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.

1,055 comments

  1. Beth, so true…
    Here we struggle to properly fund psychiatric services when suicide and other mental illness is a serious concern but there’s always heaps of funding for anything to do with cervical or breast cancer screening. (unless it doesn’t support the program)
    I also wonder at the cost of all the women left damaged with cervical stenosis and cervical incompetence who go on to have high risk pregnancies, infertility, miscarriage and premature babies – how many premature babies passed away or were left with an on-going disability?

    When these women usually suffered damage to their cervix in their 20s after a “treatment” – it says to me it could so easily have been avoided, the evidence has never supported screening before age 30. Over-treatment has harmed so many women…

    Look at the countries that don’t screen young women, you don’t see this awful damage and they don’t have lots of young women dying from cc either…they get the same rare cases that occur whether you screen or not. I suspect young women might get an earlier diagnosis in these countries too – they won’t be falsely reassured with a false negative Pap test.

    I also reflect on the pain and loss of quality of life…so many women unnecessarily going through bad life experiences – the cervix is there for a reason, leave it alone!

    • Yes, causing premature babies who live their first 3 or 4 months on life support, with lifetime disabilities, with a lifetime of mental problems caused by not being held as infants, then spends an OUTRAGEOUS amount of money over the course of these children’s lives – which might be ordinary length. Had you just left their mother’s cervix alone, they would have been born at term and had an ordinary, productive life.

      In the US, insurance at least used to have “lifetime caps”, then the parents’ money was used to pay for this – ending any possibility for any sort of savings or nest egg – going farther and farther into debt. If they have other children, they can forget about going to college!

      It all gets taken by the medical system that way…. It provides lots of jobs for a lot of these people. It makes money for device manufacturers. It contributes to overuse of the medical system. It gives suffering to the disabled baby, their siblings, and the couple who had these children.

    • Yes, same in the UK. Mental health and crisis services are woefully underfunded and yet there is a seeming bottomless pit of money for cervical screening ads.

      There is an ‘awareness’ ad at the moment going around social media with the headline 2 women die of cervical cancer everyday. Sad of course however 16people commit suicide everyday.

      Cervical screening has a budget in excess of £175m. I don’t know what the budget is for suicide prevention but I’m comfortable guessing it’s nowhere near that. It’s a disgrace that this propaganda machine is allowed to roll on and on.

      • I agree…
        We spend a fortune screening to prevent or catch a rare cancer, always rare here, while far greater risks to our lives go onto the back burner.
        There’s been a focus on domestic violence here, we currently have an ad on TV about sexual harassment on public transport, “call it out”…of course, how does the treatment of women by the govt, medical profession and these programs sit with these topics.
        Respect women is the catch cry…, yet they continue to lie, manipulate, harm and often, assault women.

      • Yes, there seems to be an endless pit of money from which to draw for these cervical screenings…. errr, diddlings…. errr, sexual assaults…. errr putting women in (our) place… errr frightening women and those who love us. There’s not enough money anywhere to pay for care for real diseases and conditions, nor is there money to pay for safe, warm housing, adequate food, protection from violence or harassment. One women in 2, 3, or 4 (depending on what statistic source) is a victim of rape or molestation, and one rape victim out of 16 attempts suicide. THAT’S A LOT OF WOMEN! That’s a lot of unneeded death and disability – and contrary to public opinion, just giving someone a pill or 3 is not going to be adequate suicide prevention.

        The amount spent or budgeted for cervical screening is nowhere near what this actually costs. The costs for follow-on procedures comes out of other budgets – such as hysterectomies, HRT. A proven outcome of hysterectomies is an increase in heart conditions, so treatment for those comes from other parts of healthcare budgets. The (apparent) anhedonia and “feeling out of touch with onesself” syndrome that comes after some LEEP procedures is a cost that cannot be addressed, nor is the creation of or worsening of PTSD symptoms from penetrating a woman without consent – using coercion – her feeling that she has no bodily autonomy (a basic human right).

      • I’m still unclear on just who is behind this propaganda machine – or if it is one entity. Follow the money…. money goes to the suppliers/manufacturers of the tests, money goes to the labs that test them, money goes to the clinicians who collect the paps. It seems that it’s part of a ritual more than any sort of even money-driven health scare, or a way for the clinicians to get more people in the clinic. There has been no random controlled trials to show that it “saves lives” – although some data from the UK shows that it has a tiny effect but I’m not sure that it’s statistically significant. It appears to have a low specificity and sensitivity – it would certainly not be approved if it were introduced today.

        It seems to have more in common with ritual. Believing that it prevents cancer or keeps women healthy is not based in anything scientific or evidence based – it’s just BELIEVED.

    • They don’t care about women damaged by the programme at all. They only care if these women bring them “bad press”, but I imagine that women will be shouted down like the “anti-vaxxers” if they dare make a song and dance about it, abd this is what’s worrying me in the UK atm.
      The screening rate is dropping at the rate of flies (apparently), however in response, the programme supporters are stamping their feet and throwing their toys out of the pram.
      The campaigning is becoming increasingly militant. These crazies are now demanding that we discuss smears everywhere – in tge salon, and in the workplace.
      It is no longer an awareness campaign, it’s an intimidation tactic that is about publicly “outing” and challenging “defaulters”.
      They hope that nosey colleagues will interfere and persuade these naughty women that they “must” go, that they’re irresponsible if they don’t go.
      It is a source of concern because it seems to be grounded in the notion of policing women, and as there is cracking down on “anti-vaxxer” dissent, I’m concerned that the same will eventually apply to screening, making it a “no-go” area for any form of discussion.
      As those rates are dropping, the screening proponents are hitting a brick wall and are becoming more desperate. I’ve never seen so many informed women on forums who are happy to challenge the shortfalls of screening, without fear of reproach.
      It is an interesting development, but I do wonder where it will end, and how far they’ll be willing to go to enforce screening.

      • Yes, I too have talked with pro-screeners, and been compared to an anti-vaxxer AND JUST AS DANGEROUS. Now, there’s absolutely no evidence that CC can be transmitted by casual contact or via airborne methods, as are most vaccine-preventable diseases. I invited the person if they don’t want to risk the spread of CC to themselves just STAY OUT OF MY VAGINA! I think I put the kabbash on that discussion, but WHEW! How can anyone even consider my vagina to be public property and of societal concern needing public surveillance?

  2. The feminists were vocal about our right to an annual free Pap test, I think they were used by vested interests, they saw the opportunity to make a fortune and it offered a great way of exerting control over women.
    The arrival of the Pill made it easy to coerce and pressure women into testing. The test was certainly tied to pre and post natal care too, and HRT, so they probably thought they could trap enough women to make the program look successful. The program also manipulated women to believe that testing was mandatory, unless you were some sort of reckless lunatic, it was just part of being a woman.
    I’ve heard many say cervical screening has been a huge success, that we’ve saved X number of lives (of course, could you trust their figures?..Hardly) Yet there’s been no discussion on the cost paid by the vast majority of women who would never have had an issue with cc – this huge group are just dumped on the side, collateral damage. Also, the way this program has been structured in many countries, it maximises the risk of over-treatment for zero additional benefit to women. (a lucrative sideline for doctors and served to mislead women, make it seem like lots of cc was being caught) We horribly over screened and included young women, both against long standing evidence, now we do HPV testing on women from 25, a high school student could find very swiftly that HPV testing should never start before 30.
    No doubt in my mind these programs have always been shaped by clueless politicians after votes or misguided applause and vested interests with no concern for women, just $$$

    • This has to be the most idiotic twist yet by the pro-screening brigade. How is undergoing an invasive unreliable test for a very rare cancer standing up for our reproductive rights? I would say it does just the opposite since traditionally women have been forced into these exams if she wants a pill prescription. What a collosal insult to our collective intelligence! And as for this ” destignatizing gyn visits” business, the fact remains that many women find these exams painful and humiliating and are going to avoid them no matter what, stigna or no stigna.

      • As far as going for pap tests, what sort of stigma has existed over going? It seems that the stigma is not going, and standing up and saying that it’s absurd to live your life around an obsessive search for a rare cancer. The only stigma about going to a GYN is if someone is going to diagnose or treat an STD, but that’s not this “big responsible empowered girlie” stuff.

      • Yeah, I was shocked when I found out about the unreliability of the screening and the rarity of CC. I had certainly never been given any of that information, so the informed part of informed consent was missing.

    • These sorts of tactics are very prevalent in the UK when the “screening authorities” start worrying about declining numbers. It’s a sign of desperation.
      Could just be that some are worrying that screening is on the backfoot in the US…

    • I think this is what Amy shimmer picture on instagram was about. Make lite of it normalize it. I don’t think so.

      • And also, by encouraging women to go, these idiots are indirectly admitting that they have a choice! If someone is having to persuade you to do something, it means it’s optional, otherwise you’d never have declined it!
        Whoops, own goal there Amy!

  3. What do they mean by reproductive rights? How are they being controlled? Who is the controller? It doesn’t make any sense. 🤷‍♀️

    • I’ll join you at a teeth pulling party.

      I don’t even know what to say….. people not responding well to the vagina cupcakes so sticking crystals on some plaster instead?!!

    • I just can’t imagine who they expect to come. It seems to be aimed at young women, but how many young women have £15 spare to spend on this, when Jo’s propaganda is freely available online. If you’ve got doubts about going and need convincing, would you pay to be convinced?

  4. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1v2GPXI30Mf-gUtLgVFLHb6owoYHHv7HQ/view?usp=drivesdk

    Latest meeting minutes from the UK National Screening Committee. Cervical from page 16 onwards. They are finally recommending that HPV screening interval be extended from current 3 to 5 years. No implementation time scale suggested. They also recommend further research into self testing for the future. They certainly don’t want to rush things. Got to be confirmed at June meeting. Don’t think we can expect any changes to the programme for the next decade.

  5. Reading further seems MsFaires never went back after having abnormal cells. The fact she’s still here didn’t register with her when someone else said and you didn’t go back they put a camera in you its so important and then shared her own story. The fact this is a rare cancer escaped Ms Fairs who now knows how important smears are….all well in paradise lol

    • Don’t you know that just KNOWING you have abnormal cells SAVES LIVES. It works even if you don’t go for follow-up appointments. No one seems to be able to explain the mechanism, nor how having the data of an abnormal smear, along with other irrelevant information about when you had your first period, first intercourse, education level, income, job title somehow effects that.

      Screen, ladies! Watched pots never boil!

      • Exactly LOL – my abnormal cells 10 years ago have not caused me any issues and I refused the colposcopy & any further screening….and here I am still alive! So KNOWING and doing nothing must have cured me too LMAO!

      • CHASUK – It must have been even more difficult to refuse all of those follow-on tests and referrals, after “knowing” something is abnormal. Screening is one thing, but when they (or you) know something is wrong, it becomes imperative to “do something”.

      • Do they seriously ask about your job, income and educational level? Wtf

      • Oh yes. They ask all of these categorization questions at least in the US. This has DATABASE written all over it! For income, one is asked in ranges – as if boxes are being ticked off somewhere.

        I have never been informed about any research project I might be participating in, nor have I given my consent to participate in such research. As hard as it was pushed at my last physician’s appointment, for diabetes medications, they must be desperate to get “enough” of the female population in this database.

    • AQ they did at my last smear in 2000. I was also asked if I practiced sage sex which I refused to say. How does she know I’m practicing any sex atm?? And since I obviously wasn’t diseased and have never been..or asked for abortion or the morning after pill…..

      • They always ask, assume the patient is lying, and assume wrong on how their patient is being sexual.

        Virgins are not believed, and demanded that they have a PAP and HPV test – even though it’s impossible for them to benefit.
        Lesbians are also given PAP and HPV tests, as well as having birth control pushed on them.
        Young, attractive women are assumed to be sexually active and promiscuous, no matter what they say.
        Women in sexless marriages (and faithful) are also pushed with birth control and pregnancy tests – BTDT.
        Women who are older, less attractive, or fat, are assumed to be “not sexually active” no matter what the woman says or her marital status. Prescription birth control is not available to them.
        Women who are assumed to be sexually active will be tested with a large speculum. It does not matter if the woman says she hasn’t had sex with a man in a very long time or ever.

  6. Chas and CD78 I thinksome of your comments getting through…thank you! I hate the daily mail full stop. They are so catty to the poor woman it makes me sick!

    • OMG This is just getting worse! If anyone attempted to discuss this with me I would hit the dam roof! This really is not acceptable….they are not Medical Professionals & have no right to do this! Ridiculous to think they feel it necessary to convince women to attend! How much are they being paid I wonder??

    • Oh, why not have your hairdresser talk to you about pap screenings? We know the way we are butchered afterward. FGM in North Africa is often done by barbers. Same thing. Different place.

  7. Just saw PHE are teaming up with Treatwell beauty salons for Life save wax. Women going for wax treatment will be asked about cervical screening and encouraged to “accept” their “invitations ” to screening. Where will it end. ..

  8. So beauticians will now be the source of information regarding screening. How will they deal with the fall out if they upset a victim of sexual assault or a woman that has had a traumatic birth?

  9. Judging by the tact and sensitivity shown to women they’ll probably offer a free wax! And in no way am I being insensitive to these ladies who suffered trauma or like myself found smears agonising and violating. I’m sadly predicting what probably will happen….

    • Stopped comments after just two days (they usually allow them for at least 3 – 4 days!). I expressed outrage, and pointed out that in 2019, this is excessive interference and encourages “policing” and monitoring of women’s health choices. I take it that didn’t go down well lol…..

  10. I’m going for it on the daily mail LOL but all this just makes me so dam angry! But also “empowered” (LOL) for declining to let anyone near my cervix with spear headed brushes, a sharp tenaculum, Biopsy forceps, Endocervical curette, Endocervical speculum, Ring forceps, Cervical hook, acetic acid, Full-strength Lugol’s iodine solution, electrical loops etc…..OMG just the thought of it, horrid! I read a story a while ago about a woman who severely burned with the acetic acid which should be only 3% or 5% – the woman who inadvertently received undiluted acetic acid during a routine colposcopy, resulting in significant chemical burns of the vagina, cervix, and perineum. Poor woman! Cringing thinking about it right now

  11. Just to mention that twitter is full of news about this story at the moment and lots of women saying how disgusting it is. Heavy criticism of PHE and Treatwell. Do join in the fun on twitter. You’ll soon find us. They can block our blog comments but they cannot stop our twitter accounts!

      • You can try #lifesavingwax for the latest initiative.

        There’s usually plenty to be found simply searching ‘smear test’ or #smeartest #cervicalscreening.

        There’s some very interesting and hugely ignorant people on Twitter!

      • The ignorance is staggering. Most women in the UK are still clueless that HPV causes cervical cancer and haven’t any idea about the switch to HPV testing, which has largely gone unnoticed as nothing has changed about the way the test is done and extending to 5 year intervals has only just been discussed as a possibility. Most haven’t twigged at all that they need the virus to get the disease, and if you try to explain they dismiss you as an anti-vaxer. Mention self testing and they say they could never get the speculum in and look up inside themselves to see where to put the brush. 😔 We are that far behind in the UK.

    • Twitter is a very public platform and the pro-screeners have held the stage for too long. PHE may block our posts on their blogs, but they cannot prevent us speaking out and others reading our tweets. PHE, CCGs, celebrity doctors, politicians, pink charities and anyone who says we must/should or quotes that bloody “5,000 lives saved” are my targets. Other than that I’m a calm arty, cat lover!

      • She deleted it after I tagged the NHS, PHE, Royal College of Nursing & GMC in the thread asking if they thought her likening of informed consent to antivaxxers was appropriate.

        It’s amazing what an bot of accountability can do for these self important witches.

    • We have a second nurse who felt women should be told to attend smears by beauticians delete her account citing fears she will be reported to the NMC.

      If you aren’t doing anything wrong coercing people and dismissing informed consent, what are you so worried about?

      Most definitely on the run!

      • Amazing that this seemingly never crossed their minds before it was pointed out to them.
        This makes me think that these types of nurses have been badgering their female patients for years, probably getting carried away with the “power” of being able to collude with doctors to threaten women with deregistration or withholding of medication. They still don’t think they will be challenged so when they are, it’s a big shock to them. Nasty little witches.
        I notice that after just two days, the Mail has stopped accepting comments on the so called “life saving wax” article but I got my two cents in before that happened. Even several pro-screeners were outraged with this. These types of campaigns seem to be incurring somewhat of a backlash, even by some of their own proponents.
        However, I am quite frankly amazed that in 2019, your colleagues and your hairdressers are being actively encouraged to hassle and pester you about screening. I’ve feared that the campaign would take this turn. You can punish your hairdresser by taking your custom elsewhere, but you face your colleagues every day. A discussion about screening in the workplace has the potential to cause conflict. I have always said that this sort of discourse is designed to “hunt down”, publicly “out” and humiliate non-screeners. It is a shaming campaign, done under the guise of “encouraging discussions” about it. Thing is, many women who have rejected screening and have made their decision, so see no need for further discussions on the matter. So, what will they do next? Encourage people to report non-attendees to Public Health England? Bring it on.

  12. Just thought I’d share the following with you all. It’s an email I’ve just sent to Treat Well. Enjoy 🙂

    I am emailing you regarding the new campaign that you are heading in partnership with Public Health Campaign and would like to offer you my thoughts on the matter, as I believe it is something that you as an enterprise, should be considering. 

    First of all, the very nature of screening means it has a tendency to produce lots of false positives and false negatives. 

    In two separate studies, the propensity for CIN 3 diagnoses to turn into cervical cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) using conventional screening, has been estimated to be around 12%.

    That means that up to around 88% of women who have CIN 3 may be offered treatment for something that might never have harmed them, and the treatment for removing “abnormal cells” is not in itself insignificant. 

    While HPV primary screening significantly improves outcomes, it itself is not without risk for those with transient HPV (that might clear of itself without further treatment).

    In fact, a wealth of research suggests that only HPV+ women over the age of 30 can benefit from traditional screening, which equates to roughly 5% of women (incidentally, the same proportion of CIN 1 diagnoses estimated to progress to cancer). 

    Furthermore, the use of self-testing HPV kits have been found to be as effective as primary HPV screening (the latter of which, many women find intrusive and offensive). 

    As such, the NHS now advocates that screening is a choice, and all women deciding whether or not to undergo screening, should be entitled to make an informed decision as to whether or not they take up their invitations.

    Please can you tell me, as a responsible organisation, are you also advocating informed choice for your clients when discussing screening? 

    Are you pointing them to other sources of information besides the NHS?

    Do you feel it is your place as a private enterprise to discuss private health matters with your clients? Do you not feel that your role in this campaign has the potential to undermine the trust that exists in relation to client/ Business relationships?

    Have your staff been trained to ask these questions?

    Have your staff been trained as to how to respond appropriately, if clients disclose that they will not attend screening? 

    What if your clients disclose that they are victims of sexual abuse and are upset by your staff’s questioning?

    Did you realise that some public and private organisations are being trained to recognise signs and symptoms of domestic abuse, but are having to undergo extensive training to enable them to carry out those assessments as it has potential to involve safeguarding issues (as well as referrals to Multi-Agency Risk Conferences for high-risk victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence)?

    It is not entirely unforeseeable, is it not, that a large proportion of non-attendees for cervical screening may refuse screening due to past or ongoing abuse?

    Please tell me, what steps your organisation is taking to ensure that your staff are adequately trained to address the pitfalls of these enquiries?

    Please could you respond to all my enquiries, or I will resort to making an application to obtain this information under a Freedom of Information request. 

    Many thanks. 

    • Excellent email. I would also ask them if the beauticians are recording how many conversations they have with their clients. Are they updating a database with the outcomes of their little chats? Where would this information be held? How else would Treatwell evidence their success without a record of their interactions?

      • Should have thought of that before I sent it, but you raise an excellent point particularly in view of GDPR.
        I will raise it in connection with any response I may (or may not) receive.
        I could also send an email to a newspaper highlighting all these concerns and see if it gets published. ..

      • It sounds like a good way to get women to boycott beauty shops. Let’s see if in a year or two it becomes fashionable to have simple, DIY hairstyles – long, short, cropped, shaved, braided, buns, etc.

    • Hooray (????) It’s about time they figured out they could test for CC without a program of mass rape, with the little girlies feeling so “empowered” that they could consent – but not refuse. That doesn’t get rid of the problem that paps are sooo unreliable, and the coloscopy/biopsy being no small thing, that causes pain and damage, not to mention LEEPS and cone biopsies and finally hysterectomies.

      Old adage: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That goes for internal organs too.

      • Lies in the breast screening brochure too…

        – we have the 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime rubbish – deliberately used to scare and mislead women. We all know the risk goes up with age…

        “more women survive breast cancer today thanks to early detection and better treatments”
        – We know it’s mostly better treatments that account for the fall in the death rate
        – we know that breast cancer screening produced high rates of screen detected cancers with the death rate remaining the same, suggesting over-diagnosis of breast cancer. (and over-treatment)
        – we know, and have done for many years now, that the risks of breast cancer probably exceed any benefit – with better treatments these days, some women might decide it’s better to wait for a lump or change, rather than risk over-treatment. (and the radiation and compression)
        Of course, we don’t get that information, just pro-screening spin and orders.

        Again, “you should be screened every 2 years from age 50-75 – in your 40s or over 75, talk to your doctor to find out if screening is right for you”

        Once again, excessive, but they had to get the numbers up to protect the program so included older women – we’ll be herding 90+ year old women into screening before too much longer…pull the van into the nursing home car park, a captive screening population!

        It’s shameful that these brochures are still produced and distributed – that no one in this country has an issue with their tone or content.
        It’s 2019 and women are still treated so badly….

      • Elizabeth – These organisations sure are sailing dangerously close to the wind when it comes to legally-obtained consent and ethics.

    • They’ve sat on this information for years, but wheeling it out now, because they’re getting desperate. They want women to make enquiries about it, and then it will be, sorry no, but while you’re on the phone we have an appointment available…

      • I hadn’t thought of that. Do you think it’s the same with home testing? Announce it and when people call up, attack them to come in for a traditional smear?

        “well you are due and we don’t know when home test will be out, you might have cancer in the meantime….”

      • It’s always been hard to say NO to pap testing, rarely was a refusal accepted, women were insulted, questioned, debated – I doubt we’d get the same conduct from doctors if we refused bowel screening, yet that cancer takes far more lives.
        The attitude has always been – all women must or should test – I think even informed women have to stay strong in the consult room or avoid doctors. (as far as possible)

        Certainly, women who wanted the Pill or had one or more babies, ended up tested – also, those who wanted HRT or had any other gyn exam – the test was/is often just tacked on, an opportunistic testing.
        There’s no doubt that self testing is being used here to rope in hard-to-reach women, you have to ask your GP for the test and actually do the test in the surgery – also, I’ve read in a few places that our self test option is not as good as a test taken by a GP or nurse – that would be a deliberate strategy to pressure women into the “more reliable” invasive test.

        Of course, the Delphi Screener was available online here, a very reliable self test option, that website was blocked shortly before the new program started – just to make it more difficult for women to arrange their own testing.
        I’ve had 4 friends head off to Singapore for shopping, dining etc. and they used the Delphi Screener while they were there, all in their 50s or early 60s, all HPV- and all have asked their GP to remove them from the registry and make a note on their medical file: No Cervical Screening! Subject closed…

      • Actually, just looking at the new brochure and not a word about self-testing, I assume that will only be mentioned if women refuse the invasive test and keep refusing for a few years, initially they said the self test would only be offered to those refusing for 6 years.
        We see the same inappropriate wording:

        “If you are a woman aged 25-74 of age and have ever been sexually active, you should have a cervical screening test every 5 years until the age of 74.
        Your first cervical screening is due at 25 or 2 years after your last Pap test.”

        “Due”…”should”…not much has changed!

        So not much suggests it’s a choice, something that can be reasonably refused and no mention of self testing. Also, the program is, once again, excessive, the poor women enduring this invasive test until they’re 74!
        Absolutely unnecessary – almost all older women would be HPV- and many will have some vaginal atrophy, making the test very painful and potentially damaging – leading to tears or UTIs.
        Yet we still bang on in this country about respecting women, “call out sexual harassment!” TV ads, equal opportunities etc. yet we still herd women into invasive testing like they’re a pack of ignorant sheep…no informed consent and often, no consent at all

      • >Yet we still bang on in this country about respecting women, “call out sexual harassment!” TV ads, equal opportunities etc. yet we still herd women into invasive testing like they’re a pack of ignorant sheep…no informed consent and often, no consent at all<

        THIS!!! We do all of these things, to encourage freedom and respect for women, telling us that we are free from sexual violence, "no means no" campaigns, but none of that seems to matter when in a medical situation. WTH?!?! The nature of things does not change by someone's designation!

  13. I was just reading some more comments on the PHE Blog, and posting 2 more myself currently awaiting moderation on age Re A lady called Susan’s post 05/04/19 as she was refused screening as 70 years old! So I looked on CRUK – https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/cervical-cancer/mortality#heading-One
    IT STATES THE FOLLOWING:
    “Cervical cancer mortality is related to age, with the highest mortality rates being in older women. In the UK in 2014-2016, on average each year almost a third (30%) of deaths were in females aged 75 and over.[1-3] This is a lower proportion of deaths in older age groups compared with most cancers.
    Age-specific mortality rates rise steadily from around age 15-19 and more steeply from around age 65-69. The highest rates are in the 85 to 89 age group.”

    Not sure if my 2 comments will make it through but tried anyway LOL

    • Why is cervical cancer mortality increased in older women? Is it because these women had HPV infection and symptoms for decades and never bothered to get any medical attention? Did the aggressive cancer treatment such as surgery and damaging radiation that caused bowel and bladder damage kill them? Did they acquire HPV and other infections during repeated screening, testing and procedures that their weaken immune system could not deal with?

      When I get to be 75 or 80 years old getting a cancer screening test is not going to be on my list. I pray for a merciful death.

      • Hi Anon,
        I think it’s because these women have been having treatment for cervical cancer for a very long time. The treatments are much improved from what they used to be, so women live a lot longer with the disease, but in the end old age takes over. I think CRUK published figures that the most common age of death from cervical cancer is the 85-89 age group. Now that’s a stat you won’t ever see Jo’s or EveAppeal using. However, I have seen them regularly use the slogan that most deaths from cervical cancer are in women who are not being screened. Since most deaths occur in the over 65s these women are not a part of the screening programme and wouldn’t put it past those scumbags to be using this figure.

  14. Daily fail today just posted the urine HPV test. Obviously the pro screeners are rubbishing it and saying they want conventional testing and it saves lives so go…

  15. Daily fail today ladies women being offered 1 hour free childcare to attend smears. Pro screeners out in force. They take their kids and leave them other side of curtains and brainwash the next generation

    • Yeah. Do you really think these people will be content to read the children things like _Jack and Jill_, let them play with puzzles, or have them color? Or, do you think they’ll be told how “responsible” their Mom is being, that she could die without them, and encourage them to talk to their friends and friends’ Moms about how important this is? And, how important it will be to girls when they get older… or to the girls/women the boys ever come to love? Complete with coloring books!

  16. I know some women think Papscreen should speak to girls in secondary school, girls 16-17, I know some pro-screening women thought that was a good idea, esp when screening was starting at 18 or 2 years after your first sexual contact.
    One woman said girls that age can be very modest, so important to knock that out of them…
    I was appalled, it’s not surprising these statements stay with us…and to think these were women talking about their daughters. Of course, they’re been brainwashed, they think they’re doing the right thing, when nothing could be further to the truth.
    I don’t know whether papscreen ever went into schools, I know Breastscreen has spoken to women in an office situation. You should be able to go to work without having to explain to your colleagues why you don’t want to have breast screening or go to the presentation…it’s just another way of pressuring and cornering women.

    • I mean, any girl should certainly see the importance of not permitting another teen, with whom she’s got a romantic relationship, and keep the girl from not being sexual with him or then. That would be wrong for her. The next year, she can see the nice doctor, who is about twice or thrice her age, who it feels a little creepy to her to have this relative-stranger fingering her (front and back) and groping her breasts, and she cannot refuse. She might not be the age of consent at the time! Yet, this guy donning a white coat can do about the same things this boy would have, or might dream of, and it’s all right.

  17. https://www.bbc.com/news/health-48092561
    It was reported in one of our newspapers today that lots of UK women are not turning up for their cervical screening and that a urine test for HPV might help them get around issues like embarrassment and discomfort.
    A spokesmen for the Eve Appeal said,
    “This research sounds like a promising early step but is some way off being rolled out through the NHS. In the meantime, women must continue to book their screening appointment when they’re called. It’s a life-saving test.”

    MUST book an appt when CALLED – like naughty little children!
    Honestly, it infuriates me – the way they speak down to women. Not sure why that’s being reported here, they wouldn’t want women here asking for urine tests – heaven forbid they should expect a non-invasive test!

    • I read that on Twitter and was appalled. I called the CEO out on Twitter and she said “of course it’s optional.” Why didn’t she say that in the article then? Why didn’t she say “can choose to book an appt if they like.” Language matters.

      As with Jo’s, it’s all about uptake and treating women like silly little girls. Eve Appeal are launching Get Lippy today, I think their version of #smearforsmear. It’s grotesque that all their efforts either revolve around lipstick or baking because obviously they’re the only things us dumb women relate to.

    • That infuriates me. These articles in mainstream publications really illustrate the fact that informed consent in women’s healthcare is severely lacking or non-existent. A Reader’s Digest magazine from several months ago contains a piece entitled “4 Cancer Screenings You May or May Not Need.” With respect to breast cancer screening, it says the American Cancer Society recommends screening starting at age 45, or perhaps earlier with a family history. For prostate cancer screening, it says, and I paraphrase here, men age 70 or older should skip the test entirely, but men age 55 to 69 should decide for themselves because prostate cancer is slow growing and treatment can severely affect quality of life. But in the mention of breast cancer screening, there is not one word of caution that some breast cancer is also slow growing and treatment can also severely impact our quality of life (among other risks). Not to mention the fact that all cancer screening is elective, but the “decide for themselves” stance is only emphasized in men’s cancer screening. I think that says it all right there.

      • It does, Judy, prostate screening is not recommended here, there’s a bit of confusion though because some sporting bodies urge men to get tested. Interesting that a few urologists recommend screening, but most GPs leave it up to the man, no pressure, some even hand out real information to assist in the decision making process…wouldn’t that be nice?

    • They keep blaming the screening companies but wonder how much they really misread the slides. Says 2009 test was negative, but 2012 test was “inadequate”. Cancer diagnosed in 2014. What happened those 2 years in between? I thought about half of cancer cases came after negative tests, and not all cancers were curable. Seems to me this is another high profile case to blame the cytology firms but cover up the innaccuracy of the test.

  18. Sky news ladies UK health secretary says he might make it mandatory for parents to immunise their babies for measles and if they don’t they have blood on their hands. Might the HPV jab be next?

    • I find it interesting that anyone with concerns about Gardasil is often labelled a prude or some of maniac, anti-women, an anti-vaxxer.
      I hate the way sensible and important discussion is shut down supposedly to protect our health and save our lives, rather than promote full and frank discussion and leaving women and parents to make an informed decision about vaccination.
      It’s that shutting down of any real discussion that worries me…and it’s still happening in women’s “healthcare”.

      • Agreed, Elizabeth (Aust)! This whole pro-pap, pro-screening for “women’s cancer” overshadows the whole doctor/patient discussion and collaboration. If you refuse pap screening, because of refusal to permit someone unknown to penetrate you, for an unreliable test with even more invasive follow-on tests, for a condition effecting 0.65% of women over their lifetimes, you’re treated as an anti-science woo-meister, an anti-vaxxer, and anti-women.

        Vaccines are useful and save many lives, not just among those vaccinated because they decrease the number of susceptible people to that disease, such that each person with it infects, on average <1 person – causing the epidemic to subside. This is especially true for airborne illnesses, such as measles. Before measles vaccines, thousands died of it, and thousands more were disabled (blind and/or deaf and/or brain damage).

        We're just scientifically short of being able to identify who gave a viral disease to any person. When we get there, the person failing to get vaccinated from that disease could be liable for deaths or hospitalizations of other people. They actually did those genetic testing on the virus to track down a measles outbreak at Disneyland a few years ago to the person who brought it into the US. That person's only "save" was that they were vaccinated. Vaccines are 95-98% effective, depending on whether you got 1 shot or 2.

        For HPV, it is not airborne. Anyone wanting to prevent catching HPV from a given woman is invited to stay away from her vagina! She is not a danger to those surrounding her, or her community, unless you have a very strange community where vaginas are community property. (I must admit that with doctors so pushing these pelvic exams on EVERY VISIT that I sometimes feel like they think my vagina is community property!)

        AFAIC, the HPV vaccine has proven to be pretty safe. However, I *still* have questions about it: They still demand pap tests on the schedule, but now combined with HPV tests – why not double your chances for a false positive? Moreover, there is a claim that HPV can "reactivate" after many years since infection. This seems to belie that it is possible to vaccinate against! Vaccines work by producing antibodies to a (weakened) strain of the same virus, making the immune system kill it. However, if the body does not kill these inactive viruses over many years, it would seem to belie the way vaccines work. Gardasil only goes after certain "high risk" strains of HPV. The lower-risk ones are left in place. Why?

        Personally, my conclusion is that Gardasil works, but they're not about to give up their gravy-train. The notion that it's been inactive for years or decades then just suddenly "pops up" in a given test after decades of monogamy is probably better explained by her being infected by fomates (assorted surfaces and objects where pathogens can live) during her previous pelvic exam.

    • I understand the argument for vaccination, however I am very concerned that we are entering some form of authoritarian, dystopian climate where awkward questions with the potential to lead to meaningful discussions is being shut down.
      This worries me a lot, and there are some vaccinations that cause me a great deal of concern such as Gardisil and the Flu Jab.
      Not sating that I would rule it out at all, but if I were a parent, I’d want to undertake as much research as possible before consenting to it. I certainly wouldn’t want to rely on the sole word of an NHS nurse.
      Are we to be denied of this basic right now?
      I also have concerns with the flu jab. As a child, I got flu, as did many others. I know it can be very dangerous, but by conducting wholesale vaccinations, are we in danger of compromising the integrity of children’s natural immune systems in an effort to protect the older populations?
      Again, I’m not saying I would rule it out, but I’d want the right to make a rational and informed decision without having to listen to the preachings of an NHS nurse.
      As Elizabeth has pointed out, it is this shutting down of debate that is worrying me. It also seems ideologically driven.

      We’ve talked about vaccinations being made compulsory, but if this were to happen, it could potentially set a very dangerous precedent for other medical procedures/ treatments. It potentially undermines the very cornerstone of informed consent in medical settings.
      Would this eventually apply to screening? With all the clamouring by vested interests to increase take-up rates, it does worry me a great deal as to what direction these campaigners choose to take if those rates continue to decline. Desperate people can be very dangerous people. Any creative argument could be made to legitimise compulsory cervical screening.

  19. https://www.mcmasterforum.org/find-evidence/products/project/economic-analyses-of-policies-to-reduce-cervical-cancer

    I’ve just recently found this. I hope this is readable for you all. I haven’t had a chance to go through it thoroughly but hopefully this is an indication of things to come as there are some positive conclusions: HPV testing is only cost effective after age 30 and giving girls the HPV vaccine at 12 is too young and would be better delayed until 14. Let’s hope it is the blueprint for dismantling these existing programmes worldwide.

  20. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/judge-sets-absolute-confidence-as-screening-threshold-1.3880289

    The screening programmes are looking very fragile in Ireland. A handful of cases have shown the total innacuracy of the test and a couple of women have died already, a couple more face terminal diagnoses. The payouts have run into millions of Euros and look like bankrupting the programmes. The same think happened in the UK in the famous Kent & Canterbury Hospital scandal of 1990’s when the hospital had to pay huge payouts to women who tested negative but then went on to get cancer. When the sheer inaccuracy of the test came to light in court the judge wanted to wind up the screening programme as it was too unreliable to run. The NHS was forced to change the wording of the leaflets saying that the test couldn’t be accurate to avoid paying out in future. Ireland is in the same position now. After promoting the test as infallible to get women to demand it, they’ve now got to admit it isn’t accurate and can go wrong. Seen countless tweets from Irish women in an absolute panic that their programme looks like being cancelled, and how will women survive without it. Those with terminal cancer who have brought damages are being attacked by other women, claiming that they are bankrupting the programme by their selfish demands for damages. Another woman has posted that a smear test done on her at 7 weeks pregnancy has come back showing HPV and abnormalities. Nothing more than that, but she’s now panicking as any further testing cannot be done or it would endanger the pregnancy. She is now spending her pregnancy terrified she may have cancer. In the UK, a smear during pregnancy is not now recommended as shows too many abnormalities which are nothing, so in the UK this smear test would never have happened and this lady could enjoy her pregnancy. These programmes rely on terrorising women to increase uptake. They then get forced to make huge payouts to misinformed individuals. These women then get attacked for bankrupting the programmes in trying to get damages. The anguish, fear, delusions and deception which are integral to the running of these programmes is so disgraceful. Women are posting that they may not have any screening programmes in Ireland. It’s so pathetic. Those who perpetuate this fear are criminals in my opinion.

    • Women attacking those with terminal cancer for seeking damages are abominable in my opinion.
      Disgusting behaviour.

      They are not intelligent enough to question why these ladies’ cancer was not picked up by the infallible smear test .

      They should be utterly ashamed of themselves, but you can expect no better from those who seemingly lack any form of critical thinking skills.

      • AQ – The women who are attacking the women with terminal cancer probably excuse themselves by saying that it’s all the terminal women’s fault for “not having regular pap smears”. In reality, they probably did, and these flawed tests missed them – and, in fact, may have delayed them getting actual medical testing and treatment far earlier – after all, they and their docs knew that it “couldn’t be CC”, because they’d “just had a pap test”.

    • You’re probably right.

      The level of vitriol for deciding not to have a flawed, entirely elective and invasive screening procedure is incredible.
      Screening is a personal decision.
      I find the mindset of women who attack other women who don’t attend to be mind-boggling.
      It is as if they see it as your duty as a woman to go, and if you don’t, you’re somehow “failing” in your duty as a woman. Totally incomprehensible and they need to be called out on forums.
      They really are ignorant sheep.

    • I’ve looked over the list of “stakeholders”, and I’m missing the “follow the money” link worldwide – what corporation, organization, or whatever is making a LOT of money, regardless of medical payment system, so as to push these unreliable tests on all women, world over?

      I’m starting to think this is a rare instance where it’s not so much THE MONEY, but rather (in this case) the power. These absurd tests seem to have more in common with prison rape than they do with any legitimate medical care.

  21. Today on Google search there is a picture of dr papalomus. With a picture of a woman’s body holding up a slide with a microscope. It makes me sick to my stomach. He must be that important that they are celebrating him.

    • Kleigh, I just needed to Google something and saw the image of Dr. Papanikolaou you are referring to. Apparently they are having some kind of tribute to him. The picture of him holding up a slide with a women’s body in the background makes me sick to my stomach also – it just reinforces the notion that we are just a collection of cells or body parts to be experimented on and trifled with at will.

      • I don’t even want to look at this, it sounds so repugnant. No doubt there is no mention at all of the millions of miscarriages and preterm births his test has caused over the decades, and also, until about 1970’s, treatment for abnormal result was often a hysterectomy, even for women who were still young. Famous Danish study was done in 1950s which demonstrated that most abnormal smears could regress, and this was further proved to be the case in New Zealand in 1970’s at National Women’s Hospital, but big business and the wacky feminists insisted Papanicolou’s test was error free and every abnormality would go onto be cancer. Papanicolou is up there with the concentration camp doctors in my opinion.

      • Pa smears causing miscarriages? Many want to deny this happens. I have heard about a dozen stories of women who went to see a doctor when they first had a positive home pregnancy test and were convinced by a doctor that they needed a pap smear. Often miscarriages occurred after 48 hours but they were told that the miscarriage “would have happened anyway”. See women against stirrups forum.

        I searched through technical brochures from many pap test collection device manufacturers. Many had the warning that the cervical brush should not be used after 8 wks of pregnancy. I have to wonder how accurate is any woman’s or her doctor’s guess at the correct age of gestation until an ultrasound is done to measure rump/crown? So would these devices be safe at 8 1/2 weeks or 9 weeks? And just how exactly did these manufacturers have this guideline? By their own in house unpublished research? Seems now all reference to these warnings have been removed from the manufacturers brochures after a few links were listed on a forum a few years ago. Maybe someone should have a look?

      • I was one of those who had a smear forced on me when I registered my first pregnancy at 8 weeks. This made me bleed so the sample was useless. I was extremely angry about this and thought I might miscarry, but all went well, except that I had a premature rupture of the membranes at 37 week mark. However, GP brutally forced a smear on me at my postnatal assessment 6 weeks after the birth to make up for the failed one during pregnancy, also against my consent.
        2 years later pregnant with 2nd baby, GP informed me they weren’t allowed to do smears during pregnancy anymore, so it would have to wait until after birth. I didn’t turn up to any postnatal checks, but later found out that not only were smears no longer permitted during pregnancy but also may not be done earlier that 12 weeks after the birth. These are now the regulations in the UK, but I’ve never been able to track down the evidence of harm which must have brought about these changes in medical policy. It’s all been suppressed.

  22. https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/public-accounts-committee/news-parliament-2017/adult-health-screening-report-published-17-19/

    Don’t know whether to laugh or not. In the UK there has been a government investigation to try to find out why the public isn’t going for screening. They have berated NHS England for doing nothing about trying to engage with women to find out why they aren’t going. They say they are putting it all down to generalisations that women are too busy, not to mention that quality research carried out by Jo’s Tosh which revealed women were too embarrassed.
    There is glossy brochure to download from the website if you need any further laughs..

    • WTF! They’re pushing to screen everyone for abdominal.aortic aneurysm? Last I heard, they can’t do crap about it, and screening only ensures you know you could pop at moment (even though, as with pap abnormalities, the majority don’t ever bother anyone),thereby creating stress that makes it more likely you actually will pop!

      I mean, as bull crap as these programs are, how sadistic do you have to be to promote awareness of having a condition you can’t actually do anything about? Are they just trying to identify a group.of potential.lab rats they can experiment a “cure” on?

      • Yup. I’m sure this is being turned into a private enterprise “Screening UK Inc”! Our hospitals don’t have enough beds, don’t have enough doctors or nurses, waiting lists a mile long for genuinely sick people, but screening regularly recruits more and more people, produces fancy websites, glossy brochures and ever more charitable funds. The government has it as a top priority thinking that the public are clambering for it and that it will be a vote winner. I think they are seriously, seriously worried that uptake continues to fall and their plan won’t come off.

      • All this talk of the IT not being fit for purpose and the screening authority not being able to track people’s screening records. I understand the Police have PNC and the DVLA have a similar database using names and DOB and they manage to keep information updated – hardly rocket science.

      • Actually, they can do something about it. They can put an artificial aorta in, replacing the “bad” one. Of course, this turns someone into a lifetime heart patient, on medications with limitations on what they can do, but AT LEAST they won’t die of a sudden aorta burtsting.

        I have a family history where a chest aortic anurism can be a problem. I was “offered” to have it investigated and “treated” about 25 years ago. I said, “No thank you”.

        That’s unlike pap crap where they will not accept a “no thank you”. However, I Haven’t recently volunteered information or had tests that indicate this problem runs in my family. I’ve lost several relatives who are over 90 years old to this problem. I was not going to spend 2/3 of my life waiting for this to happen, and taking lots of heart pills in the mean time.

      • @bethkz: Like I said, it was last I heard. It was in one of those Gilbert Welch books, I think, but I’m not sure. Where ever I read it, it claimed that the abdominal one was in an inoperable area, unless I’m.mixing it up with a different aortic aneurysm in the trunk. But he was lamenting the push to get full body scans to find a problem they couldn’t safely operate on. Maybe they figured a way to operate there since the book.was published.I

        Btw, this is Demonhype. Still figuring out how to post with my credentials.

      • Demonhype, My discussion with my doctor on the topic was roughly 20 years ago. My MIL had an aortic anurism which burst, and it was a combination of sheer luck that a surgical suite was immediately available, and my FIL, seeing her collapse, picked her up, carried her to the car, and got to the hospital as quickly as safely possible. That led to investigation of my husband and his sister to find aortic anurisms (negative). That was 15 years ago, and there was a surgery similar to the one recommended (and rejected) to me of having a tubing placed in the aorta 20 years ago.

        The treatment sounds like a big problem in itself, which is why I rejected it after it was explained to me. That discussion was respectful and informative, without all of the PUSHING they do when it comes to a pap.

        Yes, I’m likely to die suddenly of this after I’m in my 90s. That doesn’t sound like too bad of a way to die, actually. It sounded a lot better than being a “coronary patient” for 60 years!

    • I know the answer – women just don’t want screening. Not interested in being cranked open with an ill fitting speculum. Not interested in having their cervix brushed so hard it bleeds. Not interested in having their breasts squashed between two plates in a dodgy van in Tesco’s car park. Not interested. Not too busy. Not embarrassed. Just no.

      • Fantastic answer 👏👍 And they keep peddling this inequalities myth. Nothing to do with inequalities – purely about forcing uptake everywhere.

      • The best reply possible! 😀
        Someone should make a sticker with it and stick over each screening-peddling poster they put in public places, and send it to each “committee” that is wasting taxpayer money searching for reasons why women don’t want to fall for screening bullshit anymore.

      • Also, women no longer want to listen to medical lies about cervical cancer being “number 1 killer”. Women now know that screening is more likely to be harmful because it is set up for the benefit of the system first and foremost. It will lie, use pressure, hold medication and contraception hostage, and manufacture fear to get to its targets and money.

        I wonder what those committees and researchers really do when an informed woman says plain NO, or quotes a scientifically proven reason for screening programs causing more harm than good? It appears that they falsify data and record the answer as one of the usual “busy”, “embarrassed”, poorly educated, or being from a non English speaking background regardless. Just as the Australian system was discovered to deliberately use incorrect Medicare schedule procedure numbers to make cervical abnormalities and cervical cancer appear much more common that they actually were. That falsification also made cure and recovery rates look much higher, and that falsified information was used to tout the rape and cervix butchery program as “successful and life-saving”.

  23. I came across this youtube video and was mortified!! She reviews lowest rated personal services, and went as far as the worst rated gyno. Plenty of things wrong besides the obvious unneeded exam for youtube hits. And her poor husband.

    • Hi Evaro, omg I saw that come up on my YouTube too. I Couldn’t watch it. I didn’t want to be triggered. I think this shows the mentality of a lot of woman hear in the USA. They are trying to normalize going for “ well woman exams.” I already know I’m well. And why isnt there a well man exam? I don’t fell the need to go be probed every year . I also don’t like how birth control has been tied to gynecology exams hear in the US and Canada. Hardly anyone questions this.

      • I only watched a small portion and don’t know what was worse, the content or the featured young woman’s Valley Girl accent lol. The video does very much show the mentality of many women in the US that these exams are a normal thing we are compelled to do and is emblematic of the way “going to the gynecologist” has infiltrated popular culture.

  24. I’ve noticed that a few people who were proactively involved in discussions on Twitter about smears and the lack of informed consent have suddenly had their accounts locked, closed or something.

    I’m trying to work out if they’ve just had enough of the mean streets of Twitter (which I get) or there’s some censorship, dark arts involved in getting them removed.

    I know people close accounts but 3 people I follow, all advocating for the same thing have randomly disappeared within a short space of time. Odd to say the least.

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