How Accurate Are Pap Tests?

pimagesThere’s so much propaganda promoting pap tests as safe, effective, and life-saving that it can come as a shock to discover fact-based information that states otherwise.

But an extensive systematic review of the literature on pap tests revealed that the “facts” many people rely upon to support pap tests are based on flawed science that has skewed the results. The systematic review found that the majority of studies which claim to assess the accuracy of pap tests are severely biased in favor of making the pap tests appear effective. What’s more, the literature revealed insufficient high-quality data to estimate the accuracy of new methods used in pap testing.

A group of eight doctors authored this systematic review. The review included a total of 97 studies looking at the accuracy of conventional and new methods of pap testing. After examining the 97 studies the authors concluded:
• Estimates of pap test sensitivity (true positive rate) and specificity (true negative rate) varied greatly between studies
• The majority of the studies estimates were biased
• The 12 studies with the least biased estimates revealed a sensitivity accuracy rate that ranged from a shocking 30% to 87%

The authors recommended that future studies should use more conservative estimates of pap test sensitivity. You can read the review here: http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=713473

About forwomenseyesonly

Hi. My name is Sue and I am interested in promoting holistic and respectful health care.
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117 Responses to How Accurate Are Pap Tests?

  1. Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

    Shocking indeed. But the propagandists – ranging from misinformed women, conservative media outlets and doctors – still cling to these old “facts” to judge and encourage the rest of us into “falling in line”.

    The outrageously invasive nature of these tests, their rampant inaccuracy, and the harm they have inflicted on millions of women across the world is nothing short of scandalous.

    I encourage any woman who wants to opt-out of testing and is encountering a persistent and stubborn doctor to read the research and tell her GP/ Ob-gyn, that they have made an informed decision to opt out of testing and that is the end of the matter unless they want a complaint or lawsuit on their hands.

  2. Alex says:

    They don’t mention conflicts of interest or that something doesn’t need to be useless to be an issue. I’m a little suprised people don’t think about how if you DO have cancer, you’re more or less screwed (with this type of medicine) & then do the comforting lie routine that they usually do with everything else.

    I know someone doesn’t necessarily die if they have cancer, even with American/western/allopathic medicine, but the methodes of treating cancer aren’t exactly like asprin for a headache. Doesn’t it strike people as odd that they use the exact stuff that CAUSES cancer (like radiation) to treat it? If nothing else, the effect these treatment methods have on the body can lead to death from a different angle (hospital-bourne illness doing damage because of a weakened immune system from chemo).

    • Spiritedaway says:

      Alex, I appreciate your passion, I hear it in your tone even through the written word, It helps me and is a great comfort to me after the horrific assault and prolonged bullying and stress leading up the event. I believe it definitely was orchestrated in a way to keep me from refusing what they knew I did not want done. I feel so violated and tricked and stupid for not seeing it coming. The years after the hpv reading and even the fact my doc ( not obgyn) offered to do the pap seemed strange. Then the hpv reading and i was Not a sexually active woman. They were never clear as to why they wanted invasive testing just ascus reading and they were checking for cancer. I was divorced raising two boys alone the old fashioned way. The string of events after the hpv reading almost seemed like these drs were desperated for testing of my body. It scared me. So i stayed away, then when menopause started my pcp suggested getting hormone education and testing. I feel they gynos used this to get me to submit to invasive pap testing. i only wanted hormone info. The incident in the room was clearly not a pap and while that nurse did nothing and would not even look at me while i cried and i know i looked shocked is tremendously scary to me. I keep seeing the huge sample of tissue with blood traces in it in my mind . I keep remembering jumping up and them purposely standing soberly still waiting for me to lay back. Its like a twilight zone episode truly. I have reported this to the board of medicine. There is an open investigation. I even sent photos. I think we both know nothing will come if it. But i plan to make so much noise forcing women to see the dangers of this. I agree with you about women not agreeing with this testing but some are afraid to go against the grain and piss off a dr. This may be the very reason i was assaulted and YES RAPED. l also ended up in the ER with horrible abdiminal pain few weeks after this incedence and all the drs lying to me saying nothing was wrong and that it was menopause and i was given a cat scan which actually burned my bottom, i bled the next day from that too with pain. The day I walked into his office I had exercised and was a healthy,pretty attractive woman if I do not say so myself lol. This has changed me physically and psychologically so much that is hard to want to remain in a world where we feel powerless over own bodies. I will NEVER BE THAT STUPID AGAIN.!!! Thanks again for you passion. Makes me feel better if just for the validation. The medical field now labels me as aggressive as I question and believe a word they say. I have actually even seen electronic medical records that say I have had two prior bladder sling operations which is a blatant lie. I have never needed any surgery of any kind. But there was a question of bladder prolapse after his bogus and unconsented procedure. God bless

      • Spiritedaway says:

        This is my response to a comment that Alex posted in reference to my post about my heinous experience with bullying assault and even dangerous doctors. My original comment disappeared as well as Alexs’ I was told here that my comment was posted elsewhere which is interesting as I know I posted it here. Very sad is all I have to say that a forum as serious as this meant for healing and awareness could be so contradictory. Is there NO HOPE!!! Wow. I guess everyone should just keep wasting time chatting. Its all still going on and even places like this someone is hiding stuff. Very very sad. I am the very woman you are all discussing. Yes there is ptsd and bullying. I suffered all that and then ultimately attacked and permameny damaged while they do it under guise. This forum seems just as frightening as the drs discussed here. Comments should never just disappear especially when as severe as mine was.

      • Hi Spirtedaway. Please see my reply to your previous post.

  3. ADM says:

    This says it all: “Most studies of the conventional Pap test are severely biased: The best estimates suggest that it is only moderately accurate and does not achieve concurrently high sensitivity and specificity.” Combine that with the fact that the lifetime risk factor for CC is less than 1% and that review is 15 years old. Yet screening programs and incentive payments and coercion continue on. The real threat to women’s lives gets ignored along with any current medical concerns they have to focus on a rare cancer using an inaccurate test. It makes no logical sense.

  4. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    The things that shocked and scared me the most: the rarity of the cancer and the aggressive and disgraceful way this testing was being pushed onto women. How could they coerce, railroad, scare and mislead women into an elective screening test, let alone THIS screening test? It was unreliable, so LOTS ended up worse off, while VERY few could benefit. We also, screened to maximize risk to women, which meant we also, missed some of these rare cases in the excess.

    They instantly dismissed all of the treatments and biopsies as “minor”, but no one asked us. Who cares about us? Certainly not these programs and their protectors.
    It showed me there was DEEP disrespect for women and the female body, a dismissal of individual women, (we were reduced to cervix No. 234,054) misuse of power, awful greed by those with a vested interest in screening, and the desperate need for control over women by the medical profession and others.
    It horrified me when I was about 22 and sitting in the medical library looking at the evidence for the first time, (this was about 1980, pre-internet, so I walked over to the Medical Library) it still horrifies me all these years later.
    It gave me an early and valuable lesson: NEVER assume the medical profession is on our side, understand they will happily risk our health and harm us if it’s in their best interests.
    NEVER blindly trust them or anyone else when it comes to screening/healthcare- listen to that inner voice, do your reading, ask lots of questions, choose your GP carefully and make up your own mind & stand firm. (or do whatever works to stay safe, for me (as a young woman) it meant avoiding doctors like the plague and never asking for/using the Pill)

    • Alex says:

      I think it actually DOES have something to do with hatred- not just toward females, but toward life. I figure that would be more strongly associated with women.

      Something odd that I’ve noticed: It only seems that they put things out there that are counter-intuitive. Whether it shows some potential to do something useful or it fucks things up, it’s always some weird backwards thing like a virus killing some disease or a poison supposedly giving a benefit instead of a detriment. It’s like they have some kind of incongruent mentality that pervades their style of doing things. Their tastes & gravitations seem like they are reflexively aligned that way.

  5. M gibbons says:

    I would just like to thank the admins and frequent posters of this site for providing a safe place to discuss these topics, as well as informed discussion and facts instead of the typical propaganda. This is one of the few places where someone like me can express their views without being destroyed by, of all people, other women. I am shocked that the pap may only be 30% effective, but it is still pushed as a requirement for ANYTHING! I found this site in February, after the second time of being forced to have a pap. First it was to get birth control years ago, I went without after that. Now I am pregnant, and this time I refused, and the doctor lied and snuck it in during a pelvic I didn’t really consent to either. When I complained to the next doctor about this treatment, so it wouldn’t be repeated, I was told he couldn’t be my doctor. Blackballed for having the guts to say something about abuse/assault. This has been the most disturbing and stressful thing to ever happen to me, all while I should be “taking it easy, not stressing”. The doctors have caused all this stress, it’s shocking how easily they dismiss our emotional state as if it has no importance. With the help of the information and support recieved here, I have done enough research to know that I will be avoiding doctors and hospitals if at all possible for my health and my baby’s. I am in the process of finding a midwife for a home birth, as well as lodging complaints to medical associations, the hospitals these doctors work for, my insurance company and my local political representatives. Researching the way women are treated during pregnancy and child birth has turned my stomach many times. The way women are treated by the medical community is horrifying, and more disturbing is how most women allow this treatment or even champion it. I now have no rights because I am pregnant according to doctors, but I will be standing up for myself with facts and figures I learned here. Thank you so much for what you all do, hopefully one day the informed few can become many and change the system. Already in the US, midwives are slowly becoming more popular again, wonder why?

    • Thanks so much for this feedback M gibbons, it’s much appreciated. Love your post. You go!

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      M Gibbons
      I think pregnancy has always been viewed as a great opportunity to “capture” women, even though they know the test is even more likely to be “abnormal”, and that can mean a lot of stress, an unnecessary colposcopy etc.
      The reckless use of this test causes widespread worry and harm, and the complete lack of respect for consent and informed consent should be a scandal.
      I’m so sorry your pregnancy is more about protecting yourself and your baby from the medical profession, it “should” be a time of calm and happy expectation. I know you’re not alone though, many women are in the same position.

      I firmly believe that complaining does makes a difference, for too long the system has gotten away with abuse, shocking treatment of women.
      Again, it’s not ideal to be focusing on complaints and dealing with a dysfunctional system when you’re pregnant, but you may get some satisfaction knowing he didn’t get away with it scot-free. I’m sure doctors hate the hassle of dealing with complaints. Just letting them know that more women are sick of the abuse and prepared to take it further sends a message.

      The routine pelvic exam during pregnancy is also, questionable, I know some of our doctors have dropped it as part of the first pre-natal visit. America still appears to be obsessed with this exam, I’m amazed that some of your women endure a pelvic exam at every pre-natal visit. This exam gives them the opportunity to do a pap test, once they have access, they can go ahead, “Oh, didn’t you want a pap test?”…”You must have a pap test to be safe…for your baby” etc.

      I hope you can find some peace and decent and respectful pre-natal care. Too many pregnant women face a wall of abuse, it’s opportunistic abuse. I’ve been watching a program called, “Call the Midwife” a beautiful UK production, it shows pregnancy and delivery as a normal part of life. Somewhere along the way that changed to a traumatic and degrading medical experience for many women, I think that’s partly because we’ve moved from midwife care to doctor care.
      In the program the doctors and midwives work together, the doctor called to difficult cases, certainly here it seems the AMA view others as a threat, encroaching on their market share and nice profits. (that includes pharmacists, midwives, practice nurses etc.) We’re all the poorer for these attitudes, it says to me medicine is mostly a business, focused on their interests.

      • M gibbons says:

        That is what infuriates me the most, that this should be a happy time in my life and it’s terrible because of doctors and all their interventions. It’s hard to understand how I’m not supposed to hold this against my child, and I wonder how many women do. I was so perfectly happy until my first appointment, now I feel nothing but anger and dismay about the whole situation. Even feeling my baby kick isn’t as thrilling as it should be, I was robbed of the joy I should be feeling. I’m almost halfway through and I’ve only told a few people, not even my parents, and haven’t bought a single baby item yet.

        To make things even better, my sisters friends are all pregnant too, and they have all bought into the system. I get to hear all about it, even though I have stated I have serious problems with it. One was scheduled for an induction, I told my sister she would end up with a c-section. Yup, she sure did! They told her baby was too big and in distress. C-section caused baby to have respiratory distress, thankfully it is ok now. I’m sure the doctors are expecting a great big thanks, even though they caused the entire problem, starting with the induction. When I tried to explain this to my sister, she said “they are taking great care of her”. This is a perfect example of why I don’t want people to know, so I don’t have to hear their opinion on what I should do (as if it matters to me) and the horror stories people seem to love to tell pregnant women. I’m thinking I will just refer to my midwife as “doctor” so I don’t get judged for my choices. If I had known it would be like this, I may have never tried to conceive….

    • Alex says:

      I’ve wished them all manner of “unseemly things” & given some of the stuff I’ve heard about how they get with women that are about to have a baby, I’d inflict quite a bit of it myself. I remember hearing about one saying he’d do whatever he wanted to her or something to that effect & I had the immediate reaction to give him a taste of his own medicine. Hey- maybe it prevents further issues? “Preventative medicine,” and all that.

      It’s horrible that you don’t get to have the joy you should have in this situation. Major reason why I wouldn’t be all that interested in having a family here. Keep in mind: Your kid isn’t a guest that dropped in. Not to phrase it as an order, but hold it against medical personnel, the culture, and the people that “aren’t into fighting back.” They are the ones that generated these conditions. The baby should be able to come along without spidery perverts pushing you around.

      If you don’t mind my asking: What does your husband/partner think of all this?

      • M gibbons says:

        Sometimes I get so angry at the situation I do place the blame in the wrong place, I just cannot believe most women have no problem with this treatment and that the system gets away with it! I had no idea it would be this bad, sadly I’m not scared of pain or birth, but the doctors and their interventions that I know are not generally needed. I wanted a midwife from the beginning, but my husband wouldn’t go along, saying I would need a hospital. Now that he’s seen how they operate and how they’ve treated me, he’s agreed to it. I still have to educate him quite a bit more before I think he will be comfortable. When I was right about that girl getting a c-section because she was induced, I think he might be seeing that I know what I’m talking about 🙂

      • Alex says:

        It doesn’t seem like so many women don’t have a problem with it, I think they just figure it doesn’t fit into the category of “things that they’re not going to yelled at if they complain about.” It’s not always literal yelling, but there seems to be a general blowback or hostile reaction if they do. I never got that, since it’s basically arguing that something ceases to exist, despite its existANCE.

        There can be a little bit of what I guess would be called an “orienting issue” with things like this. because something is an issue & they don’t really get where it’s coming from because that something is a “disqualified problem.”

        Doesn’t really make sense, since that’s like the idea that if they got punched in the face by someone using their right hand & they pretended that the black eye didn’t exist because it didn’t get done with the left hand- despite having a black eye. I’m sure if an accountant robbed them, they wouldn’t think of it as anything but theft- even though it wasn’t done in an alley at gunpoint.

    • adawells says:

      M Gibbons, have you looked up Dr Jeanne Ohm? I’ve recently started following her on twitter, as she is a strong advocate of home birth in the USA, and posts some interesting articles. She has 6 kids, all were born at home. She might be able to advise you on home birth, or recommend some good people in your area.

    • Linda says:

      Hi MGibbons. Please don’t let these ratbags spoil a beautiful time in your life. I think where young women go wrong is that as soon as they think they are pregnant they pop along to see their doctor to confirm it. I have always asked – why? A woman should hang back for a few weeks – absolutely nothing will happen to the baby as its the most natural process in the world.- while she has a good long hard think about what she wants for herself and her baby. Then go to the doctors and make decisions for yourself when you are more sure of what you want. You had a very unfortunate experience but now you are stronger and a better advocate for you and your baby. You will be fine. I am thinking about you very much. Best wishes.

      • M gibbons says:

        Thank you so much! I’m hoping I can find a midwife, as I think it will be a much better situation for me. I was also of the mindset you are, why go immediately to a doctor when they can’t do anything anyway? I waited till 12 weeks to even go for first appointment, and then second appointment was 6 weeks later. I’ll probably go two months between it and first appointment with midwife, mainly a scheduling issue. Other than a few things you can do at home, these visits are mainly pointless unless you have questions or are interested in all the genetic tests, which I’m not. I do feel better having had the basic bloodwork done to make sure I’m healthy, other than that it was a waste of my time so far, only causing huge stress I really could have done without. I’d rather research things on my own. I think I already know more than most women with doctors because of this 🙂 I will be taking a newborn care class with my husband, but that will be the only thing I accept from the system from now on!

      • kleigh us says:

        I agree. I saw a TV add for a pregnancy test designed to detect pregnancy early. ” so woman can get prenatal care asap”. Its all for the doctors benefit. I get any at woman too for letting the system get away with taking advantage mistreating us.

      • M gibbons says:

        I agree the “early testing” is ridiculous. Not only is it just not that effective early (of course they say 99%, but it’s 60-80% that early) with huge amount of false negatives before a period. The lies they tell women on those tests is crazy! I tried one of those fancy ones right after a missed period, false negative. I waited another week, positive with a dollar store cheapie. Between them I did research that showed all the tests frequently give false negatives and occasionally false positives, not anywhere near the 99% they say on the package. the only benefit is knowing to take prenatal vitamins earlier. Most doctors won’t even see a woman till she is 8-10 weeks as they know miscarraige is so likely, so how is that helpful at all? Most women in that much of a hurry to find out are already taking vitamins because they are trying to conceive. I’m sure plenty of women insist apon being seen earlier and the doctor goes ahead, after all, another extra appointment at $300 a pop sounds good!

  6. Emily says:

    I’m so sorry you’re having a hard time sweety…I hope you feel better soon. yknow I’ve been told by women who went thru even the really awful things giving birth that it was worth it the moment they had their baby in their arms and gazed into that perfect beautiful little face 🙂 even tho im not preggo I totally understand…today at work we had to switch over to another room and Eric sat at the desk of a wonderful co-worker who just had a baby in November. He was just gushing over the pics on our friends desk of her ADORABLE baby girl -smiles, giggles, chubby little hands in mouth, the whole effing adorable package- and proceeded to beg and pout the rest of the night because he wants one so bad. The thing is I would love love LOVE to have a baby but I am terribly dr phobic and simply cannot deal with anyone else touching my most sensitive private sacred areas FOR NO PROVEN MEDICAL REASON “just because”…I would feel horribly violated and traumatized just by that let alone birth itself -sigh- so unfair…and the worst part is that everyone just brushes it off “it’s part of being a woman” “you have to to make sure your baby is healthy” “that’s just how it’s done” it’s utterly infuriating!! I will never understand how some women can just think of it as no big deal and go along with their every demand and order. darling don’t let them take away your happiness. Your body is yours and your baby is yours…they’re just gonna have to deal with it 😉

  7. Si says:

    So according to this site, post op transwomen (male to female) can now get pap smears, the holy grail of womanhood, because, you know, it’s a normal part of being a woman.
    “Some types of vaginoplasty use the head of the penis to form a cervix; in these cases there is a risk of cervical cancer. Regular screenings should be performed.”

    They also warm us that:
    “Cervical cancer remains one of the most deadly cancers”
    and
    “The mortality rate for cervical cancer has been reduced by 75% due to the advent of the highly effective pap smear test allowing for early detection.”

    Ok then………

    http://www.transfaithonline.org/intersections/cancer/cervical/

    • M gibbons says:

      So a penis shaped into something else can now get cervical cancer? Wow, they are really stretching it to make money…

      • Mint says:

        Don’t forget that if you haven’t got a cervix, another revenue stream for the good doctor is a vaginal vault smear – you know, just in case any of those pesky pre-cancer cells have made a bid for freedom……

    • M gibbons says:

      I really like how they say if the test is too traumatic for them they should have a total hysterectomy. Then in the next bullet, they say even if the cervix has been removed, regular tests are still needed. How does a hysterectomy just to reduce trauma help in any way in that case??

    • Feminist Lady says:

      Hmmm, odd all around. First, that site doesn’t use commonly used trans lexicon, such as trans and cis women, and the space between “trans” and “woman” that most trans people want, so that’s very odd. Second, they seem to be saying that when a trans woman gets bottom surgery, her penis is transformed into a cervix, but, no. I guess the argument could be made that the penis has squamous cells which could become infected with HPV and cause squamous cell carcinoma, but my question would be why does it matter then if it’s the penis of a cis man or a trans woman? Then they’d all need cancer screening, no? Why is it different if the head of the penis is inside the pelvis or outside?

      I understand them suggesting hysterectomis for trans men as many trans men find periods to be very dysphoria inducing. There is also the serious question of the effect of testosterone on cervical cells and HPV progression. I know Buck Angel has been documenting his health journeys as a trans man and I’m very interested to see if they learn anything. Also, they didn’t say everyone who has their cervix removed still needs paps, they said people with a history of cervical cancer still needs paps, which is a valid statement.

      • The cervix and penis are basically the same structure, but their placement in the body and functions differ. See: https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2013/12/16/the-hidden-truth-about-the-female-penis-warning-graphic-pictures/

      • Si says:

        Feminist lady, men generally aren’t encouraged to be screened for HPV, it’s gendered medical discrimination that affects women and not just, as liberal feminists & trans activists prefer to call us, cis women. It appears, from many of the LGBT health sites, transmen are strongly encouraged to continue with regular cervical screening as well. Which makes me wonder if this is a sex caste issue of discrimination or gender related. I am curious to know if that website accurately reflects mainstream medical attitudes – are srs transwomen (with a reconstructed ‘vagina’) pressured as strongly as female born women?

      • Feminist Lady says:

        Sue, I’ve read that piece, hence my point that really, saying trans women who get bottom surgery need the head of their penis screened but cis men don’t need the head of their penis screened for cancer is a bit absurd. None of it makes sense. It’s a ridiculous recommendation.

      • Karen says:

        This website is making my head spin. I bet on anything there is no evidence to support such recommendations. As “cis” men are never recommended the pap nonsense, it seems like a sex caste thing, or a bizarre, ideologically motivated trans-ritual to affirm womanhood? Cause you know “it is just part of being a woman”.

  8. Feminist Lady says:

    While this is shocking, it needs to be noted that that review is 15 years old and is pre-liquid-based cytology. A general rule of thumb in science is that if something is more than 7 years old, it’s probably no longer accurate/applicable. What we know in 2015 i that original pap tests were less accurate than LBC which is less accurate than HPV primary testing.

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Wrong. LBC is no more accurate than conventional paps, and a recent study has shown tacking on HPV testing to the pap has not improved matters either.
      Sorry, but the Pap test, whatever form it takes, has always been horribly unreliable and always will be. If the powers-that-be really cared about the health and well-being of women they would have scrapped this awful test years ago in favour of something completely new. if something is in need on constant ‘improvement’ then it didn’t work very well in the first place
      Unreliable tests are good money-spinners though, so it’s no wonder why greedy little Gollums don’t want to let go of their ‘precious’ pap crap.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Kate, and why they’re frantically trying to re-work the pap test to “cover” uterine and ovarian cancer screening, to lose the pap-test-cash-cow would be a disaster.
        I’ve read a few studies that show the liquid pap test is no more reliable than the conventional pap test, but it was pushed here, money is money. I recall ads on the back of toilet doors at the airport urging women to ask their GP for the “better test” (liquid pap testing) The highly lucrative business model that centers around the symptom-free female body will find a way to make more and more money, even if that means harming more and more women.
        Also, we see so-called improved methods of testing stacked up or used incorrectly, maximizing profits, but doing nothing more than exposing women to even more risk from false positives and over-treatment. This is why US doctors have embraced the use of the HPV test WITH the pap test, this generates the most over-investigation so it’s a win:win for vested interests. US, Australian and other women will never see something like the new Dutch program, it would save more lives, but no one cares about that, it would also, see profits plummet.
        When you consider the research, funding and energy that’s gone into this “fight” with an always rare cancer…you see this is about using women and making hugh amounts of money, it has very little to do with healthcare.

        You need only look at Finland and the Netherlands to see how you approach cervical screening when preventing deaths is the focus AND minimizing the risk to the vast majority of women who cannot benefit from cervical screening. (that’s almost all of us)
        Although it seems that no country really respects informed consent/consent in women’s cancer screening, our international shame.

    • kleigh us says:

      That’s interesting. I herd guys say that being tested for STDs hurts them bad when they dig the swab into there penis. And they say paps don’t hurt and the cervix doesn’t feel pain.

    • Alice (Austraia) says:

      Feminist Lady, following your logic, as PAP smear test is now over 70 years old, it should be thrown away as far as it would fly.

      The problem is that the Medical System turns to the latest scientific data only when it fits its agenda, business model, profits or convenience, otherwise it is very happy to be stuck in Middle Ages.

      • Feminist Lady says:

        Alice, you would think that after 70 years they’d come up with a better test. Which is exactly what they’re doing with the HPV test. And you’re not wrong, as long as paps are making doctors money they’ll keep doing them as early and often as they can, guidelines and better tests be damned.

  9. kleigh us says:

    I read comments on a us health forum. A girl said she was used to exams BC she was on the depo shot and every three months she had to go back to get the shot her gyno wanted to go “inside her every time.” Wth that is way over the top.

    • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

      It horrifies me how many US women are basically groomed into believing these constant intrusions are needed to sustain life, even going as far as to push them on 12-16 yo girls. And yet with all this hypochondriacal surveillance over women’s bodies, there seems to be no concerns whatsoever about boys and men falling prey to all those seemingly wanton diseases which seem to be rampant (given the mefical community’s obsession with all things venereal). It makes no sense to over screen women like this and pay no attention to the males? Logically, one gender has to infect the other so if you’re going to keep everyone safe, both genders have to be ritually screened right? But when you piece together that women might be more susceptible to this kind of brainwashing and they happily bring in the $$$ it all makes sense!

      • kleigh us says:

        Right on.

      • kleigh us says:

        They say we should be concerned about are fertility from STDs but what’s the point when the men arnt being treated?

      • Alex says:

        Well, keep a few things in mind:

        (1) General pervyness is a possibility & would be more likely directed at women. This simple reason is somewhat overlooked because people think that “lust” has nothing to do with any kind of affront, however subtle it may or may not be.

        (2) They may WANT to go after men, but men are usually a harder target. They’re typically more obstinate & physically dangerous, plus there’s the concept of women being more self-conscious or simply more open to self-criticism. “Male ego” has a positive effect in this case.

        (3) Antagonism to life, in the broad sense. Issues with life would be more typically directed against women & toward reproduction-related areas specifically.

        (4) Getting away with something. Not only would it be the act, but also slipping the awareness of being a threat. A killer might want to get kill & want to get away with it, but also to not have anyone know they’re like that.

        (5) Money- although it’s worth mentioning that someone might actually pay/lose money in order to do any number of things. The prospect of gaining it to do the same things might be attractive.

        I think a lot of women are shocked at how they are targeted, but is it really so suprising? That happens with other situations. I think it’s the incongruency of this situation with those other, more cliche, situations. The movie Predators hits this exact point, actually. It’s not a great movie in my opinion, but it’s fairly interesting & might be a bit of a pick-me-up for people that are feeling like they’re the only one that sees that “the emperor isn’t wearing clothes,” so-to-speak.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        AND women are easier to capture, especially those who rely on doctors for birth control, HRT or pre-natal care. So they have more opportunity to grab well women.
        It’s much harder to capture men, many of whom don’t see a doctor unless they’re symptomatic, especially when they’re under 40…not a bad approach if you ask me.

        A colleague recently saw my GP for some injections for an upcoming trip to Africa, he asked for a name because he hadn’t seen a GP in more than 10 years. (he’s 29)
        “I haven’t needed one”…it made perfect sense to me, but some people were appalled (mainly the females) why? He was fit and healthy, no need to see a doctor.

        I suspect the reaction would be worse if it was a female speaking, but if you take the Pill off script and as more women hear about and use HPV self-testing, (and understand the significance of being HPV-) we may see more young women choosing not to see a doctor when they’re well.
        The main things that get and keep young and symptom-free women in the consult room is the Pill and pap testing. That’s why the profession is desperate to keep the Pill on script, it’s vitally important for their business model.

      • Alex says:

        Elizabeth: Yeah, forgot about those. Again, a possible general difference between men & women: manner of aquisition. I remember hearing about people at CVS or wherever telling women that they couldn’t get emergency birth control at 16 or that it was illegal overall or whatever else would make it sound like it was banned from them & it seems like a lot of them would just see it as the end of it- asked & answered. They called, asked if they could have it, and they were told they couldn’t. This is a time-sensitive issue, on top of it.

        Now a male tends to think about getting it anyway (for whoever it is or just thinking about what he would do if her were in her place). I have to say that the idea of just flat-out taking it quickly comes to mind (with great relish, even the thought of ripping it out of their hands is appealing- the feel of it would probably be outstanding). Sure, there’s the concept of calling the manager over & overriding the employee that way- but either way getting things to go well without their consent. I know what that sounds like, but counteracting anything like that would be described the same way.

        I think women tend to have more of an issue with that sort of general theme, understandably. I think that men just figure that attack, like defense, doesn’t look the same for everyone. “Protecting” isn’t always great.

      • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

        I agree with all your points Alex. I think you have a valid point also when you say that they may want to go after men but as we know, most tend to avoud doctors like the plague (for very good reason!). I once heard of the Downing Street Nudge, where in order to encourage men to get tested for various things (for as we know, GPs receive incentivised payments for all sorts of tests), they devised a propaganda campaign targeted at women – hoping no doubt that women would see these campaigns, go home and badger their menfolk into seeing the doctor.
        I think as well, especially amongst the reluctant women, pregnancy has been viewed as an “opportunity” to capture women, particularly, young women who might feel intimidated by those who “knows best”. I always feel the youngest women are taken advantage of and I think it’s disgusting. I think it’s telling that constructive criticism of the Breast screening programme is tolerated and criticism of the Cervical screening programme isn’t – it might be easier to silence, coerce, bully and mislead younger women. Older women I feel have less fear of intimidation tactics.

        Also, not being derogatory to my own gender, my experience is that most women are indeed quite militant and bullish when it comes to screening. Like pregnancy, many bizarrely see it as a “women’s issue”, “part of being a woman” etc and discuss such things with family and friends, encouraging others to have the tests and resorting to quite frankly, spiteful tactics to dismiss others who don’t agree with them. I’ve seen this attitude displayed many times across forums and comment boards. Some are downright nasty to women who merely question whether alternative testing for cervical cancer or HPV is available. I must admit, I get quite angry when I see them berating people who politely disagree with them. While men and informed women look at all forms of testing objectively, logically and as a personal decision, othets become very emotional and vocal about the whole thing.

  10. Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

    Digressing slightly.. Has anyone seen the following two publications in the UK media this week?

    One is a very refreshing, balanced and informed article on the potential harms of breast screening and how informed consent needs to be respected. I’m pleasantly surprised by the comments – vast majority of which support informed choices, considering harms and risks. I’ve taken the opportunity to link that to pap screening to advocate more open discussions on the cervical screening programme’s efficacy and the value of informed consent.

    However, I’ve got mixed feelings about the second article on “hopes” for a new Ovarian screening programme using primarily CA125 blood testing (wasn’t there a similar trial in the US back in 1993 which showed that the trial DID NOT save lives? I’m sure the number of deaths in the screened group were actually higher than those in the unscreened group?).

    This latest UK trial has taken 14 years and the authors are awaiting the mortality data (to be released in the autumn) before the NHS decides whether to commence a screening programme – this after comments in a UK Parliamentary committer on screening that no new screening programmes be developed. The methodology has an efficacy rate of 86% apparently – but that still translates to many false positives across a population. And it is relatively rare – 7,100 cases are diagnosed every year (similar to cervical cancer), so once again, the focus is on screening many to detect a relatively rare cancer.

    The cynic within me reckons this might be a response to declining take-up rates of cervical screening, or at least an attempt to make more money at the expense of women. It’s saving grace I guess is that it isn’t invasive. Nevertheless, the comments of the authors are telling: “Many women would HAVE to be screened”. Notice that word “have to” again? Informed consent would have to go out the window then. Having fought for informed consent for breast and cervical screening programmes, women might have a new battle on their hands!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3067752/The-women-saying-no-breast-cancer-screening-evidence-rises-harmed-unnecessary-treatment-women-refusing-checks.html

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32530339

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Hi AQ,
      They’re also, desperately hoping the pap test can be used as a screening test for uterine and ovarian cancer. Research is going on in that area.
      Desperate is the word, all of that money down the drain as we move away from population pap testing – have to find a way to save that enormous cash cow!
      (it would be even worse for vested interests if we adopted the Dutch model and there was no HPV testing before age 30 and only a total of 5 HPV primary tests)

      “It’s saving grace I guess is that it isn’t invasive”

      ….but what comes next, after a false positive, will be VERY invasive – probably start with a TVU and it may even lead to surgery.
      It made me think though…in a way I’m pleased the pap test wasn’t a “simple” blood test when it was first “offered” to me, would I have taken the time to do as much research if the test had been non-invasive? Would I have stood up to the awful pressure to screen?

      Part of my strong objection was the invasiveness of the test. (also, mainly male doctors, and I resented the horrible pressure to test – and coercing women into testing to get the Pill, HRT and pre-natal care)

      If the non-invasive test proved to be as unreliable as the pap test or the CA125 blood test, heaven help me, there’s a high chance I’d have ended up having a colposcopy and biopsy, possibly something more, like a cone biopsy. It would be hard to stop the slide into the day procedure room with an “abnormal” result staring you in the face. I know some women who’ve done their research at that point, but it’s hard to wait-and-see or walk away when you have an “abnormal” hanging over you. (although that’s changing now, with more awareness, especially when women have already had a couple of false positives and excess biopsies)

      I view ALL screening tests/exams the same way, nothing is simple or easy, they all have the potential to harm us and may even end up taking our life. Therefore, an informed decision to accept or decline is the only way for me.

      • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

        Desperate indeed – to try & stretch the merits of the pap test to screen for uterine, ovarian and vaginal cancers, three more rare cancers. Good luck to them with that!

        I am very sceptical about this proposed ovarian screening programme. I hunted for information on what “follow up” investigations would be required post the CA125 blood test following an “abnormal” result. They mentioned ultrasounds and surgery (and there have been 1,000 false positives – how much would that to translate to over a population of say 15-20 “eligible” million women?). I’m right with you on this Elizabeth, and I think if the cervical screening programme dies a death, they will cling to this as their new money grabbing venture. Thousands of “abnormalities” will translate to £££s so no wonder, the authors are saying women would “have to” be screened. Honestly, I hate this attitude within the medical community. Will be interesting to see the results of the mortality data – if anything like its predecessor, it will show no noticeable difference between the screened and unscreened groups. Whatever the case, I strongly feel that even a test with an 86% efficacy rate is not justifiable to be used as a screening tool for such a rare cancer. Still, screening for a more prevalent health condition (heart disease, diabetes, lung cancer) would not be as lucrative would it?! The powers that be must be rubbing their hands with glee, and the initial screening being a blood test would have the propagandists saying “you have no excuse not to have this test, it isn’t embarrassing” etc.

    • Linda says:

      Thank you Ap Queen.

      I read these two articles with great interest.

      I also noticed a number of items on the main news channels on Monday, it was in some of the papers too, about the new blood test for Ovarian cancer. I thought not another cancer test.

      The ‘cancer industry’ must surely now be the richest business on the planet, that they, can ‘prep’ us for this test via the headline news. ‘They’ have got everyone believing we will all get cancer of some form or another one day. Women in particular – as my husband who will be 56 soon has probably never given cancer a second thought – ever.

      Why should we live our lives worrying about female cancers all the time. It beggars belief that this test is to be administered every year!!!!. All the way through your adult life.!!! For Gods sake!!!

      My friend made me laugh the other day, she said – ‘remember, not very long ago these idiots were running round with a jar of leeches and a box of suppositories to cure you of your ills now they are hysterical looking for cancer in women all the time.’ What makes us think they know any thing more. Yes they have machines to look for problems but the cure they offer is more likely to kill us than the cancer itself.

      After many years of doing voluntary work in lots of old peoples homes, I can totally assure you and everyone here that you are overwhelmingly more likely to die of ‘old age’ at about 85 -95 than any thing else.

      However, my other friend who I spoke to the other day was telling me about how horrible her experience was of mammogram recently. As you all know I declined my invitation recently. She couldn’t believe I hadn’t gone for mine. And then I dropped the bombshell – I no longer went for smears either, had not had one for years. The silence on the end of the phone was deafening. I think she thought I was literally fooling around with my very existence.

      I followed up the call with an email directing her here and to some other sites and research as well. I hope she look. But I’m afraid we cant protect everyone.

      • adawells says:

        Linda, I have had the same thing. Mention that you do not do screening and the silence is deafening. Of course, most people I tell put down my experience of endometrial cancer last year as a result of me not getting screening, including one person who even thought that a mammogram would have prevented me from getting it, such is the ignorance about this test! The pro-screening lobby is always promoting the idea of people who go for screening as being the informed, better educated women, and those who don’t attend as ignorant and foolish, yet research after research such as these articles show clearly that the opposite is true. Women have very little knowledge about this test. Women attend because they are misinformed, coerced, bullied, threatened, and just completely in the dark about this test does.
        http://orca.cf.ac.uk/41358/

        http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1413954/1/Review%20for%20JFPRHC%20v3.pdf

      • Alice (Australia) says:

        Linda, this is exactly how the medicine works: it picks the latest scientific discovery and applies it to everything that could bring more patients and generate new profits, often without any proper assessment of the harm/benefits balance.

        A thousand years ago they started using the “unusual” metal – mercury – to cure everything from depression and constipation to syphilis.

        Then electricity was discovered, and a horde of “doctors” appeared immediately, claiming that by using electricity they could cure everything from male impotency to madness.

        Then came the discovery of radiation, and of course that was touted as a “new and improved” cure for every incurable disease of the day.

        Then came the infamous pap smear screening, which was deceivingly presented as a salvation not only from cervical cancer, but also uterine and ovarian cancers, and which has never been properly assessed for efficacy, safety or harm/benefits balance. The medical system took the natural decline in cervical cancer rates and presented it as a success of their cervix-butchering program.

        Now they got access to genetic testing, and everyone immediately gone mad looking for all sorts of gene mutations that may increase the chance of this or that cancer. Some even rushed to chop their body parts and organs off because the test said they have an increased chance of some cancer.

        It seems like the technological progress is not helping us to lead a healthy and happy life, because the medical system takes every new discovery and turns it into another reason for scares and worries. In all this “screen – detect early (and often falsely) – fight – screen again” merry-go-round, the mankind forgot that the constant stress, worry and fear of your own body is probably the main cause of all cancers.

      • adawells says:

        I had a friend from the 1980’s who died of ovarian cancer, and I can remember her telling me many years before her diagnosis that her periods were always so heavy, and I thought this odd, partly because she was of very slight build. Looking back there were clearly things going awry from early on, but we didn’t know anything about it then. When diagnosed later, she wrote to me that, she felt in excellent health (in spite of the diagnosis) and was confident of a complete cure. She died about 3 years after diagnosis. There is a gulf between women’s personal accounts and the technical training of the medical profession. The medical profession takes the “sheep dipping” approach. They are not interested in women’s personal experiences, there often isn’t time to talk. It’s just get your knickers off and submit to the invasive process, and they’ll decide for you.
        People get diagnosed too late, because the medical profession isn’t prepared to meet women halfway on this. They need to listen to women’s experiences, and then offer to help. When I first saw a gyn for endometrial cancer symptoms, I could see he didn’t give a shit. He just wanted me on the couch, with my legs apart. Your symptoms are irrelevant to them, since they are going to help themselves to whatever parts they want to cut off anyway. They see you as a tiresome waste of time if you want to explain your symptoms, and then decide what procedures you want to go ahead with. As a result I walked out of this appointment. I wanted someone to listen and explain, before I agreed to any examination, and this caused further delay in my eventual diagnosis. This is what’s killing women: the medical profession not listening to them.

      • Alex says:

        Alice: This’ll probably sound crazy, but I’ve actually heard science called a demonic art- maybe there’s some truth to that in terms of “industrial science” or “technological science” or “high-tech science” or whatever it would be called when it’s not simply things like holding the evil eye to be bullshit & that garlic’s good for a toothache.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Good for you Ada, it took a lot of strength to get up and leave that consult. We should do that more when doctors are not prepared to listen to us, talk over us, refuse to work with us or treat us with respect. I think that’s why I doctor shop, I interviewed my specialist before I decided she could do my endoscope. (same with my GP)
        You know pretty quickly whether you can work with a doctor.
        This is also, why I have private health insurance so I can choose my own doctor.
        I think in the past most women just accepted that doctors were rude, spoke down to us etc. now more of us take control, expect to be treated respectfully, like a competent and independent adult…if they don’t pass our test, next!

        I also, hate the way some view the female body as disposable, no big deal to remove a uterus, a chunk of cervix or remove a breast.

      • Anonymous says:

        Linda I have a strong desire to be a part of your Ebook. I have a very significant story. Please tell me how to go about it. We have spoken before.

    • adawells says:

      Hi AQ, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first saw these articles in the Mail. This is the paper that consistently fights to get screening ages lowered, and herd the sheep into them, and here it was showing the breast screening programme with all its faults. What a joy it was to see so many readers (including yourself) vote down those women pushing the “pro-screening at any cost” misinformation. One of them asked, why are we getting voted down when the public should be supporting us? I promptly gave this person the first (of many, I hope), thumbs down). It was amazing the number of people who were voting against the programme. Clearly, the devout screening addicts are starting to realise that they are no longer popular and are coming in for some criticism.

    • Feminist Lady says:

      Hmmm, and I thought here in the states the CA 125 blood test was largely being discontinued. Yeah, it tends to be elevated in people who have ovarian cancer… and pretty much every other disease ever. Not specific at all, I have no idea how they plan to screen for *one* specific thing with it.

  11. kleigh us says:

    False positives could lead to healthy woman getting a historectomy. I don’t want that screening ether.

  12. Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

    All this obsession with “screening” for cancers in women all seem to involve breast and reproductive cancers, and all of them (bar breast cancer) relatively rare. When was the last time someone advocated a screening programne for testicular cancer – a cancer of the male reproductive tract which has a similar incidence rate to cervical cancer. I wonder if there will be any sort of consultation on the ovarian screening proposal so that these concerns can be expressed. How does the NHS have the funds to support a new screening programme?? And yes, I agree with Linda – annual blood tests are excessive especially for such a rare cancer – but then it probably translates to thousands of false positives (which equals £££/ $$$) for vested interests. And with cervical and breast screening rates here in the UK at an “all time low”, the cynic in me says this screening would be their saving grace.

    Yes, the breast screening article was balanced and informed – and this published in a publication which is generally very “right wing” when it comes to views of women’s equality and rights (more specifically pertaining to views on womens bodies and their rights over them) shall we say. The comments on anything cervical cancer related is shocking though. Most women there are extremely militant and pro-screening but even there, the message is getting through. Most questioning the validity of screening with scientific data, get around 70% up-votes. Why such militant support for screening for a rare cancer though? Breast cancer is far more prevalent and yet, constructive criticism of Breast screening is in the main, accepted.

  13. Moo says:

    I have some concerns about this, a relationship between HPV infection and Peyronies disease (induration pneis plastica). This affects men. http://www.deutsches-zentrum-urologie.com/en/Induratio-penis-plastica-changes-caused-by-the-disease.html. Not too much reserach is out there on it when it can affect almost 10% of men. And it is quite devastating.

    Almost not much reserach about how men get HPV infections and what strains. It seems to be all the research is about women getting HPV, paps, LEEP, etc. Mostly when a woman gets an HPV infection it is going to be from sexual activity with a man, or so we are told. Are young men and boys getting HPV from public urinals, from each other, are they born with it?

  14. Linda says:

    Hi everyone.

    As you know I had a chance to speak to my old school friend the other day about me not having smear tests anymore. I just got an email from her which said more or less that a good friend ( a nurse) has advised her that as she has reached the menopause it is a good idea to keep have tests as now at this age there are a lot of changes happening in a woman’s body which could lead to cancer. They are only five years now anyway as if that somehow made it better. So she has decided to keep having them. I don’t think she looked at any of the sites I directed her to just took the word of this nurse friend. I knew they were only every five years anyway after but exactly how long are women expected to get them for? Its just not fair forcing or brainwashing women into looking for cancer in a very private place all their adult life. Can women not see this for what it is?

    Is cancer of the cervix a known thing around the menopause or is it just a pile of rubbish? I can’t find anything on the internet at all. I know it’s not my job to evangilise to other people about what they should do to their own bodies otherwise i’m no better than the nurses who push these things. Its the first time I’ve come across this incredibly entrenched mindset without even having looked at other views. I love my friend as I’ve known her for nearly forty years but I will not say anything more about it to her as it looks like I’m brain washing her.

    • adawells says:

      Linda, this makes me deeply sad, but I have found exactly the same thing, and have found that women are completely brainwashed. I know women who have had negative tests all their lives, and have been in a momogamous relationship for years. They could do an HPV test if they had any doubts about their status, but they blindly do as they are told by those in the medical profession. There has been a great deal of research into why women attend for smear testing and all have come to the conclusion that women are woefully ignorant of what the test does and how it works. That is the overriding reason they attend. They go because they are misinformed, and believe their bodies are pre-set to get cancer unless these tests are performed on a regular basis. One poster I saw recently wrote that she’s had regular testing on due dates all her life, but was only 2 weeks late with the last one, which had then shown abnormalities. These women believe that the regular recalls are there because they will develop cancer if they aren’t “scraped” within this time period. It is not made known that the test needs repeating at these regular intervals because it is so inaccurate, it is repeated to increase the reliability of the result.
      Something else I have come across in forums is that if a woman doesn’t attend screening and then develops (any) cancer, she fears she may be denied treatment, or made to feel she is to blame. Women don’t understand that not attending, in no way alters future healthcare, and that wanting healthcare only when a problem has been found is a perfectly acceptable and rational choice to make. Screening has brainwashed women into thinking their bodies are a ticking timebomb just waiting to go off, that screening is essential to re-set their “timer” every 3 years. I’ve never met any woman who is aware that you can easily opt back into these programmes if that’s what they want.
      The other point is the appalling low level of understanding about the test by nurses themselves. For most women the only person they can ask about the test is the nurse, who has so little knowledge it is impossible to have an informed dicussion with her about it. This keeps women away from finding out the truth. It blocks informed choice from happening in the nurse-patient encounter.
      This whole business makes me so angry. The pro-screening lobby keeps saying that women want these tests and will happily roll up for them, when they know that a watertight propaganda machine:
      Incentivised doctors, newspaper scare stories, misguided self-serving charities, poorly informed and educated nurses, a blockade on negative truthful personal accounts appearing on the internet, the list goes on, is the real reason women roll up for them.

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Linda, I remember reading that the average age for developing CC is around 50, but the notion that you’re higher risk simply because you’re approaching/going through the menopause is preposterous. Sometimes I wonder if nurses really are that stupid or they they’re simply telling lies to push more of us into the system.
      Considering that the most common form of CC takes such a long time to develop, it stands that if a woman in her twenties is infected with HPV and cannot fight the infection will develop CC in around 15 – 20 years. Basic maths, really.

      But your friend has been testing all these years, and it’s the perfect test, right, so if there was any nasty disease brewing they would have caught and treated it by now, wouldn’t they? (Can you smell the sarcasm there?)
      So why would she need to be more concerned at this time of her life?
      Maybe it’s because the powers-that-be know what a crap test it is, they know full well that there’s every chance she could develop cancer despite all those years of testing so they’re just covering their butts?
      Also, bear in mind that ‘abnormal’ smears can be triggered by hormonal fluctuations, such as occur in young women, pregnancy etc. Perhaps the menopause, too, triggers abnormal changes and thus making sure that women continue to test during the peri-menopause and beyond is a great way to keep this program running.
      These women may go through their youth religiously testing and then suddenly find themselves in the colposcopy clinic when their hormones go doolally. Many of these women will have daughters who willingly comply with screening orders because their mum had ‘pre-cancer’ or even believe their mothers survived cancer. What a scam!
      I’m preaching to the choir here, I know. But the point I was trying to make is that the menopause does not mean you’re suddenly more susceptible to disease.
      Although, come to think of it, the medical profession seem to think the menopause is a disease in itself.

    • Feminist Lady says:

      Linda, the averge age at diagnosis for cervical cancer is 47 and the average age for starting menopause is 51. But, correlation does not equal causation. It’s unlikely menopause causes cc and more likely that the HPV infections people get in their late 20s/early 30s that are going to become cancerous do so in the 45-50 range, which is why screening in the later part of life makes more sense than screening in someone’s teens or 20s.

  15. adawells says:

    I’ve just been notified of this terrific article just published in the BMJ:

    Towards a paradigm shift in cancer screening: informed citizens instead of greater participation
    BMJ 2015; 350 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h2175 (Published 05 May 2015)
    Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:Germany aims to stop nudging the public on screening

    “Policy on screening people for cancer poses a dilemma: should we aim for higher participation rates or for better informed citizens? The dilemma is that both cannot be had. A focus on informing citizens risks lowering participation rates, because well informed people may realise that for most cancers it is unclear whether the benefits of screening exceed its harms. Historically, screening policies opted for increasing participation and accordingly took measures that made people overestimate the benefits and underestimate the harms.1 But that is set to change, at least in Germany.

    The goal of increasing participation rates has been moderately successful. For instance, German breast cancer screening campaigns set a goal of participation of 70% of eligible women and reached over 50%. Similarly, the NHS Breast Screening Programme in England aimed for an 80% participation rate and reached over 70%.2 But campaigns for this screening test and most other cancer screening tests have caused …”

    It’s so new that I am still unable to view through my library, which takes the BMJ online. I hope some of you are better placed to read the whole article. It’s seems it’s just what we’ve been waiting for, but how long will other countries have to wait for change?

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Ada,
      Germany would have to change a lot to achieve a fairer/better healthcare system for women.
      The annual well woman exam is still happening in that country (as far as I’m aware) and without the growing wave of opposition we’re seeing in the States. German women see a gynecologist for the Pill and are subject to the well woman nonsense, and pap testing is still annual, so their over-treatment rates must be huge. I know German women often start seeing a gyn when they start menstruating, is that most women or some women, is that changing? I’m not sure.
      A German woman I met on holiday last year (late 40s) told me she sees her gyn every year, and that started when she was 13, after her first period. She made it sound like that was the usual practice – first period triggers the first gyn visit.

      Ada, have you seen any referral rate figures for Germany? Our lifetime referral rate for colposcopy/biopsy is about 77%…possibly a bit lower now, the one and only study is fairly old now.
      There doesn’t seem to be too many German women questioning the system there either.
      My GP used to see young German women when she worked in the city, they wanted their ovaries and uterus checked, they left worried and puzzled after being told the exam was not recommended here. My GP felt they’d be heading for their doctors as soon as they got home, anxious that “something” might be changing or growing and might not be “caught” in time.
      So I wonder if these articles will actually have an impact at surgery level. There was a great article on informed consent in the MJA recently, but nothing has really changed, it certainly hasn’t been picked up by the media or anyone else. It’s the business of serious over-screening as usual, no informed consent and often, no consent at all.

      • adawells says:

        http://www.maedchen.de/artikel/frauenarzt-der-erste-besuch-65888.html
        Hi Elizabeth, I’ll investigate referral figures in Germany and see what I can find. You are right that young girls as young as 10 are going to the gynaecologist in Germany. I was a student in Germany during the 1980’s and was shocked to see a full colour article in Stern magazine that mothers should take their young daughters to the gyn “just to make sure everything is OK”. Picture of worried 10 year old in stirrups with proud mum nearby and middle aged man in doctor’s outfit. I nearly wretched.
        So I checked out this German teenage magazine ” Mädchen” (Girl), and sure enough the forums abound with young girls terrified of this first visit to the gyn. It seems to be recommended as soon as a girl starts her periods, but those who have not started them yet, go out of worry that this must be something wrong. They all say that the first visit is always “just a chat”, especially for those 10 to 13 but after that more things start to happen, as a follow up visit seems to be booked after this initial chat. Some girls report being told to get entirely naked, but usually either the top or bottom can be kept on. A breast exam is always done, with one arm held above the head. What they hope to find in teenage girls breasts beggars belief, but one 13 year old says she thought she had a lump in one breast so had to make an appointment! All examinations are done in a gyn chair with stirrups. Plenty of these young teenagers report having the full pelvic exam, with 2 fingers in the vagina, the speculum is often used, and also some report the transvaginal ultrasound being inserted “to check the ovaries are in order”. One poster (didn’t give her age) tells how an anal exam also followed, whereby the doctor puts first one finger, then two, and then three fingers into the anal opening and stretches it to peek inside “that everything is in order”. (Just checking how many Cheerios she’d eaten for breakfast, maybe?)
        A lot of the girls are very upset that their mother has booked these appointments, and there seems to be widespread fear, and concern amongst many girls, that the gyn will be a man, that their own mother may be watching, and whether they need to shave for the visit.
        As a student I was sent to stay in accommodation some way away in a rural district, and got a summons to have a medical as part of my student visa. I quickly found alternative rooms in a city centre location, and managed to see out my studies, without ever responding to this requirement. I couldn’t tell you, whether all German girls attend these wierd gyn exams, or whether it is just some. A lot of the girls on the forum seem to be asking when should a girl start to go to a gyn, but it seems to be very unusual to have not been as a teenager.

      • Feminist Lady says:

        Elizabeth, Germany does still do annual exams, paps, the whole nine yards. They also manage to start even earlier than here in America, which is amazing. They also do a yearly tv/us.

      • adawells says:

        Elizabeth, and Feminist Lady, I haven’t been able to find colposcopy rates for Germany, because of the very different system they have there. I think someone posted a history of pap testing a few months back, and it said that as a result of the second world war, Germany (invented the colposcope) and south American countries favoured regular colposcopies, and not the pap, whereas the US and other allied countries adopted the pap test in the years during and after the war, when both medical cultures became estranged. As a result, I don’t think German women would get “referred” or “recalled” for colposcopies, as these would be carried out at regular gyn visits. A colposcopy needn’t mean a biopsy and I think that many Germans might have an observational colposcopy on a regular basis. In the UK because pap tests take place with a nurse in a GP’s surgery, no colposcopes are available, so the pap is the trigger for a referral to a hospital colposcopy unit, and it is easy to extract referral figures for this. Same with Oz I expect.
        I also got the impression from reading the magazine forum posts that no-one gets summoned to go to a gyne. The onus is on the woman to go, and therefore all the well girl/woman exams are voluntary. There must be German women who don’t believe in the claptrap and simply choose not to go. What rankles with British women is that we have all been rounded up on our NHS database and not given a choice, and we are sent regular summons letters telling us that we should go. This is what is causing a backlash against the system in the UK. Similarly, although the US system is private, organisations eg insurance companies/military/business can make paps compulsory for employees as part of their business. Germany and France do not have call and recall systems for paps, and I’ve read this is because of historical reasons, where previous call-up programmes have led to the death camps, and they are very reluctant to run such schemes ever again.

      • Karen says:

        Reply to Adawells- this German thing is making me physically sick. I lived Germany for a while, but only remember a few things. How they had that disgusting chair in a tv show, like on some afternoon family show. I read in some magazine for teens something along the lines like “Yes, you are normal, ganz normal! But don’t you want a doctor to reassure it too? ” It is just totally, totally sick. It’s like BDSM with state power!

  16. Linda says:

    Thank you Ada and Kate. Thanks for putting my mind at ease. I thought there was something I should know about the menopause that I hadn’t read about. I’m sorry for my friend but its her decision. We are members of a very small club indeed. How come we are so enlightened? what makes people like us look for answers? Why are we not part of the herd mentality?

    • adawells says:

      Hi Linda, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about just how many women may have opted out of the UK cervical screening programme. I wrote to the screening committee and they told me that they do not hold that information, as cervical screening has been decentralised to local authorities now, and I would have to ask each in turn. I’ve been trying to work it out myself. The target is for 80% of eligible women to attend, as rest assumed to have hysterectomy, and other health disqualifications. By “eligible” do they include those who have signed the opt out form or not? When I asked them, they couldn’t tell me. Very difficult to believe. So I’ve tried to work it out-
      60 million people in UK, so 30 million women. I reckon 20 million, at least, are of screening age, ie aged 25-65. So, assuming the recall is every 3 years, that means there must be approx 6.2 million women who could be recalled every year, but only about 4.2 (their own official figures), million call-up letters are sent, (of which they get a response of approx 3.2 pap tests, or 1 million is recalled but fails to respond to the letter). But there are about 2 million women who are off the radar here. They cannot all have hysterectomies, because the 20% hysterectomy rate is for by age 60 and would be very much less for the under 50’s. I reckon that there must be about 1 million women in the UK who have opted out of screening, by signing the letter.
      I also saw figures supplied by University College London recently, that 25% of UK women (5 million) do not get screened, but only 24% of these “have made an informed decision”, ie they have had the “discussion with their doctor” and signed the opt out form. 25% of 5 million is 1.25 million.
      It’s not an insignificant minority.

      • Linda says:

        I agree it seems to be a lot. I’m so glad. It means women are thinking for themselves and not just going along with it. I actually feel we are turning a corner. I have just started writing a book about my experiences of screening. Just sitting here getting ideas together at the moment.

      • Alex says:

        Linda: Sounds like a good idea. Not entirely sure how it works, but Club Orlov Press is a publisher that seems like they might put it into print. You might try looking it up, since they DO mention things like governments doing all kinds of shit & calling it something else, sanctioned oppression & attack, psychological underpannings of things like this, and all kinds of societal trends throughout history. Might be that there’s a tie-in.

        If it were me, I’d say that “iatrogenic attack is an unsung issue that is an avenue for both official oppression & antagonism from the occupational enclave that exists as its own community within the larger community. It can take all kinds of forms, but the most “disqualified” is sexual affront through medical methodologies or manipulation of the situation within a medical setting. They don’t really HAVE to be trying to attack someone in general & just doing it in a particular way to camouflage it & make it less identifiable, they could just comport things in an assaultive way. Frequenlty the same arguments & excuses are made for these situations as there are for government-sponsored oppression: “it’s for their own good,” “we don’t WANT to do that,” and “we only want what’s best for them.” Interesting how “best” is a rank, not a level of suitability for person experiencing the situation. Also, there’s the point that’s near-constantly omitted: that altruism doesn’t produce ownership.

        In fact, it’s curiously absent from these discussions that this erosion through supplantation is, in itself, an attack. It’s “editing” someone out of their own life & a contestation of personal discretion. Someone might regret one of their own decisions, but they’d LAMENT one that was put on them. That is much worse, especially considering the dynamics (after all, it is an interface with a sexual area as a product of someone else’s decision-making).

        All of this is tied of a tendancy for governments to act like they declare things into & out of existance. Of course, if reality were REALLY formed by recognition, no one would get hit by a car they didn’t see coming or have anything good unexpectedly happen to them. Properties don’t change by designation, just like how if a doctor poisons someone with a needle it’s still murder. An instance of compulsion like this is supposed to be treated with counteraction & hostility , not positive reinforcement & applause.”

        Maybe go further from there & add in some stuff about Nazis (particularly about how they didn’t just look for gold in people’s teeth & all the experiments) & Causescu. That Lithuania attached pelvic exams to getting a driver’s license well into the 21st century, it seems, might be another add-in. America being all high-and-mighty about how the middle east gets (virginity tests for females & similar for men over purported homosexuality suspicious), then it’s pretty much “We say it, you do it” when it comes to medical situations (or anything else) & that any of this can be added as something attached to work, school, or immigration (since they could always just say that they’re not going to sign-off on someone for any of these things without whatever it is they’re looking to coerce people into- maybe even doing it, since it’s kind of a coin-flip when dealing with law enforcement about matters like these even in cases of more conventional violation).

        I figure some info about risks, inaccuracies, and alternatives would be a great thing to add in somewhere, but potential utility just doesn’t seem relevant. Would be a good idea to add in & maybe springboard into other things that are not as advertised as far as safety & utility goes (childbirth, putting the kid on all kinds of pills throughout life, food that’s questionable even without the GMO aspects, etc…).

        A thought just occurred to me: Why not start a charity or something about this type of thing? Maybe like an awareness fund or some such?

    • kleigh us says:

      Its just sick. These healthy teens are just being taken advantage of. They won’t be any healthier with the exams.

      • Alex says:

        What teens are you talking about?

      • adawells says:

        I think she means the teenage girls in the German magazine in my post above. You’re right Kleigh, how it benefits them is anyone’s guess. A lot of the girls write that they had to go because of period pains. One writes that she was having to take paracetamol throughout. She doesn’t go on to say what solution her gyne recommended for this after his extensive examination of her – more paracetamol, I expect.
        I don’t know any Germans well enough to ask them how they feel about all this, but I could find no accounts here of actual pain being inflicted. The girls all report being asked if they feel ready to go into the chair, although none report that a couch alternative was available in the gyne’s office. None of the girls report pain, torture, or disrespect for consent, which is commonplace with our “enforced” recall system we have in the UK. Perhaps, these gynes know that the girls would never come back, if they made it painful, and they’d be out of a job. In our NHS state based system, patient choice and respect are a very new concept. We’re all herded along like sheep.

    • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

      I’ve always wondered this myself but I am glad to be part of the more enlightened club shall we say. I’m so pleased I never caved in to the pressures to test and remained true to myself with the efficacy rates now showing that my reservations about this test were right all along. I’m also shocked that the screening body couldn’t tell whether those had opted out qualufied as “eligible women”. The 5 million who don’t screen are not an insignificant minority at all and I am guessing that more than 24% of those have made an informed decision not to screen. Question is what do they qualify as “informed decision”? Do those individuals need to have had that discussion with doctors AND sign the opt-out form to come under this construction? Not all women would discuss this with their GP (after all, why the heck should they have to?!), they might just sign the opt-out form or not bother with opt-out forms at all (maybe not knowing how to opt-out) and decide screening isn’t for them by just binning reminder letters. The issue with this is that the pro-screening lobbies, right-wing media and militant pro-screening women are certainly, not as large a group as they purport to be but they are certainly the brashest, loudest and most vocal, making it difficult to gauge how many “dissenters” there are.

      • Kleigh US says:

        Something I hve always wondered alltho I know some conceder this really personal, is there has to be a celeberty out there or well knowned woman who doesnt belive in screening or has seen how unethical doctors are with this. I was wondering why hasnt some one came out to the public that she doesnt screen and knows its wrong what alot of doctors do to force woman to screen. This goes for any country there has to be some woman out there that is well known that could bring this to lite. I know they use differant tactics to force woman to screen in other countrys but this seems to be a universal problem. maybe with the eception of a few countrys that respect womans rights. I do hope one day i can turn on the news and there will be a woman who brings the problem out to the public.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Certainly here all real information has been kept from women, so until fairly recently most women were in the dark and just accepted the screening story. Now there are certainly more informed women, the censorship is no longer working, real information is circulating, and screening numbers are falling. Initially women were suspicious of the real information, but I think more are now taking the time to look into the evidence.
        I hope more women challenge and/or report doctors who try to coerce, mislead or pressure them into testing. Doctors need to know it’s not safe to treat women like mere bodies to be ticked off on the way to a target payment.

        In the past a NO for any reason just set you up for a debate, few doctors accepted and respected your legal right to decline any and all screening tests. In fact we faced the most pressure to have pap testing.
        I know some women refused further testing after a bad experience, whether that was to do with testing, a false positive, a biopsy or treatment. Some women simply couldn’t face any more testing as they got older and found the procedure more and more painful and/or humiliating.
        BUT IMO, the ONLY reason we’re seeing change here…informed women. The old coercive model is no longer working so they have to find a way to stop the flow out of the program and to stop women doing their own thing. You can now get the Delphi Screener through your GP and if you order it online, you have to nominate a GP who’ll also, get your results. This concession was made because they found out women were ordering the device on line or using it overseas, informed women, and they knew over time, more and more women would do the same thing. A scare campaign was probably considered, but that approach is no longer as effective as it once was, and it’s dangerous with more informed women about…more women are standing guard over their healthy body and that spells huge trouble for these programs. I couldn’t be happier…FINALLY the tide is turning.

      • Apocalyptic Queen (UK) says:

        Re – Delphi screener. Isn’t there another self-testing device available which is unaffiliated with any Doctors? Can’t remember the name of it now. I think it’s wrong to put the Delphi screener on some sort of script. I’m sure my GP wouldn’t hesitate to be nominated if I ordered it but the point is one of principle. Doctors have full control of the screening programme, they shouldn’t be allowed any control over this screener. It riles me just thinking about it – and ensures the survival of the cervical screening programme. I also agree with Kleigh, I have often thought there must be high profile women somewhere who don’t buy this pap claptrap. I am surprised too that no woman has spoken about this. My instinct is that there are such women but might keep their thoughts to themselves. The screening lobby are quite influential so if anyone spoke out, they’d be castigated by the media. I think awareness on this issue is definitely well overdue along with promotion of HPV self-testing kits. Have often thought how we could instigate one.. For now, I comment as much as possible on newspaper article comment boards and forums.

      • adawells says:

        AQ there seem to be an assortment of self test kits. One I have heard of involves inserting a special tampon and sending it off, and another lady told me there is one shaped like a large Q-tip, which you swab around and send off. She said she paid £45 for it and the result came just 2 days later. There was no contact with her GP.

        http://home.better2know.co.uk/home-testing-kits/hpv?gclid=CMzw45bxzcUCFQXJtAod1BUABQ

        Kleigh it would be good if more people did openly admit that they do not have screening.
        I found this website of celebs who opted for natural birth, so maybe this might get the ball rolling, but they are so rich they probably had a private helicopter on stand-by just in case:

        https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.popsugar.com%2Fmoms%2FCelebrities-Who-Have-Chosen-Home-Births-17988403&ei=YT1bVbzhJInwUPe2gYAB&usg=AFQjCNFuC0xbndr3VI5TNdp5nIJL5ZYfrw&sig2=ioDBOrKbRARsQUnb_0a0Yw

      • kat rehman says:

        On the letter I received from screening authority it said my name has been removed from the list of eligible women and they wouldn’t be sending me any more “invitations “. Dunno if this helps you do the maths..

  17. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    I’ve also, read here and there that menopausal women are at greater risk of cc.
    Not true.
    Almost all women, menopausal or not, are HPV- and not t risk, cannot benefit from pap tesring.
    The starting point in any discussion should be: are you 30 years old or older? Are you HPV+?
    No, then get on with your life.
    Simple as that…
    I’ve found many doctors have a poor understanding of screening, and nurses often have an even poorer understanding. I think the pap testing nurses are “trained” with the screening story, they parrot off that, so it’s clear to an informed woman they don’t know what they’re talking about…a few have more understanding of the evidence but still view screening as a must.
    Some women are unreachable, they’ll be testing most of their lives, most will have a biopsy, some will be over-treated, convincing them they made the right decision. These women have a closed mind, after decades of propaganda, hardly surprising…
    Some people don’t fall into line when directed to do so, they think for themselves, and they’re comfortable grazing alone, rather than running with the herd. Some feel protected and safe in the herd, but if they become informed, may feel safer making their own decisions.
    Mind you….we’re a fairly decent herd ourselves these days….and a lot happier than the other herd!

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      And healthier!
      The best healthcare decisions I’ve made: rejecting cervical and breast screening, and I’ve also, decided not to have screening colonoscopies.

      • Linda says:

        Thanks Elizabeth and Ada for putting my mind at rest. I’m glad to be part of this herd too.

        Hi Alex. I am deffo serious about this book. I will put in a chapter on iatrogenic harm and I will credit to you.

      • Alex says:

        Linda: Thank you! I appreciate that plenty, especially since having some people close to me get slammed with things that weren’t always officially considered problems. That was a big part of what got me to rethinking things that should have been blatantly obvious to begin with. Some of it might even have gone a different way if things weren’t so “camouflaged.”
        Something that I’ve found one has to sometimes explain even to grown adults is that omtting details from a description won’t edit those details out of a situation. So people refusing to call something a molestation of some form or another allows someone to more easily add it into their attack. If Vlad the Impaler had put all those people on pikes in the “verical” manner, it would have been violation AND execution. If someone beats someone else up AND robs them, it’s not just considered the theft of property.

  18. ChasUK says:

    Quite few rating you guys down – I’m shocked by that! WTF!

  19. kleigh us says:

    I have noticed more doctors on shows are working people not to believe any thing they hear or read online. The only person you should trust about medical issues is your doctor.

  20. Linda says:

    Who is going through all the old posts giving them thumbs down? I want you to know this is a safe sight for me and other women who feel let down by the medical system. Get off – YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Heh, the screening Nazis are everywhere. It was only a matter of time before one of them – or one of their brainwashed disciples – would come along and vote down the posts that dare to question the Church of Modern Medicine. The same kind of halfwits who come along here, don’t bother to read the articles (or maybe they do and are too stupid to comprehend them,) spout out the tired old claptrap about ‘saving lives’ and then bugger off, never to be seen again because they haven’t got the brains or the balls to have an honest debate.

  21. Linda says:

    HI Sue. I think someone has trawled this entire site and put thumbs down to many of the posts. A lot seem to be on Alec’s. Is there anyway you can go through and remove them. It doesn’t seem fair.

  22. Alex says:

    I just noticed that myself. Maybe it was that guy that said I was annoying & wished there was a “Block Alex” button? I DO tend to attract conflict at times. Not to talk shit, but more & more I’m thinking it if was physical it wouldn’t be that way (for long). Then again, if they won, I’d imagine they’d be all flush with victory & feel unstoppable while figuring they couldn’t be more right.

    Maybe other people would look at that as proof that they are right? Not that it’s an unsettled sitaution to begin with. It’s not like it’s a guess or someone blindly trusting what someone else said.

  23. Diane says:

    Hi gang, I haven’t posted here in a while because I’ve been ill, but I thought you might like to see this GREAT news out of California. As early as October, women will be able to go to their local pharmacy and get hormonal birth control, including the pill, patch and ring! It’s not entirely over the counter because you will still have to talk to the pharmacist and get your blood pressure taken, but there’s NO exam! The pharmacist can prescribe it on the spot! Awesome, eh?

    Of course, there are some doctors who are whining that now women won’t get their paps and pelvics…damn right they won’t. And they shouldn’t have to, because it has bloody nothing to do with getting the Pill. I absolutely love that these gyns will no longer be able to hold the Pill hostage to force women into getting these exams.

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/pharmacists-666009-women-new.html

    http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/06/05/412226430/california-women-can-soon-go-right-to-the-pharmacist-for-birth-control

  24. Ruined says:

    Hello. I am new to this site. I posted an experience about stopping having yearly paps after children, then visiting my pcp for a car accident and she asked to do a pap. I was told to i had hpv. Hence 4 years of bullying about colposcopies, paps, scaring me about cancer. I was reaching perimenopause and asked for hormone testing but they had been bullying me for an endometrial biopsy. I declined. They refused to be my drs and sent me to Dr a male dr. I always saw women in the past. They told me he would test my hormones levels only of i do a pap. I stupidly and regretfully agreed because during that visit, not only did he NOT LET SPEAK as I tried an introduction but he made answer questions about my kids ages WHERE THEY WERE, their well being etc. i was told to lay back as he wanted to start exam. He did full breast exam, and he was down inside me not long before My body literally jumped up from pain. I was in half seated up position shocked and neither his nurse or himself looked at or acknowledged my fear or crying. They waited for me to lay back down. I wanted to get up but was in fear of damaging myself further having speculum in me. He continued down there. I saw VERY LARGE bulbous pink tissue wth blood traces in it dropped in a cup the nurse was holding. He stepped very far back stand up told me to cough three times, each time harder. Then did pelvic exam in which i felt pulling down on my organs. I was packed with goo after too. The next day i fekt searing pain and someting drop or release inside me. i doubled over in pain then bleeding started. Burning inside which eventually caused burning in my genitals amd cramping so bad i could not walk. It is five months later. I am still so sick. Stomach killing me. My vagina hangs, bladder prolapse burning and over all painful genitals. Thrombosed hemmorhoid that was terrifying. I cannot find my comment on here anymore. I would love to hear everyones thoughts. The nurse that was in that room would not speak w me. This has been terrifying. My life is ruined. I know there is some sort of nerve damage. I felt awful scraping/ cutting but it was dull. He may have numbed me. When i go to drs now and ask questions inam labeled as aggressive and told my stmotoms are menopause and NOW WANT TO GIVE ME ESTROGEN. What I wanted a couple years ago.

    • Moo says:

      I feel badly for you with your negative experience.

      Did you ever have uterine fibroids?These are usually harmless and most women over a certain age have them. Either they degenerate once they out grow their blood supply or shrink after menopause (or getting there) when the estrogen supply goes down. So what happens to them when they die or shrink? Some times they come out. When they are coming out a woman might have a smelly watery discharge or brown bloody discharge. The cervix can push them out naturally over time (might feel like labour) but any manual pulling of them out is going to do damage. Any manipulation of the cervix does damage: D&C, abortion, gyn tests where a is put through the cervix (endometrial sample, fertility issues, IUD insertion, some assists in childbirth). That is why I would never get a D&C myself. http://www.hopeforfibroids.org/faq3pg1-advancedquestandrecovery.html
      You might want to look up a few websites to find your own help for prolapse issues. Some women make their own pessaries instead of getting surgery (which some say made issues worse) or getting a doctor to put in a pessary and demand appointments down there every three months. I have heard about some women using diva cup and other fashioned devices. There are all types of pads and panties for bladder leaks on the market now if that is a problem.

      There is not much clear info on the internet about pre menopause or menopausal issues that women have. Going through this myself, I was as first scared I had cancer. I do not get heavy bleeding just very scanty flow, brown but no pain, i am not sure what a hot flash is. Yet asking the doctor was useless. All I got was pressure to pap and get an endometrial biopsy which I refused. He tried to push HRT on me but I know this is a natural process. Further to my frustration was this hustler telling me that I could still get pregnant but it was almost impossible for me to get pregnant. Obvious he does not have a clue. He also told me that herbs do not work and that vitamins just give a person expensive urine but berated me on not taking prenatal vitamins if I was trying to get pregnant. (I do look some ten years younger than my true age).

  25. Ruined says:

    I cannot find my first post and someone even rated it thumbs up. I think Alex commented on it and that comment made me feel so good, that someone put into words exactly how I felt. I have not stopped thinking about it. I did put the Drs name in my comment which may have upset someone. I saw a post that someone was flagging posts thumbs down and my post is gone. This is upsetting.
    I am so thankful to find a place where people agree on the dangers of these routine tests on women. The bullying I experienced caused me so much stress only to have been tricked into that last exam and being damaged. I assure you I did NOT flag thumbs down on any of your informative posts that I 100 % agree with. I think someone is nervous about the truth and severity about my experience. But my question is how many women have had similar things happen to them and do not even realize it. Mine was severe and blatant. I bet docs do plenty of stuff down there we do not know about. After all we are not allowed to see the tools or anything they use with that sheet over our knees so we cannot SEE ANYTHING

    • Welcome to the forum Ruined. I believe your first post is in the comments section of “What Some Male Doctors Do When Women Say No”. If you can’t find it there please let me know.

      • Spiritedaway says:

        Thank you for the warm welcome and letting me know where my comment was. Im still getting to know how to navigate here Thanks again. Im going to change my name from “ruined” lAlthough true. Its too depressing. Im using “spiritedaway” Thank you again for the warm welcome.

      • You’re very welcome Spiritedaway 🙂

      • Spiritedaway says:

        Hello again, I still cannot find my original comment, I am looking for it as on that page there were some comments by other members that truly helped me. Sorry to be such a bother. I looked for the one you mentioned but cannot find it. So sorry

      • Hi Spiritedaway, no problem, it’s 9th up from the very last comment, under the name Pamela.

      • Spiritedaway says:

        Hello again, I have missed all of you. I have been very busy trying to deal with what happened to me. I had come back as was feeling hopeless and frightened again. I never did find my original post and alex’s response to it. This concerns me and I have been blocked from rating thumbs up and supporting comments on reviews that Hit home and I support the most. My assault and injuries are the direct result of refusling testing and this forum I would think would be a safe place especially for someone like me but like everywhere else I guess my experience is too real and horrifying I hear lots of talk about bullying and for me that was very much part of it but to be attacked and treated like a slab of meat was the bigger issue. I will no longer be visiting here. Moos comments were like she never even read my comments. I had no history of gyno issues ever before my incident. I am saddened as I thought I had found a source of support but something is going on with comments here. Mine were deleted and I have been blocked from rating for NO REASON. Good bye all.

      • Hi Spiritedaway. This site has 65 articles. When you click the tab “home” on the top bar and then once on the home page scroll down to the article titled “What Some Male Doctors Do When Women Say ‘No'” you will be able to find your very first post. You posted it under the name of “Pamela”. You changed your name to “Ruined” after that, and now you have changed it again. You have posted comments under a number of different articles. It can be easy to lose track of what went where. I’m able to see all the posts you have written from the admin. side.

        I have moderated out the identifying information in your comments. You and this site are open to being sued for libel when there is even a slight chance of defamation in connection with real names.

        Sometimes commenters post the same comment twice. When that happens I assume it was done in error and might delete one of the comments. That may be what happened in your case, and if so and you had meant to post the same comment on different articles then I apologize. Sometimes Word Press messes up and puts a legitimate comment in the spam section, where it gets emptied out automatically and where I never see it. I have been alerted to missing comments from time to time and once or twice have been able to retrieve them from spam if it hasn’t emptied yet. Sometimes when posting a comment someone will forget to type in a user name and it gets posted as “anonymous”. If there is no email then the comment gets held for moderation, or sometimes this happens for no reason I can figure out.

        I’ve copied and pasted your first comment, which is still in the same place, below.

        What follows is your first post, which you posted under the name of “Pamela”. It can be found under the article titled “What Some Male Doctors Do When Women Say No”
        ————————————————————————————————————–
        I was being bullied for an endometrial biopsy for a one time light spotting I said i would think about it if it happened again. I was about 45 twars old heading into perimenapause and never hd an issue again. I kept getting phone calls and then letters. I politely called and asked to stop writing that I did not want biopsy.
        Months later my pcp asked me to get a hormonal workup. I called my obgyn and they refused to see me on the basis i had missed too many appts. Funny this was right after i called about the biopsy. They referred me to Dr (moderated) in (moderated) ma. Where I was told he would test for hormones but only after a pap. I reluctantly succumbed to all this bullying and during this exam this dr basicall assaulted me
        He never introduced himself after bargjng into the room without knocking. He would not let me speak after i tried an introduction. He asked questions abut the whereabouts and ages of my kids then rudelly told me to lay back
        Within moments i felt the most horrible pain making me jump up from the table. The nurse did not even look at me as I cried. ( I was not allowed to speak to thus nurse after the fact either) the drs head came up slightly but never acknowledged my pain. He continued to do things. i then felt aggressive scraping on both of my sides. 5 long scrapes. I then saw a large piece of bulbous tissue with blood traces in it dropped into a cup the nurse was holding. I was told to cough repeatdedly harder and harder while he viewed me from far across the room with speculum WIDE OPEN.
        He then put his hands inside me pulling down on organs and at the end if exam i was packed with some gel.
        The day after i felt a tearing and dropping pain in my tummy. Hunched over in pain then began to bleed and cramp. Then burning in my vagina and down my legs and into my abdomen. Months of undiagnoses and extreme pain and discomfort. I now have prolapsed bladder. Vulvodynia and thrombosed hemmorrhoids. Ladies BEWARE OF BULLYING DRS. WORSHIP AND PROTECT YOUR BODY. IT IS OURS AFTER ALL. IT IS NOT FOR SCIENCE
        Obviously. (Moderated)

    • linda says:

      Hi Spiritedaway. I was one who replied to you posts. I was worried about you all yesterday even though i was quite down myself.

      You are a very beautiful human being and in no way deserved what happened to you. Your name ruined upset me and i was going to tell you to change it anyway. No women is a ruined being we are creatures that reinvent ourselves and dust ourselves off to rise from the ashes and rise up.
      Your terrible ordeal has now made you very strong and you are now sn advocate for womem
      n’s rights. Use your new found power for good and save others. I am so happy you have fou d your way here. What a fantastic safe place this is. I don’t know what i would have done without it. We are here for you. You are one of us. Please stay and be part of ghis wonderful commu ity of men and women who have been hurt by doctors.
      i am sending love and positive vibes to you. Xxx

      • Spiritedaway says:

        Good Morning Linda, All I can say is “wow” your words have made my day….They Actually brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy to find people who truly understand what I am going through. I have felt very alone through this . It is so hard to have something wrong with your body knowing Doctors caused it, although I tried to avoid it and said “NO” THEY STILL GOT ME. It is a horrible feeling. They keep it all hush hush , deny it and try to blame my symptoms on menapause, like I did not know my own body before his unconsented, very strange and rough exam/blind biopsy scraping. They actually go on with their lives knowing another human is suffering at their hands. I absolutely plan to share my experience with as many people as I can. Thank you Linda for your support and encouraging words. It is amazing how much it really helps. I have two sons and am divorced so there are not too many people here to talk with about it. My dog is even a male lol. I am going to look up your past comments to find out why you were down yesterday and your experiences as well. You are a kind heart and I look forward to talking again. THANK YOU!!!!!

  26. kat rehman says:

    Hi spirited away I’m glad to you changed your name. And that you ended up here though I hate the reason you did. I’m pretty new on here too and I’ve found every one is always here for you no matter what. I’m ill at the moment and have had great support from Linda. So stay with us. Thinking of u x

  27. Spiritedaway says:

    Hello Kat, My goodness this is turning into a good day . Thank you for your support and I am sorry you are not well. I have not been either. I am usually a very strong woman and a fighter but for some reason this has really rocked my world. My insides being messed with and my new education on the level of deception we women have been dealing is enough to make anyone sick. I have pain and discomfort daily and a body has changed drastically. I am pretty sure he did an endometrial scraping of some sort by the amount of tissue I saw. This was mot the pap test I was bullied into lol. I have so much to say and look forward to learning about all of you and hearing your comments .I look forward to being here for you Kat if ever need be. Im thankful for everyones support. It truly means a lot

  28. Spiritedaway says:

    Amen to that!!!!!!

  29. Linda says:

    Hi Spirited Away. Please , please don’t leave I beg you. please stay and find friendship and comfort here. You are part of our family now. What happened to you was awful and many women here support you. We read your comments and emphathise. We have suffered too and we need you as much as you need us.

    You are on a long journey to recovery. i hope you can see that. it is painful. it is terrible. all of us are at different places in the healing process. Your experiences are no less valid than ours.

    You have something very valuable to contribute to the conversation. Moo probably has read your comments but didn’t reply perhaps in the way you needed her too. moo is going through the healing process as well. Please stay. XX

    • Linda, you put that so well. I was thinking the same things but couldn’t find a way to put it out there. Thank you! I don’t want Spiritedaway to leave or feel badly because of this site.

  30. TreeFrog says:

    Hi All,
    Sue, thank you for this terrific site! It’s a relief to arrive here.

    My story is brief, but it pertains both to the accuracy of PAP smear results (pretty bad) and the quality of doctors (so far, mine seems pretty good). Let’s see what everyone thinks.

    I’ve had regular PAPs since I was 20 and went on the pill – then had the unnecessary yearly PAPs each year to renew my prescription. Then, after I went off the pill when I was 30, I got one every 3 to 5 years – all normal.

    Now I am 50. Good health, non-smoker, monogamous (hence few risk factors for cervical cancer). Went for a PAP (thinking that it was a good idea since it had been 4.5 years) and my family doc later informed me it was abnormal and referred me to a gyn for colposcopy. Referral got lost and I had to follow it up myself, but I didn’t hurry, thinking “good it was delayed – may have given any abnormalities a chance to go away!”. So after 6 months saw the gyn. He did a new PAP, and then colposcopy with biopsy and ECC (endocervical curettage). I didn’t mind the procedure, but I understand a lot of woman do. Gyn said he could not see anything alarming, took a biopsy of one small spot that was probably nothing, just for the sake of doing one, and said that I shouldn’t worry. Also reassured me that many paps give false positives.

    Six weeks later (this week) I go in for results, and lab (which is downstairs) has not sent PAP result to gyn yet, so I wait an extra 1.5 hours. Many apologies from doc and nurse. Finally get results: cervical biopsy entirely normal – yay!, ECC entirely normal – yay! … but new PAP: HSIL! What?

    Gyn explains that obviously cytology and histology do not match – not even close.

    Pointing out firstly that “we do not have to follow the guidelines,” he tells me the guideline for this kind of non-matching cytology vs. histology is cold-knife conization, and explains what that is. As a different option, he says that some women are so concerned about cancer risk that, in my shoes (and my age), they ask to go straight to hysterectomy (“what?” I’m thinking). Moving right along, he then explains that on the OTHER end of the spectrum (or speculum – ha ha – my joke), it’s perfectly reasonable to “watch and wait” and have another colposcopy etc. in three months’ time.

    “That’s the one!” I said.

    I am pleased that he did not try to pressure me into surgery. He actually seemed relieved and perked up when I chose watch and wait. I have my next appointment in February, for another colpo and ECC.

    I’ve since educated myself and learned that 50% of HSIL paps are false positives, and of those that DO accurately indicate CIN2+ on proven histology, at most 20% of those will ever (in the fullness of time) progress to cancer.

    I know my girlfriends would gasp in horror that I’m walking around watching and waiting when I’ve had an HSIL pap. Glad I can post here. With my gyn checking me in three months, I feel there’s virtually no chance that anything big will be going on “up there” that isn’t caught early. And the fact that both visual inspection with colposcope, AND biopsy AND ECC were negative persuades me that my HSIL result is probably one of the 50% that are actually simple inflammation.

    Anyway, that’s my story – and despite my confidence, I’d love for you all to reassure me that I’m not crazy. I scrupulously avoid letting anyone hack off perfectly good bits of me. I dodged this a few years ago when I had a tiny Stage 1 melanoma on my leg (found by me). Had it off, and result was thin melanoma – you don’t ignore this, but treatment is supposed to be conservative. Uninformed docs wanted to do invasive lymph node excision. Inappropriate, and not in the standard of care for what I’d been diagnosed with (simple skin excision is what I requested and eventually got, and had to fight to have the 5-minute procedure done with a local instead of with a general – sheesh!), but I had to fight them off! It was very alarming!

    This time it’s different – my doc seems to support my conservative approach. I’m hoping that I can get the next PAP test (or the one after that…) to match the clean biopsy results. Vitamins (folic acid, vit. A) here I come.

    Thanks for reading – comments more than welcome.

    ~Wendy (in Canada)

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