Discussion Forum (Unnecessary Pap Smears: Part Two)

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

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

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Hi. My name is Sue and I am interested in promoting holistic and respectful health care.
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3,269 Responses to Discussion Forum (Unnecessary Pap Smears: Part Two)

  1. Kleigh says:

    Ok so according to the CdC I should be up to date on all vacceines. Be having regular well woman exams be avoiding alchol because they say I might not know I’m pregnant even tho I’m not sexually active and they say all woman not trying to get pregnant should be put on birth control. Well I don’t believe in hormonal bc and don’t want to put those hormones on my body and some woman get horrible side effects from the pill. That is never mentioned only woman are expected to take bc. A lot of men I know expect woman to be on it too.

    • Alex says:

      Ever think it might partially be a mental stability issue with them? That it’s like having a “good bead on things.” Not knowing if she’s pregnant is something that gets them all twisted-up, but if she’s on the pill there’s an assurance of sorts that she’s not pregnant.

      They probably feel stupid & feeble by not knowing something- no way to look impressive by what they know if they don’t know something or at least have a plausible-sounding way to pretend they know something (they obviously won’t say that they know something based on inaccurate diagnostic measures).

      Seriously, the narcissistic personality traits get written-off as a reason for doing things when they shouldn’t be. Even with developments of things, why wouldn’t that be a factor? If someone’s nuts, wouldn’t it be entirely plausible that they come up with some bad science explained with specious reasoning? Wouldn’t this continue for years & become entrenched as something of a cultural tradition, especially if affirmations of accuracy were based on title instead of veracity? Someone being seen as right because of their seniority or rank is a potentially life-marring or life-ending habit.

      • Ali in NYC says:

        Hello Alex,

        “Ever think it might partially be a mental stability issue with them? That it’s like having a “good bead on things.” Not knowing if she’s pregnant is something that gets them all twisted-up, but if she’s on the pill there’s an assurance of sorts that she’s not pregnant.”

        To be blunt, I think the edict that all women of “childbearing age” treat ourselves as “pre-pregnant” (a decision originally enacted during the Bush II administration) is emblematic of the larger War on Women that’s been waging for decades in the U.S. The powers-that-be simply can’t stand the idea of women having autonomy or agency over our own bodies, and anyone who refuses The Pill while having intercourse might get pregnant and choose to have an abortion.

        Putting as many women on The Pill as possible lowers the total abortion rate, which satisfies Democrats and Republicans alike who are opposed to any procedure that places a sentient adult woman above an immature fetus that cannot live without said woman’s support. Likewise, demanding that women between menarche and menopause treat ourselves as “pre-pregnant” consistently — regardless of how inappropriate this may be, whether it’s because we don’t want kids, can’t have them safely, don’t have the type of sex that causes pregnancy, or all of the above! — trains Americans, especially women themselves, to view our gender as innately governed by our biology. And to view our biology as our destiny.

  2. linda says:

    Hi. They are deff monitoring us. I think its collecting info. A doc asked me about meno and when i answered he typed into his comp in front of me which i thought was rude. I told hubby that for all future apos he is coming with me. I wish i had thought of it years ago.

    • Diane Spero says:

      Thanks for sharing.
      i don’t have any one to go a Dr with me. In the US , I find office staff rude and uncaring.
      i do the best i can with my Dr anxiety, I will US medical system is to caught up in paper work and collecting $$$$. Its impossible to get anyone to listen.
      If you divert from the system, you are considered non compliant.
      I feel the system has turned people away from seeking medical help.

      • Ali in NYC says:

        Diane, you wrote:

        “In the US , I find office staff rude and uncaring.”
        “i do the best i can with my Dr anxiety”
        “Its impossible to get anyone to listen.”
        “If you divert from the system, you are considered non compliant.”
        “I feel the system has turned people away from seeking medical help.”

        And, I agree with ALL of these points. Yet so many smarmy know-it-alls tell me “I’m crazy” and deny my repeatedly negative and abusive experiences in the U.S. medical system. So I’m “crazy,” now, for telling it like it is, and what’s more, objecting to the idea of paying hard-earned money (sometimes, lots of it) for the non-privilege of putting myself in harm’s way and NOT getting my actual medical problems treated? WOW!

        Ever gotten similar nonsense from others? If so, how did you handle it? (Anyone can answer — please feel free.)

      • linda says:

        Hi Ali. I had no idea it was so bad in America. I always thought you were all sassy mouthed women who could take care of themselves. This out of control medical profession you have to put up with is terrible. Its deff profit driven. I think you all need to start avpuding all this healthcare and research herbs and spices that heal. Globally doctors kill more people than they save. The native american people know all about natural healing why don’t you consult their healers.

        And i had no idea about the situation with baby boys. I thought all that mutilation was a middle east and africa problem. It does hapoen here but tends to be in those communities that practice it. The general population frowns on it. Its not normal for boys to have this and parents generally treat their childrens privates with respect. No doctor looks at children unless their is a specific problem the parents have noticed. In general we leave peoples privates alone. Except that is of course when it comes to pap smears. That obeys a different rule. A free for all rule.

        I’ve been a bit low for the past few days as i have a lot of probs with my neighbour who slams doors and cupboards day and night – alzheimers! So i decided to sit out in the garden as its nice here today to get away from her. I’m in the process of moving bedrooms to try and minimise the effect in the night.

        I’m also beginning to pen a chapter on practice nurses for our joint book. I hope you are ok. I check here everyday to read comments.

        Are you feeling ok today?

      • Diane Spero says:

        yes i am okay. just trying healing from yrs of being denied medical help because of inability to have a pap test! The yrs of going to drs, paying money, and never finding out why sex hurt.
        i have been deined love. i can’t bond with women i feel so alone.
        my mom kept pushing me for yrs to have a pap test. She has no idea what i have suffered.
        bad drs, mean abortionist. self aborting in a hospital.
        have felt damaged for yrs, and never finding an answer is an unending pain!
        i would like someone to love me , but have little hope.
        i am sure there others who have suffered like i have, i hope this trauma to women will stop.
        i don’t have mammogrms either. I hate being examined!

      • Ali in NYC says:

        Hi Diane,

        “just trying healing from yrs of being denied medical help because of inability to have a pap test! The yrs of going to drs, paying money, and never finding out why sex hurt.
        i have been deined love. i can’t bond with women i feel so alone.”

        It’s sad to hear that you are struggling with medical help, painful sex, and bonding with potential friends and people who love you (in whatever way you seek). It can be difficult to find good help here, or even someone to confide in at times. I really feel for you here.

        “my mom kept pushing me for yrs to have a pap test. She has no idea what i have suffered. bad drs, mean abortionist. self aborting in a hospital. have felt damaged for yrs, and never finding an answer is an unending pain!”

        That’s a tough one. It does seem sometimes like the push to PAPs starts with mothers and other female relatives. I no longer speak to my mother. She brought me to my first PAP when I was 17 and about to graduate high school. It was terrible, painful, and could’ve killed me, since the doctor ignored my warnings about my suffering migraine with aura and put me on The Pill, which is contraindicated for such a condition. I feel damaged sometimes too — like everyone else can get the help they need but I can’t figure it out.

        I don’t want to complain or hijack your story here — just wanted to let you know that you’re not alone…

    • Ali in NYC says:

      Spouse and I will be going to each other’s medical appointments — all of them! — going forward. All women should avail themselves of the assistance that can be provided by a partner or friend, male or female, if possible. Two “NO you may NOT’s” speaks louder than one!

    • Ali in NYC says:

      Hello, Linda.

      “I had no idea it was so bad in America. I always thought you were all sassy mouthed women who could take care of themselves.”

      The media likes to sell this image of American bad-assed attitudes to the rest of the world. In truth, it is all a pose. Many of us in the U.S. are scared for our futures, and in addition to the healthcare woes, we battle economic insecurities that should not exist in a nation with such wealth. Half our population is low income, living around or below the poverty line, which is something like 10K for a single person or 25K for a family. The economy has boosted somewhat since the Great Recession of 2008-2011, but job creation lags behind the number of new people entering the job market, those changing careers after old ones went elsewhere or disappeared to technology, etc.

      Anyone who’s at least mid-career level is concerned that they’ll never be able to retire. Parents are anxious about their childrens’ futures, wondering if the current young generation will even be able to work for wages at all after graduating from school. It’s not a great time to be American, all in all. And the war that the Republican Party in the U.S. has waged on women’s bodies (with the Democrats doing their share to continue the fiction that we are inherently incapacitated, diseased, or in need of monitoring because of our reproductive organs) has only added to the aura of misery.

      This out of control medical profession you have to put up with is terrible. Its deff profit driven.

      You hit the head on the nail, as the saying goes. A for-profit model NEVER works when the issue on the table is human health (and lives!) — it merely distorts the “product” for sale and reduces what should be an essential right into a greedy grab for dollars.

      I’ve been a bit low for the past few days as i have a lot of probs with my neighbour who slams doors and cupboards day and night – alzheimers! So i decided to sit out in the garden as its nice here today to get away from her. I’m in the process of moving bedrooms to try and minimise the effect in the night.

      Agh, that’s the worst. I hear you. Our problem currently is noises made by college students moving into our family style neighborhood, as well as a VERY loud alterna-Christian church across the alley run by a man who seems intent on breaking as many tenets of the NYC noise code as he can.

      I’m feeling okay some days. Keeping busy helps. I hope you are well, too.

      • Emily says:

        HI Ali! just wanted to reach out to a fellow American poster on this site…and an east coaster too!😉 I’m a smart, proud, stubborn 26 year old Maine girl who has never been on any type of BC and never had a pap or pelvic exam…and they all call us crazy lol. Anyway thought it might be nice to touch base and let you know I’m here. And hello to everyone else! I still read comments nearly everyday and hope you are all doing well🙂

      • linda says:

        Hi Ali, Emily, Diane, Pen. I hope our American friends are all ok today. I am thinking about you all.
        The medical profession and governments and religions have robbed women of what sociologists refer to as their ‘essential selves’ women were once the holder of knowledge around healing,birth and even death and spiritual matters. We have an inate sense of whats right and wrong for our bodies, souls and even the care of others.
        You need to get back in touch with this part of your nature. The internet is amazing and i trawl it for answers to medical problems. I research natural healing cures something med proff scoff at. Yet you can not deny that despite being very poor indian people are healthier than us. They scoff at our doctors who in their opinion are poisoning us.
        Similarly with having smear tests forced on you when you were young. You knew it wasn’t right. We all know something isn’t right.
        We have got out of this abuse because we aren’t taken in by lies and misinformation like others. In some ways that makes us different in some way. As if we are special.
        Treasure your specialness.

      • Alex says:

        Emily: You told me before, but I forgot- Where in Maine did you suggest? I’m still thinking of taking off to the Czech Republic or Poland, but Maine also caught my eye (especially since they relaxed the gun laws recently). Plus, no accepting of “refugees” (unlike Vermont, for whatever reason- and New York, because they’re assholes).

        I really don’t like the direction the country has been taking, so Europe or somewhere else outside of America is a major idea. That said, Maine seems to have good points & it’s got being way-the-hell out there going for it, too.

  3. linda says:

    Thanks Ada will get this as well.

    • Kleigh says:

      Emily, I’m glad to hear I’m not the only young US woman hear who has not been having Pap smears. If u don’t mind me asking , have you ever been hassled by a medical person for not having them? I know I have told my story about the angry nurse when I was 24. Just wondering if u had and what was there responce? I’m from the south east by the way.

  4. Alex says:

    I know this isn’t exactly on-topic, but I was just reading on Free Thought Project that parents are getting threatened with arrest for walking their kids home from school (I think this is in Magnolia, Texas).

    I mention it because I figure it ties-in on a couple of levels, since all the kind of stuff that we discuss on here are things that frequently get imposed on people when locked-up (in adult facilities or juvie)- along with various security & hygiene measures of theirs. Point of fact, I was also reading on the same site about this woman that was strapped to a table & medically raped numerous times in Pennsylvania (Kimberlee Carbone). Not too sure I’d trust those kinds of people around kids. Just seems to be a bad idea.

    Also, one has to worry about what’s directed at your kids if you’re deemed by others to be an unfit parent or whatever suspicions they supposedly have (ex: I remember that her parents bringing my cousin to the hospital for stitches when she fell & cut her face resulted in them making her take her clothes off- supposedly to see if she had marks from getting hit at home).

    On top of that, I have to wonder how people like this are going to act. Maybe they go after these kids & act like it’s innocent? Maybe they outright kidnap them? Maybe they molest these kids by themselves or by proxy (like in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania a while back)? I’m remembering all kinds of times where kids got arrested for nonsense, even at five years old for splashing in a puddle. Sometimes they outright murder someone on camera, hands in the air or cuffed behind their back, and this is someone to call for help?

    Don’t people realize that they might just flip out at random & now happen to be where they are? Or simply because that person is prompting them to do something? Maybe they try to bolster their ego by acting like someone else isn’t good enough? With them, that would likely mean an attack instead of a general attitude. Of course, if it WERE just an attitude, what reaction or lack of reaction is going to set them off? Probably anything, right? Since, as far as they’re concerned, nothing’s going to “control” them- they’re not even going to be “bullied by circumstance.”

  5. Tracey says:

    Hi sorry for posting here but don’t know where else I can put this. I have posted before but my last comment has had no reply.

    I’m very anxious today and have been googling madly for the last 4 hours. My last smear was in 2007 and came back normal. I’m so so worried that I could have cc because I’ve left it so long since my last smear.

    Please can I ask if all the women on this site consider themselves low risk? Is that why you don’t have smears? I have been reading through this site but I still feel like I don’t have enough information to make the right choice.

    Can anyone help to put things in perspective for me please?

    I’m 49 and have had about 4 years in total, I have 5 children, don’t smoke, have had about 6 partners, 4 of which have been long term relationships. Been with my current dp for 15 years. I started being sexually active at about 16/17 years old. Given all the knowledge that you have do you think I’m considered high risk? I’m peri menopausal and worry that because of that my smear would come back abnormal because of this. I suffer from health anxiety and waiting for results would probably push me over the edge 😢😢

    • bethkz says:

      Tracey,
      No, you are not “high risk”. There only about 10,000 cases in the us in 2013 – the most recent year I could find data for. With about 160 million women in the US, that makes it less than 1 in 10,000 that any woman would have CC. This is a very rare disease, but one that has been pushed to the forefront of everyone’s minds – to the detriment of actually taking care of our health.

      There are a LOT of false-positives with paps. Those lead to further, more invasive testing. Usually nothing is found, but every survivor of one of these “cancer scares” considers herself a survivor of cancer! That’s where the stories of “If I (my auntie, my grandma…) hadn’t had one JUST AT THAT TIME WE WOULD HAVE DIED!”

      I haven’t had a pap test since 1998. I don’t intend to have any more!

      BTW, the pelvic exam itself is of low clinical value.

      If you don’t have symptoms of some type, don’t get one. If you’ve got symptoms of a vaginal infection, there are plenty of over the counter as well as natural remedies that work very well.

      • katrehman says:

        Tracey I agree with beth. Even cancer research site says you have 0.65%chance of getting cervical cancer. That’s less than 1%. You have more chance of being in a road accident.. Do you worry about that?
        I know you have health anxiety and it must be awful, this is another reason why the way pressure to screen for the disease is so wrong!
        You are right being menopausal could indeed throw up a false result and I think it’s harder to get a viable sample from a menopausal cervix.
        Please please try and put aside your anxiety and enjoy your life, partner and children. I had my last smear when my daughter was 5, she’s nearly 20 now!

    • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

      Hi Tracey – to echo other posters, no you are not high risk.

      The smear is actually not an effective method of detecting cervical cancer anyway.
      It actually detects “changes” (which the medical community term “abnormalities”).
      But use of the word “abnormalities” is actually a very unethical and misleading ploy because in the vast majority of instances, these “abnormalities” detected on a smear will turn out to be innocent.

      Even on a CIN III diagnosis (the most “serious” cell grade changes I believe), 88% of such diagnoses will not turn into cancer. Having said that, because doctors mislead women, they will refer 100% of these women to colposcopy units to undergo laser treatment, that could result in infertility, pre-term deliveries, miscarriages, still births and endless menstrual problems – because smears cannot distinguish innocent, harmless changes from the harmful ones. This is the reality.

      Of course, it is up to you if you want to have a smear. We never advise or instruct women to do anything other than what is right for them, but we do advise women to research the evidence, look at their own individual risks and make an informed decision for themselves.

      I would also like to add that cervical screening is unreluable for detecting adenocarcinomas (this is a very rare form of cervical cancer, thought to be highly aggressive which makes up to 1 – 30% of all cervical cancers), therefore this test has only a (small) chance of detecting changes caused by the most common form of cervical cancer – squamous cell carcinoma.

      Adenocarcinoma is often found in younger women (below 30) and may also be prevalent in those stories you hear of women who had regular smears, yet still went on to develop cervical cancer.

      If you’d like to mitigate your chances, I would recommend an alternative to a smear. You could try googling the Delphi Screener – this is a DIY swab self-test for HPV (usually, the precursor to most squamous cell carcinomas). There is a fee of around £99 for this test.

      Many women over 30 purchase this online and use it to self-screen for HPV (before age 30, most women’s bodies will clear HPV strains on their own).
      If the test redult is HOV positive, only then will some women decide to have a smear. If the result is HPV Negative, you can forget all about cervical cancer (and screening for that matter) and get on with your life.
      You may also choose to repeat this test every 5 years or so, depending on your circumstances.

      Should you decide to forego smears, be firm and calm with your medical providers. I would advise giving them minimal information to avoud getting into a long debate with them and do not feel you need to justify or explain your decision to them.
      Remember, this is your body and you have EVERY right to decide what happens to it.

    • adawells says:

      I have just sent a post with links and it hasn’t appeared at all, so I’ve just sent the above post as a test. Perhaps I can’t send links via my laptop?

  6. Tracey says:

    Thank you for your kind replies.

    I really want to stop worrying about this and to start enjoying life more. My health anxiety is normally under control as I have had treatment to help me deal with it but the thought of cc always sets my anxiety off again.

    I don’t have any symptoms as far as I know but I am quite sure that I have a posterior wall prolapse. I don’t want to go to the Dr about it because I’m worried that when they examine me they might do a smear test.

    I have thought about the hpv test but then I’d have to deal with the possibility of it being positive. Can you tell me if you have been hpv+ does the virus lie dormant in your body then reactivate in later years?

    • Moo says:

      HPV cannot reactivate. This is a theory and never proven. There are over 100 HPV strains and to prove the latency/reactivation theory they who have to test and type the HPV strains of many people over decades to prove that HPV could reactivate. Even if reactivation could happen, almost all HPV infections do not develop into cancer. If anyone have found a published study that states over-wise please give it here.

      When a woman gets an abnormal pap test they might be told to watch and wait or get a colposcopy. If they get a normal pap test and a positive HPV test (for type 16 or 18 or just at all, depends on the brand) and they are over the magic age of 35, they will be told to get a Colposcopy. So if you really want a Colposcopy then pay for the HPV test along with your pap test. I know a woman who got a LEEP because she was lied to. They told her she had type 16 and “it would develop into cancer within 6 months” and her pap was only CIN I. She had a baby a few months before. The probably that she would get cancer was very low.

      If you want an HPV test, try to get one that you can do privately without a doctor. Some countries like Canada this is almost impossible and every pap or HPV test result ends up in a government registry. One bad pap test or HPV test result means a life time of pestering by every doctor for most tests and even hysterectomy.

      I am not sure what you can do about rear wall prolapse. Probably diet and exercise might help that. For bladder prolapse there are exercises and there is a new tampon product http://www.poise.com/products/impressa/faq/what-makes-poise-impressa-different-from-other-bladder-supports. Can someone check if it can be bought without a doctors prescription?

      • bethkz says:

        If viruses, such as HPV could reactivate after years of being dormant, that would throw the whole notion of vaccines out the window. Vaccines and inoculations are proven science for well over 100 years, and it’s been known for much longer that exposure to a virus will give you immunity to the disease it causes. If a virus could just magically “reactivate”, there would be millions of people coming down with everything from measles to the flu to polio as a result of having been exposed to those viruses years ago.

        You fight them off. If you do it efficiently and right away when you’re first exposed, you don’t get sick. If it takes longer, you get the associated disease. If you live through the disease, you don’t get it again and again.

        The notion of a virus “reactivating” is long debunked for other viruses, but the damage they cause can cause problems later on. Such was the case for mistaking post-polio syndrome for a return of the polio. We can only surmise why it is that this same long-debunked theory is being re-used for HPV.

      • Anonymous says:

        for rear wall prolapse i wonder if “hyperpressive therapy” might help? i am following this thread with much interest! i live in canada i am 50 yrs old and have had to find a new Dr and for the first time it will be a male and i fully intend to refuse the pap test. i am so anxious and stressed about my first appointment i am losing valuable sleep over it. i am also a personal trainer with a keen interest in therapy post-delivery because i instruct to so many new moms,there are physiotherapists that do wonderful work on pelvic floor for issues such as prolapsed uterus, urinary incontinence to name a few. goodluck to you Tracey! be strong with your words and do some research about your prolapse!

    • bethkz says:

      Tracy, you’ve just touched on a major problem with all of these oversold tests – women spend their lives with worry and anxiety over something that is extremely unlikely to happen. For instance, you have approximately 3 times the chance of having cervical cancer as you do being hit by a meteorite! You don’t spend your life worrying and fretting about that, do you?

      Symptoms as far as you know? If you had symptoms, they would by their definition be uncomfortable and worrisome, and you wouldn’t be asking us whether you need a doctor.

      As Moo said, the “dormancy theory” of HPV has no evidence to back it up. What has more evidence though is that there are various things in the examining room – instruments, gloves, lube, etc which HAVE BEEN SHOWN to have HPV on them! IMnsHO, the reason for giving women the “dormancy theory” is to cover up how she might have gotten HPV and taken themselves out of suspicion, when she won’t believe that she might have gotten it because her husband might have had an affair. That is the medical profession putting suspicion and distrust in between marriage partners which is unwarranted and doesn’t belong there.

      • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

        I would add that the HPV reactivation theory is a ploy sold to women by doctors to get women to consent to screening.

        As Beth said, if it is possible, why are they bothering with the vaccine???

        Re. Your doctor pestering you. This is my advice to you or anyone else in the same position.

        I would advise telling your doctor this:

        “I have made an informed decision to decline screening”.
        “I do/ will NOT consent to this procedure.
        You are required to accept my decision by law”.

        If they still go on, you could threaten to take the matter further. If you can, don’t engage in a long conversation with them (they will use the opportunity to try to manipulate you into screening). Just tell them you have made your decision.

        It is hard but it is worth remembering that however much pressure they apply, your consent is required by law. If they undertake a procedure against your will, they break the law – but make it explicit to them that you do not consent.

        Might it be worth taking someone with you to the appointment if you find it too daunting to challenge them?

    • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

      Tracey – I just want to add a further suggestion.

      If you are too nervous to challenge them and have no one to take with you to the appointment, you could always write down a short statement saying that you will NOT consent to cervical screening and you have made an informed decision not to screen.

      Sign and date the statement and keep a copy for yourself. Hand it to your GP. I often find I get tongue tied if I’m nervous about something and forget what I want to say, writing things down really helps me. Also, it provides you with some audit trail that you have told them that you refuse to screen.

  7. Evie says:

    I decided to google what a male equivalent of gynecology would be and one of the results that came up was a yahoo answers page where someone asked the same question. All the answers are pretty much the same (that there’s no male equivalent to gynecology and that men just go to other doctors when they need something checked in that area). But one answer that really enraged me was this: “Men don’t generally need a ‘genital check up’ the way women do.” I’m literally throwing flames onto my computer screen right now. Ugh… that is just so… I have no words for it. Yes, of course, women are dirty disease ridden whores and all men are saints who never get any problems down there and if they do it’s because their girlfriend skipped that gyno visit, right? I really need to block google on my computer or I’ll drive myself insane with these idiots.

    • linda says:

      Hi can anyone help.

      I want quotes like ‘we hunt them down like terriers’ and comments like that. I’ve accessed one nurse forum and found another i can use. But do any of you know any others. I would like a few more for my section of the book.

      • Mint says:

        “Round ’em up like outlaws”.

      • adawells says:

        A good place to check might be on Mumsnet. There used to be a number of lively threads and some heated debates about saying no to smear tests and I remember some posters saying they were practice nurses, although not all were bad.

    • Kleigh says:

      I toally agree with you. a angry nurse once told me a few years ago that it was “not good, that i had not been having pap smears because womans bodies are so complex. we may be more complex but that doesnt mean we are flawed and are bodies cant fuction with out being examend. it makes no logical since to me. i just see past it as a culterual thing that alot of countrys have that woman need exams. it erks me they go looking for things wrong with the female bodie. i have two male family members that have a had infections and growths in there genitals. no one pushes men to get cheeked to see if there body is abnormal.

      • linda says:

        Thanks for them. I’ll put them in as qoutes.
        My friend said she heard ‘grab em and bag em.’

      • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

        What a stupid thing to say. This attitude really irks me and plays a lot on my mind.
        Complex? If we are so complex and need paps to function, why is cervical cancer, ovarian and uterine cancer so rare then??

        On male check-ups, in the UK, there is the odd campaign every now and again, telling men to be aware of prostate and testicular cancer.
        There is some campaigns also in some UK press outlets telling men and women that it is important to get checked for STIs before commencing new relationships.

        I don’t really have a problem with these messages if I’m honest as it is still voluntary but I hate the “all women must have annual gyno checks” message. It’s clear this is a patriarchal thing, designed to benefit men and it appears particularly virulent in the States. Thank goodness, you don’t “need” to see a gyno here in the UK – unless there is something genuinely wrong.

      • bethkz says:

        AQ: I would point out that neither paps nor bimanual pelvic examinations detect ovarian cancer – unless the woman is very thin and her ovarian cancer is quite advanced, by which time it has almost certainly spread to other organs. Nor are they effective at finding uterine cancer unless it is quite advanced. Pap tests only get some of the rare cervical cancers.

      • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

        Beth – Yes, I agree. All the evidence points out that pelvic exams are of “no clinical value”. I would go as far as to say the same about paps – they don’t detect cervical cancer (and skip the odd one), they just detect “changes” – around 90% of the time would have done no harm.

    • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

      Are you in the US by any chance? I’ve read that the make equivalent is andrology? (Or something to that effect).

      I’m not surprised that has been said in the US. It seems like a very aggressive, militant attitude. Is Canada different? I’ve spoken to men and women online about this. A gentleman from Edmonton told me he has been regularly screened since 35 for prostate cancer using the DRE. I was shocked when he said this. Another woman said both her and her husband have annual full body checks using paps, breast exams and DREs.
      It appears Canada is very pro-screening but is the morivation behind it over there somewhat different to the States? It seems to me that if this is true, the US system is all about monitoring women not just for their own “good” but also for their partners’ health (how insulting and degrading is this concept?!) but in Canada, if both genders are more likely to be scrutinised, then is it down to some musguided liberalism and naivety and lack of awareness about the limitations for screening?
      I’ve read that well-male exams are also more commonly offered in the North Eastern and Western liberal US states?

      That being said, I hate America’s attitude to women’s “well-woman” exams. Need exams? Women might need adequate care during pregnancy but apart from that, women don’t “need” any special care relating to their condition as a female otherwise how has the human race managed to survive and evolve! Sone of these attitudes put me off some countries I am afraid to say.

      • Kleigh says:

        I have herd a lot of health care people say woman need these exams bc it could effect futuer pregnancy a by detecting dessert early. We have a new thing hear being pushed to treat all woman of child baring age as pre pregnant. To prepare the bodies for any ppsible pregnacy. It’s beyond me.

      • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

        Kleigh – Yes I’ve heard about the “pre-pregnant” thing. Advising women on how to take precautions and avoid getting pregnant is fine, but this is being manipulated to control women and have them treated as nothing more than incubators.
        I thought this was a misogynistic Republican thing brought in by George W. Bush? I haven’t heard of it since then (apart from in the Southern States)? Are the Democrats also pushing this under Obama? Didn’t have it done as being their thing?

      • I’d say asymptomatic women are more likely to be happy and healthy without medical meddling. So often you hear of women put through hell for nothing, like my sister, abnormal pap test, panic, abnormal colposcopy, panic, cone biopsy…perfectly normal.
        New brand of condoms must have caused some irritation/inflammation. Screening resulted in an unnecessary cone biopsy and a damaged cervix. (and a lot of stress)
        So often when women are talking about their health issues it comes back to medical meddling.
        I’m a firm believer…if you’re well, you don’t need doctors poking around looking for abnormal anything, after a certain age they’re bound to find something, something not worth knowing about….
        That’s why I’m incredibly cautious with all cancer screening, these interventions can harm you, might even take your life.

      • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

        I read an interesting article on the BBC website this morning on prostates and prostate cancer.
        A charity spokesman said a recent study revealed “shocking” statistics stating that many men are not aware of what a prostate gland is, that they have one and are blind when it comes to prostate cancer. The article labelled men as “dangerously ignorant”. I thought it was interesting and in some way refreshing (because let’s face it, men are rarely labelled “ignorant” in any context. That label is usually labelled for us women, hence why we “need” “protecting”, “looking after” and “special care” – sarcasm noted).

        Not surprisingly, this article was not published in the Daily Mail (misogynistic right wing rag that LOVES gender stereotypes). Or it certainly wasn’t when I looked this morning and this evening.

      • bethkz says:

        In the US, for the past several years they have been pushing “prostate cancer awareness” and encouraging men to “get tested”. They were (and are) doing the DRE (with little evidence), and the PSA (which also is not showing itself to be very effective).

        I have seen my husband very much pushed into having these tests. We accompany each other to all medical appointments. His recent caregiver hasn’t pushed them so much as to just make them available. With the ones who push, it had the same effect that it has on me getting care at a doctor – the sales push for those tests was done in lieu of the problem for which he was seeing the doctor. Then, having actual care put off.

      • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

        Article here (has not been published in many other newspapers – wonder why!!!):

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-36105272

      • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

        And this – http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/prostate-cancer-awareness-most-people-have-no-idea-what-the-gland-does-many-don-t-know-they-have-one-a6995931.html

        The Independent (unaffiliated to any party or social ideology) and the BBC (traditionally very left leaning, but good when it comes to reporting health news in an impartial and informative manner) were the only two British newspapers to report this

    • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

      Also wanted to add – gynaecology is a multi-billion dollar industry. Men are traditionally portrayed as being more miserly (or wiser!) when it comes to money, plus they avoid going to doctors unless it’s absolutely necessary so no wonder there is no male equivalent!

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Women’s healthcare, the way it’s approached here and in many other countries, is mostly about business opportunities, making a fortune from testing and unnecessary treatments. Who would ever imagine a rare cancer could make so much money for vested interests, that MOST women would lose some of their cervix in this so-called successful screening program, not to mention lost breasts, uterus and ovaries from other interventions.
        Well woman exams are about profit, they’re very bad for your health and well being.

  8. Kleigh says:

    I’m in the US and I agree gynocolgy is big bussnes esp in places where well woman exams are pushed. I really think at lest hear in the US it is a cultural thing most US woman think it’s terible not bee having exams at a gyno yearly.

  9. katrehman says:

    Ooh!! Wonder if this is the start of mens screening? Being “invited ” to prostate screening, being phoned to chase it up, thrown off list for being non compliant! A girl can dream..

    • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

      Interestingly enough, whenever there is an article about womens screening, you’ll see plenty of men asking about screening for prostate cancer, decrying all the pink propaganda and asking whether the government cares more about women (oh, if only they knew the half of it!!).

      The irony is that many men (given the huge prevalence of prostate cancer) are actually crying out for more screening (probably wouldn’t if they understood the reality).

      Now, I wouldn’t recommend screening (given what we know about it) but I agree with many men that male specific-cancers certainly deserve more focus and awareness.

      Seems we are not the only ones fed up with the pink propaganda machine.

  10. Alex says:

    PLEASE READ – USEFUL INFORMATION

    Hello all. Just found something REAL interesting that I think you’ll all like: the site is RationalWiki & I guess the general topic would be syllogism. I happened upon it (was lookng up what “Ad Hoc Reasoning” means) & it’s a little hard to explain, but it’s something along the lines of psychology/argumentative tactics/general mind games. A good example is (on the List of Cognitive Biases) is “deformation professionnelle”- the tendency to look at things according to the conventions of one’s own profession, forgetting any broader point of view. Sound familiar?

    There’s A LOT of stuff like that. There’s so much in “Decision-making and behavioral biases” & it’s just a list of about 40 things with usually one sentence that describes things pretty clearly. It seems much more complicated when you first see the term than the definition actually is. This isn’t even getting into “straw man arguments” (like how Person X makes Argument A1, then Person Y misrepresents Argument A1 as Argument A2, then person Y refutes Argument A2, then Person Y claims that Argument A1 has been refuted)., and other stuff. I’d suggest clicking around on the various blue words (whatever that’s called).

    I do have to say, however, there can be a little bit of a smugness at certain points (particularly in defense of evolution & a seeming issue against homeopathy). Still, the tricks are quite common tactics & sometimes getting what’s at work helps in the countering of it. Might be useful for giving someone a taste of their own medicine & then discrediting the tactics they were just using (ex: They try one of these tricks, you point out what it is & then use one yourself- then they point out that it’s bullshit & hang themselves, since it’s now a case of “Oh, so bullshit is LESS than accurate & trustable?”).

    • Alex says:

      This one’s basically a bulletin: “Court Rules Non-Consensual Oral Sex Is Not Rape If Victim Is Unconscious From Drinking.” This 17-year-old girl in Oklahoma was orally raped (in the sense of area of penetration, not area employed in attack) when she passed out from drinking by a 16-year-old girl & the court said: “Forcible sodomy cannot occur where the victim is so intoxicated as to be completely unconscious at the time of the sexual act of oral copulation.” This seems to be in direct contradiction to what the law (not that it matters) says.

      At the end of the day, this was something penetrative that took place as a product of someone else’s decision-making & the law enforcement community (or at least influential parts of it) said “Despite that being what happened, this is not what occurred.” In addition to saying that there was an “act of oral copulation” when there was someone unconscious not doing this “act.”

      Also, it seems they started doing exams for sexual assault when she was unconscious- it seems that she was only in the hospital because of how drunk she was, so I don’t know if that’s a typical thing that they do (like it’s tacked-on when someone is brought in for possible alcohol poisoning). It DOES seem that they get very one-sided when it comes to doing internal exams on people, in general- so it might be the case with this. Definitely, when someone is drunk or high, there’s the potential for them to take liberties & rely on that person’s testimony not being trusted.

      Minors also seen as “open game,” as far as deciding what goes where- that can be a factor (there was even a Law & Order SVU episode with that: the one where the teenage girl got raped & didn’t want any penetration imposed on her & her father supported that, but the woman cop (Benson) fought against this & made up some official-sounding term to make it sound like the laws were on her side with getting this to happen. VERY surprised her partner didn’t point out that she was lying, but I guess that is congruent with reality most of the time.

  11. adawells says:

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1600448
    Colorectal Cancer on the Decline — Why Screening Can’t Explain It All

    “Nevertheless, we believe it’s important for clinicians to have some humility regarding the effect of screening on disease trends. Although it’s tempting to take credit for good news, doing so may exaggerate the perceived benefits of screening the general population and distract from the more important activities of promoting health — for example, by encouraging a healthful diet and exercise — and caring for the sick. Furthermore, overstating the benefits of colorectal-cancer screening may divert attention from colonoscopy’s downstream effects and potential harms. The majority of people undergoing screening are neither identified as having cancer nor protected from its developing, but they often endure repeated colonoscopy for surveillance of small polyps. Certainly, aggressive efforts to screen and perform follow-up colonoscopy in persons who are most likely too old or infirm to benefit has real potential to cause harm. In questioning the argument that screening is the dominant explanation for decreasing colorectal-cancer incidence and mortality, the example of gastric cancer may be salient: since 1930, without any screening effort, gastric-cancer incidence and mortality have decreased by almost 90%.”

  12. adawells says:

    I found this website which records cancer data for all of the European countries if anyone is interested.
    http://eco.iarc.fr/EUCAN/CancerOne.aspx?Cancer=25&Gender=2

    • Alex says:

      Seems like they say it’s more common in Eastern Europe by five or six people.

    • Moo says:

      The cancer and mortality rates are age standardized. The richer countries with better medical care overall have lower rates of cancer. The poorer countries have higher rates but even then I doubt this. Were all these women in poorer countries actually given proper diagnoses and autopsies when they died to determine the cause of death to be from cancer? I suggest not. These figures are often extrapolated and exaggerated. Further more getting a cancer diagnosis and treatment does not often cure or even prolong a person’s life. Many people died from the cancer treatments. Often times people can live longer and more comfortably without cancer treatment. I would like to read more about that.

  13. Mint says:

    Before I throw this in the junk mail bin, I thought I would share with you all that I’ve just received my 6th summons in 8 years to attend a mobile breast screening unit at my local Tesco car park. The “appointment” is at 3:20pm next Thursday. Most women I know will be at work at that time of day. The summons tells me that it’s my choice whether or not to have breast screening. (Wow- thanks!) It also states that the unit will only have female staff. What it doesn’t tell you that if you are unfortunate enough to have a recall, my local hospital only has male doctors working in the breast clinic.

    Thanks but no thanks.

    • katrehman says:

      I think you hit the nail on the head about working women. I work in a school, and as far as poss we have to book medical and routine stuff for holidays. For a routine smear or mammogram we would be expected to try to change the date and time but would get unpaid leave. I know from women there who do screen that it’s nigh on impossible to change the appointment as they’re booked weeks ahead. Also, for the part timers, you might think oh the tests at 10. Plenty of time, I start at 12, but they usually over run.
      I’m watching what our UK government is doing in horror. Work cures all, work improves health, work cures terminal cancer probably according to them! Makes you wonder why we “need” smears and mammos.. Or won’t work help here?? Oh no bcoz we can’t get sick now either!!

  14. katrehman says:

    6 in 8 years!! Lucky you (not?!)

    • Mint says:

      I think that I keep getting the “invitations” because I refuse to accept them. 😉

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        I contacted BreastScreen when I turned 50 and asked to be removed from the register, I would not be screening and did not want to receive any “invitations”.
        I also told my GP that I’d declined to have breast screening and a note was made on my file. She wasn’t surprised, I’ve never had a pap test and have decided not to have a colonoscopy. (ALL informed decisions, not many screened women can say that…)

        She doesn’t do routine breast exams, they’re not recommended and she’s up with the recommendations. I suspect it’s mainly younger women who still face that “requirement” or it’s presented as being a good idea/being thorough, sometimes they want to show (young) women how to check their own breasts. (curious when breast self-exams have not been recommended for many years) I don’t think many older women face the same enthusiasm from doctors to do routine breast exams.
        I know two young women in the office had to fight off enthusiastic older male doctors (they now see female doctors and breast exams are never mentioned)

        GPs ARE in a difficult position, they KNOW most women don’t have balanced information on screening, but the test is recommended and if they put women off screening, they stand alone if something goes wrong. If they hand out the breast screening brochure, they KNOW it’s not balanced information, but handing out the NCI summary means they’re, once again, striking out on their own.
        It’s much easier if the woman is informed and makes up her own mind.

        If the GP states the screening is recommended, there’s unlikely to be legal action for over-diagnosis, and if something does come up/go wrong, the program takes the heat, the GP was just following recommendations.

        I know my GP doesn’t promote screening and certainly doesn’t pressure women.
        A friend sees her now and she simply said, “they recommend breast screening 2 yearly from 50, some of my patients have breast screening, some don’t, it’s your decision”…
        I know she’s also referred patients to the NCI summary as well as the Breast Screen site.
        I understand she’s caught between a rock and a hard place. Some women ask her what she recommends and I know she avoids that Q.
        I can understand why GPs don’t dissuade women from screening and take the safer path, but there is NO excuse for GPs who pressure women or the medical associations and Breast Screen – they have a duty of care, remember something called informed consent. It’s disgraceful that women here still get celebrity endorsement (completely inappropriate) and a one-sided presentation of screening.
        Heads should roll….it’s culpable at this stage (IMO)

      • katrehman says:

        It’s odd, we’re more likely to get breast cancer than cervical, but I refused my mammogram last year and phoned to cancel (kicking myself after because I never asked for it in the first place)! And I’ve never heard anything else. Mind you I’ve not seen the doctor since last August when smear was discussed longer than my severe anaemia was! No repeated invitations, no phone call, nothing! Guess it’s like Linda said, you can literally rot away as long as your all important cervix is healthy!!
        I wrote before easter to the breast unit saying I wanted to opt out and not receive any more invitations. Not had a. Reply. Next invitation I get I won’t cancel because I said I didn’t want any more. We’ll see what happens to me!!

  15. linda says:

    Hi Kat and all. Hope you are ok. I’m going to start the second of my articles today. I got a bit sidetracked over the last few days. This article will be about the use of language in CC screening.

    You should know that ‘they’ are covering the sun every morning by having jets fly over puffing out some kind of smoke to combat global warming. So no more blue skies for a while. Its all over the internet what they are doing. It accounts for the fact there is a white mist hanging over us all. I kid you not just google ‘geoenginnering over uk’ and then start looking up early morning to see it actyally being done ! Apparently everyone in america is up in arms over it.
    Alex – what do you know?

    • katrehman says:

      Linda talking about the book, do you think the checking elves will approve the cover pix of the aggressive looking speculum? I ask because I’ve found a few references to it through out history and touch on this?? Hope you’re okay x

  16. linda says:

    Yes it will be fine. The rules in their words are – no nudity, wobbly bits, butt cracks or anything that dangles!

  17. adawells says:

    http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2015-16/1403

    Despite all the medical evidence that 1 in 3 women under the age of 25 will have an abnormal smear test, and will be put through the treatment mill, these British politians are campaigning to make sure that the starting age for smear tests is lowered to 18. If any of them are your MPs please contact them and tell them to stop harming women. Note nearly all are men.

  18. katrehman says:

    Ada while strictly speaking kelvin Hopkins is not my mp, I’m in gavin shukers ward, I know kelvin and have worked with him before on various political / union stuff and have a good friendship with him so I’ll e mail him in a private capacity!

    • adawells says:

      Hi Kat, it’s good that you have some political contacts. I don’t know how I missed this one, as I had set myself up with an alert from the parliament.uk website that I was to get an alert if ever cervical screening was mentioned. Somehow it didn’t work.
      I think that targeting politicians is the way forward. They are eager to be seen to be doing something for women, and seem to believe that all women are desperate for smear tests, so see this as a means to get the young female vote. I don’t think any of them realise that so many women are against smears and I think it is important to let them know how we feel. Knowing that they don’t have universal support for these misinformed campaigns would be a vital step in getting cervical screening off the political agenda.
      I was furious to see that a Liberal Democrat from Cheltenham, Mel Gladwin, was suggesting on twitter that the age should be reduced to 16, and that mobile units could be deployed to 6th forms around the country to ensure that every girl was given a smear test at school. It is appalling that such misinformed fruit-cakes like this are on the loose in the environment to terrify school girls that this could be a reality. I’d be phoning the police if I saw any such van outside a school, even though my daughter is no longer at school! It just shows the depth of some people’s misunderstanding. I have contacted Ms Gladwin with my views, and I noticed that she has already had sound academic advice posted to her on twitter proving that she is in the wrong, but she still seems to think that colposcopy is a quick and easy painless ordeal.
      If you do find the time to contact any MP’s, Jo’s Trust, (good grief, I can’t believe I’m writing this!), have a very good explanation of why screening under 25’s is a bad idea, and it is a good text to send any non-medical person who needs to know why.

      http://www.jostrust.org.uk/about-cervical-cancer/cervical-screening-smear-test-and-abnormal-cells/cervical-screening-under25

      • bethkz says:

        Women are “desperate” for smear tests is but a symptom of the huge amount of fear that has been ginned-up over recent decades. There are some things that are worth fearing, and worth doing something about, but those get under-emphasized. This pervasive fear causes people to be desperate for *anything* that will reduce their fear – and perceived risk – of everything from disease to terrorists to the boogey-monster. Since women have been taught for several generations now that cervical cancer is a MAJOR risk, they look to that as a way to reduce fear. Not just for themselves, but for girls – who cannot possibly benefit from such a test. It makes them less fearful.

        The trick here is to stop being afraid of things that the government, the media, and other powers-that-be want you to be afraid of, and look for what the dangers actually are, and do something about those if you can.

  19. katrehman says:

    E mail to kelvin
    Hi Kelvin u OK? Missed the other week due to being KO,D with sinus! I know I’m in Gavin’s wrd but I found out you’re supporting a move to lower the age of smear testing and am asking you to think again?
    There is much evidence to suggest that while younger, 1in3 women will produce an abnormal smear result as a result of their cervix still maturing which is why the screening committee upped the age from 20 to 25. Evidence based programming such as those in Holland and Finland start screening at 30 and their rates of cervical cancer are among the lowest in the world. They also teat lras frequently than here and as of January this year Holland offer the opportunity to self screen which is denied to UK women. If we begin smearing 18 year olds they are
    Likely to produce abnormal results and undergo treatment which could later impact on their ability to carry a pregnancy to full term.
    Even severely abnormal results can revert back to normal without treatment the problem being medics can’t predict which so the tendency’s to treat all women, resulting in over treatment.
    Of around. 30 million women in the UK around 900 die every year of cervical cancer and around 3,000 cases are diagnosed but over 100,000 women endure colposcopy every year leading to lots of worried women. Cancer research UK figures suggest that a woman is 0.65% likely to develop cervical cancer in her lifetime. A non smoking woman has an 8% chance of developing lung cancer. Cervical cancer is rare!
    I have my own concerns about our cervical screening programme. Its elective, but doctors get financial bonuses if they “persuade” 80% of the eligible women on their books to “elect” to have it. Ey are bombarded with letters and phone calls until they “elect” and if they don’t some are denied medication or thrown off their doctors lists. Women aren’t asked if they want to be enrolled on the programme and are given no clue as to how to opt out if they don’t wish to screen.
    There’s plenty of evidence out there try Angela Raffle, Professor Michael Baum to name just two.
    Thanks for reading!

  20. Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

    I understand that these men might be genuinely misinformed about screening and might think they are doing right by women by advocating screening, but to me, a woman advocating screening is one thing, a man doing it makes my blood boil! They are very unlikely to come across pressure tactics as men, or not until middle age at the very least when bowel screening raises its ugly head, but they have no understanding or appreciation in what’s involved for women – mentally, physically and emotionally. This is something that will never affect them. How dare they tell us women that we “must”/”should” be screened!

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      AQ
      The “pressure” to have bowel screening here is LOW, very low key. I doubt anyone is really pressured to have bowel screening, even though bowel cancer is FAR more likely than cc.
      There’s a bit more pressure to have breast screening, we get the dirty and inappropriate tactics, but again, you’re unlikely to be cornered about breast screening.
      That’s why I put pap testing is a separate category, one that makes no sense from a health care and health economics point of view. IMO, the focus and extreme pressure is about protecting a VERY expensive program that can benefit very few, (and they must get LOTS of women screened to stand any chance of finding the rare cases…worrying and harming heaps of healthy women along the way) the program rests on a knife edge….oh, and the incentive payments add to the pressure too.

      • bethkz says:

        In the US, bowel screening pressure is high. It’s done with both men and women, but it looks to me that it’s more intensely directed at men. I said, “no” repeatedly, and they went on to pressure me into pap testing and mammograms. When my husband did it, the doctor in the clinic ran out into the waiting room as he was in line to check out screaming, “You’re going to DIE!!!” if he refused such screening! Then, his long-time best friend, who had clearly been talked into it, and they found “something” (as they do with nearly all of them), about how wonderful it would be, spent a 2-hour visit with him telling him how “important” it is to be tested.

        It’s about sales, and about selling someone expensive drugs and other “treatment” – including for things they may not have or will never bother them.

      • Alice (Australia) says:

        Elizabeth, I’m very glad that Australians are not (yet) under much pressure to submit to bowel screening. Those “invitations” seem to come with a clear explanation how to opt out, unlike in cervical screening where it is all about “must” and “due”. By legislation, every woman should to be told that, once she endured a pap smear, her personal data will be sent to the government-run Female Genital Surveillance Register (aka PSR), and that she can request for that not to happen. But in reality doctors don’t say anything of the sort.
        So my hopes are that female screening in Australia will be brought to the level of bowel screening, not the opposite.
        It doesn’t matter how common a cancer –or any other illness– is. It should be up to each person to decline any test and make sure their personal information is not disseminated by the system and used for unwanted reminders.

      • bethkz says:

        In the US, supposedly there is confidentiality of patient records. HIPPA makes it illegal to disseminate patient information without consent. However, they may with the patient’s permission. Now, some of that “routine” paperwork which you MUST sign or the clinic will not see you, treat you, nor count you as a patient contains such blanket permission. So, patient records are disseminated through insurance companies, government agencies, researchers, employers, and on and on. It seems that the ONLY people who cannot see these records are the patients themselves! Also, our attorneys have trouble getting them, citing “patient privacy” when we are mounting a case with any sort of medical evidence, or getting them for our relatives, even if deceased.

        So, in the US, any insurance company, government agency, or potential employer can find out that I’m “due” for a pap test, bowel screening, mammogram, etc. They can read about the “findings” of someone else’s previous ones. (so much for privacy) They can even read *wrong* information about some supposed previous screening, when the records presented have nothing to do with the person in question. Moreover, someone who finds out there is “wrong” information in the MIB (a database of medical records, kept by the insurance companies), there is NO WAY to get it out!

      • Diane Spero says:

        also privacy laws in us work against elderly patients. i have an elderly friend with dementia,
        the dr knew she was declining. didn’t have a social worker help with power attorney
        when i tried to help her, i could not get info. the first home she was in kept harassing me for info.
        i had to tell them i am not family can’t get info. They tried to get her $$$$ info from me. i said no! am not family and don’ have legal authority to give them that!
        This lady is now a ward of the state with a guardianship program ripping through her money!
        calling constantly for a while $ 7.00 a call till i baked them off!
        us medical system all about $$$$ and paper work!

        This worked all he life only to have no help in old age. Here in Florida U S A its bad.

      • Alex says:

        “Female Genital Surveillance Registry”? Sounds like some pervy idea a sick fuck came up with in an office or a basement. I never got why people don’t think they have a choice in how the public services behave themselves- it’s like they court those organization & are trying to charm them into doing what they want. There’s no need to “make your case.”

        I never thought I’d say this, but sometimes independence is not something beautiful. These people seem to be “fighting for their freedom” & it hits a soft spot as a general concept with a lot of people. They don’t want to be an oppressor, but that is a way that self-defense can be phrased. Same with righteous revenge- another taboo.

      • adawells says:

        It is the only one of the 3 which takes place in the GP surgery, and GP’s try all sorts of coercion and threats to make women take a test there and then, whatever it is you have come for. They have no control over getting you into a mammogram or colposcopy.

      • adawells says:

        I meant colonoscopy there, but phone keeps changing it to colposcopy!

      • Alice (Australia) says:

        bethkz, you are so righ about the misuse of patient privacy. It is a very similar situation here in Australia. Patients have difficulties accessing their full health records (they are declared property of doctors), diagnostic imaging reports or pathology lab test results. For those, patients are often forced to go back to their GP, no matter how trivial the result is. The medical system completely disregards the harm caused by unnecessary waiting, stress and anxiety, or negative outcomes of depriving the patients of their chance to do some research before the follow-up appointment and prepare the right questions.

        At the same time, the system has no problems with disseminating private and sensitive health information between medical staff, institutions, private enterprises, researchers and government agencies — all without explicit consent of the patients or giving the patients any chance to control this encroachment on their privacy and safety.

    • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

      Bethkz – It is interesting that men are getting the same pressure (not that I agree with it at all), but just interesting that they are being targeted in this way.
      I didn’t think bowel screening would become an issue here in the UK either but with take-up rates below the screening threshhold, I have read that they are looking at more militant tactics. Middle aged men I have read, are becoming a more focal group for capture these days as many are more health conscious than they were a generation ago and hence, more inclined to visit the doctor.

  21. Moo says:

    I would like some statistics on bowel cancer screening. What percentage of positive for occult blood fecal screening actually have cancer and have symptoms?. How many get colonscopy? How many with colonscopy find polyps benign or otherwise? How many polyps found are cancer
    ( I heard 3%).

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Hi Moo
      I’ve read that colonoscopies don’t change mortality rates from bowel cancer, people who screen tend to die from heart attacks and even up the numbers, they’re not sure why…
      About 3% of polyps will become an issue, but most (if not all) will be removed during the colonoscopy. When you compare the risk of dying from bowel cancer with a screened and unscreened population, the numbers are fairly small. (Margaret McCartney and others have covered this topic, I’ll look for Dr McCartney’s article and link it)

      The FOBT as an alternative to colonoscopy: my concern: does it produce a lot of false positives? The next step would be colonoscopy, that invasive procedure bothers me, does FOBT mean most will end up having a colonoscopy anyway? I found a couple of studies that found over a 10 year period the cumulative risk of a false positive is 23%:

      “After 10 years of annual FOBT, 23.0% [95% confidence interval (CI), 18.2–27.0] will receive at least one FOBT+, CRC− result”
      http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/22/9/1612.full

      There are risks with colonoscopies and the FOBT so it’s a Q of weighing up the risks and actual benefit and your risk profile. I also think sedations and GAs should be kept to a minimum, there’s evidence they can lead to memory loss and confusion, especially after age 60, in some people, these adverse mental changes continue…and may get worse.

      My mother’s experience:
      A screening colonoscopy found bowel cancer (age: high 70s): major surgery followed, did the surgery save her life or was it unnecessary major surgery? We’ll never know….
      Would she have died of something else before bowel cancer raised its ugly head? We’ll never know…
      Mum failed to thrive after the surgery, it took ages to sort out her medications and get the right levels in her system again, she plummeted over this period and we thought we might lose her. Once her meds were finally sorted out, she improved, but a screening colonoscopy about a year after her surgery left her with major confusion and short term memory loss, her cardiologist said she might have had a small stroke while she was on the table. The screening procedures to check her lungs and bowel also found “something” on her thyroid (nothing will be done about that…) and “something” on her right kidney. The latter meant another major surgery…now Mum has one kidney, so has to be careful with her meds and hydration etc.
      Would my mother have died from kidney cancer? Did she have unnecessary and major surgery twice? We’ll never know…

      BUT I do know: they’ll be no more screening colonoscopies, CAT scans etc. for my mother, we’ll focus on symptoms and leave her be….her memory continues to slide, we hope she stabilises at some point, but it doesn’t look good. My Aunt, 2 years younger than my mother, is now in a nursing home with full blown dementia, can’t help but think she also had a lot of sedations and GA’s after age 60.
      Interesting when you look at the maternal family tree there is no dementia even though the woman (all but one or two) got into their 80s and even 90s, but they didn’t have screening colonoscopies or screening CAT scans that picked up “abnormalities” here and there.

      If you go looking for trouble after a certain age, you’ll find it…

    • katrehman says:

      Moo I just wanted to thank you again for the tip about saline spray for sinus and hayfever from last year.. I’m using it now and it’s really helpful! No more steroid spray or hassle from doctor to have a smear test!

      • Moo says:

        Try getting some local raw honey as it contains all the pollens in your area that usually give you allergic reactions like hayfever. Take a spoonful everyday.

  22. Elizabeth (Aust) says:
  23. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Moo
    A blood test for bowel cancer screening may also be on the way, again, I’m cautious with all screening tests, the so-called simple ones can lead to some nasty places

    “In Australia, the use of a blood-based test for CRC, ColoVantage Plasma, is being piloted
    following an agreement between the manufacturer and a participating health insurer.
    Diagnostic accuracy data on ColoVantage Plasma are anticipated with the publication of a
    trial including more than 2,000 Australian and Dutch participants.”

    “At this time, there is insufficient evidence to support the introduction of
    blood-based biomarker tests for the use in population screening in Australia; however; due
    to the rapidly evolving evidence base around a number of these tests, HealthPACT
    recommends that this technology be reassessed in 24 months.”
    (2015 so review recommended in 2017)
    https://www.health.qld.gov.au/healthpact/docs/briefs/WP151.pdf

  24. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    I was speaking to an online friend, she sent me a PM, she used the Delphi Screener at 50, HPV- and so she told her doctor, “no more pap testing for me”. The decision was reluctantly accepted, you can’t fight the evidence, and an informed woman knows the evidence. She’s met someone and has asked him to have STI checks before things go any further.
    He saw his doctor this week and was told: ” there’s no HPV test for men, just ask your partner to have regular pap tests, she should be having them anyway”.
    How typical is that response?

    She doesn’t want to expose herself to HPV and certainly doesn’t want pap testing in her life again. If she used the Delphi Screener again and it was HPV+ she knows that would mean worry and she’d probably end up back on the table having pap testing and then more pre-cancerous cells burnt off. Condoms offer decent protection but not 100% protection.

    I did a quick search and couldn’t find anything available in Australia, the entire emphasis is on the woman “taking responsibility” and that means regular pap or HPV testing, she can’t protect herself by asking the man to get tested. It’s such a big issue for her she’ll only continue to see this man if he can be tested and is HPV-

    I found this:

    “There is currently no approved test available to detect HPV infection in men. Although the infection is common in men, most do not show any symptoms, making diagnosis difficult. HPV infection in men rarely causes any medical problems apart from genital warts”

    Does anyone know of a HPV test for men available in Australia or elsewhere, they’re happy to pay for the test?

    • Alice (Australia) says:

      Ehh, so typical… The painful, humiliating, privacy-invading test is a”must” for women and non-existent for men, even though both genders get HPV infections at the same rate. Men can enjoy their sex lives, and women are “due” for regular, government-sanctioned rape with a high chance of even more painful and harmful “treatments”. So much for care about women’s health….

    • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

      I am sure that I have read that there is a HPV test for men. I am not sure what is entailed though if I’m honest.

      I’m sure I cane across something online being available at a Marie Stopes type clinic.
      I know these may only be available in the UK via the clinic, but perhaps it is worth emailing them.

      They may be aware of companies that could offer it. It may even be worth emailing the Delphi Screener company. They might at least know where she could get hold of one.

      It is outrageous that the doctor said this. It is also a ridiculously stupid thing to say (especially given what the evidence now tells us about the accuracy of these tests).

      It is said though isn’t it that 97% of women can clear HPV and around 99% of men do.

    • adawells says:

      We have
      http://www.letsgetchecked.com/HPV

      http://www.test.me

      http://www.better2know.co.uk

      Just checked out their websites on my mobile and the HPV bit is missing, but I am sure I have seen testing for men on these sites before. My husband says websites are reduced for mobile use, so you don’t get the full website on a mobile. Best to check on a computer. There is also Udo test, which is South African.

  25. Alice (Australia) says:

    Sadly, this reminds me of my situation. Years ago, after testing in Europe, I knew I was HPV-negative (I don’t test in Australia because there are no anonymous HPV tests here, and there is a high chance of being placed in a Pap register after HPV test even if you say “no”).
    Then I met my life partner. He wanted me to be safe, happy and healthy, so he asked to be tested for everything, including HPV, and was told that there is no approved HPV test for men, that he shouldn’t worry about it, and that his partner (me) must do regular Pap smears instead. We had to take a risk and felt very bitter about the whole unfair system until after a few years I got another chance to test for HPV overseas. Luckily it was HPV- again, and I’ve been ignoring all the cervical cancer scare campaign ever since. There are other, more important health aspects to think about, and that certainly doesn’t involve doctors or screening.

    What is shocking though is that Australian medical system prefers to spend millions of dollars on pap screening, incentive payments for doctors, scare campaigns, “cancer awareness”, smear registers, reminder letters, posters, TV ads, biopsies, colposcopies, treatments, follow-ups…. It invented many ways of scraping, freezing, cutting and burning women’s cervixes, yet it is not interested in investing in the development of a simple reliable HPV test for men to prevent women from getting the infection in the fist place and put an end to female humiliation, tortures and suffering!

    • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

      It’s disgusting that they are basically saying that women should be screened, not just for their “own good” but for the sake of the men too. It is basically saying that it is unnecessary for men to be tested for any STI’s or what have you because a woman should be taking care of that side of things through attending regular smears. It is also a load of nonsense. But why not try it if it dupes more women to commit to the stupid programme?

      I do personally see value into being tested when entering into a new relationships (I certainly wouldn’t object to this if a male partner would undergo one too) for infections but I would never undergo cervical screening for this purpose when it is clinically useless.

      With all the evidence emerging, it is going to become increasingly diificult for them to continue to spew the same old nonsense.

  26. katrehman says:

    And you can bet your bottom dollar if women could pass a virus to men causing cancer of some obscure part of their body it would be law punishable by prison if we didn’t test for it!! Can’t infect the men now can we??

    • bethkz says:

      We do. Women pass HPV viruses to men. Hence all of the HPV screening of women.

    • Alex says:

      Well- defending yourself is punishable by prison, too. I think far too many people think far too much of the law. Anything at all can be sanctioned & you only ever deal with actions, anyway.

      To address the guilt trip tactic, it’s exactly that. You women aren’t exactly flawed by being (generally) more concerned about that, but it IS a susceptibility- kind of like how a man can get kicked in the nuts or is a bit easily swayed by someone clucking like a chicken. Also, simply arguing in a “polar way” is kind of hard in this case- like saying “Fuck them, anyway” or “No, it’s not a risk.” All subtle tactics, much like loaded language.

  27. ChasUK says:

    This is interesting……http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27118696
    Do invitations for cervical screening provide sufficient information to enable informed choice? A cross-sectional study of invitations for publicly funded cervical screening.
    CONCLUSIONS: Invitations to cervical cancer screening were information poor and biased in favour of participation. This means that informed choice is not possible, which is in conflict with modern requirements for personal involvement in medical decisions.

  28. katrehman says:

    Colleague of mine went for the bowel cancer test 5?weeks ago and she’s still bleeding! Remind me to never accept the invitation!

    • adawells says:

      Good grief that’s terrible! Have you had one of those health checks yet? That’s another screen they’re trying to put on us. Hubby is 58 and we’ve never been called up. Perhaps they know better than to contact us now!
      Have you seen that dreadful prostate screening advert where the son treats his dad like a little boy because he won’t get his prostate checked? My husband puts it on mute every time it comes on, he can’t stand it.

      • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

        No, I haven’t seen it. Is this a drive to get men tested so that they can eventually introduce a screening programme? I heard GPs get paid for performing prostate tests as well as the bowel screening and those ghastly “MOT”s. Cervical screening is dying a slow death but they don’t give up easily do they? I can see lucrative payment targets being eventually introduced..
        I’ve read men (particularly middle class, middle aged men) are becoming a captive audience, as they are more health conscious (apparently) and more amenable to visiting the doc than previous generations. Couple this with a growing number of men actually asking for prostate screening (I’m not sure how aware many of them are WRT false positives, harms, risks and benefits etc). This isn’t going to end well.

      • adawells says:

        http://menunited.prostatecanceruk.org/?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=60s%20spot

        Kat and AQ, I’m amazed you haven’t seen this dreadful advert, as we have had this on TV most evenings, and we absolutely detest it. We either mute it or turn off. Really bad and offensive. I keep telling my husband to write and complain…

      • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

        Lol! What a patronising advert! It’s cringe-worthily bad! The tone is very similar to the smear campaigns we women get, telling us not to be ignorant, reckless etc and this advert treats the poor dad as a stupid, petulant child! The only aspect I find interesting is that men are now beginning to see for themselves how annoying this endless paternal lecturing is but I’m not surprised your husband puts it on mute to be honest!

  29. katrehman says:

    Ada I was “invited ” a few years ago and it went right in the bin! strange I was never pursued the way I’ve been with smears, and the doctor gets paid for health checks too! I’ve not seen the prostate ad. Poor men will know how we feel!

  30. linda says:

    Hi All. We get this here is well. Its so embarrasing. We just mute it when it comes on.
    I’m putting the date for the book back as i’m a bit behind with my next bit. Should upload another bit next week. Hope you’re all ok.

  31. ChasUK says:

    No HPV test for men hey….well yes there is for anal so could do the penile test too, have a read of the abstract for this link
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27176896
    Abstract – BACKGROUND:
    In a cytology-based screening program intended to prevent anal cancer, the anal transformation zone (TZ) should be adequately sampled because it is the site most susceptible to the development of the cancer precursor, high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL). An adequate TZ component is defined as comprising at least 10 rectal columnar or squamous metaplastic cells. In the current study, the authors examined whether the presence of a TZ component in anal cytology correlated with the detection of histological HSIL.
    METHODS:
    In a natural history study of anal human papillomavirus infection in homosexual men, all participants underwent liquid-based cytology and high-resolution anoscopy (HRA) with or without biopsy at each visit. True-negative cytology (negative cytology with non-HSIL biopsy or negative HRA), false-negative cytology (negative cytology with HSIL biopsy), and true-positive cytology (abnormal cytology with HSIL biopsy) were compared with regard to the presence or absence of a TZ component.

  32. ChasUK says:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27167552
    Another interesting read, perhaps live longer & better quality of life without the treatment???
    The incidence of cancer (CA) has increased globally and radiotherapy (RT) is a vital component in its treatment. Cardiovascular injuries induced by RT in the treatment of thoracic and cervical CA have been causing problems in clinical practice for decades, and are among the most serious adverse effects of radiation experienced by the growing number of cancer survivors. This article presentes a review on the Lilacs, Scielo and Pubmed databases of the main cardiovascular injuries, their mechanisms, clinical presentations, treatments and prevention proposals. Injuries caused by RT include diseases of the pericardium, coronary artery disease, valvular disease, myocardial disease with systolic and diastolic dysfunction, conduction disorders, and carotid artery and great vessels disease. Thoracic and cervical irradiation increases cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Despite the great progress in the improvement of RT techniques, totally excluding prime areas of the cardiovascular system from the irradiation field is not yet possible. Guidelines must be created for monitoring, diagnosis and treatment of patients with CA treated with RT.

    • Moo says:

      Sorry. The thoraic and cervical region in the article are referring to the upper chest and throat area not the uterine cervix or uterine cervical area.

      However radiation therapy does have many negative side effects. If you look up what therapies are used for cervical cancer, it is horrific. Women often die from intestinal infections from it. I wonder how long a woman without symptoms or just mild ones of cervical cancer would live comfortably without threatment (or even cone biopsy). I read too many accounts of women told to hurry along their pregnancies becuase they “needed” a hysterrctomy for their “microscopic cancer”.

  33. ChasUK says:

    And one more link on HPV testing for men, it can be done! Please note the self sampling/urine method, so why can’t women be offered this if one wishes to test, it is not necessary to submit to the stirrups…..ever! It still makes no sense to only test females when they return to their partners who are infected, HPV is so very common after all. So woman gets treatment & goes back to partner – bingo re-infected with HPV, then after 2/3 rounds of treatment to cervix – Hysterectomy is next!! Of course I forgot that our body parts internal/external are disposable, oh and apparently not a big deal……really!

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26920866

    Penile swab sampling is the method of choice when testing for human papillomavirus (HPV) in men. Urine sampling is already used in routine sexually transmitted infections (STI) diagnostics and could provide a less invasive sampling method in men to detect HPV. Therefore we compared detection of HPV types in urine samples and penile swabs by the highly sensitive SPF10-LiPA25 system.
    First void urine and self-obtained penile swab samples were collected from 120 men, with a mean age of 29.4 years, visiting a STI clinic in South Limburg, the Netherlands. In total 111 of 120 men were included in the analysis. Broad-spectrum HPV DNA amplification and mucosal HPV genotyping were performed using the SPF10 DEIA-LiPA25 system (SPF10 HPV LiPA, V.1).

    Sorry Ladies & Gents – I’m on one today, this stuff gives me the right hump!

    • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

      I’m sock to death of this myself. I have believed for a long time that the NHS and other medical “bodies” don’t want us to find out what the most common cause of cervical cancer is, HPV. They don’t even want women tested for HPV when they have STI checks with their new partners upon entering a new relationship. I believe they don’t want us to know for two reasons – 1. A lot of practice nurses themselves are ignorant anout HPV, smear-testing and the mechanics behind it (so making women aware would expose all this ignorance and perhaps require re-training of nurses) and 2. To keep the population ignorant and keep women reliant on smear testing.

      When I was in school, we were never told about the risks of not using barrier contraception as a risk factor for cervical cancer. In the press, the only “official” advice women are given to avoid cervical cancer is “have regular smears”. NOTHING else. I believe this is reprehensible in the extreme. It also keeps males ignorant (who might be inclined to do something about it if they were aware more of it and that it posed a risk to their health too) and I also think it puts those women who have had false negative results following a smear test. Realistically, how likely is a GP (who happens to be militant about smears and ignorant of their limitations) to take a woman who is “up to date” but presenting with symptoms, seriously? What are the prospects she will be “fobbed off” and dismissed with the “all your smears are normal”? Highly likely in my opinion.

  34. linda says:

    This is real progress at last. Lets hope this gets through to docs a PN’s. I’m still going to publish my book tho as rape is still rape.

    • adawells says:

      We’ve waited a long time for it, Linda. Still would like to see what the actual summons letters look like. They don’t seem to be publishing those just yet. They can put one story in the brochure, but if the call/recalls still tell women they must make an appointment, and there’s no chance to reply in the negative we might not be much further forward.

      • katrehman says:

        Still no mention in the leaflet on how to opt out, and nothing about women finding the test unpleasant. They lost that bit! Still guess it’s an improvement

      • Kate (UK) says:

        I don’t think it’s an improvement on the whole. It’s certainly a lot worse than the prototype I read last year. Too much information left out, benefits wildly inflated and risks downplayed, as always. So much for Ann Mackie’s ‘more honest’ leaflet!
        Pretty much as I expected, really.

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Absolutely, Linda. For all the blathering on about ‘choice’, they’ve left out so much vital information from this leaflet it’s a bloody joke. They don’t even acknowledge that the test ‘is not perfect’ anymore. Any woman reading this tripe might think the program is foolproof – false advertising or what?

    • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

      Just seen the leaflet. I’m really disappointed. The only major change (and an important one at that) is the notion of choice in bold at the top.
      Everything else is just a re-hash of the previous NHS leaflet but worded slightly differently. I am dismayed that the NHS/ PHE is still clinging on to this “screening saves 5,000 lives a year” despite NO evidence backing up such an outlandish claim and as Kate says, it is still exaggerating the “benefits” and massively downplaying the disadvantages – I suppose that now a lot of trust areas are using the HPV primary/ secondary method, they can afford to downplay these disadvantages.

      Very disappointing. And as Kat says, they make no mention of how women can opt-out. If a woman is being aggressively pursued by GPs, how can that be CHOICE? No mention that this is unethical behaviour either. It is nowhere near as informed as the breast screening leaflets – despite that being a far more common cancer!

  35. Si says:

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2016/election-2016-telstra-wins-contract-to-manage-your-health-records-20160525-gp3go9.html
    I wonder what will happen to the cancer screening industry in Australia with big business behind the helm..

  36. adawells says:

    http://www.eve-medical.com/

    This Canadian Company is offering HPV Self Test kits. Anyone heard of them?

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not sure if this is licensed for sale yet but likley it will be distrubuted by doctors or clinics or mailed to “underscreened” women. What I understand from the product video is this self test device tests for HPV, and some STI. The results would be sent to a doctor. Then the woman will be pressured to treatment for STI gsome will be reported to government registries) and presured for further tests such as pap or colpscopy if the hpv part is positive. It is NOT a test for cervical cancer.

      Unless this test is very cheap there is no way that it woukd be sent through the mail to women who throw their reminder letters in the trash. I would likely throw this thing in the trash if I got it with the ultimatum screening letter. However it would save money if used to screen women in long lines at clinics but somehow I doubt they would all escape pelvic exams.

      I woud prefer to have the choice to purchase such a device at a pharmacy and get the results sent privately to myself and no one else.

      • bethkcz says:

        In the US, many/most STIs are “reportable diseases”, As such, someone would be in a registry, and required to use any curative treatment – e.g., gonorrhea or syphilis and antibiotics. A pap test cannot test for STIs, and a pelvic exam is useful for chlamydia. However, I see those women who pop positive for any STIs to be pressured for a pelvic exam and pap test.

  37. adawells says:

    http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g5264

    Another one from me. This time about urine testing being a suitable replacement for the speculum test.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      We heard nothing about self-testing or alternatives to the speculum exam for decades, women were supposed to suck it up and put up with it. I suspect with more informed women walking away from pap testing and these programs, they’re desperately searching for ways to drag them back under medical and govt control.

      Informed women can access self-testing here but only if you nominate an Australian GP or request one from your GP, they obviously worked out some women were ordering self-testing kits online or testing overseas. Block, block, control, control…

  38. Alex says:

    Just read something interesting on four different models of physician-patient relationship by Robert Veatch. Don’t know if he invented them or if he’s elaborating on them, but the paternalistic model is what it seems a lot of doctors go by. The Informative Model & the Interpretive Model seem best.

      • Moo says:

        They have a comment form. I doubt that a website named cerviscreen is going to allow any of the comments that Elizabeth or Ada would send in. Just check back there in a while and see all the glowing remarks about women who were saved from cancer. I would just love the comment that I hate being constantly pressured to give access to my naked vagina and breasts everytime I walk into a medical office for some concern unrelated to my breasts or reproductive organs.

      • Mint says:

        I have commented on the site.

    • Moo says:

      We have know about the Trovagene HPV urine test for how long? A few years? Not news to me. Just news that some researcher might consider some cheaper type of screening test.

      So what would happen to women who had a positive HPV urine test in countries where the cervical screening board sends out those red ink letters? The urine test could be tacked onto those innocent standard urinalysis tests we all have because the doctor cannot spend more than 3 minutes discussing symptoms and lifestyle/occupation clues that might help with a diagnosis. So what happens to the HPV positive woman over the magical age of 35? Does she get a red ink letter that she must attend colposcopy?

      You all might want to applaud a noninvasive test for HPV instead of the speculum and cervix scrape. What I really want is control over my body, ALL my test results and CHOICE for medical tests and treatments. When the cervical and other cancer screening and cancer diagnosis registries destroy my data and I am never harassed about screening by anyone again then I will rejoice. (I can understand the purpose of some registries for research and planning but all data should be volunteered freely)

  39. Mint says:

    …..but the comment has been deleted……

  40. katrehman says:

    Ada I’m a bit puzzled you have a comment on the raising the bar website as do I??

  41. katrehman says:

    Mint and Linda you have comments too

  42. adawells says:

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/D/339070-Snl6u9P9r4YKs1cm

    Hi ladies from the UK on here. Someone asked me way back how to set up an alert in the UK Parliament for screening. Just realised the site which lets you do this is “They Work For You”. Just enter your words, cervical screening and it will send you an email with a link each time this is mentioned.

  43. Alex says:

    I think the concept of third-party control over them is greatly under-referenced. The idea of them being free “to practice medicine as they choose” is not “repressive” enough. Their “freedom” is a menace, in this case.

    I don’t know what else to say- a control freak should get a taste of their own medicine. They try to medicalize other people, they should become public property. Maybe it would be something of a scorch mark on their “cultural memory.”

    I say this because plenty of times it just amounts to some kind of a “movement” on their part or on the part of others that more or less control them when they are striving for more information- which they, of course, make assessments & draw conclusions to then act on (a “Boyd Cycle” or “OODA Loop”- it’s not just applicable to pilots in aerial battles). This can apply in both subtle & unsubtle ways.

    They seem to very frequently ambush & talk in very fixed terms (about what they “will” be doing or what someone is “going” to be having). That & saying what they “need” to do- it’s probably got a name, but whatever that tactic is called, it’s meant to remove choice on the part of the (at this point) assailed party. If a waiter or a waitress said “I need you to eat this” & tried to shove something in your mouth, that would be an issue. I think the knee-jerk thought is that “they’re going to die without it,” and it makes things fairly confrontational at that point- what is the negative response to that? “Fuck your needs” or “Go wanting”? Not necessarily a problem to literally say, but the issue is decommissioning the situation.

    • Alex says:

      I guess someone could say: “Well, an action has to be engaged in order to occur & sustenance of an action is not a universal justification.” Maybe add to that: “It’s not like it’s an injustice if I decide what does or does not go into my body” (where it applies- “what happens to my body” would be a bit broader). Maybe add to THAT: “I also preclude any arguments or re-directions.”

      Seriously, should shock collars be involved? It seems like the general public needs to be given little remotes like for car alarms that would work to zap the shit out someone that gets out of line with them at the hospital. I DO imagine there would be surprisingly large numbers of people that would go for that- although if they like that sort of thing, they might act up just as frequently as the previous batch did! Maybe making work conditions in such a way that it’s more attractive to “submissive” people? Hey- at least they’re not picking a fight with the patients/priorities, right?

      [See, that’s an idea right there: Calling patients “priorities” instead. Arrogant, dictatorial, or otherwise “conquest-aligned” personnel would likely have a HUGE problem with that- referencing them as “my priority” & all. Plus, it might have something of a cognitive effect on the culture- a “patient” is just a word that doesn’t really make sense to a lot of people & a “customer” is a pain in the ass, a “priority” is exactly that.]

  44. ChasUK says:

    I get a lot of emails from Science Daily about CC & screening etc. and they continue to suggest more and more risk factors for CC – there no end in trying to “convince us to screen” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160609115437.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fhealth_medicine%2Fcervical_cancer+%28Cervical+Cancer+News+–+ScienceDaily%29
    Lupus confirmed as risk factor for cervical cancer
    Women with lupus treated with immunosuppressives need regular cervical screening

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160430100243.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fhealth_medicine%2Fcervical_cancer+%28Cervical+Cancer+News+–+ScienceDaily%29
    Stress and depression is linked to HPV-related health problems
    Study links stress levels of adolescents to health complications from human papillomavirus, which can include cervical cancer

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160415081420.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fhealth_medicine%2Fcervical_cancer+%28Cervical+Cancer+News+–+ScienceDaily%29
    Treatment for chronic hepatitis B linked to increased rates of colorectal and cervical cancer

  45. ChasUK says:

    Another website which you can subscribe to is Pulse – what I like about this site is the comments made by the various health professionals GP’s/Practice Managers etc. 1 great comment here:
    http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/clinical/more-clinical-areas/womens-health/gps-could-offer-hpv-self-sampling-to-women-who-miss-smear-tests-say-researchers/20009523.article
    I currently get daily emails from them and have found it to be very interesting – happy reading folks

    • bethKcz says:

      Informed consent is hardly what the medical field would like patients, priorities, or customers to think it is. It’s not for them to decide what you’ll have, and you to go along with it, after you’ve come into their doors. http://healthcare.findlaw.com/patient-rights/understanding-informed-consent-a-primer.html

      • Alex says:

        Ever notice how much “instruction” is needed to tell these people blatantly obvious things? It’s like “freedom of speech” in America- it’s not really the style, so it has to CONSTANTLY be referenced.

        I think they truly forget that their occupation is only theoretically important because of these “low people,” otherwise there’d be no one to treat. Part of it might have to do with their resources- kind of like they feel rich or something & think this goes with it. Maybe they think “they’re the best” & “they win” because of that?

      • bethkz says:

        It’s not just the abusive medical profession who need so much “instruction”. It’s the rest of us too who need to be reminded of the truth after we’ve had these professionals “mis-explain” things to us. Informed consent IS what you initially thought it was – there’s no such thing as “blanket consent”, unless you think there is. Then, you kind of “roll over and play dead” because you believe there’s “nothing you can do” about it.

  46. Alex says:

    Something I noticed that seems to apply (bear with me, it’s somewhat complicated): People frequently believe that someone only gets what they deserve, even if it’s a subconscious kind of thing.

    The idea would be that good goes to good, bad goes to bad, someone will win if they’re right (whether it’s an argument or a fight), if someone tells the truth they’ll be believed, and someone will only get held in the esteem that they deserve (both by others & by themselves). This is like believing that if you work hard you’ll get “paid hard.” It COULD happen, but there’s no ambient “Santa Claus Principle” to make it go that way.

    The idea of what esteem someone is held in plays a massive role in medicine because of their certification. Someone might very well figure that they wouldn’t be certified if they were a certain way & sometimes people think that being certified means that they are not only the “100 Average Expert,” but that they have an overall sway over the situation as a concept- like a soldier being able to do anything combat related & never misses the bullseye.

    The idea comes up again when these people hold THEMSELVES in a high esteem- the idea would be that they wouldn’t think that way about themselves if it weren’t true. It’s not rare for someone to start doubting themselves if the other party isn’t reversing course, so the person starts getting worried that their “cause” is unworthy.

    The concept also applies in court- since, if nothing else, it’s very daunting to think that something could come down on you that you don’t have coming. That, in a state where you couldn’t effectively counteract the situation (like if you’re injured, unconscious, or tied-up), someone might do something to you that you don’t want to have happen. So someone would potentially believe “Oh, they must have had that coming.” They basically feel that what happens to them only ever hinges on their own actions. Kind of like a God Complex, in a way.

  47. adawells says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07dlygk
    A great spoof about a doctor’s practice and the bit on cervical screening is brilliant! It’s about 5 mins in.

  48. katrehman says:

    Priceless! Thanks Ada!

  49. adawells says:

    http://www.enhertsccg.nhs.uk › files › Feb2016

    They appear to be getting tough again. Page 16 says they are getting increases in the number of women signing the disclaimer form, so they are clamping down. Only the designated form (Appendix 5) can now be used, and guess where this comes from, why, the GP of course, after they have given you the compulsory counseling session.

    • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

      A counselling session cannot surely be compulsory. The link isn’t working for me. Does it say that a GP will only release this form one a counselling session has been completed? What happens if a woman is insistent she doesn’t want screening and the GP refuses to authorise her request to remove her from the list? Is this even legal??

      And I thought Anne Mackie said we were free to decline screening – all 20% of us. LOL.

      I suspected this is how things would end up once that 20% “allowance” had been reached. Those numbers surpassing the 20% “limit” are basically not entitled to “informed consent” because they have reached the threshhold. Despite what they tell us about our “rights”, only doctors decide who can opt out of screening and who cannot.

      • adawells says:

        http://www.enhertsccg.nhs.uk › files › Feb2016

        Does this work?

      • adawells says:

        It should all be part of the link. The text in black is part of the link. If you can paste the whole thing into your browser it might work. It def says opt out letter will only be accepted if it is the official one, and follows a consultation with GP.

      • adawells says:

        I’ve copied and pasted segment:

        6.3 Disclaimers – women who do not want to attend screening
        Wherever possible, patients should remain on the Call/Recall system as ‘Non-Responders’. It’s
        recommended that women who refuse screening and disabled women are not ‘postponed’ but
        instead continue to receive their letters (recall and reminders). Should the woman choose not to
        attend screening she will still move on through the system as a Non-Responder. If she chooses
        to withdraw from the screening programme she can then sign a disclaimer. If a patient insists
        that she does not wish to attend cervical screening she can be invited to read and sign a
        disclaimer form to permanently remove her name from the recall register thus ceasing her from
        the programme. Please copy and only use the form in appendix 5 for this purpose. Only women
        making an informed choice not to participate in the screening programme should sign a
        disclaimer. The disclaimer states the woman is making an informed decision, she understands
        the benefits of cervical screening, she is taking responsibility for her decision to be removed
        from the programme and she understands that she will not be contacted or invited for screening
        again by NHSCSP (appendix 5). The original signed disclaimer should be retained in the
        medical record, a copy sent into the PCSS screening section and a copy given to the woman.
        Women should be encouraged to read the national cervical screening leaflet and should be
        counselled as part of their decision making process.
        The wording of the disclaimer form is taken from the published guidance ‘Consent to cervical
        screening’. The wording has been approved and considered appropriate by the legal advisors
        to the NHS screening programme. If you have a letter within the practice that has previously
        been used for this purpose, you must now use the standard version in this policy.
        Disclaimers that do not meet the required standard of information will be returned to the practice
        / sender and the woman will not be ceased.
        It should be noted that despite the woman’s name being withdrawn from Call/Recall, she
        remains part of the eligible population.
        The national guidance, issued in 2008, Cancer screening publication no. 4 indicates that
        Call/Recall programmes are unable to cease a patient due to woman’s choice without their
        written consent.
        (Please remember to send a copy of the signed disclaimer form to Hertfordshire PCSS,
        otherwise the woman will not be taken out of the recall programme.)
        6.4 Notifications relating to women ceased from Call/ Recall
        Advice /confirmations are sent electronically to GPs when a woman is ceased from the
        programme that is registered with their surgery to notify them of the reason for ceasing
        A letter is sent by PCSS to all patients being ceased from the programme to notify them that
        they have been ceased from the programme and inform them of the reason why.

    • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

      On reflection, another tack that could be used is to play them at their own game. Go along with the counselling session (would this be a proper counselling session, or just a consultation or “lecture” from the GP), do everything they ask of you (after all, it is also a waste of their time too), sit calmly and silently, nodding here and there and when the counselling session is over, coolly (and annoyingly – to them anyway) proclaim that screening just isn’t for you – sorry. You could even state that the counselling has made you reflect and undertake further research which has just corroborated your reservations about screening even further and made you resolute to decline it.

      How could they refuse to allow you to sign the opt-out form then? While I am against compulsory counselling in practice, going along with it (whilst also sticking to your decision not to screen) could be an interesting way of out-flanking them. It could also give you the moral highground as they could not use the “she is irrational” card.

      • Alex says:

        Good idea! They might even start to doubt themselves, too. They maybe don’t have that same confidence & they can’t use it to play image games on other people- which now don’t fall for their ploys & maybe it adds to things even further.

      • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

        Alex – I tend to get angry about things and in this situation, my immediate instinct would be to defy them at every turn, but on reflection (and through personal experience!), I have noticed that psychological mind games (not of the psychopathic variety I hasten to add!) sometimes has more potency. I’ve noticed that it certainly confuses people and as you say, causes people to question themselves. If someone had the courage to try this out, it’d certainly be interesting to see how they were to respond.

  50. Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

    Look at this. This article has appeared on the BBC News website – the very same website I have previously lauded for their open, unbiased reporting of cervical screening and informed choice. Well, not any more.

    Interesting that Jo’s Cervical Cancer Charity (it had to be them behind it didn’t it) were behind this piece with their “research”. Seems we are fast approaching the screening thresshold of 70% (woo-hoo) and Jo’s Trust have got into a bit of a panic. Maybe, they are struggling to persuade the younger generation to comply with screening, the over 50s now seem to be their target (they will probably tap into the generational thing – how wonen of that age were taught by their mothers to bare all for the doctor, that this is a necessary evil and how it is just part of being a woman). Needless to say, I’m appalled. Even the Daily Mail seems to have drastically changed it’s tone on screening. What are the BBC playing at by publishing this rubbish?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-36503409

    • adawells says:

      AQ I’ve seen this too. Downright disgusting.

      • Mint says:

        It’s the usual dross churned out by Jo’s PR team. Desperate in my view. A survey of 1000 women is hardly representative of the population and there is also the assumption that women tell the truth.

        Imagine the telephone interview…

        Interviewer – “I’m going to read out a series of statements, please choose one of the following:-

        Q. What is your reason for not attending your smear test?
        Your choices are:-
        A. Too embarrassed.
        B. Too hard to book an appointment.
        C. Too painful.”

        “Err – I’ve made an informed decision not to screen.”

        “You must pick A, B or C.

        “I don’t want a smear test.”

        “I’ll put you down as A, – thanks for your time.”

      • Alex says:

        Mint: Pronouncing limitations doesn’t alter situations. They’re trying to make it be that way by acting in a manner congruent with that situation (or, rather, be believed that this is the case). The presentation is that if there were no other reasons, there wouldn’t be any others offered in the selection. If they’re not wrong, that’s the way it is- and telling that they’re wrong is usually rejected fervently (I think it’s an identity-based assessment- like thinking whatever a priest does isn’t wrong or that a judge never lies).

  51. adawells says:

    And this text further on:
    10.2 Exception Reporting
    The NHS England screening team has seen an increase in the number of signed disclaimers
    from women opting out of the cervical screening programme. Practices should be reminded
    that the disclaimers (appendix 5) should only be used if a woman is making an informed choice,
    usually following counselling, that they do not wish to attend for cervical screening ever in the
    future. When a lady is ceased as ‘woman’s choice’ the call/recall system does not issue any
    further invitations. It is not the intention that women who are exception reported are asked to
    sign a disclaimer withdrawing them completely from the programme.
    This has been the subject of national debate and the national cervical screening programme,
    which the BMA have reviewed and agreed to, has issued the following guidance on exception
    reporting in relation to cervical screening.

    • katrehman says:

      Talking legalities, there is a process called “cease and desist ” where the injured individual writes to their tormentor telling them to cease and desist from the behaviour and to take note of this legal warning or it will become a court matter. I believe offenders can face a hefty fine. Template letters can be downloadeded from the Internet. It might throw a spanner (or speculum)! In their works and make them think twice before annoying that particular woman again!

      • katrehman says:

        I’m. Thinking cease and desist could be used if an opted out woman still receives “invitations, “and ” moves through the screening cycle “. Or if she isn’t allowed to opt out or doesn’t want the counselling session. As to the attack on older women can’t see it going far. We’re far more likely to tell them to take a running jump. The threat of withholding contraception is less likely to bother us…

      • linda says:

        Thats brilliant Kat. Will deff download a cease and desist form. That would be very funny. X

      • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

        If this crops up on newspaper forums, I will be proclaiming (as loudly) as possible that when wanting to opt out of screening, to use the following words: “I have made an INFORMED decision NOT to screen. I will NOT provide any written, verbal or implied consent to undergo cervical screening and demand that all letters requiring me to participate cease immediately”. Brief and very assertive is the only language that they understand.

        How can they require someone to undergo counselling? It is a waste of someone’s time if they have decided to refuse screening. It requires individuals to book time off work or take precious annual leave for it!!

        Despite being “legal”, it flies in the face of the legal principles of consent. Every competent adult has the legal right to refuse medical treatment for any reason. The “counselling” requirement is very dangerous. They probably wouldn’t offer you counselling for declining a potentially life-saving operation, yet it is “required” to opt-out of harassment letters? Pfffttt! What happened to this “screening is a choice”. They are contradicting themselves!

        This is designed with the knowledge that only the most knowledgeable and determined of women (such as ourselves) wriggle out of screening!

        I suppose the only positive that can be gleaned from this is that opting out will be permanent (rather than for a few years) and as annoying as these letters are, they cannot force women to screen if they are resolute enough to refuse screening (which a sizeable growing number are). Let’s keep up the good work – ie. raising awareness of informed choices and the limitations of screening. They are doing this because they feel threatened. We’re not far from dropping below that 70% threshhold now!!

  52. Alex says:

    Hello, all. Just read something from a book (a rather unrelated one) & thought I’d mention it:

    “The oldest author wishes to express an observation supported by occupational experience, specialized training, and study in several colleges and universities. Readers are free to agree or disagree with him. Excelling in the clandestine arts requires undistorted reasoning and unpolluted self-awareness. Unfortunately, today there is a sweeping concern for so-called “political correctness.” He believes politically correct thinking & self-awareness are incompatible states of being; the two cannot exist together. Incompatibility exists because politically correct thinking requires a departure from truthfulness and dismissal of sound logic, which leads to confusion and failure to attain self-awareness. In addition, political correctness validates some classes of people while diminishing and villainizing others; it grants freedom of expression to those with itemized views and silences everyone else. Indeed, expressing politically incorrect views has resulted in persecution by the media and the destruction of careers. Contrary to what many people proclaim, recognizing reality and declaring it, expressing controversial views, and remaining true to one’s beliefs are not bad things, even if some people may find truth and alternative views displeasing and as a result, they passionately reject people’s right to express views that are different from their own. Chillingly, in American colleges and universities, too often, political correctness prevents meaningful exploration of important social issues, which raises the question of where education ends, and where indoctrination begins. Too often, the institutions of higher learning that should be encouraging the free exchange of ideas, which is essential to academic and intellectual growth, are suppressing it. They disallow rather than affirm diversity. Contemplate this footnote in the light of statements made by two extraordinary people. Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” American author, lecturer, and social activist Helen Keller (1880-1968) said, “The rank of education is tolerance.”

    This was actually in the book Undercover Disguise Methods for Investigators: Quick Change Techniques for Both Men and Women (page 15). I was just reading some of the sample on Amazon & thought this was totally pertinent to the kinds of discussions we have on here. Indoctrination vs education & not being able to call things for what it is because people flip out on you- things like that.

  53. adawells says:

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2016-06-10.40222.h&s=Cervical+screening#g40222.r0

    Look out ladies in the UK, the Dept of Health’s Behavioural Insight team is working on optimising our adherence to cervical screening. No wonder there’s no chance of getting an appointment for anything else in less than 3 weeks.

    • Alex says:

      I hate to say it, but maybe if some people just overtly forced these things on the people pushing them. I know it’s not EXACTLY the same thing, but literally slamming them down & force-fingering them and/or jamming a (whatever device) in them might very well get them to thinking twice about trying to push people around on this level. If nothing else, it would likely be very shocking & probably a bit demonstrative at the same time. Someone says “Oh, my God!” or “That’s horrible!” or whatever they say & then they themselves or someone else says “Well, those people tried to do the same thing to them” or “Well, I guess they were tired of getting harassed about this.”

      I realize this might sound a bit free-handed about doing something pretty damn severe, but then they are doing something pretty damn severe. The concept that altruism doesn’t produce ownership is either totally foreign to them or they only pretend that they want to help, using someone else’s conscience as their shield.

      • bethkcz says:

        Unfortunately, if a patient were to do that to a caregiver, it would be seen as an assault on a caregiver. Even if it’s pointed out that this caregiver was doing EXACTLY THE SAME THING to them, it would not be perceived that way by any jury. People will see the caregiver as having been assaulted by a violent, probably-mentally-ill patient when they were “just trying to help” and “protect their health”. The patient would be convicted of an aggravated sexual assault, whereas the exact same thing is “necessary medical care” if forced ON the patient.

        Brainwashing has been very effective.

      • Alex says:

        Well, yes, I know- but I was talking more about anonymous attack with a reason given than someone that’s in the doctor’s office going after them for getting pushy. In the case of one of my cousins, she went to the hospital as a little kid to get stitches on her face (she fell at the store) & they made her take her clothes off- supposedly to see if she had bruises from getting hit at home. Now, this is a case of the treatment being more traumatic than the issue at hand. Supposing my uncle or aunt were “playing doctor” at home? What tests do they do now?

        In that case, I’m actually a bit surprised that my uncle didn’t do something along those lines to that woman (whatever she was). I know this might not come off right, but if he grabbed her, beat her, knocked her out, or killed her that would get back to someone & there was probably some kind of identification involved that would trace to them. Doing something else, maybe it doesn’t get mentioned. They might not even want to get into it, never mind have a lawyer dissect their life or get locked-up if the ruling isn’t in their favor (false claims & such). Pernicious & exactly what they do. It seems that not many people take them to court over medical assaults or even to force a change in coercive terms (ex: giving them birth control without any probing).

        I’m not saying it should be a GENERAL response to someone pissing someone else off, but if someone is dishing this out in instigation (just like in the Middle East where they’ll force-finger women at protests & even “virginity check” the men- something that was, surprisingly, called for what it is)- then I feel it applies. These people “taking the snake road” & imposing things of this nature subtlely doesn’t mean that they somehow do something without doing it. If I were to shoot someone & I used a silencer on the gun when I did it, did I shoot them any less than if I used an unsilenced weapon? Of course not.

        Just to make sure it doesn’t come off like I slipped a gear or anything, I’m just saying that reciprocation (whether subtle or overt) is potentially a useful strategy to shut things down.

      • bethkcz says:

        Unfortunately, if retaliations like that were to occur, those taking retribution for what these people have done to them or their loved ones would be written-off in the public minds as the acts of insane people, or people who were part of some sort of a radicalized faction of something. While it might make someone feel better about the acts of THAT person, it would not get through the heads of average people that these are absurd and abusive to them or their families when they come in as patients. If it were to be happening at any frequency, it would soon get groups such as this one who are against people taking inappropriate liberties just because they have some medical certification to be written off as a bunch of radical nuts – giving our soft-spoken, “just out for your own benefit” attackers more ammunition.

        The way to handle this is for more people to see iatrogenic attacks for what they are – ATTACKS. It doesn’t matter if some creepy guy in an alley forces you to let him finger your (whatever), or if it’s a clean guy in a white uniform who forces you to let him finger your (whatever). The action is the same. You did not consent to it. It won’t be until the average person sees this as an attack – by ANYBODY – when it’s nonconsensual.

        It seems they’ve even muddied the waters about what “consent” is.

        In the middle east, it’s easier for people to see this as assault, especially on women, since women cannot give their consent to intimate contact with ANYONE. She is owned, and her owners (husband or father) is justified under their laws and societal norms to take action.

        IN the west, even a woman who didn’t want it, or didn’t like it, will tell herself “I consented to that”, combined with “it was for my own good”. It’s been shown over and over in study after study that the more gentle the attack, the more harm it does to the person’s sense of self long-term.

      • Alex says:

        That’s very insightful. I didn’t think of that about the middle east. I know there’s a lot of counterphobic responses to things like this, but one would think they’d try to make it more difficult for this to happen again- to them or to someone else.

        I was just thinking about how they, theoretically, might amputate some part of a person’s body against their wishes (like if a bone is broken in numerous places, I’m not sure about it). Imagine if someone says “Just try to keep it together & see what happens” & they say “No,” then cut that person’s leg off- which might have gotten better, even if it required means that are outside of their profession (comfrey, for instance- not something they likely even say would help). This is totally monstrous & totally plausible- this country is so bureaucratically insane & so dictatorial while being more or less blind to any kind of non-cliche attack. They truly don’t go by dynamics, which is exactly what a person is dealing with in life.

        Anyway, thanks for pointing that out. I still think they more or less need to be conquered, since they act like dictators themselves & pose a major menace to the public- given their ability to apply influence on people. I just don’t see that happening in America- so fanatical about freedom that they’ll give theirs away to someone else & never “bully” an instigator, no matter what their methods.

  54. katrehman says:

    What’s next? Temporarily sectioning every woman with a cervix and subjecting her to forced hypnosis.. I love my smear test I will attend every smear test and beg for additional ones??!

    • Alex says:

      That seems more & more frequently to be the idea behind advertising- to basically hack or override the mind. Like the idea of picking a lock. And hi-jacking the person. Much like the concept of demonic possession.

  55. Alex says:

    Just was reading something (it was the Psychology of Lex Luthor at reelrundown.com, random curiosity). This concept of a Disingenuous Histrionic, Unprincipled Narcissist, and so on seems to VERY much hit the nail on the head with a lot of medical personnel. The dictatorial nerd concept is pretty immediate & the whole concept of being seen as a genius by people they consider idiots/inferiors (which can’t be trusted, due to being idiots/inferiors- so their impression of themselves is based on a foundation of bullshit & that’s something they weren’t smart enough to figure out on their own, interestingly enough).

  56. adawells says:

    Hi Sue,
    Is there anything wrong with the site?
    I can’t delete incoming emails on my phone. As soon as I delete and empty the trash, they appear back in my Inbox again.
    It is only emails from this site.

    • Hi Ada,
      I have not heard of that issue but it sounds annoying. There are glitches on WP from time to time. If it keeps happening you could stop following comments in hopes it resolves, and in the meantime I will keep looking into it.
      Thanks for letting me know.
      Sue

  57. Emily says:

    Hi all🙂 hope everyone is well! I thought after we hear about so many bad things that it might be nice to share a good experience and maybe cheer everyone up….so I’m extremely happy to say that as long as I keep my current Dr (wouldn’t trade him for anything) I am now officially FREE from pap pressures!!

    I have a minor yet persistent case of tinnea versicolor that tends to flare in the warmer months and I needed a refill of ointment to clear it up so I made a Drs apt today. Now that I’m over 25 the inevitable “when was your last pap?” came from the nurse. I replied “Never had one. Never will. I’ve made an informed decision to opt out. Pease move on to your next question” The look on her face was priceless, she was floored and I expected an argument but she simply mumbled “uh ok, we’ll leave that blank for now.” and proceeded with the rest.

    She must have said something because after my Dr. came in, looked at my skin and refilled the script he asked about it. I reiterated my stance and asked if there was anything I could fill out to make it official. He kind of raised his eyebrow and said “Can I ask what lead you to this decision?”

    I knew it was more curiosity than anything, and I wasn’t worried. He is afterall the man who cared for me when I had several bouts of severe strep in my teens and always gave me adequate pain meds so I wouldn’t suffer, he is the one who fought with the ENT to see me immediately that same day when I had cellulitis and a tonsil abscess, the one who sympathetically patted me on the back and crushed up a percocet when I was in agonizing pain but couldn’t swallow pills . he was also the one who was miffed at the crummy ER doc who allowed me to walk out delaying my treatment for a bladder infection all because I refused a pelvic exam. This man has earned my trust.

    So I told him everything: how eric and I were virgins/faithful how I was vaccinated, how I don’t smoke rarely drink and have no underlying health issues that would make me susceptible to CC. I explained to him how my chances of getting CC are roughly 1 in 900,000 (according to stats gleaned from CDC/ info provided on this site) and how I had done my research. I also explained the emotional aspect of it and how it would probably be a traumatic ordeal and put my mental health at risk.

    He simply nodded and said “Well that sounds reasonable. I’m glad you’re being proactive and reviewing the facts. I only wish more young people would take charge of their health. Just let me know if anything changes so we can take care of it sooner instead of later. I know you hate the idea but please don’t avoid it out of fear if something comes up and you need my help.” He then went over some red flag symptoms of common problems (not all of them reproductive related) that I should look out for. I promised him I would and he said he would mark my file as an opt out so I wouldn’t be asked again.

    Then he said “Oh by the way I’m speaking at a bioethics seminar this fall.” (he seemed quite excited/proud of himself) ” I’d love to use you as an example in my piece on preventative health screenings. Is that okay?” I had a good chuckle and told him of course he could. Although there was a lot of time spent on the subject at least he addressed my real concern first and made sure I was taken care of. He supported my decision and I didn’t feel like he was judging me or arguing. At least something good came out of it and now he has some thought provoking material for his upcoming seminar haha.

    Although there can be some pretty awful Drs out there and I’m the first one to be suspicious and distrustful there are some very compassionate, sensitive, humble male Drs as well. I am extremely relieved that I will not be subjected to the standard pap crap under his care. I’ve always believed that even the smallest victories should be celebrated. Thanks again to everyone here who helped me become well informed and gave me the courage to stand up for myself❤ .For anyone *cough* LIZ *cough, cough* who might wonder if their tireless efforts have made any real difference I am the living breathing eternally grateful proof! The changes may come slowly but thanks to people like yourselves and the ethical caring Drs there may yet be hope.

    • linda says:

      Hi Emily. Thats great. Sounds like an understanding doctor. I love hearing positive stuff like this. Its just brill. Real progress. X

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Hi Emily,
      Well done, but it irks me that we have to disclose such personal information simply to have our legal right accepted…a simple “NO” should be enough. Like you, I chose to be frank with my doctor, simply to reassure her I knew what I was doing. The system is so dysfunctional/abusive and women are treated so badly, many doctors are reluctant to accept a simple “No” fearing you might sue them if you get cervical cancer.

      We’re not respected/trusted to make our own decisions even though we make decisions every day and accept the consequences of those decisions. (like men)
      It’s a fall back to paternalistic thinking, women are incapable of making their own decisions, doctors knows best etc.
      I think more doctors are getting a “NO” these days (about time!) and more women are shopping around until they find someone who’ll accept the NO. This is something new, for many years women either had the test, apologized, put themselves down etc. when confronted about their non-screening status or being “overdue” or they avoided doctors. So it’s a big step forward when we can see a doctor and openly and confidently decline the test.
      I don’t regret the decision to be frank with my doctor, the subject is firmly closed, end of story, so it was worth it. I can certainly understand why some women choose not to justify their decision, why should we?
      We SHOULD have the right to just say No to elective testing…hopefully, that day is not too far away.
      I do know a woman who just said NO…and her doctor and the surgery feel the need to “review” her decision every year or so.

      • Kleigh says:

        I just wanted to add that hopefully he will share to other doctors out there thst this screening is not acceptable to sll eoman and not sll woman whould beinfiet from it. Im glad to hear. I only with thst brsinwashed nurse whould have shut her mouth and listen to me instead of being a know it all and disrespectful to my refusel.

    • Heather (Australia) says:

      I’m very happy for you Emily!🙂 It is very nice to hear that there is a caring, respecting and understanding doctor, somewhere.
      Though, most of us are yet to meet one. Also, I would definitely be very uncomfortable with telling a stranger (with medical degree, but nonetheless a stranger) so much about my personal life. I would prefer them to accept my simple “no”. They can advise me on the symptoms to be aware of, but I’m not prepared to tell them about my private life in details. I might have been more open to the idea decades ago, when everything I say was strictly between me and the doctor. But these days of online medical information exchange, eHelath systems and government surveillance through Medicare and cancer screening programmes, we never know where our personal information ends up and how it may be used in the future. At least in Australia, every new government keeps inventing new ways of invading people’s privacy.

    • Alex says:

      That’s good to hear. I’m a little surprised he didn’t mention these things himself & tell the nurse not to bring it up. I mean, they wouldn’t ask a guy: “When was your last leeching?” That’s something that may or may not have health-bolstering properties in some cases that was based on what seems to be at least partially untrue data that might very well have been swayed by the psychology of the time.

      If I’ve had a part in you being well-informed & courageous enough to stand up for yourself, you’re welcome!

    • Kleigh says:

      She probably never had a woman stand firm or flat out refuse the screening like that. Doesnt it seem annoying that they as for a date pf last pap smear. When who said you agreed to one that implys its it was expected of you. We get thst same q over hear after are screening age. Ot erks me to mo end.

  58. Alex says:

    Hello, all. Was thinking about something recently & figured I’d bring it up. There’s a book called Bureaucratic Insanity that I just read & in it, there was reference on people being sadistic in a more “professional” way. I notice that a lot of people don’t bash into someone’s house & “play doctor” at gunpoint, so it’s not as readily identifiable when things get imposed in other settings.

    I figure this theme connects in some ways (some of which weren’t exactly referenced in the book- he seemed to talk more about the environment of that person’s job driving them to lash out, much like if they grew up in a controlling house or lived in a dictatorial environment like prison). These people, despite all the talk of money, seem to be motivated by intangibles- perviness, sadism, narcissistic supply, being dictatorial, assorted “mommy issues,” etc… .

    There’s usually some talk about “self-defense” on their part, as well- things like how “they’d get sued” if they didn’t impose various things on someone (by that person, despite THEIR refusal of the situation- not all that plausible, but that kind of reaction to an affront is). Immediately, there’s the potential for someone to reflexively support self-defense & that works as a facilitator for them- especially since it might come off as a “non-starter” to suggest anything that goes against that. Someone that’s 100% self-supporting of whatever they’re trying to do can be a daunting obstacle, even for someone that knows they’re right & doesn’t want whatever it is to happen.

    There are some inconsistencies with the concept of “self-defense” in a lot of these cases, though. For example:
    Wouldn’t they be more worried about the harm they do that patient than whether or not they’re going to get randomly sued? Which is a risk for everyone all the time? Which is something that, theoretically, would be shot down if it was an unfair suit? Which their organization can likely afford very easily? If it can’t, isn’t it more prudent to NOT do something that will generate a lawsuit- like attacking someone in some way, including an iatrogenic one? That’s just good risk management.

    Same for private practice. If their insurance is paid up, don’t they have less to worry about? Don’t they need that insurance to practice? So it’s a case of them saying they’re worried about their money to win someone over? Kind of like a “Hearts & Minds” campaign, but appealing to that person’s sense of loss aversion & value of money/career/etc… . This tends to be what makes a lot of people in America “tick” & it would frequently work on them.

  59. Alex says:

    Just heard of a book “The Clintons’ War on Women.” Don’t know if it’s any good, but she seems like the type that would get “territorial” with women.

  60. Krystal says:

    Im scared. This is tmi and im just asking if anyone has advice. I used a tampon and went to the pull i kerp diving snd when i went home to remove to tampon the string is deep inside me i tried to gidh gor it but i cant find it. Im scared i font want to have to ho to the er. If theres Any advice please help. Sorry for the tmi.

  61. linda says:

    Hi. The tampon will be pushed down to a point you can reach as your bodys natural rythyms will do that. Dont panic as most women have this at sone point. I wouldn’t be surprused if it was already out. Donlt bother going seeing a doc about it.

  62. katrehman says:

    Lindas right and I read if you squat and push down your sometimes able to get it without the string. I think it’s only if you get foul odour or fever it’s toxic shock and medical room time x

  63. Krystal says:

    Thank yall. I was able to get a pece of the shreaded string and pull it out. It did hurt tmi. Thanks for the help.

  64. Ro says:

    Hello all! Hope you’ve been doing well. I just needed to get a few things off my chest and I know this is a safe place to do so. Over the past few years, my anxiety regarding invasive exams has dropped to essentially non-existent. I’ve taken control and realized that it’s still up to me to give my consent. I’ve read the facts and made informed decisions. However, this evening I was watching a YouTube video from one of my favorite you tubers and she discussed getting the test done. For some reason, I felt really anxious. Then, upon reading the comments, there were awful heartbreaking stories from people who lost their loved ones to CC (most had never been tested/had not tested in a long time, according to the comments). I’m not doubting those comments nor am I going to claim they were all true, but they were terribly heartbreaking and I feel for anyone who’s lost a loved one. For a long while, I’ve been able to stand strong, but now I just feel anxious again as though I’m either going to have to submit or die. Does anyone else have bouts of anxiety like this when they see/hear/read something regarding women’s “health care”? How do you combat it?
    Another thing that is really aggravating me now that I’ve had this on my mind for about an hour, I remembered there was a young man on a talk show a few years back. He’d invented a blood test that could detect most, if not all, cancers with near perfect accuracy. He had studies and evidence to back it up. My understanding was that it was almost similar to a pregnancy test. If something showed up, you could test a few more times and then see where the results led. I wonder what ever happened. I figure some nice looking business person probably told him they wanted to buy his product for a large sum of money and sell the product to medical professionals to help as many people as possible. This is a bit of a jumbled rant but I really just needed to vent about this as it’s bothering me at the moment.

    • Diane Spero says:

      thanks for your share yes its sad some die from these diseases. I don’t if they got tested if the out come would be different. Would they go through more test and procedures for nothing.
      I am afraid of invasive tests. With so any test being taken at the time, i question how accurate are the results.
      I go to the lad for thyroid blood work. The lab does so much testing that i’m sure there are many inaccurate results.
      Te anxiety and panic the test would case me are more than the slight change i ave he disease. I have basic blood work once a yr. The results are fine. I don’t feel a need for further testing.
      I believe hey create fear like you are experiencing to suck you into testing.

    • Alex says:

      Hey, Ro. Let me tell you something: You can actually die of a broken arm & not from the bone going through an artery or something like that, but from the pain- specifically, from the FOCUS on the pain being so mind-filling that it amplifies things to the point where someone can have a heart attack. It’s kind of “undiluted.”

      The same thing happens with fear. Actually, that’s something of a sales tactic: make an “alert” & then make a “sale” when someone’s in that state. Limited time offers are kind of like that, because someone’s afraid of losing that opportunity- loss aversion is a pretty serious thing for a lot of people & trying to predict the future is generally a fruitless endeavor (so they are more or less in a state like when someone hears a noise in their house during a blackout- if someone were to sell them a flashlight at that point…).

      I’ve got to remind you that chicks usually live longer than men & DO die eventually, anyway. It should be without other people deciding what goes where while they’re alive. Ultimately, this is a penetrative situation that doesn’t work as advertised for something massively rare to begin with being sold by a for-profit institution that doesn’t generally have much self-criticism or believe that other people’s decisions equal or outmatch their own- even when it’s deciding what is or is not done to their own body.

    • Alex says:

      You know what? I just remembered this thing I was about to buy on fear (it can be DVD or download- I’ve never had problems from these people & I bought about 20 different things from them).

      It’s called “Breathing and Fear” at russianmartialart.com & it’s $10 for the download ($30 for the DVD). I don’t have it in my hands yet, but most things from them are good (honestly, some of them have a lot of information & some don’t- the information’s always good, though). It IS usually a long wait for me to get things in the mail, even though I live in New York & it’s close to where they are. Might be good to give that a try.

      There’s other things from them on using breathing & other things to counter fear without getting yourself all cranked-up & reckless (most things out there seem to be almost throwing yourself into a kind of frenzy & heedlessly launching yourself into whatever it is- even if it’s not a good idea & doing this defeats the purpose).

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Ro.
      I take little notice of comments such as those – we know how militant some pro-screeners can be and it wouldn’t surprise me if some of those stories were fake.
      Plus, we know how common false-negatives are, yet we very rarely hear about the women who get the disease despite regular screening, do we? When have you ever seen a post where someone states that their loved one had twenty years of pap tests and died from the disease anyway? It never ceases to astound me how so many people are convinced that ‘if only’ the person they claim to hold so dear had had regular screening, all would have been well, when we know that the false-negative rate is so high.

      It’s almost like there’s some conspiracy afoot to hold back the march of progress and keep this awful testing going for as long as possible. When you think of the huge industry that ‘women’s health’ has generated, and how many jobs are dependant on the surveillance of the female body, it’s hardly surprising that there is so much scaremongering out there.

      Btw, my best friends mum passed away a few weeks ago after a massive heart attack at the age of 62. She’d been unwell for a few days and was in terrible pain that morning, yet when her hubby called the GP they told her to take some painkillers and they’d try to make a home visit in the afternoon. She was dead within the hour.
      So, excuse me when I snort in derision when I hear about the programme ‘saving lives’, because the reality is that while they’re busy pumping huge amounts of precious NHS resources into searching for a rare disease, people who are genuinely ill are dying through lack of care.

      • Kleigh says:

        After being more informed about pap smears, I have noticed alot of people mistake other womans cancers for cc and some also think that a pap smear tests for other cancers and stds. Alot of people are misinformed.

  65. ChasUK says:

    Hi Ro, I get this every so often too……..that feeling of……..What If!!
    My way out of this feeling is to remember that I have no symptoms, cc is still rare & always was rare, that thousands of women each year are treated for nothing, nothing at all & endure the various painful procedures, that HPV is so common & most rid themselves of this…………am I prepared for any of the follow ups or the additional fear/anxiety this brings, afraid of the pain & embarrassment, and all this private information on a register that so many have access to, the surveillance and tracking, being labelled as diseased simply because I’m a woman! Angry, confused, emotional and so on. The lack of real information from the NHS screening services, the attitudes of “you must, it’s something all women have to do”……………..Well I don’t have to, we don’t have to. It is time to start trusting your body and your mind and remember most abnormal cells are simply that, cells have changed slightly, you and your body doing what it does naturally, could be close to that time of month, menopause, hormonal imbalance, ovulation, harmless changes. They still do not know which abnormal cell will turn to cancer and which will not, and most do not! From the “claimed 5000 lives saved” each year, how many are really saved 5,10,50,100,1000? We will never know for sure and fear/coercion is how they trap you onto this Happy Pappy Train Crap! I simply will not let them near me and my internal organs, because….What if…..What if I am being treated purely out of precaution, based on a very slim maybe!
    CC Risk 0.65% = 99.35% of absolutely nothing wrong at all, 99.35% are excellent odds don’t you think? Take everyone.

  66. ChasUK says:

    Oops sorry that was take care everyone. I also meant to paste this link in http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/10/28/women-informed-consent-and-cervical-screening – the lives saved if you screen and if you do not screen, I’m sure you have all seen this but just a reminder
    Age No women alive start/10yr alive screened alive not screened
    25 10,000 9963 9962
    35 10,000 9863 9859
    45 10,000 9713 9708
    55 10,000 9457 9450

    Not a great outcome!

  67. Anonymous says:

    Stay away from gynaecologists. 90% of all their procedures are unnecessary, especially hysterectomies, and one of the dirty tricks they use is to deliberately fabricate you have cancer. These medical rogues do far more harm than good…

  68. Alex says:

    (For Emily or Anyone That Can Remember): I was trying to find the post where you suggested a place in Maine to me a while back, but I couldn’t find it & couldn’t remember.

    I still think on & off of going to Maine, maybe instead of Europe. Especially considering that money’s a bit tight for me right now & traveling from New York to Maine would be massively cheaper, as well as being possible by land (I don’t tend toward flying & transatlantic cruises can be expensive). Is Maine expensive?

    I guess I could just pick a spot & land there, but I figured if I go to Maine, I’d try out that town you mentioned first.

    • Amy says:

      Funny, funny, funny. You just replied to my comment on another article and I happen to be from and live in Maine. Is Maine expensive? Probably no more so than anywhere else, but also depends on where you go and what you want to do. How long are thinking about visiting? A week or two?

      • Alex says:

        Well, I’m not really sure. Honestly, I’m looking for a new place to live. I figured I’d, theoretically, stay up there & just kind of build from wherever I landed. Not just leaping into building a house & such, but kind of roaming around & living cheap without eating out of the dumpster.

        Don’t know if I would do it, even though MAINE sounds very good- America’s bullshit just bothers me & I have a hard time thinking about the future going well here. That said, I like the general style of things in Maine (ex: lots of wilderness, loose gun & knife laws, independent/DIY people that don’t seem to try to push everyone else around, etc…). Just wish it was where a Maine-sized chunk of coastal Poland is!

      • Alex says:

        I realize I didn’t quite answer your question- sorry about that! I figure I’d probably go for a couple of months, at least. I’d like to do a lot of outdoors stuff, likely staying out there for a long while(s).

        I guess I could theoretically do the same thing in Maine that I was planning on doing in Europe: start of with manual labor, then maybe something with tourism, then eventually becoming something of a self-reliance instructor (like Dave Canterbury, to give an impression of the idea- doesn’t have to be a job, though).

        Part of what I’m thinking about is that I don’t know how things are going to go with VISAs overseas & I don’t know how much it’s a point- being a college professor without a work VISA seems like it’d be a problem, but I doubt they’re going to be so hair-splitting that they flip out over me teaching someone a bit of English on their lunch break for cash or doing some construction off the books. In Maine, I don’t need all kinds of papers & everyone speaks the same language that I do.

      • Emily says:

        Yay another mainah! great to meet you Amy!😀 Hi again Alex…I suggested Farmington for you because it’s a college town full of younger liberal type people. But if you want wilderness it’s not too far off…just head towards Weld/ Rangeley. If youre thinking of staying long term or relocating then the biggest thing youd struggle with is work…theres not a lot for work around here and it can be pretty hard to find a decent job. It’s a little easier during summer with tourists and things like construction and landscaping…but still I think youd fit in with us maineiacs. If you dont have a car then getting here from NY could be relatively easy and cheap if you don’t mind taking the train. sorry everyone for being off topic lol😉 hope you are all well

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