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.

1,308 comments

  1. Piece in that’s life magazine this week women who don’t attend their smears will be sent a self test kit in the post is this a good idea? 1 woman for it one against. .

    • The self-testing is better than the constant pestering to get screened by the GP or nurse or somebody. However, they don’t mention how or by whom the follow-on tests are done. Those cannot be done by the woman herself, are painful and damaging. Part of the reason I will not have a pap is what would I do with any possible results? If they’re negative, great. I take no action. If they are “insufficient sample”, then I’m back to square 1, and have to put my feet back up, get another pap test and pay for two of them. If it’s abnormal, I get to have a LONG test, with my vagina cranked open wide, as they pull off pieces of my cervix without anesthesia. Having pieces of a sensitive area of my body pulled off with no pain control is out of the question. Then, there’s the infection risk: I haven’t been a patient in a hospital since 1998 when I did not have to go back to be treated for an antibiotic-resistant infection! If that’s positive too, then I get to go in for a LEEP – to have part of my cervix amputated – also out of the question. And a cone biopsy then, which is also out of the question for similar reasons. Then hysterectomy (goodby uterine orgasms). And chemo – and it’s in an advance directive that I refuse that. And/or radiation therapy. (Yeah. More ionizing radiation – increasing cancer risk.) Getting all of this when I don’t even have cancer seems absurd! But, it’s more likely than having cervical cancer.

      I don’t want this cascade of interventions, all at a high cost since I’m in the US, when there’s little risk that I’d even have cervical cancer. Why would I start it? Or, is CC like boiling water – if you just keep it under surveillance it will never boil – or become cancerous.

  2. Quite a long report, but is the latest I’ve seen on how the new NHS programme may look in the future.
    When UK is fully switched to HPV testing later this year, this report has found that those testing HPV- at 40, or “possibly younger” could be offered next test 10 years later. It also found that even if a woman gets an HPV infection in middle-age, it is highly unlikely for this to turn cancerous. I hope this will stop all those wanting testing to go on in later life.
    It has also found that recalling HPV+ women annually until infection clears ( as now), is far too frequent, and could be extended to 3 year retesting. The only unfortunate thing is that they may reduce the age at first test to 22 with a follow up test at 25, to sort and follow more closely those with most hazardous types of HPV, and let others have much reduced lifelong recall.
    It is all beginning to mirror the Dutch programme very closely, many years too late.
    https://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/hta/hta23280/#/s6

    • Hello,

      I’m new here and just reading through the discussions. I came across this on false positives in HPV testing.

      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405852118301423

      A quote from the paper: “It is impossible to weigh exactly the cost of missing a cancer against the harm done by hundreds or thousands of false-positive HPV tests. Nonetheless, we are forced to consider such trade-offs, and need to better minimize harm to untold numbers of women as we increase cervical-screening sensitivity by use of HPV testing.”

      The real-life story recounted at the end of the page sums up some of the concerns.

      • Oh, the irony! The Pap test causes huge amounts of overdiagnosis & overtreatment, yet they’ve never cared about that. And now we’re looking at a test which *gasp* women can perform themselves, they’re suddenly concerned about potential harms.
        Yep. Delay self-testing for as long as possible by insisting on study after study to prove its worth, yet at the same time insist all women still need to trot along for an invasive exam which has NEVER been through any trials.
        Quite obviously trying to protect the industry, not women.

  3. Just getting a HPV self test might be ok but I would want control of the access to test results to be private and not have to shared with a health professional without my permission. All the registry programmes seem to not want that privacy and control by the woman of her own medical information.

    • Never ceases to amaze me how they talk about women having choices in treatment like this. In reality, women are pushed through treatments like cattle, with most having very little understanding of the entire process.

      • Haven’t you heard? We WOULD BE DROPPING LIKE FLIES if we didn’t put our feet up in stirrups and have those nice gyns scrape our cervix every year! You know, even before so many women had the stress of careers and the stress of divorce, it was the #1 killer of women! You know, back around 1900, the life expectancy from birth was only about 45 years.

        We need to be thankful we don’t have to live with all that fear now.

        We just need to forget about little things that made us more comfortable, like sanitary drinking water, indoor plumbing, much lower rates of tuberculosis, heated homes, no longer cooking over open fireplaces, much-lower rates of dysentery, polio, flu, smallpox, tetnus, etc, access to fresh fruits and vegetables all year, refrigeration, generally adequate nutrition…. the little stuff that never made much difference.

      • They knew that would happen but I suspect throwing young women under the bus was to appease vested interests who stood to lose a lot of business with the move to hpv testing.

        The lifetime risk of colposcopy and biopsy (and sometimes more than that) under our old program was a shocking 77%…that’s clear by the number of women who tell me they’ve had bad or pre-cancerous cells off…mostly before age 30. (And often more than once)

        The new program based on evidence would have greatly reduced over-investigation and over-treatment but going against the evidence, doing too many tests and starting at 25, was, in my opinion, a sweetener to keep mouths shut, vested interests could have scared the herd.

        So to keep women in the dark, I think excess was viewed as the safest option.

      • Why do they always say we were the first country to move to hpv testing?
        I think the Netherlands were the first to move to hpv testing…in January, 2017
        Honestly, they can say what they like, and no one corrects them

  4. Hi 🙂 I’ve come on here a couple of times anonymously, and I have been greatly satisfied with the support I’ve gotten from many other amazing women here ❤ I just have a question… or two or three lol
    So, even if the cost is a little more, are pelvic ultrasounds (NOT transvaginal ultrasounds) just as good as the invasive pelvic exams, if not better? Good as in accurate? I've suspected many times in my life before going on the pill that I might have endometriosis, because my periods were NIGHTMARES. They were u n h o l y. Thank goodness the pill saved my freaking life, like seriously solved EVERY problem I had before and I've had absolutely no side effects that I know of… But my periods were extremely painful and pretty much disabling because I literally could not do anything until the pain finally went away. Couldn't work, go to school, or even sit down and relax and play my favorite video games or draw or something. It got to the point where the pain meds would only dull the pain enough for me to barely walk around but only for like 30 minutes, then come back full force. I would be bedridden for 3 days straight. My whole cycle would be shorter than 27 days and very rarely would actually be a full 28 days. I was extremely heavy most of the time and the pain was so much I've been close to vomiting several times, and I'd get that awful lower back pain. Sometimes it did feel like the pain would go to the bowel area and I'd feel constipated, or get diarrhea. No in between. That can't be normal… but of course, once I went on the pill, all that bullsh** disappeared and I have normal cycles finally. I wouldn't know about pain during sex though when I wasn't on the pill because I didn't lose my virginity until my wedding night with my husband, and I had already been on the pill for about a year and a half, so I was already well protected and stuff. So, as of now of course, sex is not painful for me. I understand that not all women have all the obvious symptoms of endometriosis, but all those horrible period symptoms I had BEFORE going on the pill made me suspect that I might have it, but I still refused to get a pelvic exam because of how horribly invasive it is. So, with all this being said, would pelvic ultrasounds be a good alternative to a pelvic exam? If I really feel that I may have endometriosis, I kinda want to know, just without getting a stranger's fingers shoved into my vagina :/

    • Technically a pelvic ultrasound may be more accurate because it shows images of the internal pelvic structures rather than just feeling the outline of them as is done in a pelvic exam. However, whether this test is “good” is another story. It often picks up benign findings like ovarian cysts that usually go away on their own, but once found on ultrasound, may lead to further monitoring and possibly surgery. In other words, ultrasounds are a good way for a woman to jump on the medical merry go round. Whether or not you have endometriosis, It sounds like you’re fortunate to have gotten relief from your difficult periods via the pill, which limits the amount of uterine lining that builds up each cycle. Personally since you’re feeling well I think you should leave well enough alone, but if you do decide to seek further testing I know you’ll go into it with your eyes wide open. .

  5. I am sorry for your suffering. I suggest that you see a naturopathic doctor for your endometriosis. Changing your diet, lifestyle and taking vitamins and herbal treatments might be helpful. Some ideas are lorna vaderhaege supplements, castor oil packs, diets eliminating bloat, yoga, epsom salt baths, depletion tampons.

    Conventional medicine will just offer your pain meds and a hysterectomy when you are done having children. You might have to endure multiple pelvic exams, hysteroscopy, endometrial sampling and other tests are are invasive and painful from gynaecologists before surgery to remove your uterus and ovaries. Paying for a pelvic ultrasound to confirm you have endometriosis when your body is telling you something is wrong is not going solve anything. You know from your symptoms that you might have it. Just seeing where the tissue is on an ultrasound does nothing.

    • Thank you both for your responses! That’s good to keep in mind… good lord… this is ridiculous that we have to go through, what Judy said, the “medical merry go round.” Jeez, if they care about women’s health so much, why do they jump to so many unnecessary conclusions?! Ugh, I swear it’s just to get their hands all up in your business :/ I think, as far as what you guys have said, I’ll probably just have to stick with the pill, because it’s been the only thing that has been able to relieve my symptoms. I have not had nearly as much pain with a period since my last period I had BEFORE the pill. I’ve still had a little bit of cramping, but they’re so small that I can actually go about my day like it’s nothing, obviously because the pain is nowhere near the degree it was before, haha. I guess the only thing I’d have to worry about is fertility… I heard that it can affect your fertility, and I do plan on having kids eventually. Not really anytime soon because I’m still in college and have a year left, but I’m 24 now and I still think I have some time left. Other than that, as far as periods go, the pill literally saved my life, and I’m ever so grateful for it!

  6. Daily fail today ladies 26 yr old with CC devastated she’ll never have kids following hysterectomy is begging the Government to lower smear age to 16….

    • Yuk! I think this must be the article, The Daily Fail churns these stories out almost on a weekly basis.
      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7326525/Healthy-woman-diagnosed-cervical-cancer-25-begs-Government-lower-smear-test-age.html

      Have just read of a 30 year old Downs Syndrome (virgin) lady put through a smear test “because of her medication”. Someone has asked what medication could this could possibly be. Sister replied that her sister is on the minipill and injections for psoriasis and that the smear was necessary in the UK because of this and for the family’s “peace of mind”. It’s so sad that GPs promote such ignorance.

      • Funny isn’t it, people always cite “people of mind” as a reason for screening for cervical cancer but rarely in conjunction with the 100 odd other known cancers.

        It’s almost like they’re brainwashed by the ‘awareness’ campaigns, health professionals bullying and ignorant of the real risks….

      • I felt sick reading it. And then there was the usual family member who has died of it and the personal experience of having abnormal cells removed. Some people are just so thick.

        At work today I had to endure colleagues talking about the menopause and all the terrible symptoms they’ve suffered for years, but most of what they were talking about is absolutely nothing to do with the menopause at all, but because they are plain and simple stupid people who do a lot to make themselves ill.
        Can I last until retirement in the NHS? God give me strength!

    • So, what is the end for this? Perhaps all baby girls need to have their cervix, uterus, ovaries, and breasts removed to prevent them from becoming cancerous?

  7. Commented but nothing showing yet. I am disturbed by her photos with all the smiles looking fab, she seems to be enjoying all the attention, this is not how cancer victims should act. She did not actually need the screening test, what she required was immediate referral for diagnostic tests!

    • Moreover, she probably does NOT actually have cancer, particularly at age 26. Hormonal changes can give false positives. At worst, she’s got Atypical Squamous Cells of Uncertain Significance – NOT cancer. She MAY end up a survivor of cancer treatments. 😦

      Misery loves company, so why not screen all of those 16 and up (even if it’s their first penetrative experience), and virgins cannot have HPV nor possibly benefit from screening – although they can be harmed. The harm involved of having one’s first penetrative sexual experience being done coercively in a medical setting using an object that features blades is unfathomable.

  8. What does having bubble baths have to do with hpv? That is one of the questions they are entering into the cervical cancer screening database along with age of first period, age of first sex, how many children, if you use tampons, sex toys or have anal sex. The first three items might seem like perfectly acceptable medical history questions. The rest are “none of your business”. Now I give “none of your business” when I get asked for when was your last pap test.

  9. I did not realise that apparently many are linked with the birth control pill, many what I wonder? Abnormals CIN or real cancer. It definitely states CANCER though.
    If that is the case then there would be a hell of a lot more lives saved than the guestimated 3000,4000,5000 – depending where you read of course, but in this particular article
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7326525/Healthy-woman-diagnosed-cervical-cancer-25-begs-Government-lower-smear-test-age.html
    it states it on the right hand side just before the video, and the source of this was from none other than Cancer Research UK!!
    I have no idea how many thousands of women use the pill but whatever that figure is they are saying 10% cervical cancer is caused by it.

    •Contraceptive pill – linked to 10 per cent of cases WHAT A LOAD OF SHITE!

    • She says:

      ‘The legal consent age for a woman to have sex is 16 years old, as we are all aware this often happens before the age of 16.”

      She speaks for herself. It reminds me of a letter I once read from a Belgian gynaecologist criticising the British programme, on its complete absence of honest truths about how women get cervical cancer, & the WHO also says much the same thing, that the biggest risk is having underage sex as a teenager. Other countries promote abstinence in schools and in sex education, but UK seems to have high teenage pregnancy rates compared to other western European countries, yet never raises this as a major risk for cervical cancer. . Instead of chavs like this woman and Jade Goody promoting screening, the message should be to encourage girls not to sleep around when they are at school. This woman is trying to normalise the underage sex she clearly experienced as an under 16 year old when it is illegal, but thinks she is right to sign petitions to “change the law” to have screening accommodate this.These people just don’t get it that they brought this upon themselves.

      • It can be more complicated than that. Some people, including girls, had sex when we were extremely young – toddlers, or at least pre-pubescent, and had no say in the matter when it happened. We had no control over what happened to our bodies, who penetrated them, when, or how. We still don’t when coercive pap screening is “offered” to us. We can choose, but are denied other healthcare if we do, and are coerced and bullied… much like when we were children. It’s hard to deal with, and undermines mental health treatment we may have gotten that told us we were adults, and now WE decide on who, how, when, and whether our bodies are penetrated.

      • Yes, I don’t mean to criminalise or blame children who suffered sexual abuse, as that’s a completely separate issue, but those girls who are aware of what they are doing and having sex whilst still at school. There were a couple in my class at school, who had babies at about 16. They were right show offs who threatened other girls to join them.

        This lady in the article is almost boasting about underage sex being the norm. It isn’t and it makes me mad that all women in the UK are treated like this, because of these chavs. It’s all part of the British programme to convince all women that we are all Jade Goodies and all have the same risk. Horrible.

      • We had underaged sex against our will, which they now say greatly increases CC risk, which can only be reduced if we let someone else penetrate us against our will. Lowering the age of consent won’t “fix” the problem, but it might allow medicalized rape at earlier ages.

      • Women aren’t believed when we say that we’re not having sex, or if we say that we’re only having sex with one other person in a mutually-monogamous relationship. It is considered the “norm”, by them, that everyone is having a LOT of sex, and unsafe sex.

        Underaged girls who are having sex are often having it through a lot of coercion – not just from the other girls who proudly sleep around (and have early pregnancies), but the boys do it to – of course for their own reasons. Their lines haven’t changed in hundreds of years, but they can always get girls to fall for them.

        It is illegal for an adult to have sex with an underage child. Period. That law needs to be enforced, rather than assume all girls have been sexualized very early. Although… statistics being what they are… that isn’t extremely far from the truth.

        The message should be that YOU are in control of your body, YOU decide who penetrates it when or how. Anyone forcing or coercing you to be penetrated against that will is a criminal, and must be reported, and it must be investigated and someone arrested/tried when there is evidence for it happening..

        We’re getting into basic human rights of bodily autonomy and bodily integrity now. See https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/cambridge-law-journal/article/nature-and-significance-of-the-right-to-bodily-integrity/79703F3BE9C5C21BB76338C050E951BC/core-reader for a long discussion of that right.

  10. Oh and on Cancer Research UK it actually states the following:

    “Research shows that cervical screening prevents at least 2,000 cervical cancer deaths each year in the UK”
    https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cervical-cancer/getting-diagnosed/screening/about

    So less than everywhere else I have read! This really has to be the worst BS screening programme ever!

    Another thing from the daily mail article, it says she was diagnosed in November 2018 – so why oh why are the pictures saying tests were in May 2019 6 months later, afterall she went due to bleeding so didn’t need a smear test she needed diagnostic tests immediately not 6 months later!
    “Emily-Rae Rushmer was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer at the age of 25 in November 2018. She is pictured in May 2019 at hospital to have tests”

    Anyway, I am taking a break next but will catch up with all your fab comments on my return.

  11. Just seen piece in telegraph saying due to narrow doorways and lack of hoisting equipment disabled women are being denied smears and it’s wrong because they save lives. This was yesterday. There was another piece a while back somewhere else saying same thing….

      • I’ve not seen one single article that disabled women are up in arms they can’t access breast screening even though it kills more than CC…..

      • I’ve never had a mammogram. My husband had a diagnostic mammogram a few months ago. He says that he had to STAND in the mammography machine – in his case, for about 20 minutes – he got a lot more images taken than one gets in a screening mammography. He says that for a couple of the pictures, he had to stand at a very awkward and uncomfortable angle. I know that I could not even get into that position!

        What of women who are confined to wheelchairs? How about the many elderly women who have trouble standing very still in a mammography machine, even for 5 minutes?

        Or, is breast cancer screening unimportant for them? I’m sure that with the hysteria that these “awareness campaigns” gin up, some of these disabled and elderly women are panicking that they can’t get their boobs squashed.

        My Mom, who passed away in 1997 from post-polio syndrome, and was confined to a wheelchair for decades before she was confined to a bed, never mentioned that anyone ever suggested that she get a mammogram. She got her annual paps though – using a lift to get on the examination table, and a nurse positioned her legs.

      • Kat, I’ve seen that Jo’s Tosh are really launching into this “disabled women denied smears campaign”. It’s all over twitter and they are asking more disabled women to come forward and be promoted as poor helpless disabled women who are denied smears. They’ve got that young woman with the 2 children, who says she needs a hoist but her GP surgery won’t buy one for her, and another older lady with muscular dystrophy who has been all over the tabloids. Saw that the charity Muscular Dystrophy UK is going to run a joint campaign with Jo’s. This is such a complaint about nothing, as these women have little excuse if they want it so badly. It’s really sick what pathetic claims these charities are making.
        A disgraceful waste of public funds given in good faith to a bunch out to have a good time “raising awareness”.

  12. Same anonymous person on here again from last week!
    So, I KNOW that cervical cancer is extremely rare. However, somewhere listed that long term use of oral contraceptives is a risk of cervical cancer. That’s the only thing I’m afraid of, because I NEED birth control to ease my awful period symptoms… I have heard that for most women, after having their first child, their periods are much better, but I’m afraid that mine will go back to what they used to be if I don’t take birth control after I have my first child (I’m not pregnant now btw) so I’m afraid that I’ll just need birth control for the rest of my life until I encounter menopause… I mean, they did specify that it’s just the oral contraceptives like the pill, but what about the shot or the rod or… something?? Will that make a difference? I still don’t that I’ll be in THAT much risk of cancer but still, I just want to be sure and safe, and away from pap smears and pelvic exams 😄

    • Even if there is a slightly increased risk for cervical cancer there is also a benefit to long term pill use and that is a reduction of your risk of ovarian cancer, the most deadly gynecological cancer of all. This type of cancer is rare too, but still much more common than cervical cancer and far more deadly. I hope you’re able to obtain your pills without invasive exams, btw.

      • Even if there is a slightly increased risk of CC from hormonal contraceptives, this gets into the grave misunderstanding of RELATIVE RISK vs ABSOLUTE RISK. Let’s say, for instance, that it doubles the risk of CC. There is an overall lifetime risk of 0.65% of CC, so if it’s doubled, that’s a 1.3% risk – which is still not a high risk. As women take the contraceptive pill for various reasons, including menstrual cramps or heavy periods as well as for contraceptive use, it does NOT follow that women on the pill suddenly become sluts who have unprotected sex with everyone! Absolute risk remains small, although the relative risk is high. So, the pap-pushers glom onto this relative risk and tell us we need to be penetrated frequently.

        Then, there are other relative/absolute risks. Take heart disease, which is the cause of death of more than half of women. The pill increases the relative risk of that slightly – but it translates into a MUCH higher absolute risk, considering how many women have heart disease or die of heart disease. But, that’s not as much fun or as invasive to test for, so women aren’t being looked at for heart conditions, and treated much less aggressively if we have a heart attack than is a man with the same condition.

        Giving birth to a child might make these menstrual problems for which the pill is prescribed better – but at what cost? If a woman were to get pregnant, and do what the medical system expects, she will have a LOT of invasive exams, and subject to harmful interventions. She’d probably get penetrated fewer times in her life if she just was a good girl and submitted to a pelvic/pap test every time they wanted to give it to her for the pill.

      • Thankfully I’ve managed to steer clear of invasive exams when getting my pills!! Thankfully I haven’t had pushy doctors doing that to me. They HAVE told me of course that it “needs to be done soon because you’re sexually active now” (because somehow I guess my husband’s semen will just poison my insides or something because that’s TOTALLY how it works 🙄) but thankfully they haven’t told me “it’s for my own good” or forced me or anything!

    • Hi Anon.
      Hmm. I’m not entirely convinced that the pill increases your risk, and even if it does, that risk is still tiny.
      They do seem to clutch at anything ‘linked’ to cervical cancer and use it as a stick to beat women into submission. Every cervix is ‘high risk’ when there’s a price tag on it.
      I do think there’s a possibility the pill could raise the chances of getting a false positive pap due to the hormonal changes it causes, at least if it’s early days and your body is still adjusting.

      Anyway, I do recall seeing a paper some years ago where they theorised the pill could increase your cancer risk, but that seemed to be based on the notion that every women who takes the pill is using it for contraception, will become a raging nympho and practice unsafe sex, and will thus become riddled with STI’s including HPV.

      BTW I had terrible periods in my younger days, I often ended up curled up on the floor crying in pain.
      The pill didn’t help me, though, but then there are so many different types I probably could have found one that helped if I’d persevered, but I got sick of dealing with idiot medics and there intrusive inappropriate questions and gave up after a few years.
      Even though we’re not ‘required’ to have pelvics and paps here in the UK to get the pill, it can be an uphill struggle to get a correct diagnosis & treatment.
      Anyway, I can safely say that mine got much better over time – I’m now in my late forties and when the cramps get too insistent a few paracetamol shuts them up. When my periods were at their worst no painkillers would dull the pain. And I too was advised it would improve once I had children… never had any, though.

      • Sorry guys, the Anon post directly under Judy was my previous fudged attempt.

        Reading about all the PR stunts Jo’s Tosh keeps pulling, this springs to mind:

        Oh JT
        How do I loathe thee
        Let me count the ways…

  13. Hi all. I’m sure there’ll be a huge furore Bout smears again in the UK as the telegraph this week reports the wife of our PM Boris Johnson has cervical cancer. …of course she urges us to attend our smears…..

    • She doesn’t say what stage it was. I’m wary because often women with CIN 3 think they have or had cervical cancer when they haven’t. And yes, cue the media rush that we must all get our smears!! Not bloody likely…

      • So true Ozphoenix. Also our beloved daily fail has jumped on the bandwagon and is running the story. So far my comments have been allowed…..

      • The women who’ve had CIN3 and going on about being cancer survivors so “Get your smears, Ladies” seem to miss the fact that they are NOT cancer survivors, but rather CC TREATMENT survivors.

  14. Even the language in the write up is suspiciously vague. A routine check “revealed the problem” which “led to procedures.” If the”problem” was indeed cervical cancer, what was the stage? And what were the procedures? Why is it that with anything in the media covering women’s health, the story is always long on emotion and short on facts?

    • Revealed the problem in January. Led to procedures in June-July. If the problem was cervical cancer (or any cancer, infection, dysfunction, or so forth), why did it take 6 months to figure out they should do some “procedures”? Something is rotten about this, and stinks of either overuse, overdiagnosis, or just plain something pretty minor.

      It seems that any time any woman has “something wrong” that requires some “procedures”, the belief is “Oh, it MUST BE CERVICAL CANCER!” I’ve seen it in the press (seldom provable), and seen it among people in my extended family. “Aunt Minnie had cancer (in her girlie parts). IT MUST BE CERVICAL CANCER!” If you ask Aunt Minnie, she’ll say, “Yeah, I had ovarian cysts” “I had fiberoid tumors.” or even “I had uterine cancer.” Once they’re convinced of CC, there is no amount of information that can ever dissuade them, so it seems.

  15. There is truly a conspiracy somewhere, for reasons that must be driven by perversion, to make the risk of this illness seem much higher than it really is. Three articles I saw yesterday about it – Boris Johnstone’s ex-wife, the disabled women who aren’t getting tested, and a story about a woman who was sexually abused saying that she finally went for a smear after blogging about it and getting support on-line.

    Honestly, what is going on? Why all the focus on this when people are dropping from heart disease, other common cancers, strokes, dementia – you hardly hear anything about those problems, nope, it’s all about the cervix.

    It is sickening. If the cervix was on the knee, no-one would be interested in it, it’s only because of it’s location are there people queuing up to examine it. It’s all rooted in perversion.

    • https://www.grace-charity.org.uk/who-we-are

      Amy, I once counted about 8 charities for cervical cancer in the UK. That’s practically one charity for 100 deaths, most of them in their 80s. I honestly believe it is because they can make so much money out of it by the endless repeat testing, treatments and checkups. It is a real cash cow for private medicine, so I think private companies are behind a lot of the scaremongering. What is this charity doing at Surrey NHS County Hospital? Why is it covering the exact same ground as Eve Appeal? I think this is private business getting started under the guise of a charity because they can pay no tax if a charity and avoiding NHS restrictions on pointless testing.

      • As in most things, follow the money.

        The charities make tax-free money. Those taking the smears get money. Those making the test kits get money. The labs make money. Those providing (private) follow-on testing, procedures, or treatment make money. They provide material for resident surgeons who have to participate in a number of hysterectomies (and other surgical procedures) to become actual physicians. This makes money for those manufacturing, distributing, or providing chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

        Then, on the side somebody can humiliate a bunch of “uppity women” who are so empowered as to have these oh-so-important tests, humiliate more passive women. And, some test-takers or procedure-givers have the added advantage as to put their fingers in someone’s cooch. Or, they do it to check boxes, getting a good bit more reimbursement for being “thorough”, all for 5 minutes of a hands-on peep show.

        It doesn’t seem to matter to them that they can do a LEEP in about 2 minutes that will ruin somebody’s life. Or, a punch biopsy without anesthesia ripping off part of someone’s genitals, and ruin her sex life for months, years, or forever. The PTSD caused by this has to be a good source of material for psychologists too.

  16. You only have to look at the Pink Ribbon commercial machine to see how vested interests have seized on breast cancer and screening as a winner, for them – if you look at how some of these charities spend their money, it’s telling too, not much on research into better treatments or a cure but on more awareness campaigns, spreading fear and misinformation. Some companies claim to support breast screening or research, a donation with every sale, but when you have a closer look, the donation is tiny – it’s just a way of marketing – using breast cancer and screening to sell their products.

    Women have been treated as fair game, those who should have protected us, came to the table with dirty hands so couldn’t really do anything without exposing their own culpable conduct.

    How can you possibly say in 2019 that screening is in the woman’s best interest so only that side should be pushed on her – that exaggerations and outright lies are fine if it helps reach a screening target? That any pressure or coercion is acceptable…

    The practice of sending a woman a pre-arranged appt is arrogant, manipulative and unethical – it’s a tactic to pressure women into screening or to feel they must call and cancel…and face pressure to make another appt.

    I’d say to any woman receiving an appt to throw the letter in the bin, if you hear from them, “thought it was a mistake, I didn’t make an appt for breast screening”…

    • Elizabeth I agree. I think it’s awful they summon a woman to breast screening without asking her opinion but I have to say I personally felt obliged to cancel my 1st ever summons so it could go to someone who actually wanted it. In the UK I believe if you just ignore it they send another app just to be safe ( or make you feel you have to go)?! I rang to cancel and I have to say I wasn’t put under any pressure or asked any questions. My no I don’t want to reschedule was accepted without comments. I formally opted out immediately as I wasn’t prepared to keep cancelling unwanted appointments. I think since mammon aren’t done in GP surgery there’s less financial gain for our docs so we aren’t pushed so much. Ladies what’s been your experience. ?

      • I did actually have an interesting discussion about my on screening last year with a brilliant African lady doc at my practice when I went for help with menopausal sweats and flushes. Natural remedies weren’t helping and I made it very clear no HRT. She offered clonidine or antidepressant. …I chose clonidine. Asked why I didn’t want HRT…was it a family risk?…I said no no one agrees if it’s safe or not and I’m not prepared to risk it plus the increased risk of female cancers and I’m not prepared to start screening for them.
        Why don’t you screen. She asked and I told her… CC LIFETIME risk so low, woman my history unlikely to have HPV and if my risk changed I’d do a self test plus women my age likely to produce abnormal results due to hormones. Breast cancer well over treatment worries over radiation and squashing delicate tissue. She couldn’t argue with anything I said,
        Last year I refused meds for dangerously high BP I got it down to just above normal myself diet and exercise. I sought treatment for chronic insomnia lasting years a few months ago and take a tiny dose of amitryptilune which is helping. BP IS now normal! It could very well have been the increased cortisol levels due to not sleeping days on end raised it in 1st place……

  17. If disabled women want cervical screening, you don’t need hoists, you offer HPV self testing, there’s even self paps available too. A woman in a wheelchair should be able to manage a self test, even if she ends assistance, it will be easier than a speculum exam. (and less likely to cause injury and pain)
    Use common sense – instead they refuse to give us options, instead putting women though invasive and often unnecessary testing…and even more undignified with hoists and positioning of legs etc.

    • If the comments of the two cytologists don’t prove it’s all about them and never about the best interests (relatively speaking) of the patients, I don’t know what does.

      • Omg, that is hilarious! And sick. Let me explain:

        I am unemployed after four years working in a fossil-fuel-adjacent industry (smoke testing), laid off due to the decline of fossil fuel industries, and have been for nearly a year and a half. I’ve scraped a couple seasonal positions here and there,but have no idea how I’m going to get by.

        And at no point have i, for a moment, had bad feelings towards clean energy! As much as it sucks for me and for my former employers,who were great people I liked a whole lot, I can recognize that overall, it is a win for the world. I can find another job, even if it’s hard, but there’s only one planet, and I would never wish to keep a damaging system going that will hurt future generations just so I can have my steady paycheck for the moment.I

        I have no sympathy for these cytologists, and I am always nauseated when people suggest we should keep a broken system that damages people do jobs can be spared and no other reason. I had people say that to me about warrantless drug testing too–sure, it’s demeaning and inaccurate and damages lives as well as the trust between people and reduces all innocent citizens to guilty convicted criminals who must perpetually prove an innocence that will never fully be proven…but the jobs that will be lost if we stop! That’s the important thing!

        When people start whining about jobs lost, you know they no longer have valid arguments against your side.

  18. Kat, I had trouble sleeping in my late 40s-early 50s, it went on for about 4 years, I’m sure it was hormonal, it was exhausting – a family friend is going through the same thing now, and she’s also, late 40s.

    I recently found a natural product that works well, made by Blackmores, their executive sleep formula, looking at reviews it doesn’t work for everyone, but it certainly works for me and my husband.

    “The natural ingredients are hops, lemon balm and passionflower which are all traditionally used in Western Herbal medicine for their calming and sedative actions. With regular daily use, Blackmores Executive Sleep Formula™ can also provide relief from disturbed sleep patterns to wake refreshed (without associated drowsiness).”

    I only take it a few times a month, but wish I’d known about it in my 40s!

  19. You’re welcome, hope it works for you too.
    This forum is a bit like the village fountain, women gathering and sharing information, I’ve picked up so many tips here.

  20. UK ladies if you can stomach it (not sure I can) BBC TV tonight the vomitable Ms Goody talks about the smear she had b4 doing big brother India and jer CC diagnosis and how she worked to increase knowledge of smears and CC. .

    • I don’t know what it is about Jade Goody but I cannot stand the way that women was forced down our throats when she was alive and even tho she has been dead for years we never stop hearing about her.

      I won’t be watching it Kat as I can imagine what they are going to spew at us. (I might watch it tho)

  21. As expected, poor Jade is being used again by the screening police to promote the cause. Jade was a victim during her short life and is still being shamelessly exploited after her death.

  22. The YouTuber dramatic Mac , I think she’s from Scotland has just posted a video. My smear test results not what I expected. I used to watch her but I can’t . I’m sure she’s convinced she has cancer. And scaring other woman. I’m starting to feel like a freak for not having paps. It seems like the whole world is brainwashed. I’m in the US. I’m so glad to know this site is heAr I can’t stand it, I feel silenced. Why should I feel like this? I’m so sick of hearing Pap smear talk every time I turn around. Even worse that I’m as woman expected to do this . Sorry got the rant . I just needed to vent. I’m just tired of all this testing being pushed at us.

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