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.

About forwomenseyesonly

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

  1. adawells says:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-46116262
    Some people are saying this is sexist and shouldn’t be done nowadays but I had no hesitation entering what object of female oppression I would want to throw into the rubbish bin!

  2. katrehman says:

    I submitted a comment too…Let’s see what happens

  3. Demonhype says:

    my comment:

    “Speculum, stirrups, gynecology itself. Abusive, infantilizing, makes $ pathologizing female anatomy, stripping women of informed consent.”

  4. Kate (UK) says:

    There was a mention a short time ago about nurse training for smears leaving a lot to be desired. I’m on a FB group for women who have problems after Leep, and a lady posted about her experiences, here’s part of the post:

    ‘I had Lletz 6 years ago, following CIN3 which was deep and widespread. I was also cauterised due to a heavy bleed from an artery which was damaged. This was done without any pain relief as it was an emergency (the heavy bleed started once I had gone home). The whole situation was traumatising to me.
    6 years on I am STILL having extremely painful periods. I was warned my cervix was extremely small and I was told I had scarring.
    Well, this week has been the final straw after a failed smear test attempt. The nurse can’t find my cervix and I’m due back in 2 weeks where there will be 2 nurses to prod and poke about.
    My last smear test was 3 years ago and it was extremely painful to the point of tears down my face. I am terrified of going back for my the next attempt.’

    I advised her to avoid those nurses at all costs – see a trusted doctor and explain the problem if she’s still intent on having testing. It sounds very much like the nurse was a noob, lacking in skills or experience, and this idea of having two nurses present the next time sounds like a training exercise! How on earth can anyone with any compassion think it’s ok to traumatise a patient like this, just so they can get a freaking sample?

    • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

      Tell her to purchase an HPV self-testing kit online and tell her to firget further testing if she’s HPV-

      Tell her she’s had the LLETZ done despite a 20% chance of getting cervical cancer and that this has not been xommunicated to her to keep women testing.

      What they have done to her amounts to savagery.

      And tell her to file a complaint against those numpty nurses!

      • Kate (UK) says:

        I did mention the HPV self-testing, but you have to be careful in a group like this not to come across as too militant – many of them are recent victims and are still dazed and confused. I do try to put some real info across but I don’t think it always sinks in.

      • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

        I’m usually only ever militant with the avid pro-screeners on the Daily Mail though!

        Ah, yes. And they are victims who show trauma as a result of the callousness that they have experienced.

        She needs time to think about other options and whether she even wants (or needs) to go back to that appointment. Those nurses are way too eager and need to back the hell off. It’s another consequence of dismissing women’s fears about this test as if it’s nothing.

        I agree with you about the message not sinking in. Rarely do I have anyone responding to me about this online, after they’ve given me a deluge of verbal abuse.
        Some of them will claim to be curious about the Delphi Screener and start asking questions about it. Only then do I get the sense that they’ve taken on board the fact that there are other options out there.

    • adawells says:

      Absolutely shocking. Her HPV status should be a priority for checking before anything else is done. This is the problem I have long suspected with the UK programme. In the US you have rained gynos doing this job, in the UK they have moved the same procedures to semi-skilled people with basic medical training. None of them have extensive knowledge about the test and what they are doing. Passed from one procedure to another. This must go down in history and the pooled comments from these support groups become public knowledge of what is really going on. So sorry for all these harmed women. Thank goodness I got out when I did.

      • adawells says:

        I meant “trained” not rained.
        Another thought on this is that I honestly think this is why they’ve hurried in the HPV vaccination before thorough testing, because the harm caused by smear testing has been more severe and widespread than they planned.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        I beg to differ, Ada. Merck lost billions due to the Vioxx scandal, I think they were just desperate to find something else to fill up the coffers. If the powers-that-be were at all concerned about the harms caused by this god-awful test, they would have spent the millions they squander on ‘awareness’ campaigns on researching a more accurate test.
        But no, there’s an industry, and it needs to be fed.

      • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

        The only “silver lining” with this is that it is easier to challenge a nurse who knows sweet FA. You’d hope wouldn’t you that a woman seriously contemplating whether to opt out of the cervical screening programme, would be put off by someone who hasn’t a clue what they’re saying, let alone doing. The saying, “knowledge is power” really couldn’t be truer in this situation.

    • KT says:

      I am the founder of the group for talking about LEEP problems on Facebook. It is so horrible when this happens as there is no warning about the possibility of this level of destruction on the cervix. And when they go back for a smear the nurse will often say that she ‘’can’t find the cervix’’ as if it’s somehow hiding away when in reality so much hasbeem removed that it’s hardly there anymore.

  5. I’ve often wondered why male contraceptive options have been so slow in development, or so it seems…
    A scientist told me about 8 years ago they could make a male pill but it was viewed as “ not sufficiently commercial” so not enough money in it. I’ve heard that men wouldn’t use it, women wouldn’t trust their partner to use it, but I also wonder if like the go-slow with the development of a non-invasive screening test for cc, they also didn’t want the freedom a male pill would give to some women. We know the pill consult is always used to get women screened, so they definitely wouldn’t want women, perhaps a lot of women, with no need for the pill or that consult.

    There’s a push here for access through a pharmacist, obviously to save Medicare all the unnecessary consult fees, especially now the program calls for less testing.
    Naturally, the AMA and others are screaming that it’s unsafe for women…such hypocrites, they’ve knowingly over-screened and over-treated women from the very beginning of this program…so many women left with damage, psych and physical damage. We all know who they’re worried about and it’s certainly not women.
    They’ve blocked access to the Delphi Screener here, shortly before the new program started, IMO, to force women into the program, even if it’s self-testing on their terms.
    The profession and other vested interests have used women appallingly, change has only occurred as more women became informed and/or walked away from the screening program. (Often after a traumatic experience with over-treatment)
    But…It’s getting harder and harder for them…and that’s a very good thing for women.

    Just remember 77% of Australian women who followed our program (most forced or misled) have had something done to their cervix…and to think the cancer itself was always rare in this country and in natural decline. Speaks volumes that the medical profession were so aggressively in favour of this testing…and on any terms, coercion was even acceptable to get to that cervix. It shows a shocking lack of respect for the female body, and for women generally. I’d say it’s far more than a lack of respect…far more.

    • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

      I recall that a similar argument was made about the HPV vaccine.
      Can’t risk losing all those women can they?
      Smelling a rat, a few women were (rightly) questioning why smears would still need to be undertaken despite the introduction of the vaccine, and were given the feeble response, “well, the vaccine doesn’t cover all strains of cervical cancer”.
      Yet, even as some of them (reluctantly) acknowledge, adenocarcinoma starts higher up in the cervix so it is almost impossible to detect via a smear!

      • KT says:

        Do you know where you read about adenocarcinoma starting much higher up in the cervix? I’d love to share it.

  6. Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

    I’ve been thinking about these new “awareness” campaigns (every new “trendy” cause sesms to have one, sick of hearing about them to be honest), that they plan to run in the new year.
    Much has been made of offering women “flexible” appointments, ie. Tesco open all hours surgeries.
    I have also heard of them rabitting on about employers and how women don’t want to ask their employers for time off to attend screening.
    Without giving too much away (lest one of the pro-screening minions might be monitoring these threads), I hope they’re not thinking of hassling employers about this.

    • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

      I know that some local authorities have explicit policies stating that you can take the time off to attend screening without incurring a day’s leave but get this… any “follow-up” appointments would be classed as annual leave. Rather pointless considering 63% of women “require” LEEP or cone biopsies under the conventional system.
      With regards to mental health and other social issues, there have been drives to train and “raise awareness” amongst employers. There can be pros and cons to this. The cons may mean some employers “monitoring” their staff’s behaviour, coming to unfounded conclusions, and potentially, being overly intrusive.
      My fear is that in order to increase take-up, there might be some drive that sees employers being encouraged to hold some very awkward conversations with their female staff.

    • Kate (UK) says:

      I think in most cases this line about not being able to get time off for screening is just another excuse, really, an easy way to wriggle out of confessing they just don’t want a bloody test! Why on earth would a woman need to explain to her boss what the doctors appointment is for? If the boss asks questions, it means they’re either concerned for your health (or whether you’re going to be an asset or liability), or they’re the kind of git who work their staff to the bone and throws a fit if you want time off for anything. Either way, you’re not obliged to explain the gory details, a ‘routine health check’ should be adequate.

      Remember the Demos ‘research’ where they were pointing out that when women developed CC the poor old government was missing out on their hard-earned taxes? (Boo hoo.)
      With working women expected to take time off to get tested, go for investigation, surgery,
      recovery, health problems caused by ‘treatment… if I were running a company, I would view screening tests as a liability to my business.

      So, apparently lots of women want to go for testing but can’t get time off work, or can’t get an appointment, but at the same time we’re told we’re not going because we’re stupid and lazy? Hmmm.

      • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

        I agree that they are making excuses because they want to avoid confrontation.
        I’m raising this point because I’m due to start another job. And having read through the T&Cs, I’ve seen a reference in there to taking time off to have smear tests. I’m shocked too and most women wouldn’t dare tell their employers what they need the time off for!
        But with this “can’t get an appointment” $hit, Jo’s Tosh has really jumped onto it. I’ve seen more and more awareness and training for managers for all sorts of issues recently.
        And don’t get me wrong, I agree it can be a good thing, but I’ve also seen enough to also spot a few negatives.
        A woman in an organisation was pulled in for lack of performance. Before she’d had a chance to think, she was disclosing all sorts and was referred to Occupational Health. It later came out that she was being bullied by the very manager who’d vonducted the referral. I suppose this can highlight that the problem was “nipped” in the bud, but it can also show how symptoms of under-performance can also be blamed or presumed to be as a result of that individual’s “mental health”.
        I know of an organisation whose staff was trained to recognise symptoms of DV. One member of staff was approached during a 1:1 and was asked if she was being abused – her unwillingness to discuss her private life (she’s a private person) and her love of long-sleeved tops cited as a reason.
        The shortcomings of being “over-zealous” in their approach can equally be as damaging.

        Going back to my point about screening, the Jo Tosh propaganda has obviously been picked up by some employers over the country who have felt it necessary to include a proviso that women be given time off to attend screening.
        But my concern is that as with other social or health issues, the discussion of screening (such as, “have you been screened recently”, “do you need time off to attend your screening”) becomes the proverb of employer-employee discussions as a result of these ever more militant awareness campaigns and hare-brained ideas conceived by the likes of Jo Tosh and PHE.
        Hopefully, they won’t be able to venture down that road and maybe I’m just being pedantic about the whole thing.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        You know, there are a lot of ill-informed men who think women are privileged to have our lady parts put under surveillance and are angry that men don’t get equal treatment when they should really be counting themselves lucky. The imbalance is turning some of them into misogynists. I can only imagine what these men would think of us lucky ladies if employers make special allowances for women to trot off for their oh-so-vital smears. What if a man wants a PSA test, is he allowed to bunk off for a few hours too? No? Sexist!!!
        It’s all getting so ridiculous.

      • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

        Kate – They do inadvertently highlight an interesting observation though, which is, why are medics so obsessed over women’s parts in comparison to theirs?!
        I feel like saying to them, be my guest! At least, there’d be more “equality” in the misdiagnosis, and the overtreatment rates!

      • adawells says:

        Our GP surgery is part of a group, all of which cover different opening hours, so if you are mobile you can get an appointment anytime, anywhere. Staggered that so many are saying they cannot get an appointment. As you say, they are probably wanting a reason not to go, and this is as good as any.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Consent has never been respected for women, add the enormous pressure placed on us to screen, along with all the scare campaigns and many women feel they need an excuse not to screen. Over and over we’re told not to be embarrassed, doctors and nurses see thousands of women, the test is painless etc. etc.
        So women look for a neutral excuse that throws it back on the medical profession, women know not to get into a debate about screening with GPs.
        Now some couples were virgins before they met, I know a couple of women who were admonished by their GPs for declining Pap tests – “if your partner has an affair, you’re at risk of cc without pap testing”. Or, they were told all women should test regardless…
        Don’t give them anything they can use against you, Papscreen have provided doctors with a list of ways to combat any “excuse” you might produce…

        The program didn’t want women assessing their risk because it would have been obvious that screening would help very few, the risk of cc was so small. I think it would have been impossible to get huge numbers to screen when the risk of cc was so small, especially when the test was invasive. (painful for some women & initially the test was carried out by male doctors) In fact, the test was unacceptable to many women which should have ruled it out as a population screening test, but no one asked us, or wanted to know, we were TOLD that all women must or should screen…if they were responsible, mature and wanted to look after their health.
        It didn’t come out for a long time that HPV was a sexually transmitted infection, again, they didn’t want women assessing their risk profile.
        So I don’t believe all these women can’t get appointments, we all know that when we’re motivated, we’ll find a way, reality is…most of these women want to exercise their right to decline screening but the way the system has been set up the only way they feel they can…is to say they can’t get an appointment. It’s only been fairly recently that some women have felt safe enough to say, “I don’t want pap tests,, I don’t need to explain my decision, I don’t need an excuse not to screen”…
        I think it’s a good idea to simply say to GPs, all screening is elective, I’ve decided not to screen or something general like that..if you get attitude, send off a complaint to the Clinic – it’s only then that they’ll get that..yes, we do have a choice.
        A friend in her late 40s told her GP she wouldn’t be having breast screening, her GP replied, “wow, you’re brave”…she replied, “on the contrary, I think the women who screen are the brave ones!”…
        Sad thing is most haven’t a clue about the actual benefit and the risks with breast screening, I know many screen in ignorance or out of fear or to comply with medical recommendations.

  7. katrehman says:

    The sun newspaper has run an article about self test kits for women who don’t attend screening! Eve appeal are in favour too….

  8. katrehman says:

    They can hassle employers but I can’t see the employs giving in. I work in a school and we have draconian policies. A routine smear would HAVE to be booked for weekend or holidays and those wishing to attend mammograms are asked if they can change routine ones to holiday time. If they really can’t then it’s grudgingly given as unpaid…..so good luck with that one Mr Music…..

  9. katrehman says:

    I should clarify even a routine doc or dental appointment would 99% likely be refused in term time too….

  10. Kleigh says:

    I was having a conversation with a coworker. She confided in me that her 25 year old daughter had never had a Pap smear. I’m 34 btw . Well she also mentioned that her daughter was having bad cramps and periods back to back. I really didn’t wasn’t to argue with Getz. A few weeks latter this morning she was cheerful and said that she took her daughter to her wonderful Gyno. That she was diagnosed with indo. Then she proceeds to ask me when was my last gun exam and where do I go? I was like I haven’t had a gym exam in years I’m 34 and that was when I was 17 to be clear. I also told her that I had faith in my body. She then wanted to refer me to there wonderful gynecologist. I was polite but she got the message I was not interested and left it like that. I’m just like what business do these woman have asking about others exams . I just can’t . What’s wrong with these woman. And I did it want to know about her daughter going . I feel so annoy. Has Nyone experienced this where woman are raving about these gym and try to push others to go too. I just can’t.

  11. Kleigh says:

    Sorry my I phone changes my words. I hope you could undewhT I was saying.

    • Kate (UK) says:

      And this is why this paper is known as the Daily Fail. The UK is lagging way behind other countries and yet due to these idiot reporters, the people in this country have no clue what’s going on. I note there are two photos of a woman in stirrups, ffs, as if one’s not enough! Hey Daily Fail, if you’re going to start wittering on about British women, don’t use a stock photo of an American clinic, it’s false advertising, ok? Idiots.

      • adawells says:

        Equally sick of these stock photos.

      • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

        Let’s face it, it’s a very conservative paper with antiquated views about women and their place in society. We know why they’re using those photos don’t we.

        But let’s look at the positives here… those photos are hardly going to encourage young women to go out and get tested are they??!

        Another own goal there Daily Fail lol.

    • Speaking of stock photos, today the lovely Dr Phillipa Kaye, smear pusher and Jo’s Trust mouthpiece posted a series of photos comparing a speculum to a nutcracker!

      Apparently the comparison is amusing and supposed to encourage women to go for a smear. Quite a few of us expressed outrage and she has since deleted the crazed post. Not only is it ridiculous but a nutcracker is hardly the most gentle item in the kitchen.

      I guess anything passes as ‘awareness raising’ these days. They seem so desperate which deep down, kind of pleases me.

      Sorry if this posts twice but worded slightly differently. WordPress was in a grump and said the first one didn’t post.

      • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

        The desperation amuses me too and gives me great satisfaction 😁

        Are they trying to give speculums a festive twist? 😂

        You should have told her that a “nutcracker” was an apt way to describe her and the rest of the lunatics at Jo’s Toss.

  12. Kleigh says:

    I recently started working with some all woman staff . Doing elderly care. Every single one of these woman has discussed going to their gynecologist with me. I hate it and feel triggered. I don’t want to know anything about there exams. To make matters worse one of the older ladies told me her daughter who is 25 has never had a Pap smear before. She was raised out of state with her dad. She has come to live with her mom , my coworker. Well a few days ladder this same coworker was bragging about how she took her daughter to her gynecologist and how wonderful this doctor was. She looked confused when I politely declined her phone reference. “ she’s wonderful can I give you her number “. My face went white. I told this coworker that I did not see doctors unless I was having symptoms. She looked so confused and I am 34 never had a Pap smear. I didn’t know how to discuss this with all these brainwashed woman. You can live a life with out Pap smears. I just had to vent.

    • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

      I also dislike women discussing the intimate details of their lives with me, medical procedures, women’s “problems” (sometimes in an office with other men) etc. If it’s in private with a friend or confidante who wants someone to talk to someone, then that’s fine with me. But I dislike preaching by other women about things like screening, pregnancy, romantic relationships, breastfeeding etc. It’s got to the point now that I will openly say, ” that’s private. I don’t want to discuss that. Thanks”.

    • adawells says:

      Hi Chas, this is all over the HPV vaccine. Cochrane produced a review giving the vaccine the green light, but Goetzsche wasn’t satisfied and said not all the research had been reviewed, and there were reports of severe side effects which were not being investigated, but big pharma pushed the review through and are behind Goetzsche getting kicked out of Cochrane. All very sinister, because the Japanese withdrew the vaccine because of adverse events. What do they know that we aren’t allowed to find out? I’ve heard that Cochrane is now in the pay of big pharma and is no longer the independent body it once was.

      • Yes, it’s concerning that they didn’t really address Peter’s concerns about the review of Gardasil. I read their response…and wasn’t convinced that was the full story.
        Peter has always been a no-nonsense, very direct sort of person, naturally, you’d expect him to challenge any research that falls short or recommendations that are not supported by the evidence. I’d be very cautious with Gardasil, i’d never accept official recommendations, we know the vast profits that flow from vaccines and screening means vested interests usually influence recommendations.
        Expelling Peter from the Board certainly won’t silence him, if anything, he’s likely to be even more outspoken. I sometimes wish Peter could dial it down a bit, I know some dismiss him as a bit of a ratbag or conspiracy theorist but I understand his anger.
        When Peter referred to big pharma as organized crime, I understood what he was saying but I know that reference was viewed as an exaggeration by many…and they stopped listening.
        I have enormous respect for Peter Goetzsche and a few others at the NCI…they gave me the information I needed to decline mammograms. When everyone is silent or just accepting of official recommendations, people like Peter and his team are our guiding lights. I’ll continue to follow Peter…and will be cautious with NC reviews in the future.

  13. ChasUK says:

    Thanks for your replies and info Ladies x I have just seen this today which is interesting.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181217120035.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fhealth_medicine%2Fcervical_cancer+%28Cervical+Cancer+News+–+ScienceDaily%29
    A new test for cervical cancer was found to detect all of the cancers in a trial of 15,744 women, outperforming both the current Pap smear and human papillomavirus (HPV) test at a reduced cost, according to a new study.

    • Very interesting…they say it’s better than hpv testing and women will need fewer tests; I assume it’s another invasive test. Fact is for most women who want to test, a hpv self test would do the job and should take lots of women out of testing. I suppose this test may help to identify the small number of hpv+ women likely to have a real problem.
      Thankfully, this research may provide some answers with other sorts of cancer too, i’m amazed at the seemingly limitless resources available to conduct research into cc and cervical screening. Very little progress has been made with brain or pancreatic cancer…the former takes many young lives. Also, those diseases that take quality of life like Parkinson’s disease or MS…in recent years here, millions has been raised for research to find a cure for MND.

      • Judy says:

        Or if they’re so fixated on women’s health, where’s the reliable screening test for ovarian cancer? This cancer is considered rare but it’s much more prevalent than cervical cancer and takes many more lives. The fact that women are expected to undergo an invasive “well woman” exam each year when it does nothing to reduce the incidence of this deadly cancer is truly an insult to our intelligence.

    • adawells says:

      A really interesting read. First time I’ve seen the accuracy of the pap smear honestly given so low a rating in any paper. Makes you wonder if the HPV vaccine has all been a waste of time.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Whenever I hear of something new in the women’s screening space, it makes me nervous, because screening is done to women, it’s never discussed with women or freely offered. (and can be freely declined) Also, the people making those decisions usually do what’s best for them and other vested interests, what’s best for women barely gets a mention.

        For example the pap test was used conservatively in the Netherlands and Finland (they followed the evidence – so far fewer tests and not before age 30) so far fewer women were harmed by over-treatment.
        Other countries knowingly launched into excessive and non-evidence based screening harming huge numbers and reducing the quality of life for screened women generally…

        The HPV test is used WITH the Pap test in the States, there’s no additional benefit to women using both tests, but that practice makes a lot more money for vested interests with all the confusing results.
        Here we’re doing HPV testing from age 25, the evidence says NO HPV testing before 30 – the evidence has also been clear for many years, pap testing is of no benefit up to age 30 but leads to lots of over-treatment. HPV testing the right way should mean far fewer tests and many women walking away after one or two tests. Self testing should be freely available too…if this testing was really about doing what’s best for women.
        So a new development is not necessarily a good thing for women, it may well be used in a way that puts us in harms way yet again.
        The only way to protect ourselves is to get to the evidence, make an informed decision and stand firm – I know that’s not easy when we’re dealing with the industry called women’s cancer screening.

      • adawells says:

        I wish I knew what’s cooking in the UK camp. At the moment we have some parts of the country, like Wales, which have fully switched to HPV as first test, and some parts of England too, but we still have the old 3 yearly recall going on with no sign of any announcement that this will extend soon. So if a 25 year old in Wales, you will get first summons at 25, then 28, then 31, so 3 HPV tests before age 31. Fortunately uptake is as low as 63% in under 30s, but even still this is a lot of women putting themselves at risk of colposcopies in this age bracket. And Jo’s Tosh and other charities really gunning for the young women to go.

      • ChasUK says:

        Wow! Thank you adawells for the link. Although its a start it will still be kept aside for a long time, probably more than the 5 years they state.
        I wonder though how many women from the herd will actually read this, or even understand it, as most I speak to who have had an abnormal and Lletz just don’t get it at all. Most don’t even know what HPV is let alone anything else. Shameful as they are so uninformed. And of course “I’m a cancer survivor” attitude applies “I could be dead now if not for the screening and treatment”! Its like they almost want it to be cancer and never open to any other explanation, so maddening it is! Thanks again, and lets see how many comments it gets, i.e. its all about cost and letting women down crap! Theres one there already.

      • adawells says:

        It would be wonderful if the urine test could be brought in asap. Would assume nearly all women would visit their GP at least once in 5 years and the sample could be given then. No need to send out all those letters -they must cost the NHS a fortune. But what role then for Jo’s Tosh, just what purpose will they have? They seem to be very pro self-testing at the moment. It leaves me wondering if they want to push self-testing kits because the recall business and social control will still be in place for years to come and a lucrative business for Crapita and Virgin?

  14. Emily says:

    Wow I’m so glad i got the stupid jab at 16 and felt like crap for 3 days after possibly for nothing/sarcasm. At least we finally have something concrete to reflect what we already knew about paps.

    On a brighter note I’ve successfully opted out of paps! I explained my position to my midwife and she agreed that the benefits probably wouldn’t outweigh the risks in my case. She also said that pelvic/breast exams aren’t really recommend anymore without good reason so I’m not likely to need one. She did counsel me on symptoms of infection/cervical weakness and did a urine test for cultures.

    I also opted out of glucola! I’ve had an aversion to sugar and most carbs since I fell pregnant so it’s unlikely I’d be able to tolerate it. Even then dumping tons of sugar in after having little for several months will likely trigger a false positive. No way in hell am I going into hi risk over a stupidly innaccurate test! She advised most who get GD have preexisting abnormalities and ordered A1C along w the other bloodwork. If the numbers are off she’ll order me supplies for self monitoring. She even offered to look into doulas for me! So far I have felt very empowered and supported by everyone at CMMC. Maybe there’s hope for the ones like us afterall!

    • adawells says:

      It sounds af if things have greatly changed since I had my kids in 1990’s! Best wishes and hope it’s a great experience and you get everything you wish for!

  15. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    I felt really uncomfortable as they chased up young women here, really young women, including teenagers (a few/some were tested before they were 17) Of course, at the sametime they were doing research into Gardasil, cross checking Gardasil records with the Pap test records of young women – one senior doctors openly said that the cervical screening program should not be changed, raising the age o

  16. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Sorry, my cat posted that for me!
    As I was saying, it was stated the screening age should not be raised UNTIL the research was complete – it was also, stated that Australia was in a unique position to do the research because we were one of the few countries still testing young women. It shows you have brazen they are, perfectly happy to test unnecessarily and to risk harming healthy young women.
    I did read somewhere that the UK is not moving to HPV testing until late 2019, I’ll see if I can find the article.

    • adawells says:

      NZ is still testing from age 20 right now, and Scotland only very recently raised the age from 20 to 25 in about 2016 – many years after England raised the age to 25. Seen a few times that this is for comparative research studies. They really don’t care. All that matters to them is their research and keeping the guinea pigs in the dark. Couldn’t care less about women’s feelings or experiences.

  17. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    https://phescreening.blog.gov.uk/2018/10/25/hpv-primary-cervical-screening-october-2018-update/
    Sounds like they’ll start rolling out HPV primary testing in 2019, hoping to complete the roll out by 2020.

  18. ChasUK says:

    Thanks Elizabeth (Aust) Another good start but still I find somewhat late, and still the usual invasive exam to our precious cervix.
    This part stood out also looking at results, letters, leaflets etc.
    We are working with screening services, academics and charities to look at the current invitation and result letters and leaflets used in the programme for the public. The work will reflect the findings from a psychological evaluation carried out in the HPV primary screening pilot sites which looked at how women responded to being told about HPV primary screening.

    I have just seen this link too but I think the must/should screen will still apply: https://phescreening.blog.gov.uk/2018/12/21/a-busy-productive-and-challenging-year-for-screening/
    Millions of people benefit from screening each year and we usually make the headlines for all the right reasons. As you know, that has not always been the case in 2018 because of issues with the arrangements for inviting women in the breast and cervical programmes.
    All these resources give NHS screening providers powerful tools to help make sure people understand the screening they are offered and to participate if they wish to.
    We are currently consulting on screening for 9 different conditions, including breast cancer and cervical cancer, and the evidence team has already started work on reviewing a further 27 conditions in 2019.

    Another 27 conditions……it just gets worse! How much do they want to spend on screening when the NHS is at absolute breaking point! It simply can’t cope with it surely?
    Capita gets another mention….investigating why thousands did not get the summons! Maybe a disgruntled worker caused it….or an informed woman? Wishful thinking LOL

    • Julie (UK) says:

      I agree, Chas, with concerns re the invitations, etc. Why do they need to do a psychological evaluation for heaven’s sake? Do they think we’re incapable of making the right decision for ourselves? Just give us the facts in the leaflets and put a reply slip on the bottom of the letter for those of us who have made an informed decision to opt out, it would be much simpler. I’ve been trying to opt out for the last 2 years. I’ve received 5 invitation letters in that period, despite following all the PHE/NHS guidelines on opting out, and was amazed this week to receive my third (yes THIRD) letter/disclaimer from PCSE saying “I understand that you do not wish the NHS cervical screening programme to invite you for future screening tests. I enclose the leaflet NHS cervical screening helping you decide, which explains the benefits, bla bla bla” Er, well, this is actually the eighth copy of this leaflet to grace my recycling bin, and if I’ve written to them on numerous occasions telling them I’m opting out, I’ve obviously already made that decision so why send another? Are they hoping I’ll come to my senses and stay on the programme??!! I returned the previous 2 signed disclaimers mid-November (strangely they arrived within a week of each other and I returned them both separately), so what’s happened to those? At this rate, I’ll be getting another standard invite letter shortly. Anyway, I will be signing my disclaimer AGAIN and sending it by registered post. I had recently made a complaint to PCSE which is why they have sent a disclaimer(s) (they have never responded to my requests in the past) and they are supposed to respond to complaints within 40 working days, so I should be hearing by 14 January. Watch this space… Thanks ladies for all for your advice which keeps me going!

      • adawells says:

        Hi Julie,
        This sounds terrible. Can you threaten them that they are in breach with the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations)? It’ a hot topic in the NHS at the moment, and they should stop sending letters as soon as you’ve asked them to stop.

    • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

      The obsession with screening is very sinister.

      I don’t believe they are as interested as they claim to be in disease prevention. This is all about monitoring people’s bodies.
      In the case of cervical screening, I’ve always believed it was a case of outdated science underpinned by the desire to monitor women’s sexual activity.
      Some women would undoubtedly be very open at their test and encouraged or even asked to divulge intimate details of their private lives, such as number of sexual partners, type of contraception used, thus providing a very interesting source of data for their GPs. Those GPs could then use that information at a later date to tell them that they are “overdue” and how important (given the circumstances) that they screen on time as “he” cannot give them their next pill script if they don’t submit.
      The thinking behind it in my view was that giving women the pill and all that freedom, came with a price. The price that in return for the pill, they were expected to provide ready access to their bodies for three reasons, 1.) Male gratification and patriarchal control of women; 2.) Research purposes; 3.) Money.
      The pill didn’t really provide freedom. It was swapping one form of control for another.
      How many times have we heard of nurses and doctors interfering in women’s relationships by implying that their husbands were unfaithful? Likely, women have been led into discussing their sex lives and to justify them. It’s sickening.

      It seems to me sometimes that we live in a society that is more interested with monitoring and controlling people’s bodies (I say people, because this morbid curiosity seems as though it’s gradually being extended to males), than it is about tackling crime ridden cities or serious offences etc.

      • KT says:

        I agree it is sinsister. I was reading about the witchunts and that any woman who looked ‘too sexual’ was accused of being a witch. The smear test seems to be a modern day version of that as now hpv is the marker of women’s sexual activity and they are treated for it with LLETZ. I’ve had the Lletz and it really destroyed my libido and caused all kinds of sexual problems. I’ve since used various healing modalities based on Tantra to recover my sexual function and discovered that the cervix is actually me of the most powerful, and orgasmic parts of a women’s body. I think on some unconscious level men have always known it and in patriarchal society they will try to suppress women’s sexuality whenever they can as it’s the way to suppress their power and self esteem.

  19. Happy Holidays Everyone!

    Sue XO

  20. Julie (UK) says:

    Hi Ada,
    Yes, I quoted data protection in the second letter to my GP in August 2017, telling them that they were in breach of it as I’d informed them previously I was opting out, but I’ve received a further 3 invites since then. However, when I made my complaint by email to PCSE mid-November this year, I quoted data protection again and within days I received a disclaimer letter to send back. They sent another one a week later for some reason so I sent them both back. They are supposed to be writing back to confirm when they have removed my name from the list, but as mentioned above, this week I’ve received the same letter/disclaimer again. No idea what’s going on. If I receive another standard invitation letter I will seriously consider making a complaint under the GDPR.

    • adawells says:

      They think that patients don’t know their rights, and that any old letter will do. CarolineBBlog saw a letter posted on twitter recently that simply told the woman to book an appointment. No mention of choice. Not all GP surgeries are using the NHS template (they don’t have to), and they are making up their own letters to send to people, usually done by someone with no GDPR training or awareness. That’s what gets me about the UK programme. The test is far from clear, but it’s all rolled out with those in the front line on the lowest pay and grade with the most basic knowledge. They don’t really know what they are doing and the public end up being treated like cattle.

      • Apocalyptic queen (UK) says:

        I take it the letter is sent by the “screening authority” in the first instance. That one is the one that mentions “choice” I think.

        My female relatives receive a very patronising letter from the surgery along the lines of, “as you’re aware, it’s now time for your cervical screening test. Please book an appointment”, sort of thing.

        They don’t go but they haven’t formally opted out like I have, so I don’t receive these pestering letters.

        We are really missing a trick with the GDPR. Let’s do what they’ve been doing to “non-compliant” women over the years and use the threat of a GDPR complaint.

      • The one I saw appeared to be a personalised letter directly from Dalefield Surgery and was a chaser because the lady in question hadn’t replied to her initial invite. The lady is disabled and cannot get on the bed for the test which has sparked a Go Fund Me for what I’m not 100% sure.

        The letter is literally a summons saying you haven’t replied, smear tests save lives and you need to call to book. No mention of choice or opting out at all. It’s disgraceful.

  21. I was sad to hear that Lisa Schwartz passed away from cancer in late November.
    Lisa was married to Steven Woloshin, they worked together at Dartmouth along with Gilbert Welch, Lisa and Steven wrote “Know your chances” and “Overdiagnosed”…along with lots of articles.

    I sent an email to Dartmouth a few years back, thanking them for their work and hoping they might also critically review cervical screening. (which always seems to dodge close scrutiny)
    I was surprised to receive an email from Lisa, updating me on their research projects.
    Lisa is in my medical hall of fame, i’m so grateful to Lisa and the Dartmouth team for their critical analysis of cancer screening and the increasing medicalisation of our lives.
    Lisa has left a lasting legacy…

    • adawells says:

      That’s very sad. Thanks for telling us about this wise lady. A shame she is hardly known in UK. It is always sad when someone of this calibre dies young, and she has pre-deceased her mother too. Just like Petr Skrabanek who died at only 53, it leaves the voices of common sense very quiet against the “preventive medicine” brigade. It makes you think what they could have achieved had they lived to a good age.

  22. katrehman says:

    Uk ladies daily mirror today government looking at lowering smear age to 18 after death of latest young woman

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Ah, another ‘debate’ triggered by yet another misguided petition. The evidence against screening young women is clear. These political debates rarely achieve anything, they’re just publicity stunts.

      • I had one young lady on Twitter, claimed she worked in the NHS looking at research and said there is a load of evidence the age should be lowered. Bizarrely though she couldn’t point me to any of said evidence other than her friend had been “been through it”. I sincerely hope she’s not really an NHS research professional with reasoning abilities like that!

        While the death is obviously sad I personally think it’s just another excuse for charities and pro-screeners to whip women up into a frenzy, right before the big money maker that’s the smear for smear campaign *vomit*

      • adawells says:

        From my experience she probably really is an NHS research professional with reasoning abilities like that.

    • adawells says:

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29649936
      Hi Kat,
      I noticed this came out recently from the “women are brainless” school of screening attitudes at UCL recently. Is it the survey you took part in?

    • adawells says:

      What infuriates me about all of these papers (and this group do this all the time), is that they start from the wrong starting point. Nearly all of them start off by saying that this test saves 5,000 lives per year. OK, they’ve started adding more couched terms like “up to, estimated to” in front of this number, but this has long since been shown to be much less than this, and a recent paper suggested the figure was more about 1700 women. So at the outset they are suggesting that those women who do decline are taking a huge risk when they are not.
      The other thing is that they claim that women who don’t attend are lacking information, knowledge, when we know that policy is deliberately to underinform women of harms and risks because they can terrorise them into going with Project Smear Fear. They always use the bottom line that any attendee is fully informed and understanding if they attend, when often it’s the most ardent supporters who don’t understand the test at all.

      • Do you know what would make a great survey/study? One that looks at the risks and harms of screening. It would be interesting to see how many women even know there are any and if pro-screening women actually believe them when presented with them in a factual way with evidence and data.

        I can’t see anyone doing said survey but it would be a hugely interesting read I’m sure.

      • adawells says:

        I’d love to see the actual statistics for this, but you will never see them published and the public allowed to know. How many babies died from preterm birth due to cervical procedures, or survived but with long term health issues due to prematurity? Another woman tweeted on twitter that she had to have c-sections because of cervical “treatments” preventing her cervix frpm opening, but never questioned the cervical treatments at all. So c-sections are another cost to screening treatments. Everywhere I read, preterm births are going up. This cost must be added to the programme.

  23. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    The NHS only needs to look at the old Australian program, we screened women from late teens, some GPs even screened girls under the age of 17, don’t know how many but when they were doing research comparing Gardasil records with pap testing records, it was mentioned that some girls were tested before age 17…and it was also mentioned that they shouldn’t have been tested, they were too young.

    Of course, we know that before 30 is too young – we know cervical screening does not help up to age 30 and now we know that only HPV+ women aged 30 to 60 have a small chance of benefiting from a 5 yearly Pap test.
    Early pap testing simply puts young women through an unnecessary test that carries a lot of risk, those under 25 produce a lot of false positives and that can mean biopsies and over-treatment, it can mean a damaged cervix before you’re 25 or 30. Serious stuff…
    As it is, we do HPV testing from age 25 even though the evidence is clear, no HPV testing before 30. I think they feared a revolt from some women if testing moved from teens to 30.
    Lots of our young women would have produced “abnormal” results and been referred, in other words, false positives, most of them don’t understand that, they think something was “caught”…so our “survivors” would have been more vocal with a move to start screening at age 30.
    When you’ve practiced excess for decades and urged women not to miss their 2 yearly test, it’s hard to suddenly change course.

    Thankfully, there’s been little push back here, we’ve finally pushed testing (HPV) to age 25, but I still read the odd comment from a GP complaining that it’s too late, that some girls are sexually active at 14, they just don’t get it…

  24. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    I also think age 25 was a concession to vested interests, to keep some lucrative work coming their way, young women were often referred under the old program and I imagine, that’s also happening now, when about 40% of women aged 25 to 29 are HPV+… that’s a nice stream of revenue for vested interests.
    It doesn’t seem to matter that f you left these women alone, all but about 5% would be HPV- by age 30.

  25. adawells says:

    I was very disappointed to see on the news last night about the UK governments future plans for the NHS. Money is going to be driven towards “preventive healthcare”, screening among other things. Nevermind that there is a UK shortage of 10,000 doctors 40,000 nurses, and patients’ beds crammed so close together in wards that infection rates are high. The BBC news announced this was requested by patient advocacy groups and charities. Same people who get money from drugs companies, and handouts from govt. Jo’s Tosh got £600,000 from the tampon tax. Screening is being used as a tool to drive private healthcare companies who create markets out of the worried well.

    • Kate (UK) says:

      ‘Preventative’ medicine is the modern form of snake-oil. And unfortunately there are a hell of a lot of salesmen who profit from it.
      While the Nazi obsession with the health of the nation was driven by racism, today the very same obsessions are driven by greed.

    • I was involved in a thread on Twitter that discussed wasteful NHS spending and obviously screening came up. According to the BBC, a million women aged 50 – 64 haven’t had a smear for at least 5 1/2 years. That’s only in that age bracket, younger ladies not included.

      Someone came up with the very astute observation that the “invitations” themselves are a huge waste. Assuming they’ll get the usual 3 “invitations” mailed to them, 2nd class post at 58p a go. OK, I know the NHS probably gets a postage discount but the wasted postage alone on 3 million letters is absolutely outrageous.

      It would pay for hundreds of GP appointments for people who are actually sick!!

      • Julie (UK) says:

        I agree, Caroline, and each invitation comes with a printed booklet, such a waste of resources, particularly when they continue to send them to women who have declined screening. Since March 2017, I have received 6 invitations (5 of which were sent after I had formally opted out in writing). Since making a complaint in November I have received, signed and returned 3 disclaimer letters (all identical and enclosing said booklet, I might add!) Lo and behold what do I receive in the post this Friday…? My SIXTH invitation letter and booklet!!!! I have now made another complaint and if this issue is not resolved I will take it to the Information Commissioner’s Office. This is blatant disregard for data protection legislation and NHS’s own guidelines.

  26. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    The Govt sends out a FOBT to people over 50, it’s piecemeal at the moment, but eventually, as funding becomes available, they want to test everyone 50 to 70 every 1-2 years. (might be 75)
    The uptake is fairly poor, last I heard it was under 40% – now that’s an absolute waste of money – also, the test arrives and some have had a screening colonoscopy so obviously won’t bother with the FOBT.
    Why not send out a card, tick and return if you want a test kit? Or, you register if you want the test.
    They won’t do that…too few would register!
    I do wonder how much money is wasted on kits that go in the bin.

    I’m never asked about bowel screening, GPs have cervical and breast screening in their view but bowel screening seems to get little attention, of course, bowel cancer is far more likely than cc.
    (not that I’m backing the FOBT – sadly, it doesn’t reduce all cause mortality, and you might get a false positive result which means a colonoscopy anyway – if you’re not happy to go there, not sure it’s worth doing the test)
    Colonoscopy – there are risks, even life threatening risks like perforation of the bowel also, infection, diverticulitis (some say it can cause this issue) – yes, they can remove polyps, but only 3% go on to become cancerous anyway..
    So people should carefully review the pros and cons before signing up.

    My elderly mother had a violent episode of vomiting after doing the pre-colonoscopy cleansing of the bowel – she also felt faint – ended up in hospital on a drip for 24 hours.
    A screening colonoscopy (the last one she had) – they think she had a small stroke while she was sedated, I dropped Mum at day procedure and picked up a very confused woman a few hours later – people need to understand they usually take you off Warfarin or similar blood thinning meds before the colonoscopy, in case they knick you, they don’t want you bleeding to death, but that means it ups the risk of clotting and strokes. My mother has never fully made up that ground – possibly 50%…thankfully, that was the end of colonoscopies for her. I’m not sure this risk is properly explained to older people, it was certainly never mentioned to Mum.

  27. We have another doctor here facing historic alleged sex offences, quite a few women have made similar complaints after three women went public alleging rape and sexual assault…one victim was only 16 at the time. The doctor, Con Kyriacou, was well known in the Greek community.
    I understand complaints were made many years ago (1980s and 90’s) but in one case, withdrawn, the woman didn’t think she’d be believed, in another case the woman was told it was her word against his, so dissuaded from pursuing the matter.
    Younger people might wonder how these things could keep happening, why women kept going back but the power of the doctor was absolute back then, and there were few female doctors. It was also very difficult to make a complaint. Some probably told themselves it must have been a medical exam, he was a doctor after all.
    I think most women just tucked medical trauma into the back of their minds and lived around it. There’s no doubt the system protected doctors…and the system enabled abuse, like coercion, holding the pill until the woman submitted to whatever the doctor “required”…might be a Pap test, breast exam, pelvic exam…or the lot.
    This doctor allegedly asked young women to strip naked, even for a cold, often did unnecessary vaginal and breast exams (massaging the breasts and flicking the nipples) and bizarrely directed the naked woman to stand with her back against his body, raise her arms and push back against him…this was supposed to be some sort of stretching or massage. The women, all describe the massage/stretching in the same way. It doesn’t sound like a medical exam to me…
    This man is now 75, he stopped practicing in 2017 and claims to now have some mental impairment. One of the victims said she was encouraged to take the matter further as a result of the MeToo movement.
    Anyway, will be interesting to follow the matter, the accused when asked about the claims of rape and sexual assault by these women said it was all “stupid”…

  28. adawells says:

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/eci.13062

    This new editorial has been causing quite a stir. Do read and enjoy this tasty morsel for the weekend. Not only is it calling for mammography to be stopped, but for the first time ever, even cervical comes in for some criticism. They usually leave that one out!

  29. ChasUK says:

    Across Facebook is that dam leaflet again, the one with the boy crying! Unbelievable!

  30. ChasUK says:

    Just got this: https://phescreening.blog.gov.uk/2019/01/16/cervical-cancer-prevention-week-blog-a-view-from-jos-cervical-cancer-trust/
    This stood out to me: “Ensuring every woman has the information they need to make fully informed decisions about cervical screening is at the heart of this” – THEN THEY FOLLOW WITH
    “national action to tackle declining screening attendance / sustained effort that we will overcome barriers to attendance / removing barriers to cervical screening goes hand in hand with supporting choice” – so as usual ignore the choice and convince (sorry coerce) every woman to screen!
    All about Jos trust – went to their web page as the links take you there and read up on the money!
    2017-2018 they made £1503808 and spent £839157

    • Disgraceful. I’m convinced saying it’s an ‘awareness campaign’ lets charities and doctors avoid objections around informed consent.

      There’s also ‘Cheers for Smears’ going on at the moment: https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/8134621/five-million-women-avoiding-smear-tests/

      My favorite part directly from Jo’s Tosh is “We want to make sure everyone is more vocal and positive about screenings because they do save lives”. Who the hell are they to say who speaks about what topic in what way?

      I’ve had a few Twitter ding dongs about this and I had an alleged NHS nurse tell me advocating for informed consent was an “anti smear agenda”. I don’t know where she got that wording from, she didn’t seem the brightest but it sounded like she’d picked it up from somewhere.

  31. ChasUK says:

    Oh look what I found today, never seen this one before:
    https://pcse.england.nhs.uk/media/1358/pc-cs-007-002-cease-informed-consent-v3.pdf
    Anyone who wants to opt out permanently, fill this out (keep a copy) and forward to your GP!

    • Julie (UK) says:

      That’s brilliant, I’m printing one off now and sending to my GP, despite already having signed and sent back 3 disclaimers all of which have been ignored (grrrr!), but this looks a bit more official than the tiny little tear off strip I’ve been sending back. Also, I noticed that this goes to the GP, whereas I’ve been told to return my disclaimer(s) to PCSE and they will inform my GP. Perhaps I might see some action if it goes to the GP first, but then again my GP already has 2 letters on my file to say I’ve opted out and instructing them to cease me on their database but they still insist on keeping my name on the list and sharing my personal details with PCSE in order to keep sending invites every 4 months. I’ve made a complaint to PCSE under data protection but not even got an acknowledgement as yet, although it’s less than a week ago. Fed up with them all at the moment.

    • At last! This should be sent along with “invitations”. Obviously it won’t be…

  32. ChasUK says:

    The only thing that worries me when sending the opt out letters/forms is whether this takes us out of the “1.5 million women missing their tests”? If we are no longer counted then that figure reduces and makes the screening look better than it is, or are we still counted….I just don’t know?

    • adawells says:

      I seem to remember reading somewhere too, that even if you’ve opted out permanently, you still count as a potential attendee, so you are counted among the non-attenders too.

  33. ChasUK says:

    Oh sorry I have just looked at your post CarolineBBlog – thank you, and it seems that nearly five million not taking them up……..yay I like that figure better LOL!

  34. adawells says:

    https://www.nhsemployers.org/QOF201819
    Another thing I’ve noticed is that QOF guidance has changed for cervical screening (see row CS002 in download). Previously, points were based on GPs getting 80% of under 50s women to screen every 3 years. This seems to have changed and QOF points are achieved if everyone now gets a test at least every 5 years. It’s probably due to most samples now being tested for HPV. GPs are not now needing to chase women every 3 years to get their incentive payments. Possibly why figures are dropping! Bring on the de-implementation!

  35. ChasUK says:

    PHE to launch national cervical screening campaign in March – yet again they didn’t post my comment! https://phescreening.blog.gov.uk/2018/11/30/phe-to-launch-national-cervical-screening-campaign-in-march-2019/
    My comment was the following, and I think it should have been let through!
    “All I ever see is how you are trying to increase the uptake in screening. To be honest it really isn’t right that women should be “convinced” or “persuaded/dissuaded” to screen or not, why does everyone think they have a right to tell us or encourage us, we have brains and we have the choice, it really is that simple! Screening has many harms too!
    Celebrities/MP’s/Local Councils/NHS/Family/Friends/Media/GP’s/Nurse even social media constantly bombarding us! If we don’t want it for whatever reasons then that should be that, end of, it is ridiculous that we are required to explain why or made to feel we are wrong for making a free choice, it really is no-one else’s business. You send the invite with the leaflet 3 times per year, we are free to choose either way and can research it online to assist us with our decision. It is high time a woman’s choice is respected and accepted, believe me it is not ever respected at any level! Choosing not to screen is just as valid a decision as choosing to screen! How dare anyone try to convince us otherwise, just so you can reach your targets! Seems like there is a price attached to a woman’s vagina and cervix. God help the next person to try scare tactics and coercion on me!”

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