All cancer screening is optional, including pap tests to screen for cervical cancer. Unfortunately, some women mistakenly believe pap tests are mandatory.
The mistaken belief that pap tests are mandatory is mainly due to the fact some doctors fail to inform women that they have the right to refuse pap tests, pelvic exams, and any or all screening tests and examinations. Some doctors may even withhold health care and medications unless women agree to screening.
Media also plays a role in promoting the illusion that pap tests are mandatory.
- Emphasizing or exaggerating potential benefits while minimizing or ignoring potential harms
- Framing screening as if it were a mandate, not a choice
- Emphasizing patient anecdotes of people who claim their life was saved by screening – something that can’t be proven
- Missing the stories of people who make rational decisions not to be screened, or the stories of people who regret making ill-informed screening decisions
Schwitzer also states it’s “
The tendency of media to frame screening as if it were mandatory together with some doctors’ failure to disclose the fact that all screening is optional helps to explain why some women remain unaware of their right to refuse pap tests and other screening.
That’s a good post. Even if it WERE mandatory, so what? An action has to be engaged in order to occur. If someone said: “You have to jump off a building” or “I need you to jump off this bridge,” would you do so? Of course not (probably). It’s not like you have to say “I abrogate your mandate” or “cancel the requisite,” although you could.
The only things that should be mandatory in health care are for the doctors:
– to tell the patients the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about every health condition, procedure or test,
– to have deep and comprehensive knowledge of the subject,
– to provide safe and high quality assistance and service,
– to respect the patients’ choice, dignity, privacy and the right to decide for themselves.
The rest should be optional and entirely up to the patient.
I had a doctor tell me that if I did not let him do a pap test and a pelvic exam that he “could not longer be my doctor”. I have heard other people tell me that their doctors told me the same story but adding that they must have colon cancer screening and mammograms. People who need regular medication to due chronic health problems are afraid of losing their doctor.
Upon challenging this I discovered my truths and lies. The doctor claimed that legally is he did not test for cervical cancer because if I had it then I could sue him. I know doctors are required to carry malpractice insurance because like many other professionals they make mistakes. If there were a law or guideline that a person must have a pelvic exam or pap test then any doctor could do it and he could refer me to a female colleague. Of course he did not because why let those fees slip out of his hands? Then I found out about the incentive payments for getting a target percentage of patients to screen. Then the harassment at every appointment was about screening and having his staff call me to make an appointment for “fat shame and cancer blame”. I quit using the medical system. I use alternative (herbals, exercise etc) and walk in clinics for emergencies.
Is there a formal complaint mechanism for people who are being refused medical care? (which my tax dollars pay for). I live in Canada.
I buy antibiotics and birth control pills and asthma inhalers online. I absolutely REFUSE to be abused and badgers and mistreated and financially drained by doctors ever again.
That’s bullshit- if you elect to abstain from screening, that’s on you. In truth, I think they just say shit that rings PLAUSIBLY to trick someone into doing whatever they say. If I decided not to get blood work done & I have high cholesterol, then have a heart attack- it’s not on the doctor. Any law enforcement agency that would say otherwise & go on the attack has to be looked at as a threat to the community.
Another point is that it’s eerily reminiscent of a child molester telling the kid they attacked that nobody’d believe them or that they’d get in trouble if they told anyone what happened. If you, for example, bring up legal issues like suing them for doing something to you & they say that they’d get sued if they didn’t- just presenting an exact reversal. If two people were about to fight & one actually said “If you hit me in the jaw, it’ll actually knock you out,” this would be the same idea- especially if they said it like they were serious & thought it was funny that this other person didn’t think it was true.
Moo – Are you able to sign a sort of “disclaimer” in Canada? When I opted out of screening here in the UK, I was asked to sign a disclaimer basically stating that I accept sole “responsibility” for my decision. I gladly signed it of course to get them off my back. Do you have this option in Canada? This would at least provide you with a counter should he say he is afraid of being sued if he leaves you unscreened. Though, of course, he is probably only saying this to cover his own back and try to keep the fee for himself.
No you can’t sign a disclaimer in Canada, you can be turfed out of the “family health team” in my province Ontario and not find any other place to go besides walk-ins and the ER. We also have no private health care option, one of a handful of countries in the entire world like that. I had to go to a walk-in clinic in another city to get migraine meds as doctors in my area won’t take you as a patient unless you get all the screening tests they tell you that you must have – no exceptions. Now they are talking about forced geographic rostering coming, in that case I will have to use street drugs for migraine as we aren’t allowed to import personal medication into Canada either. We are worse than the worst police state when it comes to health.
Vera: Holy shit! You do know there are other things besides pharmaceuticals for that, right? It sounds like Canada is trying to make their medical situation similar in conditions to a prison. The opinion usually is (in America, at least) that Canada’s more toned-down about shit like that, but I suppose not.
I had a doc insist on PAP smears once a year or they would not prescribe my birth control. I had no idea they had no right to hold that against me. My friend’s doc told her that if she does not have a routine colonoscopy, he would dismiss her as a patient.
I have had the same experience as you @SusieQ, despite my best efforts – when I try to decline pap smears the doctor calls in a nurse for back up, and then tosses all the usual reasoning as to why I should comply – followed by the threat that if I do not participate in the pap smear I will not be given anymore prescriptions (birth control included)
-I have explained to my doctor time and again how stressed I am leading up to the exam – since it has always be more than just uncomfortable for me – my exams have always been painful, reducing me to tears before I walk out into the waiting room.
-I have explained to my doctor how I feel violated for days after the exam.
-I have asked if I could sign a waiver so that I could avoid further turmoil due to pap smears.
And at every turn, and twist in the journey – I have been forced to proceed, forced to have a pap smear against my wishes.
At this time I will include that I too, (like Moo in the comments above) Live in Ontario Canada, and over the last few years have come to realize the bitter truth about the healthcare system – they are not on our side, they are not your friend, and they are not here to help.
I positively will NOT go to doctors any longer; next December will mark 30 years since my mother forced me to go (I was exhausted from college; all I needed was SLEEP but because she had Munchausen By Proxy, she forced me to go to doctors every single week of my life and would beat me to a pulp when I refused to go). EVERY doctor grilled and badgered me and all but forced me to submit to those gruesome exams and I refused every single time because all they seemed like were rapists and predators to me. There was no reason (other than their whim) to try and get me to submit to such ghastly, unnecessary exams).
Even if there WAS some other reason, should that be some kind of “override code”? It’s like potential utility is some kind of “ace” that they like to try flashing to someone in order to get them to shut down.
I also usually notice a demeanor of someone that’s appraising the answer, as if they’re being sold something or they’re auditing this person to decide if they’ll give them a volitional loan. This isn’t just with doctors (in real life or on TV), but just a general tactic that seems to be somewhat reflexive for the ones trying to use it.
Torrance I don’t blame you one bit for avoiding doctors. I don’t go to them either, the last time for me was in the 1990’s. Unfortunately I don’t think anything has changed as far as the coercion to have these invasive procedures, as well as mammograms (when you reach 40 or 50). Our for-profit health care system in the US is set up in a way that there’s just too much money to be made from these things and that comes first, not the well being of women, with all of this greed and control under the guise of care and concern for women. Disgraceful.
I’ve heard that mammograms carry 1500 times the radiation risk of a normal x-ray. Yet women are scolded for not having them every year? I will NEVER have my boobs squashed like that and endure all that radiation for a 50/50 diagnosis.
I believed they were mandatory for 27 years until I found this site. I am heart broken they got away with this for so long. I will never trust a doctor again.
Linda, have you checked out your GP surgery ratings on the NHS Choices website? They have a kind of Trip Adviser style thing where you can place comments and give a star rating. My own surgery has only a 2 star rating overall, and very many complaints from the patients. They never reply to the comments, with one person commenting that that says how little they care about patient grievances, but when I checked just recently I noticed that someone has just started to respond to the comments.
You should also be able to check out your CQC latest inspection report for your surgery, and see the results of their screening uptake, smears and mammograms for all practices in your area.
Thanks Ada. I will look at that.
Excerpt from a local surgery website.
” Improving Cervical Screening Uptake in Your Practice
Recommended best practice to improve uptake amongst women in your Practice.
Review all women overdue screening on a quarterly basis and use a trained member of staff to make contact with the women to invite them to attend for screening.
Consider prioritising early morning and late evening appointments for patient of working age only.
Send an appointment reminder 24 hours prior to the appointment.
Send a GP endorsed letter to women who fail to respond following the NHS call/recall letters.
Remind any woman overdue screening when she attends for any other appointment and suggest she books before leaving the surgery.
Use an every contact counts strategy, flag overdue screening tests on patient records and make available to view by GP receptionists when patients call to book other appointments and/or order prescriptions. Use phrasing such as ‘I notice you are currently over-due your cervical screening test, could I book an appointment while you are on the line’ may prompt the woman to book an appointment while she has her diary.
Nominate a Practice Nurse to become your ‘Screening Champion’. All staff to promote cervical screening. Become aware of Practice data and population base with poorest attendance.
Ensure patients are aware of alternative locations for cervical screening appointments eg. Branch Surgeries.
English not first language, send a language appropriate Cervical Screening leaflet, which is available in over 20 different languages from the NHS Cervical Screening website.
Women with learning disabilities consider whether it would be more appropriate to send an Easy Read leaflet and invitation letter to the parent or carer. Offer a visit to the Practice in advance of an appointment for a screening test. Use resources on back page of booklet or contact the local Learning Disability Primary Care Liaison Nursing Team.
Use your Practice Website front page and waiting room noticeboards and information screens to highlight the importance of attending for cervical screening tests.”
There is no mention of informed consent. There is an assumption that every woman MUST have cervical screening i.e. mandatory.
I know, it is disgusting and also does not take into account the adverse effects such pestering might have on individuals nor does it question the ethics and dubious legality of such methods.
This makes me so angry, because the current recall letters allow no right to reply. They have no legal right to pester women in this way, if they do not allow women to reply to the invitations. Why should our NHS resources be used on these bullying tactics, when many elderly people struggle to get the help they need?
Just recently I read that at my local surgery, 43 appointments per week with the practice nurse are “Did Not Attends”. Easy to see why.
Ada didn’t Dr Mackie say new letters and leaflets were coming that made it clear you didn’t have to go?? It’s all very odd. Maybe surgeries have advance knowledge of what’s afoot and are planning new strategy to combat the women who will indeed choose to stay away? Of course if they launched self testing then more women probably would attend!
Kat, I think some surgeries are planning new strategies. I’ve noticed that the new application form to register with a GP practice has now removed any references to smear tests. It doesn’t feature anywhere on the form. Remember last December a poster posted on the NHS website that the practice she was trying to register with had asked her to sign a document that she promised to stay up to date with smears and mammograms? I think this is what some surgeries are doing instead. Coming up with all sorts of illegal tactics, if the forms are changed.
http://www.nhs.uk › GPchoice › Documents
The new registration form is attached here.
“When was your last smear test” now been removed, but many are saying they require a brief health check from the nurse, so I expect it will crop up then.
Ada – is this a register form for all GP practices?
Ada – Possibly, many GP surgeries (especially the militant ones) are miffed that the question regarding smear tests has been removed so are finding ways to overcome this.
I would think that forcing patients to sign a disclaimer saying they will keep up to date with screening could be bordering very close to being illegal – certainly unethical. Signing a disclaimer to opt out of screening is one thing but signing a form to declare that you will keep them up to date is basically holding you to ransom. How dare they try this – it’s 2016 for heavens sakes!
AQ it is the new application form to register with a NHS GP in the UK. I know I looked at getting a new GP a couple of years ago and definitely remember the old form having the question “When was the date of your last smear test”. As you can see it has been taken off this new form. However, I strongly suspect that the GPs have found a way around this, either by including it as part of the “quick health check” for all newcomers, or, as the poster on the NHS website found, they have typed up their own form to get women to sign that they will comply with smears and mammos. None of it is a requirement and it certainly can’t be legal, but I bet they rely on most women feeling they have no option and going along with it.
MINT – Does this web page allow for comments? If not, could you provide me with the GP practice address? I will be writing them a very strongly worded letter.
This is what our hard-earned tax money is wasted on.
In Australia, we are forced to pay thousands every year to Medicare, health care funding through income tax, imposed private health insurance, gap payments, excess payments, co-payments, and all this is spend on incompetent and badly trained doctors, outrageous stalking and surveillance of patients, and dissemination of pro-screening lies.
And then, when it comes to helping people who actually need medical assistance, there is suddenly no more funds and we need to raise taxes again.
Send a letter to the carer?? Are they THAT desperate to get disabled women to screen? That is really skimming the surface and could well be illegal. It enters very murky legal waters concerning capacity and consent. What if the procedure risks traumatising the patient? Does the carer really have the right yo make a decision like that on behalf of their relative? I can’t believe the surgery think it is worth the risk!! They could land themselves in VERY hot water.
As for a screening “champion:, oh pleeeease..
Its disgusting. Forcing an unwanted object in a women is RAPE. This is not me being hysterical. It is the LAW.
I think the law, as far as the people that make up the organization, LIKE that. They are very affirmative of all things along those lines, but mostly for when it’s done with subtlety. The more that someone acts like THEY’RE the victim when they are barred from doing something to someone & the more they add in lies about safety/utility/risk of condition, the more they approve of it. Same deal with doing things by non-cliche methods (ex: murder by scalpel vs murder by machete).
@Linda: I full-heartedly agree with you – I have tried to explain this to my doctor, that because I do not want to have the procedure done, it feels to me like I am being violated. To this my doctor replied ” Does it not help you (mentally) that I am a Doctor only preforming a procedure, and that many women undergo this same procedure”, to this I of course respond that no – it does not change anything in my mind or that way I feel about the situation. Like you said – it feels like socially approved/accepted rape.
I find it very difficult to believe that in this day and age, we cannot – and have not, come up with a less intrusive, less barbaric way of screening. And lacking that, I shudder at the thought that each day that passes – is another day closer to the next time I get coerced and wrangled to have a pap smear.
Kay, what you’re feeling is completely normal. A pap/pelvic exam is truly vile in its level of intrusiveness and it never ceases to amaze me that women accept it as a “normal” part of their healthcare and never demand a less invasive alternative. Their acceptance of this hideous procedure is why things never change and its why intelligent, self-aware women like you and I and many others on this forum are subject to harassment whenever we seek medical care. Just take strength in knowing you’re not alone and that many of us out there feel as you do.
Hi Kay. Just refuse them if you dont want anymore. Its your body. Doctors are very forceful with paps so just resist. If a doctor tried to coerce me anymore i’m afraid i would become very agressive. This is where women have gone wrong we have just accepted the situation without speaking our minds or standing up for ourselves with self assurance and firmness.
A doctor must refill your script it is your right. Just report him to the medical authorities. Don’t be afraid to do this. You will be protecting the next young woman coming along.
Actually, there is a non-invasive alternative to the Pap test, it’s just that it’s not being offered to most women.
HPV self testing is reliable and easy to use, if you’re over 30, there’s a 95% chance you’re hpv-…which means you can’t benefit from a Pap test.
Dutch women are offered 5 hpv tests or hpv self testing with the Delphi Screener at ages 30,35,40,50 and 60 and only the roughly 5% who test hpv+ are offered a Pap test (5 yearly until they test hpv-)
Further than that, hpv- and no longer sexually active or confidently monogamous, you might choose to forget all further testing.
So you’re probably having completely unnecessary pap tests that do nothing more than cause you stress, pain and risk your health. (From false positives, excess biopsies and over-treatment)
In many countries, you can buy a hpv self test online…
I think your doctor’s conduct is disgraceful, I could never use a GP who thought it was acceptable to bully me into elective cancer screening. In my opinion, when a GP refuses to accept NO and bullies and pressures a woman into testing…that is an assault. IMO, coercion, abuse and disrespectful conduct and attitudes can never be part of a healthy doctor-patient relationship.
@ Judy, Linda, and Elizabeth : Thank you all for your responses, you have no idea how good it feels to finally have someone on my side of this debacle.
When I have turned to my mother and sister in the past about this subject they typically scoff, and tell me ” Just wait til you have kids – then everyone will just waltz on in and have a look-see.” After receiving no empathy from them, and of course much less from my doctor – I had given up that perhaps I was the only one having troubles with the terms of the procedure.
~ In response to Judy: I cannot express my gratitude enough to you and the other wonderful individuals that made this resource possible. It is comforting to know there are many others who share my feelings on this matter, and that I am not alone after all.
~In response to Linda, perhaps you saw my other post in this thread where I tried to outline all the ways I have tried to negotiate with my doctor to allow me to opt out of the smear. All of the listed attempts failed when she informed me I would not be permitted any refills for my prescriptions until I underwent the test, it was due to this (threat) that I finally caved in. I wish I had your strength, maybe then my refusal wouldn’t fall on deaf ears.
~ In response to Elizabeth: I am guessing due to my age (29) perhaps this could be why my doctor did not offer/allow any alternative. I will impart that I am in a monogamous relationship – and have been so for the last 11 years, to which my doctor of course is aware of. Though, I will certainly be asking about those self tests upon my next visit.
Some years ago now, fueled by this very subject/procedure, I looked to switch my family doctor in hopes of finding a doctor who might be more understanding – but was turned away told that because I have a doctor I couldn’t apply for a new one (so I gave up on that front). In the years to follow my old doctor retired. Since then, I have had my doctors younger doubleganger (the doctor to whom I am referring when I write my posts) – who much to my chagrin, has all the same views as their predecessor on the matter.
My last doctor visit was last week, and scheduled for troubles with my ankle. My doctor, flipping through my files, realizes the last time I was in to visit – was when I was last coerced into a pap smear ( probably close to a year ago now, maybe longer) In a joking tone, my doctor says to me ” Good thing the test came back negative – or you would’ve really been unhappy with me.”
I am disappointed in myself for not speaking up that day – it wasn’t a joke to me, and the doctor should’ve known that better than anyone since they pushed me through the procedure despite ( I am not proud of this) my hysterical crying, sobbing, and at times yelping as the nurse grabbed and held my legs.. ( I still wonder if I was heard from the waiting room, mostly out of my embarrassment.)
I want to thank you all again, for taking the time and effort to not only read my comment, but for the thoughtful responses I found in return. As mentioned before, I cannot describe what it means to me to be able to discuss this – and how much it means to me to not feel alone anymore.
I only wish I had found forwomenseyesonly sooner
But of course according to Dr Mackie cervical screening is optional and we have the right to choose not to attend!! Naughty sarcastic kat!
Ah yes, that old chestnut! Yes, we can refuse – all 20% of us – LOL.
I seem to have read in the past that this 20% was set aside for the roughly 20% of women in the population who are either hyterectomised, nuns, born severely disabled and clearly unable to have sex. For everyone else there is really no choice at all.
Ada – this is disgraceful. How on earth do they think they can and should be able to “force” women to have these tests? I personally believe that they always knew there would be a hardcore cohort of dissenters who would refuse screening no matter what, so reserved the 20% for them.
Unfortunately, a lot of women (and men, for that matter) are not aware of their legal rights and the medical community has exploited this to their advantage.
And Linda your not being hysterical, you’re right! I can STILL remember the last smear I had walking out thinking NEVER AGAIN coming home and bathing in Dettol and then washing my clothes in Dettol too! Of course according to the NHS I have the problem..
The NHS acts as if it is above the law. I used to go home and have a shower. It is rape Kat. We respond to this attack in the same way. Why the hell when there are so many things that go wrong with bodies and minds do they just focus on this test.
I am uploading the first of four of my articles on monday. This one is about how practice nurses carry out the ‘operation’ i’m surprised how many of my friends have got on board with this. I have quite a few examples of what these nurses say and do to get women to to comply. I cant wait for you all to read it.
Linda, I look forward to seeing it. Thank you so much for all your hard work on getting this out there. How is the first book going? Has it been downloaded many times?
Wow, I have herd an American woman say the same thing about how she should go home after being forced to have a Pap smear to renew her birth control. Feeling raped and trying to wash it away with a shower. I wish every country had a law to protect woman from unwanted vaginal exams of any kind. This needs to be stopped.
Just posted my basic intro to my piece. Linda hope it won’t make your job harder but I’d prefer to post in small chunks like I just did as I’m more confident that way? I’ve never written before and I’m dead nervous. The next chunk takes us back to bbiblical times with quotes of a woman’s place, same with the Koran, a look at modern religions, also reference to the speculum in those times, tying in with women being conditioned to please and finding it hard to say no. Plus quotes about menstruation ect setting us apart and being unclean at the time.. Then witch trials, contagious disease act, similar act in Paris, such things as click removal as cure for hysteria,nazi Germany, henrietta lacks.. I hope it’s going to be Ok!
How can women not think they are mandatory with wording like this in public education materials on a government run cancer information website:
“If you have ever had any sexual skin-to-skin contact, you need to have regular Pap tests starting at age 21. This includes intercourse, intimate touching or oral sexual contact.
Pap tests should be a part of your regular health check-up until you are 70 years old. You should have a Pap test every three years”
No where does it say that it’s a choice and a woman has the right to refuse.
Exactly. However, can I ask whether you are in Canada or the US? Noticed the reference to once every three years there instead of annually? A TINY glimmer of hope for the future there. I have seen many Americans express dismay online that they are now being told to have them every three years rather than annually.
One would wonder whether this would make some question why on earth they’ve been told they “need” them every year and then the ACOG or whatever reneges on this? You would at least wonder that this would make them question the efficacy of these tests in such circumstances? Clearly not.
Hi Kat. This is a great intro for your piece, just brill. Upload things up whenever you feel like it. I will sort it all at the end.
I aim to put my first section up tomorrow mid evening. It is finished but i need to check grammar and spelling as well as tweek it here and there. The other 3 sections will be finished and uploaded within the next few weeks. Its a big undertaking as i had to find women who wanted to give me their experiences as well as doing the academic graft. I’m really pleased with it so far. We are in no rush.
Hi Ada. The first book book does very well. Its been downloaded about 600 times in all from the various outlets. The one on kindle only gets downloaded during the free days but thats to be expected. It gets downloaded mostly by americans and canadians then uk and a few in mexico of all places.
600 times? That’s bl**dy brilliant (pardon my language!!), and also good that the word is being spread to our American and Canadian friends.
I post a lot on forums regarding this issue. Would you mind if I promoted this book (NOT this website) in my discussions to promote further awareness of this issue?
Hi ApQ. Feel free to do whatever you want with the book. This new book will have a better cover the one was ok but it was my first and i didn’t do a good job of it. This one will have a pic of an aggressive looking speculum on it for shock factor.
Thanks Linda! Can’t wait to read your next piece! I’ll double check next chunk and upload really soon x
From the book “Recent Advances in Obstetrics & Gynaecology number 26, chapter 10, page 110-111, The future of cervical screening, by Nirmala Rai and David Luesley, JP Medical publishers, 2015
“Women vaccinated between ages 11 and 14 years could be screened just twice at the ages of 30 and 45. Vaccinated women between ages 15 and 23 years (Britain ran a catch-up vaccination programme for 16-18 year olds), could be screened once at the age of 25, and then twice more at 35 and 50. Women who are already sexually active prior to vaccination are less protected and hence a first screen at 25 is useful to detect women not protected by the vaccine. Unvaccinated women (or who have not completed all 3 doses) should be screened more regularly at the ages of 25, 30, 35, 45, and 55 years. Several triage screening strategies have been suggested based upon results from different clinical trials, but to date the optimal approach in terms of clinical outcomes is still to be elucidated. The current cervical screening programme places a large economic burden on the health sector in its present format. Simply reducing the frequency of cervical screening may not be a solution because it may affect cytological and clinical standards. It is essential that the current programme evolves in keeping with the advances in basic science. However, adaptations to screening protocols should be introduced carefully within organised programmes as part of an evolving process with evaluation of clinical outcomes so that the success of current programmes is not compromised.”
How very sneaky and downright under-handed of them. Good grief, this sort of thing makes me angry. Preserve clinical standards my a**e, it is to preserve this so-called programme and their profits!
This article has just been released and seems to be downloadable for free.
I can see light ahead, it does say on the NHS website smear test is optional and you have a right to choose not to attend. If the new ” invitations ” state that too, women might query why they are being asked to sign a paper saying they’ll have them, and might be more motivated to complain if still threatened with removal from list??
Reading through Linda’s piece on the role of district nurses in the UK screening program, I felt very lucky to be Australian. Yes, women have been pressured, misled and coerced into pap testing here, there is no respect for informed consent and unethical (and possibly) illegal measures are used to get as many women as possible into the program.
There is also no regard at all for the vast majority of women who can never benefit from testing, many of whom end up worse off for this testing, and our referral rates are horrible and mostly avoidable.
But not many Australian women have had a nurse standing on their front doorstep demanding to know why they haven’t presented their cervix for testing. (when the “invitation” arrived in the mail)
I know some NZ women have experienced this level of pressure. It seems some doctors/nurses/clinics take screening into their own hands while the powers that be conveniently look the other way or deny it’s happening, “probably just one overly enthusiastic GP”.
This is what happens when consent and informed consent go out the window, anything goes.
BUT someone trains and instructs these nurses, the Clinics/doctors with some additional input from these programs and probably the Nursing Association. No one stopped to consider whether this was an acceptable way to treat women. Do they view women respectfully? Hardly…cervix No. 3456 tick/screened, cervix 3457 tick/screened etc. etc. Cervix 3458 to be rounded up…
It’s staggering that women could be treated in this way, and what a huge waste of resources, do they track down anyone else (the morbidly obese, smokers etc.) or is this enormous effort and expense reserved for one rare cancer? How warped and broken is women’s healthcare that this should be the case?
Of course, we know they’re chasing a target payment and the program operates on a knife edge, they must show some benefit (whether it’s a real benefit or not) to justify their existence and survival. If that means trampling all over women and using jackboot tactics to force screening, that’s what they’ll do, but only when it’s SAFE to do so.
I’ll bet they tread carefully with informed women…
We may be introducing a call and recall program, I fear we may see more unethical tactics used in this country. This approach is attractive because it gives them greater control over women.
Wouldn’t you think in 2016 that the AMA and others would start to view women as competent adults with legal rights and not just target uteri to be rounded up for screening?
I think the NHS cervical screening programme has been an absolute colossal abuse of women’s human rights, and there should be a public enquiry into what was, essentially, a programme of incentivised, organised rape when it was set up in 1989. There were many people who spoke out about it, and I think 2 things bankrolled this vile programme into existence: The government of the day wanted to privatise the NHS and adopt a US-style money making model, and what could be a bigger cash cow than pap smears. Secondly, misguided, fanatical womens groups were fed a diet of the cancer time bomb ticking away inside their vaginas, fuelled by stories in the popular press. The two married up nicely, with politicians, eager to find a female vote winner amongst desperate women.
As an employee of the NHS I am touched daily by the many kind and caring people I have met who work there. The organisation (5th largest employer in the world), is now undergoing a great culture change: putting the patient first, giving patients choices and a voice in their care. I am heartened by great NHS people such as Margaret McCartney, who has had the bravery to come out and speak up for women who do not want smear testing or mammograms, but there has been such a bad culture going on there for so many years that it is going to be a big job to change. It is small wonder that Jimmy Savile was able to operate for so long in this organisation. He raised a lot of money for charities, so much so, that they gave him the keys to a hospital so he could help himself to the patients of his choosing. When the NHS gynaecologist, Rodney Ledward botched women’s bodies, it was the private hospital (Bupa) he worked for that confronted him and took action against him to get him stopped. The NHS where he also worked, did nothing, and he too functioned as he pleased in an NHS which let him get away with botched operations. With this sort of organisational culture going on in the NHS, it is not difficult to see how such an obvious abuse of women like the cervical screening programme should have been rolled in dispite flagrant touting of the law. It was all part of the culture.
There are many doctors now who want to break free from the screening targets which are imposed on them. I don’t supose many of them have witnessed a single case of cervical cancer in their working lives, and many are slowly becoming aware what monsters this screening programme has made of many of them. It is now widely accepted that the often quoted 83% and more screening figures proudly quoted from the 1990’s will never be attained anymore, and I think many other countries know full well, that such a high coverage can never be gained in an ethical, acceptable manner. Those figures were clearly gained from pure bullying, threats, coercion, and the withholding of health services by conmen who were supposed to be trusted by us.
I can’t tell you what joy it brings me to see those figures fall year on year. The most recent figures released are already nearly 12 months old by the time they have been published, and I wonder now what the current figures must be with the older brainwashed generation leaving the programme, and the younger generation turning their backs on this farce.
Good Luck with the book, Linda. You have worked so hard to show the world what we think. It should be required reading for students everywhere.
Thank you Eliz and Ada. When i trawled the net for answers it was mostly you two i found and i basically followed the trail to this fantastic site.
We are just cervix no 23546. I’ve been harmed by this programme and no one gives a damn but the people here.
I have 3 more pieces yet to do – the role of gps, language and the media. I do ‘borrow’ ideas from you and incorporate them into my writing.
Words can be very powerful.
The women who set up a facebook page put a message on margaret maccartneys site. I put one one the day after saying its great what she has done. They have both been removed.
I hope the nhs hasn’t got to her. Yes there are some great nurses and some great docs. I’m not angry at them all just the ones who abuse women.
Fantastic post Ada and I agree 100%. Why is abuse of women tolerated and even embraced in the health system?
It seems to be endemic amongst the NHS staff and filters into the general population. Look at the way (conservative) newspapers and their posters speak about women who refuse screening, women who have elective caesareans, women who choose not to breastfeed and women who go back to work. The general consensus is women should not have choices, as potential “baby-carriers” and cultural care givers and “nurturers”, we shouldn’t be entitled to a life. We’re supposed to be “responsible” and everything we do is supposed to be for the moral good of society. The tone is paternal, patronising and demeaning. Many times I’ve seen subjects on screening where posters loudly exclaim: “Women need to be told why this test is so important”, “it’s for their own good”, “women who don’t have screening are scared, embarrassed, reckless and irresponsible” yada yada yada.
Good grief, this attitude makes me so angry and it is still visible across all sectors of society and prevalent in all areas of life. It stems from an idea that we women are lesser beings – physically, emotionally and mentally – therefore we “need” protection and paternalism, just like children. But what really angers me (but doesn’t surprise me) is that this screening catastrophe was as much the result of militant fem-militias as it was the vested interests. Just like with so many other areas of life, they shoot themselves (and the rest of us) in the foot with their misguided gibberish. Look at what some of these womens groups do in womens name to justify even more paternalism towards us? Ie. Take their clothes off to “raise awareness” of rape or to “celebrate” the female form (resulting in increasing sexualusation of females), attacking other women who make very personal choices with regards to how they bear and raise their children, lobby governments for a “violence against women act” (in an age where we have never had so much equality – what we need is more legal equality with men and support to exercise these rights, not a law that singles us out as females (and as a result, makes us “victims” on account of our gender) and results in more paternalism). Finally, we have these women colluding with patriarchal sectors of the health service saying we NEED, we MUST be screened at the cost of mental health, bodily integrity, autonomy and informed consent. What is wrong with these women?? Are they just so spectacularly stupid???
I agree with you – as time goes on and the older, more militant supporters of the screening programne and indeed the “old-school” staff begin to drop off, we will see support decline even more for this programme. There is a cultural sea change within the NHS which appears to be manifesting across all the sectors. Finally, it seems they are learning the importance of the words “choice” and more importantly, the word “NO”!
This seems to be a universal belief that health care is set up in a way to make woman feel obligated to screen. The words used are when was your last pap or u can’t be seen for unrelated problems unless u have a pap and all woman” should” it works me to no end. And how does the majority not see what’s going on even if they are pro screening for them selfs, to allow doctors to demand woman have a lets get real internal exam forced on them . How can this not be seen as what it is rape?
Kleigh – I totally agree with you. It never ceases to amaze me that a large proportion of the zealots are not necessarily men, but other women, yelling at everyone else to get screened. I don’t understand it either.
There was an article about a month ago in the Daily Mail about a woman who died of cervical cancer. She did receive a screening test and the result of the test was negative. But guess what? Women reading the article were saying, “she should have been screened at 18. If she had, maybe this would have been detected earlier”. I was thinking, hang on, this woman received a screening test and it FAILED to pick up abnormal cells associated with advanced cervical cancer. Only a few of us were able to work out that the issue was with the test itself, not the age of the woman being screened!
Not sure what the issue is with these women, but they are ill-informed and they are the ones who shout the loudest, meaning that people take notice of them.
I know I shouldn’t make comparisons, but these so-called feminists cause as many issues for women themselves as the so-called “patriarchy”.
For all those women who campaigned for the vote for instance, there were an equal number of women against it. There are even a cohort of feminist groups online who say women should not be learning self-defence because it puts the onus on women to have to defend themselves and of course, we have women saying everyone else “must” screen. If it’s for your own good then it doesn’t matter about informed consent, right?
I do feel the NHS is changing in the UK, but I still don’t like the way it uses “health” as a way to pervade into women’s and people’s personal lives and choices, such as with choices to do with pregnancy and childbirth and screening.
Elizabeth I wrote a submission here in NZ when they were discussing raising the screening age and introducing primary HPV testing. Thank you for the many references you have posted over time. I was able to use them.They are finally raising the screening age to 25 but not until 2018.There were many Womens groups and others who did not agree. Fortunately, as the medical evidence is overwhelming, sense prevailed. The screening authorities here are unbelievable! The debate about over diagnosis is only just beginning . I have withdrawn myself and my daughter from the NCSP and if our practice puts ANY pressure on my 25 year old I intend to go with all my folders of research and wipe the floor with them.I have a family member who is now 50 whose cervix was butchered when she was 21;two cone biopsies and laser treatment courtesy of the NHS, resulting in severe haemorrhage, 3 units of blood, vaginal packing and catheter. She was 21.Angry doesn’t begin to explain how I feel.
Yes. Its a basic really.
I’m shocked about how it is in Canada and Australia. These are the two places i would have thought healthcare was of a high standard. Vera’s right Canada sounds terrible. Controlling its citizens through healthcare.
It’s very Big Brother down here, we’re constantly being told what we should do and scolded if we don’t. I’m over it completely, couldn’t care less what the Govt, the Cancer Council, the AMA or any other political, misguided or vested interest thinks about healthcare. I know a lot of the stuff they preach is actually bad medical advice, like the one-sided presentation for breast screening, and our shocking over-screening pap testing program that has stayed firmly in place for decades, keeping day procedure full (sadly, with a lot of young women who shouldn’t have been tested in the first place)
We’ve gone to great lengths to protect that program…at the expense of women.
I wouldn’t be surprised by anything we do down here…
I remember the UK going through a phase like that under the last Labour government back in around 2005 – 2009. ID cards were all the “rage”, we were all going to get them and be registered on the UK’s DNA database. I also recall reading some pretty militant stuff about pregnancy that was similar to some of the “guidelines” issued by the Republican Bush government. And of course, they were mad about screening – but only women’s screening of course. It was all very Big Brother. And to me it was clear, we women were just vessels.
Then, we got a change of government. I am no fan of our conservative government, but a few things I feel they did do right was scrapping ID cards and making elective caesareans available to women, saying they deserved a choice. During their tenure the screening committee has also damned screening and made clear that it should be a choice, although why it is taking so long for these changes to be incorporated into their leadlets and so on is beyond me.
Of course, we have the HRA holding our government to account, I dread to think where we’d be without that.
I saw a local interview with the UK’s Iona Heath recently, she also spoke at the Evidence Live Conference in 2013. I agree with her views on cancer screening, she’s spot-on with breast screening and openly says she’ll do something if a lump appears, but won’t be having breast screening. (she believes it’s a close call when you consider over-diagnosis and overtreatment; so do I)
It’s interesting to see the reaction she gets from our reporters & journalists like she’s some sort of reckless or misguided nut. “It’s NOT advice I’ll be taking…” was the response from one reporter.
We haven’t heard anywhere near as much about the downside to screening because we have no real advocates for women here. We simply don’t have anyone like your Prof Baum, Iona Health, etc. etc. I suspect they’re partly why the UK is now trying to make out that informed consent actually matters in women’s cancer screening.
Iona Heath is one of my favourites.
I saw this article in the UK Daily Nazi (the conservative, red-wing, unintelligent, bigoted rag) on Health MOTs. Guess what? Doctors are trying to push these on their patients to justify bonuses. I wondered whether this would happen when they were first announced in the UK:
Just wondered if any of you would be interested in posting a comment on the following piece in the Guardian:
It’s a very ill-informed and militant piece. I’m finding a lot of the commenters are vocal, middle-aged women- the type who are soon to drop off the programme.
Great work AQ! I’ve contributed and marked up your comments.
Astounded that you can buy HPV self test from Superdrug for GBP48.
Yes, that was news to me too!
I got into a bit of a slanging match with a male to tell me that I “get myself screened”. Needless to say I didn’t react well to that – lol.
You might have seen the debate, he basically rejected all my comments, dismissed the work of Angela Raffle, Bristol University, Hazel Thornton and Michael Baum as “daft”, despite another Australian study basically backing up their conclusions. He relied solely on a NZ study to dispute rhose findings despite two studies contradicting it. Oh, I was annoyed to no end although I found out that he’d lost a family member to cervical cancer so I really should have gone much easier on him in hindsight.
Hi AQ, I think a lot of comments in the Guardian were turning in your favour, and hope that the more recent comments stay that way.
I’ve checked out Superdrug’s website and there is no sign of any HPV test kit on there. I hope they have not had to withdraw it due to pressure from the screening lobby…
You asked me a while back for the link to the Parliamentary website. If you go onto http://www.parliament.uk there is a yellow “Alerts” button in the bottom right of the page, and there is also an “Email alerts” tab at the top right of the screen. I remember it gave you the opportunity to enter keywords like “smear test” “cervical screening” and each time these come up in debates and petitions you get an email with a link. Having said that I tried to get in recently and found I couldn’t find out what my alerts were, so don’t know if they are doing maintenance work or something. I noticed from the last “Early Day Motion” (always makes me giggle as sounds like a morning poo!) that many of the MPs signed up to reduce the screening age are based in Northern Ireland, where a young woman recently died. Not many of the 17 signatories were based in England. I think their numbers are dwindling from previous campaigns.
You’re right. It seems you can no longer receive alerts based on the keywords entered. You now subscribe by checking lots of boxes associated with your area of interest and expertise if I’m correct?
It would be useful if anyone could provide me with the names of MP’s, EMP’s, AMs and MSPs who are actively involved with screening campaigns so I can contact them.
WRT Northern Ireland, they also have a very conservative government. I have often found that entrenched views about women tends to favour overt monitoring of women in pregnancy and increased screening, for some reason.
I think some politicians bang on about cervical screening because it “sounds” like they’re pro-women (get some votes there) and they want to be “seen” to be doing something, saying something (especially after the death of a young woman from cc)
Now it doesn’t matter that the evidence doesn’t support screening young women, that it doesn’t prevent these early deaths and leads to a lot of damage to healthy young women, as long as they’re seen to be doing something, that’s the end of it as far as they’re concerned. You can harm the masses, waste a fortune, as long as you can present it in a positive way, positive spin.
I hate that politics is tied up with cancer screening, it leads to political decisions, not evidence-based decisions, it’s all media spin and sound bites/slogans, not good medicine, and we waste a lot of money, better spent elsewhere.
We had a female politician up in arms whenever someone criticized our screening program (and that rarely happened) she had a pap test every year, on her birthday…the ignorance made me shudder. Our program was bad enough, yet here she was banging on about annual screening, a great way to damage every cervix in this country and waste even more money.
Politicians meddling in medicine is bad news, not that the medical associations are any better, it’s all market share and profits with them.
Elizabeth – Totally agree about politics and health issues going hand in hand being nothing short of bad news. It also tends to “moralise” health matters that should be seen as very personal, individual decisions. For instance, women who choose to screen are seen as “good”, “moral”, “doing the right thing (despite the discomfort and embarrassment etc)”.
Look at the way things like pregnancy and childbirth have been treated since they were “politicised”. The “moral” choice is now to push for a natural birth (at any cost) and reject pain relief and medical intervention. This obsession that was pushed and pushed by midwives at a hospital in Cumbria were part of a culture that led to the deaths of 23 women and babies in Barrow-in-Furness.
This is the result of such things when MPs start off with the best of intentions and try to politicise something, which is even more imperative that politicians stay away from anything that seeks to reduce patient bodily integrity and autonomy.
Vaginal Corona? Really?
Doctors are now pushing this new term to encourage virgins to get pelvic exams. The saying is “virginity doesn’t exist; it is only in the mind”. Also, this supposed “corona” is a membrane that is “already opened” so there will be “no tearing” when they open the speculum. Doctors do not even want women to say the word “hymen” anymore.
What is the world coming to? Are doctors that desperate to penetrate virgins?
That is dosgusting! BUT, it sounds to me like their screening rates are declining and virgins (or those women who feel they shouldn’t have to explain their relationship status) are choosing to stay away having read all the evidence and decided that screening is a load of bs.
This sounds like a desperate attempt to persuade women to comply to me.
I sure had a hymen. They say any thing to get woman.
Last June I went to the doctor for depression meds because I was losing my job due to outsourcing. The intake nurse told me, quite confrontationally, that I either had to have a PAP & pelvic that day or make an appointment for one, or I would not be able to see the doctor anymore after this. I was shocked and angered. I had been going to that clinic for several years and my previous doctor frequently asked me to undergo a PAP (even setting out the equipment one time, which freaked me out), insisting it had to be done yearly, but she never threatened refusing service. I usually went to Planned Parenthood for my PAPs because they were less stressful and everyone was friendlier. I once mentioned to them the pressure I felt from my doc and they were surprised and gave me literature to show my doc which indicated that PAPs were recommended only every 3 years for someone like me. Recommended – not required. My doc seemed to be unfamiliar with the information and said, in any case, the clinic required an annual exam. I never went back to her because I was tired of the badgering and now with the new doc, I guess I can’t go back at all unless I submit to what I perceive as medical assault. I’m now afraid to go to a different doctor/clinic for fear it will be the same. (USA, Wisconsin)
>>> The intake nurse told me, quite confrontationally, that I either had to have a PAP & pelvic that day or make an appointment for one, or I would not be able to see the doctor anymore after this.
Why don’t you tell her that you agree to make an appointment where the doctor will explain to you all the risks and benefits of these examination so that you would be able to make an informed decision? If the doctor still refuses to see you after this, do you really want him to treat you? He would probably not give you choice in other matters regarding your health as well and would threaten to refuse treatment if you didn’t comply. I’d shop for another doctor, someone who respects you as a patient and as a human being. There are good doctors out there.
Here’s an interesting article I recently came across: http://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/2006/01/ccas4-0601.html. It discusses a situation where a doctor tries to coerce a patient into cancer screening. There are two wonderful comments from other doctors who emphasize that it’s important to tell the patient about the risks of screening–not just the benefits–and also that doctors should respect the patient’s right to refuse these tests.
I find it interesting that no doctor ever coerced me into skin cancer screening even though skin cancer is more common. And I refuse flu shots every year but no one bats an eye.
PAP-crap is an example of politics getting into health care. There isn’t much political gain in flu shots. But there are many brownie points in portending to be saving women from a “rampant”, “most common” cancer. Plus doctors and medical bureaucrats benefit financially and thus support the program. Hence the propaganda, brainwashing, scare campaigns and pressure.
What the doctor and nurse did was coercion and it is unethical and illegal. You have the legal right to informed consent or refusal of any medical procedure. The medical professionals are to ensure that you have all the information to make that decision and to respect that decision without coercion. If you have encounter such a situation again ask them if they are denying you access to medical care because of your refusal of an unrelated optional screening test. That doctor and nurse should be reported to their respective state’s ethical board.
Their Patient Bill of Rights allows for Refusal of Treatment by their patients but also allows the doctors to refuse service if a patient doesn’t comply with the doctors’ duty to treat and prevent illness:
You may refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law. If you or your legally authorized representative decide to refuse treatment that stops your health care providers from giving you care that meets their ethical and professional standards, the relationship between you and your health care providers may have to be terminated, after reasonable notice.
Helen, by them telling you that you cant be seen by them because you refuse a pap smear a screening that requires you to undress snd let them insert tools inside you is rape. Maybe these doctors dont get this idk. Im really sick of hearing woman having to put up with this mess. Im 31 by tw and never had a pap smear. I only see a walk in clinic if i am sick. Those types normaly dont push unrelated health care. These tactics are what I consider meadical rape. They need to be reminded whos body this belongs to.
Well said Kleigh!
I like to watch YouTube and I became interested in a girl who had cute clothing hauls and other things she was into. Thin I saw she posted a “what to expect at your first physical exam . Girl talk.” Video. Well it completely grossed me out and turned me off from wstching any more of her videos. She was also suporting woman not shaving so i was surprised that she was pushing the well woman shit on young girls. Shes lookes to be about 20 and the pic of the video showed her in leggings pressing on her lower abdomen. It just upset me kida and grossed me out. I really dont want to hear or know what woman are alowing thir doctors to do to them and she had so many views. Disgusting.
Here’s something that -really- grossed me out. A year or two ago, I got a letter from the healthcare network with a “Raffle Entry Form”. They were raffling off $100 gift cards … to anyone age 21-64 who underwent a PAP test. “Tell your friends!”
Looks like not only our health, safety and personal information is put out for sale by our governments, now they are also playing lottery with our reproductive organs.
Free cheese anyone? 😀
This link should show latest reports on screening in the UK Parliament. Glad to say that Gloria de Piera has now resigned.
…So that’s 62.8 million times $35 that keeps this vile business going.
I agree – OB is big business.
Hi Everyone, please could you take the time to respond to the following post: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3673908/Millions-women-offered-new-cervical-cancer-test-prevent-600-new-cases-year.html#comments-3673908
And if possible, duplicate those posts on other similar news stories on this subject in the Guardian, the Telegraph etc.
Hi Apocalyptic Queen, I love seeing your comments on the Daily Mail articles. I try to post as often as i can too.
Hello Kiwicelt! ☺I’ve seen you post a number of times in the Daily Mail and wondered whether you’d ever come across this site! Had there been a way for me to message you privately to let you know about this site I certainly would have done, but I didn’t want some of those zealots finding their way here which is why I couldn’t leave a link or the site’s title in one of the comments. There’s another DM article on it now. I think they’re still accepting comments. The link is: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3792463/Why-NEVER-miss-smear-test-Cervical-screening-saves-2-000-lives-year.html#reader-comments
Just for everyone’s info, I might start posting with another pseudonym called Jeweloftheisle (a play on words because of where I’m from and my intense interest in all things ancient Egyptian!). The reason I might change it is because I have a range of interests and post on a lot of martial arts forums, rock music community forums, book review and politics forums with the pseudonym, Apocalyptic Queen, and so I don’t want some of my friends and colleagues to start working out it’s me. But if you see Jeweloftheisle on the DM, you’ll know it’s me!! I’ll also keep the AQ pseudonym on here.
I think it’s no wonder I’m not too popular with too many women on these sites. My interests are unconventional and I certainly like to challenge the norm!!
So, what do you think of some of those comments on the Daily Mail? They really are something else aren’t they.
Apocalyptic Queen I will look out for your comments under your new handle. Sometimes I despair at the ignorant comments of the brainwashed on the Daily Mail the “if I hadn’t gone for my smear and had those abnormal cells removed, I wouldn’t be here today” brigade and “It’s 5 mins of discomfort have your smears ladies”; makes me want to punch something! Our comments are getting more likes though which is good.
You’ve probably noticed I’m quite opinionated and assertive in my comments! While my aim is always to try and inform other women who might be reading but won’t comment, the truth is that I have always had a bit of a rebel streak, so I get infuriated with these women who don’t respect science or mine and everyone else’s choice! Elizabeth seems to have mastered the art of debating, as she seems to never lose her cool or her patience. Don’t honestly know how she does it. Must have the patience of a saint!
I think more Aussie women are working out pap testing is far from mandatory, the numbers of women testing continues to fall…that may mean no further testing, less testing or trying something like HPV self-testing. I think they’re worried the herd will start to break up before they can start the new HPV program mid next year.
It will still call for over-screening, 10 or 11 invasive HPV tests from age 25, so women will still suffer under the new program, especially young women. The Dutch program of 5 HPV tests or HPV self-testing from 30 would have been far better for women, but then when did these programs have anything to do with what’s best for women. I’m in no doubt vested interests control and influence our program…and that’s why we ignore important evidence (5 tests are enough & we should not be HPV testing before age 30) and place barriers in the way of better options. (HPV self-testing)
I came across an interesting concept on the internet the other day.
The origin of the word pharmacology is actually based on an ancient Greek term – Pharmakiea. Its deff worth looking up and examining the whole concept of ‘pharmakiea’ and how it relates to the medical professions ongoing and unchecked mass rape, mass murder and mass poisoning of us all.
Pharmakiea = sorcery. It brings to mind the film “Guardians of the Galaxy” when Peter Quill is letting Gamora listen to his music and tried to dance with her. She yells out “I will have none of your pelvic sorcery”.
Ever look up “sterile”? It’s even worse. It’s actually pretty creepy.
UK Gov just announced we are to switch to HPV primary testing, but no news when this will be. I think they’re testing the water as don’t want the Daily Nazi readers saying it’s a plot to kill off women. They also don’t want women to hold out until the new test comes in. Also withholding fact that screening can be reduced to every 5 years with HPV test. That’s being kept very quiet.
And. Still withholding info about self screening which would probably increase the uptake, supposedly they’re so worried about! The daily fail article earlier in the week had a comment from someone who works in cervical screening, bemoaning the fact jobs would be lost. Of course the loss of any job is tragic but I’m sure some will be re deployed and isn’t the main concern what’s best for women?? Oh silly kat this is women’s screening we’re looking at here D’oh!!
No offence. But some of those bigots posting on the DM are a few hefty loaves short of a picnic. Arguing and debating with some of them can be exhausting and it is quite clear to me that they don’t understand the science behind screening or the principle of “consent”. They are VERY aggressive and very militant (but then again so am I, haha!!).
Jokes aside, some are not capable of understanding false positives and false negatives. Mention them and they’re still convinced that we don’t screen because we are embarrassed.
I am always astonished by the fact that they think they have a right to preach, lecture and judge something that has absolutely nothing to do with them. Why would they be bothered if you don’t attend an elective test? Most non-medical men wouldn’t give a t0$$. It is a common theme with the “sisterhood” – but if you show yourself to be a bit unconventional, and challenge the norms, they lash out. I’ve experienced this to a lesser degree in other areas of my life. Being judged or criticised for not having mainstream hobbies and interests, and I wonder whether this is just the mindset of some women.
I stumbled across a picture of the Daily Fail’s front page when the Pap Crap was first given the OK by our dumb politicians. I forget the exact wording, but the DF told their readers that the test was invented by British scientists (!) and that it was infallible.
Yep, there’s a good reason why some of us refer to it as the Daily Fail!
I also posted on the most recent article, but I don’t know if my comment was published, and frankly I don’t care. I decided long ago not to waste my time arguing with idiots.
Some of those women are beyond stupid. I don’t know, maybe nurses have been coating those speculums with a *lubricant* which reduces the IQ and renders the patient incapable of critical thinking? 😉
Hahaha!! The predominant reason I argue with them is not to expose their ignorance or wind them up (although I must say, it does give me a kick 😉), the main reason is to raise awareness of the science behind this test and to highlight informed consent.
For all the stupid bigots arguing back, there are always a handful of posters who take on board what you say, realise that they have always had doubts themselves and can encourage them to go off and do their own reading and come to an INFORMED DECISION about screening, whether that be to continue or not. That screening rate is coming down every year and I don’t think it’s because of fear or embarrassment, but maybe the evidence sinking in. It’s not really my intention to put women off screening, just to arm them with the facts but if the indirect outcome of that is less and less women screen, then so be it.
That’s exactly what was done to me in my only pap smear, twenty-plus years ago. The doctor took no notice when I told her (yes, woman doctor) I was not sexually active. I was twenty-something and partly embarrassed to say virgin, and partly took it for granted that duh, people understand you mean not at all, ever, when you say that (especially so young). But no, she insisted I must have it if I wanted to continue my pill prescription- not start, take note. I’d been on it for years, and none of the male doctors I’d seen had suggested pap smears. So, I submitted to this, but had to stop her before she finished, because it was intolerably painful. I have high pain tolerance, too.
Afterward she said “I didn’t think anyone *your* age would be a virgin in *this* country!” and lied on my notes.
This website is amazing! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am 30 years old and have had what I hope to be my last pap! I didn’t even particularly want to get another one, but I figured if I did the co-test and came up negative for HPV, then I had even more information to throw at my doctor next time she harasses me about pap smears. (She was already harassing me because I have always refused to have one every year, even when that was the recommendation.)
I’ve never had an abnormal pap result, I am indeed HPV negative, and have no family history of any reproductive organ problems. I now consider myself done with screening as long as I remain asymptomatic. Hallelujah!
One thing that really bugs me is that my doctor insists on having my screening results. (I have always gone to Planned Parenthood for screening…started when I didn’t have insurance and continued when I realized they listen to what I want and never try to coerce me into anything.) I told my doctor the date of my last pap and she kept saying, “Well, I really need to see the results.” Does she? I explained to her that I don’t generally share medical records unless it’s necessary, and I don’t think it’s necessary for her to have them. I’ve been checked, everything is good, life goes on.
I generally avoid doctors and have a level of distrust due to so many unsettling experiences. I tend to only call my doctor if I need a referral for something else, which happens somewhat frequently because I have an HMO and need referrals before visiting my dermatologist (I do have family history of skin cancer) or my orthopedic surgeon (broken ankle with ongoing issues due to a sub-par surgeon).
Anyway, like I said, thank you for being here. It’s refreshing to know other people have the same views as I do when it comes to paps and pelvic exams.
The other day I was at the hospital and got chatting with the nurse doing my tests. She told me about a pelvic exam where the bloke doing it was all set to do a transvaginal ultrasound on her. Hadn’t been mentioned by her doctor and she knew it was irrelevant to the check she was getting. She was able to put her foot down and refuse it, because nurse: knew the procedure and her rights. Said she was so taken aback she didn’t quite register the creepiness of it until later (don’t we all know that feeling).
Below 70℅ now. NHS has no money to treat common serious health issues, but, hey presto, the money for a new marketing campaign is miraculously available!
Hold that champagne bottle!! 😁
“Hard hitting campaign” planned for later this year. I think a “hard hitting campaign” for choice should be planned.
In NZ we have an online leaflet produced by the National Screening Unit called “Screening Matters”, awful, I know! It is predominantly an in house information leaflet for their staff
.In the August 2014 edition;
” Innovative approach increases cervical screening numbers’
Auckland health services provider The Fono has taken an innovative approach to increasing the number of women it screens as part of the National Screening Programme.
The Fono included a $10 per patient payment for smear taker nurses for every unscreened or overdue woman they screened at their Henderon clinic once they exceeded 20 smears per month”
I wonder how much informed consent there was for those women whose cervix had a price on it?
We are in the process of getting a dumbed down website to ” remove the barriers” women have to screening. It is being set up by a media company called FCB, can”t wait to see it!
Kiwicelt, I hope the NZ public has been told that there is a $10 bounty on their bodies. GPs/nurses should be forced to declare any incentive payments they are getting to carry out procedures. Most people are still clueless about it in the UK.
I just wanted to thank everyone for the wonderful posts on the Daily Mail website, it is truly heartening to read. I especially noticed the ones by AQ, Kat and Kiwicelt. It might seem futile to argue with some of the DM idiots, but for everyone of them, there are probably many more readers who read the comments, but don’t have a login to comment. As long as our posts are read by as many women as possible, that’s the main thing. I noticed that one woman wrote that her GP surgery would not allow her to make an appointment for anything unless she had a smear test first. Very revealing that this sort of illegal activity is still being carried out by some Nazi GPs.
AQ: you mentioned somewhere about finding out about disabled people being pushed into screening. Well, they’ve got to get those numbers up, and as so many women are turning their backs on the programme, they are turning to those with learning difficulties to make up the shortfall. How low can they get? Well, this is the UK cervical screening programme so no depths are too low to be reached. I found this brochure as an example online:
Click to access Screening_Services_Strategy_Toolkit_final.pdf
See page 15 says:
“J is a young woman with profound and multiple learning disabilities who lacks
capacity to consent to a cervical smear. Her family, together with her health
care workers and providers, used a Best Interests decision making process to
agree that as a reasonable adjustment she has her smear test when her
Mirena coil is changed under a general anaesthetic.”
I’m baffled that this poor woman is too disabled to consent to a smear test, but somewhere down the line they’ve seen fit to put her under and make her have a Mirena coil.
I’ve also heard of nurses and carers going to huge lengths to make multiple visits with the disabled person to the surgery to show them the instruments and familiarise them in the build up to performing a smear, but why couldn’t a non-invasive HPV test be performed instead? Surely this would save huge costs. The whole business is so sick, and geared to hitting high screening targets, it is disgusting.
Right – this needs raising awareness of. A disabled lady who needs carers to consent for her, I doubt is at high risk of developing cervical cancer. I would even question whether she is sexually active in the first place?! (I bet the “coil” provides a nice cover though eh?).
Who in their right mind decides that this is in their best interests? Any social worker who would approve this hasn’t a bleedin’ clue.
That is just appalling. It’s a bl00dy safeguarding issue in my book!@ (And I should know, my line of work takes me within the realms of safeguarding).
It was a pleasure putting the comments up! ! Really though some are so brainwashed! Towards the most recent anti smear comments there have been very fed red arrows. Maybe women are waking up more and feel it’s ok to voice concern about the test
Exactly…same reason they don’t offer HPV self-testing, even for groups who find the speculum exam incredibly painful. Older women are often given oestrogen creams to use for a few days before the test.
They put women through so much, older women often get recalls too for an inadequate sample and a false positive is more likely, many end up with bleeding, soreness and/or a UTI after a speculum exam.
So they’re happy to choose that path rather than offer HPV self testing, which would rule out most women from further testing, (heaven forbid!) but that won’t happen, they’ll keep testing and testing…pointless and harmful testing.
It says a lot when they’re happy to give a GA or do a biopsy or treatment without first checking the woman is at least at risk…most women are HPV-
But it shows it’s the program that matters and all that feed of it and us.
If anyone is a user of twitter I’ve just found a new site on there called:
“Tweeting about psychological trauma and its impact on society. Promoting safer public services. Inclusive of all genders and sexualties”.
They tweet about instances where health services have failed to appreciate the trauma their services have caused people. Too right.
I’m not but I am tempted to set up an account. Will let you know how I get on.
Hi AQ, twitter is a good place to get the latest plans for our wonderful screening programmes. When any changes are about to take place or new reports out, they’ll be promoted on there first, so I always dip into the screening twitter feeds (NHS, PHE Screening, Jo’s Trust), etc, to pick up information about what they’re up to. It can be a bit of a “bear pit”, but I’ve even had a reply from that nice Mr Music! I have not yet been blocked by anyone – I’ve learnt a lot from Elizabeth to always take the moral high ground and not get emotional!
Really – what did he have to say for himself? On another note, why is a man fronting a cervical cancer charity? I haven’t created the account yet but I will do do soon. Sounds like it is a great place to post and no doubt, there might be some familiar usernames on there, touting the wonderful “benefits” of screening.
The exploitation of disabled people bothers me a lot, as these people are particularly vulnerable. I’ve heard they also like to exploit other vulnerable women – BME women, victims of sexual offences (remember that article in the Guardian?) and DV victims. In a refuge centre once, I noticed posters telling women to get screened and how “important” they were, and it wasn’t a new poster (with the words “choice” on it) but one of the old dictatorial ones.
The poor disabled lady! She’s been doubly abused!
Hi Ladies and Gentlemen:
I found some things:
Hold onto your hats. Researchers in the U.K. have developed …….wait for it………a robotic vagina (Our site members in the U.K. may have already heard of this one…..). According to this article, these researchers were trying to develop at first a robotic rectum for the purpose of doing practicing prostate exams. However, they found that because – what a load of crap! – that the female body is so much more “complicated” that they decided to create a robotic vagina to practice on. You have to see this thing! It’s a virtual reality screen with a naked woman’s lower regions. Positioned in front of it, is a black tube on what looks like a pivoting stand, fitted with sensors….it seems like the technology in those revolving, rolling, massager pillows, in which the student places two fingers as if doing a bimanual. Supposedly those revolving balls or what not resemble the feeling of the nerves in a woman’s vagina. WTH! As they place their fingers in the tube, the virtual screen reacts and responds, and the woman’s legs presumably open up as if the fingers are in her. WTH! They demonstrated a female student practicing on this (the male student apparently knows the real use and didn’t want to get photographed with his fingers in that thing…..) using this – before it got graphic of course. They want to get this thing approved – by who? – for use in medical schools. WTH! Well, if they don’t get approved, I’m sure they can sell it to sex shops and men’s parlours; they will love this thing. I wonder if that’s where they got this idea. It’s nothing more than a sex toy. If I’m not mistaken, in the U.S., ACOP said bimanuals are not necessary, can’t diagnose ANYTHING and should be ceased. Guess they weren’t listening in the U.K. The explanation for creating this was that there is a decrease in live medical models – for prostate and pelvic exams. Fewer people in this sexualized society are gullible enough to believe allowing strangers to stick their fingers in them, is in the name of science and they are doing a great service to the medical community. No – they just woke up and realized that it’s nothing more than being medical whores. I came across an article about one such female medical model. They had a picture of her in stirrups with a train line of men and women sticking their fingers in her. Yes – you can’t make this stuff up. Then she took pictures with them as if they were old friends. She needs major therapy. To be fair – there was also a male medical model for the prostate exams. He was shown bent over a table with no pants on and grinning. They both need major therapy.
There is now a test called the Risk of Ovarian Cancer Algorhithm ( ROCA) test. It’s been around 15 years but we’re just now hearing about it. This test is supposed to replace the current test for ovarian cancer (but we’re just now hearing about it……). Currently the ovarian cancer test involves blood tests for CA-125 (someone on here mentioned it very recently) and a transvaginal exam combined. Nevermind the abdominal scan will place the wand right over the ovaries, they must go through the vagina. Rrriiight. However, this ROCA test is designed to replace that. It really is merely having the CA-125 test only; no transvaginal; rather you’re having blood drawn at closer intervals. The current test is expected to be done at 1-3 years, I believe; I believe that I read that the ROCA would be every 6 months or as requested by the woman who wants it. It would be voluntary. You would have to ask your doctor for it (cause it’s not involving stirrups). This would mean having to go through the motions of tellling your doctor you do not want a pelvic exam or transvaginal – ever, but according to this, they have to comply with your request for this test. Ovarian cancer is still rare, but for those who want to get a test, including the sheeple, this is a good thing.
I was annoyed to see a site regarding prostate cancer. The site was at least discussing prostate cancer very thoroughly. No pictures of men in gowns getting examined of course…that degradation is reserved for sheeple women. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It actually said for men to discus with their doctor about IF THEY WANT TO BE TESTED. In the same article it admitted that about 2 million men are prostate cancer survivors. The article posts the question – WHEN should a man be examined? About 30,000 or so die from it. But, still it says to the men reading to tell their doctor – after talking with them, of course, IF THEY WANT TO BE TESTED. I still see sites where it says women MUST GET PAP SMEARS AND PELVIC EXAMS. How absolutely galling. Double standard – right there in print. This definitely proves and fuels our argument that all this required pap and pelvic testing is a sham. Women get sick – rarely – from cervical cancer – much more rarely than men with prostate cancer, but it’s still a woman’s choice. It’s truly outrageous that someone had the absolute nerve to say that it’s a man’s choice in that article when they are well aware of the double standard for women’s health.
Lastly, there is now a test called a virtual colonoscopy. I’m ambivalent about this one. Instead of the patients’ bums being exposed to whoever walks in the room while they are unconscious – and the nurses and nursing assistants know it – rather, the patient is put through an MRI machine. Instead of a hose going up their bum, a small piece is put into the rectum and it has inflatables inside that expand the rectum. The patient still has to drink the barium to clean them out and the contrast dye for the MRI machine. It sounds better than the current one. The problems that make me ambivalent 1. They still touch your private area 2. if they find something on the MRI, they they want to do the actual colonoscopy. and 3. they say patients can have an adverse reaction to the piece in their bum inflating their rectum. I wonder. I wonder if this is nothing more than a come-to-my-web-said-the-spider-to-the-fly kind of thing, where they lock the patient in with fear after the virtual colonoscopy, saying they “found” something, into getting the actual one. I keep coming across sites promoting colonoscopies almost as much as the pelvics and pap smears.
My apologies for not posting these links. I still haven’t figured out how to do so and it’s very annoying. Please google these topics, though.
Hahahaha!! Sorry, but I laughed out loud when I read about this sex toy. And British researchers too?! As a Brit, can I proffer my apologies on behalf of the stupidity shown by my fellow countrymen.
A sex toy? Are these people for real? This isn’t a “scientific breakthrough”, they should be embarrassed and be put on some register. And men and women being abused, exploited in the name of “medical advancement”? They don’t seem to realise it and from what you say, may even have revelled in it. This tells us a lot about the mentality of those behind reproductive medicine. It seems these days that they are getting more eager to get men in on the act of subservient testing = profits.
There is something wrong with these people for sure.
One thing I will take away from this is it smacks of desperation. Are there less women willing to put themselves through this that they have to devise a doll to get their kicks? I imagine it will be a useful tool for retired male gynaecologists and young men being discouraged from the profession.
Talking about ovarian cancer, British researchers were hopeful of devising a screening programme, aka a blood test, for yet another rare female cancer. Last time I heard, they were awaiting the mortality data which must have been poor, because I have heard nothing – twelve months on – since. Hoo-ray.
Hi Apocalyptic queen:
It IS so outrageous that it’s ridiculously funny – Benny Hill style, A robotic vagina for medical training. Who do they think they’re fooling? And, thanks for apologizing. You’re so polite; but it’s those researchers that should bear the shame.
Switching gears. Regarding the ovarian cancer test – the blood test that the OTHER (legitimate – lol) British researchers are devising may be similar to the CA-125 test. I should mention that CA-125 is something that, if found in high levels in a blood test, is supposed to indicate a high risk of ovarian cancer. If several ROCA tests indicate high levels consistently, then supposedly the woman is at high risk. However, that article said that having high levels of CA-125 doesn’t = ovarian cancer. A woman can have high levels all her life and never develop cancer. That there’s no mortality data with the British test deserves a hoo-rah. It proves that it is very rare. Let’s hope they don’t stoop to lying or worse – fear mongering (a type of lying – people use it more perpetually than bold-faced lying….) to get the test approved.
Thanks for responding, Apocalyptic queen:
I’m just laid out on my sofa laughing my head off at your post, Penelope. 😂🙋It”s just so funny. 😂 In some ways it is satisfying to learn that they simply can’t get women to act as patient models for them anymore.
Thank you for responding. Glad I could brighten your day – lol.
I can see it now: Young male medical students (rare, but still there..) making excuses to use that thing. “Oh, you all can go ahead to the pub; Never mind the party; Excuse me for missing our weekend outing; Baby, I have to stay late at the lab and study – will be with you tomorrow nite…..I have to get this bimanual right for my exam in 3 months.” And they’re there late in the night – “practicing.” You have to have a sense of humor. I truly hope that the powers that be don’t approve that thing – really and truly. And if they have a heart and soul they will blast those “researchers” for having the nerve to come before them with that thing.
It’s astounding that medical models for gynecology and urology are even – legal. Even the stuffy, high-falluting, self-important people on the medical boards – who are in their own world – know that these medical models are none other than medical prostitutes. Yet they profess complete professional application – how else will they learn bimanuals (never mind they know they can’t diagnose a thing with them.) Yes, it’s satisfying that young women are waking up. Can you imagine them explaining that to their boyfriends and husbands. They will feel so cheated on; wondering what the hell did they marry – and how many “men” they’ve had up there and feeling their breasts (men tend to see these things for what they are…shame the female medical models don’t). Let’s hope adawells, that they become a thing of the past and soon. The next article would read that there are no more or that it’s no longer part of training because only a few show up – and they quit when they’ve realized how in demand they are to be groped.
Thanks again, adawells. Be blessed.
Well ladies wish me luck tomorrow. I’ve been forced to book a gp appointment as my back is really painful again. The walk in advised me to call work sick and rest. I think I will just go in and state immediately I do not wish to discuss smears and mammograms but sciatica..
How did you get on, Kat?
Ada hi! I was really surprised it went really well. When I checked in I didn’t recognise the doctors name and it was an African Lady if not seen before. None of the usual bp or weight checks no smoking questions just straight how can I help is this a foloq up from yeatwrday(when I’d used the walk in ..I’m actually registered with the gp practice attached to the walk in).. I was offered diazepam for muscle relaxant my no way was accepted and something wlsw given with plenty of advice allmy questions listened to and no questions about any screening at all yayyy! I also noticed there were no posters on the waiting room walls any mode. Ere was only one smear related poster behind the reception staff desk!! Are times changing or was I Lucky??
I too have noticed that in the last few years, my surgery seems to make less and less reference to screening too. There are no posters on screening there atm. They used to have a generic notice listing all the things that they could book the nurse for, and this included smears, but even that doesn’t exist anymore.
From the sounds of it, I am extremely lucky that my surgery do not seem militant or even bothered about it.
In my 33 years, I have only been asked about screening once by a lady doctor and when zi explained I didn’t screen and why, she was fine about it.
I also once discovered that a nurse there had refused to screen a lady with disabilities, saying she was low-risk (and presumably because she didn’t want to get bogged down in issues of consent and capacity) only to be challenged by a community nurse!
What I found interesting about this latest round of comments was that I noticed that a lot of the women were saying that their surgeries were fobbing them off, with regards to screening.
It was clear that some GPs didn’t see them as a priority with some women complaining that they were having to wait in excess of three months for the test, leading me to ponder what is going on?
Perhaps, as Ada previously said, maybe some GPs are trying to gradually drop this test.
Perhaps the incentive payments for meeting screening targets were not indexed with inflation and became less lucrative, or were lowered, or even abolished?
From my experience, the medical profession only cares about their own titles/privileges, control over people, and money; so the reason’s got to be one of the three.
It’s been a while since I’ve visited. I came here to say that my usual UK pharmacy has stopped shipping the pill to Australia. This is getting very annoying as it seems regulators are clamping down. The last time I had a parcel delivered customs wanted me to produce proof that I purchased the contraceptive from the UK pharmacy even though it was legitimate with a prescription. It got through, but it seems to be getting harder. Anyone else having problems? I am wondering which European countries are more relaxed about this.
I don’t get it because I know Australian customs allow importing for personal use so I am not sure why the UK is not allowing this. My UK pharmacy only ships to Brazil or Switzerland now.
If anyone has any leads let me know. Cheers.
What pill is it, Mary? Is it a brand not sold here? It’s a good few years since I was on the pill, so I don’t know about this.
Hope your studies are going well
I think they keep watch, and if they find something that might threaten screening numbers or their control over women, bang…they’re all over it.
Women here could freely order the Delphi Screener online, it was confidential between Delphi Bioscience and the woman, they obviously found out, I’m sure they follow the forums, comments to news articles, get feedback from doctors etc.
Also, the company wanted to arrange a local distributor.
Now you can only order the Screener if you list your Aussie doctor, I’m not sure if they get a copy of your results or you have to see your GP to get your results. Either way, they’ve stuck their nose into your testing. They probably hope only a small number will use the Screener and then the GP can get them into the official program, probably claiming the self test is less reliable. Anyway, they have your results, I’m sure they end up in the system somewhere.
A friend felt it was another way for the program and GPs to get their claws in so she tested while in Singapore. Anything that puts control in our hands is a threat and with screening numbers falling, it’s a major concern for them.
If women can get the Pill without a script from an Aussie doctor, that’s a leak that needs to be stopped..concern about profits for GPs and others and it threatens the program.
They’ve always used the Pill to coerce, pressure and mislead women into testing, that’s why they’re dead against lifting barriers around the Pill.
If you can’t get your pills online, I’d doctor shop, I know women who get their pills with no drama, but it’s still unsatisfactory, why waste time and money to see a gp for something that should be over the counter?
That’s is exactly what I always thought about Australian medical system. They are not interested in helping people to stay healthy. They want to control people. They want to keep people under surveillance. They want to collect personal information, keep it in their databases and use it for all their dirty bureaucratic and profit-making purposes.
Sorry for all the typos I can’t type on my tablet!!
You can get the brand here, I just don’t want to go to a doctor here for contraception, as they always want to know when you last pap smear was. The last time I went, I just lost it. I was being pushed into getting the Mirena and I got threatened with having a breast exam. So I just don’t ask Australian doctors because they have no respect for women.
Hmm, your doctors need updating. Last time I talked to mine, she said that they know more about HPV and it’s only one strain (iirc) that is linked to cervical cancer. They also have no legal right to withhold medication for not having a test. I had one, incomplete, nearly thirty years ago, and that’s it. Never been asked since, let alone had a doctor push it on me. Would your doc listen, or if not, are you in a position to change doctor/clinic?
I can change doctors but I can’t be bothered with their nosy questions, taking of blood pressure etc. I always get anxious going to the doctors which then makes my blood pressure go up and then they start to tell me that its a bit high, blah, blah. My blood pressure is fine at home. So I would rather just completely avoid them if possible especially for something that has been around for 50 years and has been shown to be safe. In fact it protects against endometrial and ovarian cancer and should be OTC. I feel like a child going to the doctors especially when asking for the pill, hoping they’ll say yes and hoping they’ll not force any tests onto me.
Hi Elizabeth. Yes I’m still going with the studies. We are studying cancer this semester and the textbook is driving me nuts with its inaccuracies regarding cervical cancer. For example it says pap screening is the most successful screening program ever.
Thanks for reminding me about Singapore. I plan on going next year and will do the Delphi Screener over there too,
Augh! I wish your doctors were more like mine – laid back about small stuff (white-coat stress sends blood pressure up) but onto important stuff (heart malfunction). 😦
Mary, I share your feelings about Australian doctors. They have no respect for the patient’s wishes or privacy, and they are not interested in actually helping the patients. I lost trust in Australian medical system years ago and stopped seeing doctors unless it was absolutely unavoidable. I was sick of pap test pressure and all the bullshit they were saying about it being the most successful program (for medical pockets maybe, for women – no way).
The most appalling is that the doctors always want to know a tonne of private information about the patient, but when it comes to giving information to the patient like test results of truth abut a screening test, you have to jump through hoops and hurdles to get it.
The last straw was when a very dear person to me had a malignant tumour removed. The histopathology results were ready next day and were sent to the surgeon, the surgeon admin, the GP, even to the government cancer surveillance register, yet the patient and the whole family was made to wait nearly 2 weeks until the follow-up appointment to hear the results. All attempts to get the information earlier, by phone or by appointment, were dismissed by the medical staff with rudeness and total indifference. The damage this stressful waiting did to the people was horrendous!
There is no way I can allow to be treated like that. It is my body, my health, and even my money, so I want to be the first person to know. Or at least not the last one. The medical system doesn’t think so. So I no longer see Australian doctors, at all. I either do my own research and help myself, or use doctors overseas where I can get way more respect for lesser money. Australian medical system can stick the Medicare tax money it keeps stealing from me to… you know where, I just hope I will never have to deal with this system again.
Agree Heather. And you know what they say about the Australian Medical Association. It’s the strongest union in Australia. Politicians are scared of them. I was looking into the regulations for importing prescription medications into Australia and get this, only medications prescribed by Australian doctors are allowed. How’s that for protecting their own turf? Are they telling me that an Oxford or Cambridge trained doctor is not as good as an Australian doctor? They operate a cartel here in Australia and it’s time politicians got some backbone and stood up to them.
There’s, apparently, an app for getting birth control now- don’t know if it works everywhere, though. Also, what happened to the icons on the side? Mine used to be black & a different design. Not a big deal, just curious.
There are some things on this site I have no control over and the Gravatars are one example. The changes to the shapes and colors were WordPress controlled. Thanks for asking Alex!
I’ve noticed that on my site and others, too. WP being perverse again.
A paragraph about HPV self-tests from an ABC article:
“One not-so-positive side effect… is that it will dramatically impact the pathology workforce. The cytotechnicians who currently process around 2.4 million Pap test results a year will face a three-quarter drop in their workload.”
This is absolutely appalling: they are worried about medical jobs if women start using the safer, painless and private self-tests. This is why Australian medical system keeps blocking women’s direct access to Delphi screener. This is why, as Elizabeth mentioned, they demand to know the woman’s doctor name before she can get the test kit. What if she does her own test, gets her results and makes her own decision about her health?! Without being brainwashed, coerced, entered in government databases, added to recall registers, or harassed with reminders. They can’t allow that! They are too afraid to lose control over female bodies, and to lose profits from excessive tests and unnecessary “treatments”.
Hi Adawells .I pulled my daughter from the NZ screening programme when she was 22 unfortunately I didn’t do the research soon enough to prevent her having 2 LBC tests and surprise, surprise a CIN1 diagnosis. Anyway we both withdrew formally from their NCSP register. She has turned 25 and just had a further letter advising that she is ” due” a smear.Bring it on I say.If there is any pressure brought to bear I intend booking an appointment and taking my research to them. She will probably have to write a letter to go on file otherwise they will try to “capture” her opportunistically.
My daughter has 4 years to go, & I will give her the full facts and pay for any self tests then. No way will I let her suffer what I went through. I have been busy targeting other people to get self-testing part of the UK screening programme, but they know full well that if women self-test they”ll lose them. I’ve been told that all self-tests need to be approved by our National Screening Committee. Their meeting minutes are published online, and as the group is made up with cytologists they complain about losing their jobs. Elizabeth is exactly right. Happy to torture women if it keeps them employed.
Same here Ada. I’ll be offering to pay for my daughter too. Our daughters are about the same age. It also annoys me the screening police use our daughters In. Their efforts to get us to screen…. How can you expect your daughters to go if you don’t have your own smears?? Umm.. She’s an adult and its her decision? Or mums and daughters should be smear test buddies keeping track of each others “invitations” and encouraging the other to to? Blergh.
Yes it makes me sick the government can throw BHS staff on the dole, they can throw thousands of steelworkers on the Dole, but when it comes to downsizing the cervical screening program, FOR WOMENS BENEFIT, no way. I’m sure they could be we deployed elsewhere… If not well that’s progress! The program has been around far too long…..
If only the same amount of care was applied to womens cancer screening programmes…
Thanks for the link. It’s a very thorough article. It also references that men are overscreened for prostate cancer. That is shocking and fascinating. Who knew? The consideration, though, is that alot of GP’s tell their male patients to wait until they’re about 40-45 years before getting near a gloved finger….unlike they so called demand for women to get paps and pelvics the day after they turn 21. The difference, is that with men, they know by age 45 they are coming to the GPs’ offices like heron to a pool. They have a large, captive audience because they’ve been told don’t go until age 40-45. No wonder they overscreen; they must also think they have a frightened audience. After all, they’ve waited about 20 years to get a prostate exam. By then, they figure the men that do come in will get tested all that they say to. This means profits, profits, profits. I find this in stark similarity to breast cancer screening. Women are told to come in droves to get mammograms and paps; also fields for overscreening. One of the comments to the article says that alot of men have been ruined from overscreening and needless tests and treatments; we can say the same for women overscreened for breast cancer and cervical cancer.
I would be remiss for not commending you for protecting your daughter. Sooooo glad that you’re not a sheeple mom. Your daughter shall not be brainwashed into letting strangers in white lab coats penetrate her routinely, for any reason. This is so awesome for you and your daughter. We’ve had commenters on here tell how tragically they were abused as teens by nasty male gyns and even nonchalant female gyns. It’s shocking because then the sheeple moms that dragged them to the office tell them not to have sex with Johnny. This would be after allowing a middle aged man give them a bimanual. So. Very. Sad. Confusing. Tragic. Misery loves company. Female gyns aren’t much better. I’ve supported them as alternatives to male gyns for those who insist on getting tested. Really, they should be a last resort if someone insists that they see one. If only more moms were like you.
Thanks again, adawells. Be blessed!
I know that is a bit of an old post but I want to reply! You’re a great supportive caring mom! My mom is deceased so I honestly don’t know what she would say in me having pap tests… But I’m an adult and this is MY body.
I know what you mean about mom not letting teen having sex with Johnny but dragging her in to see this perv of a doctor. I’ve known of moms dragging their daughters into the gynecologist to have their breasts touched and be fingered by a stranger. But if a teenage boy they like, by their choice, touched their breasts and fingered them -they’d want to kill the kid! Fucked up society we live in…
I heard on the radio today a doctor talking about the new HPV test coming out next May,starting at age 25, because of the vaccine he said. Yeah sure.More like women are becoming aware of false positives at a young age. I just did some googling about the test and apparently we’re going to be getting some ‘invitations’ to have the new test. I wonder how they are going to reach us. Electoral role or what. I can’t wait to tell them to shove it.
“Electoral role or what. I can’t wait to tell them to shove it”
I’m looking forward to that as well.
It’s an incredible cheek that I continue to read that HPV self-testing will be offered to those women who’ve never tested or haven’t tested in 6 years, the warped thinking leads to…how could these women possibly have an issue now?
What part of NO don’t they understand or choose not to understand?
This has always been the disgraceful approach, that all women must or should screen, it’s just a Q of applying enough pressure, paying off GPs to coerce, scare and mislead us etc.
It’s the arrogance of this program that will always irk me, along with a lot of other things, they can offer me this and that, but the answer will always be NO
I have zero respect and no trust in those who promote and protect this program, and profit from it, they should all be ashamed of themselves.
Hi Ladies, the Draft Clinical Guidelines for our move to primary HPV testing in NZ have been released. I note there will be no self HPV testing. Automatic referral to colposcopy will happen for hrHPV 16/18, other hr HPV subtypes trigger a reflex LBC test which may then also take you to colposcopy if HSIL. I suppose there will be treatment of CIN2/3 as usual. The only good thing is that the screening age has been raised to 25. However they can test young girls who have suffered sexual abuse earlier, goodluck with that! They are calling for submissions and I want to write one. I would appreciate any citations regarding progression of CIN2/3 to cervical cancer etc. We had a cytopathologist here Professor R Marshal Austin from Magee Womens Hospital University of Pittsburgh claiming 50% progression over a thirty year period.There is an article currently in the BMJ meta analysis reiterating poor obstetric outcomes following Rx of CIN.
Any information that is relevant will be gratefully received. Apocalyptic Queen you may have stuff from the UK that I haven’t seen. I feel that it is essential for me to comment as a member of the public to push the informed consent aspect. They already know that primary HPV testing is going to lead to many more coloposcopies and presumably treatment. They also talk about “see and treat” being appropriate in some instances and referral to colposcopy during pregnancy although they concede that treatment can wait until after!
As an aside, my daughter who is 25 has been called for her smear test, in spite of having withdrawn from the programme, by a practice nurse who didn’t even put her name on the letter.The surgery will be hearing from me ha ha ha!
Apologies the BMJ is not new it was from 2008!!
I read that 88% of CIN III diagnoses do not progress to cancer (Bristol University: 2003, I believe). There are also stats for CIN II and I but I don’t have those to hand (Elizabeth might know).. I’m sure the rate for cancer progression in CIN I and II was around 5 – 10%. I also know that an Australian study has also put the rate of CIN III – cancer progression in the region of 30%. All this, despite the fact that cervical cancer has a similar prevalence rate to testicular cancer and that the average woman has a 0.65% lifetime risk of contracting cervical cancer, which only reduces to 0.35% with regular screening.
Again, I think this stat is from the 2003 Bristol University study, in conjunction with Angela Raffle.
Type these into google and I’m sure that the reference will come up. I’ll have a look for you again. There are some great references on a few of these pages too.
“…Or earlier if she was sexually abused as a girl”. Yeah, get raped once or numerous times. Now, that gives you the right and obligation to be raped repeatedly by people in white coats. How on earth can such people ever be considered “survivors”? They (we) are just a vagina and a cervix to be manhandled and abused on someone else’s whim. No consent forthcoming. It’s similar to the line of “Oh, you let (guyX) have sex with you. Now you owe ME sex too.”
Here are some studies, I don’t agree with some of the reasoning, one study in particular talks about CIN re-occurrence (or something similar) when I believe most HPV infections clear in a year or two and any “re-occurrence” is actually a new infection.
(so only the rare cases of CIN go on to cancer)
It’s interesting to consider why the rare cases progress to cancer, is it CIN AND smoking, CIN AND a compromised immune system or the result of infection with multiple high-risk strains of HPV?
I’ve looked at this Q over the decades and believe the figure to be 12%-20% (progression rate from CIN 3 to cancer)
There’s a great chart that lists progression rates from CIN 1 through to cancer – I’ll look for it.
If you google the names and years, most of these studies are online, but the summary might not include enough detail for you, you might have to track down the actual studies.
It’s one of the reasons I subscribe to the BMJ
“Modelling and follow-up studies have estimated progression rates between 12% and 40% (Gustafsson & Adami 1989; Ostor 1993; Peto et al. 2004; McCredie et al. 2008)”
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8463044 – likelihood of progression from CIN 3 to invasive cancer is more than 12%
Please keep in mind that the degree if CIN is supposed to be confirmed by biopsy and colpsocopy and not totally relied on by pap slides. Paps are just so unreliable. The results from the biopsies are always considered more important but when the colpsocopy finds nothing wrong the the inaccurate pap results are still kept in the file or registry.
Judging by the rarity of cervical cancer, and given the fact that we hace adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma (the most common form, which ranges from around 70 – 99%), I wouldn’t be surprised if we are talking about a progression rate of CIN III as low as 12% (Bristol University, Prof. Angela Raffle).. however I usually state it on forums to be in the region of 12 – 30% (the latter stat to account for the Australian study).
I always have a good look at the authors of the paper too, and who funded the research, I discount anyone with a clear vested interest in the screening test/program or those funded by these programs or other pro-screening groups.
When it comes to mammograms I turn off as soon as I see the name of a well-known radiologist – he fights hard for mammograms, that’s what it sounds like to me, protecting mammograms, not women. Instead of accepting concerning evidence, vested interests usually go on the attack and become emotive, “I hope this study doesn’t put women off screening or we’re sure to see more preventable deaths”…that should be a red flag, IMO…
If they were on solid ground, they’d meet the evidence and respect our right to hear all of the evidence and make up our own minds.
Some of the pro-screening groups (some are probably well-meaning) cause a lot of confusion and give women bad advice.
Thanks so much!
I disregard their comments about screening, I got the impression many years ago they were protecting screening, not women.
Thank you so much!
Daniel Kopans and Stephen Duffy are really proponents of breast screening.
Stephen Duffy and Peter Gotzsche have had major arguments about screening, and Gotzsche writes about it in some detail in his book “Mammography Screening: Truth, Lies and Controversy” by (ISBN: 9781846195853)
There are a couple of articles about it here:
Sounds like Daniel Kopans and Stephen Duffy are really perverts with a fetish for breasts. If they are like so may doctors to who profess to have entered the practice because they happened to have a family member who died of it, then I humbly apologize – but I doubt it. Even so, somehow their interests turned into perversion somewhere after seeing all those breasts. They use their medical knowledge, training, experience and statistics to justify their vision of all of these exposed breasts of women getting screened and visualize legions of women – everywhere – with a shoulder uncovered getting their breasts squished.
On the other end of this are physicians and specialists who also use their medical knowledge, training, experience, and statistics – to tell the truth. They say that there is a large of percentage of women who have normal lymph nodes that will never turn to cancer; that they are misdiagnosed by the findings of sleepy lab techs and really never were in danger; that some have their biopsies mixed up (gasp!) which results in misdiagnosis of women. I’m very impressed by all of these studies and terms. But, looking through all of these things, you realize that it’s just a game. A game. There are those who want to protect screening and there are those who know the truth. Those who know the truth have to play the game and push back on the information to say that women don’t need all of that testing. This goes for those who discovered that cervical cancer is rare – about 27,000 women on the whole globe. They say that most of those women are in developing countries. However, alot of U.S. women are scared into getting radical mastectomies and hysterectomies because of the deluge of information on the internet and in periodicals. They more than willingly sit like disciples waiting in the Gyn’s office for their chance to take their underwear off and let a male or female doctor they’ve never seen in life or only 3 years at a time, put their speculumns and fingers in their vaginas to “diagnose” them. Whew! no cancer this week. Maybe next year. Fear mongering is a powerful thing. They are not told by the greedy lecherous gyn’s the truth and given informed consent or choice.
What breaks through all of this for me is one thing. All I have to do is go across the aisle, so to speak, and look at the literature for prostate cancer, testicular cancer – any issues to do with men’s penis and testicles (that’s right I said it. The media throws the word breast and vagina around like it’s nothing, why not penis and testicles. Why is that vulgar and saying vagina in countless articles is not.) I notice the language that is used. They definitely do not pressure and scare men into letting urologists touch them. There are no guidelines for visiting. “Discuss this with your doctor what is right for you…” is about what they say. All women have to do is compare that to what they are told in the gyn’s office and realize the disparity – the huge hypocrisy. They should simply decide to stop taking the lecture and recognize their choice to go or not at all as so many women on this site have. But, where are the news articles that compare this treatment between men and women? They don’t exist for all of the reasons we’re all stating. Men in publishing have an opinion on this too. They know their male readers want their women to be checked out – you know – make sure they don’t have anything (including STD’s that they probably passed on to them through cheating….) So publish all the articles about vaginas and breasts all day long. However, they personally don’t want their business with penis malfunction to be out there. Or be deluged with articles about going to the urologist every 1 to 3 years, as women are told to go to the gyn. Men don’t like going to the urologist – but they think women should dutifully go to their male counterparts in the medical gyn field. So articles on vaginas and breasts: IN – with as many degrading pictures of women as possible. Articles on penises and testicles – OUT. For those rare articles, be sure to show them fully clothed in their consultation – no degrading medical gowns for them.
There was a post here about a 19 year old who was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I hope she gets three more opinons by independent doctors. I don’t believe she has it; rather it’s a misdiagnosis of abnormal cells. I think her gyn was having too much fun with her pelvic and she got suspicious. Next thing you know – he or she has to cover their tails by giving her a fake diagnosis. I still recall the story of a woman who sued the pants off of her gyn for a fake diagnosis of breast cancer. I think that of alot of girls diagnosed after getting their genitals touched – knowing what we know today about predatory gyns; when the consenting age is supposed to be 21.
Oh when will this end? It will end. IT MUST.
Let’s feel incredibly blessed that we know the truth and can spread it to those will listen.
Check this out, it’s unbelievable!
No mention whatsoever of false positives, false negatives, crap efficacy, unethical conduct – none at all. It is like they really don’t want to acknowledge it at all and are being forced to offer consent at gunpoint! What the h*** is their problem??
Well, at least it (reluctantly) acknowledges that it is a choice! It’s a start I suppose!
Hi all! I was pretty sure our beloved dally mail wouldn’t be printing the information presented on the phe blog about opting out of screening so by presenting it in the terms of anyone wishing to opt our of any or all screening…I did and or passed the moderator I think! Should put the kat among the pigeons lol and maybe reach a few more fed up women..
AQ I think the phe folks are pretty fed up about having to release details of how to opt out. If the screening for cc in Scotland has fallen below 70% ours can’t he far behind and as a result of opt out procedure being published more women will probably core with their feet and argue back to insistent medics. Our programme is probably beginning to did and that means the loss of a nice little earned for doctors etc….
Vote with their feet I mean . I need a course on typing on tablets
Ladies n gents please check daily mail recent cervical screening article student 19 was vaccinated and has what she describes as a cc diagnosis. ..please any comments or suggestions or advice?
Katrehman, I have not seen any articles about people vaccinated against cervical cancer claiming to have been diagnosed with cervical cancer. I have seen commercials for the vaccine, which say that the vaccine does not guard against all forms of cervical cancer thus that pap smears were still needed. I figured that it was just a matter of those profiting from pap smears keeping a grip on that money.
I am too old for the cervical vaccine if its promoters are telling the truth, but I think that I would take it if it were available to me. If I had a daughter, I would take her for the vaccine. We all have to do what we think is right for ourselves and our children, but I have accepted every immunization offered to me my whole life just to put the odds in my favor.
I just read something quite unbelievable about pap smears in Canada today. I realize that I can’t believe everything that is on the Internet, but this is really a doozy.
According to my Google search today, Canada has a “conscience clause” that says that doctors can refuse to do pap smears on unmarried women. The conscience clause that allows doctors to refuse to do abortions or prescribe contraception also allows doctors to refuse to do pap smears on unmarried women on the grounds that unmarried women shouldn’t be having sex anyway. So how has it come to pass that doctors can refuse women pap smears because the doctors don’t approve of said women’s morals but virgin women can be coerced into pap smears by doctors who disapprove of women who say “No.”?
What also I have heard is when a young muslim woman goes into her muslim doctor’s office, she can’t ask for birth control either if she is not married. They get the “so you’re not married so you don’t have sex. Right?” They might not get forced into a pelvic exam and pap test from that doctor but they are not getting birth control or an abortion either.
As for the vaccine. I have doubts. The small print says the vaccine may be effective up to 10 years so why give it to 9 year olds? It might need multiple bosters. It is not as strong as a natural resistence. Also there are few types of rare cervical cancer that are called small cell cancer that is not caused by HPV so the vaccine does not cover them.
Agreed hostess. We must all do what’s best for us. The article was the daily mail one an out lack of support àfter cc diagnosis. And I didn’t have my daughter immunised for cc. I did what I felt was best as she has arthritis and immune system problems.
This looks interesting. Research into whether using a condom helps CIN2 repair itself and heal, more quickly than nothing at all.
I’ve seen a number of responses to the new NHS style letter like this. Some people furious that women are to be made aware of having a choice.
Thank you for the link – I noticed this sentence which bothered me a great deal “You should therefore make the right choice and attend for screening when invited.”
Apparently it would seem they view that the right/only choice is to screen which ignores any of the risks when if we do. No comments section either!
That sort of language has always amazed me, on the rare occasion that informed consent is mentioned in women’s cancer screening, we get statements like that, there is the right choice and the wrong choice. Some people simply can’t see that women have a choice, it’s often the brainwashed or a “survivor” or a group or individual with a vested interest in screening. I recall a comment made by Breast Screen a few years ago, they were commenting on an article on over-diagnosis in breast screening (by Robin Bell) that appeared in the Age newspaper, it went something like this:
“Yes, we respect informed decisions about screening, we want all women to make an informed decision to screen”….wrong!
What is so difficult about extending an offer of screening to women? I think for decades it was presented as something virtually compulsory so that now many don’t even question that view. The system went to a lot of trouble to convince women it should be like brushing your teeth, do it without thinking about it…why? Because they needed the numbers to justify the huge expense and make it “look” like it was working, and they knew this testing would not stand up under close scrutiny…this is why all real information was safely locked behind pay walls as well.
You’re right, they completely ignore all the women harmed by this testing, I wonder how many premature babies passed away or were left with continuing health issues after their mother’s cervix failed, damaged from a “treatment” probably when she was very young…no, no one wants to know, no research there, but we have a steady stream of funding to ponder how we might capture more women for these programs.
These people clearly do not understand that there are both risks and benefits to screening.
It’s not for them to decide that women should screen. Men get a sensible fact sheet and no pressure to screen for prostate cancer despite this cancer being far more common.
Women should be treated as consenting adults, not sheep to be run through dip.
I agree! What really drives me crazy is that they treat all of us as one. There is NO test anywhere, ever that is applicable to everyone. With every test/medication the key factors are: does this person have a history/ risks that make them eligible? Do the benefits for them outweigh any potential harms? But no…these questions aren’t asked for paps its just “oh, you have a cervix. Better get one!” Everyone has a liver but do you see ultrasounds to check for liver cancer done routinely? Everyone has lungs but are Dr.s clamoring to screen those? I think not. NO test is applicable to everyone.
As a good example my cousin is 11months older than me. Started having sex at 14 had her first child at 16, another at 18 and her last at 20. She was promiscuous and never used condoms, had multiple STDs, smoked cigarettes, abused alcohol and abused various drugs. At 21 she had her 1st pap, they found “pre cancerous cells” and she was given treatment. Cauterization I think? Its true the abnormalities may have resolved on their own however the treatment in her case may have actually been appropriate as her immune system heavily taxed by drugs/alcohol/other diseases may not have fought off the HPV virus. For her a pap was probably a good idea given her history. I only wish that the Dr.s might’ve focused more on her addictive tendencies and her mental problems instead of just her cervix.
Then you have the women like me: virgin until 20, only ever slept with one man who was also a virgin, always used condoms. Never smoked a cigarette, never used drugs, rarely drink, decent immune function. and yet everyone says I should be having paps too. I don’t want to seem like im making a point that I’m better than her or that I’m judging her, but why should I be lumped into the same group as my cousin?? NOTHING about us is the same and yet “well woman care” for the two of us is essentially the same. A pap would provide NO benefit to me and may even harm me from a false positive and yet I “have” to have one. I call Bullsh*t! They need to start treating womens health like any other medical subject and consider risks vs benefits for the individual.
I don’t know if anyone has read this sad news about cyclist Sharon Laws. She had some swollen lymph nodes in her neck, which turned out to be secondary cervical cancer. It is good to read that she explains here, that hers is the type “not picked up on pap smears”. I do hope the vile pink charity witch hunters don’t victimise her.
This really “healthy” woman needs cancer treatment? She was not sick only her doctor “found” swollen lymph nodes in her neck. The lymph is what heals the body so to me any cancer cells found there means te body is fighting cancer on its own. So now she will be sick from the cancer treatment and she might even die from the cancer treatment, a “healthy” woman. Poor woman.
I read about Sharon Laws, thankfully, I haven’t heard any related propaganda.
False negative cases have been used to promote pap testing in the past, nothing would surprise me with this program.
I do think many/most women feel they have to mention they always had regular pap tests or mammograms if they’re unlucky enough to get cervical or breast cancer, otherwise, they face the “silly girl, what did she expect?” brigade.
It unnerves some women, “what, she had regular pap testing and still got cervical cancer, maybe I should test more often…”
This is all very suspect. Tumours in her lymph nodes caused by cervical cancer, whut? Spread all the way from her womb to her neck yet no other tumours found elsewhere in her body?
Just another misguided woman trying to frighten others into having their ‘life-saving’ smears, I’m afraid.
Usually after cancer is found somewhere then various lymph nodes in the body are sampled and tested for cancer cells. Some types of cancer can spread from their starting point and into the lungs, breasts, or brain through the circulartory system (blood). This sometime spreads due to surgery or biopsies that do not isolate the cancer cells or tumour. So often you hear about people dying of a worse cancer after they have treatment for cancer the first time. Also because the cancer treatment also suppressed the immune system so often cancer patients die from simple infections.
India makes pap smears and mammograms mandatory this month. Has been condemned by BMJ. Doctors, charities, evangelists will get richer and deprive this country of the evidenced-based healthcare it needs.
I was quite shocked to hear about the level of sexual violence against Indian women, it seems for many years the Police have looked the other way and there also seems to be a lot of victim-blaming, “why was she out at the movies at 8pm without her father or brother?”…etc.
“India’s Daughter” is a powerful documentary about the pack rape of a young Indian woman, she died from her injuries, she was actually disemboweled after one of the attackers forcefully and repeatedly rammed a metal bar into her vagina.
The defence barrister said, “in his entire career, he’d never met a respectable woman who’d been raped”…and “he’d kill his daughter if she brought disgrace on the family, if she was in the gutter”…this young woman’s crime was going to the movies with a male friend, she was on her way home at about 8pm.
They interviewed one of the attackers, he said rape was always the woman’s fault, also, if they executed him, men would murder women after raping them.
Women have taken matters into their own hands, they’ve been huge demonstrations, high-profile women/people have been calling for change, groups of women now meet young women at the bus station/university etc. to walk them home…also if they identify a rapist in their community, he’s watched and confronted about his crimes.
It will take a long time to turn things around, these attitudes are deeply ingrained over generations. I consider mandatory pap testing and mammograms another form of abuse, it’s certainly not medical care.
Holy shit! That kind of tells you something about Indian men, I guess. That concept of of how “respectable” she is sounds more & more like America with the cops- always coming up with some bullshit to facilitate the same thing happening more & more.
I wonder if they call it for what it is over there or if they make up some kind of bullshit, instead? I always say that properties don’t change by designation & I realized that the point of designating it (whatever it is) as something else is to throw off someone’s “recognition systems.”
It honestly just occurred to me that it’s as simple as calling a turd a raisin. Mere substitution, especially if it’s with something that isn’t readily identifiable (“no matches found”), is a tactic so stupid it works- because it’s not expected. “Surely someone wouldn’t be so stupid as to simply switch terms- if they’re up to something, it will be something more complex & that’s how I’ll know!”
Hogwash! India does not have money for pap smears and mammogram machines. They are just probably going to ramp up their gangs of nurses with their crypoproves who do vinegar “”inspections”. Just another population control programme in disguise.
When you consider a fair % of their population don’t have decent shelter, sanitation, proper nutrition, dental or medical care etc. – that would be a FAR better starting point than pap testing and mammograms.
So true Elizabeth!! I’m still keeping an eye on the https://cervicalscreen1.wordpress.com site who’s latest offering is women with abnormal smears at young age and how it affected them it said lots of people are campaigning to lower the age. Of course its vital to do this because it had happened to the cases they documented. One woman is on 3monthly smears and one had complications with excessive bleeding supposedly after colpo…does anyone want to comment??
Goodness knows how much this piece of research has cost our cash-strapped NHS in the UK. Self-testing should be offered to whoever wants to test this way right now.
I hope this website continues to be updated in the future, with even more information on the few pros and mostly cons of these pap test/pelvic-exams and also mammograms, too… I know that my Birthmother has had Breast cancer in the past. However, I have recently started to question if the mammogram screenings themselves further escalated her illness through radiation along with the major squish factor(s)… Anyway, I happily haven’t gone and had any OBGYN exams myself in six years 🙂 ! The last Quack primary care Doctor I went to for that Pap Test Pelvic & exam crap… She threatened me with everything from “Certain death by cancer to my Health Care coverage would be canceled if I didn’t let her pencil me in the following month!” She was most abusively cruel and unkind during that last exam! Just as every Doctor and OBGYN had been abusive to me both mentally and physically (and to their other patients too, probably). Sadly I had the misfortune of dealing with this from ages 13-25! I have since had three other primary care Doctor’s all of them woman as well, also try to put the pressure on for me to let them shove that over sized metal or plastic device up there (mostly metal) with the threat that I would “most certainly die if I didn’t let them do it! I didn’t go for it and I also didn’t die from not going for it, either! (rather “ironically” considering how “critical” they make it all sound!) At 32 years old I’m NO longer all that worried about not going honestly. Though, I know my family would like for me to continue going to the appointments and just “deal” with it! However, I know now that the cancer that covers most Doctor’s office walls the one with the words HPV are NOT the one’s that apply to my single non dating life existence. Though from my understanding (through much researching on my own time that is) that’s supposedly the only one’s they can really “collect for” and that’s not even a sure thing! I’m also thinking that I’m probably more at risk of possibly dying from unclean medical devices and also sexual abuse by these Doctor’s themselves, than I am from my not going to the Doctor’s at all. Though, this may sound rather strange and a little bit weird to some people I do self checks “down-there” in the bath and shower to feel for any changes that might not be all that normal prior to and after PMS. A lot of times I find the things that the Doctor’s have so, often over scheduled me for are really just normal monthly changes that come and go with good old auntie-flow and that such changes don’t warrant a doctor’s visit whatsoever! But, the thing that got me really concerned about mammograms too, is that when I finally did go to a Doctor again last month I went to a Dermatologist that is to see about getting a fairly large 4 year old pillar cyst removed from my scalp! She told me “NOT to push or squeeze anymore, between that time and when she’d go to remove it two-three weeks later or it might spread.” Well, if pushing and squeezing can cause a noncancerous pillar cyst to spread, I can only imagine how a mammogram exam might very well further spread a cancer cell that might have either stayed super small or disappeared on it’s own altogether. Why did it take me four years to finally go to have a painful pillar cyst checked and removed? Two factors, 1.) being that last Primary care Doctor I went to back in 2012- 2015 said Not to worry about it, that would go away on it’s own-( No they don’t!) but that it’s more important that I schedule a pap test and pelvic exam instead! and factor 2.) I was so, discouraged, tired and frightened that I wouldn’t be able to bypass these female exams to get the help I needed to remove the painfully sore not so, little bugger! My point is this, though the more woman and girl’s continue to have these exams needlessly held over our heads the less likely many of us will seek help for the conditions and illnesses we do have. Though, it’s still a headache for most some people may not mind arguing with doctors all that much against testing, but for those of us who have been bullied our whole lives it’s often much more difficult to argue with a doctor against testing, than it is to postpone getting help and or treatment for the things that do ail us. Especially incases where you likely will need a doctor’s referral. Luckily my newer health care plan allowed me to go to a dermatologist without a referral. Many people aren’t so lucky and I’m usually one of many of those really unlucky one’s. For now I just don’t allow myself much time to think about the what if’s of the next time I’m either sick or in pain when I have a “non female” related healthcare problem. It sucks that Doctor’s get to ask you all of these health and personal health care type questions, but when it comes to Pelvic exams/pap tests and mammograms they don’t have to give you the full disclosure in relation to how these tests may or may not factor in to your particular situation! Nor do they have to explain what the odds are of them finding something cancerous versus noncancerous might be. While, a lot of news articles support the idea that these tests are often over done and unhelpful and often dangerous they often times contradict themselves by saying that they are needed anyway regardless of individual healthcare needs and situations! 😦
Maybe women are educating themselves more I the UK and being responsible for there own health and any tests they uptake or NOT. Annoying the list of symptoms could be for a multitude of things.
The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) have previously put out information about how all screening is a choice etc. When the number of women who decline cervical screening increases they seem surprised, blaming it on “barriers” that women have. They are now back to their old tricks of trying to chase down women to increase uptake. I thought the whole thing about allowing informed consent was too good to be true!
Exactly! Women are starting to make their informed choice, but they continue to use the barrier crap as our excuse, of which there is no excuse needed for an optional test! Not even a mention of Informed Decision in that part about reasons for not attending!
The figure given England cases 2590/deaths 726 then UK cases 3224/deaths 890 – I’m struggling as to how they worked that one out England v UK?
Also they are calling these cases actual cervical cancer, when in fact CINIII & CIS (which is not cc) IS INCLUDED in these figures, we know most of CINIII/CIS do not develop further to cancer! So at best those numbers are just a “guestimate” because they still do not know which abnormal cell will turn and which will not!
IMO I believe, they may also include CINII in those figures but can’t be sure, again not actual cancer but this bumps up the figures which is minimal anyway when considering the amount of women in UK/England! They continue to lie but of course only to women!
My Niece who is 24.5 years old has just received her invite/order for screening LOL I will assume the next time she visits our same GP this will be flagged up on screen and discussed, proceeded with the tactics to convince her to participate, thankfully I have managed to pass on all the information learnt here at FWEO and other places to allow her to make her own decision, she has decided NOT to join the herd…………YEY another young informed woman! I look forward to her update when she tells our GP as she will mention/say – “you do know who my aunt is don’t you” LOL, he’ll be very unhappy, oh yes he will remember me from the time I finally stood up to him whilst he was seated to repeatedly say NO very loudly, he got the message, that he shouldn’t have hounded me for months about it! She has the same mind-set now and knowing her like I do she will not be bullied into it. IF she has symptoms or a problem she will seek help but only then.
Kiwi the little nugget about actual deaths being 3 in every 100,000 women. I’m so scared I’ll book my smear 1st thing tomorrow! (Sarcastic kat)! Why do they still flog this dying horse?
LOL Me too Kat, I’m so scared can we go together and hold hands, let us pray for our lives as our female bodies are riddled with disease and a ticking bomb waiting to go off! Must dash and make that appointment…..LMAO x
Sure thing Chas! ! Lol x
Ha ha I should too! Yeah but Nah!
Hi, i’ve been reading a lot about the hpv and it seems that it can lie dormant only to be reactivated at any given time. I find this concerning. I’ve not had a smear for ten years, I am 51 now and worry myself sick that I could have cc. I have been with my partner for 16 years now but did have other sexual partners before that. Could I still be carrying the hpv for all this time? I have severe health anxiety and a phobia of doctors and anything medical.
Can anyone alleviate my fears?
Tracey, the idea that HPV can lie dormant in your body is a theory, nothing more. It’s not been proven. I think everyone’s latched onto this idea and is talking about it as it’s a proven fact because it’s a great way of scaring us into submission. There’s a huge industry built up around cervical screening which employs hundreds of thousands of people, and they need vast numbers of us to roll up for smears on a regular basis to keep them in those jobs. Every time there’s any change to the program, these parasites crawl out and bleat about how this will be ‘bad’ for women, when they’re really just worried about the damage this may cause to their careers!
If you’re concerned about your HPV status you can buy self-testing kits online – there’s no need to submit to the speculum.
Well said Kate. The other reason for suggesting that HPV can lie dormant and somehow reappear to get you, is to keep those women who are HPV negative from opting out of the screening programme. They will insinuate that you may be HPV negative now but……….
Agree with Kate. You shouldn’t have to pay so much for these tests, but if you want to know whether you still have HPV they can get the results to you in a week. Superdrug online and test.me sell for about £50.
So considering i’ve been with my partner for 16 years and had a smear ten years ago would that not mean that i’m not carrying hpv? I don’t want to put myself through any kind of testing as this increases my anxiety to the point of not being able to function on a daily basis.
Also, just wondering if any of you agree to bowel screening and mammograms, I have declined both of these in the last year. Am I being reckless with my health?
Tracey, they didn’t test for the presence of HPV back then, so having a ‘normal’ smear doesn’t mean anything. The smear test is as reliable as a chocolate teapot and can’t be trusted anyway. Seriously, I would consider the home-testing kit – the NHS may start offering these at some point in the future for us ‘naughty’ girls who haven’t had a smear for years, but if they ever do it won’t be for a long, long time. They’ve already run trials on these testing kits and discovered that the results are just as good as the samples collected during a routine ‘smear’, and that non-screening women are more likely to use the kit than submit to the speculum, so there’s no valid reason not to use them.
On the other hand, I have absolutely no trust in the NHS anymore and I’d rather use an online kit than entrust my physical and mental wellbeing to a healthcare system which is riddled with so many targets and incentives.
Mass screening sounds like a wonderful idea, but the harsh reality is that you end up harming many more people than you can ever help, and it gobbles up huge amounts of money and resources which are desperately needed elsewhere. People invested in cancer screening are so enamoured with their ability to ‘save lives’ that the poor buggers who are harmed along the way are viewed as collateral damage and brushed aside.
I shall no doubt be receiving invitations to breast screening in a few years time and have decided that I will NOT be going. Ever. The evidence that it does more harm than good is very clear.
I’m not convinced on bowel screening, either. Even though it’s a common cancer and I would have no complaints about using a self-sample kit, it seems to produce a very high false positive rate and this would put me at risk of having unnecessary procedures or surgery.
If a day comes when tests are created which can correctly identify genuine cancers instead of labelling every little blip in your body as ‘potentially pre-cancerous’, you can sign me up. Until then, no thanks. So no, I don’t think you’re being reckless.
What I mean is if I had hpv would I still be carrying it now? Do you have the hpv testing or anyone else on here?
I worry so much that if I develop cervical/bowel/breast cancer that it will be my fault for not having the screening. How will my kids feel towards me?
I am also appalled that the bowel screening tests can cause so many false positives which lead on to unecessary invasive testing. The false negatives are scary too, i’ve read so many stories of people who dutifully do the test which comes back negative only to find out at a later date that they do have bowel cancer! It’s an awful situation and because of my health anxiety I am living my life worrying about getting cancer.
I will look into the hpv self tests.
Tracey McLeish, The only thing I can suggest to you is that you continue to do as much research as you possibly can, till your blue in the face and are feeling more confident in whatever YOU choose to do… When I first started looking into trying to find out the truth of these matters, it was at a time when there was really nothing to go on and information was being blocked and made limited, but thankfully nowadays it’s getting easier to learn the facts, even in some news articles the truth is coming out in much more obvious drips. And, if you are able to look at your family’s medical history on both sides that can sometimes be helpful in relation to genetic concerns, but DON’T just go on say a first relative basis as most Doctor’s tell you to do, the job of most Doctor’s and their Nursing staff unfortunately is to scare you into testing and over testing, because their main goal/concern is money NOT in listening for a more complete story … So you’d Really need to look into it for yourself, how did that person or person’s that you know of if any have lived their lives and how their lifestyle’s may have attributed to their risk factors for certain cancers etc.? For example for me it’s my Birthmother and one great Aunt, that I know of both with female cancers and neither one lived very healthy lifestyles and in fact both have lived quite the opposite, as for the rest of that family I don’t know either way at all. While, on my Father’s side the only one with cancer of any kind was an Uncle who was a chain-smoker. You may also look into genetic testing if that’s a possibility for you, but for most that’s NOT likely covered by insurance, etc. You can also look at your own day to day health for answers, too if you haven’t already for how you may or may not be at risk for cervical/bowel/breast cancer. And while I do believe in self checks of breasts etc. I DON’T believe in doing them to the point to where one is panicking over every little change, Doctor’s often say come in at the first sign of any change, but too, many times fail to mention that monthly changes and stress often bring on added lumpiness. A website I found useful is https://bcaction.org/ FYI it’s NOT another PINK Ribbon website. As, for HPV testing some people on this website have mentioned self testing kits but, if you do decide you want to get tested at the Doctor’s office or if you can’t get the kit where you live, either I pray you find a kind and caring Doctor and if you don’t know of one that you have a friend or relative you can ask for a good recommendation to a kind and caring Doctor that they trust. Hope this helps.
Thank you Anna,
My aunt on my father’s side died of breast cancer in her fifties. My uncle on my mum’s side died of lung cancer in his thirties, he was a heavy smoker and drinker. My aunt on my mum’s side had lung cancer and is fine now, she’s also a smoker, I think she still smokes
My mum died at 45 of a stroke, she was a heavy smoker. My dad had a heart attack in his sixties and had MS, he died at 78. Both my grandmother’s died at 94 and 86. No gynecological cancers that I know of.
I’m sorry for being a pest but my anxiety is atm almost causing me to withdraw from life and as I work and have 5 kids and 3 grandchildren I cant afford to do this. As i’m menopausal I worry that if I go for a smear i’m more likely to have some changes show up which could mean I would have to have treatment. If that happened I worry that I would simply stop functioning.
I bought the book by Margaret McCartney and have found it very helpful. I will try to gather more information but if you could maybe link me to some other info I would appreciate it very much.
No, NOT worry your NOT a pest. Your just concerned about your health and your family’s well being. As far as links go honestly it was bits and pieces of truth hidden amongst the lies, that I gathered from websites such as the Huffington post, The NY Times and the occasional medical website or woman’s/Teen Magazine website and Basically anywhere you type and see changes to the guidelines and conflicting interest pieces that’s what would spark my interest, as to why these Doctor’s were still doing this to me and why they were being so, forceful with the issues… Including leaving embarrassing messages on my home phone for other’s to hear and high jacking my appointments for other non female related ailments. I know it’s hard but try your best NOT to over worry and stress about this it could make you sicker with ulcers, headaches and upset stomach. An informed person is a stronger braver person and whatever you decide to do as far as the age old question to test or NOT to test you may want to talk to your children about your decision. I’m sorry the medical community is so, full of lies and harsh criticisms, their goal should be to help people rather than harm them and for some it is but NOT nearly enough of them I’m afraid. This website http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/ had a posting from a woman who made me feel better about the choice I made NOT to test and even https://www.plannedparenthood.org/ also made me feel better about NOT testing though that probably wasn’t their goal.
Tracey have you checked out the references section of this website as it is a good collection of links people have contributed over the years. As well as googling Dr McCartney there are some other good names to Google: Drs Iona Heath, Michael Baum, Peter Gøetzscheto mention a few.
Enrolment in the National Cervical Screening Programme
After you’ve had your first smear test, you’ll automatically be enrolled in the National Cervical Screening Programme – joining more than 1 million other women.
Benefits of being in the programme
The National Cervical Screening Programme means every woman who takes part contributes to, and receives the benefit of cervical cancer prevention – we’re all helping each other, every time we take a test.
Ladies, here is the information they put up on our new website in NZ called “Time to Screen”.
I get such a warm, fuzzy feeling that I am helping my fellow sisters by spreading them for a smear test!! Oh, that’s right, I forgot that I have made an informed decision to opt off!!!
I just sent this to an online prescription service that asks about pap smears in order to prescribe the pill. The website says they’re “required” which is false, as here in Australia they’re legally optional (but pushed on every woman regardless). You guys are welcome to copy and paste if you ever want to do the same!
I was disappointed to see the words “pap smears are required” in your online questionnaire, as they are an optional test.
You should not be coercing or withholding medication based on someone’s legal decision to opt in or out to an optional test.
Please correct this wording to “pap smears are optional”.
And 1 year latter refuse to see me.
I my goodness so if a doctor refuses to give meds and tells the nurse what a baby and force you to do. Is that rape?.
I am pregnant md my doctor told me it is andarory in the state of New York to have a Pap smear if pregnant . Is this true? Can’t find any information on line about it. Maybe in New York is different ? Please advise . All my pap Smears have come with good results and my last one was done about a year and 4 months ago but doctor said because I’m pregnant I have to,I have refused but she is insisting to have one in my next appointment.
Hi Ingrid, I’m in the UK so I can’t advise on New York law. I doubt very much that paps are mandatory though. Other countries advise against routine testing during pregnancy or immediately after birth. Unfortunately it seems that doctors in the US are often above the law and get away with telling their patients that tests and procedures are mandatory or a requirement for ‘care’ when they’re not even necessary and are potentially harmful.
He us trying it on. What is it with doctors that they think they can pretend pap smears are mandatory? Pap smears are not mandatory. These creatures need to know our bodies are not up for grabs on a whim. Just stand your ground. Dont be afraid to be rude or even agressive if you have to. Protect yourself.
The doc is definitely trying it on. No women ever needs a Pap test. I suspect the good doctor wants to charge you for an unnecessary procedure. They’ve got to pay for those yachts somehow.
On a more serious note, ask the doc to show you the actual mandatory legislation. In writing.
Firstly no way is this mandatory……ever, for whatever reason….never mandatory! Secondly a test like this whilst pregnant could cause a miscarriage! Do not do it, refuse as they cannot force it on you….they cannot forcefully hold you down to take the test. I’m in the UK & my niece is pregnant (due this month) and her midwife has not done any internal exams whatsoever, she never even mentioned cervical screening! It is a complete try one & if I were you would be reporting them immediately, to even say it is mandatory is ridiculous, shame on them to try to trick you into it! Please stand your ground with a firm NO. Good luck Ingrid.
Don’t worry Ingrid I’m pregnant too and I refused the pap- you’ll be fine. I’m in Maine and have a midwife but the patient bill of rights which is country wide states pretty clearly that any patient of sound mind is free to decline any procedure at any time for any reason. http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/1500/
During my 1st appt i just advised my midwife in a very matter of fact manner that I opted out of cervical cancer screening. I stated i was aware of the risks and benefits and that i was comfortable with my decision. She just shrugged and said she was required to inform me and handed me a brochure about it. That was about it.
Drs can throw a fit if they want, they can stomp their feet and shout about risking your/baby’s life (don’t fall for it) but your body is yours and the decision is yours. Be respectful but firm and just say that you are refusing the pap for the duration of your pregnancy. Also if she continues to ignore your wishes try to find another OB/midwife. If she’s not respecting your decisions over a pap then how can you trust her to respect the more crucial things down the line?
Where do our pap smear cells go to, especially in the military? When I left the military I requested my DNA specimen to be permanently deleted, too. It took awhile because the female representative said that the director was on leave. I received a letter stating the specimen was destroyed, but how do I really know? I want NOT PART in medical research and all of this other medical nonsense (cloning, IVF, etc…) AT ALL!
I was raped at the age of 23 during a military gynecology exam at the military base. After the exam, which I thought was over, he stroked an object, the swab I believe it was, inside of me and tore my hymen. He said it was so I do not feel pain during sexual intercourse.
I mean, who said I was going to fornicate after receiving the exam? Who is he to dictate what happens in my life? Right? Gynecology exams are forced on women in the military. All females were overdue for screening that day. The female witness did not document her name, nor did she help me. NCIS did not want to help me either it seems.
I noticed these predators “just love” doing gynecology exams on women, the female doctors especially, which I find interesting. Then if they notice it seems like something is wrong, they want to refer you to a psychiatrist.That seems to be the only time when doctors are most excited to see women. I am so glad The Messiah is returning with HIS WRATH AND JUDGEMENT! I WILL NOT miss this place!
I also noticed “sudden harassment” and bullying for my organs when I went to do a medical directive my first time, which is also strange. I had never been to the legal office on the military base, so how is it they seemed to know who I was? I said I DO NOT wish to be an organ donor, and she did not put it in my medical directive, and based on her look, she did not think I would catch that.
The female lawyer said doctors can pull the plug on me if they choose, too. That did not sound nor feel right to me. I mean, what, they were/are trying to “get rid of me” now? Was that a death threat? I perceive it to be. How would they know if I would be dead anytime soon?
The military put me in false light for saying “NO”. I mentioned Henrietta Lacks to them when I filed a grievance, then there was “silence”. Why is Washington D.C. sending me a packet full of negative information about me for a medical directive, and I live on the west coast?
I also noticed it seems people know when I am going to arrive somewhere and what I am going to purchase or who I want to see or what requests I have. I do not tell anyone where I am going or what plans I have. So how is this possible?
I remember after my little run in with the legal office, I went to an army office to speak to a CAC card representative, and two men were standing by the door as if they were trying to cover up something. They said something is wrong with the system. The CAC representative seemed like he did not really want to admit to something nor know anything. Funny thing is, I have never been in the army.
The medical industry is PLAIN SICK! I am also noticing people approaching me saying I look just like a girl they know. They all happen to be younger than me. That is very strange and abnormal for that many people to look like me at different locations.
I pray they do not have any specimen of my cells or anything on file. It is sickening to me my body has been violated for the love of money and personal gain, if it be the case. I DO NOT owe anything to anyone. My military contract was to perform military duties and deploy, “nothing further”.
Just like the pap test, the supine position of giving birth evolved due to a voyeuristic perverted man. https://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/theres-a-really-creepy-reason-why-women-mainly-give-birth-lying-down-/