Unnecessary Pap Smears Discussion Forum

This post has been created to provide an additional forum for discussion, and is a continuation of the old Blogcritics’ Unnecessary Pap Smears discussion.  The original Blogcritics Unnecessary Pap Smears discussion had more than 10,000 comments, but the comments were deleted following changes to the Blogcritics’ site.

Fortunately, the comments from Blogcritics have since been recovered and are preserved here: http://unnecessarypapsmears.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/over-10000-lost-comments-on-unnecessary-pap-smears-find-a-home/   This post also provides a ‘part three’ continuation of the ‘part two’ discussion forum that exists on this site: https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2013/09/22/discussion-forum/

Thank you Alex for suggesting the addition of an open forum devoted to discussion on this blog.

About forwomenseyesonly

Hi. My name is Sue and I am interested in promoting holistic and respectful health care.
Gallery | This entry was posted in discussion about unnecessary pap tests, discussion about womens health, pap test coercion, unnecessary pap test, unnecessary pelvic exam and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

327 Responses to Unnecessary Pap Smears Discussion Forum

  1. katrehman says:

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

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

    • Kate (UK) says:

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

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

      • Allison says:

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

      • ChasUK says:

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

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

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

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

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

      • Nadia says:

        Elizabeth, thank you for being such a battler! I wonder sometimes if people like you help more women to stay healthy than the medical profession. I saw your comments on other sites years ago, and they truly opened my eyes, helped me to stay away from doctors and feel be healthier and happier ever since!

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Hi Nadia
      That makes me happy, love to read comments like that, I too credit my good health and well-being to the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years and the ability to then make an informed decision about screening.
      That’s all I’ve ever wanted for other women, yet that was considered by so many an outrageous thing to suggest or expect.
      The damage these programs have caused is shocking, that’s why I don’t trust the medical profession. I trust and admire certain members, but I’m cautious with any advice coming from the AMA, RACGP, ACOG and other medical groups, IMO, their medical advice often amounts to bad medicine, it’s not supported by the evidence, it’s usually in THEIR best interests.

      You can see straight through their “concerns” pretty quickly, when you know the evidence, it frustrates me that the AMA and others are rarely tackled over bad medical advice, investigative reporters tend to stay away from the cervical screening program. It’s great that breast screening is now getting some honest coverage…finally.

      I turn 60 in February, can’t tell you the peace of mind I have knowing there is now a large army of informed women nipping at the heels of these programs, the medical profession and others, we don’t let them get away with a thing.
      It’s a wonderful feeling to be one of many, it was always my hope, rather than remain the lone voice (that’s often how it felt) so often banned or censored or dismissed as irresponsible or a ratbag.

      Of course, everything we’ve been saying for years, to their disgust, they’re now promoting, they want women here to accept less testing. It’s now time to come clean, but not enough to tip women off to the decades of reckless over-screening and over-treatment, all with no informed consent and often with no consent at all.
      No, we’ll say there’s new evidence, (rubbish, we’ve known for decades we were seriously over-screening and over-treating women) and with HPV vaccination, it’s now safe to move to less testing. (using the HPV test)
      I think the breast screening program is doomed, too many women have now reviewed the evidence and have decided not to screen. Breast Screen can roll out celebrity endorsements and other promotions, but that approach doesn’t work on informed women.
      (Incredible they think celebrity endorsement is an appropriate way to promote breast screening) We increased the target population here to include women aged 71 to 74, there’s no evidence it will help older women, but who cares about that, they obviously hope these women will help them get closer to the target.
      I suppose we might add women in their 80’s next, nothing would surprise me.
      I can feel the desperation as they dash about looking for breasts to screen to save the program…and their jobs, profits, political brownie points etc.
      IMO, it has very little to do with healthcare…

      • adawells says:

        It must have been incredibly hard to have battled on for so long, Elizabeth, and must have seemed a lonely and impossible fight many times. I’m so grateful you kept going, and had your tentacles so far into the social media scene. I’ve had 3 smear tests in my life time, 1 for a pill subscription and 2 during pregancy related appointments. They caught me then, when I was put on the spot. I learned then how to get around the system, and permanently opted out in 2003. I’m sure there are a lot of others out there, keeping their heads down under the radar. They may not go on social media, or know about this website, but for my cancer I wouldn’t have known either, but they are out there. Well done and thank you for all your hard work.

      • linda says:

        Hi Eliz. I would like to add my thanks. When i access old articles on the internet i often find comments that are years old. You have been busy for years.

        You have freed me and others from the tyranny of the health care system. Considering this conspiracy against women is global. With governments, doctors and the rest all colluding to force paps on us, you really were a little voice lost in the wilderness of the internet.

        But wow. You must have liberated many many women. I want to thank you for freeing me. I was trapped and didnt know how to get out. In fact there was no way out as i thought they were compulsory and that everyone had them and that i was odd for not wanting them. When i landed on this site, years of stress and upset just poured out as you well know!

        I’m still very very angry. The new book i am workin on is called “Why the NHS raped Britain” it will detail how in an effort to save money the NHS conspired against women.
        I’m very excited about it as it is 100 % my own work (my last one was borrowed , begged and stolen) I’ve completed the chapter plans and will begin fleshing it out shortly.

        Many thanks Eliz52!

      • Alice (Australia) says:

        That’s right Elizabeth, it’s always about THEIR (medicos) best interests first and foremost.

        For example, when a few years ago Australian medical system arrived to the point where they could no longer withhold the evidence and continue peddling the harmful Pap tests, and it became evident that Australian 2-yearly cervical scraping program had to go, they didn’t ditch this sanctioned butchery immediately. They delayed it til December 2017, because they wanted buffer years for the pathology lab staff and colposcopy providers who were making their living on the unreliable Pap smears to find other ways of making money. The system didn’t care how many thousands of women will be misdiagnosed, scared, tortured by cervical biopsies and overtreated in the meantime. All their concerns were about their own jobs and salaries. So disgusting!

  2. katrehman says:

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

    • Kate (UK) says:

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

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

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

      • adawells says:

        This gave me such a chuckle. So they “do hope that you will respond to this letter”, well they must have enjoyed your response 😂🤣 Surely you’ve got the opt out letter now?
        “we know that for those women who are regularly having their smears taken … there is an increased detection rate of abnormalities …” well yes, there would be, because they are treating abnormalities which clear up by themselves in women who don’t go.
        I hate that expression “women having their smears”, it’s so patronising, like children must take their medicine, and toddlers must have their afternoon nap. All together now…

  3. Sophia says:

    Thank you so much for this website.

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

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

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

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

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

    • moo says:

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

    • linda says:

      Hi Sophia

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

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

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

      Blessed be


      • Kleigh says:

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

    • Mint says:

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

    • Nadia says:

      Compulsory(!) appointment with a nurse?? Something is epically wrong with the health care system in your country.

      Nothing medical should ever be compulsory, unless it relates to containment of a serious highly infections disease. It’s your body, so it must be your decision and your choice. Enough that this outrageous system is living off your taxes. They take your money, so at least they shouldn’t be allowed to take your body, freedom or dignity too!!

  4. ChasUK says:

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

  5. adawells says:

    A new development:

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

  6. Sophia says:

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

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

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

    Anyway, that’s off topic.

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

    Thanks again everyone.

    • Mint says:

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

  7. Sophia says:

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

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

    I will let you know what happens.

    Thanks again.

  8. Anna says:

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

  9. katrehman says:

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

    • Sophia says:

      Thanks for posting this.

      I found a link here from Primary Care Support England (which is part of Capita) that has some information:

      One of the links from the page above is this:

      I won’t be trusting them with anything!

    • adawells says:

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

      • Kiwicelt says:

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

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

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

      • ChasUK says:

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

      • Cat&Mouse says:

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

  10. katrehman says:

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

  11. Sophia says:

    Hello again everyone. Waves.

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

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

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

    They have “Helpful tips before your cervical screening”:

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

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

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

    Still no mention of a teddy bear though…

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Kate (UK) says:

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

      • Sophia says:

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

      • adawells says:

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

  12. ChasUK says:


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

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

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

  13. katrehman says:

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

  14. katrehman says:

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

  15. Anna says:

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

  16. ChasUK says:

    Local women take up chance of cervical screening at shopping centre
    Oh for goodness sake! If I’m out shopping it is for shopping only, not a dam smear test or anything else relating to my health.

    • Sophia says:

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

  17. Sophia says:

    I have good – and surprising news 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

  18. katrehman says:

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

  19. katrehman says:

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

  20. katrehman says:

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

  21. katrehman says:

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

  22. adawells says:

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

  23. adawells says:

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

  24. Anna says:

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

  25. linda says:

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

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

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

    • Shelli says:

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

  26. Anna says:

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

  27. ChasUK says:

    Interesting (US):

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

    • Shelli says:

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

      • Kate (UK) says:

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

      • ChasUK says:

        Shelli – my only point was to raise the fact that they have actually mentioned the following:-
        “The Pap test can also find noncancerous conditions, such as infections and inflammation.”
        Which is something I have not seen any medical professional/site mention before. I am aware of the various other cancers that are higher on the list but thank you for pointing it out and reminding me

  28. Shelli says:

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

  29. linda says:

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

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

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


  30. adawells says:


    This article got some criticism on social media because it used the word snub, implying women are making an active decision to turn their backs on this programme. This is the last thing that the pro-screeners want women to see – women deliberately refusing to attend. After all they’ve done to convince the public that women are such helpless creatures that they cannot make it to a doctor’s, have any time to save their lives, or read a leaflet.

    • Sophia says:

      Thanks for sharing this.
      It’s strange they didn’t speak to any of the women who were “snubbing” the test. Just the usual women saying go and have it done because you don’t want to die and leave your children motherless. It seems to be a common theme with these types of articles.
      Having your first screening actually on your 25th birthday? How awful.

  31. Sophia says:

    Hello again 🙂

    As promised I just wanted to update you on the appointment with the nurse.

    She wasn’t bothered when I refused to have my blood pressure checked. She then said that my records from my previous doctor hadn’t arrived yet so was I up to date with my smear tests etc.
    As this point my partner said (I had asked him to step in and speak if it looked like I was having problems doing so) that I didn’t have them and that it was noted on my records.
    She said “Oh, I won’t be pressurising you about that”.

    I’m just glad it’s over. It was such a long wait for the appointment and I’ve been having nightmares and feeling really anxious all the time.

    I intend staying healthy and never going back 🙂

  32. katrehman says:

    Sophia thanks for the update. It’s great you’re finally being listened to x

  33. ChasUK says:

    So now men will be able to buy Viagra over the counter next year! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42155489
    Men will no longer require a prescription to obtain the impotence drug Viagra and will instead be able to buy it over the counter at pharmacies.
    It will be up to pharmacists to judge whether men over the age of 18 can safely be sold the little blue pills.
    Pharmacists will decide whether treatment is appropriate and can offer advice on erectile dysfunction, usage of the medicine, potential side-effects and whether further consultation with a general practitioner is required!
    Some were concerned that customers might withhold medical information from staff in order to get the treatment. Risk of abuse or misuse of the drugs was another worry.
    In reaching its decision the MHRA judged that the benefits of permitting Viagra to be sold without a prescription would outweigh potential risks.

    But still no Birth Control for women (UK) over the counter….why of course….we can’t be trusted can we, as we are silly little women that need to be controlled and given permission by a GP! Crazy!

    • I used to live in the Middle East where BC was available over the counter, all you had to do was ask. I actually stopped taking it in the UK but used it again while I was living there, mainly due to the fact there was no patronizing and stressful doctor’s visit involved.

      I’m still alive after going without my “health checks” and unnecessary smears.

  34. adawells says:

    🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺All Aussie ladies on here, I’ve just seen an announcement in the Australian Doctor that the self-test kits for the new program are on hold indefinitely due to rebate problems with labs. This is so wrong and sounds deliberate. It was in the Australian Doctor and I can’t get access to the article without a login.

    • Alice (Australia) says:

      Sad, but unfortunately nothing surprising.

      Australian medical system just can’t let women be in control of their own bodies. It’s impossible to do any tests in Australia without a GP referral. Even if it something totally harmless like an ultrasound, and even if the woman is wiling to pay for the test privately, without involving Medicare. Everything must have doctor’s approval, recorded, and uploaded to some ehealth surveillance system.

      So those “rebate problems” are simply another made-up excuse and a lie. They just want to keep forcing women into GP consult rooms, to keep female body under surveillance and peddle all sorts of screening crap.

  35. katrehman says:

    Makes you wonder if they ever intended to offer it. It means probably even more walking away from the programme and maybe more women thinking there’s something odd going on…..

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Exactly, Kat, especially when the Delphi Screener site appears to have been blocked, call me a cynic…but I suspect it’s to pressure as many women as possible into the new program – block access to alternatives….

  36. adawells says:

    Public Health England has funded the first machines to offer free HIV testing for anyone who wants to self test. http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/08/07/uks-first-hiv-test-vending-machine-unveiled-at-gay-sauna/
    No mention of HPV self tests on the horizon at all.
    This got me wondering, as I’m sure I read somewhere that those who get cervical cancer often also have HIV along with HPV. Aren’t the two viruses linked?

  37. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Hi Ada
    Not sure about linked, (but you’ve got me thinking, need to look at that…) but I know if you’re positive for HIV, which affects the immune system, you’re less likely to clear the HPV infection, as most women do over a year or so. A persistent infection can mean something more serious.
    I’m sure that’s partly why cc is a bigger problem in third world countries, women are malnourished and have a poorer standard of living (no proper sanitation, sanitary products, no decent health care including during pregnancy and childbirth, etc. etc.
    Now all these things usually mean a weaker immune system. I know some believe that’s partly why cc was in steady decline in the UK and Australia (and in many other developed countries) before pap testing even started, an improving standard of living.
    I found it offensive that Papscreen and others would mislead women by saying we have less cc than Africa because we have a fabulous cervical screening program, that’s not the reason at all, we always had much less cc than the third world…thanks to lots of factors, and this was before screening even started…so again, they re-write history or misrepresent the facts to mislead women.

    • adawells says:

      I’ve been doing some research and, as you say, the HIV infection reduces immunity to HPV and I saw much saying that HIV people have many HPV types too. One site I read said thst having an HIV infection increases cervical cancer incidence by 8x.
      I’m just wondering what the effect might be on our programme if HIV self-testing really takes off. Would women not want to self-test too, and, typically, these machines are centred in men-only places – men are assumed responsible enough to self-report to a doctor if they get a positive result, but women are not allowed to self-test for HPV even if over 30. We’re not considered mature enough to look after our own bodies.
      The difference between the way the 2 diseases are explained to the public is striking. In HIV they are all for innovation, shared decision-making, patients self-testing, being in control. For HPV we have pink campaigns which read like something from a 1950’s copy of the “Woman’s Weekly” magazine.

      • Judy says:

        Probably because, in the developed world anyways, HIV has historically been a men’s disease for the most part.

  38. moo says:

    I don’t know how to make a link this video clip. I just watched a ten minute long discussion in the Canadian federal parliament. MP Michelle Rampel is questioning Ahmed Hussen the minister of immigration and citizenship, asking him for a yes or no, if FGM (femal genital mutilation) will be removed from the new citizenship guide. The former conservative government included FGM, honor “killings” and spousal abuse as barbaric practices that are illegal in Canada. The minister and the deputy minister just kept replying that this matter was bing consulted with by experts. They would not give an answer even after ten minutes of asking somewhat the same question.

    It is absolutely disgusting that an elected member of parliment in a democratic country cannot understand that women do not want to be severely abused by FGM.

    I used to support this politcal party in power, the Liberal party. But never again will I vote for them. It is never ok for girls to be mutilated, women to be raped or beaten by their husbands, women to be killed for not wearing a piece of clothing or for women to be forced into examinations of their pirvate parts such as mammograms or cervical screening.

  39. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Moo, I’ve heard the argument that this will happen anyway, so why not let gynaecologists do a version of it safely in day procedure? I suppose some would view it as another great source of income but I’d hope most would see it as a repugnant suggestion.
    We should come down hard when this sort of thing happens so people understand it will not be tolerated…and continue to get into the communities and educate them, not acceptable to marry off your 12 year old daughter or mutilate her genitals.
    I know we have a few social workers working within the African community here.
    I know the authorities have been tipped off a few times and stopped young girls at the airport, on their way to marry a much older man in another country,

  40. moo says:

    For consenting adults to have parts of their body chopped off for religious or cosmetic reasons by medical professionals, ok. But these are children. I do not agree.

    I guess we were too embarrassed to stand up to the politicians when they passed legislation to have the cervical screening board be able to collect personal information on ALL women without our consent. I guess we failed to protect girls and women from unneccessary sexual assaults in the doctor’s office. I guess we failed. Why am I so embarrassed to write to politicians and make demands that the cervical and breast screening programmes be revised so that women who do not want to participate are not refused medical care? I could write a letter anonymously but I could never sign my name. Why is that?

  41. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    I was chatting to an American woman online tonight and it made clear, the damage caused to so many women does not stop with the pap test or routine pelvic exam, it can be lifelong or take our lives.
    When we lose trust, we might decide, consciously or unconsciously, to stay away from doctors, to self-manage real health issues or even ignore or dismiss symptoms.

    The American woman told me she was forced to have an annual wellness exam by her mother from about 15 until 18 when she left home to attend college. At that point she lied to her mother, told her she was having the exam but she found that the opposite was true, she was avoiding all contact with the medical profession. It was her little secret, from her mother and her female friends.

    She had 4 wellness exams in her teens that left her so traumatised she still has the odd nightmare all these years later. (she’s now 48) She was a reserved and private person and completely unprepared for these exams – the feeling of being violated was incredibly strong and has stayed with her, she left the consult room on each occasion, distressed and shaking. There were scenes before the exams, she refused to go, her mother shouting at all..and eventually dragged in for the exam. Her mother told her many times that she had to grow up, all women had to go through these annual exams. At 17 she had a colposcopy and biopsy after an abnormal pap test…
    Note: she had never been sexually active.
    The risk of a false positive pap test at age 17 would be about 1 in 3 – all completely pointless, even if she’d been sexually active.
    She now realises she avoided any sort of intimacy knowing that would lead back to her attackers.

    It makes me wonder how many women had their lives derailed by these wellness exams or by pap testing…it’s such a tragedy.

    I asked her what she’ll do if she develops a symptom like pelvic pain or abnormal bleeding, she said self medicate and/or hope for the best. I wonder how many women have died or ended up in emergency because they felt the same way.
    We’re all entitled to respectful medical care, but when we lose trust, it’s often gone forever.
    She’s now 48, single, self-employed and healthy – apart from the psych trauma and issues caused by these completely unnecessary wellness exams in her teens.
    I consider myself very lucky, but it made me think, what would I have done if my mother had taken the view that I had to get used to an annual wellness exam…I shudder to think.

  42. ADM says:

    It’s been a long time since I commented. Unfortunately I’m recovering from an injury and it has been a long recovery of literally getting back on my feet. Because of the injury I had to see doctors and of course paps came up. It made me so angry. It didn’t matter that I was basically incapacitated with the injury all they cared about was not having an up to date pap. They have tried every means of communication and each time I shut them down. Part of me wonders how far they will go. All over their office they have signs explaining cutbacks in services because of government cutbacks in funding but yet they are paying an employee to call and harass women to screen. It’s all so ridiculous. The most invasive test for a rare cancer with an inaccurate test is the focus of women’s health. I am getting to the age where heart disease is a concern but yet I have never had a dr discuss that with me.
    I found this article discussing how people are over-tested and over-treated and it bogs down the system. The problem is that people want the tests and the treatments because they’ve been lied to that they’re needed. I’m sure this is true in other countries.

  43. moo says:

    I am almost a nonuser of the medical industry so my bias shows. One issue that makes me angry is the overuse of harsh treatments and medications. Medical doctors will never recommend a herbal or natural method of treatment but will nod when you mention you are using one that works. Herbs and alternative treatments cannot be patented so they are never given clinical trials to prove they work unless someone can make money or there is a charitable fund financing the venture. I was appalled when I found out an expensive cream for genital warts was basically petroleum gelly and green tea extract. People mixed some contents of a green tea extract capsule and a tablespoon of petroleum gelly and used it and found it worked very well. It saved them over $100. Did you know that the compounds in green tea extract kill HPV? The warts turn black and fall off within weeks sometimes days. Why isn’t there a green tea extract based vaginal cream on the market to treat cervical hpv infection?

    There are even herbs that help cancer drugs do their job better. But doctors will never recommend them. There are herbs and natural treatments that really do work but they often take time. We also do not know about them. They are shrugged off as old wives tales.

    Some of my favourites are salt water, colloidal silver solution, epsom salts, essential oils: peppermint, lavender, rosemary, eucalptus; food grade hydrogen peroxide, plain real vegan soap, turmeric, garlic, apple cider vinegar, fermented foods, eating more vegetables.

  44. Somnius says:

    I wanted to report that I started with a new practice in the US and wasn’t even asked about paps or testing at all! Honestly, I just lie about test history with practitioners because I neither desire the arguments/cajoling/semi-threats from the medical establishment nor feel like I should have to explain myself. I don’t like lying, but I’d rather avoid the fight and keep the attention on why I’m there in the first place. My standard lie is that I have a midwife whom I comfortable with that handles testing for me, I’m up to date, I’ve never had a negative smear, and so they don’t need to worry about that stuff. It’s always shuts them down and the matter is dropped.

    I’ve been twice to this new GP and it’s never come up, which is incredible considering I went to this GP specifically to address hormonal issues with my thyroid, which has been corrected (I have subclinical hypothyroidism, which my former GP refused to acknowledge as a real condition, which was I left her…she was pap-happy anyway…no kidding, she left me alone after the above lie at the first visit, but she always had the testing materials out on a tray in the exam room, which was just weird and creepy!). You’d think they’d have asked about pap history. Heck, it wasn’t even asked on the new patient form! I was pleased with this and think maybe there’s hope after all in the US for reducing the emphasis on testing.

    I may be moving to Scotland in a few years to get a PhD and I’m not really thrilled with the NHS scheme for screening that I’ve read here. Honestly, I’ve never gotten a friendly “reminder” letter from a practice here, but one of my old insurance companies sent them once a month, which is just obnoxious and a waste of postage. I guess I can just tell the GP in Scotland that I was screened just before I left the US and would like to opt out of future invitations as I will be returning to the US before I’m due for another.

    • adawells says:

      Somnius, if you have a few years before you move to Scotland, I’m very much hoping the screening age will have risen to begin at age 30 by then and be every 5 years. They are talking about introducing HPV testing by 2020, by which time the vaccinated cohort will be about 30. I’m sure that’s why we’re stuck with our current crappy programme for a couple of years yet. Saying you had a test just before you left should get you 5 years of freedom before the letters start coming. You have to be registered with a GP before they’ll contact you. If you are in Glasgow you might be able to register with Margaret McCartney, but I bet she has a long waiting list!

      I’ve noticed that our pink women’s screening charities have decided to divert their efforts to older women now. They seem to be abandoning their efforts to get the 25 year olds to accept this pointless molesting as normal, probably because research has shown this cancer will be almost eradicated in this age group. I’ve seen instead that they are concentrating all efforts on the lapsed older woman, who is now their quarry. As it is every 5 years in the over 50’s here, there is a much higher uptake than in the under 50’s. Will be interesting to see any change in tactics.

      • Somnius says:

        Thanks for the response! I’ll be in my mid 40’s when we go and will be there for around 3 years, so it shouldn’t be an issue. I’ll be in Edinburgh. If we do wind up staying longer due to either me or my spouse getting a job, then I’ll deal with it then. Also, being American I can also say that I get that stuff taken care of with my US practitioner when I go back home on vacations and they’d be none the wiser.

  45. Not this older woman!
    It will be interesting to see if I get a letter from the new register with an offer of HPV self-testing, I’ve never screened so I’m not on any screening register and my GP has no Pap test history on file (I don’t have one)
    My GP will not provide them with a list of her “unscreened” patients, I asked her…she believes it would be necessary to get the consent of her patients first, not that the program agrees with that ethical sentiment. I imagine she’ll mention the possibility of HPV self testing to some of her patients, but I won’t be included on that list.
    I’d only get an “invitation” if they cross check the register with the census, it wouldn’t surprise me, they have unlimited funds when it comes to this testing. Incredible waste of money and resources…
    I’m 60 next month but our new program will chug along until women are 70 and possibly up to 74, talk about ridiculous.

    • adawells says:

      I saw that someone in the Eve Appeal said that the older woman is now their target population, and that they won’t be tailoring their campaigns to the 20 somethings anymore. Thank heavens they’ve realised the futility of their pathetic campaigns. I think all the research they’ve paid for reveals that nothing except self-testing has had anything but a small uptake rate, and that would be pointless for vaccinated women. This must surely be the writing on the wall for Jo’s Trust who’ve always treated all women to have a mental age of about 16.

  46. katrehman says:

    Yes I read somewhere recently that while cases of cervical cancer will drop considerably in the younger vaccinated cohort it was predicted to rise by 62% in older women because they can’t benefil from vaccination are changing their sexual behaviour and are getting complacent and not attending smears. There was a suggestion that the current 5 year interval might need to be decreased and women being “invited” at more regular intervals and extend the age limit. Good luck with that policy makers……..

    • adawells says:


      Kat, I also saw Jo’s Trust promoting this idea that rates are set to “rocket” in older women. Jo’s funded this crap, and they don’t understand their own research, (or are using it to deceive women). The actual paper is downloadable from the Guardian link above. The paper is so complicated it drowns out some key points: buried in the text it says that by 2040, the UK over 50s female population is set to increase by 4 million, and the over 75s to increase from 5 million to 9 million. As a result of this, they projected to see another 200 odd cases of cervical cancer deaths in this elderly age cohort. It’s not the disease prevalence that will increase but the numbers of women. As those vaccinated will be about 45 in 2040 and the disease is expected to be non-existent below this age, there will only be cases in the older women. Overall, there should be a great decrease in incidence from now on, but, Jo’s are seriously out to deceive women that there is an epidemic at hand.

      • katrehman says:

        Hi ada. .our old friend Jos trust again lol. And an epidemic of around 200 more cases in millions of women. ..aagghh!

      • adawells says:

        I really hate those people. Our NHS is on its knees, elderly people getting no care, and all they care about is spending £££££ on justifying their existence fundraising for a rare disease that’s already been sorted. If they really cared about women, they would have addressed womens complaints about this racket long ago, not denied they exist. I’ll be so glad to see the end of them.

  47. katrehman says:

    Hi ladies. New thread on mumsnet what makes you go (or not ) to your smears and how do you encourage others to go? I left a couple of comments. .anyone else up for it?

    • adawells says:

      Hi Kat, my husband got his bowel screening kit before Christmas. He didn’t bother doing it, and about a month later the reminder letter came. Apart from the reminder, it said it would be the last letter, and if he didn’t reply, there would be another offer in 2 years time. . They obviously don’t send 3 like they do for the smear test. I read the instructions, and it is quite a lot to do – you have to do it 3 times. No wonder uptake is only about 53% (about 26% for men!). I read that next time around the test will be a newer test which is easier and only needs to be done once. Naturally, there’s all sorts of research going on to find out why uptake is so low, and not the same as the women’s screening programmes. Funny how none of the research has looked at the bullying, threats, misinformation and coercion, which comes as an “acceptable” standard in women’s screening but not in men’s.

  48. katrehman says:

    A big thank you Allison. The ladies on this site deserve the credit for informing me!

  49. katrehman says:

    Hi Ada! Yes double standards. Similarly men declining AAA screening are removed from the list. They can ask to screen later. We have to jump through hoops to escape smears and mammograms though. ..btw loved your last comment on mumsnet. Replied as kat786…

  50. katrehman says:

    Could time be changing? Mumsnet use to be full of rabid pro screener. …suck it up and spread ’em. In the New thread several women have said they don’t screen and they haven’t been shot down in flames. …yet?!

  51. adawells says:


    Only released 5 hours ago in The Guardian and already nearly 500 replies. Some great comments.

  52. katrehman says:

    It’s started ladies. 1pm news 1 in 3 women dont attend smears due to embarrassment and Mr Music well in evidence

    • adawells says:

      Hi Kat,
      I’ve turned the TV off, but I couldn’t help have a look at social media. It’s unleashed a tsunami of hatred towards those women who don’t go, from all the sheeple who think they’re in some position of power to tell the rest of us that we are idiots. Most who don’t attend have said it’s too painful, debunking Jo’s Trust’s claim that it’s all down to embarrassment. Their way of thinking is that every missed smear will automatically result in cancer within a couple of weeks. It’s awful. I hope it will die down before the week is out. One thing that is completely absent from all the hype – no mention of HPV and not having it means you cannot get this cancer.

  53. Amelia says:

    An interesting (read: disturbing) article about gynecology and gynecological experiments on incarcerated women in the nineteenth century:

    Crafting the Perfect Woman: How Gynecology, Obstetrics and American Prisons Operate to Construct and Control Women


  54. I was just reading a blog by a young woman with breast cancer, (Darn Good Lemonade) she found the lump, had an ultrasound, they didn’t think it looked good so sent her for a mammogram, it sounds like she ended up having a second mammogram and then a biopsy.
    I’ve heard some doctors (who have concerns about screening mammograms) say that crushing a breast lump is not a good move, I’ve also heard that you have to be careful doing a biopsy.
    I do wonder about the best approach…have some women lost their lives because a mammogram crushed and spread a cancerous breast lump? This was a large lump so it sounds aggressive….young women tend to get more aggressive breast cancer.
    I recall a doctor telling me at a conference a few years back that the closer you are to 50, the better the odds of beating breast cancer.
    My first inner thought is always, yes, but were they survivors or were they over-diagnosed and over-treated?
    This can happen so quickly, and women are so vulnerable, how many would have a clear head for research and seeking multiple professional opinions at this time? Fear can mean we get taken along the diagnostic and treatment path.
    I can’t help but feel our whole approach is wrong with breast cancer, from screening mammograms, CBEs, self-exams and investigations. More women survive breast cancer thanks to better treatments…I’d just feel happier to know they all had actual life-threatening breast cancer, not tick-tick-going nowhere breast cancer. Finding a lump yourself is one thing but when a tiny speck is picked up on a mammogram, well, that’s another thing entirely.

  55. Suzanne says:

    Have you seen this:

    • Hi Suzanne,
      Thanks for linking this video. The actress does a great job of highlighting the confusion/shock/horror of being unexpectedly ‘examined’. Unfortunately, the video glosses over the practice of being asked the question “when was your last pap test?” before having the reason for the visit addressed. The video would have given a more accurate depiction of what can take place behind closed doors if pap test coercion had been included (e.g. showing the doctor ask about pap tests before moving on to deal with her pain). Even though pap test coercion was left out of the video, it does a fine job of conveying the awfulness of what happened – I was left with a hopeless feeling that it would be hard to convince a jury that the doctor did anything abusive.

      • Alex says:

        I notice that the question is tricky to answer if you haven’t had one. It’s an incongruent question & that’s something a lot of people are familiar with, but aren’t able to put words to. This makes for a very frustrating situation that stalls someone (and, in all probability, makes them feel helpless) in what seems to normally be a somewhat confrontational environment.

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but that will be more likely to make a woman break down, whereas a man is maybe more likely to get angry (very angry) & view that person as an asshole that’s trying to pull something.

  56. katrehman says:

    Smears in the news again after thousands of women had them in Southend and Thurrock and slides were m misread…….

    • adawells says:

      Just read some of this. So 17 have been changed from normal to abnormal with most of these borderline. Hasn’t the NHS got any work on at the moment? It seems that a Quality Assurance organisation spotted this. It’s well known that there’s a huge divergence of opinion on what is normal or abnormal – it’s as long as a piece of string. I once read that in the UK, if one region is not finding as many abnormalities as another region, they investigate and ask the region to bump up the abnormality rate. Wouldn’t be at all surprised this hasn’t happened here.

    • adawells says:

      Kat, did you see on the news about prostate cancer overtaking breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death in UK?
      It’s got everybody panicking trying to get screened when there isn’t a screening programme! It’s supposed to be an informed discussion of awareness with the GP – just like we should get with women’s screening… ha ha ha! Seen loads of women saying we must take care of our men and force them to go and get checked. As with the pap crap there’s the same people pushing for prostate crap now too. There are the lone voices of commonsense in the wilderness bravely showing how the figures came about because many more men are living beyond 80 these days, but nobody seems to be understanding, and the Daily Fail has found another bubonic plague to sell its hate indoctrination.

      • katrehman says:

        Yes Ada saw it yesterday and daily fail seems to b screamin discrimination against the men! It’s not fair the women get it all lol. I don’t know the word to describe it all..

  57. moo says:

    One day I was at the mall near the medical clinic where there were a few brochures and posters on the wall about different health issues. I picked up the one about cervical screening just to see what it was about. Someone had taken the original government brochure and used the same colours and format and edited it with other information such as the true risk of a woman getting cervical cancer, how unreliable pap tests were, actually described the procedure of sample taking and how the treatment involved “cutting off part of your healthy cervix with a red hot wire”. It was so disgusting, just exaclty how I feel about the whole cervicla screening programme. The edited brochure looked just like the original except it was on lower quality paper.

  58. Moo, now that’s a brochure worth reading, I wonder how long it will stay there!

  59. https://news.sky.com/story/why-are-more-women-not-going-to-breast-cancer-screenings-11269333

    I find it so annoying that some doctors and others acknowledge there are risks with breast screening, over-diagnosis and over-treatment being the big ones, they want women to get all the information and to make an informed decision but then simply urge women to take up screening.
    “It’s the best we’ve got…”
    I certainly don’t find that argument persuasive, if the best we’ve got is a flawed test, one that carries serious and potentially life threatening risk, we very reasonably may conclude the risks of screening exceed any benefit.
    So many don’t seem to understand that informed consent means just that….it’s not for others to tell us to screen despite the risks.
    More women are choosing not to screen and all the old dirty tricks aren’t working so they have to acknowledge informed consent but still want to order women into screening….IMO, to save a program that should be scaled back or scrapped. Don’t tell me I have a right to all the evidence and then in the next breath urge me to screen anyway, that’s not respecting my right to accept or decline, as I see fit.

  60. katrehman says:

    Elizabeth I agree and I think the language used in the article was interesting. It mentions women being too busy to screen or they could be embarrassed. They also acknowledge mammograms aren’t pleasant. But they don’t lambast us as they do for smears. Too embarrassed to smear? Grow up. Too busy? Do you want to die? Too painful to smear? Suck it up its only every 3\5 years. And we are more likely to get breast cancer. I agree though we’re still being g told we should have mammograms !

    • adawells says:

      I agree. In the UK there isn’t nearly so much pressure as there is with smear tests. It’s gone very quiet on that front. I think the age difference has a lot to do with it. Jo’s propaganda is still the same old tripe they used for 20 year olds, when the first screen was at 20. It doesn’t wash so well with women over 25, and for older women it is downright insulting.
      TBH I think they’re seriously worried. They’ve tried everything, years of campaigns and GP bribes, but the uptake slides further still. They must know the game is up.

  61. I’ve seen a couple of articles boasting we might be the first country to eradicate cervical cancer thanks to Gardasil and our stupendous screening program, recently updated to hpv primary testing. The fact is though…cervical cancer was never a serious problem here, it was always rare. How can you justify traumatising and butchering so many women over many decades in a quest to eradicate an already rare cancer?

    It’s only okay because most women are still in the dark. I also would never accept their stats on anything, it’s always been an exercise in deception…and self serving.
    I will never congratulate this program for its appalling treatment of women…previously healthy women, almost all were misled, bullied or coerced into screening in the first place.
    One article crowed we should now take our program and vaccines to poorer countries, clearly looking for another market, they can’t pay or Australian taxpayers should pay…
    Cervical cancer is a bigger problem in the third world but i’m sure decent food, shelter, sanitation, clean water, health and obstetric care would be a far better place to start.

    • endlessleeper says:

      i looked up the cervical cancer rates in some 3rd world countries. considering how awful their lives are (being prostituted, forcibly impregnated, raped, lack of/no food and clean drinking water, lack of access to hygiene products and sanitation, etc), the cervical cancer rates are shockingly low. illness caused by what i listed is infinitely more common. how surprising…

  62. They can’t pay SO Australian taxpayers should pay…was what I meant to say..
    I don’t believe they actually care about these women, it’s about expanding their market and making more money.

  63. adawells says:

    Ladies in the UK on here will be interested to know that our Data Protection Act is being replaced on 25th May this year, with a much stronger package called the General Data Protection Regulation.
    It will give patients much stronger rights with consent. Implied consent (which we have in our cervical screening prog) will no longer be legal – “clear, unambiguous, freely given consent” will be a legal requirement. I think we will also have free access to our medical records. At the moment we are charged if we want copies of them. I think they will have to provide them to us for free within 30 days. It will be very interesting to see how this pans out with our summons letters. The programme could become “opt in”, since patients will be able to block any processing of their data at the start.
    I haven’t been able to find out much more, but looks like interesting times ahead…

  64. katrehman says:

    YES!@! thanks Ada an end to the “invitations”

  65. adawells says:

    I only found out about it today, and have been trying to find out more. I would like to see my hospital records, but would require a formal request and me going there for a day. If I could request them electronically at no cost, that’s something I’d be very interested in doing. I’ve an awful feeling they will try to exempt the screening programmes as they have already, as they have exemptions for research purposes, the greater good and prevention of epidemic disease, but it looks promising and more rights for patients. I wonder if they’ll re-word the letters again?

  66. adawells says:


    Kat, was this the study you took part in? Once again, it doesn’t accept that women have a choice. Even if they have made a firm decision not to attend, this study is all about finding ways to increase uptake.

    • I’ve just read through and this is particularly infuriating when discussing the surveyed group who chose not to screen: “Ensuring risk perceptions are accurate may be important to ensure that women who have decided not to be screened have made an informed decision.”

      Or maybe accept the fact CC is rare and these women know that. To imply they don’t know what they are talking about and deciding on is disgusting.

  67. katrehman says:

    Ada I don’t think it was. .I did a phone interview, seems these knocked on doors?

  68. adawells says:


    Now that men are faced with the prospects of prostate cancer screening, we see more and more articles like this. It’s good to see, but these people never had much to say when screening was only for women.

  69. Anna says:

    Sue, what about cervical checks done on pregnant women? this has been troubling me greatly recently as I had my second child and this time around, because I was overdue, I was given some cervical checks. these checks are invasive and painful and have no benefits! I am deeply troubled that such an exam is so commonplace and that women aren’t given the opportunity for informed consent. one of these checks felt like sexual assault to me. the practitioner who performed it had made some incorrect assumptions about me and was treating me terribly, then she pushed my knees apart without having me put my feet into the stirrups (my feet were on the table) and dug her hand into my vagina.

    • Hi Anna,
      Welcome to the forum. I’m sorry to hear you were treated disrespectfully, and good for you to question the lack of informed consent. You should have been asked for permission before she pushed your knees apart. Just because it took place in a medical context does not excuse it or make it anything different than what it felt like. Did your doctor try to push a pap test on you in addition to coercing you into cervical checks?

    • ChasUK says:

      Anna, you have the right to say NO to these exams especially when they are of no medical benefit to you or them. From now on please stand your ground with a firm no in future. You are in charge of your body, always remember that, it can’t be forced upon you as that would be assault! I’m sorry you were put through this, it really is disgraceful and disrespectful.

  70. Fran says:

    Hi Sue and thank you to you all for the website. I confess that I have “lurked” around for several months reading the comments before adding anything of my own. So much of what you have all discussed rings true with me, and I am yet another woman in her sixties who avoids medical people whenever possible. I am certainly very grateful that I have not experienced some of the appalling things described by some of you. I simply wanted to add my support, and thank you for your courage and generosity in what you say. I sincerely hope that one day a new generation of young women will never have such experiences to go through.

    • Hi Fran,
      Thanks very much for your kind words. I’m familiar with avoiding medical people whenever possible, a wise strategy in my opinion. I was glad to see you escaped some of what’s been described here, and also glad you still are able to see how truth unfolds regardless of your own experiences. Welcome to the forum! I too hope the next generation will not have to endure the same experiences.
      Sue XO

  71. adawells says:


    Just wondered if anyone has read about this?
    As usual, screening and the programme emerges as blameless, whilst others are blamed for a test which is barely accurate. I don’t think we are getting all the truth here. Stage 4 cervical cancer and no symptoms until a smear test finds it?🤔

  72. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    A similar article by Barbara Ehrenreich is in the “Australian” weekend magazine today,
    Couldn’t agree more, but I got to that point before I started to screen…I’m pleased my mother has stopped screening, she’s 86 in July, we really don’t want to see her going through more surgeries, CAT scans etc. etc. instead we’re taking her to Far Nth Queensland for 2 weeks in June, that’s called living!

    • adawells says:

      I saw the Barbara Ehrenreich comments too, and thought that sounds like sense to me, but then I looked at her age – 76! She’s giving up screening at 76! I don’t have respect for her anymore. She should have been having these thoughts decades ago, and speaking up for women, not in her 70’s

  73. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Hi Ada
    That surprised me too, especially given she has medical training, think she’s an immunologist. Pap tests in your 70s? Our program here will run into early 70s but excess has always been a feature of our cervical screening program. I’d be surprised if many women are fronting up for speculum exams in their 70s – of course, they may be offered HPV self-testing if they decline the speculum exam.
    It not difficult for someone with medical training to do some research, and they should be aware these programs are far from honest and evidence based.
    I was surprised to see some of the comments were quite rude – those who thought she was basically signing her death warrant, it sounds like a lot of older Americans are still having the screening works. I recall Dr Joel Sherman’s wife was still having an annual gyn exam until he raised the research with her, (he’s a retired cardiologist, but hadn’t given it much thought until he read the research linked on his forum by informed people) when she mentioned it to the gynaecologist, he agreed it was fine not to come back for more exams, how long would it have continued if the query (backed by evidence) hadn’t been raised with him?

  74. katrehman says:

    Just when you think it couldn’t get worse. Daily mail 2 days ago. A mother called Corrinne Surkitt in Lancashire is raising awareness of smear test and embarrassment. Too do this she has arranged ham in a roll to resemble a vagina and poses with a tin of tuna….she also poses in a t shirt with a huge hairy wig over her front near where public hair would be. Reminds me of the Scottish campaign stop fannying around and get tested. Really what next?

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Hmph. The screening fanatics call it ’embarrassment’. I call it self-respect. This woman clearly has none.

    • adawells says:

      It’s so pathetic it’s sad. The newspapers love making stories out of these people.

    • I hope she is embarrassed by her stupidity. Honestly, even if someone did want to test but was embarrassed, is saying they smell like fish really going to help??? I think she just wants attention.

      • adawells says:

        I’m sure she will be before long. I felt sorry for her lovely little boy – he could be teased about it at school. The photos were dire and can’t see how they would encourage any self-respecting person.

        What’s also been a risible failure is the Eve Appeal’s Gyne Cancer Awareness month. Why, yes, it’s actually on this month, folks!!!!! Just to be original they’ve decided to run, (yes, you’ve guessed it already), a red lipstick campaign. It has kicked off with the cervical screening scandal in Ireland, where a few hundred positive screening tests were passed as negative and not followed up for years, followed by the breast screening scandal in the UK where a few hundred thousand weren’t sent a farewell invitation. Needless to say, the Eve campaign features loads of pretty, young 20 year olds pouting their lips and looking like they’re up for a quick fuck.. Just the thing for gyne cancers, which are overwhelmingly found in fat, middle-aged old bags like me.

  75. CHASUK says:

    The soap Eastenders is now also highlighting cervical screening, by using Stacey to convince young Whitney to attend her apt, usual crap….only 5 mins no need to be shy etc…..could save your life! What next I wonder, my guess is she will have “abnormal cells” and have treatment……and there you go claiming another one saved LOL!

    • adawells says:

      Seems to be a never-ending story on Eastenders. So that’s 3 cases in Albert Sq, and yet this is such a rare cancer. and London has some of the lowest rates in the country…I bet they don’t go into any details as to how this disease was caught?

      • CHASUK says:

        Of course they will not give details…. stating that it is HPV which is in fact an STI…it would put the women off LOL! But I am sure it will prompt some to attend their “life saving screen”. Thanks for reminding me of the other cases in Eastenders for this rare cancer LOL!

    • I just watched the clip and was left cringing….believe it or not, it’s on YouTube.

      If I had 10p for every time I heard the line “life saving test” or “just five minutes” in relation to smears I’d be a very rich woman.

  76. katrehman says:

    Funny u should say that Chas. I turned it off in disgust..Linda and Tanya had it 2 didn’t they?

    • CHASUK says:

      More to follow on this story of course, but I think Whitney is under 25 isn’t she? Can’t be sure though? If she is then she shouldn’t even be discussing it.

  77. katrehman says:

    I usually enjoy take a break magazine but nearly brought my breakfast back up when I saw their latest today. They are inviting us to say 3 cheers for smears. Usual story Work mate never had smears had SCreen died of secondary tumour and friends realised they’d missed smears too because they never knew how important they are…we shouldn’t fear them or be embarrassed and they’re not painful. We should celebrate them and cheer them because THEY SAVE LIVES! Don’t be shy I’ll start you off…. HIP HIP……BLEURGH

  78. katrehman says:

    Should read had CC never screened

  79. adawells says:


    France and Denmark now consider ending their breast screening programmes (along with Switzerland). How much longer can this go on for? Once one country plucks up the courage to do it, others must follow too. I so hope we’ll see their lies and deception exposed for what it is soon.

    • adawells says:

      I’ve been following the breast screening scandal in the news and it seems too much of a coincidence that this is all kicking off in a number of countries at the same time…France is now running a review into its programme (see above paper), which could wind up the programme completely. Has Hunt brought up the current breast screening scandal about the failed invitations now to trigger a similar review? Both reviews are set to look at the programmes overall, and not just the errors that occured. And now Ireland, in the same week as our breast screening scandal, reveals that there were a number of false negatives in 2009. It turns out that these people were followed up. I read that one big fish in the cancer screening world was quoted as saying that the UK breast screening scandal is a red herring by Hunt. Are they seeking a means to wind up these programmes by showing them to be not fit for purpose, so they can wheel in something quite different without a murmur from the zealots?

  80. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    I haven’t heard anything here, still recommending breast screening up to age 74….life-saving etc. the usual hype.

    It never ceases to amaze me the medical focus when it comes to women. I was speaking to an American woman online, she’s not having any more Pap tests or pelvic exams, she’s 75 but her doctor is strongly recommending an annual vaginal exam, “otherwise you have no idea what’s happening down there”…
    Why the focus on our genitals?
    No one routinely looks into our ears every year or our anus or nose – a dentist looks at our teeth, gums and mouth every year or so. I haven’t heard of anyone being told to go in for a routine inspection of these areas, vaginal cancer is rare too – I think anal cancer would be more likely…
    Any other issues – you’d be symptomatic, like dryness or itching.
    It will take a long time to change the thinking in the profession.

Speak your mind

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.