Unnecessary Pap Smears Discussion Forum

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  3. Totally agree Demon and Julie. Totalk desperation. I think these ladies are more in need of psychiatric help than a gynaecologist

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

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

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

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

      • Secondly, it says all money will go to Jo’s, but can’t imagine there would be much left over after paying their expenses for running this event.

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

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

  6. Daily fail today ladies BREAKING NEWS! spread the word. Call the screening police. The wanna b celeb Sam Faires has only EVER HAD ONE SMEAR TEST!!!!

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

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

      Screen, ladies! Watched pots never boil!

      • Silly me Beth kz it quite slipped my mind!! I must be one of those women who needs to be reminded by my pet to book my smear….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • You can try #lifesavingwax for the latest initiative.

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

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

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

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

  14. Shock horror! The Angry Brit Nurse blocked me for saying I’m angry to be badgered about a test I never asked to be “invited” to..boo hoo hoo 😿

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

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

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

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

      Most definitely on the run!

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

    • See you there!

      As Ada said, they can’t silence us there and there are some great discussions to be had. Be prepared for some mind numbing ignorance tho, often at the hands of Hannah and her ‘cervical screen’ cronies.

      • Haha, that sounds like a lot of fun! I’ll certainly give it to ’em! Let’s put them to the sword! 😀

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Have your staff been trained to ask these questions?

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Many thanks. 

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

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

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

  16. I don’t usually read the sun paper but there’s a headline today smears could b replaced by a urine test which has proved just as accurate. ..

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

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

      • Lies in the breast screening brochure too…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  22. Surprise ladies daily fail again today. Woman caught up in the appalling cervical screening blunder in N Ireland awarded 1.8 million damages

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • You’re probably right.

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

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

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

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

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

      • Judy I agree with u. I was thinking the same thing the way the picture is depicted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Yep, just one big NO.
        If they want more reasons, here are two more, in addition to the above said:

        1. There is no independently proven evidence that these screening tests will definitely do more good than harm. Glossy propaganda brochures and posters with photos of smiling imbeciles or threatening slogans are not evidence, nor are they a source of information.

        2. There is zero respect for patient data privacy and security. For example, if I had a higher risk of a certain condition AND could do a screening test 100% anonymously, get the results and make a sole, independent decision what to do with those results, there would be a chance of considering the test. But, as things stand, I know that the screening will demand a heap of my personal information and then, against my will, will share it with other government institutions, researches, various unrelated bureaucrats and even private corporations like Telstra (because Australian government sold screening registers to Telstra for “management”).

        So NO. And until there are significant changes in the way screening is run, it will remain a NO.

      • Here’s a couple more. My husband goes along with me to all doctor appts. So we’re at the mammography place. The tech watches hubby wheel me inside the room (I’m in a wheelchair). Then she asks him to leave. He appears as if fused to the wall and says “no.” I need his help. Not one tech, ever, has figured out how to help a disabled person. Anyhoo hubby answers tech when she says I should be coming in sooner for “early detection.” With that hubby says mammography isn’t early detection. After an exchange of a few minutes she finally admits he’s right. Ultrasound can detect blood vessel formation long before a calcification forms which is how and what x-ray mammography works.

      • Also, where I live a local hospital has been sued for millions and by several patients. Grossmont Hospital in San Diego County CA was filming, via computer terminal, surgical operations and other procedures in its Women’s Center operating rooms. This went on for months. All to supposedly catch somebody stealing propofol.
        The videos were stored on an unsecured computer where anybody in the know could access them.
        Isn’t that typical of doctors?
        The whistle blower, an anesthesiologist of 16yrs experience there, was fired.
        Isn’t that also typical of doctors?

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • It does sound suspicious. Though we all know that misinformation and propaganda coming from the medical establishment is entrenched, ubiquitous and very far-reaching. It isn’t hard to believe they could resort to some shady deals with the media and censorship.

  30. Interesting, the Heart Foundation has pulled an ad promoting heart checks after a flood of complaints – one scene there’s a young mother in a hospital bed saying to her child…”when I didn’t care about my heart, I didn’t care about your heart either”…

    Umm, doesn’t it sounds familiar…
    “My mummy missed her smear test, now I miss my mummy” – promoting smear tests in the UK.
    “Do it for those you love” was one used here for years etc. etc.

    This emotional blackmail angle seems perfectly acceptable in women’s cancer screening but it was viewed as unacceptable when it was about men and women.

    • So true Elizabeth! Men weren’t told while they didn’t think of THEIR heart they didn’t think how their partners and family would cope if THEY keeled over……

    • “Cervical Screening Awareness Week 2019
      This year, we are focussing on the experiences of women going for cervical screening and those who have had cell changes (abnormal cells).”

      Interesting that now the focus on screening awareness is not about cajoling women into having the test any more. They know that battle is lost. So the best way to keep the charity coffers full is to talk about how successful it is. False marketing at it’s finest.

      • And they are heavily targeting the under 30s. They know they can’t convince the older women anymore. It’s all about bullying the HPV vaccinated generation now, or they know there’s no point to their organisation anymore.

  31. “In the period 2015–2016, 56.0% (age-standardised) of eligible women aged 20–69 years participated in the National Cervical Screening program” (https://ncci.canceraustralia.gov.au/screening/cervical-screening-rates/cervical-screening-rates)
    Will be interesting to see whether they can maintain the 56% of eligible women now we’re moved to 5 yearly testing, I think some women had worked out 2 yearly was unnecessary and had moved to 3 or 5 yearly. The AMA is desperately trying to keep the Pill on script so that consult can still be used to push screening – I think some women are still being misled into thinking the test is a clinical requirement. I think GPs would be more careful using coercion these days but I’m sure it still happens…

    I don’t think HPV self testing will boost the participation rate, haven’t heard of many women accessing self testing – I suppose it will depend on the GP but I know initially they were talking about restricting its use to those who declined the invasive test for 6 years – I suppose they hope most women will cave over that period of time and agree to the invasive test.
    We spend a huge amount of money on this program – I’ve never felt it’s the best use of taxpayer funds – would we spend vast sums on screening for another rare cancer? Doubt it…

    • In the UK the 5 yearly uptake after age 50 is about 75%. It’s highest around the menopause, so I reckon a lot of women get caught at GP appointments at this time. There are only 3 tests after age 50 & I can see the pressure being put on to finish the course and put up with the last 3. Women I’ve spoken to still think it has to be done, and totally accept it all without question, like a “get out of jail free card”. Absolutely clueless about any medical facts. In the under 50’s they struggle to keep to the 3 year targets, but I believe that now that the UK has almost totally switched to HPV testing, the targets have been changed to everyone tested every 5 years, but they haven’t made the change public.

      • And we all know what will happen……….abnormal tests BECAUSE of the MENOPAUSE! This is what happened to me but I relied on my instincts and found all of you, in fact the first I believe was Elizabeth (Aust) on the old blog critics site – So once again a HUGE THANK YOU!
        So a big percentage of the 75% who are screening will most likely have a false positive result, some with treatment & many stating that they have “BEEN SAVED” or “I WOULDN’T BE HERE TODAY” blah blah blah!
        As you say…………..clueless……..the lot of them.
        And this can then be added to their suspicious statistics so it still looks like cervical screening is doing a good job and saving lives – of course we know that’s utter crap.

    • Typical DailyBullshit approach: ignore the facts, twist the story, add lies. All to conjure a sensation with horror undertones, simply to keep their readership numbers up and make more profit.

    • None of this adds up. Says she was diagnosed aged 25 in February this year, but first invitations are sent out at age 24 & half, meaning she would have got one months before when she started to experience the pains. She would not have been turned away as too young last year. Not only this, she would have also qualified from catchup HPV vaccination whilst still at school 10 years ago. There’s been a lot of campaigning for LGBT people to come forward for screening, with some saying they’ve been told they’re at no risk. Sounds too fabricated for me.

      • Yes. Sounds like BS to me. We’ll never hear about alternatives with this farce. A 53% effective test. Once you’re in the toilet circling the drain there’s no way out. Now she begins the high dose radiation. Forget about decent sex ever again.
        Vaccine? I know an 11 yr old who’s now recovered from Guillian Barre syndrome. After 3 months in rehab.
        The Trovagene 93% and the ? Screener would resolve the mystery here. Wish I could remember the name of the Screener. It’s the one used in Australia. I want to call it Da Vinci but I think it starts with a B.
        We all know if they make changes then cases like these, young women NOT needing to see med personnel to talk about sex history…doctors will finally have to work for a living and not be able to masturbate through their days.

    • Agreed, we don’t need our lives medicalised and there is evidence early detection actually doesn’t help.

      I firmly believe most screening is about control and giving the appearance you are being protected i.e a vote winner.

    • Yicks! Instant results in a doctor’s office would be immediate pressure for biopsy and LEEP treatments.

      Now if there were a discrete private home test that a woman could get instant results and repeat them in 6 months without the involvement of any medical personnel…….

      • That’s not going to happen. Such test would have truly saved lives and helped women, but it would fail all 3 pillars of modern medicine: surveillance, control and money-making.

  32. Daily fail has jumped on the bandwagon with the latest cervical cancer whatever week. 2 stories on smears. Mother waits q0 months to b diagnosed and new accurate test …I’m taking a read now

  33. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-48580037
    Hundreds of UK men are trying out a new screening test for prostate cancer to see if it should eventually be offered routinely on the NHS.
    The test is a non-invasive MRI scan that takes images of the inside of the body to check for any abnormal growths.
    Scientists running the trial say it will take a few years to know if MRI will be better than available blood tests and biopsies at spotting cancers.

    It is good to have non-invasive tests, it is a dam shame they won’t apply this to women’s CC screening!

    • Off topic but kinda tying in with your point Chas…
      I turned 55 in March..age eligible to get the camera shoved up my bum woo hoo!
      Today I get a letter from them saying as I didn’t return my slip they assume I don’t wish to screen ( they got that right!) Though I never received the ” invitation ” or form! Not that I’m bothered…
      I just rang to opt out and it was no problem thank you for letting us know we’ll put the disclaimer in the post to you!!
      Now why can’t they develop a non invasive test for that? And its a totally different story declining smears though to be fair I had less hassle over the forms than some on here…..

      • Looks like screening programmes that affect both men and women are easier to opt out. Trying to opt out of breast crushing (mammograms) or cervix scraping (paps) is much more hassle. The system just won’t take women’s ‘no’ for an answer.

      • In US you can swallow a camera. It takes pics and transmits them to sensors you wear outside. Better than having my asshole snaked out.

      • The “camera” you swallow is called Cologuard and it costs about $650. I don’t believe it’s covered under any
        insurance but Medicare (for those 65 and older) will pay for it.

    • No, no. The non-invasive test for women won’t happen. It’s too much fun to look at and penetrate her vagina. Besides, raping people periodically makes them more likely to submit in the future…. as every rapist knows.

  34. Has anyone actually had an”invitation ” to the one off screening at 55? I never even received mine but the reminder was worded as of a slot had been booked 4 me and I was to return a slip if I “accepted” the “invitation “. They said they wouldn’t “invite ” me again but I could have the test anytime between now and 60 if I chose.
    I think with breast crushing you are sent 2 “invitations ” before they give up for that screening cycle?

    • Hi Kat,
      We have not had the new bowel screening kit. My husband received the older test which needs 3 “swipes” on his 60th birthday 2 years ago. He didn’t do it, so maybe gets another for his birthday this year? I’m 57 and have never received a bowel screening kit of any kind so far.

  35. https://phescreening.blog.gov.uk/2019/06/12/talking-about-cell-changes-during-cervical-screening-awareness-week-2019-a-view-from-jos-cervical-cancer-trust/

    Wow – They are finally discussing the fear effects of women with so called abnormal cells!!

    “Falling between the gap of cervical screening and cervical cancer, the needs of women with cell changes can sometimes be overlooked.”

    “Cell changes are relatively common. In fact, more than 200,000 women will have them each year in the UK.” (HOPEFULLY….SOME WOMEN WILL LOOK AT THIS FIGURE….& THINK HANG ON A MINUTE/ALARM BELLS RINGING)

    “However for many women, a diagnosis of cell changes can be a very confusing and scary time.” (NO SHIT SHERLOCK)

    “We are absolutely not trying to dissuade women from attending cervical screening or recommended treatment” (I’M DISSUADED EVEN MORE READING THIS CRAP!)

  36. I have made a comment but they probably will not allow it public as most of mine do not get through, so here is what I said:

    It is good to finally see discussion on the mental effects of women when receiving an abnormal test! Also you have pointed out that there are around 200,000 abnormal results per year, this is the part I find alarming as there is no way this amount would ever get cervical cancer, I feel this should actually be printed in the leaflet “helping you decide”. If you truly want to give women the chance to make their own informed decisions, this will help them. Along with this information women would like more honesty that cervical cancer is not and never was the No.1 killer of women, and that most abnormal cell treatment is in fact over treatment, also please include an opt-out slip with the invites as it still remains difficult to firmly opt-out (my 2 requests in writing have been ignored). Having said all that I am pleased that a discussion is finally here about how women feel when they get their abnormal result, as so many women around me have “had a cancer scare” or claim “I wouldn’t be here today etc” thinking they were/are going to die when most will not or ever would, it is a cruel screening programme that spends an enormous amount of money on a test that is at best 53% accurate. More honesty is important in all screening, especially this one. I would like to see my post made public here as you seem to block most of mine!

    • This is an excellent response and I hope so much it gets published. Petr Skrabanek was right about screening being unethical when he said that populations need to be coerced into attending or there would be little voluntary uptake and the programmes wouldn’t be viable. Threats, bullying and dishonesty are all an integral part of our cancer screening programmes.

      • No such luck with them letting my post through! I got an email stating the following:

        “We’ve noted your comments but our position remains the same. We will continue to read any messages that you send and reply if those messages raise new issues on which we can provide advice.”

        Oh what a surprise!

    • I noticed your excellent response still hasn’t gone up. It should be there.

      I posted the following today, I doubt it will go up but it’s worth a shot: “In one instance, a quote used in the promotional literature, the patient states they were given LLETZ treatment without their knowledge and without consent. This is usually considered battery and is a crime.

      What support is being offered to those harmed or who wish to make complaints about the program?”

  37. Its disgusting that so many women are worried senseless by these so called cell changes. A few go on to get cancer (I wont quote a number as no one knows) I think this information should be put in the crappy ‘helping you decide’ brochure. I wish women would wake up to this cruel treadmill we are all on.

    I thought the HPV test put an end to all this uncertainty anyway. or is that a load of nonsense as well.

  38. It is cruel & vile, I myself almost lost the plot over “cell changes”, had apt for colposcopy & probably would have been treated…………….so glad I said No! I was in menopause. I can’t imagine receiving treatment on any internal organ on a mere maybe!

    This HPV test worries me as it has increased the colposcopy workload which presumably will increase the treatment rates….making the programme continue to look successful!

    I have decided for me that ALL screening is nonsense & I will only seek help & act on symptoms…..I’ll add a maybe in there as I have little trust anymore, feel happier attempting to fix my own health issues now.

    But it is good to see that the effects on women are at long last being discussed/acknowledged, albeit from that shite site Jo’s Tosh! However, the NHS do direct women to Jo’s….I hope more women wise up to this suspicious test? Time will tell!

    • It will b interesting to see if HPV rates drop due to more vaccinated ppl of both sexes….and if more women walk away from the screening programme ..
      What will said programme do next??

      • In the latest Jo’s propaganda video they have a lady talking about side effects from her treatment for abnormal cells. In it she talks about the ‘next stage being cancer’. I don’t believe she mentions her HPV status in it which is potentially misleading.

        I think for now HPV testing and relevancy is being glossed over in an attempt to keep women in the program and get them through the door.

      • I think they’re very worried about the low uptake amongst the under 30s, and it’s noticeable that all the propaganda this year has been targetted at them. I think they’ve given up with us middle-aged. They know most of us have had totally unnacceptable bullying and harrassment from the beginning and are never going to forgive them for it. Too many women dropping off the programme at either end leaves it very vulnerable.

  39. As costs are one item discussed here, their costs in the US for-profit healthcare system is nothing to sneeze at – and in some cases are absolutely OUTRAGEOUS! Look at https://health.costhelper.com/pap-test-comments-1.html where women report costs being under $100 in some cases and OVER $2000 in others! That’s even WITH insurance. Who can afford that, and anyone who has ever tried to get a price list or expected cost from a healthcare provider knows that that information is unavailable or wildly inaccurate!

  40. I remember an episode of the doctors a few years back. Doctor Lisa the Obgyn was saying if woman have anal sex they need to tell there gynecologist because they need a anal Pap smear too. WTH I’m scared to know what an abnormal anal pap whould be followed by. Hell to the no.

    • I’ve heard that too, and that men having anal sex with other men need to have anal pap smears. Then again, one of the warnings out there about anal sex is that the rectum is extremely thin and VERY easy to tear, and those tears are hard to heal,get infected, and are painful. If a partner’s penis, lubed and used gently might tear a rectum, how will a scraping for a pap NOT tear it???

      • Well, if they scrape something open, and get arterial bleeding, they can at least put on someone’s head stone, “Did not die of cervical cancer”.

        In fact, what would they be looking for? If they’re looking for dangerous strains of HPV, there are better tests. If they are looking for colo/rectal cancer, there are better tests. If there are symptoms of rectal cancer, a colonscopy or sigmoidoscopy would seem more appropriate ways to find it or treat it, If they’re concerned about other STIs, there are better tests for that than a PAP.

    • OMG If my Doctor even asked me anything personal and private like that, including any sex I may or may not be having, then I will flip there and then on the spot. It is not their business….unless I have an issue relating to it and I have sought help for. If my GP visit is for something totally unrelated to those areas then they will not get an answer to it, including whether I use any contraception! It is private and none of their business, I do not want anything like that on my records for all to see……….there is no end to the surveillance of our bodies and it makes me so dam mad!

      • Sadly this is a reality for many American woman. It’s standard invasive sexual questions they have to answer at there well woman exams. That are pushed heAr. Many woman I know think it’s ok for doctors to ask. Hear it’s standard for gynecologist to test all woman for stds. When they go for cheek ups. So many woman I know are so brainwashed about this. Woman hear have no idea that other countries don’t have annual check ups. I remember a Canadian girl on YouTube was warning girls who move abroad to find a gynecologist and continue to get well woman exams. This girl was like 20 years old to. I didn’t know other countries didn’t do well woman exams ether. Gee how are other woman living with out All that surveillance?

      • Chas at my very last smear in 2000 I was asked if I practiced safe sex! I refused to answer…I have never had or sought treatment for An STI or unwanted pregnancy. ….

      • I’m sure I’ve posted this here before but nurse at my surgery tried telling me that she was 100% faithful to her husband as he was to her, yet she still had smears, so I should too. I told her she clearly didn’t trust him then. She looked deeply hurt at this, but then why am I supposed to not feel hurt when she suggests such a situation to me. Furious at what I put up with in those days.

      • Good for you Ada.

        In all honesty, what does she expect when she dares to be so presumptuous and intrusive about someone else’s private business, when that individual has made a perfectly informed choice? This is the result of refusing to take NO for an answer.

        It’s like asking someone whether they are still sexually active, or whether they’re promiscuous.
        It’s becoming less and less acceptable to be so intrusive and forthright about such personal information.

        Play with fire and you will get burned.

      • Every pap test I’ve ever had contained a LOAD of questions – which I suspect are being used to load a database somewhere for surveillance and/or research, including things like “At what age did you first have intercourse?”, “How many sexual partners have you had?” “How many sexual partners have you had THIS YEAR?” (Emphasis mine, to ensure differentiation of those two questions) “What STIs have you ever been diagnosed with? Did you get treatment? What kind?” What’s your zip code? What’s your annual income? “What is your highest educational achievement?” (WTF does THAT have to do with the health of my reproductive system?” “At what age did you have your first menstrual period?” “How many times have you been pregnant?” How many times have you miscarried? How many abortions have you had? How many children do you have? Did you breastfeed them? For how long? Do you want to have more children? Do you have vaginal sex? Do you have anal sex? Do you have oral sex? Do you use ‘marital aids’ (sex toys)? Do you share those with anyone? Is anyone forcing you to have sex that you do not want? (YES… YOU! I don’t want your bladed speculum and rough brushes nor your grubby (though gloved) fingers in my vagina or anus)

    • WTF. Anal pap smear. To diagnose what? An even rarer form of anal cancer? Does that also involve “screening” for abnormal anal cells?!

    • “It’s so embarrassing!

      Your nurse or doctor will have performed hundreds (or possibly thousands, as in my case – don’t ask how long I’ve been a doctor!) of smears. For them, it’s not remotely awkward.”

      The screening collective still trots out it’s not embarrassing for THEM. Spectacularly still missing the point that it’s not about THEM – it’s about the thousands of women out there that DO care about body autonomy, privacy and dignity.

      • Also, I feel that this, “don’t be embarassed, they’ve seen it all before” narrative isn’t about reassuring women, it’s about deriding them, making them feel small and stupid for finding something remotely offensive about these hideous tests.
        By making you feel stupid, they make it out that you are the one who has the problem, and if you were “normal”, you’d accept them without reservation.
        I once read of a woman who despite being very pro-screening herself, had seen words to the effect of, “dislikes internal procedures”, when she went to the hospital to have her “abnormal cells” removed.

      • “Doctors/nurses have seen it all before” excuse is ridiculous! Most people have seen “it” before, yet the law still mandates that everyone wears clothes in public.

  41. I’ve always felt a certain attitude dictates the treatment of women in the consult room and elsewhere.
    I was reading about vaginal mesh on the weekend, the stuff of nightmares and couldn’t help but think, “yep, there’s that attitude again”…

    So many women told flippantly, that this was a quick fix, even when it was known many women were having serious issues with the product. One woman went back to her doctor complaining about pain, the mesh was basically sawing though her ureter, she was “told” the pain is not that bad, it’s just the mesh rubbing a bit.

    Women left with faecal and urinary incontinence, constant pain, unable to have sex, just too painful, women needing to catheterise themselves so need to be close to a toilet at all times, many are now isolated fearing an accident if they catch a flight or go to a cafe.
    It’s all a bit low key here, I’d heard there were issues with the mesh but had no idea these women were left with such severe injuries – there have even been suicides.

    These women went to the doctor with a bit of incontinence or a prolapse and many ended up much worse off…
    I hear there’s a class action, but this could/should have been stopped a lot sooner, compensation doesn’t give you back your health and life. I feel no one really listened to these women or they were fobbed off – the old..others know best. Why wasn’t something done sooner to get this product off the market?

    It’s disgusting these attitudes still persist in women’s healthcare.

    Some women said they got very little information on the risks, but isn’t that usually the way?
    It’s been that way with breast and cervical screening, the old problematic IUDs etc. etc.

    I was also reading that some women are now taking legal action after birth trauma, usually following vaginal birth – basically there was no consent and/or no warning that vaginal birth posed a serious risk of injury and on-going health and psych issues.
    Doctors say women giving birth are now older and things don’t stretch as well…and that the number of c-sections has often been the focus. Some wonder, In an attempt to keep the number of c-sections done, whether that’s leading to more birth injuries.

    One Asian woman, age 32, petite, was advised a vaginal birth carried less risk (true for some women) – when the labour dragged on, she expected to have a c-section, instead, without consent or any understanding of what was to follow, she had a forceps delivery and ended up with an anal tear.

    This has required 3 lots of surgery, she’s in contain pain, has issue urinating and defecating, has been unable to enjoy her baby (now 2 years old) because of her birth injuries and trauma. (and obviously no sex)

    I think legal action sends a reminder to doctors and midwives that women should have a say in what happens during labour and delivery, gone are the days when she was expected to leave it to others, the mere vessel containing a baby.
    It’s clear this woman should have had a c-section – and if she opted to persist with the vaginal birth, (that wouldn’t have happened) warned about the possible outcome of a forceps delivery. Again, I’m sure she’ll be successful in her legal action, but it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

    • I have been following the Hysteroscopy Action Group in the UK which has been set up to offer women a GA for this procedure. This involves a tube with a small camera on the end forced up through the cervix into the womb to have a look. A saline solution is pumped into the womb and some small pincers can be put through the tube to snip biopsies and polyps off the womb lining, so that they can be tested to see if cancerous.

      Hospitals in the UK are on an incentive payments reward scheme to forego anaesthesia, so women are asked to take a couple of paracetamol before the procedure which often lasts for half an hour. Many women have reported it as being absolute torture. Nurses who are supposed to offer soothing words throughout, report women screaming through the process and have asked the patients not to let those waiting know how painful it is. I joined the facebook group but found the daily reports so upsetting, I haven’t dipped in for a while now.
      However they have been successful in getting some limited changes, and got a slot on the radio. Some leaflets have been changed and some hospitals are worried about the pressure group. What they are asking is that the offer of a GA should be a choice at the outset, and that any desire to stop the process is listened to and acted upon. Unbelievably the leaflets often say that this is just like a smear test and some women feel no pain at all, although these voices seem completely absent from the social media I’ve looked at.
      I was automatically put in for a GA with mine, but that could be because I walked out of my initial appointment. If you are ever referred for such a thing, do exercise your rights to ask for a GA if you don’t want to experience this dreadful procedure awake.

      • I am npt surprised, though I should be (given that this is supposedly the Civilised West in the 21st Century).
        It makes me so angry. It sounds exactly like the trends exercised in the last few years (until the Barrow-In-Furness scandal), to deny women pain relief during labour (and to deny a caesarean even when the situation calls for it. Midwives – especially Midwives – deriding women, and claiming to know better).
        These practices make me wonder, is it really all about saving money? How expensive is GA (or an epidural for labour)? Many women would be more than willing to pay for it themselves, and probably even over the odds so that the hospital could make a tidy profit.
        This is surely not about money. It is about demeaning women, derision for them and keeping them in their place.
        Despite saying that “lessons have been learned” from the Barrow-In-Furness and mesh scandals, this – behind the scenes – is how they all still think, despite a record number of women entering the medical profession.
        Another example is elderly patients. These and women are the most despised patients on the NHS. The official line, “lessons must be learned”, is for the odd event when they are caught and have to acknowledge malpractice in order to save face. Nothing more.

      • I had a GA which I’m told lasted about 30 mins, woke up & laid on trolley for about another 30 mins, then husband came to take me home about 30 mins later. So length of time taken for all this is about the same time as without anaesthetic, but probably the op itself was much quicker as I wasn’t writhing in agony and pleading to stop for pain breaks, and nurse saying soothing comforting words and stress balls are obviously cheaper than an anaesthetist.

    • Mesh implants were, and still are, an epic fail in Australian medical system. Thousands of women were misled, butchered, dismissed and left in horrendous pain, much worse off than they were before the surgery.

      A friend of mine was told it would be “a quick and easy fix”. Ended up living through 6 years of pain, incontinence and wrecked sexual life. She had to undergo 4 subsequent surgeries, which caused significant memory degradation due to anaesthesia. All that just to try to return her internal organs close to the state they were in before the first “quick and easy” surgery. In the meantime, the doctors made hundreds of thousands of dollars, while the patients suffered enormously.

  42. Murx is advertising online birth control and home HPV screening kits. I’m happy to see the birth control option. But I’m concerned about the HPV screening could just lead to fear and more doctors visits. There is so much misinformation shoved at woman. I know some believe they are a ticking time bomb once they test positive for HPV.

    • In my experience, a scary lot of women think they are a ticking time bomb period. That a female body is nothing more than cancer waiting to happen, and then only in the lady bits.

  43. A female journalist has been soundly criticised for writing an article questioning whether men should become gynaecologists, “Is it really a job for a man?”
    The journalist interviewed a female doctor who said male doctors hate women and like to see them in pain.
    The article was probably prompted after a couple of recent high profile cases of historic sexual abuse.

    I don’t think you can generalise but I also, don’t agree with most of the commentary, it’s irrelevant whether you had 3 children all with a caring male gyn or that you prefer male doctors – one of the comments was that basically you’d have to be blindly idiotic to choose a doctor based on sex rather than competency etc.

    It’s quite simple but for some reason so many want to complicate the matter by shouting sexism and discrimination – women should be free to choose a female doctor for any reason, end of story.

    Of course, the fact remains that almost all (if not all) complaints about sexual misconduct in a medical setting are about male doctors, the profession has always been slow to remove sexual and sadistic predators and have often protected them, not women.

    If a woman prefers a male doctor, fine, but it should be equally fine if I prefer a female doctor.
    I don’t see why I should have to justify or explain my preference, it’s my business.
    I also don’t see a problem if a man prefers a male doctor, again, that’s his business.

    • Agree 100%. But unfortunately letting patients to make a choice and respecting their decisions without ridicule, questioning, pressure, bullying or harassment is not something the medical profession habitually do.

    • I accept that women are entitled to make a decision as to whether they want a male or female gynaecologist.

      But the people commenting here seem to think that there’s never been a case of a male doctor abusing a female patient. Or if they do, it happened so long ago that it has totally been eradicated now.

      I’d like to know when we developed the ability to identify these men and weed them out of the medical profession.

      These people – who should REALLY know better (especially men) – appear to deny that there is no sexual or power connotations to the test whatsoever when performed by a male doctor on a female patient.

      Ironically enough, these are probably the types of people who acknowledge that men and women are “different”. Indeed, one male even absurdly states that all men are capable of becoming competent gynaecologists while you could make the argument that not all women are competent enough (presumably, due to physical differences) to become policewomen (all depends on your definition of capability in this context, but I bet this man would make the same argument about women lawyers or women doctors).

      Yet, he and all the other deluded posters on this topic seem completely in denial about the physiological and sexual differences between men and women in this context. How very convenient.

      • In other places at various times, I’ve seen people make the absurd statement that it’s “illegal” for a male gynecologist to become aroused during an examination. Bullshit! You cannot make “thought crime” and you simply cannot prove it. Even a man having an erection or not is not prima-facia evidence of arousal or lack of arousal.

      • It is so absurd that these people say women are less competent than men, but cannot accept basic biology! What a contradiction in terms!

      • @Apocalyptic Queen (UK)

        “It is so absurd that these people say women are less competent than men, but cannot accept basic biology! What a contradiction in terms!”

        Biology is always whatever benefits men.

        For example, men are incapable of becoming aroused while giving a genital exam to a woman–its just biology!

        But women are incompetent at most of all things because hormones–it’s just biology!

        But women must uphold a highly unnatural and largely unattainable standard of beauty because men are incapable of being attracted to anything less or seeing last appearances, but men can be as fat and ugly as they like because women are just more mature and capable of seeing past appearances, so it’s not immaturity or social conditioning or sexism that makes guys only want cheerleaders and supermodels while expecting to be sexually desired despite the most grotesque physical appearance–and to despise women who do much as expect them to shower,shave or wear a clean shirt much lesser or exercise–they are just slaves to their irrational hormones–it’s just biology!

        (Yes, it’s just natural that men can’t get it up for any woman who actually exists in nature, and you’re an unreasonable shrew and b%&$ if you challenge that!)

        On that note, women are responsible for rape because men can’t be expected to not force themselves on women and will rape any and every woman in the vicinity if they make a single mistake in dress or behavior and men can’t be blamed for it because the poor separate passive slaves of their hormones–its just biology!

        But don’t forget, they are incapable of becoming aroused while shoving fingers and tools inside female genitals during exams that contain intrinsic sexual power imbalances, and you’re an unreasonable child if you think otherwise! Grown-ups know that fancy degrees, titles and/or white coats neutralize male hormones but nothing neutralizes those crazy fluffy pink female hormones.

        And the scariest part of all of that common b.s. is that most women not only believe every word but also think it’s
        feminist to do so.

  44. I just saw something the other day & thought to add it. I don’t know how available it works out to be, but this Nurx site seems to give birth control online. I double-checked the name & it’s not a typo.

    • Yes I’ve seen a number of adverts for it and many women saying they use it and it works just fine.

      Of course there are the usual people screeching about women must come in for screening, annual appointments are vital etc etc. Just shows how brainwashed some women are.

      • It keeps being advertised to me on Facebook. I read some comments and it’s mixed woman freaked out that they won’t have screening and some others supporting woman’s choice. They also advertise home screening for HPV. And some other things.

  45. https://letstalkcancer.uk/news/importance-cervical-screening-discussed-live-video-broadcast-schools

    I find this action really disturbing. These people are targeting teenagers and promoting smear tests as mandatory. They aren’t recommended before age 25 in the UK and I think it’s very wrong that kids are being forced to watch this in schools. Is it just in the UK we have to suffer these nauseating charities promoting screening? Do these smear test charities exist elsewhere?

    • I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. I’ve seen such things in the past – like when I was 13 and in school in the US decades ago. They tend to be about scaring girls of these cancers. They mix statistics in them, as was on the web page. 1 out of every 2 of us get cancer (eventually, of some type). THEREFORE screening for cervical cancer (a rare cancer) will LOWER this number (maybe, but not significantly). They’ll start screening at 25, so in the meantime, girls, worry that your female organs are going to rot away and attack you. DEMAND that you be tested earlier and more often!

      Hmmm. Wouldn’t it be better to go after some of the more common cancers, such as lung cancer, which we know preventive actions to take which are effective and non-invasive? (E.g. Don’t smoke, don’t be around asbestos) How about teaching the signs and symptoms of bone cancer?

    • Its disgusting they are addling young minds with smear test nonsense. As a school girl i would have been very scared of the prospect of paps. They dont care who they scare. Its cruel. Children have a right to lead happy care free lives not worrying about a cancer that will probably not trouble them.

      • I think it is totally irresponsible of them to quote this figure. It may be true for the over 80s, but I bet none of these teens are told about that. I saw a young women on TV once who was obsessed with the 1 in 8 breast cancer statistic. Like most people she assumed this was across all ages, and said that she had at least 8 friends which according to these statistics meant at least one of them was actually walking around with breast cancer, and felt it had to be her. No wonder GP appointments are booked up with people worried that they must have cancer. The man in this group is a GP and has done videos before telling women to get smear tests. He ought to know better than to spread this scaremongering.

      • It’s disgraceful and cruel that so many girls and young women will waste time and energy worrying about cervical and breast cancer. (older women too)
        We shouldn’t have to live our lives in fear of trumped up risk – all designed to scare us into compliance and to spread the message…and stop telling us what to do and think – it’s 2019!

        I despair at the women who feel they have to promote and encourage women to go for their smear tests. A Netflix special “Comedians of the world” – one episode is with a UK female comedian who goes on about her pre-cancerous cells, and how they were taken off so now she likes to remind women to go and have their smears – after all, all of us have to have them at some stage – really? I don’t think so…

        They mean well but obviously don’t realise that most women who screen will go through this procedure, the numbers should fall with less testing and HPV testing – but up until recently, 77% of our women had a colposcopy and biopsy in their lifetime – that’s huge! (and many went on to have cone biopsies etc. we don’t have numbers for those procedures)

        The cancer itself was always rare so it’s the screening that’s the issue, not the cancer. Only a small number of women were actually helped…they argue, well to be safe everyone has to be treated – not true – with evidence based screening these numbers would be MUCH lower, look at the Dutch and Finns.

        We knowingly pushed women into serious over-screening and early screening and that provides no additional benefit but greatly increases the risk of a procedure for “pre-cancer” cells.
        I had to turn it off, couldn’t listen to it…

        Theresa May also urged women to have their smear tests – so disappointing that they continue to urge, still very little respect for our right to choose – if 25% or 60% don’t want them, that should be respected, it doesn’t mean you ramp up pressure

      • Not been very active on here as of late – ongoing case of DCIS in close friend. Couldn’t agree more with Baum. The sooner breast screening is shut down the better. So much harm, and still no clear diagnosis.

    • This ought to be reported. Women are entitled to make am informed choice, which idms enshrined in law.
      These charities are relying on youth and ignorance to bypass this little inconvenience and are treading on very thin ground.

      Just as well, the age for screening is 25. So much can happen in a young person’s development between 16 and 25. It’s almost a decade. Oh, I bet they must be fearful that during those intervening years, the young person will discover, it’s not that accurate, the “treatment” is harmful and invasive, some other informed women have decided not to be screened, they have a choice, they can help protect themselves, and they can develop the backbone to say, “No thanks” by the time they’re 25!

  46. I feel so relieved to have found this site! I don’t know if this is the right place to share, forgive me if this is too much. I have had extremely traumatic experiences from paps & a cone biopsy. I have never shared my experience with more than my family before.

    My 1st pap I was a 16 year old virgin that wanted birth control, extremely responsible & planning for my 1st sexual experience w my boyfriend. My pap made me pass out, I lost consciousness completely. When I woke up everything was upside down. I thought I was still having the exam, I had no memory of it ending. I quickly realized what happened, apparently I must have stood up at the end of the exam to get down from the table but passed out & fell backwards. I was draped backwards over the stirrup bar which is why everything was upside down. I was alone when I woke up. I sat down, I could not hear at all & could barely see. I had high pitch sound ringing in my ears & everything looked staticky black & white like a show on tv that couldn’t tune in. They MADE me go through that as a 16 yr old virgin to get birth control at planned parenthood. My dad had to carry me to the car because I couldn’t walk out.

    At 18 years old I had another pap at planned parenthood, the only way they would allow me to have birth control. They told me I had “precancerous cells, high risk hpv 16/18, cin 3 the level right before CC” & that I had to get a cone biopsy immediately. I was never told of alternatives or risks, I was only told that if I didn’t do it immediately I would be risking my life. They also told me I may end up with a hysterectomy & never be able to have children. After the cone biopsy they told my G-ma who took me in that they “had to take much more cervix than they originally thought”. I stayed in bed recovering for a week. I was then told I must have paps every 6 months for a few years. Every single pap was traumatic (lost count how many) & they all came back perfect & I got cleared to go on the “normal schedule”.

    I have not have a pap since, at least 13 years ago. I had 3 children in that time & had to stand up strong to refuse paps or pelvic exams because I felt they were risky to my pregnancies. Thankfully they didn’t ruin my cervix w the cone biopsy, I carried 9 to 11 pound babies to term & even went “over-due” all 3 times. I refused to be bullied in the birth world after I woke up to the “birth system” after my 1st birth where things were done without my consent. I had my 2nd & 3rd babies 100% med-free & knew my rights to consent/decline. I skipped my postpartum checks because I knew they would try to force paps on me.

    I found this site because I was looking for an alternative way to check the health of my cervix before conceiving our forth & final baby. I was considering a pap with a midwife at a birthing center, now I think I will be ordering an at-home pap kit & doing it myself. Everything I have been through feels so validated when reading through this site. I felt irresponsible for skipping paps for so long & recently started worrying about my cervix because I haven’t had it checked in so long. So thankful for you all speaking out! Do any of you recommend a specific at-home kit for self-paps? I had the fear of CC drilled into my head for years & would just like some peace of mind to help me let go of that fear. Cannot thank you all enough!

    • Welcome and I’m glad you found us. You sound like a very intelligent woman and I love that you stood strong against bullying by the medical establishment during your pregnancies – a prime period where they use a woman’s vulnerability in her wish for a healthy child to rope her in to all kinds of unneeded interventions. As for home pap testing, most of us who post here have studied the risks and benefits of this unreliable test (whether its self testing or done by medical personnel) for a very rare cancer and decided the extremely low chance of benefiting are not worth the risks involved (which, as you know, may lead to more invasive procedures). It is understandable that you are concerned, however, since you apparently at one time did have CIN 3. It may well be that you have nothing to worry about since you had a series of normal paps after that. Only you can decide what level of risk you are comfortable with. Maybe someone else can chime in with ideas for at-home testing. Whatever you decide we are here for you and please keep us posted.

    • There’s also at-home HPV test kits too. If you’re over 30 and HPV free, your chances of cc are pretty much nil and a pap can only really serve as purely emotional reassurance–and with the risks of false positive involved, that might not be worth it. If one is looking primarily for reassurance, the HPV test is better, since it does zero damage, is available in self-test form, and is actually far more accurate than the pap. I’m sure the girls here can point you to the best ones that don’t even require doctor involvement, I’m a 40 year old never-tested virgin here with no experience in the self-serving world (but lots of experience in keeping doctors the heck out of my pants and knowing the reasons I don’t want or need their tools or fingers inside of me).

      And just having HPV doesn’t mean you’ll get cc, since most women clear it pretty fast without issue, so it’s worth trying a second test in an appropriate amount of time (again, I’m sure the other girls here know that better than I do). Same way as with pap–if there’s an abnormality,might be better to try one more scrape in a few months and see if it cleared itself (since these abnormalities they scrape for are common and tend to clear themselves, and even CIN 3 abnormalities have been known to do that), before committing to surgery (without anasthesia, no less).

      And of course, If you’re under 30, the only cc you’re likely to get is a type that moves fast and is not picked up by pap, so in that case it’s best to refuse testing and just go if you’re symptomatic. Doing tests that young is pointless since most cc grows super-slow but could create a false sense of security that discourages young women from checking out symptoms because “I just had the pap test a month or two ago, so I have a clean bill of health, this must just be a yeast infection or something”. Then next thing you kniw, they’re dead from adenacarcinoma.

  47. From hearing from other woman who go to planed parenthood, it sounds like Pp is more aggressive with treating abnormals than other regular doctors. Not to mention most of these woman not even be there if it wasn’t for birth control and of course most still forse screening at pp. I wonder if this is because of some wanting to shut down planed parenthood because they do abortions? It seems like they are trying to show that they save woman’s lives so they ramp up the treatments to show how important pp is to save woman’s lives.

    • So great,now everyone on all sides are using women’s bodies for their own interests, and screw the effect on the women.

      • Regardless of their claims, they seek to “opportunistically test” – read “capture” healthy women, especially those with a healthy sex life or function. Alternatively, they seek to “opportunistically test” women who seek medical care for (other) chronic conditions. The claim is “for our health” or “to save women’s lives”. Of course, for every one they save, they destroy the sexual function of hundreds or thousands of women! They destroy the fertility of many of the younger ones, who may (someday) seek to become pregnant. Then, they can swoop in to the rescue, and do any number of fertility treatments or to assist with an “incompetent cervix” – all for a price.

        The destruction of healthy sexuality and fertility, and its replacement with various medical interventions can hardly be called anything but outright malice toward women. It’s misogyny in an especially ugly form. It’s misogyny that women have by-and-large bought into… the belief that our “female organs” are plotting to harm or kill us, and without all of these medical interventions, certainly would.

        We “refusers” “nay-sayers” or “defaulters” are the ones yelling “The Emperor has no clothes!”, and then WE are considered the “problem” and in need of “counseling” because we are “embarrassed”. “Try it. You’ll see that it’s not THAT bad.” I’ve only got one body. If I allow its iatrogenic destruction in how it’s of service to me, there are no do-overs.

      • @BethKCZ Just below:

        This is true, but somehow, that rhetoric coming from women or orgs who otherwise tout the right of women to their own choices and their own bodies (as in abortion “my body my choice”) seems particularly ugly and hypocritical. If a doctor tried to force an abortion on a woman for any reason, they’d be up in arms, and they’re up in arms over laws that allow doctors to withhold critical medical info from women if they fear she might choose abortion…but when it comes to anything else, esp bikini medicine, it’s all “suck it up and stop crying, it’s not like you get a choice in this, you have to do it and that’s final, the doctor has absolute rights to impose his/her own personal standard of care, etc etc” Coming from.people who already oppose women’s rights to control their own body/medical care is gross as it is, but the crap coming from places like PP just makes one queasy from the opportunistic hypoicrisy, and highlights how they don’t actually care about women, it’s all about profits.

        Which is…maybe not something they want to do, as it plays directly into the anti-choice rhetoric of “PP only cares about profits and is using the women who trust them!”

      • @Demonhype,

        I agree that this nonsense coming from the same people who say, “My body, My choice.” regarding abortion – a basic of western ethics since the Enlightenment, as John Locke’s writings speak of a (free) person having bodily autonomy and the right to its integrity – a notion which got punishments such as flogging out of the public square. The notion of informed consent is a basic of medical ethics, and has been since the 17th century. At the same time, they say, “There is no choice. You MUST BE SCREENED for CC.” to all women, regardless of where they are politically. It’s all for the almighty dollar (or other currency).

        Informed consent is lacking. For a long time, they touted the false statement (e.g., “lie” in common parlance) that CC was a common or the most common cause of women’s death – that paps, while unpleasant or “embarrassing” will “save our lives”. We hopped on their tables and spread our legs. Now, we find out that this was always a rare cancer, although the prevalence has gone down during the 20th century. So much for the “informed” part of it. Now they’re flat-out going for no consent at all – coercion is a type of force. So is withholding medical care or treatment at all until you give in to this test. It doesn’t matter if some women are embarrassed, some women find it painful, most find it humiliating, and nearly all want control over who penetrates their vagina and/or anus where, when, under what circumstances – if at all. It shows us that we have no say over who penetrates our bodies, how, or when. It’s the price we have to pay to get medical care. Women who are the mothers of teenaged girls must bring them in too, for the same ritual deflowering.

        If a plumber, auto mechanic required that they put sharp instruments or (latex-covered) body part into your body before they could fix your sink or your brakes, you would have a case of sexual harassment or assault. If your boss required that (he) put sharp instruments into you or (latex-covered) body part into your vagina and/or anus as a requirement to keep your job, it would be workplace sexual harassment. But if your doctor does exactly this…. it’s all good. It’s a really good cultural blind spot, and one that we should work to overcome.

        The same people who want women to have no access to birth control, who oppose what PP has historically focused on (providing birth control), don’t seem to mind if their wife, mother, or daughter encounter this pap crap when trying to access medical care. They don’t even seem to mind if their Grandma has gone to the ER by ambulance for chest pains, and they question her about paps and “offer” to do one before treating her heart attack.

        The notion that this useless test has been taken by feminists to show “women’s empowerment” (to be penetrated against our will), and how “liberated” we are because we can now have that done to us is absurd and sickening. Haven’t women always had the “right” to be raped? (sarcastically) In the past though, we didn’t have to pay for it too! Then, the follow-on procedures – now done by PP too, as well as every other doctor, hospital, and clinic which ruin women’s fertility, sex life, and enjoyment (and safety) of her own body.

        Maybe they’re doing this as a response to “all PP does is abortion”, but this is precisely the wrong message. I’ve supported PP financially for years – they did give me birth control pills when I could not afford it. The nurse was nice, showed me my own cervix, but she did not really have informed consent – knowing what I know now. She should have taken my blood pressure, and perhaps offered this test for a rare cancer, as well as informed me how a false positive could ruin my life.

        I think what we need to do is start using the informed consent angle. Lack of information is not “informed”. Permitting something under coercion is legally “force” just the same as if some guy held a gun to my head and conventionally raped me. Fighting back and resisting is no longer a requirement to show rape. If he wore a condom, and claimed it was not rape because of the condom, he’d be laughed all the way to the penitentiary!

        If the girl is under the age of consent, just who is giving consent to penetrate her vagina or anus, with a body part and/or object? It’s not valid if she gives it. Her parents? Parents do not have the legal right to consent to sex with an underaged girl either – as seen in cases of parents pimping out or trafficking their daughters. How is it different for a doctor to perform a needless test or examination, which is not the standard of care, than it is for some creep to penetrate her with objects or body parts – latex-covered or not?

  48. Doctor on notice in Victoria, Australia for performing un-needed breast exams – https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/specialist-temporarily-banned-from-breast-checks-20190709-p525jv.html

    I reported a doctor for doing this, and the HCCC totally dismissed me. The authorities are still very dismissive of womens complaints. It takes years and multiple women complaining persistently before anything is done, if they actually do anything at all. Same old, same old.

    • Can’t help but think the attitudes we see about the female body, that is, much less concern about exposing women..is pervasive, it’s not just medicine.
      I find the entertainment industry sets a very bad example. I was watching Get Shorty on pay TV last night and there’s a scene – full frontal of a young woman, and she’s on view for quite a while, the male is of course, tucked up in bed, only his chest is visible. This is a common scene, careful to protect the male from exposure while the woman is completely nude and out there…

      The argument is made, the censors put a high rating on full male nudity – that male organs are on view, whereas women – it’s all inside and out of sight.

      I don’t buy this argument at all, if a man and woman walk down the street naked, they’re both going to be arrested for indecent exposure. It’s time censors and others were challenged…

      There’s such a readiness to throw in a naked young woman – I assume the writers like looking at naked young woman and they probably know it will add to the appeal and success of the program.

      I couldn’t watch Game of Thrones, it was disgraceful, female nudity everywhere, men carefully covered up.
      The argument was made…well, it was like that back then, really? An orgy scene with the men covered up and the women all completely naked, I doubt that!

      Medicine has made clear that our exposure doesn’t matter as much, “we’re used to it” (or should be or WE have an issue) because we have babies and MUST have Pap tests.

      Game of Thrones was so absurdly one-sided, like some school boys put together the script, that some of the male actors volunteered to do nude work, don’t think that ever happened though. If it is the censors, their rating criteria needs to be reviewed, it smacks of exploitation, voyeurism and sexism to me. It’s also highly disrespectful, but that’s what we see over and over in all walks of life.

      It sends out a clear message. that female nudity is fine, male nudity – not on! I definitely think this shapes attitudes and fosters the idea that our bodily privacy is less important, irrelevant really…

      I do think it’s pervasive – in fashion, music videos, travel – wasn’t so long ago that a woman in a bikini was draped over a car during it’s promotion or in ads to sell sofas.
      The readiness to expose women needs to be addressed, it’s not good enough to say, these woman are well paid – it really sends the wrong message.

      • I agree. I would also like to add that it all revolves around sexualizing women, and controlling them. All of your examples show how women’s sexuality is exploited and normalized at the behest of systemic, cultural, patriarchal attitudes.
        If you look at the inverse, a woman exposing herself by choice for a non sexual reason, most people seem to act a little differently. My example is breastfeeding. A woman who breastfeeds, even discreetly in public are often met with snide remarks or curious gawkers. A women choosing to expose herself for a nonsexual reason isn’t given the same enthusiasm. The act is also something she has control over.
        These examples clearly demonstrate that society approves of sexualizing women, especially when it results in control over them. I think bikini medicine definitely falls into the examples you presented. It’s showered in praise and credibility and leaves women out of the decision making. The way the medical field treats women gives off the same controlling sexual sentiment as other aspects of our society.

      • I actually think it is far more insiduous than that.

        The images promoted in the media suggest the women are all beautiful, compliant and above all, sexually available.
        It is therefore quite interesting that GPs tend to assume all young women who present to them are sexually active, no matter what they say.
        The intelligent, informed woman just doesn’t conform to these stereotypes, and they don’t like it.

        I am starting to see a gradual change in the media mostly influenced by young people, and some of the “old boys club” are being weeded out, but it is still a very gradual change.
        Game of Thrones for example, seemed to tone down a lot of the graphic female nudity scenes towards the end of their series and you’d see naked men in the same scenes as naked women during the latter seasons, but they disappointed again in the final season (I assume as it was the last season, they thought people wouldn’t bother complaining so they could do what they liked).

        What infuriates me is some of the moral excuses used for exclusively exploiting female nudity, which usually consists of people saying, “naked women look better than naked men”. I’ve even heard women who call themselves feminists talk of “celebrating” the “female form”. Are they just so incredibly stupid that they don’t realise that they are trumpeting the very thing traditional feminists have campaigned against for years? You have the likes of the Kardashians taking naked “selfies”, plastering them over the internet and calling it “empowering”. Becoming a female scientist, athlete, head of state etc doesn’t seem to feature as “inspirational” to large sections of new wave feminists.

  49. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-48881008
    Health officials say the HPV vaccine for 12 to 13-year-old boys, starting after the summer, will prevent 29,000 cancers in UK men in the next 40 years.

    I guess we’ll see in 40 years then?!?
    But I do hope parents and the boys look into this very carefully…before accepting the jab!

  50. https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2019-07-11/embarrassment-puts-women-at-risk-cervical-cancer/11298660
    Oh, trouble with the new fabulous screening program, lots of women are not testing, of course, it’s down to embarrassment and discomfort, what a shock!
    Who would have ever imagined women would find this revolting test, invasive and uncomfortable?

    Women have made their feelings clear all along, but no one wanted to listen, they were just fobbed off or belittled, or lectured etc. Now women are making their choice known loud and clear by not testing.

    This was covered on News Breakfast on the ABC this morning but no mention of HPV self-testing, just a survivor urging women to screen, so in 2019, it still comes down to scare tactics.
    They really don’t want to promote self testing, it’s really only a last resort measure for the very hard to reach groups.
    Delighted to hear more women are exercising their legal right to refuse any or all screening tests.
    Bottom line, if you don’t want it, say NO

    Interesting, in this article they interview a woman with Stage 4 cervical cancer, someone who has always had 2 yearly Pap tests – she’s raising awareness but I’m sure some women might wonder how exactly she benefited from all that testing, how good could pap testing be, if you end up with Stage 4 cervical cancer?
    I assume she was diagnosed before HPV testing was introduced and that she had an adenocarcinoma, a rare cancer usually missed by pap testing. I wonder if the normal Pap tests reassured her resulting in a delay in diagnosis and treatment? We won’t see an article on that though…

    • Sounds like exactly the same tactics Jo’s Tosh came out with for their “research”. The article quotes the research found only one quarter found the test embarrassing, but the headline shouts it is the only reason. These charities are being used to coerce and bully women. Like Jo’s, they never disclose any details about the research, but they feed it to the media to write disparaging articles about women.

      • Ada, I suspect we follow your lead, over the years I’ve read a few times that the UK’s impressive screening figures are largely due to the call and recall system, our numbers were never as good because our screening was largely opportunistic. Not sure if it happens now, but the UK had a red flag system too, often enforced by a nurse or even a receptionist so that any appointment by an unscreened or overdue woman raises a red flag, “smear test will be required”.
        Also, when the woman went into the consult room, the red flag was visible to the GP.
        No wonder many women avoid GPs when you’re going to face that sort of pressure.

        Also, the unethical practice of removing an unscreened woman from practice records, clearly an attempt to coerce the woman to screen and to improve the stats for the firm so they attract a higher incentive payment.
        Our GPs get target payments but I’ve never heard of a woman being removed from patient records here or being told she must attend a counselling session.

        All of these things are try-on’s, I think GPs would be very careful not to use these measures with an informed woman or anyone likely to push back and report them.
        That’s not a criticism of those who were entrapped by a highly unethical system (and possibly more than unethical) – most women didn’t have a chance, real information was locked away and I know without that, it would be hard to fend off the screening vultures.

        We now have a call and recall system, I’ve fallen between the stools, a very comfortable place, haven’t received a thing from the screening authorities and my GP wouldn’t send me anything to do with screening.
        I actually hope they do, at this stage in my life, I’d enjoy calling them and putting THEM under some pressure!

  51. Hi Elizabeth yes sadly in UK we have the red flag system where it comes up if we’re due or overdue. I’ve been phoned b4 asking me to book a smear. It’s been brought up in consult even after I officially opted out. I have to say it’s not been raised lately though i read even opted out women are contacted every 5 years to try and have them back! That will b next year 4 me and I’d b on 5 year recall now. If it happens I’ll pen a snotty reply….

    • Elizabeth, the red flag system was the reason I stopped going to the GP and indeed ended up not being registered for about 10 years. My ‘overdue for screening’ status was mentioned at an appointment for something else and I was told to make an appointment for a smear test at the reception desk on my way out. I agreed but walked straight past reception and never went back. A few years later I phoned up to make an appointment, only to be told that I wasn’t with them – I’d been removed from the surgery’s list I was fed up of the letters keeping coming and, I think in those days they put it in big red letters that you were overdue (like you’d get if you hadn’t paid a utility bill or something), and the prospect of them mentioning it every time I went to the surgery, and not respecting my choice. So I didn’t take up their offer to re-register with them. As such I was ‘off the radar’ and didn’t get any reminders for years. It makes me mad to think that I underwent this testing in my 20s because they told me I had to, I didn’t know I could opt out, I was made to feel like someone who wasn’t doing what she was supposed to (with all the relentless reminders) “she’s overdue for her smear test, tut tut”, and that I wasn’t aware of all the facts to make an informed decision. With the help from this site, it appears they have finally listened (after 2 years of trying), and ‘ceased’ me from the recall system, although reading Kat’s comments above, I’ll see if I get a letter in 5 years from now. The last letter I sent them before being ‘ceased’ was a template letter from the Information Commissioner’s Office, telling them I was concerned about how they were using my data after I’d withdrawn consent. I detailed a timeline in the letter of all the times I had written and emailed to request to be ceased, but that they had ignored.

      • Hi Julie. The British Cervical Screening Programme has always operated as a draconion system. Back in the 80’s and 90’s women were not aware they could refuse. Information about opting out was deliberately kept quiet. In fact women were lead to believe smear tests were compulsory.

        Like you I was ‘ensnared’ in my 20’s. They got us young before we knew any better. Now i’m in my 50’s i’m not afraid to stand up for myself. I wish i could warn my younger self.

        At least the young now have information available to them via the internet. I don’t think they are ‘captured’ so easily as we were.

        Don’t ever be hard on yourself over it. Like the rest of us you were a victim of a system that was deliberately set in place to give us no choice.

        At least now you’re older you can stand up to doctors. Be ‘firm’ with them. Never stand for any crap over smears.


    • Lol! Talk about desperate!
      I officially opted out in 2005 but have been asked three times since then.
      I wonder if we can use GDPR (a wonderful piece of legislation!) to call them out if this happens?
      If we have opted out, and they’re still using our data to hassle us, then surely they’re in breach of some data misuse? On my disclaimer foem, I added the words, “this is the last I wish to hear on the matter”. So, if they try it on again, I won’t hesitate to pull that card.

      • I no longer trust my GP or local hospital with my data. I do not wish to engage with their data collection. I refuse to be weighed, refuse to answer questions about my health, alcohol consumption or my smoking status. I also refuse all screening. I have blocked their telephone number after a recent call from a health care assistant. She asked to come in for a health check. I refused and she got quite aggressive when I refused to answer her questions.

        When I want their help, I will ask for it.

      • I stopped screening years ago. I did worry if I was going to die from cervical cancer due to all the hype. I found out about visual inspection with acetic acid (VIAA) which is a programme that is used in poor countries that do not have large cervical screening programmes or laboratories that can be funded for screening. It is very simple and manuals are available to be viewed online. Here is a link to one such manual. https://screening.iarc.fr/viavili.php

        Acetic acid is just plain household vinegar. It is diluted and applied to the cervix or other places. Any lesions caused by HPV turn white. Areas of concern or cancer will turn white and there are photos in the manual to compare healthy from diseased cervix.

        Nurses and other healthcare workers are trained to do these tests and even treat some women with cryotherapy (dry ice wand). I would not treat myself with that but herbal and natural treatments.

        All one needs is a plastic disposable speculum available from medical supply companies (store or ordered online), a mirror, a flashlight, some vinegar solutions and long swab or cotton ball tied to chopstick with an elastic band. Iodine solutions can also be used which is available in any pharmacy.

        I looked at my own cervix and discovered no problem. So no more worries and I just refuse any doctor exams. I can take care of myself.

      • I recall reading a post on this site from an NHS Worker who was sent on GDPR training, where it was confirmed that it applied to cervical screening. I believe it is with regards to the sending of reminders.

        I think Julie has stated that you can obtain a template from the Information Commissioner’s Office, to complain, and she stated that she was concerned that her data was being misused to hassle her after she had withdrawn consent.

        If we have officially opted out, I think it’s certainly worth a try to get them off our backs in the consult room.
        I know that some public bodies have been fined for up to £1 million for data breaches (and I highly suspect they would have been made aware of the consequences during their training), but if some GPs are still vague about what constitutes a data breach, the threat of it might be sufficient.

  52. As far back as 2015 the odious cervicalscreen1 blog did a piece praising the new flag sysystem and a few of us offhere jumped on her. Her latest is a piece on the Aussie system where CC could b eradicated if women just got over themselves. She’s also on instagram as@cervicalhealthhannah

    • Don’t you stupid children understand that your bodies are not your property, and your genitals are especially not your property? If only you could understand that your bodies belong to me–i mean, the government– and our desire to eradicate any given illness overrides any and all (female) bodily autonomy? If only you drama queen could just get over your silly notions of “civil rights”, “bodily autonomy” and “informed consent”, then my dream could be a reality! No, how dare you, I am nothing at all like Hitler!

      • That goes for countries with socialized medicine and pap smear programs. In the market-driven, capitalistic USA with a paternalistic health care system that is partly (you hope) paid for by insurance (but not always) – and you’ll be billed for things sort of randomly months in the future, complete with collection agents it’s more like:

        “Don’t you stupid girls understand that your bodies are not your property, your genitals especially are not your property. I am your doctor – and how that was assigned is also sort of random, possibly partly by your choosing. My desire to discover all possible illness, and to treat them all – at a considerable profit – overrides any and all female body autonomy. While you might be able to be assigned to another physician, it will not matter – that physician also owns your body then. Please give up notions of “civil rights” “bodily autonomy” “informed consent”, along with notions of “consumer protection” and “transparent billing”, spread ’em, and based on the results of a wallet biopsy, you can go through many painful and damaging treatments. If you fail the wallet biopsy, you will be sent to a county health clinic or to a non-profit organization such as Planned Parenthood, who, in their quest to not be seen as “abortionists”, will perform these same damaging procedures on you, and you will be eternally grateful if you just give up the notion of “civil rights” “bodily autonomy” “presumed ownership of your own body” and “informed consent”.

        This is hostile to the concept of living a good life, having a life at all. It seems to be an example of “donating your body to science” long before you’re physically dead.

    • That Hannah sounds as if she’s really not playing with a full deck if you get my meaning 🤣

    • Interestingly she’s handed over her Twitter handle to someone else and won’t be there anymore. Hopefully she got tired of her ridiculous posts being called out. I got blocked in the end.

      I haven’t visited the blog in a while but might do so for a giggle.

  53. On the News this morning, the same story, women are not screening because they’re embarrassed, women don’t need to die from cc, no child needs to lose it’s mother BUT not one word on self testing.
    If embarrassment stands in the way of testing, the remedy is on hand but they refuse to freely give women a non-invasive alternative…still relying on scare

    Not many women would accept a speculum exam if they understood self testing is just as reliable. We’re not using the Delphi Screener here, probably too expensive, also, they obviously want to say the self test is not as good as a physician taken sample. I doubt that’s true, whatever self test we’re using…
    They’re torn, self testing would get more women on board, they want more women to test but the need to control women is greater, and their preference to use the invasive test. Our bodily comfort and dignity were never even a remote concern for the keepers of these programs, IMO, they have no respect for women. The medical surveillance of our bodies is something they view as mandatory…it really is sickening.

    The language used continues to be unacceptable…”fail to attend for cervical screening”…
    You might fail to lodge a tax return and end up fined, but could you ever say someone failed to attend something voluntary? No, it’s designed to make women feel they must or should attend…

    Our program is also ego driven, with a desire to eradicate the disease, of course, they’ve never cared about the legal rights of women or the huge numbers they’ve harmed along the way.

    • Yes, it is quite telling, “fail to attend for cervical screening” is much like the language of “fail to file a tax return”. Screenings for men are termed as optional “Men should consult with their doctor to see if prostate screening is for you.” while “women MUST be screened.”

      Certainly, self-collected samples are far less invasive than the speculum exams. However, they still lack reliability, and most women with a lifetime of “on time screens” will end up being referred for more invasive and damaging testing – colposcopy, punch biopsy, LEEP, cone biopsy, and hysterectomy. The notion of having parts of my cervix torn off without anesthesia – as the colposcopy and biopsy entail is something I do not consent to. Thus, I don’t see how self-collected sampling would help me other than to end all physician visits being monopolized by the urge to screen. I expect the insistence for follow-on testing after an abnormal pap would be even more intense.

      With any test for any purpose, before you perform the test, you need to know what you will do with the results – ANY results. If it’s negative, all is well and good, and I suppose you could get peace of mind for a cancer that was always a rare cancer. It could be false security, as adrenocarcinomas are not detected with the PAP, and false negatives, so you and your doctor might put off diagnostic testing if you start showing symptoms.

      In the US for the past couple of decades, the number of CC cases has hovered around 12,000 and deaths from CC around 4,000. This number peaked in 1990, and has been declining, but the number of deaths has stubbornly stayed at about 1/3 of cases for several decades – while the death rate is declining for most other cancers as a result of improved treatments.

      You’re quite right.The idea seems to be control of women, and to make us patients. This outsized focus on screening appears to have more in common with prison rape than it does with any medical procedure.

    • As most cases of cervical cancer are in those aged over 80, I don’t see how they could ever truly eradicate the disease.
      Like many diseases in people of that age, people die WITH it, rather than FROM it. Some medical professionals would argue that it is not always in someone’s best interests to have aggressive cancer treatment for a slow-growing malignancy, particularly if that person (highly likely at that age) is suffering from other health problems such as dementia or having to take warfarin for heart complications!

  54. It’s interesting that campaigns like this always seem to crow about how successful they are, when in reality very little has changed. As always, women that choose to screen will respond to reminders. The so called “hard to reach” group will no doubt remain the same.

    • The end result shows that the “converted” book a smear test earlier than with a summons letter alone over a 5 month period of time. And they call this increasing uptake?

      • Ada – quite right – women just responded to their summons earlier. If you measure over a 5 month period, you won’t see the drop off in the following months where women have already attended their screening. Smoke and mirrors.

      • I think they use the spike in take-up to tell Health Screening Committees that their campaigns has generated an increase in attendances. I’m not sure if these Committees are intelligent enough to look at the context behind the take-up, or bother to question why there has been a 25% spike in increases during a particular campaign and how many were previous defaulters etc.
        The charities will use the “spike” to justify continued funding.

  55. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-screening-programmes-kpi-reports-2018-to-2019

    I always check the KPI results when they come out 4 times per year, and regardless of all the campaigns going on they cannot get the uptake over the 70% programme viability point, but I believe that the GP performance indicators have changed to everyone being screened every 5 years now instead of 3, in preparation for full roll out of HPV testing by December, so expect them to gloat very soon that uptake for under 50s has made an amazing recovery.
    I noticed that breast screening has actually gone up. A result of the AgeX trial having an effect?

    • I had a look at this new NHS app the other day. I noticed that people were saying they were able to read their medical notes online. I’ve also see women report that results like smear test results can also be received within a few days. When I tried to get an account, it seems hugely complicated, as wanted my NHS number and so much personal identification stuff. In the end it said I would need to visit my GP surgery in person to organise it all. I would like to read my medical notes but am wary of how much medical harrassment will follow. I haven’t visited in 5 years and my husband last saw a doctor in about 1987. Perhaps they think we’ve died.

      • I just went to GP reception with passport, and they gave me a bit of paper with the username and password(to be changed). No further contact. I can use it to make appointments with the GP online too (although current GPs only have a few appointments available for this 😦 )
        The record is just a series of codes and one-liners but I have copied out all my blood tests that I never knew I had.

      • Ada don’t they have to trawl through patient lists now to avoid getting paid for ghost patients? If you don’t use the practice for a few years they try to contact you?

      • I had one of these about 10 years ago and it went in the bin. I assume they think I’m dead too!

        TBH, if it means no harassment I’m quite happy to remain anonymous and access care via a walk in centre or similar when I actually want it.

  56. Kat, I’ve steered clear of my awful practice for almost 10 years now, they sent me a letter last year asking me to contact them to confirm my details, so that was obviously the ghost patient check. And surprise, surprise, when I called I was told ‘they’ wanted me to have a smear… Nope. Shortly after that I got a call asking me to come in for a blood pressure check and ‘a few other things’… Nope again.

    • I’m expecting some sort of letter from them any time, but nothing so far. I suppose that as I no longer have a cervix I’ve lost my market value and they can’t make any money from women like me.

      I noticed from their website that all patients have now been allocated a new GP based on their surname initial. Apparently, most patients were demanding to be changed from having one of the horrid doctors to one of the nice ones there, and some doctors were getting over-subscribed. You only know which doctor you have been allocated when you book.They’ve also put a notice up on their website that they will no longer tolerate abuse from patients or patients will face removal from the practice. I feel like posting if this also covers patient abuse from doctors?

    • The practice nurse at my surgery rung me out of the blue one day a few years ago and said ‘we need to record your height and weight and take care of one or two other ‘little’ things.

      I told her I could tell her these things over the phone. She replied by telling me no I had to come in. Out of curiosity I asked her what where the one or two other little things. Reluctantly she said ‘its time for your smear.’ She seemed very hesitant as if she didn’t want to talk about it over the phone.

      It was only afterwards I thought that she had mostly likely been trained to speak like this. As if the smear was only a ‘little’ thing I might as well have done seeing since I’m already here. I think she was going to use recording my height and weight as a ruse to get me in and spring it on me so I couldn’t get out of having one.

      Of course I’m wide awake about practice nurses and have been for along time because of nurse G.G.

      I went along for the appointment and after she had weighed me I came in for some pressure to have a smear. I stood up for myself and told her straight she wouldn’t be doing one.

      Practice nurses have been trained to do this. If they are using the same try on techniques in different parts of the country then I can only presume they have learnt this approach from somewhere central.

      I came across an article in nursing times which I subscribed to a couple of years ago when I was writing my book on how best to get women to submit to smears and things like this were included in the article.

      Nurse were giving each other tips on how best to capture women.

      In my opinion Practice Nurses are worse than doctors over forcing women to have smears. As I said in my book they think of it as a religious duty.

      My advice is to stand up to these pushy women. Be firm if they start pressuring you. They quite quickly back off as they don’t like hassle.

      • They remind me of the nuns in that film about the Magdalene laundries, and are equally as fanatical and ignorant about it.

        I used to avoid them like the plague, but I’d relish the opportunity to put one or two of them in their place now.

  57. Sydney Morning Herald has published a story today on the causes of death by age group.

    Surprise, surprise, cervical cancer isn’t mentioned anywhere! I wrote a comment under the name ‘Sydney Chick’, saying how women are hounded to death to get pap smears but heart concerns (one of the leading killers) are ignored. They published it! Commonsense at last!!

    • If you went back to 1950, it still wouldn’t be mentioned, a lot of damage and expense for something that was always rare in the developed world and was in natural decline.
      No wonder they had to lie and use every dirty tactic going to force women into the program.

      Chatting to some friends the other night, all in their 50s and 60s, 3 have been putting their family tree together, all their female ancestors got into their 80s (with one exception, accident on a farm) with no screening.
      My friend, Julia, happened to mention that to her GP and the response, “wow, they were lucky to dodge cervical cancer with no pap testing back then”…
      Lucky? Hardly?
      Now most screened women have lost some of their cervix and many carry psych issues, all to screen for some phantom life-threatening cancer.
      Can’t work out whether most GPs are clueless or just continue to sing from the public health song sheet

      • This also rang alarm bells for me. I’d never heard either of my grandmothers (deceased ages 89 and 95) or my mother, currently 91 ever mention this cancer or a test for it, so when the bossy practice nurse at our surgery told me I would almost certainly go on to get cancer and die if I didn’t have it, I knew this simply couldn’t be true and was deeply suspicious of the whole thing from the start.

      • My grandmothers, all of whom were in their 70s or 80s when population pap testing was rolled out in the 1970s in the US, never talked about such a test, and didn’t talk about anyone who died of CC. They talked about other people, including those with heart conditions, strokes, bone cancer, lung cancer, and uterine cancer – but not cervical cancer. My Mom got caught up in the push for pap tests in the 1970s – when it became what all “liberated” women did. I can remember her explaining it to me, a child, what this test was, that it’s “where most uterine cancer starts” (BS), that they’d “have to” do it if or when I got contraception (and I knew where to get it, and under what circumstances, and that I could get contraception even without parental notification (but asked me to talk to her first – when has any teenaged girl talked to her mother/parents about whether they should become sexually active????)). She drew me models, and pictures, and explained where it was… like this was all new information to her.

        In the 1960s, she’d been a medical records secretary – and typed up case histories for people in the hospital – including autopsies. I asked, “I bet you saw a lot of these when you worked….” “Ummm, no. They didn’t KNOW ABOUT IT THEN.” Even as a child, I did a WTF on that one – didn’t know about it? And, it’s such a huge problem? Of course, the claim a few years earlier was they didn’t know about smoking being associated with lung cancer, so that had some credibility, but nobody claimed they didn’t know about lung cancer in autopsies.

        I never have gotten any answer when I’ve asked about who does all of those autopsies in poor countries, where CC is supposedly still rampant because they can’t screen because of very few medical personnel, are limited on distribution of vaccines, have a lot of malnutrition and outright starvation, but yet somehow, there are armies of people doing autopsies.

      • It’s interesting that you mention that screening and by extension, loss of bodily autonomy, was said to be something done by “enlightened women”.
        It’s definitely something the UK authorities try to sell it as, over here, but the crowing and cries of, “you must screen” us starting to lose its impact.
        They know the worst that will happen if they decline screening, won’t actually happen. They cannot be forced to go, they know it’s a “choice”, they know cervical cancer is actually rare, so the authorities try using another tack to get them on board. It’s either, “it could save your life”, or, “it’s empowering”.
        This got me thinking, why are the medical authorities so loathe to let go of screening, given there is an alternative available? Is it all just about the money? Because sending “reminders” and offering unneccessary “treatments” are not exactly cheap. It’s more than that, or at least there are other elements to it.
        When you hear so many women complain that it’s “degrading”, while nurses respond that it’s just “something that has to be done”, it reminds me of other similarly disrespectful treatment meted out to women in medical settings.
        Traumatic experiences during labour leading to PTSD, the mesh scandal, ignoring women’s mental health issues etc, it all sounds so familiar – it all constitutes degrading treatment.
        They don’t want to let screening go because it keeps women in their place. It’s as if they’re saying there’s a price to be had for all that freedom we’ve earned.. you still have to put up with screening. That’s what they’re saying. If they can’t monitor your freedom, they’ll monitor your bodies.
        What angers me the mist is that so many women hace been stupid beyond belief to the point that they have been actively complicit, by bullying and indoctrinating other women.
        Well, the bully tactics sure are losing their appeal.

      • Personally, I think that the reason screening goes on spite of being of poor medical value is that it is highly lucrative for private healthcare. It was brought in by the Tory government in 1980s as part of their efforts at that time to privatise healthcare and run down the NHS. With so many new private healthcare companies starting up, offering screening tests is big business, and the old well-woman crap is being exploited by many companies.

        Recently saw that where the UK National Screening Committee has blocked screening tests which do not pass it’s approved standards (eg lung screening), many private companies are offering these under the guise of a “health check” so that these do not have to be medically approved.

      • My gma was still being given screening a few years back after a full hysterectomy and cervix removal. We were talking about it a few years ago. I asked her why were they giving u screening u don’t have a cervix. She said “. I know they screen for all sorts of things not just cancer but for infection to.” I don’t think she believes me to this day. She said “All woman have to do it.” It’s clear these woman never even knew what the doctor was screening for. It was just something done to them without question. I don’t go for that one bit.

      • How do these people think the human race has survived for millennia without screening?

        We are more likely to be wiped out by flu.

  58. I was in the same position as Ozphoenix and it ended with the same result. I contracted swimmers ear in college and went to the infirmary. I got a young male doctor who while looking in my ear asked me when I had my last breast exam and pap test. I told him I had not been to a doctor in many years so the answer was never. He said he would prescribe an antibiotic for me after a much needed breast and pelvic exam. It appeared the antibiotic was predicated on my agreement to the exams. So it was 10 seconds looking in my ear and over forty five minutes being opened up and felt up. At some point it became painfully obvious this was no longer a medical exam. When he was finally done with me he gave me the script and told me to make an annual appointment at the front desk with him as my primary care doctor.

    I was never going to see him again. After talking with other women about the length of time and detailed procedure of their breast and internal exams, I knew he took advantage of me and I filed a complaint.. All I got back was a letter stating my doctor followed all medical standards and guidelines. They suggested I schedule my yearly exams with him, or another doctor of my choice, as these exams are extremely important for my health. It was obvious they were never going to admit he molested me, so I dropped it. Unfortunately that meant he would continue molesting girls on the college campus until more of them spoke up.

    • Laura, that sounds so familiar. The well woman nonsense was never really a feature of women’s healthcare here unless you wanted the pill or pre-natal care. In stayed in a women’s hall of residence and there was often Pill and Pap test talk.
      I could accurately predict when a woman went to student health to get a script for the Pill, whether she’d face a blood pressure test or be stripped naked and put through the works.

      I worked out very early that some male doctors, and most doctors were male back then, were using their trusted position to assault women, to take advantage.
      It made a deep impression on me…I lost trust very early,

      Keeping the Pill on script and linking it to the Pap test (and back then a pelvic and breast exam too) enabled these men to continue taking advantage for many years….and as you found out, the boys club and the system protected them. It’s not surprising that all the historic sex assault charges now being faced by male doctors in their 60’s or older, there were usually lots of early complaints but nothing was done. Unchecked power put women in great danger…

    • Laura, I heard from a friend once who accompanied her husband to a hospital appointment for quite a serious illness, so they were both very worried. They went private as he had private health insurance through his job, so it wasn’t on our NHS. While her husband was being seen, she was approached by another doctor who suggested a smear test. She was very taken aback, as the NHS refuse to do them more frequently than every 3 years and no test was due, but she didn’t want to do anything to affect her husbands health plan, so reluctantly agreed. She told me that afterwards, she deeply regretted it as it was clearly for the doctors benefit. I’m sure this is endemic.

      • This is absurdly opportunistic screening – to the point of being close to being sexual battery – to take someone who is not the identified patient and demand (she) have a screening test outside of what is considered good medical practice in the time and place. Yes, it was for the doctors’ benefit, not hers.

      • Ada that’s outrageous but hey to medics we r all targets.
        In 2015 I was diagnosed with severe anaemia. The doc suggested I had the cameras down my thro and up my bum. I refused as I had no gastric symptoms and said I wanTed to try iron tablets first. He asked couple other questions .
        Then he said I needed a smear test. I’d not had one in 15 years. I said no I’d opted out and signed a disclaimer. He went on and on about it. Why didn’t I want one? I needed one. I just repeated I opted out signed about disclaimer and wouldn’t have a smear. He was fine with me refusing about test for about condition I’d been diagnosed with but most of the time was taken up with smears! And years later I’m fine. No longer ananamic and not dead of CC

      • A doctor walks up to a random woman and suggests a smear test! Does this creep just hang around the waiting room offering to do smears on any woman that takes his fancy?
        It’s a shame she didn’t complain, how would he explain his conduct? Clearly, some sort of pervert.

        Just goes to show how empowered doctors feel thanks to the Pill on script and the pap testing program, it gives them easy access over many/most women. Consent has been ignored from the start, so if challenged, he could conveniently say, opportunistic testing is encouraged or I really believe in this testing, or I’m chasing my target or the bonus attached to a cervix that hasn’t been tested for 5 years or even better, at all.

        The number of women who have accounts of a suspect “exam” makes me think assault in medicine was probably fairly common, it certainly was in the 70’s and 80’s, (and earlier) they have to be more careful now but I’m sure some doctors continue to press an opportunistic pap test on a young woman who happens to be in his consult room for a migraine or tack on a breast exam – even the head of the AMA said the Pill should be on script because women need Pap tests and breast checks.

        No one picked him up, women don’t need Pap tests for the Pill, never did, and routine breast exams have been out for a long time now – it’s in the GP’s Red Handbook – you’d think the head of the AMA would know that – I’m sure he does, but he’s also confident no one is going to challenge him, it really is the most disgraceful conspiracy of silence.
        The old TUBE was common when I was a young woman, I avoided doctors so dodged them but lots of women had them during a consult for a cold or a rash on your hands, anything really…it was obviously viewed as a perk of the profession – pretending to examine a women when you were actually assaulting her.

        Funny, the risk of breast cancer increases as we age but not too many GPs are hassling older women for breast checks – but some are frantic that young women might have an issue.

      • The incident that happened to my friend was in 1990’s. This wouldn’t have happened in the NHS, as if you’ve had a test less than 3 years before, they would not do another unless you could produce your summons letter even if you asked gor it, but the husband had got private health insurance from his company, and under private healthcare you can have a smear test as often as your insurance covers it. The doctor clearly thought he’d try it on, and my friend felt pressured. She must have only been in her 30s then. I wonder if he’d have asked a woman in her 60s?

    • In my own case, the PRESSURE to have paps be screened AT EVERY VISIT didn’t start until I was in my 50s, developed a chronic condition, so I neededed continued care. Now, my diabetes and thyroid take a back seat to their coercing me to have a pap test and breast exam, as I say, “No freakin’ way!”

      I’m sure some of it is to get into the pants of young attractive women, but a lot of it is for degradation, control, and humiliation – not to mention a consult to sending the women they’ve just sexually assaulted for mental health care. Women should all be happy to be forced and coerced into penetration by a stranger, right?

  59. Elizabeth. Yes I found out the college campus is the perfect place for pervert doctors to work. The girls just out of high school are away from home for the first time, with hormones raging, looking for sexual encounters and needing the pill. In my case I needed antibiotics but he wouldn’t give me the script until I agreed to a much needed breast and pelvic exam. Just like you said, one minute I was fully clothed sitting on the exam table with no chaperone because I was there for an ear problem, and five minutes later he had me naked on my back with legs in the air. I filed a complaint not because he coerced me into a full exam, but because the exam turned into a sexual massage and he wouldn’t stop until I had an unwanted orgasm. Still my complaint went nowhere.

    I thought for sure other girls would come forward against him and he would finally get what he deserved but that never happened. I talked with girls who went to him for bc pills. Most of them didn’t want to talk about him and the few who did talk said it wasn’t that bad, they were looking to have sex anyway, and he did give them a script. They talked like it was a tit for tat situation. I guess when you are a young good looking doctor and you make college girls have orgasms on your exam table, they are too embarrassed or too appreciative to complain about it. Also I found out he only gave them a three month script so they were still dependent on him and had to return every three months for more “exams”.

    It makes me think of the old practice of treating hysteria where the doctors masturbated their patients back to health. It’s still happening today except now they call it breast and pelvic exams. These pervert doctors can be brought down but as we’ve seen it takes a lot of women to come forward to cause an outrage large enough to cause action to be taken. It’s not helping for all these women to just lay there and take sexual assault for whatever reason they can justify.

    • Reading this made me feel quite sick. I’m sure a lot of those girls now regret what they went through to get those pills.
      I don’t think they’d feel it was such a clever deal now.
      I live in a university town and the doctor’s surgery at the university only has about a 25% uptake of cervical screening. The town health authorities are always trying to do something about it, because it brings down the average screening rate for the whole area to a very low uptake figure (much to my delight). But it is all down to the demographics of the place. Nearly all the students are thankfully under 25, so don’t get called up before then in UK for smear tests The lecturers and staff all live elsewhere or are too intelligent to fall for it, so only about a quarter turn up. I’m so pleased this has put a stop to this. I was about 28 when cervical screening was brought in in the UK. I really feel sorry for all those women who copped it when they were just 20. It was changed to age 25 about 2005 in England but Scotland kept screening 20 year olds until 2016, and there are some very sad stories of young Scottish women forced into having the test.

    • Hi Laura, I appreciate this may be tough for you, but have you considered making a new complaint of historic abuse against him? The climate does appear to have changed, although as with the clergy, the doctor’s office does seem to be hiding somewhat. I know of two women who were harrassed in the workplace by an older (more powerful) male many moons ago.
      They filed a complaint at the time, and were basically laughed at and told in a manner of words that, “this is how it is”, or “suck it up”.
      Recently, they tried again, and were simply asked for names, dates, details etc. As he is still in his employment, a full investigation is underway (looks like they were not the only complainants).
      It might be, more women than realised complained about this doctor, either at the campus, or later on, throughout his career.
      What is clear is, that a pap and a breast exam is not only medically unneccessary, but totally unneccessary in diagnosing an ear infection.
      In some cases overseas (Australia, being one), courts have found that a doctor has acted out of gratification if it is shown that the pap/ breast exam was medically unneccessary to diagnosing the medical problem at hand. What you describe also sounds like abuse.
      I can’t think how hard this must have been for you and other girls in your situation, having to live with the trauma of this experience.

      • It is horrifying what some women have endured at the hands of medical predators – I imagine he carried on assaulting women he fancied for many years – there’s a case going on here – sexual assaults back in the 70s and 80s, lots of women came forward, he’s now about 70 and claiming he has memory loss, how convenient?
        This pervert would ask women to undress, stand naked in front of him and he’d thrust into their back, he claimed it was some sort of massage, I’m sure it was, but it’s certainly not medical. Complaints were made at the time but he carried on for decades. He was also a huge fan of vaginal and breast exams.

        It’s disgraceful this sort of conduct was allowed to continue for decades, more proof that doctors were protected, assault women, don’t worry, we’ve got your back!

      • Apocalyptic Queen; I was so very wrong to say in my last post that: “It’s not helping for all these women to just lay there and take sexual assault for whatever reason they can justify.”. I’m sorry and I take that back. I am more frustrated with myself for not recognizing sooner what he was doing to me and not standing up to him during the exam. The young college women, myself included, were not prepared to be blindsided by doctors insisting breast and pelvic exams were important and absolutely necessary for our health. I never had this done to me before and didn’t know how long the procedure should take. I laid there thinking this was taking quite a while, and then after several more minutes thinking, this was way too long. But maybe it was normal so I let it go on until it seemed he was never going to stop. Being in that position with him between my legs, and in the middle of an internal exam, I knew I couldn’t just get up so I asked him if he was almost done. He said just a few more minutes and just kept going until he got the result he was looking for. He was just like the doctor for the USA gymnastics team who got off on getting girls off.

        So I don’t blame his victims and I have to stop thinking I was weak and blaming myself. The best way to do that is to blame him. I’m going to find out if he still works there and I’m going to see about making a complaint to the AMA instead of the college health services. One complaint may go nowhere, but like you said, maybe other girls have made complaints and we can make him pay for what he has done. I’ll let you know how it goes.

      • Hi Laura, no need to apologise for anything worded in your comment, and certainly no need to blame yourself for anything.
        These programmes thrive on the belief system, that there is something somehow wrong with us for refusing to put up with this test. Every one of us on this site has encountered that message via the media and medical professionals.
        I wish you the very best of luck should you initiate another formal complaint.
        I am not sure whether you are in the US or AUS, however there have been a few Australian court cases that I know of reported in the media, which suggests that any breast or pelvic exam undertaken that was not medically necessary is likely to be deemed assault.
        There may be AMA or US Medical Association guidelines that may also assist with regards to what constitutes medically necessary procedures in this context.
        Also, you already made one previous complaint, which can hopefully serve to bolster your complaint.
        Plenty of resources available on these pages which could assist you further.
        I wish you the very best of luck x

  60. Yes, power, control, profits, sexual gratification, humiliation, misogynistic satisfaction, targets, ego – all directed at women. I don’t think they have any respect for our dignity, many express surprise that so many women have an issue with the speculum – how strange that many women would prefer a self test rather than just submit to an invasive, humiliating and often, painful test! Terribly strange (hardly!)

    Not sure these attitudes will ever change until more women push back, at the moment I think there may be one attitude for informed women and another for the trusting, unsure, very young, those lacking confidence etc.

    Can you imagine a doctor walking up to a random man and suggesting a testicular or rectal examination?
    To think a doctor felt comfortable enough approaching a random woman and suggesting a Pap test…no doubt in my mind these creeps have a modus operandi too – spring the suggestion, throwing the woman off guard, putting her under pressure, targeting certain women, favouring certain settings.

    They wonder why so many women reject male doctors today, in the days when we only had male doctors or almost all were male doctors, IMO, they didn’t serve us well…just look at the way the cervical screening program was set up in the 70s, they would never have adopted such a program aimed at men.

    Ada, your Mum is 91, amazing, is she in good health?
    My Mum is almost 87, she has dementia but still knows her children and close circle, she has good and bad days but physically, she’s as strong, and with no screening, she’s thoroughly enjoying life, no risk of biopsies, unnecessary surgery, complications after procedures etc.

    Mum embraces life and is up for everything, she’s currently at the football with her 27 year old grandson. Wish she’d given up screening long before she did, the dementia started after a colonoscopy, they took her off her blood thinning medication for the procedure and her cardiologist believes she had a small stroke during the procedure. That was the start of the confusion so the dementia didn’t just happen, it was most likely a complication of the screening procedure. Mum has a great appetite too, apparently, that’s strange for someone her age.
    No one will ever tell me screening is a no-brainer…

    Mum got caught up in the pap testing nonsense, Mum and Dad were together at an early age, first boyfriend and girlfriend situation, no doubt in my mind my father didn’t stray – yet Mum had Pap tests every 2 years from her early 40s (about then) – not sure when she stopped testing. In those days, Mum thought doctors were Gods and didn’t question their authority or advice, she trusted them, that’s gone now too

    • My mum is a glorious battleship and has all her wits about her. She phones me most evenings to have a moan about the NHS, how fat and tattooed the young people are getting and how her TV channels have disappeared again. She adamantly refuses to have the internet, so is stuck with the failing TV aerial technology. I try to visit twice a month, but wish she didn’t live so far away. I get my criticism of medical treatments from her. She doesn’t suffer the medical profession gladly.

      She’s had a few things thrown at her over the years, grudgingly accepted them, but then realised they do little good and are largely a waste of time. She’s had hip and knee replacements, but her main preoccupation now is her eyes and macular degeneration. Deafness she can live with but loss of her sight would upset her greatly as she loves her garden.

      I am just about to go and visit her today, but the visit is a reluctant one.
      My sister has been diagnosed with DCIS after breast screening. Mum still doesn’t know so my sister wants to travel down today and wants me to be there. My sister told me weeks ago, and on finding out I immediately sent her links to Baum, Bewley, McCartney but all too late, she has stepped onto the conveyor belt and there is no getting off. The first hospital wanted to carry out an automatic mastectomy, but she had to good sense to ask for a second opinion at a major hospital, where further biopsies and tests have been carried out, in the hope of reducing this to a lumpectomy, but the more tests they do the more they find, and surprise, surprise, they now claim to have found comedo necrosis, so mastectomy it is. She has now undergone countless visits and at least 25 biopsies of the one breast. I am so angry, after I tried to warn her in 2014. She is utterly devastated by the news. She emailed me, that she is in perfect health, has no symptoms and was all set to enjoy the summer with holidays. She is now faced with life changing, mutilating surgery with weeks in hospital and a lifetime of annual mammography, not to mention the psychological trauma of it all. Says she didn’t know anything about the DCIS scandal before diagnosis. (It is in the leaflet).

      It made me realise that women are so blinded by the screening hype, that even when they see the Harding Centre icon array, which I sent her in 2014, they cannot understand it, and still believe that if screening is still offered it must be 100% right and the critics are wrong. I can only support her, but so angry. If only she hadn’t gone to that appointment…

  61. Ada, so pleased to hear your Mum is doing well, fingers crossed with her eye sight. Mum has cataracts but doesn’t want the surgery, so far she’s managed, we hope it stays that way.
    Hospital stays mean she loses precious time and there’s the risk of infection and complications, Mum now firmly prefers to do enjoyable things with her time.

    So terribly sorry to hear about your sister.
    Fear and doing the responsible thing drives screening, that’s the way it’s always been presented to women, they might now briefly mention over-diagnosis in the brochure but still come down heavily in favour of screening. I think many people tend to side with the “perceived” safest option. Even though our numbers are growing, many still view us as risk takers.
    Will you regret your decision if you get breast cancer? Screening might have saved you…So many still have a simplistic view of screening, it’s not simple, far from it.
    I’d be angry too, thankfully, both of my sisters have decided not to continue with breast screening.

    • Elizabeth, I think your mum is wise not to do too much. My mum had one cataract done and went very well, so she was happy to go through with the second, but this turned into a disaster. I took her, and was left waiting for quite some time, when they emerged with her saying it had not been successful, and she was booked for further eye surgery at another hospital, where a more complicated procedure could be completed. She said this second procedure was extremely painful, and she has never got the sight back in this eye. I often ask her if the eye injections for AMD (macular degeneration) have made an improvement or not and get a vague fuzzy answer. Some years ago she went through a facial procedure for melanoma which left her face black and peeling for a fortnight, only to discover that it was an optional suggestion and not something she had to do. Her skin looks fine and I think she’s been very wary of all these treatments since then. A lot of it is putting new tyres on a very old car…

      Saw my sister yesterday, and she was in good spirits having decided to go for full reconstruction with tummy tuck flab relocated to the breast. She’s hoping to get it done next month and put an end to it, but once you are on that conveyor belt, there is no end, because it will be yearly check-ups from then on. The reconstruction will be an even bigger, longer operation than the mastectomy, but this is what she has chosen. It is a lot of surgery for someone who has no symptoms and is feeling 100% well. Am flabbergasted she didn’t know about DCIS before her diagnosis, after all I tried to tell her in 2014, when going through cancer treatment myself. It just goes to show how the “screening saves lives” mantra is embedded in people’s brains.

      One revealing thing she did say was that the breast screening units are staffed almost entirely by young nurses/radiographers under 50 years old, some of them only in their 20s with very little idea of the implications of breast screening, and, while devoutly devoted to the cause of screening, were unable to answer any questions she had other than regurgitating the screening dogma from publicity leaflets. I found the same thing when I was getting treatment for endometrial cancer. Your contact with people who can really advise you is extremely limited, and the rest of the time you are swept along by semi-professionals who mean well, but are driving people relentlessly into an upward spiral of further treatments without any opportunity to stop and discuss.

      There is an amazing difference between hospitals and what they are offering. Her nearest hospital gives all women with DCIS on 1 biopsy a mastectomy within 62 days, (incentive payments again). In total shock, she had the good sense to try a major teaching hospital elsewhere, and has now been told after countless biopsies that there is no urgency, and that she can take 6 months out to think things through. She has told me that she no longer wants this to drag on and has decided to get all the surgery done, so that she should be good again for Christmas. She gets my point that there is no difference in deaths between those who go for screening and those who don’t, but thinks that by treating things early, she will avoid additional radiotherapy and chemo if found at a symptomatic stage later. Of course there is a high chance that it may never progress at all.

  62. Ada, I’m sorry your sister is going through this. Once DCIS is diagnosed, even if a woman knows intellectually that it will likely never harm her, her mind starts going to all the what-ifs and worst case scenarios and these feelings, along with coercion from her medical team, often compel her to go through treatments and surgeries. As you know, cases of DCIS have increased exponentially since mammography came into widespread use, but all these cases of “stage 0 cancer” or “pre-cancer” have not translated to fewer cases of invasive breast cancer or fewer deaths. My sister was diagnosed with a large invasive breast cancer several years ago that never showed up in any of the regular mammograms she had. She only discovered it herself because of breast changes. Thankfully she is doing well now, albeit having had a few scares, but feels very betrayed by this screening and all the radiation she subjected herself to over the years for nothing. I think our sisters’ cases illustrate how women are being lied to and sold a bill of goods with this screening.

    • Judy, I wish your sister well and hope she never gets a recurrence.

      I think my sister’s shock is all too typical of most women. She was surprised to get her first invitation when just 48, 10 years ago. It was only this year that I sent her a link, which happened to mention the UK AgeX trial – they’ve added an additional 3 years call-up at either end of our programme that adds another 6 million women to mammography screening. It was only just then that she realised she had been put in a trial without being informed 10 years ago.

      In 2014 there was a UK government investigation into the way mammography screening is conducted in the UK, and the breast screening leaflet was revised as a result of this and DCIS and the AgeX trial are now briefly mentioned inside, but it is nowhere near explicit or clear what these actually entail and the harms they can lead to. I believe that many women, like my sister, probably read through the leaflet from 10 years ago, and after a few mammos don’t bother to read the leaflet again when it comes in the post. The cover has always looked the same, and most women would not be aware that important revisions have since been made to the leaflet. She is very much between a rock and a hard place at the moment. It really puts women in a terrible situation.

    • From their site: “Is variation in screening uptake inherently a problem?

      How do we distinguish between non-participation as a problem that needs tackling and that which represents an informed decision to decline the invitation made?”

      That’s a good bit of what takes quality away from them! They DON’T accept that a woman has made an informed decision to not screen, and instead view her refusal as “a problem that needs tackling”. It is tackled, but at the expense of any actual physical care she needs which brought her into the clinic. Pestering women for these tests is NOT “quality” – it is sexual harassment and may be targeting women with disabilities – simply because those with serious or chronic condition – which can be construed as disabilities – visit the clinic more, and are often much more dependent on getting care – they know their lives depend on receiving care. When screening becomes harassment, when there is an implication of not getting treatment needed for life or for quality of life, this becomes coercion which is a form of force.

      We have a word for putting objects or body parts inside a woman’s vagina and/or anus in violation of her consent, and that word is not “quality”.

      • Beth, I believe that this inequalities issue is another smokescreen to push uptake. They’re so desperate to push up attendance that they’re targetting anybody now and the disabled are easy prey. Of course, all kinds of people and charities are coming forward campaigning on this issue saying it’s because they really, really care about disabled people… There is one wheelchair-bound mother who is campaigning for hoists in GP surgeries to lift women onto the smear test couch. Says it’s impossible for her to get onto her doctor’s couch and she is facing possible death because her doctor’s practice won’t buy one for her. Of course all these people could self-test if they knew about it.

      • If that wheelchair-bound mother has become hysterical that she will (soon) die of CC, it sounds like she’s bought into the outsized-push for dwelling on that problem, to the exclusion of others. If they really want to test her, even if she cannot self-test (I don’t know her physical limitations), they could come to her home to test. Certainly she has a way to get into bed. It sounds like she really “needs” to be put in stirrups for this gawd-awful test. Then, if it’s abnormal, how are they going to get her into and onto the things for follow-on testing? The time might be better spent with the problem that’s causing her to be handicapped, as well as cardiac problems worstened by inactivity, and the possibiltiy of blood clots from spending a LOT of time in a wheelchair, if she’s very active with her upper body.

        What’s lost is that cardiac problems remains a top killer of women, as well as men. CC doesn’t make the top 100! Why the outsized hysteria? If I went to the doctor hysterical about renal cancer, demanding to be tested, with no signs, symptoms, or family history of it, the doctor would try to talk me out of it, Yet, it’s more common than CC.

      • She said: “You hear people getting cervical cancer younger and younger…” SURE, you hear about that. CC in young women is VERY RARE, and more often you’re hearing of people being DIAGNOSED with CC younger and younger – without any benefit but with significant harm.

        I’m certainly for equal accessibility, but she sounds like she’s advocating for accessibility for something which has a higher chance to damage and limit lives rather than save anyone.

        Nonetheless, like many women she’s been frightened by the propaganda. Like an able-bodied woman, she should be permitted to get what she’s been scared into – or all of this health scare was literally for nothing other than increase her anxiety. Truth in advertising would be a better way to go.

      • If the lady in the wheelchair would like a smear test, all she needs is a referral to a colposcopy clinic. This will be at a hospital with the necessary equipment that everyone can access. I suspect she already knows this.

      • I can remember being told this years ago Mint, at a hospital appointment. I told them I don’t have smears anymore as my GP was downright brutal. They told me that anyone who has a bad smear experience can use the hospital clinic instead.
        Needless to say, the lady in the wheelchair seems to have been championed by Jo’s Tosh.

    • I’m pleased they actually posed this question “How do we distinguish between non-participation as a problem that needs tackling and that which represents an informed decision to decline the invitation made?”

      However posing it’s fine, having healthcare professionals actually listen and accept an informed decision is quite another. I’ve seen a number of rabid nurses on social saying it’s their job to encourage women to screen. That is absolutely NOT their job and until this mindset is actively stopped and punished, this silliness will continue.

      • It’s effectively the same faux-choice that is used in examples of dysfunctional parenting. “You have a choice between the chocolate cake and the brussels sprouts.” The unspoken part is, “If you choose the chocolate cake, I’ll spank you and send you to your room. If you eat the brussels sprouts, you can watch TV.” The child in this ludicrous example really has no choice.

        Sadly, the grown-up version of this is the “informed consent” we (supposedly) have in the medical setting. We can choose between having a pap or not. If we choose the pap, they’ll give it to us, followed by whatever other medical care we need – although perhaps after we schedule another appointment – making the problem worse from waiting a week or 3. If we choose to not have the pap, the rest of the appointment will be spent talking us into it, bullying us into it, and often insinuating that they will not treat the problem we came in for.

        This is not a choice. It’s that we must allow them to penetrate us to get any sort of medical care. This can be coercion, which negates consent. We have a word describing penetration without consent….

      • From the limited amount of literature for nurses I’ve seen, I don’t think that nursing staff ever get to hear about the downsides of screening or about the whole argument surrounding false positives and unreliability. I also don’t think it has ever entered their way of thinking that people have a choice and the system is optional. Their understanding of the maths involved is certainly weak. Unfortunately, they are often the first and only point of contact for many members of the public who deserve balanced information on a much higher level and this information is nowhere to be found except on FWEO.
        Recently came across a male GP on twitter asking Susan Bewley what the breast screening icon array is, and where he could find it. He had never heard of it before or The Harding Center for Risk Literacy. If the docs don’t know about it what hope is there for the rest of them?

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