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.

1,737 comments

  1. Beth I totally agree. I’m fuming now because I needed an appoint urgently but had to wait ages as the only available appointments were with Dr Smear Test who hijacks my time with smear pressure. Finally had appointment with someone else signed off work on the spot going for xray tomorrow with suspected neck and shoulder nerve damage! So how could a smear have helped that?? Blergg

    • Yes. They claim that there is a doctor shortage and nursing shortage, and people have to wait a long time for urgent appointments, but they find all of this time for the pap crap and associated pressure for that and other screenings. Even when you get an appointment for an urgent matter, it’s hijacked with pap crap (whether you give in or not), then a second wait for the “urgent” matter – which has often cleared up by then or it’s gotten severe enough to send you to the hospital.

      Oh, but if there was only a way these people could be persuaded to see a doctor for an urgent matter before it became an emergency….

      In the US, it’s all good, because it all costs money payable to the physician’s group, hospital, and physician.

    • Kat, I’ve only just picked up on your comments. It’s a worry that in spite of the NHS being so strapped for cash, there’s nothing stopping the screening juggernaut, aka preventive healthcare, which is Matt Hancock’s pet project. I largely think it is because this arm of medicine is highly marketable, and has been largely privatised already, especially in London, although always under the NHS logo. I’ve noticed a lot of hospitals offering evening drop-in services, as well as some GP surgeries.

  2. Beth it’s not good is it? I’m just praying there’s no lasting damage with my neck and shoulder. It’s horrendously painful. Bit what’s scarier is the women who manage illnesses like asthma and diabetes themselves with drugs from the Internet because they can’t face the pap crap

    • I hope your neck and shoulder recover fully and SOON. I’m sorry you’re in so much pain. 😦

      It has crossed my mind to “manage” my diabetes and hypothyroid on my own. I don’t trust most of the online pharmacies – which actually broker their sales through the Philippines, often with counterfeit drugs originating in China or other countries with no protections for such things as patents. I understand some people have had good results from some of them though.Eating boiled chicken necks would get me some thyroid hormone, and I would have to eat MUCH less to keep my blood sugar in check without medications.

      Honestly – should anyone have to choose being triggered through a year or periodic flashbacks as the “price” to get medical treatment for an actual condition for that year – only to be repeated the next year. Especially when I have “access” through a government-funded program? Even if I accept that my risk for coming up with CC this year is 0.0056%, whereas being retriggered on rape/sexual abuse has an 8% rate for successful suicide…. hmmm, let me think.

      Do you think for one second that I’m going to even consider the notion of colposcopy/”punch biopsy” (tearing off hunks of my cervix (with clitoral nerves, no less! and without anesthesia) or “cone biopsy” (with even more risks, including to pelvic and vagus nerves!)

      Holding my medical treatment hostage to “agreeing” to such, or even implying that, is not much different than holding a knife to someone’s throat, and demanding sexual access implying they will slit her throat if they don’t. The second situation is considered a violent act, and although someone could theoretically say, “No sex for you. Go ahead and stab me!”, it’s hardly “consent”. It’s rape. It’s also rape when it’s done via pure coercion (you will permit me to penetrate your vagina and/or anus or I’ll refuse to treat you for life-limiting conditions). If a plumber refused me their professional services unless I offered myself to them sexually, that too would be rape, even though I won’t die from broken plumbing. What gives doctors a pass on this?

      • Know this. I take my copy of the Trovagene Urine Based HPV test I completed in 2015 which is 93% accurate vs pap at 50%. I give that to my doctor proving I’m “clean” and so is my husband. I have not been challenged into having a pap. It’s not even discussed. I recently consulted with an MD out of town and on first visit didn’t challenge me either.
        Second, take a printout of the Delphi Screener and offer to do that instead.
        Third, via TRUSCREEN FAQ I got a printout of their ad. It shows a pic of the device and a statement under which says, “Pap tests are subjective and vary significantly–only giving approximately 50% accuracy.
        After that?

        Confront them with the lack of Full Informed Consent for them not informing you of the above.

        Offer to take one of the alternatives.

        Go to youtube videos or to a Medical Library and download what is said re “felt pain” during pap, and especially during colposcopies. Inform doc that the “patient friendly” brushes for colposcopy have hidden among the nylon bristles steel and/or brass bristles. Tell them that IF you do have HPV it’s a guarantee that using invasive instruments on you will force an infection which you won’t be able to fight off.

        Would you clean off a scraped knee with a popsicle stick? That’s unsterilized to boot?

        Confront them re pain. Your cervix is much like the head on a penis. The nerves connect to S2 and above. That means the cervix is extremely innervated and does feel and transmit pain. Make Dr perform a nerve block. If he refuses then make a giant fuss. Why give in?

        If you prove the test is only 50% accurate then you prove the doc has nothing to stand on. And that for a test that exposes you to worse (if virus is present the scrape puts it there to stay as said which can also be looked up).

        Explain that you won’t consent to the horrible pain of having your cervix ripped to pieces. Take your sig other along for support. Do not give in.

        Do not buy into the bullying lecture that “you’ll die IF…” It’s bullshit. Certainly if there was a terrible threat there would be a “real” test not the bogus pap.

        Let me know how it goes.

      • Yes. In SouthernCA.
        You may credit my husband for this. Been married 31yrs. He pretty much demanded to go with me to my then-pap exam the second year we were dating.
        So I decided to take him on threat he’d likely break up with me later on. He wanted me to go to his doctors with him as well as going with me. Reason? He felt patients needed an advocate to help deal with the doctor’s BS and that also as a “witness.” And to prevent molest when we’re undressed.
        So I took him. I had Kaiser back then.
        The physician assistant, male, I had that day asked a LOT of inappropriate questions. He kept going on as to whether we invited or had multiple partners. I mean, he asked and repeated the same specific questions about both men and women. Until finally my future hubby asked “We said we’re monogamous. What don’t you understand about that?” Then the questions stopped.
        The exam was ok. He actually warmed up the plastic speculum at the sink first.
        But very creepy.
        It’s because of that, and that fact that his ex-best friend from high school (father baptist preacher) has become a pervert anesthesiologist now practicing in VA. That guy gets off on naked “trimmed” red heads. He married one. His first marriage however, bombed as she (another doctor in AL) cheated.
        When he stayed with us during his residency he had sex with a neighbor. She began complaining about his lack of talent and even said, “…he did nothing.”
        When my husband tried talking to him re sex he refused to listen.
        Imagine that; a doctor who knows all about anatomy but cannot get a woman to orgasm if his life depended upon it… Like a teen who builds his own car but never learns to drive.
        This guy lied to us about nearly everything we ever asked him. Especially about the pap exam.
        My husband got me the hell away from him too.
        We should thank the ex best friend. In some strange way, he got my husband to research pap and other medical things.
        It is how I got to use the Trovagene Urine Based HPV exam. And my husband ordered my doctor then to order it for me.
        This site has been extremely helpful to us.
        It’s a pleasure to share what helped us.
        WE MUST STOP THE ABUSE!
        Look up what we say. Understand it. Print it (edited by moderator)

      • I’ve told and shown my (female) doc that paps are less than 50% accurate. She just huffed and disagreed, and said, “They are VERY accurate”. She also disagreed that they were painful. My last one 23 years ago was very painful, because those nitwits first stuck the speculum in my urethra (stretched and damaged from some extreme catheterization), then the same morons couldn’t find my cervix! Anyway, in the last appointment with my “regular” doc, in a few minutes, she accepted my firm “NO” and went on.

        Last year, I had the doc switched out with <1 day notice with a male doc because "she's still not back from maternity leave". There was no amount of anything that could get this doc off of "I need to (do all of these things) and give you a pap test RIGHT NOW, implying strongly that I would not get treatment for diabetes if I refused. I still refused, and I got my prescriptions for the diabetes needs. Now I'm due again… or no diabetes treatment. 😦 He wasted the appointment time so I couldn't talk about something that could be a real problem.

        This time, I am going to confront her (or whoever I get this time) with information that they are not "very accurate" (and be prepared that it's "something on the internet" when it comes from a recognized medical journal, plus I am not going to consent to having my cervix ripped apart – and I expect even harder insistence that I have that if or when it's positive.

        My SO and I accompany one another to (almost) all medical appointments – partly to help remember what was said, partly to keep from having something sprung on us without our consent.

        BTW, I said "almost" because very occasionally one of us will have an appointment without the other. Most recently, it was an appointment with my dental hygienist, and he was sick with something flu-like, which I'd gotten over. She was surprised to see me alone, but at the same time, I don't expect her to do anything untoward. Had that been a medical appointment, I would have cancelled saying *I* was sick.

      • What I said re Omega 3 is very important to lowering inflammatory conditions in body. Get shelled hemp seed and add it to nearly everything you can.
        You said you live in UK?
        Hope what I said educates and helps. If you can use it to stand up for yourself successfully as we have then all the time invested was well worth it.

      • How can your female doctor presume to know how a pap feels for you and others? The arrogance. They tell themselves what they want to believe to justify their unconscionable behavior, i.e. not caring about the patient’s pain or consent and putting screening targets first.

      • To understand them is to realize how they are trained.
        Not only do they buy into this BS themselves; they learn how to sell it to us.
        They are taught we are too stupid to decide for ourselves. So that’s how “decision-sharing” came into the exam room. No longer are we given Full Informed Consent.
        That’s the problem.

      • @Rose2: “How can your female doctor presume to know how a pap feels for you and others?”

        My.mom.had a UTI last year,and when she went to the doctor, the female doctor she didn’t believe my mom. knew where the pain was. She wanted to know how mom knew she had a UTI, mom said it was because of where the pain is, then sneered that shed be the judge, then was stunned that yes,the pain was exactly where my.mom.said it was.

        She also was fascinated aged by things my mom read on the internet about how UTIs work, as it turns out she knows very little about them.

        Disappeared battery of tests on my.mom because apparently being a fidgeter is an indication of a myriad of Very Bad Things ToFear, plus a hysterectomy due to her age. My mom…will not be doing any of that and was disgusted at the opportunism.

      • I’ve had a lot of dismissive doctors and nurses. I’ve had a few good ones along the way.

        Most of them, so it seems, seem to think that people cannot feel their own body. I’ve had a nurse roughly rip out a catheter, and when I complained, “That does not hurt! You have no nerves down there!” I’ve had the same thing said about my cervix (as Kinsey claimed 70 years ago). I was told that I could not feel a tear in my rectum, but I got the doc to humor me and examine it, and yes, sure enough. Then I got a lecture about anal sex! (That wasn’t the cause, and the damage caused by anal sex was not done with my consent.) That doesn’t seem to matter either. I’ve had catheters installed when I was in an operating room for emergency surgery after I’d refused it, then traumatically removed. The records were evidently scrubbed to get rid of the catheterization, as they didn’t want to pay for the repair… but I never got it dealt with by a doctor – I couldn’t face the thought – but eventually got it to heal with kegels and a stainless-steel barbell to provide resistance for kegel exercises.

        My MIL has a wild theory, that the more I see and hear appears to be correct: Medical personnel come from another planet, and that alien race has no feeling anywhere inside their bodies. I cannot take this wild theory seriously, but just how much does reading and studying falsehoods that “there are no nerves” take away from a person being able to actually FEEL anything? Especially when there are genuine articles written by neurologists and physiologists describing where and how nerves are, what they do, and how they work.

        When I read about how some women go through what is described as “birth rape”, it seems clear that they have utterly no empathy.

      • @Demonhype They act so amazed when patients are aware that they have a common infection or some other issue that can be readily self diagnosed based on symptoms. It really reinforces my belief that a lot of doctors see the body as a domain that they have special rights to above and beyond the rights of the individual. It’s so thoroughly objectifying. I hope your mom is okay now and good on her for resisting the pressure. All women past reproductive age are at risk of having their female organs essentially harvested. Those pesky female organs only cause problems in the minds of medicine. Makes it easy to see how “wandering womb” and the like could have been so easily accepted by physicians. Our reproductive organs are essentially seen as accessories once childbearing is over.

      • I already have been using Omega-3s for many years.

        I live in the US. So, not only is medical care held hostage to this nonsense, I’m paying by the minute for their attempts to coerce me. It can also be looked at as a form of bill-padding and (attempted) upselling. Insurance companies are not too happy with other such things when they happen.

        I have successfully resisted these horrible examinations for around 23 years now. I mainly did that by avoiding medical care. However, I can no longer do so.

        Holding one’s medical treatment hostage to an invasive test, particularly one which has nothing to do with the condition at hand is unethical, and probably illegal. I have found a case involving the Title IX program and planned parenthood, where the government withheld payment for these tests which are unnecessary to get birth control pills. The court said it put an “undue burden” on women. Thus, it is also an undue burden to require them in order to get unrelated medical treatment. Indeed, requiring an unrelated invasive test to receive medical treatment is illegal, violates consent, bodily autonomy.

        I feel that I can go in THIS YEAR and (hopefully) see my regular doctor again. I will refuse to see that (expletive) who planned what amounts to rape by coercion last year.

      • Can you get me any of that info re the Title IX case? I’d love to have that.
        Something to shove back in the faces of nurse bullies who claim that doc will go to jail if I don’t have pap. As if giving me The Pill or HRT w/o pap will get the doc felony charges.
        Have any of you heard that one?
        These same nurses will then whine about how women elsewhere are treated disrespectfully & poorly.

      • Cat & Mouse: I’ve looked, and cannot find that case. I thought I had left a link in my pap refusal document, but it’s not there.

        I did find a statement/recommendation from the ACOG (seldom our friend!) that spells out that pelvic exams, cervical or breast cancer screenings are NOT recommended to be a requirement to access contraception. https://www.acog.org/Clinical-Guidance-and-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Gynecologic-Practice/Access-to-Hormonal-Contraception?IsMobileSet=false Their justification is that not using contraception, and risking pregnancy, is far riskier than forgoing the tests.

        Bodily autonomy comes to mind, as well as the generally recognized right to health care. The patient’s bill of rights, available visibly in most clinics, ensures your right to refuse any treatment. This is a legal statement, and is not mere decoration. There are State laws, and some federal laws that can come into play on this too.

  3. Cat and Mouse I think it’s general wear and tear as I do an active physical job and I’m mid 50’s bit doc noticed my shaking hans and twitching finger…
    It’s really painful too.
    I’m a trade union Rep and after kicking off at work they made modification which will help too. We just have a really toxic sickness absence policy. Literally told your an inconvenience and you can’t have any more time off for x amount of time. Problem is there’s always tons going round in a school lol!!

    • Do you live in US? Or Canada or UK?
      Have you heard of chronic regional pain syndrome or Reflex Sympathetic Sympathetic Syndrome?
      I have that. In 1997 I got to a very good pain doctor who Dx’d it and then pointed us toward lots of literature.
      Do not ever take antidepressants nor shit like gabapenten. The latter short circuits your nervous system. The first has a black box warning against violence. The first two weeks on or off your propensity to attack self or others is very high. You’ll either find religion or a long prison sentence. All the mass murderers here who later had “lights on but nobody home” mug shots were on these. Makes me wonder what Liberal therapists did to point them in the bad direction. Prophecy? Well, the migrant hassles certainly are. I could go on…
      It’s a miracle, truly, gift from God that I was diagnosed properly and that we also got out of the pap mess.
      I have a book re fibromyalgia and chronic pain. it covers RSD as well. I just loaned it out but will get the name and post it here. I agree with everything in the book except antidepressants, BS meds like gabapenten, and in heavy use of NSIDS.
      Problem with new DEA narcotic dosing? Chronic pain sufferers get same doses as those just injured. No more no exceptions. Seriously, I’d like to make everybody at DEA suffer what I have for one hour. That’s all the men could endure. Then let’s see their attitude. I was rated at 1:40,000 addiction potential.
      Why didn’t I have problems? Why didn’t I abuse? Because I had the right doctor who believed me—and most of all—I was prescribed brand name meds. Not the generic BS that doesn’t work!!
      Generics are supposed to be 90-105% of brand spec for all categories. How it dissolves, how long it works, how well it relieves pain.
      I can tell you from experiences that these generics, especially those by Mellonkropdt Pharma, are pure placebo junk!! I need a shoulder total joint replacement plus knee TJR. My pain is proven, documented over years by multiple doctors, and very real. Generics don’t work. They don’t relieve pain more than 50% and they don’t last more than 5 hours instead 8-12 as advertised.
      Pain effects the brain. If you’re never out of pain, you are never able to rest. You are in constant inflammatory state. So is it such a surprise that people take more meds? And then labeled freaks and addicts…
      Order your doctor to perform a “prior authorization” to try and get you brand meds.
      If you have Kaiser get the hell away from it. Before they kill you. After all, you cost those self centered docs their yearly bonus’. My pleasure in life would be subjecting doctors to pain and then giving them generic meds while denying their symptoms. Let’s see how they deal with it…
      Get off meat. If the animal has a bad day and secrets stress hormones..well that’s what you’re eating.
      Organic milk with DHA algal oil.
      Flood your body with omega-3 oils like hemp, coconut, avocado, grape seed, or canola. The oils must be cold pressed and cold processed. No solvent extraction. This will serve to reduce inflammation internally. Reduce sugar intake. The body under stress hogs sugar. BTW we use that oil on everything. We drink it. My cholesterol is 129 and I’m 75 pounds overweight.
      Get on medical marijuana. Do not smoke. Vaporize it. Research flowers. Pulsar makes good cheap vaporizers. Ooze has the Draught; cheap works very well and we love it. Great factory support. Avoid Pax. Pax=expensive pain in the ass. DaVinci is ok but costly.
      Those on MM usually require 50% less narcotics. I cut my needs 80%. My pain doc now approves.
      MM helps migraines, pain, sleep, and even getting stuff done during the day. Know your strains.
      Ooze sells scales so you can make your own cannaoil too. Do not use butter unless grass fed/organic.
      Vegetarians and vegans live longer and have better sex lives.
      Use Endoca CBD/CBDa oil. Begin with 3 drops morning and evening plus when you need more. Then taper after a month to what you need. This $100 investment for 30ml is the best thing you can do. Use this and you won’t need so much narcotic.
      Marijuana flower is wonderful. Research it through Leafly, Allbud, and Maryjane etc. I wish I’d gotten on it earlier.
      You can go online and find the strains that might work for you. Then go out and buy them; try them. If they smell good to your nose they’ll probably work well. And MM is great for sex too. Especially edibles. Protabs (brand) are very effective.
      Did you know MM (THCv) helps you lose weight?
      Get back to me.
      PS My husband is writing this for me. I’m pretty screwed up. He is my caregiver.
      Costco sells a food-based vitamin. Be sure to have Vit C, calcium, magnesium, zinc. Taurine will help energy. Soy lecithin, DHA algal oil for brain (look them up)! L-lysine for tissue regeneration. L-argenine for sex and heart (believe me…oh you will both “arrive” not just come). And I believe in HRT so long as you have progesterone to oppose estrogen. And you include testosterone. How is your thyroid? TSH is not a good indicator if you still have symptoms. Beware of Epstein-Barr Virus. Hytrin (terazozin Sandoz brand generic ONLY) works as vasodilator which helps your hands keep warm and helps pain. Cadista brand is useless. If your pharmacy won’t order you a brand that works contact their district manager and have a talk. Walmart used to be a good pharmacy but now only stocks cheap shit; refusing to stock anything that’s useful.
      Did you know law enforcement and pharmacists see brand name meds as having more street value? What does that tell you?

      • Cat and Mouse thank you for all this. I shall sit down today and comb through it . I had blodd done 2 weeks ago which r all fine so it’s not thyroid. We now know it’s a disc problem. I shall be sitting down over the next few days and doing some serious research. Thank you so much again x I’m sorry about all your troubles too x

    • Beware of traveling or referred pain. I have chronic regional pain syndrome or what it used to be called, reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome.
      If you experience a “heat” type pain in one limb but not the other, or one ear goes red and hot while the other does not, or the tremor you speak of…watch for those things.
      Learn the triggers.
      You will become religious. Imagine having that kind of pain unabated. Like literal hell.
      If you get narcotics, you’ll find generics don’t work. They don’t eliminate pain and the minimal effects wear off in 1/2 the time. Use prior authorization once you fail generics to go after brand names.
      Also, the cheap generics usually peddled are the worst in quality.

  4. Lots to think about Cat and Mouse. I’m in the UK. I’ll do some reading up on all this! I’m very very picky aleady re: prescription drugs and recently lowered my dangerously high BP myself via diet and exercise alone.
    I lover this site so many women from all over just getting together and supporting each other!!

  5. Smear tests have been blamed for a lot but I just read a piece in the Daily Mirror a 61 yr old woman is up in arms the NHS won’t pay £1000 a month for hemp suppositories to help her. She has chronic genital arousal syndrome ( she keeps having orgasms in everyday life when not having sex?) And blames a botched smear test for this. …

    • I looked up the functions of the pudendal nerve, it’s functions, and what happens when it is damaged. Chronic genital arousal may be one thing, but more common is genital anesthesia (you no longer feel your genitalia), as well as incontinence.

      There are other nerves in that general area which are more commonly damaged by such follow-on tests as LEEP or LEETZ. Pelvic, vagus, and hypogastric. These all have various functions, including feeling your feelings, regulating your heart and breathing, immune system function, and inflamation.

      No, it seems there is no end to the damage caused by this vile tests.See https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2017.01452/full for more details.

      If someone were penetrating you with some sort of sexual toy, and they did it roughly and/or without lube, you would demand they stop. Rarely is someone damaged in this way – even with some extreme BDSM practices. Yet, the medics do this in a rough enough manner, not paying attention to screams or damands to STOP such that these nerves are damaged with some regularity.

      Pulling off parts of my cervix, with approximately the same number of nerve endings as are in the end of an intact male penis, and without anesthesia, is an absolute hard no.

    • Honestly, I really do think doctors and nurses see smears and the ensuing treatment, as either punishing, or holding women accountable, for having sex.

      • Absolutely. Its like they’re thinking “Go ahead and be a bad girl and have sex, but in exchange you’re going to have to undergo humiliating exams and potentially unnecessary painful and debilitating procedures that will, rather than enhance your health, undermine it.”

    • Thanks for this: Professor Archie Cochrane wrote: ‘I remember giving a lecture in Cardiff on screening in 1967 into which I introduced the (as I thought) innocuous phrase “I know of no hard evidence, at present, that cervical smears are effective”. To my surprise I was pilloried in the local Welsh press, who quoted many anonymous colleagues who thought me a “dangerous heretic” and I received many abusive letters, some from colleagues.’ Cochrane (1972): 26–7; see also Bryder (2008); note 44. For a review of screening procedures, see Cochrane and Holland (1971); Wilson et al. (1971); Macgregor and Teper (1974)

    • This group of people are fanatically pro-screening and still driving the programme today in the UK. Peto was the one who came up with the 5,000 lives saved per year figure which is regularly trotted out on all the NHS adverts. This figure got instant criticism from other European countries at the time as being wildly too high and since then Sasieni has done further research putting that figure at about 1700.

      It is quite obvious from reading this that the whole thing was one huge experiment on women, and nobody really knew what they were doing. They started these screening tests with little idea of the cause and development of this cancer and everyone was forced into this experiment. They assumed complete ownership of our bodies. It was all implemented without the slightest heed for informed consent, which sadly they got away with at the time. It is quite clearly stated that all women were to be forced into going, to de-stigmatise the test, as pointing the finger at a few, would mean no-one would attend. It was quite deliberate that real information about the test was to be withheld to prevent women making an informed choice to disassociate themselves from the rest, and they did everything they could to prevent this. They have no morals or regard for human rights.

      The comments on page 67, show how they congratulate themselves on terrorising women into attending by getting a TV soap character to die of the disease. They find it amusing that women are terrorised into attending and accept this as normal behaviour in healthcare. Thank goodness some of them are already dead.

      • Consent itself was viewed as irrelevant for women, coercion was the norm, the consult for the Pill is still used to push, force or mislead women into testing. The AMA and others will continue to lie to keep the Pill on script, if that ever changes, many more women will ditch screening. (and they know it)

        It’s interesting that on some topics today, if you don’t have a certain viewpoint, you’re abused…there’s no counter argument, they’re right, you’re wrong…I think one of the first examples of this mob intimidation was cervical screening. Hysteria and moral superiority reigned, it silenced most women who had concerns about screening or who simply wanted more information.

        This program represents a huge black cloud, it destroyed the health and well being of countless numbers of women…the powers that be decided to do what they wanted to do with our bodies to promote their own agendas…and they got away with it.
        This was never about women’s healthcare…
        I think the dysfunctional and sexist/misogynistic attitudes in medicine that framed, promoted and protected this abuse are still in medicine, they no longer hold absolute power but there’s still work to do, to flush them out and challenge them…force change.
        There’s no doubt in my mind, our program only changed because more and more women were aware it was outdated, excessive and harmful. So women have forced change…

      • Elizabeth – I think this programme might have sprung from the beginnings of the sexual revolution, and initiated by pervasive misogyny and paternalism in medicine that militant feminists were quite frankly, too stupid and naive to recognise.

        I see it as a way to exercise control. You have your sexual freedom, but there is a price to pay for that. In return for your contraceptive access, you will be expected to have regular exams seeing as you’re “sexually active” now.

        Strange enough, many women in medicine – probably affected by internalised misogyny – also seem to have adopted these attitudes, and they still, largely persist.

        It’s the same sort of attitudes you see with pregnancy and the focus and emphasis on natural childbirth at all costs, and breastfeeding (even when the mother cannot or is struggling to do so).

        Like all these issues, there is an element of “putting women in their place”, and I think that view certainly applies in respect of screening.

        I was reading a few articles on the Daily Mail a few days ago. One was on abortion.

        Whatever one’s view on it, there were comments from women who had endured traumatic experiences and they were being villified by posters whose usernames regularly feature in the screening articles.

        It’s interesting that screening seems to have been turned into a “right-wing” issue, with newer attempts to hijack it by the “empowerment” brigade.

        The screening forces want it to be so controversial that you cannot debate the disadvantages of it in public. It’s quite Gestapo-esque.

        As you say, there’s still a lot of work to be done to challenge attitudes (including female ones).

        I’ve seen newer anti-screening comments that challenge the pro-screeners’ actual knowledge of screening and out them for their lack of understanding. I reckon that’s a great tact as this is how pro-screeners dealt with “defaulters” for years!

  6. Piece in the BBC News today: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51121305

    The ignorance continues. Is it surprising she has a name called Mercedes? Sorry, I’m being derogatory lol.

    Also two pieces in the Health section of the Daily Mail. NHS Professor claims that the brilliant new primary HPV screening will make cervical cancer extinct (he’s forgotten about adenocarinomas, the fact that the NHS were light years behind in testing for it, and that a self-test could be used).

    • Another great non-story from Jo’s Tosh. 88% of 25-35 year olds said HPV didn’t make them feel dirty, and 95% of over 55 year olds said it didn’t. This is a news story?

  7. I have finally received confirmation of my Opt-Out from cervical screening using the PCSE form that I sent by email to my GP surgery! Form can be obtained from here:

    https://www.mysurgerywebsite.co.uk/website/G82115/files/smear%20disclaimer.pdf

    It replaces the original form CSAS which is what they still direct you to on the PHE site!

    Only time will tell if I receive any more but at least I got acknowledgement after the third request in writing. If you want to use it then ensure you email it directly to your GP Surgery, they usually have a general enquiries email address.

    • Many congratulations on your new life, where you own your own body! Keep us informed how you get on. It would be interesting to know if your surgery is one of those which sends you a 5 yearly reminder of your opt-out status (in other words continuing reminders under another name).

    • Honestly, I would cross out or put a line through the sentence on the form that says ‘I have read and understood the cervical screening leaflet’. What utter cheek! Patronising women to the extreme. As if the holy leaflet is the only place you should get your information from, sheesh…

      They really don’t want us to use our brains, do they? I suppose we’re all meant to be good little women and judiciously read the leaflet as instructed.

      Me? I’d make a paper aeroplane out of it!!!

      • Ozphoenix in my LAST “invitation ” in 2025 just before I opted out it read we have sent you a leaflet cervical screening helping you decide. We advise you read this before coming for the test!! So we were to read it and then decide…to have the test!! Paper aeroplane? Nah. I’d use it to scoop up my cats poo from his tray…

      • You use it to scoop up cat poop?
        Interesting.
        We get a local healthcare newsletter. Front page has pap demands (recommendations).
        We put it under the litter box to catch cling-ons.

      • Awwwweeesssooommee!!! We should start a hint-of-the-day to go in these womens newsletters. Best uses for useless pap crap letter stuff!

        If you make a paper hat with it and line it with foil, it keeps the aliens at bay. You’ll need two reminder letters if you want to cover your behind against anal probes tho.

  8. Ada I opted out in 2015 . So I’d be “due” an “invitation ” in a couple months of I’d stayed on the lost. I’ll let you all know of I get a reminder. Should I do so I will b sending them a snotty email….

    • I opted out in 2003, and, to be fair, never had any bother since, but I think as more and more women have found that opt-out letter, and also they are forced to legally admit it exists and offer this option, I think they’ve got worried too many are opting out and they’d better catch them some other way. It would be very interesting to see if they did contact you again. My GP and the nurse who got me at that planned assault in 1997 have since retired, although GP has returned part-time in a locum role continuing the “care” of a few unlucky individuals. Also, a new arrangement at our surgery – all patients now re-allocated to GPs according to surname. This is going to be interesting if I have to go for anything.

      • Ada even after I opted out Dr Smear Test still kept on hassling me about it. I dealt with it by just using the walk in for 2 years then when I needed a regular doc for ongoing problems I just avoided Dr Smear Test as I did over my current neck and shoulder pain. Dr Smear Test use to be my named regular GP: Looking online now he’s bumped me and I have a new named GP who to be fair has never pressed me . Nor have the other docs or the nurses. Funny but screening came up with the woman when I refused HRT; asked why I wouldn’t consider it I said no proof it’s safe and I’m not preared to start screening. Why don’t you screen? She asked did I find it too painful? I explained; for cervical and breast. She couldn’t argue with anything and just said she could see my reasoning!!

  9. New piece I daily fail singing the praises of HPV jab. It’s nearly perfect and about 98% effective. I’m sure all the girls with serious side effects would agree lol….

  10. New again in the daily fail…Apparently rates of CC are increasing in younger women by 54%. Of course embarrassment is blamed. So what happened to the all singing and dancing miracle vaccine?

    • I can’t find that article in the rabid pro-screening right-wing Daily Mail. Can’t find it on the Health section of BBC News either. Wonder if it’s been pulled lol?! 😂

  11. Oh my ladies I’m wetting myself laughing! ANOTHER DM piece HPV vaccine row as Govt says it will almost eradicate risk of CC but researchers say evidence is insufficient lol….

    • Well of course the government couldn’t admit the vaccine was just an experiment, considering all the money they’ve spent on it. Same goes for breast & cervical screening, really. Little more than vanity projects, introduced by clueless politicians eager to please the vested interests and win the pink vote. Evidence, who needs it? Even if it fails, the statistics can always be manipulated to make it appear as if their expensive & harmful programme is highly successful and worth every penny, right?

  12. Hi, I’ve recently had a private appointment with a gynaecologist and she tried to push the smear test on me. When I said no and gave my reasons, she accused me of getting my information from dubious sources like mass media! (I know). I’d like to ask this community for a list of the top 5-10 peer reviewed medical journal articles you would use to support your arguments against having the smear test. Thanks!

    • Hi there,
      As Ada has indicated, trying to support a case against screening using articles in medical journals can be challenging. The BMJ is a bit of an exception. This article published in 2016 might help: https://www.bmj.com/content/352/bmj.h6080 although not specific to cervical cancer it does highlight how cancer screening in general fails to reduce overall mortality, and can actually increase mortality.
      There are many comments and posts on this site that contain links and information to support a case against screening, including this post: https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2014/04/19/top-five-reasons-for-opting-of-pap-tests/ “References and Education” linked on the top of this site might help, although trying to convince a gynecologist to see things differently could be a long process. I hope it goes well for you!

    • You’re the customer, you call the shots. And if you don’t want a medical procedure, you have the absolute right to refuse without having to explain yourself. If your doctor is won’t respect your wishes, I doubt she’ll take any notice of any evidence you present to her. Some doctors are just plain ignorant, some have a god complex, and some push the well woman bullshit out of pure greed. Women’s health is a billion dollar industry – the more unreliable a test is, the more money they can make from it.

    • One of the most notable studies on cervical screening was that of Professor Angela Raffle and Bristol University (2003).
      Bear in mind though that their study focused on the old conventional screening for “abnormalities” rather than the primary HPV screening that was only rolled out last month.

      Nevertheless, I’m sure it was this study that revealed that only 5% of CIN 2 will progress to cervical cancer, and 12% of CIN 3 would progress.
      A more recent Dutch study by Vink et al (2013) found that 1.6% of CIN 3 would advance to cancer within 10 years, and 12% of CIN 3 would advance within 20 years.

      You can reference these studies as support, but your doctor is likely to say, “Well, we use primary HPV screening now”.

      In that case, you can tell her that there are self-testing kits available that test for the presence of HPV.
      These tests are actually used as part of the national screening programmes in Australia and the Netherlands.

      However, should you wish, you may be able to purchase one online. Google the “Delphi Screener”.
      I am not sure if you can purchase Trovagene online, but that is said to have an accuracy rate of 93%.

      You could tell your doctor (should you wish to do so), that you will self-test for HPV and you don’t wish to be part of the national screening programme. End of conversation.

      I often find that nurses and doctors try to engage women in long, drawn out conversations, so that they can “persuade” you, so I find that the best way to deal with them is to give them a very brief and firm answer that leaves them no leeway to carry on the conversation.
      I have found that saying, “I have made an informed decision not to screen” has largely worked. Be prepared to stand your ground and be firm and make it clear that you will not consent to these practices. If they persist, you could try saying something like, “I’ve made my decision. Can we move on please”.

      It may be daunting but in the end, they cannot force you to do anything if you are clear and firm.

      Good luck.

      • Yes I second AQ. My doctor kept pushing smears at me even after I’d officially opted out. All I kept saying was I opted out I signed a disclaimer. After half a dozen repetitions and silence from myself until he tried again…No ? You STILL don’t want to have a smear test? ? He admitted defeat and moved on. I make a point now of never booking to see this person though just in case!!

    • I had an appointment last year, where my regular doctor was swapped for a young resident, who pushed HARD for screening – leaving me in a set of flashbacks now for almost a year. In the mean time, worked to find better ways to resist. There is the “I’m paying for this by the minute. There are other things I’d like to discuss in this consult”, remembering (in the US) that I’m the customer. “I do not consent to this discussion. Let’s move on.” The accusation is that you’ve been “reading stuff on the Internet” is part of it. Reading scholarly papers is another. You can find scholarly papers that both support and refute the benefits of screening. They’ve got better access, so you will probably lose with that – even if you DO know how to read them, and understand things like “p values”. I was once given one with good rhetoric, but it had a p value of 3! That means that it was a statistical fluke!

      One way I intend to use this time, as I know what the “follow on” tests are if it’s positive – colposcopy & biopsy and LEEP/LEETZ. I find both of those reprehensible, and will refuse them. I also will not consent to a hysterectomy nor will I consent to chemotherapy or radiation therapy (via an advance directive). So….. if I am not going to take any action from a positive result, it’s got no potential of benefit. Even if they determine I have cancer (outright!), all it gives is lead time bias – as in, it gives me more time to know I’m a cancer patient, live as a cancer patient. It detracts from quality of life for the lifetime I’ve got left.

      I had a career in quality assurance. One of the big things there is if you find a problem, and do not intend to fix it or take other action on it, you’re wasting your time and money by performing that test.

      If you’re in the US, cervical screening IS big business. Not just a mere billion dollars per year, but $2 billion on the screening and associated costs of medical appointment to collect samples! Throw in the follow-on treatments for positive results, and that adds another $20 billion per year! This is a huge business!

  13. Anything by Petr Skrabanek and his colleague James McCormack, but both are now dead. Skrabanek died of an agressive prostate cancer about 2005 and McCormack more recently but both were very outspoken about cancer screening programmes. There will be no research against smear testing, because no-one would pay for such research to be done. It is only a few brave individuals raising their heads above the parapet, speaking against the injustice and cost of it all. For me it is simply knowing my true odds of getting this disease and making a personal decision based on that. A few Birmingham professors issued a letter to a journal having worked out the true odds over a woman’s lifetime. Can’t find a link to it now, but realising the odds are so remote, I can’t understand why any woman would put herself through this test for such a miniscule risk.
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://jme.bmj.com/content/medethics/16/4/187.full.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwiVld_DpJjnAhWVr3EKHSYEAHUQFjAAegQIBhAB&usg=AOvVaw2WE3hScJ-g6OGVj-Sj0Q9r

  14. Yesterday, there was apparently an article stating that cervical cancer in the under 30 age bracket is up by 54%.

    I can no longer see these articles.

    Someone mentioned a potential link with the spike in cases and the HPV vaccine.

    I wonder if therefore, the articles have been pulled?!

  15. AQ…I’m useless at posting links but I just googled daily mail cervical screening health on my smartphone and 3 articled came up! The one the jab is near perfect then the one the jab isn’t perfect also the 54% rise in cases? Try on your phone ? Or similar device?

    • I think they are available… but I think they may have been pulled from the headlines of the Daily Mail, Guardian and BBC News health sections, because I looked today and yesterday on the Health headlines and they weren’t featured there. Unusual, because they all love a smear story usually!

      • My bad – I’ve found it. Lower down in the health headlines section.

        Curiously, when I read reasons for not going, they quoted 4 in 10 embarassed; 2 in 10 worried it might hurt; other reasons were also cited, including, “women saying that they didn’t think the level of risk applied to them”.

        Is this the DM’s way of finally acknowledging informed consent?!

        Also, as Kiwi points out, the 54% increase does not tell us anything in absolute terms.
        And didn’t this age group receive the vaccine??

    • https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cervical-cancer-screening-hpv-vaccination-young-women-a9295291.html

      Kat, I’ve been finding a lot more stuff online on the vaccine not being nearly as effective as they first thought. Peter Gøetzsche was right that the Cochrane Review on HPV vaccination was flawed, and was rushed through by the drugs companies. I believe it says in the front of this review that half of HPV trials remain secret and undisclosed by drug companies. It appears it’s a similar story to the breast screening one – stops CIN1, but somehow the aggressive adenocarcinomas remain unstoppable.

      • The HPV vaccine wasn’t designed to do anything re adenocarcinomas. These grow from deep within. And pap is clueless even moreso as it cannot detect these–even when they grow like shrooms on the cervix’ surface.
        The computer algorithm used for the computer to read the pap scrape slide isn’t written to include that type of cell. The computer won’t even recognize the cell. It can’t.
        Nice looking cat on your avatar.
        Here’s one for you. I had to get a vaginal ultrasound. This place welcomed my husband no problem. So as it goes he gets to talking to the tech about the BS that pap is.
        The older woman said that she “will cling to my beliefs.” There you go. The dumb, head in a brown paper bag mindset is alive and well. That’s what keeps doctors in business doing pap. Their nurses & tech’s are brain washed.
        Note to moderator. So you have edited my posts for language? Do you know how many times I’ve read same in other posts here? Just commenting.

    • Is this really true, Kat? I can’t seem to find it right now, but I’m sure the fanatics will start bleating about it soon, and it will be all over the news. This is at least a little move in the right direction.

  16. To Apocalyptic Queen from 1/23:
    Excellent comments.
    From what I know, the Delphi Screener can’t be had in USA. I tried to get it years ago but no luck. I have not yet tried a Canadian pharmacy though.
    Re Trovagene. Per them this was discontinued in 2015. Why? Get a load of this. They told me it was “due to lack of interest.” Lack of ##$%#^^ interest they say??!!
    It was NEVER advertised. Trovagene never had any news releases of its product. It was by fluke my husband found it.
    This is something, on my list, to try and get a local tv story coverage. I’ll let you know how that goes.

  17. What really worries me about this vaccine. I’m NOT a scientist but I know that the flu jab changes each year as certain strains become more prevalent. And that if a virus mutates it can jump from animals to us. Suppose the vaccine damp down high risk strains of HPV and other lesser ones mutate and get deadly? Or if the strains suppressed mutate?

    • Viruses mutate. Some mutate faster than others. The seasonal flu strains mutate extremely rapidly, thus we need new flu vaccines each year. It’s somewhat of a guess on which ones to include, and sometimes they miss. Sometimes, a previous flu vaccine will give us partial immunity from a new strain.

      Most viruses do not mutate that quickly. IF HPV (especially 16 & 18) is responsible for the bulk of cervical cancers, it, along with some of the other strains in the vaccine, should protect from the vast majority of CC – adrenocarcinoma being the exception – and one which PAP does not catch either.

      For instance, measles and polio have not mutated significantly over the decades they’ve been studied. The same strains are offered today as were offered 55 years ago. Likewise, if you had measles in 1960, you would still have immunity. However, if you had the flu (really – not just a bad cold or one of the “new and improved” coronaviruses), you would not be immune from another flu. For instance, I had Hong Kong Flu (H3N2) in the 1968 pandemic. I’m sure I retain partial immunity from that strain. I would still be eligible to get an H1N1 flu, should I be exposed.

      One difference between flu, measles, and the common cold and many other viral diseases is how fast they spread. An average person with measles, for instance, infects 30 other people. Most of us, even if we HAD HPV-18 from birth would not have 30 (unprotected) sexual partners.

      Should other strains of HPV (like the ones that cause common warts) mutate and become deadly, they could modify the HPV vaccine to accommodate those. Immunology is an active research area!

      HPV is unlike many other disease-causing viruses in that it requires a very specific contact to catch. If someone wants to ensure that they don’t get genital HPV from a particular person, they are free to not sexually touch the person.

      Fomates, aka as various objects and surfaces, are a potential source of HPV infection – especially those found in the doctor’s office!

      See https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jog.13248 for a larger discussion, including how an infant can be infected with HPV.
      See https://serval.unil.ch/resource/serval:BIB_F744117D937B.P001/REF for a paper discussing how the GYN clinic itself can be the source for genital HPV infection!

      • One thing that I wasn’t able to find in any of my searches of HPV and epidemiology is it’s “R Value”. Put simply, that is the average number of people that each person with the disease spreads it to. If it is exactly 1, the disease is holding steady. If it’s greater than 1, it’s spreading. If it’s less than 1, it’s dying out. The best I could find was one study that showed a minority of couples sexually involved without using condoms (> 3 x per week) for more than 6 months, where one was HPV- and the other HPV+ had the HPV- partner convert to HPV+ I also found that men are more likely to give it to women than women are likely to give it to men.

        I’ve also read that about 1/3 of women are HPV+. Clearly, the rate of CC is much smaller than that! Perhaps HPV of certain strains is a necessary condition but not a sufficient condition. (E.g., oxygen is a necessary condition of a fire. However, it is not a sufficient condition (needs a spark or heat). Reading _Lord of the Rings_ is a sufficient condition to know who the character Gandalf is. However, it is not a necessary condition (You could watch the movie or have someone tell you at least part of the story.) Koch’s Postulates require that something be both a necessary and sufficient condition to be considered “the cause” of a disease. (E.g., presence of TB bacteria must be present in all cases of tuberculosis to be the cause, and all people with the disease of TB must have TB bacteria for it to be the cause. — This has been long demonstrated to be true.)

        Now, does everyone with HPV of certain strains get CC? Clearly not! Does everyone with CC have HPV?

        As I’ve discovered that they know that some infants are infected with these “dangerous” strains of HPV from before or during their birth, plus it appears to be transmissable from inanimate things (even after a long time), plus it’s in many people’s mouths (it exists in some cancers of the mouth and throat), I have to wonder how well the HPV vaccine works, as many virgins are already infected with it?

        We’ve known for a long time that most people clear HPV within a couple of years. That should include most of the babies, plus the children who would get it because they put all sorts of things in their mouths, and touch many things. Then later, when we touch doorknobs and other things, then use the bathroom or touch sanitary products…. So, why would people so-innoculated when very young not have cleared HPV long before they are eligible for the vaccine, or can become sexually active (even if subjected to childhood sexual abuse!)?

        Moreover, few viral tests actually look for the virus. In most of them, they look for the antibodies. Pap only looks for the (pre)cancerous changes in some cells – not HPV. I’m not sure which type of test any of the HPV tests are. Are they lumping women with an active HPV infection, perhaps one which they cannot clear, with women who’ve had HPV at some point in their lives, cleared it, and have the antibodies? I haven’t been able to find that! If so, that would confound the whole testing of women who’ve had the HPV vaccine and yet are positive on pap tests, or even positive in biopsies for CC. Hmmmm.

      • Love the studies & sources.
        Like SAM missiles for doctor’s BS bombs.
        I save more info from this site than anywhere else.
        Thanks.

    • https://blogs.kcl.ac.uk/cancerprevention/2018/07/06/why-arent-we-seeing-the-effect-of-vaccination-against-hpv-16-18-on-cervical-cancer-registration-in-england/

      I find that the King’s College blog has some useful posts on HPV. The number of women under 30 getting cervical cancer must be very small, so a 54% increase in a small number isn’t going to be that great. As this paper points out, the increase in cases in the under 30s is due to them changing the goal posts in the grand scheme of things rather than a failure of screening/epidemic. But try telling that to Jo’s Tosh or The Mail.

      • Article in Metro newspaper: a trans man is urging other trans men or anyone with a cervix to get a smear test! I have nothing against trans anyone …until they start bleating about attending smears!!

      • I’ve read a few times that cervical screening reduces the number of deaths in a certain age group by a huge margin, 50% fewer deaths or 40%…but then when you take a closer look at the research, it’s 1 death rather than 2, so it’s all very misleading…(as intended)
        No mention of all the unnecessary “treatments either”…

        Actually, there was a very helpful chart posted in the BMJ, think it was in the comments section showing the number getting cervical screening at a certain age with and without screening, the numbers were overall so low, you had to ask…why are we spending millions on this screening program? Surely there’s a bigger threat to our lives that could use the money. Suicide rates are on the rise – that’s always been a horribly underfunded area.
        No wonder they keep those charts away from women, you’d have to conclude, “what’s all the fuss about?”…
        Does anyone recall the chart? Can’t think of the author’s name…I’ll have to do some digging – the post goes back quite a few years now.

  18. Just watched a series called “The Keepers”…horrible sexual abuse of teenage girls at a catholic girls school in Baltimore in the 1960s & 1970s – the alleged culprit, a priest, died without facing a single charge, it seems he was also trafficking girls to some local policemen, business people etc.

    The Catholic church (and the investigating district attorney) have now admitted he was probably an abuser, a pedophile – compensation has been paid to some of the survivors. (how can you compensate someone who endured repeated rapes from age 13 or 14 over 3 or 4 years?) The DA said there was simply insufficient evidence to take the matter further, I would have thought similar fact evidence would persuade any jury.

    THis priest also conducted pelvic exams on some of the girls, and he’d advise parents that their daughter needed to see a gynaecologist, and off they’d go, he’d allegedly get the girl into the stirrups and rape her while the “doctor” was touching her breasts – he’d carry out douches on some of the girls in his office.

    It seems a couple of the girls confided in a young nun, she was apparently going to report the matter to the Police, (which was probably dangerous in itself given they were allegedly involved in the abuse) but was murdered by blunt force trauma to the skull. A survivor says that Maskell (the priest) took her to see the body in a wooded area and said, “see this is what happens when you say bad things about people”…
    Some people were critical of the survivors, for not speaking up earlier or were dubious that some had repressed memories and the abuse only came back to them 20 years or more after these horribly traumatic events.
    Of course, we now know this is a fairly common thing, to go elsewhere during the abuse, and push it to the back of the mind – some women never say a word about the abuse, just too painful, others feel strong enough to face the memory of the trauma as they get older. I don’t think anyone can accurately predict how they’d react if they were raped or assaulted – certainly, in 1970 the odds are you’d say nothing…and try and distance yourself from your attacker. Even today, it’s a challenging process to report a rape.
    .
    It’s ugly stuff – but males using positions of power to rape and/or sexually assault were rarely investigated and charged back then – they got away with it and so they became more and more brazen. A woman making a complaint about a doctor in 1970 – well, she got nowhere. People routinely looked the other way, it was a dangerous time to be a woman, especially a young woman. (very few female doctors, unchecked medical power, no regard for women or their legal rights etc.)

    Of course, we’re not out of the woods yet…but I love to hear the Police have charged a doctor or a priest or anyone else in a position of power, it rarely happened years ago and so these men assaulted women over decades, many had an established modus operandi….and many of their colleagues knew what they were up to but did nothing about it. We now have laws that compel a colleague to report inappropriate or possibly criminal conduct – if you look the other way or take no action, you may find yourself in court.

  19. This week is cervical brainwashing week and the Eve Appeal who previously told us we should “make the right choice and attend when invited” to smears now turns it’s attention to the Every Girl Project. Brainwashing around London and south East about gynaecology issues to girls in school. I’m just glad my daughter is 23!!

    • I wondered when the “awareness week” would be coming up…

      Unfortunately for them, the coronavirus seems to have stolen their thunder! Not much space in the headlines for cervical screening “awareness” at the moment! Oh well….

      • AQ absolutely! Coronavirus Brexit Megxit and the bad weather up north has eclipsed the lunatics smearing lippy over their faces in an attempt to get us to have screening! 😼

    • Another thing, anyone wondered why these lackwits have a screening campaign during peak flu season??? 🙄

      Unless genuinely unwell, don’t the NHS advise people to actively avoid these places during this time of year? Then they tell you to go there for “screening”.

      Then again, it’s not as if anything else these imbeciles tell us makes sense.

    • https://phescreening.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/significant-landmark-as-primary-hpv-screening-is-offered-across-england/

      I’ve finally got around to looking this up. It looks like only a recommendation from the National Screening Committee so far though, and has to go through more trials and pathways to test it out before deciding on a date for roll out. Oh, but wait, isn’t the rest of the world already doing this based on evidence they have found? Will it happen in the next decade I wonder? So according to our world leading programme we have HPV vaccinated ladies recommended for 3 yearly HPV testing until they are 50, and HPV tests carried out on other women every 3 years.

      • I don’t think the NHS will ever offer it. I’d like to know why (loss of control over women and loss of access to information sexual activity for data research purposes is my wild guess. There’s also the patriarchal interests and the ahem, enjoyment these interests generate. And they don’t want to upser vested interests).

        The only way this will change is if more and more women continue to force their hand.

        In the last Mail article on the subject, one reason for non-attendance was given as women perceiving the risk as not being applicable to them. I wonder if this is the closest they will come to admitting that women make informed decisions not to attend? They’re not going to publicly admit that women make an informed decision outright, lest it give others ideas!

  20. For any ladies on instagram the odious #cervicalhealthhannah is planning a new blog for her cervicalscreen1 site. She would like to hear from anyone who’s never had a smear or those who have had a bad experience and you CAN DM her if you wish. No names will b useď

    • Never had or had a bad experience with a smear? Those who’ve “never had”, although lucky, are pretty unlikely to be concerned. Those of us with bad experiences with smears, including those we didn’t see as necessarily wrong at the time, would be numerous. Everything from getting in the wrong hole to doing them far too frequently (although we didn’t know that was a problem at the time, and even bought into the doc’c “it’s necessary” thing) That;s a big number, and not necessarily in the UK.

      • Beth maybe we should all of us bombard her either via instagram twitter or her previous blog posts! I’m sure there would a good few of us letting her know the truth about her beloved test. She even has 💚💚 after the “cervical screening ” words in her title and I bet she really adores it too. She’s on yearly ones after abnormal cells I think…

    • Count me out, sorry. It’s impossible to educate rabid pro-screeners such as her – she’s probably expecting a lot of ‘it’s too embarrassing’ nonsense and no doubt will ignore anything that doesn’t fit her narrative. Pretty much all of the research into ‘barriers’ done over the years has been carried out by pro-screeners who think the decision to screen is the only correct one and cherry pick the data to portray non-screeners as ignorant, lazy, embarrassed etc. It’s not research, it’s just a method of spreading propaganda.

      • It’s true that you’ll never educate rabid pro-screeners, especially those whose financial interests lie with the status quo. Other people read her blog too. Some of them will read that there are other reasons and data and personal reasons to not screen.

    • You can tell from the survey in her Instagram story she has no interest in listening to informed women who decline.

      All her questions are based on the assumption you will book a smear but you’ve just been lazy or scared. No option for ‘personal choice to decline.’

      She did a post on there with a story about someone who tried the NHS pilot for the self test kit. I don’t recall all the details but this woman ended up having treatment but it was clear it was a case of a false positive. She was of course grateful to have been saved and when I pointed out there was nothing wrong in the first place, she blocked me!

      Hannah is a 24 carat moron so please bombard her!

    • I’ve left a comment – not sure whether it’ll be printed as she seems to be under siege lol!

      Not many posters on that blog and hardly any comments.

      Clearly doesn’t have a great following.

      • Let’s see if they print mine.

        You know, if these tactics were used on anything else, consumer advocates would become involved due to obvious fraud.

  21. Beth, that’s true, but I’d rather post on a public forum than a half-wit’s blog. I doubt the kind of followers she attracts have the brains to comprehend the nuances of screening. Although I am tempted to post about the doctor who thinks we’re all being denied care because we’re not subjected to routine bi-manual exams.

    24 carat morons aside, It does seem there’s been a backlash against the ‘awareness’ campaigns. The attempts to get more bums on seats have become increasingly desperate and infantile, and there are certainly more speaking out against them. My buddy’s a regular on Twitter and he said women were being told – by the Women’s Institute, I believe – they could make their smear experience better by taking a lavender sachet with them. Apparently, no-one was impressed with that one!

    • I noticed that cervical cancer awareness week really seemed to be a damp squib this year.

      Some activity from Jo’s and a few people sharing motivational posts but that was about it. I know that there were a few people who suggested Jo’s should stop their annual campaign as the whole lipstick smearing was quite frankly silly. Not sure if they listened but I did see Rob Music tagged in the conversation…. we can only hope.

      • You know what they say, no news is good news 😉

        I think the coronavirus has gate-crashed the party!

        Idiots for launching a screening campaign during flu season.

        Still, I’m certainly not complaining. No “live” smears on the Victoria Derbyshire show and This Morning for the morbidly curious, and no having to see pictures of stupid celebrities impersonating the eighties McDonald’s clown 👍

      • I thought it might be just me thought that, but it did seem less than previous years.

        One thing I noticed was a mental health hospital somewhere in UK, won a Jo’s Tosh “award” for increasing uptake of cervical screening amongst women inpatients on a single ward from about 45% to about 70%. (Can’t remember exact percentages, but I wondered how many women this might actually be). There was a photo of the nurse leading this initiative receiving her award. Couldn’t help feeling it was a bit like Nurse Ratchet in “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” getting an award for caring, so I Googled this hospital to get more info. Turns out this ward is a female only 15 bed ward. I don’t know what the patient turnover is in this ward, but am I right in thinking that 25% of 15 is less than 4 people. Always suspicious when these screening campaigns quote huge percentage increases.

      • Opportunistic testing for women in psych wards is well beyond disgusting! First off, many of the women who find themselves in psych hospitals are incapable of consent – much less informed consent. Secondly, for a high percentage of women who seek psych treatment or find themselves in a psych hospital, a history of rape, sexual abuse (including childhood abuse and sexual abuse in medical settings) is especially high. This would seem to make the situation WORSE for these women, not better! On top of whatever issue they are dealing with, they get to have an(other) rape recovery on top of it.

    • Kinda like having a woodsy smelling KY for prostate exams. Or have a KY dispenser with a smiling picture of Ken while he’s got his pants down, bending over.
      Treating us like we’re 5yrs old. Again.

      • I felt quite sick to see them actively targeting mental health inpatients. These women likely have serious issues that need treatment and I don’t doubt emotional manipulation was used to get them to comply.

        Sounds like an informed consent free zone to me but why am I not surprised? It’s all about uptake and numbers.

      • Targeting vulnerable patients is absolutely disgusting. Some of those women might have endured horrific abuse and rape.

        Even for a pro-militant screener, you’d think some would have ethical reservations about hounding patients in this way.

        There’s a lot of discussion around ethics, respecting boundaries and confidentiality these days, how can they think that this applies to everything except screening?!

        Beyond disgusting and morally reprehensible.

        Anyone know which hospital this ward was in? Tempted to ping an email.

      • Caroline – I’ve just read the article.

        Two things immediately jumped out.

        The NHS staff on the ward claimed it was a familiar “no-pressure” environment for the patients.

        Then they go on to say that they had to agree to some “unusual requests” to make sure the women were “relaxed” (this translates to agreeing to “unusual requests” to get the women to comply).
        One of the requests was playing music in the background.

        It is highly likely given what they say, that pressure was exerted and that the women didn’t really want to have it at all.

        This does not sound like informed consent and they are not prioritising their patients’ immediate mental health needs.

        I will certainly be emailing them.

      • Literally nothing is more important than cervical screening, it’s incredible, it seems to be starting point in women’s healthcare. These women are vulnerable, so they’re no doubt viewed as easy targets. There’s no doubt their mental issues are more likely to impact their health and lives than cervical cancer.
        It’s all about targets and capturing as many women as possible, it’s makes me sick.
        Woman can’t even get help for mental health issues without cervical screening entering the scene…
        Not surprised Jo’s Trust is pleased with the initiative – that group has caused so much damage – I think they know that but couldn’t care less, they’re on a mission!

  22. https://www.minnpost.com/second-opinion/2020/01/many-young-women-receive-unnecessary-pelvic-exams-and-pap-tests-study-suggests/
    More needs to be done to stop doctors from doing unnecessary pelvic exams and pap testing….it sounds like doctors are still linking the Pill to these exams and test too. This study found huge numbers of American teenagers and young women are still having unnecessary pelvic exams and Pap tests.
    The message needs to be made clear to parents and young women, do not allow these exams and report any doctor suggesting, recommending or pressuring you to have one, don’t lock this information behind a paywall or confine it to medical journals.
    Until definitive action is taken, many will continue to do the wrong thing…for profit, because they’re out of date, hold a personal view contrary to recommendations or enjoy doing these exams on teenagers.
    When doctors have been told over and over…don’t do routine pelvic exams…when does it become an assault?

  23. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-51331961
    Tracie Miles, specialist nurse for gynaecological cancer research charity The Eve Appeal, said the delay was unlikely to have a clinical impact.
    “On balance, the biggest thing is anxiety, it may cause a women to put off her next test and think ‘I don’t want to go next time, it is too worrying’,” she said.

    And there it is….UNLIKELY CLINICAL IMPACT….BIGGEST THING IS ANXIETY!

  24. https://www.gponline.com/refer-women-heavy-menstrual-bleeding-hysteroscopy-nice-says/womens-health/menstrual-disorders/article/1459586

    I’ve only recently come across this development happening in the UK. If you think pap smears are invasive enough, our UK government wants our GPs AND practice nurses to carry out hysteroscopies at your local GP surgery. No anaesthetic of course. The plan is that they will be given training to use these devices, which involve, cutting out polyps, dilating cervices and filling wombs with water to expand them. There is a campaign group in the UK called Hysteroscopy Action Group who try to make sure women are given the option of having the procedure under GA, but of course, women are rarely informed of this option, and barely given any information at all about what to expect. (They wouldn’t turn up otherwise). UK hospitals are given incentive payments to NOT use any anaesthetic. Same old story. They want to phase out pelvic ultrasounds, and go for the hysteroscope method first, even though this is “surgery” on an internal organ. It makes you wonder that if they had to change from metal to plastic disposalble speculums, because GP surgeries could not disinfect them adequately enough, just how are they going to sterilise these hysteroscopes. Just warning everybody on this website, that if you’re in the know, you can ask for a GA in hospital.

    • Okay, that’s the stuff of nightmares, I haven’t heard of anyone having that sort of procedure without GA here in Australia, I know women who’ve had them but they were in day procedure, a friend was kept overnight.

      Is this because the NHS is so stretched, they’re pushing more down to the surgery and nurse level?

      Medicare/public hospitals are always after more money but thankfully, we don’t have nurses or GPs doing these sorts of procedures in their rooms – personally, I think Medicare would still be screaming for more money if we gave them even more money every year, the system is so inefficient, they burn through money – also, anything perceived to be free, is usually overused and wasteful.

      We pay handsomely for Medicare, it’s certainly not free for those of us who pay tax – we pay the Medicare levy plus we have private health insurance, the latter is compulsory for us or we’re penalised – we have to pay an additional tax levy.
      Lots of people are dumping private health insurance here, the premiums are high, there’s lots of gap payments – this means the public services and hospitals will have to look after even more people.

      I’ve heard of public hospitals asking people with private health insurance to “help them out” and agree to an admission as a private patient in a public hospital but this means paying your annual excess, usually $500 and gap charges.

      • It’s not that the NHS is too poor to pay for anaesthesia. The hysteroscopes now used have got thinner and are an improvement over older models, so the theory is that they can now be used in community settings without anaesthesia, but it seems a lot boils down to the skills of the operator. For any postmeno bleeding or heavy bleeding the first port of call was a vaginal ultrasound to asses womb thickness or if polyps, but it’s not very accurate, and if the results of this show something suspicious it’s another hospital appointment for hysteroscopy, so about 3 separate appointments over about 6 weeks. If they can get GPs or nurses to go straight for hysteroscopies, they hope to sort problems in a single visit. Many women report excruciatingly painful experiences, most had no idea what they were letting themselves in for, and felt they couldn’t ask for the procedure to stop, as they would have to have it done again, so many suffered in silence, not knowing they had a right to ask for a GA appointment. It seems that NHS hospitals are not telling women this as they get incentive payments to avoid anaesthesia.

    • This sounds like it has come straight from Mengele’s textbook.

      There have been complaints that hospitals are cutting down on epidurals for women in labour, and that has led to a review of maternity services within 6 NHS Trusts, and they are being told to respect a woman’s choice, so it’s invariably, back to square one again.

      So, why are they regressing again here?

      I doubt GA is the scourge of the NHS’ financial problems, and allowing a nurse to perform this procedure is quite frankly, barbaric. They cannot issue prescriptions, why are they allowed to do something like this??

      The NHS is a dangerous place for female patients it seems.

  25. Not sure if this was posted already. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/feb/07/gp-manish-shah-sexually-assaulted-24-patients-given-three-life-sentences

    “GP who sexually assaulted 24 patients jailed for life. Manish Shah committed 90 assaults on patients he gave unnecessary examinations to.

    The 50-year-old, who claimed he had been practising “defensive medicine”, flouted medical guidelines by giving healthy women under 25 smear tests and by making breast examinations on under-50s.”

    So it looks like “unnecessary examinations” are now being viewed as sexual assault in the UK (and rightfully so). Even though it seems like some information on what exactly happened during these exams (apart from the doctor sometimes not using gloves and leaving his patients naked and humiliated) may be omitted from these articles. I must say I’m happy with the sentence he got though. Hopefully this serves as a warning and makes more doctors re-think their practices.

    • Claire, I was also pleased to see that a non-consenting smear test can now be referred to as the crime of “assault by penetration”. This is a first. I too thought that the reporting on this was kept low key, and refrained from linking this sordid business with cervical screening. They clearly didn’t want to open the flood gates on how widespread the abuse must be.

    • So….. this doctor used Jade Goody to ‘persuade’ women into unnecessary examinations and that is ‘bad’ in this instance, but the cervical screening zealots use her name all the time to ‘encourage’ women to screen and apparently this is ‘good’. Coercion is coercion whatever the motive. Coercion when penetrating someone’s private parts is assault.

  26. GA slows things down a lot, patients are not out the door as quickly, you have to observe them while they’re waking up, keep them a bit longer, you’d get through more procedures with no GA. Of course, that’s not a good reason to allow nurses to do them without GA.
    Interesting, I was reading the comments of a doctor whose wife had just given birth, he was critical of midwives encouraging women to go without epidurals, he made a good point, if patients were screaming in pain in any other ward of the hospital, it would be unacceptable.
    He felt there was no need for women to suffer when we have effective pain control, safer c-sections etc. it’s often argued that childbirth is a natural process, so is passing a kidney stone but no one would suggest screaming for hours was acceptable in that case.
    I wonder too whether childbirth is used to justify hurting and embarrassing women in other areas, comments like…it’s not as bad as childbirth or women cope better with pain or women need to get over modesty…because they go through childbirth.

    • The attitudes pervasive in screening seem to mirror those of childbirth.

      Over the last decade, there has been a renewed push on “natural birth” (which includes forgoing pain relief or any sort of medical intervention).
      Women with healthy pregnancies are encouraged to give birth at home or in midwife-led units, replete with scented candles and beanbags. Fine if that is what women really want, not so fine if it’s not and problems develop during labour and the midwives do not pick up on the problems quickly enough.

      Of course, this masks the fact that this rather militant subset of the medical profession has completely forgotten why birth was medicalised in the first place.

      A number of scandals and tragedies have emerged, showing the effects of midwives taking this to the extreme, with several baby and maternal deaths as a result, and it has also uncovered a conflict between consultant-led care (which favours medical intervention) as opposed to midwifery-led care (which doesn’t).

      Unfortunately, the latter has been given far too much “free rein” within the NHS, and now there are efforts to reverse this and give women some more control over the process.

      Obviously, I am sure there are some wonderful midwives out there, but a few unsavoury bunch have given the others a bad name with horrific consequences.

      Again, it’s the same sort of attitudes seen with screening, where women are viewed as public property, where things are done to them etc, and where choice, the concept of dignity and consent appear to be alien.

  27. https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/contraceptive-pill-can-now-be-home-delivered-saving-women-having-to-visit-the-doctor-for-a-fresh-script-c-694314
    Wow, women can now order the pill online and have it delivered to their home, it’s only taken 50 years or so but surprised this has been allowed to happen, think it will be very popular.

    It’s disgraceful that unnecessary medical barriers have been in place for so long, definitely resulting in unplanned pregnancies, abortions, miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies.
    Of course, doctors are “concerned”…the consult checks on cervical cancer screening, STI checks and blood pressure. The online service encourages women to get these checks but essentially, shock, horror, it’s up to the woman as far as screening is concerned, think blood pressure can be checked at a pharmacy.
    Women should have the right to make their own screening decisions, the Pill should never have been tied to cancer screening and STI screening.
    I might have used the Pill in the 80s and 90s but the medical barriers were unacceptable to me, you basically had to agree to an assault every few months to get the Pill.
    Hope this service finally gives women easy access to something that should always have been readily available…

    • No surprise to see yet another (male) GP bemoaning this change in state of affairs… “urging caution” and claiming that face to face appointments are “still necessary”. Course they are lol. Don’t like letting go of that control do they?

    • Elizabeth, I love your posts. I’ve never heard anyone speak of these topics outside this site. Have you ever heard of Chain Camera films? It would be amazing if they would cover this topic. It seems in line with the topics they’ve covered.

  28. So now, “experts” propose that women be asked about the number of sexual partners they have had to “complement existing screening programmes”:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7999725/Having-10-sexual-partners-DOUBLES-womens-risk-cancer-study-claims.html

    I thought they were doing this already? Or else, asking equally invasive and inappropriate questions?

    No wonder the NHS really doesn’t want to see the introduction of self-testing kits. How would they access all that information and exercise control over the women who divulged them?

    • AQ at my last smear in 2000 I was asked about previous partners and mu sexual habits. I refused to answer as I have never sought treatment for an STI or unwanted pregnancy ..
      Of course men will be asked too at well man check ups or just opportunistic ally?

  29. I thought I’d ask for some advice here, I have an idea what might happen next but you’re all pretty knowledgeable so please chime in! I’m an old poster from the Blogcritics days. I still post here sometimes.

    My left nipple has started to invert itself. At first I wasn’t sure as it was very slight, but it’s getting deeper so I’m pretty sure now. Has been slowly changing for a month or two I guess. I know this can be a sign of cancer, or it can just be a weird random inversion which means nothing! I can’t feel any lumps there, the breast itself seems pretty normal to me (I do check them sometimes so I’m familiar with the regular lumps and bumps). My partner thinks the area around the nipple looks red, but I can’t see it.

    I’m making an appointment with a female doctor next week. From what we’ve talked about here and other places on the net, the first step is for the doctor to do a manual exam, then I might be sent off to have a mammogram, followed by an ultrasound if they find anything.

    I’m thinking I’ll skip the mammogram and go straight for the ultrasound as my breasts are quite large (F cup here in Australia) and very dense. I don’t fancy the idea of squashing the crap out of them on the mammogram – some women say they have pain and discomfort for weeks or months afterwards, which doctors poo-poo as women being dramatic, but I believe other women over the medial profession any day – and I know that if there is something there, the compression can make the lump/cyst/whatever break out of its capsule and start spreading. Which I don’t really fancy…

    I’m a biologist and I’m in my forties, so I’m pretty good with understanding medical lingo and procedures, and I am quite prepared to put my foot down against some of the things that doctors try to do! I refuse cholesterol checks, pap smears (never had one, and won’t unless I have symptoms) and most other things. I’m definitely not a compliant patient!

    Any advice? Anyone else had a nipple do this?

    Thanks.

    • Hi AQ
      I think you’re wise to skip the mammogram and go straight to ultrasound. It may be a breast cyst, a friend had one, it was confirmed by ultrasound, it’s not a problem so has remained in place.
      The issue of crushing a breast lump has been raised a few times by professionals I respect, think it was also mentioned in ”The Promise”.
      The other issue, seeding during needle aspiration and biopsy, there’s a few journal articles on the topic.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4015162/#!po=54.3478

      If a lump/mass is detected by the ultrasound, I’d get some advice, do some reading, it may be best to go for a lumpectomy with a margin. (rather than biopsy or needle aspiration)

      I doubt a GP will stop at the CBE stage, not sure they’re helpful even when the woman presents with a breast issue but it can’t hurt, think most GPs would send you for a mammogram to be on the safe side, of course, women may get more than one mammogram too, so you get even more crushing…

      As we get older, we get more lumps and bumps, since my 50s I’ve started to develop more cysts, my skin is thinning and more sensitive, I’m sure I have more lumps and bumps where I can’t see them too…
      All the best, you’re approaching this the right way.

  30. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/feb/07/new-mothers–receive-health-check-six-weeks-after-giving-birth-nhs-england

    Call me cynical, but I would love nothing more than for these six-week post checks to be an opportunity to identify problems associated with poor mental health in new mothers, but I don’t think they will.

    The fact that this has been championed by the NCT and welcomed by GPs, obstetricians and gynaecologists suggests to me that these appointments will be hijacked and replaced with questions such as, “how are you getting on with breastfeeding”, and “isn’t it time for your next smear”.

    Another clue lies in the suggestion that practice nurses may be allowed to carry out these “checks”.
    As we know, they are unable to prescribe any medication so how are women supposed to get their antidepressants (if they want them)?

    Just another load of bs dressed up as “empowering women”.

  31. The satisfying thing is…the numbers will continue to fall and there’s not a damn thing they can do about it – more women are making informed decisions, you can’t scare or mislead them – and more women have the confidence to say NO as more women speak candidly about the testing and their choice to PASS – safety in numbers so to speak…gone are the days when women were fearful to speak frankly – now the zealots who hurl insults just sound irrational and brainwashed.

    • Thanks for the info. I printed it. And I assure you many highlighted copies will be distributed.
      Want to have some fun?
      Know all those junk mail postage prepaid envelopes? Don’t waste them!
      Stuff them chock full of useful information like this Title IX stuff. Send them off.
      Leave copies in high school bathrooms or on parked cars. Sneak them into magazines inside doctors offices.

  32. Just checked it out comments r moderated and so doubt ours will get through. Also this is a Scottish woman and the stats about deaths and cases are US women not UK!!THE DM is really a crap paper..or maybe they think we won’t notice and be so scared we all rush to get tested lol

  33. It makes my blood boil. UK authorities and our “world class” NHS are barely interested in screening those for coronavirus which given the purported mortality rate of 2% IS a genuine concern and the pathetic and failed containment practices could cause an epidemic in this country.

    Yet, they continue to insist on screening using an archaic methodology for something only 0.05% of women are expected to contract during their lifetimes. Compare that to the 1 in 10 Britons who could contract COVID-19 during an epidemic (20% of whom will need “critical” care!).

    They have the cheek to call cervical cancer an “epidemic”, when they make little real effort to contain a real epidemic when it is staring them in the face.

    Real evidence, if ever it were needed, that screening is not about preventing an epidemic, but lining pockets and satisfying interests.

    Sorry – rant over!

    • Kat, it makes my blood boil!

      Compare their lax, slow and frankly inept attitudes towards this virus compared to cervical cancer!

      When they go on and on about screening, we should start asking them why they are so worried about cervical cancer with it’s 0.05 -0.65% lifetime contraction risk, when they are not worried about the coronavirus!

  34. They’re developing a new pap test but this time to screen for ovarian cancer : https://muhc.ca/news-and-patient-stories/releases/ovarian-and-endometrial-cancers-6m-closer-lifesaving-screening , right in time to catch the falling rates of regular pap I guess! So will women be blackmailed into it if they’re reluctant just like they do with the regular pap these days by holding medication and health care hostage of these rubbish tests? You bet, they say it’ll target women aged 45-70, so I guess anyone needing HRT, blood pressure or any other older age medecine will have to jump through the hoops, argue or find a doctor who agrees with us about screening. They’ve never properly tested the pap with proper double blind randomized trials to know if it’s really effective – we know it’s not even without it! – and now they’re pushing for the exact same thing over again, they never learn don’t they. Just like mammograms, who is finally starting to lose its hype after decades of massive PR campaigns, if they find it earlier, how many women will needlessly be diagnosed and treated, if they mostly know ovarian cancer in the late stages, how can they tell when an ovarian cancer can be left alone ?

      • Isn’t this hysterescopy? Which is horribly painful and women aren’t told? They’re planning to do it in doctors surgeries by a nurse o think I read? No way am I signing up lol

    • This is DEFINITELY a result of the widespread uptake of IUDs. Now that doctors know that large numbers of women are willing to have an intrauterine implant without anesthesia, an intrauterine pap is the obvious next step.

    • They are pesky aren’t they?! Did it not occur to them to develop a self-sampling kit for this? Of course it didn’t lol.

      My bad but how is the rate of false positives “near zero,” if it can accurately detect 70% of ovarian or endometrial tumours? Am I missing something? That already suggests that it misses 30% of cases so I have a hard time believing there is a zero false positive rate as well.

      Perhaps it has some merit as an investigative tool but as a screening tool, it’s the same old story.

    • A “clinician friendly sampling kit”. How very reassuring for the clinician. The patient however, you know, the one on the receiving end of this barbarity, can continue to suck it up.

  35. Whatever happened to the international screening criteria that was supposed to apply to screening tests? Endometrial cancer has very obvious symptoms in postmenopausal women from the start, with the exception of some aggressive rare types in pre-menopausal women and these get a late diagnosis, because often confused with irregular/heavy periods. I read that in India, they are analysing menstrual blood from used sanitary products and can get good readings from this, whether HPV is present. This should be used here. It was me who posted that hysteroscopies are now planned to take place in GP surferies with trained practice nurses.
    You are right Rose2, if they can insert and remove an IUD, it’s just another step to get the pincers up there. Women’s health is getting ever more policed and invasive. Very sad.

    • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6501119/

      Here’s a report on what is planned for hysteroscopies in the UK community and “eventually primary care” aka your GP surgery. It gives clear guidance that women should be fully informed of the procedures, but we know this is not happening as one of the action groups I follow regularly reports that women are told that it’s just like smear test, that there are no options for anaesthesia at all, as it is painless. In fact the UK hospitals are financially incentivised NOT to use anaesthesia. Just like smear tests, they claim women are under no pressure to attend, and attendance is voluntary, but we know the doctors are given incentive payments. Same trick.

      • And here’s the result of not using anesthesia : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8067739/Grandmother-three-67-left-PTSD-routine-NHS-medical-check.html . For once a good article on the subject by the DM!

        Yes the widespread use of IUD is a good theory, along with others such as the HPV vaccine who almost started to make the pap smears pointless, and also starting to recommend them every 5 years in some cases. If a bunch of women are willing to submit and endure these procedures to have an IUD and all the subsequent side effects of having an IUD, in their mind it can be applied to all women, and the women who don’t accept these are marginalized. I’ve noticed this state of mind keeps on living, that all women naturally accept these exams (because they’re “trained” into them) and never think it’s a big deal and never question them.

      • OMG, that is horrendous! I’m so sick of doctors describing invasive painful procedures done on women as just ‘routine’ and ‘uncomfortable’. Its such utter crap and baloney.

        I’m having a mammogram tomorrow, and I will be warning the technician that the moment it gets painful, BACK IT OFF!!! I decided to have one as ultrasounds are shit at seeing deep into the breast. But I will be stopping it the moment it becomes painful, and I am prepared to break the machine to get free if I get a technician who says ‘Just a moment, almost done!’ and refuses to stop! The max compression pressure they use is 20kgs apparently. Stuff that.

        I’ve also been reading about stereoscopic breast biopsies, and jesus, I will be demanding sedation for that (if I even agree to a biopsy as they are trigger happy about demanding biopsies) as apparently they bully women into it and never let on how painful it can be, we’re supposed to be ok with no pain relief because ‘thats how its done’. Jesus, no way jose!

      • Sorry, I meant ‘no adequate anaesthesia’, as they do use local anaesthetic injections, but no actual sedation for what is quite a painful and barbaric procedure.

        They hit nerves, inject the wrong spot, don’t use enough local, all sorts of things which they know do happen but they shrug off as ‘nothing to worry about’.

        Nothing to worry about as long as you’re not the woman its being done to! Sadistic to the extreme.

      • There seems to be a mild Mengele mentality when it comes to women’s reproductive health issues.

      • I don’t believe it’s all about cost-cutting, although it is a factor and used to justify decisions made for other reasons.

        It’s the same story with denying women epidurals during labour, the mesh scandals and forcing pap smears and mammograms.

        A large part of this is ideologically-driven in my opinion.

      • Ozphoenix, I can’t seem to reply directly to you, but best wishes for your upcoming appointment, and hope it all goes much better than you expect. Let us know how you get on.

        My sister had 4 biopsies and they found DCIS, which is why she had her mastectomy. It can be very difficult to make a decision what to do next if they find DCIS. At first she was sure she’d get off with a lumpectomy, but further biopsies found more DCIS. The mastectomy with breast reconstruction was one hell of an op, and requires a week in hospital in a very hot room, to get the transplanted flesh to take. Because a substantial chunk of abdominal tissue is removed, a bandage “girdle” needs to worn constantly for some time. In fact, the op was last September and she is still under regular appointments from the plastics team, as there is still some fluid build-up. I have decided that if I am ever to face mastectomy I will not be having reconstruction. I’ll be out the next day, with a sock in my bra, and hopefully discharged a few weeks later. Considering that she waltzed into the mammogram, completely unaware of downsides to screening, and in perfect health, she’s taken a big blow to her wellbeing. Do ask all the questions you possibly can, before they get biopsy happy.

  36. I might be wrong but I thought they were proposing an intrauterine swab, whereas I think hysteroscopy views the inside of the uterus, and often includes a biopsy and they might even remove a fibroid.

    Even so, the swab would not be an easy procedure, especially in older women – just getting up through the cervix, well, that sounds painful especially for the roughly 40% of older women who have some atrophy – that means a lot of pain, possibly tearing, bleeding, UTI’s.

    Honestly, putting women through that is just plain sadistic.
    You have to wonder about the “people” who formulate these tests – they must be devoid of all decency and compassion… sometimes it sounds like they hate women, want to control, humiliate and harm women.
    It really is frightening…

    • Yes it does, and I’ve always believed this to be the case, looking at the wording of old pap smear “invitations” for example, when they talk of, should, must and why “it needs to be done”. That use of language is now being curtailed slightly by the NHS.

      But I also believe there is a perverse and sexual mentality behind it, I really do.

      There are also female healthcare professionals out there with internalised misogyny and liberally misguided, thinking it is the “empowering” thing to fo.

    • Incredibly painful. If it’s similar to IUD insertion, they first hook the cervix with a tenaculum that has prongs that pierces the cervix to hold it in place. I imagine this would also be done when taking an interuterine swab. I can’t find a video about what this new pap will look here but I watched a video that shows getting an IUD inserted to get a general idea of what entering the cervix is actually like https://www.operationalmedicine.org/ed2/Video/iud_insertion_and_removal_video.htm Caution it is quite graphic. Especially by the end when blood is pouring out of the cervix. This is being done on a fully awake women. It turns my stomach.

      • If women here in the UK are declining the smear test in ever increasing numbers because of it’s invasiveness, good luck getting them to sign up for this 👍😂

      • Hook and pierce the cervix!
        What is it about the poor cervix? The poor thing takes a bashing right through life and I’m not talking about childbirth, it’s all the medical attention, IMO, almost all is unnecessary.
        Just the constant trauma might be enough to produce areas that look “abnormal”…the medical profession seem obsessed with the cervix.
        Thankfully, my cervix is blissfully unaware of hooks, piercings and everything else, hope it stays that way!
        It does astonish me that women would agree to an IUD, the whole idea has always horrified me, I know my mother had one for a few years, she didn’t have any issues but did find the insertion painful and this was after giving birth to baby 4 and 5, both 10lb boys.

      • Any woman who’s had an endometrial biopsy knows in advance the pain this entails. Be a “friendly swab,” or whatever the hell else dreamy “friendly” they imagine, in reality it won’t be any bit of that.
        I mean, how can’t we forget those innocent unsterile wooden spatulas they said would “smear” but in fact they scraped until drawing blood.
        First time, shame on you. Second, shame on me.
        Whenever they wiggle or burrow or scrape or swab their whatever, it will trigger unbelievable pain. Unbelievable until you feel it.
        And another thing not mentioned. It’s invasive.
        The room it’s being performed inside is far from sterile.
        Why can’t this be done via urine or blood?
        The Trovagene urine HPV test proves these cells or their DNA waste gets filtered out in our urine.
        There has to be a passive, truly woman friendly method vs the madness we endure.

      • OMG that looks so painful, no way could I allow that, and the stretching of the cervix hole just leaves you more susceptible for HPV to enter through. Also using a metal speculum! It is a known fact that the metal harbours germs and has been proven in the past which is why plastic disposable were introduced!

    • Good advice, Ada
      Speaking generally, a reconstruction is probably something to think about later, after you’re over the mastectomy. (if the woman chooses to do that) I wonder if it’s better to see how you feel too, some women find months after a mastectomy, that they’re not so keen on a reconstruction. It gives you time to look at options too.
      Ada, your sister has been through a lot, and for DCIS, but as we all know, when these “simple” and “life saving” tests come back with “something” it can be very difficult to ignore or just monitor…that’s why we should be told about DCIS in clear terms before we have that screening mammogram.
      Not that many women in this forum will be going down that path, it can lead to some very scary places.
      Hope your sister continues to improve, is she now happy with the end result? Was it worth all the pain and discomfort?

      • Brest biopsies, I know women who said it was fine, just a bit of discomfort, others found the whole day so emotionally draining and worrying that they cried and needed a psychologist to be present during the biopsies. (this was after a day of hanging around at BreastScreen after a call back, and going through the various checks until 2-3 women are left..and biopsies are recommended. I know lots who’ve had call backs but in every case, it was nothing…false positives)
        Apart from:
        A family friend had something taken out, a lumpectomy, but it was so tiny it wasn’t even a lump..I really doubt it would have been an issue for her… these machines can pick up tiny things now. Of course, now her daughters are labelled high risk because Mum had breast cancer…it’s in her medical records now…and she may have issues getting some types of insurance too.

        So it sounds like an individual thing, but women should certainly speak up, if the procedure is painful.
        I know it slows everything down, but tough, women should insist on sedation if they’re really concerned…
        I had an eye procedure a few years ago, I couldn’t face it without sedation, they were unhappy, it slows down the conveyor belt, but I insisted or I was leaving.. so I got something, I lost time, have no memory of the procedure.
        Just remember the grumpy nurse when I woke up muttering how everyone else managed without sedation…great bedside manner!

      • She looked well when I last saw her, but we don’t live near one another, so I only see her when she comes to visit our elderly mother 2-3 times per year. She told me that the fake breast has a fluid build up, and is to be reviewed in a few months time.

        It’s not the DCIS which is a problem but all the plastic surgery. A breast removal is 1 night in hospital and then home, but in reconstruction, the abdominal wound to get the replacement flesh is more damage to the body than a breast removal. I fully understand that it is a nightmare to wake up after an op and see one breast gone, but after realising what reconstruction entails, I think I won’t be having reconstruction should I ever be faced with this situation.

        The fake breast has no sensation and no nipple, although these can be tattooed on later, she hasn’t gone down that road yet. It could be that they need to make sure the fake breast has taken for a year before doing so. But it has been and endless round of hospital appointments and many more to come- she says she will need yearly mammograms, as now considered a “high risk” person. So what happens then, if they find DCIS in the other one? Where does the reconstruction flesh come from for this one? A buttock, perhaps?

        It is a slippery slope from one intervention to another, and proves that women are totally uninformed as to what they are letting themselves in for. She recently found out by chance that her first mammo at age 48, was part of this AgeX trial going on in the UK to invite younger and older women beyond the ages of the current screening programme. Fiercely opposed by McCartney and many others, but it still goes ahead and uninformed women are lapping it up. My sister also told me that she’d never heard of DCIS before going for the mammo. They’ve slipped it into newer leaflets, a couple of lines in the middle, so women who have been screening for some years are completely unaware the leaflets have been updated.

        When I had the womb cancer, I walked out of my first appointment, just seeing the room! They knew they had to offer me GA to get me to go through the hysteroscopy. It was an awful time, but looking back it was all over in about 5 appointments, and never been back since the one and only post-op check in 2014. Six years ago now, but my sister looks like still having regular appointments for some time to come. It’s a whole new career, and the psychological burden of all this is never considered in the research.

        I’ll never forget the words of the consultant who treated me for womb cancer “Mammography, I wouldn’t go for that if I were you”

  37. You’re right AQ and Caroline. We may have an epidemic of coronavirus. We might catch that and die but at least we can die knowing our cervix is fine!!

    • Hmm… I thought surgeries and hospitals wouldn’t be able to cope with screening and outpatient colonoscopy appointments due to all the demand being taken up with the coronavirus outbreak? 🤔

    • I feel like going and buying a pre-need tombstone – name, birth date and blank death date, with the epitaph “At least she didn’t die of cervical cancer!”

    • Someone will come up with the idea and they’ll no doubt be nominated for a “best practice” award despite their patients becoming ill with the coronavirus. It’ll be a case of, “well every silver lining”… 😂😂

      • One of the first questions any woman will be asked if she presents herself with coronavirus symptoms is “When was your last pap?” They’ll be more worried about that than “Did you have exposure to someone positive for coronavirus?” Then, the push to get a pap test “today”. Worries about coronavirus can wait for the next appointment…. unless, of course, you become very sick, call and go to an emergency room with facilities to isolate you, where they’ll STILL have more questions about your cervix than they have about pandemic disease symptoms.

        For all of this, they can get some hefty reimbursement – or add it to the woman’s bill.

  38. Yet another piece in the daily fail about the new “invitations ‘ and leaflets for smears mentioning the word women but informing ppl with a cervix they “need” smears

  39. New piece on PHE screening blog. Praising all the wonderful nurses who administer smears. Women feel safer and better being smeared by nurses apparently. …

    • Can’t wait to see how the coronavirus affects uptake of screening. Many GP surgeries expecting to deal with as many patients as possible by phone. I expect the tabloids will be full of stories from young women pouting into the camera telling how the coronavirus is “costing them their life”, because they can’t get a smear test. Nevermind about the older people most at risk.

  40. It’s interesting the State of Queensland is further loosening the medical barriers around the Pill, and they’re calling for the Federal Heath Minister to take the Pill off script.

    Naturally, the same voices are screaming that women will die – the old scare tactics.
    It’s largely falling on deaf ears though, more women understand the Pill has been proven safe after decades of use and the consult is a quick blood pressure test and they get their script or that plus pressure to have a cervical screening test. I think some doctors still target this consult – also, for STI testing.

    The arguments against easy access to the Pill are just ridiculous – “it’s a wellness visit, an opportunity to get sexual health advice, test for STIs, nutrition advice, weight management, breast checks (haven’t been recommended in many years) mental health, domestic violence” etc.

    An absolute load of nonsense!
    How many 5 minute consults have time for all of that…but more importantly, IF women want to discuss these issues, THEY’LL ASK…I think women are sick of nosy questions or unnecessary exams and tests.

    Why don’t we put condoms on script so men can be quizzed about their sexual issues, do STI testing etc.?
    It’s time women enjoyed the same freedom, to pick up birth control at the chemist, over the counter – no script.

    While we continue to block access, we risk unplanned pregnancies, miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, the need for abortions – serious heath and life issues flow from unnecessary medical barriers around the Pill.
    It’s crazy to argue women will miss out on wellness checks when you’re content for them to risk an unplanned pregnancy or abortion.
    It about control of women and profits, and the game is almost over, women are entitled to control their own lives and contraception, whether the medical profession likes it or not.

    • Hi Kat, I’ve seen some people post online that they’ve been told their appointment will be “done over the phone” and made a big joke about it, but I’ve not seen anyone post what was actually said at these telephone appointments. My guess is that the nurse rings them back and asks them if they have any symptoms, and if not, they are asked to come at a later date when the crisis is over.

      A lot of staff are being redeployed, and it looks like screening has been put on the back burner, but no way of knowing for sure.

      Hoping that when all this is over, it will change a great deal in the way we work and access medical care, and I’ve seen many people post similar comments, that a lot can be done remotely, without the daily commute or need for appointments.

      I saw a big GP chat about how doing many more appointments over the phone is the way to go, and saying they should continue doing this when COVID19 goes and life gets back to normal. He said he’d got far more done this way and had only asked a minority of patients to come into the surgery. Let’s hope this happens in the future, as there will be no more coercing women during other appointments for a smear test, and no more being cornered by the nurse, on the way out. I should imagine the uptake will be way down for this year, and hopefully never get above 70% again.
      Stay well everyone. This could be the game changer we’ve been waiting for.

    • I don’t know about pap screening, but multiple hospitals in the US have said they are still doing “all procedures” including “elective surgeries”. Yeah, like I want to go to a hospital for anything intrusive when they are full of flu and corona virus patients! Meanwhile, they’re complaining of “shortages” of everything from personnel to gloves to rooms. I’m sure some of those “procedures” include colposcopies, biopsies and LEEP procedures and hysterectomies.

      I saw someone with an “I’ve been tested for COVID-19” sticker. I asked, and she went through a theater of a guard at the door of the hospital, taking her temperature, asking if she’d traveled out of state in the past 14 days, and if she was feeling well. Nobody could possibly lie about any of that.

      • Update here: My State governor has ordered healthcare facilities to stop elective surgeries and procedures for the duration of the pandemic, among other rules. Tomorrow, I expect to hear the screaming of fears of death of CC and breast cancer without these “lifesaving” procedures. If this lasts more than a couple of weeks, and they have to “start over”, it’ll be interesting to see how re-testing might show that these tests were not needed.

      • Just glancing at twitter, and some pracrice nurses are asking what to do. There seems to be no official guidance, but replies have been along the lines of “we are only seeing those on 12 month recall and asking others to wait until the pandemic is over”. I guessed the telephone appointments would be along those lines. NHS Scotland halted all invitations going out last week. Don’t know what England has been doing. Quite a few astonished comments from women, amazed that it is not so urgent after all. One, who had been told to wait 6 weeks said it was a matter of life and death for her! As you say, there’s going to be a lot of women realising that it’s not urgent and is actually a non-essential service, and I’m sure they’re very worried women will lose faith in the programme.
        Can just see them now working on offering COVID19 testing from a smear sample. They are always trying to use it to find other diseases to keep it going.
        At our hospital, elective operations are also cancelled to make way for COVID19 treatment centres.

    • Ada I’ve been having fun on Jos Tosh shite . … so many women worried their smear Is delayed. One had her very 1st smear postponed. I pointed out 80% of the entire population could get covid 19 but just 0.65% of women get CC . I poi Ted out the number of CC deaths and the number of covid deaths and suggested if she didn’t have symptoms of cancer it wasn’t such a big deal!! Kat among the pigeons lol

      • I also checked out the odious cervicalhealthhannah on instagram for any new words of wisdom on covid 19 and smears but she’s gone quiet. Hope she’s not a covid 19 victim too for all she’s annoying..

      • I hope so much that COVID19 becomes the catalyst for change. So many are going to think that it’s not so essential after all, and won’t be so eager to re-book. I’m sure the pro-screeners are very worried they’ll lose their grip over women and won’t get them back. Expect Jo’s Tosh to go full out afterwards with their campaigns, but hope the seed of doubt has been sown, and women accept this for what it is – a non-essential service with no urgency, if they go at all.

  41. Hopefully the women will see that if they have no symptoms and it’s suggested they smear when pandemic is over they’ll realise it’s not so life and death as previously made out…and hooray yes the figures of screened people will be way down. Maybe they’ll decide these programmes aren’t cost effective

    • Hi everyone. keep well and stay safe. i am thinking about you all.

      Was wondering myself what was going to be happening about smear tests. Yes this will reveal they’re not so urgent after all.

      Linda

      x

      • All routine screening programmes are being temporarily shelved in Wales apparently.

        Puts the term “epidemic” in perspective doesn’t it? 😲

      • They’ve been saying for years that CC is an “epidemic”, using that word to gin up fear.

        It won’t be as effective once people have seen what the word “epidemic” (or pandemic) means.

        The only “epidemic” we’ve seen is using this as an excuse to probe every woman’s vagina any time she tries to access health care for anything.

      • If a woman has worrying symptoms of cervical cancer then the pap test should still go ahead, pandemic or not.

        But with NO symptoms? The ridiculous screening program should be booted, and rightly so.

        I’m worried we might start seeing women making up petitions and pestering the media to run stories about the lack of random pap smearing though. We know what the sheep are like when you mess with the smear!!

      • I don’t doubt the media is already gearing up those stories, Oz, but I’ve seen a few better informed women asking why self-testing kits aren’t being sent out. As Australia has already got self-testing, is there any sign of self-test kits being sent out to people? Of course they know that once this happens there’s no going back to the appointments. Here in the UK they claim to be still trying to “invent” self-testing.
        Read today that one GP surgery is proudly announcing that they are still doing smears: they ask women to wait in their cars outside the practice, and the nurse goes outside and calls them in one at a time to do the smear test. Like a bloody “drive thru”. So utterly pathetic. These people really have got their priorities so very wrong, and I don’t think this is legal in the current lockdown.

  42. Morning ladies,

    Do any of you wonderful and well informed ladies have any websites or links for information regarding how rare cc is and how unreliable paps are, while I’m on furlough leave at work I’d really like to educate myself, I really need to convince myself I’m doing the right thing I defo not getting another smear but I need to rid that tiny doubt in the back of my mind, also I know I could test for hpv but I’m worried if I tested positive I would freak, I know you probably know my history but I will recap I’ve been with the same partner for 30 years who swears he has been monogamous the whole time and I believe him, I hade one other partner before always protected, never smoked, dont take bc, always had normal paps, never had an sti, eat healthy, the only thing that puts doubt in my head is the last time I had sex with hubby I had slight blood spots after and this has made me scared to have sex again, I’m nearly 47 and perimenopause I also have a small fibroid, cervical erosion.

    Anyway ladies I’m sorry for going on just need some reassurance.

    Many thanks
    Sherry xx

  43. Ada that’s scary. ..still doing drive thru smears.is I The range yesterday for foodshop wearing a mask and gloves. I was offered sanitiser at the door to clean my trolley. At the checkout the guy cleaned the belt before and after my stuff went on it. This is a shop. Are the nurses really cleaning the room the bed and everything else as thoroughly between victims? And if the virus can live in the air for 3 hours is both nurse and victim wearing a mask? I suspect your right…not even legal

  44. Just seen that Scotland has cancelled all elective surgery and all screening programmes for 12 weeks to concentrate on the coronavirus pandemic.
    More outraged scared women taking to Jos Tosh Shite? ? I posted there Wales had suspended their programmes which had puzzled women who had been previously told we MUST screen at all costs and that Wales had done a thorough risk assessment. Wonder if it’ll sink in??

    • I’ve seen a lot of this as well, women can’t grasp why all of a sudden it’s not urgent any longer. Some of them must wake up surely?!?

      One woman was posting about all the lives that will be lost, seemingly unaware of the lives that will be lost ot COVID19.

      • Yes already more lives list to Covid 19 than lost to cervical cancer already and it’s not even been a year for Covid 19. Maybe smears are these womens security blanket lol….. a woman on Jos Tosh posted in reply to my comments about 0.65% she used that stat to stop going for smears now she has cancer. She’s very unlucky. 20 years since my last smear I’m still alive and kicking….

      • People don’t understand relative risk vs absolute risk. They also don’t understand probabilities vs possibilities.

        E.g., a woman with an abnormal pap has a risk of getting CC which will shorten their life. Someone with COVID-19 has a condition right now which failing to treat now will lead to their death within the week. Getting a treatment for that abnormal pap smear won’t change those probabilities much if it’s done now or next month or next year.

        In the US, about 4100 women per year die of CC. As of now, 2500 people in the US have died of COVID-19, with 140K diagnosed… and it’s only March, and cases are still exponentially mounting. Meanwhile, the US is the new epicenter of COVID-19, with little being done to stem the spread.

    • When all this is over, the health service will literally be bankrupt.
      They will need to go back to scratch as an organisation and start all over again.
      Maybe they will finally realise that they need less managers, more hospital doctors, nurses and life-saving equipment, and they will need to find a way to repay the huge bill incurred. This will be an opportunity to restructure and remodel the NHS, which has been looking increasingly tired for a number of years over the past two decades.
      I imagine there will be a public clamour for it.

      In all this, I cannot imagine that there will be money, time or resources left over for screening programmes or to distribute to dubious “charities” that like to operate as corporations or quangos, rather than for the purposes for which they were designed.

      If Jo’s Trust are genuinely worried, then I would assume that they are worried that the writing is on the wall.

      • I can’ wait to see the back of them, AQ.
        I’ve read somewhere that in Germany they don’t have all these charities as healthcare is properly funded and patients better informed. If a patient has to go worried witless for more information from a health charity, it is because the appointment didn’t give them enough information to start with, and doctors need to have more time at appointments to explain all the options. It’s not right that patients have to go online to seek out more info from charities, which don’t have medical professionals, but businessmen like Rob Music. As well as Jo’s Tosh, Eve Appeal and Macmillan also cover cervical cancer. How can they justify all chasing the same rare cancer?
        I’ve heard a lot of people saying that the NHS has been forced to change drastically over the past few weeks, let’s hope it stays that way and they concentrate on doing what matters!

      • I hope someone wakes up and realises that the likes of NCT and Jo’s To$$ers are just useless money suckers and that there is no money to fund them any longer.

        The fact that they are themselves worried, makes me suspect that something is significantly afoot.

        In the US apparently, the public v private healthcare dichtomy has generated considerable discussion in states such as New York and Nevada.

        I wonder whether there will be another sea change on the other side of the Atlantic.

  45. Morning ladies,

    I cant believe they are still sending out smear reminder letters during this lockdown, my drs is closed at the moment so god know where they will carry them out probably in the carpark, I recieved mine yesterday, surly they are not going ahead with these at the moment, it’s crazy, mines gone in the bin if I’m ever going to test again it will be a self hpv test I’m not enduring these barbaric test again and then the agonizing wait for the result it’s not good for someone with ocd and health anxiety.

    Anyway stay safe and well

    Sherry xx

  46. I think most of these “charities” are motivated by profits/greed – the pink ribbon juggernaut is one example; there was a bit of discussion about one sponsor selling products displaying the pink ribbon logo only to find they were donating a tiny amount to the program. It could be argued they were using the program to sell their products, profit was the primary motive.
    If you look closely at some of these charities, a lot of money goes into administration and awareness programs, very little into research – looking for better treatments or a cure.

    • *sigh* I’ve noticed that with numerous health-related charities. Very little of the money usually goes to actual patients or their treatments, but most of it goes to administration, awareness programs, and fundraising. I’ve had friends/family push me to donate to their favorite charity, only to look them up on Charity Navigator and find that nearly all of their money was spent paying their CEO!

    • You’re right Elizabeth, the pink branding to help breast cancer is just a whole lot of crap on the dung heap!

      ‘Buy our (insert random product here) and we’ll donate money to cure boob cancer!’

      What crap. I never buy pink products. The money is for company profits and not much else. Companies don’t ‘care’, they just like the image as a promo tool.

      Got asked once at the supermarket checkout if I wanted to buy a token to help boob cancer – the girl looked shocked when I said no way in hell! She stared briefly at my chest (I’m extra large) but kept her mouth shut.

  47. Morning ladies I know this is abit off topic but I have a few question I’d like to ask hopefully one of you knowledgeable ladies could answer no 1. Is it more likely you could get a false positive pap during perimenopause no 2. Are there co factors for persistant hpv infection as I cant find any real solid evidence on this subject and if there is can someone explain them no 3. Have any of you ladies had slight post coital bleeding and if so what did you do, is there a natural treatment, because whatever I read about this it always points to full blown cervical cancer and unfortunately I’m the sort of person that get sucked in by this. I dont want another smear ever but then my head keeps telling but what if you have cc.

    I’m sorry for being such a pest but sitting at home at the moment it has giving me to much time to think.

    Anyway thank you xxx

    • There is evidence that you are more likely to get a false positive during/after perimenopause. See https://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/714083/value-continuing-regular-papanicolaou-pap-smears-postmenopausal-women

      There are numerous co-factors for persistent HPV infection. These include childbirth, nutrition status, smoking, and numerous other factors. See https://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/cebp/14/5/1149.full.pdf If you’re really concerned, you can get a self-swab HPV test.

      I’ve had slight post coital bleedling years ago. I just ignored it until it went away – using a pantyliner or pad if needed. It does not “always” mean full-blown cervical cancer! According to https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4086375/ Table 2, young women (20-24) who have post-coital bleeding only have a 1:44,000 risk of having cervical cancer!

      Is there someone you can spend time with while sitting at home, presumably due to the COVID-19 outbreak? Can you call a friend or family member who may likewise be “stuck” at home? Get involved with a more real-time active online forum on some other topic that interests you? Brooding about your health, convincing yourself that you have a fatal illness is not going to be helpful to you – especially at this time with healthcare resources stretched pretty thin with COVID-19 victims, and keeping up with the other emergency conditions that arise.

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