this needs to be done, since even the Gardasil vaccine is not expected to last a lifetime. Are we still going to have this wretched recall system for HPV testing?

      I have been researching self-sampling kits in the medical journals, and although other countries like the Netherlands report good feedback from women, the UK specifically limits their own experiments in this to the very hardest to reach groups of women who don’t use the health services anyway, and then dismissing self-sampling as a failure when only 10% of them come back. No consideration given to offering self-sampling to all the other women on the programme, who would almost certainly prefer this to the pain of the speculum.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Adawells,
        HPV testing is like a pap test, but there are also, self-testing devices available that are just as reliable as a sample taken by a physician/nurse. Tampap is in the UK and the Delphi Screener is in the Netherlands, Singapore, Thailand and can be ordered by *Australians over the net. (and I assume so can women from many other countries)
        (*this is kept VERY quiet, but it’s now mentioned on quite a few forums (by me and others) and I know quite a few Aussie women have now used the Delphi Screener. I know of 6 women in my circle who’ve used it (all HPV-) and another 2 about to use it)

        An Australian distributor was being sorted out, but I doubt that will happen, this device is a threat to the pap testing program…vested interests will derail anything that threatens their turf. Also, smarter testing can be derailed by the program and others by skewing the information they give to women. Things like, HPV self-testing is unreliable, it produces too many false positives#, you still need pap tests so what’s the point, women might get confused and mess up self-testing etc. Their major concern, of course, is losing control of women and that affecting the “success” of the program (and their profits etc.) So scare-mongering will keep some women on exam tables having invasive testing.

        #This argument angers me, HPV+ (about 5% of those aged 30+) means you’re at risk, but most of these women will never develop cervix cancer. Sure these women may be concerned unnecessarily about their positive status, BUT there appears to be no concern about putting 95% of women through unnecessary pap testing and a huge number through biopsies etc. with population pap testing.
        At least the 5% ARE at risk and have some chance of benefiting from pap testing. (if they choose to test) So I find that argument transparently about protecting population pap testing and over-treatment, not women. It’s an argument used over and over…they also, often include young women and conclude HPV primary testing would not work, too many would test HPV+ (about 40%) CORRECT, that’s why we should not be HPV or pap testing those under 30. So protecting excess is used to deny HPV primary testing to older women. (30+)

        In the UK we have women being told if they use Tampap and test HPV- they still need pap tests, wrong! But I suspect the product was only allowed onto the market on that basis and they hope those testing HPV+ will sprint off to the GP.
        It’s all about “reaching” women….(read: capturing)

        You’re right, self-testing is often only discussed for hard-to-reach women, but if more information reaches women on HPV self-testing and the significance of being HPV- becomes known, then more women will hopefully seek it out.
        I doubt countries like Australia, the States, UK or Canada will ever release their grip over women, powerful vested interests influence/control this testing for their benefit. In these countries women will have to do their own thing if they want evidence based testing. Of course, if more women reject the pap testing program it will eventually lead to it’s demise, they NEED about 80% of women to test regularly to justify their existence.

        HPV testing is only an improvement on the status quo if it’s used the right way…so the new Dutch program would be the one I’d follow…(if I wanted to test, and I don’t) So that’s 5 primary HPV tests or self tests at 30,35,40,50 and 60. NOTE: that most of these women will have fewer than 5 HPV tests, those HPV- and confidently monogamous or no longer sexually active might choose to stop all further HPV testing. So some women may only have 1, 2 or 3 HPV tests. (and most women will never have a pap test)

        Used the wrong way HPV testing adds to the misery of these programs and the congestion in day procedure, so that’s the American practice of ADDING HPV and pap testing for all women 30+ or using the HPV test on women under 30. (40% would test positive when most have a transient and harmless infection)
        Currently the only country (as far as I’m aware) who actually put women and the evidence first is the Netherlands. (and Finland who have had a 7 pap test program since the 1960s but who now need to get HPV primary and self-testing off the ground)
        I imagine UK women could order the Delphi Screener from Delphi Bioscience in the Netherlands or of course, Tampap is available there as well.

  169. ChasUK says:

    Something worth reading, if you haven’t already – http://www.naturalnews.com/024774_genital_warts_Gardasil.html#

  170. Moo says:

    In regards to adenocarcinoma – it is still rare. Studies have shown 80% have HPV 16 and 18 present. (Really might be arbitrary depending on age of women since many younger women are HPV positive anyway). Recently more diagnosis have been made in recent years probably since using the cervical brush method with Pap tests. The adenocarcinoma could actually be caused by pap testing and subsequent testings and treatment.

    The epithelial layer of the exocervical is thicker so there is the cin1-3 rating. The skin of the endocervix is much thinner, only one layer thick. Any dysplasia on a Pap test there is going to register as cin3. When a biopsy of the endocervix is done it is going to introduce more HPV infection there, more than a brush sampling. A cone biopsy is supposed to be a treatment as well as a diagnostic test.

    Does it make sense that brushes and equipment do not belong inside the cervix? If HPV infects cells by microabrasions in the skin why introduce them with nonsterile surgical equipment?

    There are statistics that women who never or seldom get Pap tests have a slightly higher rate of cervical cancer. I would like to know if women with adenocarcinoma ever had Pap tests or biopsies. It might be that cancer is caused by pap testing methods themselves.

  171. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Karen, I know, it’s infuriating. I just responded to an article written by a doctor on the 6 Minutes site, it was a bit of a rant actually. It’s the same old story, woman doesn’t have pap tests, got cervical cancer and now she’s a vocal advocate for regular pap testing. Another scary story…and misleading and of course, contains no real information on actual benefits and risks. Informed consent? What’s that…
    The article has been written for GPs, so it’s worrying the same approach is used within the medical profession to sell pap tests…and remind GPs, no doubt, of the “need” for regular testing.
    The “naughty girl, you didn’t have pap testing” is not only disrespectful and inappropriate, it almost blames the woman for her demise. It’s misleading and incorrect to suggest a pap test WOULD have prevented her cervical cancer.
    These women are then often used to “sell” pap tests to other women or doctors use their story to scare women into testing, heaven forbid they gave us the evidence.
    Will the medical profession ever use something other than scary stories to push screening at women?

  172. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Wow, they printed my comment and didn’t change a word of it, things are definitely changing…
    http://www.6minutes.com.au/blogs/dr-vivs-blog/all-for-the-want-of-a-pap-smear#disqus_thread

    • Moo says:

      The website says you have to register to read the complete article. I would like to read your comments as well.

      I find it just maddening that cervical cancer is supposedly “easy to treat in precancerous stages”. That is why screening is pushed. Only that there is too much overtreatment of what some women’s bodies will clear themselves with a good lifestyle and nutriition. How many women with cin2 are told to go home, take some vitamins and stop smoking and get retested in one year or 6 months? They are all pushed for LEEP when convenient for a doctor in two months or 5 months or just after a colposcopy.

      I was reading the ACOG website in what was recommended for well women exams on their website. Included was them asking about a women’s dental health and if she saw a dentist regularly. Does that seem odd? They also ask too many questions about sex and “sexual dysfunction”. Even with just regular family doctors which we have in Canada, the well woman exam is just dominated with tits and ass checking. A women might have other concerns such as heart and Lung problems but they are put aside for all this naked glory to be examined.

      A major Canadian women’s magazine had an article reporting that cervical cancer will develop in 1 in 145 Canadian women. That is almost 0.7% if you do that math. But really where is that statistic coming from? I think that is really inflated somehow.

    • Adawells says:

      Nope. Still can’t access the article. Can you tell us the story? Sounds very interesting.

  173. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Ada, I notice the site is for medical professionals, not sure how I got access, but they send me their newsletter every week. Sorry the links don’t work.
    So, the article is called, “All for the want of a pap smear”, this is so misleading and remember she’s speaking to other doctors. It implies she went through surgery, chemo etc. when a pap test would have spared her the ordeal. We know a pap test is no guarantee, false negatives occur as well as false positives. Did the woman have adenocarcinoma of the cervix? If so, a pap test is unlikely to have helped her.
    ” Never a person to visit doctors, she was also a very private intelligent woman in her forties who had never married or had children. ”

    This annoyed me too, is this to “explain” why she didn’t end up pap tested? Doctors know women are often captured when they get pregnant or if they take the Pill.
    I hate the way we judge women who choose not to screen, one of the requirements of a population screening test is: the test must be acceptable to the target population, yet it’s clear to me the pap test is unacceptable to many women. I’d say many women would choose not to screen and that’s why coercion, misstatements, scare campaigns etc. have been used to force women into testing. (you need huge numbers to screen when you’re screening for a rare cancer with an unreliable test, and know you’ll condemn large numbers to excess biopsies etc.)
    Did anyone ever ask women whether the pap test was acceptable to them? Surely we’ve just been TOLD to screen, it MUST be acceptable, don’t be silly or immature etc. it could save your life! How many decades have women endured pap testing? We can put people on the moon, but nothing has changed in cervical screening, no self-testing options.

    So the woman is symptomatic, diagnosed with cc and has treatment.
    “Marnie’s medical file has now mushroomed to the size of the Sydney telephone directory, and she has become a very vocal exponent of the virtues of regular Pap smears.”

    This annoys me too, I hate the way women are used to spread the word (and fear), it is inappropriate for doctors or other women to simply urge me to screen. Screening should be an informed decision. I know nothing about Marnie, her risk factors, the type of cervical cancer she had etc. I don’t just screen, I do my own research and make informed decisions, I also, don’t take advice from screening programs, pro-screening groups, vested interests, survivors (real or imagined) or celebrities. Why should that be so unacceptable?

    Part of my response:
    “So I wish your patient all the best, but if she’d had the option of testing herself for HPV, at least she would have known she was HPV+ and had a small chance of benefiting from a 5 yearly pap test, instead we use her demise to keep pushing outdated population pap testing. Who are we really protecting in this country?”
    There are lots of interesting articles on the site, shame most of us are locked out. Another doctor has commented, but completely ignored my comment.

    • Adawells says:

      Many thanks for this. I am finding that in trawling the web, I am frequently coming up with sites I can’t get into, and the information available is getting older and older. What we really need is some inside information about the future of cancer screening programmes. It is clearly being discussed as we have seen from the recent link to the UK Parliamentary Committee. So what will happen to this? Will this information be filed away for a few years?

      Our local community has planned a health forum at the end of this month, where residents can talk about what they want from their health services, and I intend to go along and speak at this regarding our NHS cervical screening programme.

      In the meantime I found this article from the Lancet by David Holmes, still in favour of screening but shedding some interesting info on the Jade Goody affair:
      http://www.thelancet.com/oncology Vol 11 April 2010

      a section reads:
      “The agenda in cases of celebrity cancer diagnosis is often set by a tabloid media short on facts but heavy on what is often termed scaremongering. For example, most of the coverage around Goody centred on the suffering she was enduring, and the tragedy that she had developed the disease at such a young age. There was very little mention of the fact that Goody had several abnormal Pap smears in her teens, had abnormal cells removed, and then ignored later abnormal Pap results and several letters requesting that she return for additional treatment. She ignored the letters because she was scared, but the tabloid coverage of her death would have done very little to reassure young women in a similar situation. Although Goody’s death increased screening rates, in her case it wasn’t screening that was the problem. But the inability of the media to tell the whole story meant that a valuable opportunity to educate people about the importance of following up on results was lost, while calls for a younger age at screening paid no consideration to the risk of overdiagnosis. Clearly none of the blame for this lies at the doors of health campaigners; these examples were not, after all, part of any health campaign. But it does call into question the wisdom of saturating the media with celebrity-endorsed campaigns to raise awareness of cancers and screening initiatives.”

      I disagree with him that the blame does indeed lie at the doors of health campaigners, because they do not speak out about this misinformation, and go along with it, if it terrorises women into pap tests.

      • Moo says:

        The article is not free access so I cannot comment.

        I would like to comment on how earlier screening experiences can turn women off lifetime healthcare though. As well as lack of self testing and respecting some women want women screeners only. Women also do not to want to be judged or infantized in regards to their choice of lifestyle and participation in screening. Not enough accurate information is given out either.

        The “failure” to screen is out at ignoring letters, inconvenience and travel problems. I would say it has more to do with either the test procedure itself.

        Before doing some research I knew the Pap test was for cancer but did not understand the treatments and risks. I thought a Pap test was required only for oral contraception and if I was going to get cancer that it would have happened before now. I got suspicious when the male doctor would get angry when I refused. What I might have wanted was if there was a female doctor available to do the test but this male doctor will not give up his incentive payment for my health. So now I know more and would like an HPV test just to see what is going on. I find out it is almost impossible for me to get one in my country without a Pap test and I would end up with my info in the goverment registry. Sorry just a simple anonymous HPV would do and then I could decide to go from there.

        If NHS has problems, well Canada is not much better.

        Some women might also want to try some non mutilating alternative therapies for dysplasia but the medical field just scoffs at them.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Exactly, and he fails to mention that Jade Goody should not have been pap tested in her teens, if she’d been symptomatic she should have been sent to a gyn for a full assessment. If you’re pap testing a teenager, 1 in 3 will produce an “abnormal” pap test, so it was the incompetence of the doctors who did the pap test and “treatment” that resulted in a young woman scared to go through the same procedure twice. She said they’d already removed the abnormal cells and didn’t think she could face it again.
        We need to come down hard on doctors who do the wrong thing and risk the health and welfare of teenagers and young women. (and older women, doing pap tests on women with no cervix is a good example (removed for benign reasons) or doing annual pap testing)
        I place the blame squarely at the feet of the medical profession and this program.
        The other lie: Jade Goody had a adenocarcinoma, usually missed by pap testing, yet they used her death to scare women into pap testing.
        If you lie to women you make it impossible for them to make an informed decision and IMO, the best decisions are informed decisions.

        I know what you mean, we’re in the middle of a review here, the Committee have called for submissions, but I imagine the bulk will be pushing to retain profitable excess. I doubt we’ll ever see evidence based testing here or self-testing. Most women are in the dark so it’s easy to deny them choice and smarter testing options.

        The Govt is wasting millions on this program, but I doubt they’d have the courage to fiddle with it too much, vested interests are already scare-mongering, “we shouldn’t wind back the program, it’s a huge success and we’d hate to see women die simply to save some money”…already busy manipulating and scaring women. The Govt knows women have been lied to from the beginning so they can hardly complain, they’ve gone along with the scare-mongering to achieve targets and ignored our legal rights. (and they know unethical measures have been taken to pressure women into screening)

        Now they want to make changes, they find they’ve backed themselves into a corner, oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. MOST women still believe the screening “story” so will be suspicious of any changes.

        The best we can do here is alert the individual and hope some are motivated to do some research. You have a better chance in the UK, you have some high profile and vocal advocates for evidence based screening and informed consent. They tell women whoppers here and no one says a word, they’re all “in on” the deception and some of our doctors also, seemed to have swallowed the “story” hook, line and sinker.

  174. Ro says:

    http://tv.greenmedinfo.com/fire-medical-doctor-peter-glidden/ I came across this video and it’s definitely a good one! There’s a lot of good information and sources on the greenmedinfo website. Also, I’m trying my best to be chemical free. What are some good natural alternatives to things like toothpaste and deoderant? Are there any good natural substitutes for hair sprays and hair heat protectors? What about sunscreens and lotions? I know that’s a lot of questions, but a lot of people seem to be informed about alternative products and cures for things, so any advice or answers are appreciated! Anyway, back to the main topic, the video is very informative. It’s a bit dramatic and perhaps cheesy at times, but it’s honest and informative which is what’s important.

    • Alex says:

      Baking soda works for a suprising number of things (including cancer treatment- I remember it being something to do with the body’s pH & it makes it an inhospitable environment for cancer). A soap & shampoo substitute as well as a deodorizor is one set of things. Using it for a toothpaste seems doable, but I’d be somewhat concerned about it scraping the outer layer (although that seems to actually be generated by the body, not just a shell like an M & M).

      A good book that I’m still reading is Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagal. It gets into a lot of things about nutrition, seeing as you run into a lot of physical degeneration from bad intake (whether that’s in terms of quality or amount).

      Rosemary Gladstar has a book on natural cosmetics, but I haven’t read it. She has other books, too (there was one on integrating herbals into your diet- Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide). She also has an online herbal course, but I don’t know what it covers.

      Arthur Haines & John R. Christopher might be a good authors to look up, as well. They both seem to cover the stuff that’s more infused into general living (as opposed to using something in response to a problem like when putting an herb on a wound).

      Ori Hofmeckler wrote a few good books & the Warrior Diet makes that point about how if you’re body has to process & filter all kinds of things from your diet, that’ll leave less for doing other things. He even said the quantum mechanics are a bit of a mystery, but if you’re always in a state of digestion things get diverted to that.

      • Ro says:

        Alex – Baking soda CAN be bad for enamel, but they use it in several different conventional toothpaste brands. So I don’t think it’s harmful, it would probably just need to be diluted a bit before using it.

        The book on natural cosmetics is a must for me. I’ve been slowly switching over to organic and all-natural makeup products (as my budget has allowed), but the book has a lot more information I’m sure. I’ll get ahold of as many books of hers as I can. I’ve seen you mention her work several times before, and from what you’ve said, her books are very informative.

        I will look into books by Haines and Christopher and Hofmeckler too. Speaking of using things and responses to a problem, are there any good books about homeopathic and naturopathic (is that the right word?) cures and remedies? I’ve done a bit of research online, but what I’ve found is that most websites are bias and are pushing their own work at ridiculous prices. So it’s a bit difficult to sift through what is real, valuable information and what has been published so someone can make a few extra bucks.

      • Alex says:

        Yeah, she’s good. I haven’t read the Arthur Haines book yet, but the Ori Hofmeckler one I can give you some description on right now: Basically, you save most of your food for the end of the day (maybe a light lunch & a big dinner). This allows the body to burn off fat reserves (whether that’s to lose weight or keep it from piling up) & this will give you energy. It also give the body a chance to filter things out, so you also have the benefits of that. This pattern also keeps your insulin from running all the time (which is not good & probably a cause of diabetes- the pancreas getting overworked). All this is with food that’s fresh & un-screwed-around-with. Keep the carbs light (something I was reading in that Cure Tooth Decay book is that phytic acid, which tends to be in grains, causes a lot of problems- including the blocking of various nutrients).

        A side-note on that type of subject: Wheat Belly is supposed to be good, but I haven’t read it.

        As for hollistic medicine & such: Rainforest Home Remedies is a good one. It gives a how-to on that Mayan massage for women (apparently, massage is good for a lot of things for anybody). I wonder why they say to boil the stuff in the recipes, since I’ve always heard that you destroy various nutrients that way (maybe it’s just vitamin C?). Either way, you can boil the water & pour it through the air to let it cool a little on the way down & just simmer whatever it is (just be careful it’s not so high that you splash yourself, of course).

        There’s a few jungle medicine books & some of those Chinese acupressure/martial arts books have things like that in there (Yang Jwing-Ming is a good author on that). I wouldn’t be suprised if there was some type of Ancient Greece herbal remedies book or some such floating around. I saw a book Western Herbs for Martial Artists that might be good for different things.

        Haven’t had the money for all of these & sometimes I swamp myself with information.

  175. Ro says:

    Sorry for double posting, but here’s another very informative video. tv.greenmedinfo.com/vaccines-medicine-attempted-murder/

  176. Moo says:

    My doctor argued to me that some statistics such as “over 56% of women diagnosed with cervical cancer never had or did not get regular Pap tests.” So I told him that the other 44% who got Pap tests still got cancer. I still do not think that just over 5% difference is really that much. Because Pap tests do not prevent cancer. He still argued that in early stages that cervical cancer can easily be treated. However I know about all the overtreatments for what is not cancer or even precancer. Happy to have found this site.

    For the women asking about more natural deodorant and toothpaste. There are many toothpastes available that do not contain fluoride, glycerin or SLS (detergent). Our bodies do not need fluoride (the lie is that the teeth need it but it causes more problems) and many pharmaceutical drugs are full of it. Try a health/herb store.

    Aluminum in antiperspirants could be a problem as our body does not need that either and it is harmful. Even those natural alum stones contain aluminum. You can make your own deodorant with baking soda, coconut oil etc. there are recipes on several websites. Another really good deodorant is baby diaper ointment containing 10-40% zinc oxide. Get a brand that doesn’t contain fish oil. Your body does use zinc. I use these and they work. You still sweat but no smell. It takes two weeks to adjust and detox your pits so you might have to wash more often until it is over.

    There are more natural sunscreens and products but most of them can be avoided. Google “eat your sunscreen”. Diet is more a factor and unless you are very fair skinned and burn easily you do not need sunscreen unless you are a life guard or work outside. I use sunscreen maybe one day per year (first day of the season that I will be outside in full sun). Wearing clothing and hats protect your skin.

    All these toxic chemicals in cosmetic and cleaning products tends to concentrate in the bladder, breasts, uterus, prostate. These is why they are being discussed here,

    There are alternative to shampoo and hair products. You can wash hair with soap, soapnuts, baking soda. Condition hair with oils, citric acid. Hair dyes do cause cancer but they are never removed from the market. Start googling recipes. The information is out there.

    When our body is fighting to remove toxins from our food and environment it has less energy to spend fighting disease and checking cancer cells. Mutations pop up in cells due to damage from uv and other radiation, chemical and fungal toxins and toxins from virus infection (HPV infected cells produce proteins that cause cell mutations), smoking and second hand smoke.

    Good nutrition and taking vitamins boost the immune system. There have been many studies showing that cervical dysplasia improved with folic acid supplements and other vitamin B and beta carotene. Seems strange you never hear that from any doctor though.

    • Ro says:

      Moo – Thank you so much for you advice! I think I’ll try the baking soda and coconut oil recipe. Baking soda is good for a multitude of things and always seems to work well. As far as sunscreen goes, I’m not overly concerned about skin cancer, but I have very fair skin and so if I get burned, I blister and my skin peels and it’s all-around a painful experience which I’d like to avoid LOL. That’s really the main reason I use sunscreen and why I want to find a better alternative. I’ve seen some supposed all-natural sunscreen in whole foods markets, but I don’t know if it is legitimately all-natural. I suppose the best thing to do would be to look up all of the ingredients individually.

      As for shampoo and conditioner, I’ve already been using all-natural products made with natural plant extracts and oils (and completely free of chemicals).

      Honestly my biggest concern at this point is starting a completely organic, whole-foods only diet. As a college student, I’m on a budget and I don’t have much to spare. I’ve been doing my absolute best to avoid processed foods, but on a budget, that’s very difficult. Do you have any advice as to where/how I could find affordable organic whole food products?

  177. Karen says:

    The Hiipster Franchise Vice makes “edgy” photos with gyn paraphernalia
    http://www.vice.com/read/iatronudia-0000255-v21n3?Contentpage=-1
    (DISCLAIMER: I do not read filthy rags all day, I have saved google searches)

  178. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    I think the secret to good health has been known for a long time now, I look at the way my ancestors lived. (the ones I remember anyway) They saw a doctor when they were symptomatic, pregnancy meant the local midwife and the bush hospital or baby born at home. There was little in the way of processed food. One of my Aunts, she died in her early 90s, I can’t recall her ever being ill, (aside from an occasional cold) she was always active, fiercely independent and outspoken.
    She had a baking day every week and made all sorts of delicious things, with a lot of the ingredients straight out of the garden, she made her own jams, pickles, bread, cakes, soap, cleaning products etc. She was a trailblazer and worked when married women didn’t work. I had another Aunt (they were sisters) who was similar, she lived into her 80s.

    Now horrifying (with a smirk) to think my aunts did not have pap tests, mammograms or anything else, neither would have given cervical cancer a single thought, just as we don’t dwell on rare cancers EXCEPT pretend-cervical-cancer, which fills the minds of many women – a cruel joke.
    There were people back then who lived unhealthy lives, more people smoked…I can’t recall obesity being a problem though, the very overweight were unusual, but certainly past generations had their issues, problems and stresses. (for example: PTSD and alcoholism were never really addressed, an issue for lots of men who returned from war, the attitude was, “be a man and get over it, you’re lucky you didn’t die over there”.)

    The medical profession mistreated women back then too, but that’s only if they could get their hands on you. My aunts rarely saw doctors, and it was even infrequent in old age. I still use some of the old remedies, the poultice is the best. My Aunts did not rush off to the doctor when they had a cold, they gave their body time to heal and helped it along the way.
    I do that too, and in almost every case the symptom disappears in a couple of weeks.

    When I compare their lifestyle to our situation…well, I’m left shaking my head. We lost the plot somewhere along the way. Now so many women live a half-life, a medically controlled life full of anxiety, pain, embarrassment etc….too awful for words.

    Moo, if you’re deficient in something, then vitamins are the answer, but if you have a balanced diet with no health issues, IMO, they’re a waste of money. I know people who take lots of supplements every day and all they get…coloured urine, it all goes straight through. In fact, over-using vitamins can cause health issues. They’ve finally tackled the promotion of multi-vitamins for healthy children, they’re unnecessary and can be harmful.
    I know older women who take Calcium and Vitamin D every day thinking it can’t hurt, but it can, too much calcium is not good for you. A relative developed kidney stones and it was put down to the overuse of calcium supplements, she thought it would make her bones even stronger.
    If possible, IMO, we’re better off getting what we need through a balanced diet.
    Potassium is very important so I include bananas in my diet.

    Vit D – everyone seems to be deficient and taking supplements, the Govt flagged a review recently when they noticed Medicare is spending a fortune on blood tests to check Vit D levels. (and it’s rising) I plan to do some research into the area, my levels (like everyone else) are low.
    The people who make the supplements are making a fortune, is our concern about Vit D just the result of clever marketing….AGAIN?

    • Moo says:

      Seems like your ancestor ate organic fruit and vegetables since she could grow her own in her garden. Sunscreen and avoiding the sun to “prevent skin cancer”, even more rare than Cervical cancer, is going to make people vitamin D deficient. I have to agree that calcium supplements are often just wrong. A women with cervical dysplasia needs either a good multivitamin or more leafy green vegetables and red/orange vegetables. Supplements are not bad however because no everyone can afford organic, grow a garden or cook from scratch.

      It really burns me the food bank gives people such bad food and on the verge of mold bread. These people lined up all have some disability and many have cancer. So help kill them.

      There was a study done that used green tea extract pills and vaginal cream. It worked for most women but it was small scale. However there is a cream for external warts that has components of green tea extract on the market. It is very very expense.

      My ideal is that naturopathic medicine be funded so I can see one rather than a MD. I would prefer to use herbs and other therapies rather than antibiotics and pharmaceuticals full of fluoride. Although they would likely be as pap happy as the rest.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Moo, It is expensive to eat well, most of the so-called superfoods are very expensive.
        The thing with “dysplasia”…leafy greens are a great idea for everyone, but most of these women are HPV- so their dysplasia is not going anywhere. I read so often someone has dysplasia, but at least they’re HPV-, honestly, talk about a snow job. Hopefully, we’ll move away from this absurd obsession with the cervix and get back to basics.
        Yes, it would have been organic food, the thing I miss, the beautiful aroma and taste of fresh fruit and vegetables.
        Now I find fruit and veg often has no or little aroma and not much flavour and things go off very quickly, usually because they’ve been in cold storage for weeks/months. I grow herbs, beans and tomatoes in my garden and plan to put in peppers and zucchini this year. Every time I pick something I’m taken back to my childhood, in my aunt’s garden picking peas, carrots and strawberries for dinner, wonderful.

  179. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    http://www.healthline.com/health-news/women-hpv-test-could-replace-annual-pap-test-031814

    This is an astonishing statement:
    ““I think in the short term, even if the FDA adopts the recommendation, most gynecologists will continue with contesting,” Patel said. “This allows us to see who is at risk by being high risk HPV positive, but also allows us to pick up dysplasia and treat those lesions so they do not progress to cervical cancer.””
    This is the dishonesty or incompetence women are fighting against, if you are HPV- you can’t benefit from pap testing and certainly don’t need your “dysplasia” treated. Dutch doctors must read this sort of rubbish and scratch their heads. It’s like we’ve rewritten the evidence to suit the medical business model.
    So these “people” will find a way of continuing to pap test all women and “treat” many HPV- women, making sure their “dysplasia” is taken care of. Madness.

    • adawells says:

      They might try to hold out with the pap testing but I think the more women find out about the HPV test and demand this, it could finally turn the tide. Once women become aware there is an alternative, and it is more accurate, and demand the HPV test instead of a smear test, the sheeple won’t be able to trot out that old argument that they like to be safe rather than sorry.

      In the US where health care is market driven, I can see women preferring to go to gyns who would offer the new test over the old. The pap test is so universally disliked and unacceptable to womankind, women must demand this and hold out until it is implemented. This has been the first development in cervical screening for 50 years and it has given women a bargaining tool in the matter.

    • Alex says:

      Love the way you said”people.” The observation that they rewrite evidence to suit the business model is absolutely accurate. I truly believe that malice & general pervyness plays a major role, as well- if nothing else, a few people at an organizational level being whatever way would color the actions of their subordinates (just like a dictator with an army- another area where things are medically imposed & generally judged to be innocent).

      They use specious reasoning- that what they say sounds true, but isn’t. The dots that they connect are false & they just keep saying the same things over & over (which, I guess is a part of the whole specious reasoning thing- that they keep asserting a point AS IF it’s an extant situation). I guess a lot of people have heard the same things for a long time & don’t figure that could’ve happened without it actually being true.

      A point that I don’t get how it’s near constantly overlooked is that these doctors impose this on women. It’s not her doing- THEY are orchestrating something. Then they say that someone IS consenting to something because of this or that (whatever they make up). They’re ARGUING that she’s consenting to something- which, if it were true, there wouldn’t be any argument! They are interjecting their own influences & then saying someone is free to make their own decisions. Coercion & deception are common methods of doing this, but attaching a rider to whatever else is going on or simple comportment (just steering the situation in whatever way) are also typical methods. These things are a little hard to put words to & that’s part of the point: it makes it harder to “lock-on.”