Discussion Forum (Unnecessary Pap Smears: Part Two)

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

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

About forwomenseyesonly

Hi. My name is Sue and I am interested in promoting holistic and respectful health care.
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3,360 Responses to Discussion Forum (Unnecessary Pap Smears: Part Two)

  1. Evaro says:

    I LOVE this site!! I’m from the US, and though we don’t have a screening authority, we have some pretty pushy doctors here too. Ive been visiting this site for over a year and i figured its about time i left a comment to show my appriciation. Thank you all!
    My mom made me go to the gyn when I was 18 and everything that is talked about here is exactly what happened to me. First pap- not a a good specimen. Second pap a few weeks later- a typical cells and referral for colposcopy. Colposcopy revieled atypical squemous cells and positive for high risk strains of HPV. Shortly after that, my mom lost her health insurance and I moved out and never did any follow up treatments or appointments. Fast forward to 23 years old and I was pregnant with my first, and the new OB sprung a pap on me at my first prenatal appointment. I had actually put off making a prenatal appointment until I was 20 weeks pregnant because I was dreading a pap and pelvic. I wasn’t asked or given a heads up, just treated like a routine thing. Still as upsetting as I remember it being before. At the next appointment the doctor said everything was fine and I was HPV negative. I told him about my previous historyandi didn’t understand how that could be possible. He disclosed that these things often clear up on their own. The only good thing that came from that pap was proof. Their really is no bennifit to screening so young. Such a piece of mind to be able to say no now. If I wouldve followed my doctors orders who knows what would have happened. I may not have my two beautiful children if I had any of those follow-up procedures. I feel confident saying no because I am living proof that the test is bogus.

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      Thank you for joining us. Thank you for your courage. And even more strange yet, a huge belated thanks to your mom for losing her health insurance coverage! HA!!! Proof! Just let me guess. You were told your life depended upon quick treatment. You’d never have kids if you didn’t quickly jump on the table naked, heels in stirrups, legs spread wide, begging please do to me whatever! Save my life! Ohh Please!
      Picture in your mind you and your bf/gf told by RN it was best for them to wait outside. Explaining that you wouldn’t want them to see you “that way” and that they wouldn’t want to see you “that way.” [huh? now the RN or clerk can suddenly somehow even read your loved one’s mind? and now the nurse also knows your favorite sex positions?] But “she” (now smiling) would be there for you–all the support you’ll need. Just a routine exam. They do these all day, every day, and you’re not special–nobody will care what you look like naked. Are you peppered with questions about IF your loved one or advocate is abusive at home or if you do or not feel safe at home? Dr K-Y (male of female, gay or straight) is impatiently there in the room, “waiting” to save your life. The lecture that it “may” be uncomfortable for a few seconds but well worth it for what your life could become if you were one of the unlucky ones. When you ask about pain they tell you it’s imaginary bc there’s no pain sensing nerves on your cervix. During the colposcopy, the doctor tells you that you may feel a “pinch” or something like a mild period cramp when the “alligator teeth” like contraption bites off chunks of your cervix; or the other metallic thing that pinches & punches off your tender tissue like it’s just a piece of file paper having crisp holes made to hold records. Afterward does the staff make facial gestures as if your life is going be saved but just in time thanks to them? Do you get the “nod” from staff as if they recognize and offer sympathy to you for your pain and tears? Does your spouse or partner feel they were treated respectfully?
      When it’s all over, and your hands are shaking and you’re crying buckets of tears, do they hurry to dump you off back to your loved one? Now claiming that to that person “she needs your help.” After you leave, does your loved one asks why you didn’t demand they stop or come out to get him or her to support you? Do you ask why, since it took so long, why that person didn’t demand immediate contact with you? Is there an argument about how much pain you’re in and the fact that you have nothing at all to make the pain stop
      Please, everybody, tell me if THIS IS YOUR story. Does this apply to you?
      I am going to be talking to a few people and I need your life experiences to describe.
      Please help.

      • Diane Spero says:

        not totally my story always alone. but it won’t hurt bs i can relate too. i am small and they can’t get the spetlum in me. my body freaks out. i w told come back when you cn be examined. the issue was i could not be examined. it’s barbic what they do.
        they did these exams in concentration camps! i suffered enough! NEVER AGAIN!

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      What I also want to tell you.
      Two very nice, helpful ladies who regularly contribute to these sites, Moo and Elizabeth (Australia), have advised time and again that HPV is NOT latent. That it CANNOT lie dormant in your body silently stalking inside your vagina and immune system until you’re weak…and then it smartly attacks. I second this. It can’t.
      Half my life ago I had to endure this process which ended in cryosurgery. I was made to feel what the gyno put me through that painful hell on earth was for my own good. My terror, my fear, the experience in which the doctor sat totally disconnected “assuring me” that the cold would provide its own anesthesia and analgesia. The husband I had then could not have cared less.
      The husband I have now would be at the doctor’s throat if I were put through a similar experience.
      I never knew if I indeed had HPV other than the pap. In US, Pap Scrapes are not tested unless the MD requests it and only then IF the initial Dx is abnormal!
      Two years ago my husband forced my present gyn to allow me to use Trovagene urine based home collected HPV test. It came back negative. [recently Trovagene company d/c this test due to “lack of interest.” for such a breakthrough test, it was never advertised nor even part of a news broadcast. what a shame; what a loss for women]
      IF HPV were latent, then my test would’ve come back positive.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Cat & Mouse
        Not surprised there was a “lack of interest” in the HPV urine test but that would be from the medical profession, not from women, we’ve always been cut out of these decisions. Also, when we get misinformation, it’s impossible to make an informed decision.

        Here in Australia, we’ve been wheeling women into surgery and day procedure rooms for many years doing “treatments” and biopsies without first checking them for HPV – instead, the HPV test was used as the “test of cure” – how convenient for them!
        So they’d “treat” or do a biopsy on the cervix, then do the HPV test and WOW, you’re cured, no HPV!

        Of course, most of these women would have been HPV- to start with and many of these treatments and biopsies were on young women, those who would simply have cleared the virus in a year or two anyway.
        So they’ve gone to great lengths to protect this industry and to deceive women (and clearly couldn’t care less about our health and well-being; the system has zero respect for women)
        Now we told that HPV- women are unlikely to develop cc within the next few years so can safely test again in 5 years, this is all down to NEW evidence and the HPV vaccine – rubbish!
        More women are working out the significance of being HPV- that they can’t be helped by pap testing, and certainly don’t need biopsies, colposcopies or treatments.
        So they have to be more careful about over-treating women.

        Also, the numbers who screen are falling so they’ve been forced to make some changes to maintain control, but they’ve still managed to hang onto some of the profitable excess. We’ll do HPV testing from age 25; long-standing evidence says not before 30 but HPV testing these young women will lead to lots of unnecessary colposcopies and biopsies.
        We know about 40% WILL test HPV+..these are transient and harmless HPV infections that would clear in a year or two. So our young women will continue to suffer under our new program.
        We’ll also, test for HPV far too often – and we’ll keep testing HPV- women who are no longer sexually active or confidently monogamous – we won’t give them a choice, some of these women might choose to stop testing if they were aware of the significance of their risk profile.
        HPV self-testing will also, be locked away until you’ve declined the invasive HPV test for 6 years. We won’t be offering the Delphi Screener, but something cheaper, this is handy because they’ve already been telling women that HPV self-testing is inferior to/less reliable than a test carried out by a medical professional.

        Of course, IMO, they’ve KNOWN for many years that MOST of the women going into day procedure WERE likely to be HPV- but they wanted the cash from all of the unnecessary treatments and biopsies.
        Of course, safe in the knowledge almost all women were completely ignorant when it came to the evidence, and the few informed women around would never be believed by the masses.
        The “treatments” also, served to scare women and lead to continued compliance with the program and it’s fierce promotion, how many “saved” women promote pap testing? (Interesting…they’re often very young…over-treated – almost certainly…saved – MOST unlikely)
        I believe we knowingly butchered huge numbers of women, a simple HPV test would have ruled most of these women out for these “treatments”.
        The callousness is hard to accept but there is an important lesson here…BEWARE of these programs and the medical profession, especially when it comes to women’s cancer screening/health.

      • katrehman says:

        Thanks Cat&Mouse this helped me finally understand this aspect of HPV..I’ve been struggling over this dormancy bit. Not that I believed the screening propaganda I just didn’t get it if you know what I mean..

  2. Elizabeth (Aust) says:


    Take a read of this, my view: she had a false positive pap test, like lots of other young women, and was over-treated…look at the damage it caused to her body and life!
    of course, she clearly believes the treatment saved her life, so she’s urging women to have their pap tests. Now this is the insidious thing about this program, these women can’t see the wood for the trees – she should be furious she was tested early, against the long-standing evidence.

    My bet: no early pap testing and she would have gone on to have a happy life with an intact cervix…and could have had a child.
    I can’t comment, think you have to be on Twitter or Facebook, some of you might like to comment.

    • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

      Ah, I’d love to comment but I am not on Facebook (and don’t really want to sign up to it due to work reasons). But those women infuriate me!! Do what you want with your own life if it makes you feel better about yourself, but DO NOT have the audacity to tell me that I “need” this test and that it “has to be done”. There is far too much interference in women’s lives right now and what else goads me is men commenting on this subject. How dare they??!!! Arghh, they make me beyond angry.

      But I noticed (to my delight) that there are very little comments on this blog since 1st September and even fewer likes. I guess a lot of eomen are feeling like us and are starting to get fed up with the whole topic, which has always felt like a lecturing campaign rather than a public health campaign.

      Inteterestingly, prostate cancer is getting a lot of coverage right now with shaming posters and an advert which has a teenage son lecturing his father who comes across as an ignorant, petulant child (I guess the guys are starting to realise how ut feels to be lectured by the NHS).

  3. katrehman says:

    Go for your smears my dears? ? I’ll ring the surgery right away then…..blergh!

    • Heather says:

      As more women are learning the truth, medical profits from the lucrative cervix-butchering “program” are dwindling. Hence the crap.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Moo was spectacular in hunting down and sharing stats. These were copied out of university-level med school text books etc. The stuff “they” prefer we NEVER see. Although they yap about it, the last thing doctors want us to do is become truly informed and then start demanding info before they can lie to us per their “shared decision making.” My husband goes to every appt I have regardless of what it is. He gets stressed and upset if I can’t go to his which happens a time or two.
        I am disabled. Since our near 30yr marriage we’ve been to close to 100 different offices for this or that. We learned early on to watch for certain phrases, key words, and BS talk. Like the old “take a couple Advil 15 minutes before” and “not that many patients report pain very bad.”
        The first? Useless, placebo. The dose too small and won’t have any effect on blood plasma levels. And what patients report? He’s telling the truth IF you know what he’s thinking now what he’s saying. It means, “ALL patients are reporting pain that’s VERY bad.”
        A horny gyno, male of female, will all say the same things too. Such as “must rule it out, I could go to jail if I don’t do this exam, (or) I’m billing for this exam and I have to do it…, potentially serious, want to make sure your parts are working right, we do this all day, every day, all bodies look the same to me, I can feel all your reproductive organs, etc. I can think of more too.
        My advice. Go back and read the old entries. There’s a wealth of information there.
        I registered on TSMH site and over two days wrote two passionate replies to that garbage article.
        The first was not printed. I’m hoping the second will be but I’m not holding my breath.
        This article is based solely on hype, fear, and has no facts to rely on.
        There’s very good comments made by a Pathologist and another doctor.
        Pap scrapes are read/scored by computers. Rarely Pathologists review slides.
        That’s why they’re only 53% accurate.

    • moo says:

      The lack of technical terms is appaling in this story. She said she had “her cervix scraped out because she had pre cancerous cells”. So she had a colpscopy and an endocervical canal biopsy? What were the results of her previous pap tests? CIN II or CIN III. Was she HPV postive? What strains of HPV? These are all questions any woman should ask and get straingt answers from. Sounds like she did not have cancer but the panic she has is so terrible.

      Breast lump? Could be nothing. Did she even get an ultrasound?

  4. katrehman says:

    I’m sure the desperate go for your smears my dears will learn eventually that women aren’t going to go. They plan anothee scare campaign in Scotland even though previous ones didn’t work…

  5. Elizabeth (Aust) says:


    120 billion!

    How much of that is a complete waste of money?
    MOST of it…take out the 95% of women aged 30 to 60 who test HPV-…take out those under 30…take out HPV- women no longer sexually active or confidently monogamous…take out women who’ve never been sexually active…take out those who’ve had a complete hysterectomy for non-cancerous reasons etc. etc. No colposcopies, biopsies or treatments on young or HPV- women etc.
    That huge sum could be spent on far greater risks to our health, a large chunk of this money ends up harming lots of women too
    This might be great business but it’s culpable and immoral medicine

    • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

      Puts it all in perspective doesn’t it? The bullying, the lecturing – it all makes sense now!

    • Miso99 (Canada) says:

      I looked at the graphics and they included the cystology tests in cervical screening, but I can’t understand why, even though it seems to provide no significant effect on the rise of the market and has nothing to do with cervical screening (cystology is for bladder exams). The main rise seems to be from the projection in the future of more HPV test, replacing progressively a portion of the pap tests.

      In fact they project the increase of use of HPV test will be greater than the decrease in pap tests. My explanation is that they will use HPV tests on women who didn’t previously had pap tests. So not only replacing existing pap by HPV tests, but acquiring new market for HPV tests alone. I wonder how that would be possible to achieve since the protocol now is to either use HPV test after abnormal pap, or use HPV with pap.

      They would have to change that and offer HPV test on a stand alone basis or make it the first test, but pap test seems useless once you have the HPV test, as it provides more accurate information. Then as soon as HPV test comes back positive for high risk they ask for a colpo/biopsy. Overall they just replaced one test with another, without losing any profit.

      Colposcopy and cervical biopsy have a regular but slower increase that the HPV/pap tests variations, but you can see that both colpo and biopsy seems to increase at the same rate, which makes sense as they are both done together.

      Now this is my question, if HPV test could allow less colpo/biopsy by sorting potentially dangerous abnormalities from the harmless abnormalities, and therefore less colpo/biopsy since now we could only colpo/bipsy the dangerous abnormalities, while in the past with only the pap they would colpo/biopsy all of them, how can we still see an increase in colpo/biopsy? You’d think the colpo/biopsy rates would either flatline or decrease as more HPV tests are used!

  6. katrehman says:

    While it’s obviously great news that UK women will be told they can opt out of cervical screening.. It remains to be seen how easy the authorities allow it to be. Will we be told we have to complete a counselling session first? Even after I’d opted out at first my doctor still brought it up every time I went. Maybe we’ll have to continue pushing back. No I’m not coming to counselling.. No I’m here to renew my asthma meds not check my vagina thanks….
    I’m guessing we’ll have to keep pushing for self testing… Ada did you hear any more??

    • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

      I bet the powers that be are smarting that screening is now being presented as a “choice”.

      They won’t like it and they won’t want to accept it but I believe that this narrative will gradually make it harder for professionals to continue to impose it on women. I can imagine some women saying in the consult room, “but the letter says it is a choice…”

      The programme’s days are numbered. But I am angry that it has taken until 2016 to recognise that women have a choice, whereas men’s needs and choices as valued himan beings has always been respected.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Exactly, to the truthful, I didn’t think I’d see it in my lifetime.
        Nothing happened for decades, no matter how badly women were being treated, no matter we were harming and abusing huge numbers of women.
        Women will be the ones to stop the current program in its tracks, you can’t put a woman on the spot, you can’t insult or bully her when she’s informed, you’re very likely to hear from the AMA, Medical Board or her solicitor.
        I’m sure we’ll still see some doctors picking on vulnerable women (and young women)

        Unless you pull doctors into line, a lot of this talk about choice is just that, talk, it relies on women standing up to doctors in the consult room, and that’s not easy for many women.
        I’d have more confidence that a change in attitude was in the air if THEY challenged doctors doing the wrong thing, chasing targets and trampling all over our legal rights, including continuing to link the Pill with pap testing.
        There should be a public statement: “All cancer screening is elective, if you have an issue with your doctor, please call etc.” “Pap tests are not a clinical requirement for the Pill” etc.

        In some ways, the noise is just that, probably to placate informed women, but it’s something…when for decades we had nothing but medical abuse.
        The counselling thing is nothing more than an attempt to bully and scare women into testing – I’d not only refuse to attend, I’d report the doctor.
        I’ve reported a surgery a couple of times – on their website they say repeats for the Pill cannot be arranged over the phone or online because “women on the Pill need pap testing”. I first reported this Clinic about 2 years ago, needless to say, nothing has been done and the offending statement remains on their website. No one here is talking about choice anyway, but it’s yet another example of the complete lack of respect for women and choice.
        It amazes me how absolutely nothing is said about choice here, although we did get a few news articles on over-diagnosis in breast screening. In fact, the FIRST article I found on informed consent and cervical screening (from an Aussie source) was earlier this year – yes, this year! (Of course, no one talks about the lack of consent itself, “you need one for the Pill” etc.)
        The article that appeared in the MJA was along the lines, given we’re changing our program, perhaps, it might be an idea to consider informed consent. It seems our legal rights are optional when it comes to cancer screening.

      • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

        I agree. It DOES rely on women standing up to these oppressors. That is essentially why we are at the point we are at in the UK. It is due to more informed women, not embarrassed or scared ones. I went on the Daily Mail earlier on and ecpected a flurry of red arrows on my comments, only to have received none! Even as recently as two years ago, comments like mine were very few and far between. The message is getting through (very slowly).. Of course, it doesn’t help that the fiercest defenders of this programme are young-ish, angry women! (Who refuse to see informed consent as valid).

        If the end is nigh here in the UK, Australia, NZ, Canada will follow suit (eventually).. Raising the age to 25 will be the beginning of the end. Why? Because I recall that is when scrutiny of the programme really gained traction over here in the UK. It forced some people to question its validity.

        The more enlightened women began to question why they had been basically coerced to have this “vital”, “life-saving” test from 16. They began to question the wisdom of the medical ptofession and the so-called efficacy of this test. Many asked, why have we been told that this test is so vital from 16, when they are now saying it isn’t really effective for any one under 25? What has changed? How effective is this test exactly? It forced many women to start doing their reading. I’ve never been screened, but it was around that time when I started doing serious research and of course, it may be the case that the message has been cascaded to younger generations.. Plus, speaking from even just my own personal experience of life events and so on, pressurising 25 year olds is a lot harder than doing so to 16 – 20 year olds.. Plus, many women today have children later in life, meaning it is harder to capture them and when they are captured, they might be less likely to relent..

  7. katrehman says:

    AQ thanks I left comments along with u and kiwi.
    The new phe blog on opting out of screening has just gone up..what do you all think??

  8. katrehman says:

    AQ ada posted it on pap tests are not mandatory. ..I noticed that lack of red arrows too. Guess the next fight will be standing out for the self testing method for those who want to test….

  9. Alex says:

    I’ve got a question for women: How high does it rate in importance for a man to be conscientious about things like this? For instance, a guy might be worried at the twist a hospital visit for his wife or kid might take. I know I’ve stayed deliberately single for a long time, simply because I don’t like the conditions of the environment I’d be doing the whole “wife & family” thing in. It’s got plenty to do with there being a lot of “disqualified problems” in this country that frequently involve things getting strange (usually from cops or doctors, or both).

    I think male support would definitely come up more frequently if it was referenced as a desired trait (there would, potentially, be some arguing of points needed to clear away assorted bullshit). Kind of like how a woman might mention protectiveness without possessiveness as a desirable trait.

    What brought this to mind was that I am planning to leave for Europe in November (possibly for good) & got to thinking of how women would size me up & I think one of my strongest positives would be that conscientiousness, but I’m also worried I stayed single too long. Just didn’t want to immerse myself in all the bullshit in this country or live the “Jerry Springer Life” with my kid as a co-star, but I worry it’ll come off like there’s something wrong with me & I just have issues with sex/women/people/bonding/etc… .

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      For Katrehman & Apoc Queen in UK, I did post a response on the Daily Mail site. Thanks for taking the time to write the link. I wrote what the Pathologist said.
      Alex, my husband agrees wholeheartedly with you.
      To him, it seems once the child is conceived the message repeatedly told to husbands/prospective fathers is “you’re not needed” until the baby is already born. There are doctors talking about rewriting rules again keeping fathers out of the delivery room.
      This knee-jerk reaction illustrates both the power trip doctors have and the lack of trust to have another male figure present that might ask questions on behalf of his wife and child.
      Anything to stifle the protective instinct men have. As if we don’t have enough of a divorce problem already. We have said many times that divorces begin at the ob-gyne’s office and in delivery rooms.
      All the talk that every case is regarded as individual and that hospitals and their staff will be respectful and will accommodative is pure BS. One you’re in their door you’re their prisoner. Don’t like it, they will call CPS or the cops. Or, you can sue. Hahahahaha. As if there’s money for that after all the other expenses.
      Go to the non-sponsored sites where women air their fears and emotions.
      I think the only place where a man and wife might have a near-normal birth is at a birth center using water birth. Hopefully they will have nitrous oxide.
      It’s one thing to assist in birth when mother nature needs it. It’s another to break apart a family, treat birth as a disease, scrub the vagina with disinfectant before birth (yes, creates a dry birth condition–and the biome that the mother passes to the baby during birth which would protect the infant is taken away), the Strep-B test that can be avoided simply by consuming yogurt, probiotics, kefir, kombucha (Kevita brand)… Or the fetal monitoring, deliberately drugging the mother with pitocin so an emergency C-section MUST happen to save mom & baby (doctor a hero now).
      I hate them and their rules.
      It sickens me watching doctors passing their wives to “friend” doctors for exams like there’s nothing to it. No doctor will ever say a colleague is a pervert until long after a prison sentence is dished out and the license yanked.
      And these assholes think they have rights to pass judgement on us.

      • Alex says:

        Holy shit! I didn’t know about a lot of that- they are deliberately causing problems. Ever notice that there’s always such a strategically-placed “accident”? They just so happen to not know that they’re causing an issue & because of that “ignorance” their are somehow sacrosanct. Bullshit! These issuances are not outside of reality & just like a martial artist doesn’t “practice” whatever martial art on people as the decide, medical personnel don’t “practice” medicine however they or their higher-ranked community members decide.

  10. Diane Spero says:

    i got a email from the hospital about mammograms it awareness month. i could not unsubscribe. i will try again. i had one yrs ago. i will never again put my self through that. it hurts .

    it was humiliating. i quit attempting pap test a few yrs ago. too much trauma.

    they do free mammos in oct in the us. With so any test done at once they can’t be acurate.
    they get in for free , than say you need more test. nothing but profit while humiliating women!


    • katrehman says:

      Diane as an informed woman say no loudly and u can do it. ..we know
      .awesome role model

      • Diane Spero says:

        what about calling them and telling i choose not to have mammograms? i feel i need to let them now my position and that i want to be left alone!

    • Cat&Mouse says:

      I agree with you re mammograms and the pain. How can they say mushing our breasts down to chicken patties size is good? Doesn’t that force any tumors to secrete fluid or tissue? We have asked and the answer didn’t inspire confidence. It’s like the early detection and quick action will negate any possible damage of tumor spread. Huh? Care to put that in writing with a guarantee?
      The mammogram was selected for these reasons. The political clout doctors have in silencing critics while their money convinces Congress to pass laws. Safety, efficacy, and risk were placed at a far second to convenience. Thermography and ultrasound could be used to detect “hot spots” which indicate inflammation and pockets of fluid. Both hallmarks of possible cancer. Almost nothing was done advising us how to cut risk via diet and smoking; or to be vigilant given family history.
      Premarin is still recommended and used. It’s not safe; it’s not bio-identical. How many cancers did it cause? How many devastated families?
      It’s just like pap & pelvic exams. Males decided this. Skyward erections were counted as votes.
      The only thing they got right was “early detection” being key to survival.
      RE The Sydney Morning Herald story, “Pathologist” sent in comments. I wish I knew who the person was as he/she deserves hero status.
      The BS regarding CC occurring in old vs young women was, for me cleared up. Pathologist said CC is an old woman’s disease with the highest occurrences in women over 85 years.
      Dysplasia a young woman’s disease that resolves on its own.
      Facts are, nobody cares about old women. Whether it’s breast or CC.
      Why? The sexual thrill is gone.
      These women have much to offer our societies. We need them, and they need us.

      • Miso99 (Canada) says:

        I think one of the reasons that they push so much for mammograms rather than ultrasound to screen for breast cancer is like what a commenter (retired radiologist I think) said in one of the Dr Welch’s conferences, is that there are professional “mammographers” out there, who don’t do anything else than mammographies and their analysis all day long. They risk losing their jobs if breast screening becomes less popular. Mammography can’t be used for anything else than doing an x-ray compressing the breast. I really doubt they could convert it to testicular cancer detection and convince men to screen that way!

        Compare that with thermography or ultrasounds, who can be used for plenty of other medical purposes other then breast cancer screening. Mammography is a dead-end job, and they know it.

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        Miso99: I noticed your 10/2 comment re cystology being included with CC stats. PREMARIN What I’m going to say is an educated guess as to why these two are being graphed together or each included in the same study. Defensive medicine; add-ons o. Although I’ve never treated through a urologist, they “work under the hood” so to speak as an ob-gyn does. It would not surprise me if urologists performed pap scrapes. [EVERYBODY: PLEASE, WHENEVER POSSIBLE REFER TO pap smear AS A pap SCRAPE! let’s tell it like it is. this test is meant to draw blood–per my husband’s doctor “friend” that’s EXACTLY how the procedure is taught in med school. take a look–see for yourself on youtube.]
        A urologist could/would perform pap scrape to “rule-out potentially serious life-threatening disease” as part of “diagnostic processes.” Caring and responsible doctors will strongly recommend” a follfow up pelvic “FEEL-UP” exam to “APPRECIATE” the bladder and to (of course) “rule-out (etc as above)” other “potentially active regional disease etiologies.” Of course (of course) this in-office exam is offered only to attractive patients from teens through mid-40’s. The rectovaginal (two-fingered vaginal salute “brilliantly modified” by doctors out bowling or a specialist lugging a six-pack) is quick, cost-effective, painless method…
        I’d like to hear what experiences women and men who’ve treated with urologists. Was the exam one you felt was medically indicated or was the doctor playing in your recreational area?
        RE Premarin. I know a person who has undergone frontal sinus turbinate destruction via electrocautery as part of sinus surgery. Electrocautery is the least destructive form of “reducing bulky turbinates.” The purpose and long-term goals of this surgery was misrepresented.
        As a solution to the horrible dryness and what is known as “empty nose syndrome,” an ENT suggested that Premarin drops be applied where the turbinates are located.

  11. Miso99 (Canada) says:

    A medicine magazine for Quebec GPs produced by the medicine board of Quebec (legit publication that doctors use for their guidelines and info updates), which is available for free online if you search enough, the issue, from April 2006, provides interesting explanation about the starting age for cervical screening, here’s my translation:

    “Since cervical cancer is exclusively linked to HPV, the American Cancer Society states that with appropriate counselling, a woman who has never had sexual activities could decide not to screen. The threshold of age 21, has been generally established to avoid missing women with an unmentioned sexual abuse history or missing women with undisclosed sexual activity.”

    So basically they could have thrown little papers in a bowl with numbers on them and randomly pick one up to be the starting age of screening. Why not 20, or 22 then? The first part of the statement is almost in contradiction with the end. How will doctors know that a woman is telling the truth when she says she never had sex, and then do “appropriate counselling”, whatever that means, while knowing that from age 21, she might or might not be lying about it? That won’t make a difference, as the doctor can always presume that there is “undisclosed sexual activity”.

    I can’t find any other cancer screening test or medical procedures based on the patient lying to you to start screening them! From an ethical point of view, if the doctor suspects the patient is lying, it’s up to the doctor to prove it.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Welcome Miso99
      It shows how warped the thinking in women’s cancer screening, screening should be offered based on best evidence, not on doctor’s making assumptions about us.
      The evidence should be released to women, and then it’s up to us to say yes or no…or at least, it should be. Targets and target payments should be scrapped too
      Of course, that will never happen in most countries.

      The evidence says pap testing does not benefit sexually active women up to age 30 (and obviously doesn’t benefit women who’ve never been sexually active at any age) but leads to lots of excess biopsies and over-treatment after false positives.
      Suggesting women may lie about their sexual status to “get out” of pap testing shows how dysfunctional the system is, and the thinking – cancer screening is elective, an option, we can say yes OR no.
      The evidence has moved on and now we know only about 5% of women aged 30 to 60 are HPV+, and you can test yourself for HPV…no need for a speculum exam so pap testing should simply be offered to this group of women.
      Other women (95% of those aged 30 to 60) might choose to have HPV testing or HPV self-testing 5 times in total or just once (if they’re no longer sexually active or confidently monogamous) depending on their level of risk or they might choose not to test at all (like me) Women under 30 should be left alone…pap testing or HPV testing is not supported by the evidence, it just worries and harms a lot of young women.

      • Miso99 (Canada) says:

        I’m 32 and never had a pap test or pelvic exam, it’s pretty easy to slip through the cracks if you don’t have a GP and there isn’t an official cervical screening program in Quebec. Not being assigned to a GP here is common, and I never made any effort to get one since I walked out on one like 10 years ago. So if you don’t see your doctor often or if you’re not assigned to one you won’t be pestered with these invitation letters. However if you want the pill you’ll have to go through it, or for any female specific care such as HRT or pre-natal care, or even regular follow-up for any chronic condition, unless you’re followed by a specialist who doesn’t care about paps like an ophthalmologist or a dermatologist.

        It seems that everybody is accepting this blackmail mentality of the pap test being a ticket to access proper health care, which seems even worse in the US with that whole OB-GYNs acting as primary care physicians racket. Unfortunately most women never think to challenge or research the issue, there like there is a big blind spot for doctors in the population that you just don’t challenge or oppose them.

  12. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Also, the suggestion it’s best to screen from 21 to catch those who lie about their sexual status or those who were sexually abused, completely ignores the women caught by this recommendation who’ve never been sexually active. When you pap test women under 30 (and now we’d add women 30+ who are HPV+) you expose them to fairly high-risk from false positives, excess colposcopy/biopsy and over-treatment.
    These things can cause damage, psychological/emotional and physical – I shudder to think of all the women who’ve never been sexually active who’ve ended up having a colposcopy/biopsy or over-treatment. No one seems to care about this group of women…

  13. Si says:

    So this came across my news feed. That the privacy, dignity and basic human rights of convicted women is not a concern for these politicians – tells us what they really think about women.

  14. Elizabeth (Aust) says:


    Well, well, well, I think the Dutch are making it hard for these programs.
    As more women leave these programs and targets become a distant dream, we’ll slowly see change, of course, vested interests will be kicking and screening all the way.

    They’ve never listened to the Dutch before, for decades they’ve only offered 7 pap tests, 5 yearly from 30 to 60, while most other countries engaged in serious over-screening and non-evidence based screening (like screening before 30, screening women who’ve never been sexually active or those who’ve had a full hysterectomy for non-cancerous reasons and screening the elderly)

    So who would have thought, HPV- negative over 40 can be screened every 10 years.
    Actually, most women can forget about testing, if you’re HPV- and no longer sexually active or confidently monogamous, well, why would you bother?
    I think they may take note of the Dutch this time because the cat is out of the bag and I think women are more aware so the old fob off won’t work, “the Dutch might do that, but we have to consider local factors and do our own research”…that was used here for decades to justify horrible over-screening and inappropriate screening that resulted in widespread harm to women.

    • adawells says:

      I think you’ve mentioned the Dutch programme so often, Eliz, they can’t keep it out of the public gaze any longer! Interesting that the Dutch began trialing HPV testing way back in 1999 (see the link in my post to Kat), and the UK only just doing its own research now.
      I thought you might be interested in the following link about screening after age 65.


      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        It would be nice to think someone is actually listening, but things have certainly changed, I don’t feel like an idiot when I post now, there are certainly lots more informed women around, must be very annoying and concerning for the zealots. (and vested interests)
        So that means more informed comments and women prepared to make their own decisions and to Q the program, that has to force change.
        That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll get the best screening based on the evidence, our new program will be better than the existing one (which I believe is harmful) but there is still lots there for vested interests, too much testing and we’ll start too early)
        So vested interests still greatly influence our program.

        Screening women over 65 – if women are HPV- at 60, that should be the end of it (assuming women are concerned about this small risk) It could end even earlier if they’re HPV- and no longer sexually active or confidently monogamous.

        We’ve included women aged 70-74 in breast screening too, this is clearly IMO, to make up numbers with more women dropping out or choosing not to screen in the first place. There is no evidence of benefit, but some of these women will end up having excess biopsies, and I imagine a few will be over-treated. (that could result in their death)

        A colleague told me that her mother had pap testing until she was 70, even though she was a widow at age 50, and there had been no sexual activity for at least 10 years before that so no sexual activity for 30 years. (her husband had Parkinson’s Disease)
        Her GP knew she was a widow but kept strongly recommending 2 yearly pap testing. (“if you’ve ever had sex, you must have 2 yearly pap testing until you’re 70”)

        The tests were painful, distressing, she was left with soreness that lasted a week or so, got several UTIs after having the test and a grand total of 2 false positives and 2 biopsies (normal) over her screening life.
        A simple HPV self-test could have prevented all of that misery – the caring profession, you must be joking! Also, if she’d been given real information and a choice, she might not have bothered at all.

    • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

      Damn – there was nowhere to comment on that! While looking at the links to other cc articles on The Guardian, I also came across this: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/sep/16/full-uptake-of-cervical-cancer-screening-could-save-hundreds-of-lives

      Would you believe it, when asked why women don’t attend, one researcher from Cancer Research UK, not only acknowledged that screening is a personal choice, but also mentioned women withdrawing due to the rates of false positives and false negatives! Wow. The message DOES seem to be getting through, even if reluctantly and slowly.

      Also, until very recently, The Guardian and its readership have been another one of those newspapers which have been very militant about screening – bizarrely for a supposedly left wing publication. So much so, that some articles and associated comments on some of their older articles actually depress me a bit.

      I had a bit of success earlier this year engaging with the posters though – who seemed far more open to my arguments, than the followers of the Daily Nazi. A handful of them said that they would be pursuing self-testing via the Delphi Screener and the word “choice” is gradually filtering through.

  15. katrehman says:

    There’s also a similar article in our beloved daily mail?!

  16. katrehman says:

    Ada what do you think? Do you think the NHS will ever move to 10 year testing??

    • adawells says:

      I have no official information but my guess is that they will, but it will be very carefully controlled. They’ve just published this.


      It says that it will be for the over 40’s only, and you can bet your life it will only be for those women who’ve always had negative smears up until then. I can hear the GP’s rehearsing their persuasion tactics right now: “Come along, dear, you’ve only got to go through 6 of these tests and then you can drop them for 10 years”, and then after that it will be “Just pop your panties off now and you won’t be pestered for another 10 years”. I think a lot of women will cave into that line of attack. I think there are a substantial number of people in the NHS who do want to reduce the programme. If the over 40’s are only invited every 10 years I can see the take-up rate going to well over 85% again. The GP’s will reach their “top” incentive rates and be happy, but not have so many patients to see to. It’s a win/win for them. There’s been a lot of news recently, about opting out and reducing testing. A wall of silence from Mr Music on this of course.

  17. Alex says:

    That’s pretty fucked-up. It’s like “she’s going to die anyway, may as well get a rape in.” But look what you’re dealing with: law enforcement & medical personnel. Since when, in this country, have they not been like that? All the “cessations of reality” with them is a constant, like a kid lying with their fingers crossed as if what happens is NOT what occurs. Nobody seems to think anything occupational or pertaining to task accomplishment is anything but completely innocent.

    I notice something about that scene from the Joan of Arc movie that seems to be common in real life: it’s OLD WOMEN doing these sorts of things. What is the deal with that? Are old women just hostile to younger women? They feel like these younger women “stole” their youth or something?

    I just notice that older men seem to be different toward younger men than old women are to young women. There’s almost an animosity & they frequently seem to blame the victim if she gets attacked in any way.

  18. Mary says:

    Interesting story in Medscape Pathology’s online newsletter. It’s all about false positives and this is the first sentence “False positives in medicine are as common as the common cold.” Interestingly, they actually talk about how patients may not be relived about a false positive but may be angry after all the harm that it has done.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      It doesn’t seem to be the case with cervical biopsies and treatments. I know so many women who’ve had them, some believe they were saved, (tellingly, most had these scares in their 20s) others just accept it’s part of screening, but thank goodness it wasn’t cancer.

      My late SIL used to scoff when someone said they had cancerous cells removed, she knew it was over-treatment, but think she just accepted it was the downside to the screening process and the peace of mind it offered – “you’re normal”.
      Of course, she had Hodgkin’s Disease when she was 32, this meant surgery and radiation treatment and this made her more susceptible to every other form of cancer, so she was vigilant with her screening. It was 2 yearly pap tests and breast screening, colonoscopies every couple of years – and symptoms were investigated promptly and thoroughly.

      She died of pancreatic cancer last year – she had a CAT scan when she developed gastric symptoms and pain in the area between her breasts, she was told “all clear, it’s probably IBS”…referred to a gastroenterologist.
      Roughly 5-6 months went by, the symptoms got worse, more pain, nausea, and then the vomiting started…another scan…pancreatic cancer with secondaries in the liver. A terminal diagnosis.
      When her oncologist looked at the earlier scan, there it was, small spots in her pancreas, so, no, the initial scan was far from normal – it was missed by either the radiologist or her GP or both, we just don’t know. You don’t have a lot of time to deal with that, you have to get on with palliative treatments and nothing will change the terminal diagnosis.

      So my SIL screened and screened again and acted promptly on symptoms, she still died (as she always feared she would) from cancer.
      If you’re treated with radiation, you have to be vigilant and act promptly with symptoms because some years later, the length of time probably depends on a few factors incl. the level of exposure to radiation, strokes, and cancer can be the end result. After my SIL died I actually found a support group online for people who had strokes and got cancer 20 years or more after being treated for Hodgkin’s Disease. (which usually happens to people in their 20s and 30s) My SIL had a stroke and then 2 years later (after she’d made great progress recovering from the stroke) the gastric symptoms started….

      Women who have lots of mammograms, from their 30s and annually or bi-annually are taking a huge risk, but then, when they get breast cancer, some will say, “I started at 35 and had them every year, I still got cancer, so you should start at 30″…this is what happens when you keep women in the dark and mislead them – we end up making bad decisions that sometimes cost us our life.

      I certainly know women who’ve been put off mammograms after a false positive and biopsy, there seems to be more awareness about the risks with breast screening, even in this country.

      • adawells says:

        Thank you for sharing this about your SIL. I feel very, very sorry for her as it must have been such a hard thing for her to go through. I am so glad I did not have to go onto radiotherapy for endometrial cancer, and I dread the thought of chemotherapy. I will be coming up for 3 years clear next May, and about 70% of re-occurences appear in the following 3 years so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I have had no follow-up, just to give the hospital a call if there is any sign of spotting or discharge. Pancreatic, lung and ovarian cancers are now the big ones to cure. Endometrial, cervical and breast cancers have 90%+ survival after 5 years, which is the time an occurence is assumed to recur. A clinician told me recently “We can cure cancers now, but medicine is now about keeping these ex-cancer patients alive in later life, as it is the initial treatment which causes further cancers in later life”.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Hi Ada
        Esophageal is another nasty one with a poor prognosis, I’ve lost two SILs now, the first from esophageal cancer when she was 57, it was less than a year from diagnosis to death. It was a highly aggressive cancer that spread very quickly, the chemo didn’t touch it. She had a huge operation, basically palliative in nature, but we were hopeful it would give her more time. She didn’t really have periods of wellness either but managed to get up, get dressed and enjoyed people calling in for a cup of tea and a chat.

        My other SIL had zero periods of wellness, she couldn’t manage to get out of bed most days, if she did, she stayed in her pyjamas and headed back to back 10 minutes later.
        She was caught in an awful situation, keep up with the treatments and feel ill most of the time or stop and die a few weeks later.
        It’s interesting when my SIL was diagnosed, the oncologist was quite positive, “we have some new drugs and people are living for years, not just months”…but there was no life, the treatment was just so difficult. Of course, faced with this diagnosis many people feel they have to at least try, maybe, they’ll buy more time, but I wonder, does anyone get quality of life as well?

        There is no doubt in our minds that my SIL got pancreatic cancer and had a stroke as a result of the radiation she had in her early 30s for Hodgkin’s Disease. The doctors felt that was probably the case, but my SIL was grateful for the extra 30 years it gave her.

        My SIL who died from esophageal cancer had issues with reflux all her life and she smoked – she tried to give up but only managed to cut down – both were risk factors for this type of cancer.
        Ada, I’m so pleased you’re going well, and yes, it’s a relief you didn’t need chemo or radiation. It’s bad enough if you need these treatments, it’s a disaster when you’re being over-treated or perhaps, get cancer after frequent and early breast screening.

        The doctors who aggressively treat DCIS, I’m sure they send many of their patients to an early grave.

      • adawells says:

        I’m so sorry to hear about all this. Your family has definitely been through some tough times. Some cancers are far worse than others. I tend not to talk about my case anymore, as it was an easy cancer to treat, and nowhere near as tough as what some people have.
        I thought you might be interested in this. Scroll down to 6th item, on 13/9/16:

    • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

      In the UK at least, my perception is that women are purposely misled into believing abnormal cells = pre-cancerous cells. I have spent countless times arguing with women online whom I challenge when they demand all women submit to testing, without exception. I strongly get the impression that many of them don’t really understand what a false positive or false negative is, but this is not surprising. Even given the whole spiel on empowerment and equality, our society still infantilises women and treat them like idiots. Look at the terminology used in medical literature and discussions with men concerning prostate cancer (barring the UK of course) and look at language used for women’s screening. The language used for men’s health choices (except over here recently), it is encouraged that doctors discuss such things as “harm”, “false positive”, “false negative”, “risk” and benefit.
      Look at NHS literature on cervical cancer. The language has been devised so as to make women fear an “abnormal” result. The very application of the word “abnormal” is misleading and false in my opinion, because as we all now know, at least 90% of these changes are normal, hormonal changes – not abnormalities. The language used to state something along the lines of, “occasionally, the test may pick up some cell abnormalities. While these changes will not always go onto develop into cancer, screening can help prevent cervical cancer from developing in around 7/10 cases”.
      By avoiding going into a lengthy diatribe on differentiating between harmless cell changes and harmful ones, the NHS has kept these women in ignorance for years, because depriving them of information necessary to making an informed decision, this programme keeps them reliant on it.
      Until recently, HPV, risk factors for cervical cancer, and signs and symptoms of the disease, were also ambiguously kept out of the public domain by the NHS. I believe this has been part of a deliberate strategy to keep women ignorant and fully compliant with the programme.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        AQ, I think a lot of GPs don’t understand that “abnormal” is usually nothing, a false positive. Young women can produce highly abnormal pap tests, but it seems many doctors think that’s really serious, when it means the test is even more unreliable before age 25 or 30 and we shouldn’t be testing these women at all. I find it frustrating when some GPs appear to be brainwashed with propaganda too. So many don’t seem to have questioned the official discourse and have accepted hype as the evidence.
        A GP once said to me, “you wouldn’t say that if you saw all the CIN 2 and 3 results in really young women”
        She was shocked when I said, “I wouldn’t be surprised at all, it’s almost to be expected, you understand these are false positives, if you tested the same women a year later the result would probably be normal”….blank face.
        Of course, she thought I was an idiot….”I don’t know where you’re getting your information”
        (I’ve had that one a couple of times)
        Umm, from the BMJ, The Lancet, MJA and a few other publications…
        More GPs are aware now, the system has informed them enough so they’re not concerned about moving to the new program that starts at 25, but I still see comments from doctors, “worried about this new start age, I’ve seen some CIN 3 results in teenagers over the years”….
        Of course, they’re not coming out and telling anyone that we should have excluded young women from the testing and avoided the pointless over-treatment of the young, the angle is, thanks to glorious Gardasil we can safely start screening at age 25 and of course, new evidence

  19. katrehman says:

    Ladies another daily mail special woman has part of the cervix removed die to cc in spite of having regular smears….

  20. Diane Spero says:

    in the us its breast cancer awareness month! they are doing tons of mammograms! that will lead to other test with generate a big profit!
    i saw an article that state than women with dense breast are at a higher risk for cancer.
    some women had negative mammograms but were told they had dense breast.
    these women had regular mammograms! I wonder if those mammograms made them more at risk.
    i have big breast don’t know if they are dense. no Dr has ever mentioned that.
    Medical people don’t know my body. a person knows if something isn’t right with them.

    Why can’t they use dogs if they want to screen , they can smell cancer and disease.
    ( of course not there would be no profit). That is all U S Medical system has become.

  21. Alex says:

    Give this a second, because it sounds unrelated:

    I just saw a thing on Youtube where there were a bunch of women saying that there should be an end to women’s suffrage. Now, I know that the word is a bit misleading (since it sounds like it’s talking about suffering), but they were more or less ALL talking about ending the right to vote for women.

    Now, I get that someone more or less just trips over words & knows what they know, but isn’t it kind of odd that so many women complain of being oppressed in some way (in America, at least) & yet don’t know what the term for their right to vote is?

    I’m wondering what happens if someone talks about iatrogenic attack, possibly in court, to these women. They don’t seem real serious about the subject of being pushed around, so if someone special decides what goes where on someone else, are they going to be a supporter?

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