Unnecessary Pap Smears Discussion Forum

This post has been created to provide an additional forum for discussion, and is a continuation of the old Blogcritics’ Unnecessary Pap Smears discussion.  The original Blogcritics Unnecessary Pap Smears discussion had more than 10,000 comments, but the comments were deleted following changes to the Blogcritics’ site.  Fortunately, the comments from Blogcritics have since been recovered and are preserved here: http://unnecessarypapsmears.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/over-10000-lost-comments-on-unnecessary-pap-smears-find-a-home/   This post also provides a ‘part three’ continuation of the ‘part two’ discussion forum that exists on this site: https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2013/09/22/discussion-forum/

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

About forwomenseyesonly

Hi. My name is Sue and I am interested in promoting holistic and respectful health care.
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63 Responses to Unnecessary Pap Smears Discussion Forum

  1. katrehman says:

    Hi Sue and Ladies and Alex and gents. SUE thanx 4 this amazing site…

    • You’re welcome Kat! I’m happy most of the old Blogcritics gang is still here, Elizabeth, Chas, Kleigh, Alice, Diane, Mary, Chrissy, Kate, Mint, ADM, Si, Misty, OverItAll, Adawells, Bethkz, Anna, Julie, and more. It’s exciting to see more and more informed women join in, you and Linda, Ali, June, and men too, Alex. Thank you for joining in with all your great comments and links!
      Sue 🙂

    • Kate (UK) says:

      I’m a member of the FB group that’s talking about the negative effects of LEEP, and I feel I’m something of a troublemaker. While they’re doing some sterling work to provide each other with moral support, I feel that concentrating on the problems that these surgical procedures can cause is ignoring the elephant in the room. Even if the pro-screening fraternity were to openly acknowledge the harmful consequences, what then? Would anything really change? I think not.
      The real issue is that women are treated with utter contempt from start to finish. Chased and rounded up like sheep, pushed into tests and treatments which are of little value and cause a great deal of harm, and then gaslighted if we complain. The whole thing stinks.

      BTW I’m currently drafting a super-salty letter to my GP practice. They have sent me another begging letter to come in for a smear and I’m going through every bullshit line and correcting them. Hopefully they will finally get the message that I’m not for sale.
      Wondering if anyone else has had anything similar? Not a routine recall from the PCT, a letter coming directly from the practice? Funny, I’m pretty sure the’ guidelines say they’re supposed to send a summons if two routine invites are ignored, yet I only started getting them a few months ago and I haven’t had a test for 15 years! I can only guess that they’re getting desperate because their participation rates for ‘young’ women – meaning those under 50, of course – has dropped below 70%. Oh dear! XD

      • Allison says:

        Send a summons?! This sounds more like a court than a medical office. Treating women like criminals for not wanting to expose their privates to some doctor? That’s disturbing! I live in the US, and it’s already bad enough over here. I feel for all of you in the UK.

      • ChasUK says:

        Well said Kate – They don’t care about the consequences and never have!
        If you don’t mind I, & I’m sure everyone else here would love to see what you write to your GP, I’m expecting one of those again soon and could do with some super ammunition. If I was to write to them I think it would be too long winded as there is just so much to say and a lot of info on this site along with the fact it makes me angry, I just need to shorten my points that I want to get across. I would be very grateful, thank you.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        It’s a strange way to issue an invitation but, of course, we all know it’s nothing like an invitation – it’s basically an order, and if you decline, explain yourself! The name calling says a lot too, no wonder bullying is fairly common, after all, it’s in your best interests!

        Women are so hopeless, we couldn’t be relied on to make good decisions about our health. The whole thinking behind these programs is disgraceful, no wonder doctors and others feel they can pretty much get away with anything – short of holding someone down or putting them in a head lock.
        I see examples of it everywhere, on a few medical clinic websites I’ve read, “women on the Pill need Pap tests”…no, they don’t, screening tests are a separate issue and should be an offer, nothing more, so why are doctors allowed to mislead women like that…
        I complained about one website, nothing changed…

        It’s that “looking the other way” when it comes to women’s cancer screening that is so offensive, it’s all about the target, protecting self-interests and justifying the huge outlay, so politics is a factor too.
        New patient forms, “when was your last Pap test?” Just assuming we have them…so hopefully, we start apologising and making excuses at the first consult.
        “You’re 50, time for a mammogram”…I wonder how many women get some sort of balance in the consult room, I noticed the Red book for GPs has a paragraph devoted to over-diagnosis and over-treatment – how often is that mentioned to women?
        I suspect it’s only if the woman raises the subject, that the GP might mention it…
        I reported a doctor who boasted about holding scripts to get women in for Pap tests, he told the Medical Board something completely different and it was readily accepted, they know what’s going on, they’re all IN on it and it’s completely unacceptable.
        Anyone who faces that sort of thing should make a formal complaint, that’s the only thing that will change attitudes, calling them out. Letting them know, that WE know it’s supposed to be an offer, not an order.

  2. katrehman says:

    Yes ld like to see the letter too!
    Don’t the doctors have a duty to write every 5 years to try to persuade you to get smeared again? Could this be your letter? I opted out in 2015 so I’m guessing I’ll get a letter from practice in 2020. I’ll be telling them to stock it….

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Kat, I’m not sure what methods they’re using on women who’ve opted out. For those of us who haven’t, It’s protocol now for the practice to send a reminder letter when the woman has ignored two routine PCT invites. Not sure how long this has been going on, but this is my second letter in five months. It’s either a clerical error, or they’re getting really desperate!

      So, the letter goes thus:
      ‘We are writing to you as you have not responded to our two previous invitations to make an appointment with the nurse to have a cervical smear taken. As you may or not be aware, cervical smears are part of a National Screening Programme for early detection of changes in the cervix which could lead to cervical cancer. Smear testing has been proven over the years to be a safe and reliable method of detecting these changes and we know that for those women who are regularly having their smears taken (every three to five years depending on personal circumstances and age), there is an increased detection rate of abnormalities which can be treated. The earlier the treatment can be started the more likelihood there is of curing any abnormalities.
      If one does get cervical cancer the treatment becomes much more difficult and is not as effective as treating someone in the very initial pre-cancerous stages.
      I do hope that you will respond to this letter and make an appointment with one of our trained nurses who would be able to do a smear for you.’

      It could be a while, Chas, before I’ve finished my response – there’s a lot I need to get off my chest. But I started by dissecting their little sales pitch and correcting all of the false information. I know their invite is probably concocted by some screening Nazi at PHE, but I’m going to tear them a strip anyway, if only to make them aware that I’m not one of those ‘silly’ girls they think we all are!

  3. Sophia says:

    Thank you so much for this website.

    When I moved address and had to register with a new doctor I got 3 letters “inviting” me for a smear test which I ignored.
    When I got the 4th I wrote to my GP saying I didn’t want one and could they note it on my records.
    I received a reply saying I had to fill in one on their “refusing a smear test” forms which I did.
    I didn’t receive any more letters.

    I moved house again earlier this year and have been putting off registering with a doctor because I don’t want to go through the whole thing again.

    I was sexually abused and raped as a child and I would not have a smear test if you offered me £100 million.
    I was bullied into (my only) one over 20 years ago and I can still feel the terror of it now. It was like being raped again.

    I have just registered with a doctor and now have to wait 3 weeks for a (compulsorily) appointment with the nurse. I won’t be going alone but I’m already stressed and worried about it.
    I can just about cope with it if it’s just a “chat”, blood pressure check etc but if they try and force me into having a smear test I don’t know what to do.
    My partner won’t let them bully me but I really really just don’t want to go. Going to the doctors is terrifying,

    I’m glad I’m not alone in feeling like this but hate the thought that others are suffering too. And I’m so angry at the way women are treated when they refuse.

    • moo says:

      Maybe add that you have educated yourself in the risks if cervival cancer and do not wish for the matter to be brought up at any further appointments. Because they just keep trying “would you be more comfortable if it was a woman doing the test, if you could bring a friend or a teddy bear”. If you are rude or abusive then they might drop you as a patient from the practice. Some women have been dropped from practices because they refuse cancer screenings and this ruins the doctors screening quotas goals.

    • linda says:

      Hi Sophia

      In the past, for 30 years or so, the situation was in the uk that to register with a new Gp a woman had to permit a form of sexual assault through having to put up with an unwanted smear test. If she didnt allow it, then she could be prevented from having access to a doctor and medical care.

      This is no longer the case. Public Health England are putting out the message that a smear test is the woman’s own choice. It is your CHOICE. Dont allow the doctor or his fat ugly pushy target driven practice nurse (which they mostly are) to railroad you into an unwanted test.

      Stand up for yourself. Read the comments and articles on this site and grow strong. Dont put up with their crap. If you dont want one say so.

      Blessed be

      Linda
      X

      • Kleigh says:

        I wish American doctors whould start telling woman Pap smears are a choice. It might put the gyn industry out of business lol.

    • Mint says:

      As others have said, the health checks with a nurse are OPTIONAL. You don’t need to attend if you don’t want to. Don’t let the surgery bully you.

  4. ChasUK says:

    https://www.nhs.uk/choiceintheNHS/Yourchoices/GPchoice/Documents/rcgp_iyp_full_booklet_web_version.pdf
    This PDF explains everything for new GP registrations -page 16/17
    “When you register with a new GP practice, you will usually be invited to have a health check within six months. Health checks are typically done by the practice nurse or healthcare assistant who will ask you about your personal and family medical history”
    HEALTH CHECKS ARE OPTIONAL
    “They will also ensure that any tests or checks you need are up to date such as measuring your blood pressure or arranging cervical screening. If you are on regular medication, most practices will ask you to see a GP before making any further medication available”
    CERVICAL SCREENING IS OPTIONAL
    Also you can opt out of Summary Care Records and HSCIC Care data sharing , they can give you forms to sign.
    The PDF is worth the read before you attend any apt – good luck

  5. adawells says:

    A new development:
    https://amp.theguardian.com/society/2017/oct/15/sti-warning-as-clinics-close-in-london-and-self-testing-is-delayed

    It looks as though STI clinics in London are closing and offering self-testing. When it gets off the ground, that is. No mention of HPV testing, but I know test.me the company mentioned in the article sell the HPV self test kits in the UK.

  6. Sophia says:

    Thank you so much for all your replies to my earlier post.

    I will be attending the appointment with the nurse as if I don’t I can’t register at the doctors. I will absolutely be saying no to a smear if it’s mentioned. I’m hoping not. If I get a letter afterwards I am going to write immediately and say I don’t want one. Previously I waited until the 4th letter and it is was so awful every time a letter arrived.

    I am trying very hard not to worry about it as it’s 3 weeks away but it’s triggering all sorts of stuff for me. I’ve had to stop looking at the news sites because everything at the moment seems to be about another man who has been sexually abusive. Just too much.

    Anyway, that’s off topic.

    I will have more of a read of this site. So glad it’s here. I’m not so odd after all!

    Thanks again everyone.

    • Mint says:

      Sophia, you are invited to a health check when you register with a new surgery. It’s an invitation – not a summons. The surgery can not refuse to register you if you do not want the health check. Just like a smear test, the health check is optional and can only be offered with informed consent.

  7. Sophia says:

    Thank you for the further messages.
    I am “required” to attend an appointment with the nurse or they won’t register me.
    I do not feel up to a fight with them about it. I will go to the appointment but will be doing absolutely nothing I am unhappy about. I will certainly not be having any kind of physical examination.
    As for the questions, discussion or whatever I will only be answering if I feel OK with it.

    Maybe I’m a coward but I just want to get it over with and be registered with a doctor. I have no intention of being ill and needing to see anyone though 🙂

    I will let you know what happens.

    Thanks again.

  8. Anna says:

    Sophia, your story is heartbreaking as are many other’s on here but your also very brave in telling it. I really hope that with more and more woman and girls being informed about just how fraudulent these tests and examinations are.- That these procedures will one day very soon go the way of other specialist tests and examinations there IF you need them and NOT when you Don’t need them, which is as it should be! Best wishes and you are strong.

  9. katrehman says:

    UK ladies…piece in the guardian. The private company Capita (aka Crapita) arenun the news again. A lot of new doctors have had no salary for months as Crapita , who have been awarded contracts to run the doctors payroll and pension services, are incapable of doing the job the article states also in July Crapita will be taking over the Cervical Screening Programme. The BMA Already told the NHS they don’t think Crapita is capable! The company are already unpopular… They use to run asylum seeker services.. Now they are to be trusted with our vaginas and information about our sexual and reproductive health!

    • Sophia says:

      Thanks for posting this.

      I found a link here from Primary Care Support England (which is part of Capita) that has some information:
      https://pcse.england.nhs.uk/services/cervical-screening/

      One of the links from the page above is this:
      https://pcse.england.nhs.uk/media/1210/17416_pcse_cervical_screening_flyer_final.pdf

      I won’t be trusting them with anything!

    • adawells says:

      Kat, this is my vision of what will happen. I sense the disintegration of the national programme we have at present with local areas being responsible for covering their own regions. The emphasis on national uptake will be toned down. Crapita will produce individualised, tailored letters offering less screening for those who want less of it, and carefully worded so as not to get everyone’s back up. I think they realise they have been too forceful in the past and have turned women away. They’ll try to offer a more patient friendly programme to keep women from seeking the opt out form, and getting out altogether. In a couple of years the vaccinated cohorts will be approaching 30. They’ll highlight that not a single case of cancer has appeared in anyone under 30 and use this to raise the screening age to 30, by which time they should have rolled out HPV testing nationwide. We’ll end up with a programme like the Dutch in about 10 years time!

      • Kiwicelt says:

        I think you are totally right. Here in NZ, the Gardasil vaccine is being given credit for decreasing rates of CIN and so the screening age can be raised to 25! No mention of overdiagnosis or overtreatment though. They are so full of it. There is a fly in the ointment though because our NZ European population are declining the vaccine, particularly those in the wealthier areas!
        We are about 10 years behind the NHS screening programme. It will be interesting to hear the protests from those who have been” saved” by screening when the screening age goes up in 2018.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Robert Music focuses on recruitment and numbers:
        “we see a lack of activity to increase participation in a programme that can prevent diagnoses of cervical cancer.”
        Music clearly doesn’t understand, or chooses not to understand, that many women choose not to screen and that’s their absolute right – he doesn’t seem to wonder WHY so many don’t turn up for screening.
        Huge numbers have been harmed and/or traumatised by the program, testing (including opportunistic and testing by coercion and intimidation) or from a false positive, excess colposcopy/biopsy or “treatment” (mostly over-treatment)
        Perhaps, they’ve weighed up the evidence and decided not to screen, perhaps, they find the test unacceptable for whatever reason etc.
        I also find his comment about Jade Goody really offensive, screening is supposed to be an informed decision, not one based on fear, also, Jade Goody had an adenocarcinoma, this type of cervical cancer is usually missed by pap testing – so he’s happy to use fear and misinformation if it gets women in for testing.
        No, just the same old call to arms – round up the women again, tell them any old rubbish, scare them, just get them screened!
        I don’t give a damn what Music wants or thinks, I find his attitudes completely unacceptable.

      • ChasUK says:

        LMAO –
        1.2 million women not taking up their invitation – informed decision I’m guessing.
        The ladies are doing their research, unimpressed by the programme clearly. I hope some are directed to FWEO and communicate with us all.
        Thanks for that link much appreciated

      • Cat&Mouse says:

        RE adenosarcoma. Pap CANNOT Dx this. Remember, 99%+ of pap slides are “read and diagnosed” by COMPUTER algorithms. The software does not contain instructions regarding ANY cells that aren’t taken from the cervix’ surface.
        So what happens? The computer scores slides like these as “abnormal.” Some do get rescreened (or resampled) but otherwise they are rejected.
        Also, by the time the tumor would grow outward to where its own cells could be “scraped away” via pap, it will have already metastasized.
        Which brings up a very good argument against pap.
        A passive test won’t disturb and spread any surface infection into deep tissues or into the endocervical canal. But a pap definitely will.

  10. katrehman says:

    Ada thank you! Just over 8000 out of 38000! That’s amazing! !

  11. Sophia says:

    Hello again everyone. Waves.

    Robert Music is the Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust which is a UK charity. As I’m from the UK I thought I would have look at their website and see what they have to say.
    Specifically:

    1 – Do they say that women have an absolute right not to take part in screening?
    2 – Is there any acknowledgement that the test can be distressing and traumatising?
    3 – Do they have any advice/help for women who have a history of sexual assault/abuse/rape?

    It’s big website and there’s a lot of – words – but the answer to my questions is no.

    They have “Helpful tips before your cervical screening”:

    “For many women the thought of going for cervical screening is often worse than the reality. Do not worry if you feel anxious about having your screening test, this is normal and many women feel like this. It can help to be as informed as possible about what having a cervical screening is like. Make sure you discuss any concerns with your practice nurse.”

    No mention yet of bringing a teddy bear, blanket or friend….(laughs)

    “If it is your first time, you’re feeling nervous or you have had a bad experience in the past, tell your sample taker.
    The more relaxed you are, the less discomfort you will feel.
    If you don’t want to go in alone you can bring a family member or friend with you for moral support”

    Still no mention of a teddy bear though…

    They have a section of “Information for Health Care Professionals.”
    This includes such gems as “Discuss previous cervical screening results and, where appropriate, ‘congratulate’ the patient on coming back to attend for this screening”.

    I am appalled by the patronising attitude of the website. They are even asking women to contact their MP’s and ask them to attend a drop in session about increasing screening.

    I could go on and on about this but I think you get the idea. If you want to have a look for yourself the website is https://www.jostrust.org.uk/

    I think they should delete everything on their website and have this on the main page.

    Go for your cervical screening test.
    If you don’t you’ll get CANCER and DIE.

    PS.
    Please send us money so we can brainwash other women into going.

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Sophia, we all know about this horrible charity and find its behaviour sickening.
      This awful test was invented 80 years ago. It’s known to be unreliable, it’s known to lead vast numbers of healthy women into surgery and fail to detect genuine cancer in a good proportion of the women who develop it, so why, after all this time, have these people who claim to ‘care’ so much about women’s welfare not spent any effort in producing better testing?
      Because bad tests mean profits, that’s why. These charities are stuffed full with ignorant, frightened women who’ve had ‘scares’, who are encouraged by other equally ignorant women to believe that they’ve dodged a bullet. An unreliable test for a rare disease inevitably produces ‘survivors’ who then become rabid supporters of the test. Meaning more sales people working to keep the thousands of people who’s careers depend on the programme in their jobs, and more supporters for the profiteering charities.

      • Sophia says:

        I knew the charity existed but I had avoided looking at the website before as I knew it would upset me and make me angry.
        I decided to look as I wanted to see what they were saying. I was hoping it wouldn’t be as bad as I imagined.
        It was and it upset me and make me angry and I won’t be looking at it again.

      • adawells says:

        Sophia, I too can’t bear to look at this website and never do, but there is a fantastic post from Elizabeth, who got on there. They replied that they had never heard of any complaints, bad experiences about testing at all, and implied Elizabeth was making it up to frighten women off. Funnily enough the post is then followed by women writing in to say what a bad experience their screening tests had been! As you say, the site makes your blood boil- patronising, belittling and total contempt for women and their rights to truthful information and the right to make a personal informed choice. Like in Saudi Arabia. Nauseating, and they are always visiting MPs to get more money. They’ve just made Paula Sherriff, MP for Dewsbury an ambassador for them. Earlier this year, she ran a campaign to get the “your choice” words removed from the screening literature. She didn’t think women should know they have a choice as it would affect uptake.

  12. ChasUK says:

    http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/clinical/cancer/phe-concern-as-cervical-cancer-screening-uptake-continues-decline/20035618.article

    Oh look dear old Anne Mackie gets a mention LOL! And once again no mention of the women who are opting to forgo the useless test…..by informed decision/choice

    PHE director of screening Professor Anne Mackie said: ‘It is of real concern that fewer women, particularly younger women are not being screened, with over a third of women under 30 not taking the test.
    ‘If women are embarrassed about having the test or worried about what the test results might say, they should talk to their GP who can explain why the test is important.’

    I am hoping at least one health professional will post a comment soon, in our favour maybe?

  13. katrehman says:

    The Daily fail has jumped on the bandwagon too. 1 in 3 women not attending their smear.. Is this really news?
    I really don’t understand Music banging on about no new investment or strategy to improve uptake when I think of the ways we’re cornered into testing. What are invitations, reminders, phone calls from the nurse, prompts on our records that flash when we visit our doctor, all the female cancer awareness weeks, articles in the paper and magazines and of course Jos trust? To say nothing of scare campaigns lie flowers morphing into vaginas lo! Plus of course these dreadful cervix savvy road shows. Sophia did you read about them???
    They’re still banging on about embarrassment but they’ve been telling us how silly that is for years and it’s still not increased uptake and they refuse to being in the self test option!
    Grrrrrrr.

  14. katrehman says:

    Google it….it would b funny if it wasn’t so awful.! It’s something jos did with some local councils. Tons of complaints from the public

  15. Anna says:

    Kat, I also looked up what you were saying… And will likely start to see the “Cervix Savvy Road shows trucks” following closely behind the “Breast Cancer Awareness trucks” where I live, too-(In the coming months and years if not sooner.) It’s a damn shame that as woman, even in this day and age we are still repeatedly told that we are “silly headed and can’t possibly think for ourselves”.- when it comes to something so, simple as making an informed decision about our own overall health and wellbeing!

  16. ChasUK says:

    Local women take up chance of cervical screening at shopping centre
    https://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/fp/local-women-take-chance-cervical-screening-shopping-centre/
    Oh for goodness sake! If I’m out shopping it is for shopping only, not a dam smear test or anything else relating to my health.

    • Sophia says:

      Thanks for the link.
      I have to say that gives me the creeps. Grinning women in pink in a shopping centre who want to persuade you it’s in your best interests to get your knickers off and spread your legs for them.
      Horrible.
      What next – a stall set up in the “feminine hygiene” section at the supermarket with a screened off area so you can have a test? I probably shouldn’t suggest that in case the Jo’s Trust people read it.

  17. Sophia says:

    I have good – and surprising news 🙂

    I received a letter this morning which I will quote in full.

    “Cervical Screening Wales has a duty to invite all egiable women for screening.

    I have been informed that you have recently moved into Wales and registered with a GP. Your records show that you previously requested not to be sent any invitations for cervical screening. We will therefore not send you any invitations in the future.

    If you change your mind, we will be pleased to add your name to the invitation list at any time. Please write to me if you would like to be invited in the future. Alternatively you may request a test at your GP surgery or your local clinic (information enclosed).”

    Amazing!!
    I will be taking it with me when I see the nurse just in case it’s mentioned but for now I am very relieved.

  18. katrehman says:

    Sophia that’s really good news. I’m sure your nurse won’t mention it but if it does come up remind them it’s illegal to keep asking an opted out woman about screening

  19. katrehman says:

    Maybe. .just maybe.. no woman ever needed such stringent surveillance to monitor this cancer?! Lol. Would love to type more but the smear police are banging on the door to arrest me…

  20. katrehman says:

    Ada yes! Though I think your daughter had the vaccine? We didn’t get our girl done…even she didn’t want it! I really hope they’ll leave her alone til 30 too though she would tell them where to go if she decided no go screen…
    One wonders how Crapita will cope with all this..it would seem 2 databases needed ..one for the vaccinated one for the non vaccinated on different recalls….3 for vaccinated 7 for the non! Plus the opted outs in both groups….
    Should be interesting…

  21. katrehman says:

    Ada I remembered you saying your girl wanted the vaccine but you said you had reservations but consented anyway? That’s all I meant in my above post !

  22. adawells says:

    Hi Kat, I keep trying to reply to you, but my posts don’t seem to come up on here…

  23. adawells says:

    3rd attempt – I’ve been trying to say that my daughter wanted the jabs. I put my case but everyone in the school was having it, and they all thought it was a vaccination against cancer and a no brainer. At 12 years of age it is difficult for them to see the whole picture. She had the 3 jabs 6 months apart and the following year they reduced it to 2. I was very cross about this, and I think she was too. However, she is well.
    I was really pleased about the new “research” which was published the other day. These people are the “advisors” to the UK programme and what they say is an indication of what the endgame might be, IMO. All UK is planned to switch to HPV testing by end of 2019, and it looks like smears will only be at 30, 40 and 55. I think it will be the same for unvaccinated women as they should get herd immunity, so I read somewhere. It gives our girls another 10 years from now before the pap police get to them.
    After what happened in Australia I think they’ve put this news out now so there’s a year for things to calm down and for it to sink into the pro-screeners dense skulls.
    BTW, hubby got his first screening letter to announce poo test is on it’s way. It’s gone straight in the bin

  24. Anna says:

    I had the HPV vaccine at 23 or so, but it was under the guise that it was a cancer vaccine and was still given exams and bullied when saying NO… I hope there will be NO more secrets and lies for future generations when it comes to a visit to their Doctor’s office

  25. linda says:

    You are right about the secrets and lies in the doctors office. Back in the eighties when i had my first exam there was no mention of the exam or cervical cancer prior to the one i was given. The subject was brought up unexpectantly during a ‘pill check’ because you were trapped in the docs office you couldnt refuse and the doctor didnt give you a chance to refuse implying you had no choice.

    Because i was young and basically putty in his hands, i let him go ahead thinking i had no choice. I bet he couldn’t believe his luck – genitally examining a young women in her early twenties. I was so programmed by this incident i thought they were compulsory. I believed i shared my private parts with the nhs and their cronies. Despicable!

    I dont know what its like for young women visiting the doctor these days.

    • Shelli says:

      Hey Linda – SMH. Let’s all practice this til we’re purple: in response to intrusive or pressuring questions and comments from docs and nurses: “This is my business, not yours.” Repeat over and over as many times as necessary until the offender shuts up. In response to docs who “want” you to submit to a “pelvic exam”: “Absolutely not. And if you touch me, I will call the police.” That will stop ‘me cold, trust me.

  26. Anna says:

    Linda, I’m afraid in many parts of the world where being tested and examined in this way, is in anyway considered the “norm” NOT much as changed for most as far as patient care goes. I live with chronic back pain almost daily and started doing more mild exercises using a set of Pilates DVDs and even recently bought a massage pillow on the cheap, because I know where I live I CAN’T just go to the Doctor’s to try and get a referral to a back Specialist.- Without them starting in on date of last period, last pap and how I should really start getting mammograms early because of “genetic concerns”! Funny how when I was BC pills to regulate my periods-(they DIDN’T even work well for me) However, “genetic concerns” in relation to breast cancer weren’t even brought up and was poo-pooed for bringing up such questions myself to a Doctor and Nurse at a Free Clinic.-( I went to that clinic only once except two additional visits just to get results from that first visit)- As the Doctor even walked out into the hall to speak to the Nurse in private about all my “strange questions” though I didn’t go to them for the pill or anything else after that over all bad experience. However, another Doctor reeled me in by acting like a seemingly caring sweet person and I went to her for about five and a half years but was soon constantly harassed by her and her staff as time went on and was later sexually abused altogether by her at last pap ETC. exam six years ago. I have gone through four Doctor’s at another Doctor’s office-(they could never keep a Doctor there) and three out of the four were kind, until it came time for them to ask about pap tests and my would be future of mammograms.-Because I guess they DON’T see having been bullied by all the mean girls as a pre-teen/ teenage girl come dress out time for in locker rooms at school as bad enough of an embarrassment, they have to add being completely naked and humiliated at the Doctor’s office to the list with the same do as your told or else consequences as the gym/PE teachers for NOT wanting to strip! So, while I do have some faith that in time the attitudes of Doctor’s and the Medical policy makers will have to change to better match those of their patients.-For if they DON’T change their going to eventually be out a lot of money as more and more woman especially start asking questions and learning the answers to those questions on their own time, instead of just faithfully following Doctor’s orders!

  27. ChasUK says:

    Interesting (US):
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171114091315.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fhealth_medicine%2Fcervical_cancer+%28Cervical+Cancer+News+–+ScienceDaily%29

    Glad this part was printed, acknowledging Pap picks up harmless infections/inflammation:
    “The main goal of cervical screening programs is to detect and treat precancer before cancer develops. Cytology-based screening, known as the Pap test or Pap smear, is used to detect abnormal cells. The Pap test can also find noncancerous conditions, such as infections and inflammation.”

    • Shelli says:

      ChasUK – I’m not positive what point you’re making relative to this discussion. The number one killer of women in the western world is heart disease. It claims 1 in 3 of us. If one wishes to discuss cancer, the number one cancer detected in women is non-melanoma skin cancer, including squamous cell, which can be fatal. Number two is lung cancer, which is increasing among non-smokers. Number three is breast cancer. Number four is colon. And on and on. Cancers of lady bits are rather far down on the list. High profile scare tactics would make it seem otherwise, but the above stats are true. Anyone can look them up. Still confused by your post –

      • Kate (UK) says:

        Shelli, I think most of us here have come to realise over time that our lady bits are not plotting to kill us in the way the medical profession would have us believe.
        We’re well aware of how horribly unreliable this test is, but the language surrounding cytology – ‘abnormal’ cells, ‘pre-cancer’ etc. – leads women to believe that every blip on the slide is disease. Scare tactics indeed. I think Chas was just surprised to find an article that actually acknowledges, for once, that the pap test isn’t perfect.

  28. Shelli says:

    Hi everyone! I have taken a stand against the systemic oppression of women (and ritualized sexual assault) known as a “pelvic exam.” I am glad that this forum exists, and so grateful for everyone’s comments. I feel very passionately about this subject; and I’m trying to find other websites and forums where this is being actively discussed. Do you all know of any? My searches on the internet haven’t gone well; but maybe I’m not using the right key words. Thanks!!
    Shelli

  29. linda says:

    Hi Shelli. I’m so glad you found us. I’ve been reading your comments and i love them. I’m in England where smear tests have been forced on us for about 30 years. I stopped having them about 7 years ago after i found out they wern’t mandatory. I hate doctors. If i do have to see one i keep it in my mind that i’m in a potential dangerous situation and i leave the consult room feeling i was in charge,.

    I feel deeply for our american sisters. I feel that you are all raped by doctors since you were children. Your healthcare system sickens me. Its all about money. Patients are treated badly unless they have money.

    Its only through this site can we change things. I don’t know of any other sites like this it is toally unique. I’m so glad it exists as i would still be having smear tests now it it wasn’t for the women here who saved me from a wretched situation. I was really hurt by the smear test programme. I will never forgive the mefical profession for what it did to me.

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