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

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

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

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

    • Hello,

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • What a load of nonsense and stereotypical tripe. The types that still trot out the idea that women cannot function rationally without a man and become emotiomal, chaotic messes when there isn’t one around to keep them in check!
      Yes, divorce can be stressful, especially the childcare and financial implications, but many, many women have a new lease of life after a divorce. Study after study has consistently suggested the outcomes for women after divorce are not as bleak as these rags make out. Most recent studies suggest that it is men who often have the worst outcomes. Many women eventually thrive on their new-found independence and freedom. Yet, the implication is that they will likely be at risk of a nasty disease and death as a result.
      This study is probably influenced by underlying prejudicial bias about women and their place in society.
      Sorry – rant over.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Yuk! I think this must be the article, The Daily Fail churns these stories out almost on a weekly basis.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Hi Beth,
        I wanted to respond to your comment since it spoke exactly to my situation. My first penetrative experience was being coerced into having a speculum forced into my body about 2 weeks after my 18th birthday. To this day I am deeply traumatized and will never let anyone touch me again. I will never have a partner, spouse, or even casual intimacy, it is all completely out of the question. I still think about the experience decades later, and often I think about it daily.

      • Hi Rose,

        I’m sorry that happened to you. I know with some of my medical abuses, I too think of them on a daily basis – more so on the coercion that happened to me nearly a year ago now, and things that happened over the last decade. It’s one symptom of PTSD. Those bother me – and seem to be harder to get over and through than my childhood abuse. At least with the childhood abuse, I was eventually able to believe that there’s nothing I did to cause it, nothing I could have done to avoid it. I was able to remind myself that I am now an adult, those people are long gone, and cannot hurt me now – and similar attacks would face the consequences. With medical abuse, “oh, it wasn’t that bad” or “It was just a medical procedure TO SAVE YOUR LIFE” (It’s amazing how many times I’ve been rescued from the brink of death, when many people lived much longer than me a few centuries ago!) I use some of the same things: It was that bad. It is that bad. PLUS, with the medical abuse, I know that I am not safe today – that the same thing can and will happen when I seek medical treatment in the future – and know I’ll probably need more as I get older.

        You were RAPED when you were just 18. You did not give informed consent – or any consent to be penetrated in that way! Coercion negates consent, and this will continue as long as people and courts give them a medical loophole which is a fiction. For instance, if someone is stabbed to death, it doesn’t matter if it is a random person with a kitchen knife or a health care worker with a scalpel. The object caused death, and was being used in an inappropriate manner.

        I’ve been seeking more ways to avoid the pap coercion, and have my actual, diagnosed medical conditions addressed, medicated, and tested. But, no. This rare cancer trumps it.

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

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

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

    • She says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    “Research shows that cervical screening prevents at least 2,000 cervical cancer deaths each year in the UK”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • I took great pleasure in completing the survey and explaining why cervical screening is something I don’t and won’t be doing.

        It’s so strange, they’re still beating the drum about why women don’t want to attend.

        With anything else, people would get the hint about not being interested. People decline and invite, they decline an invite but for some reason with smears they just cannot get their heads around it.

      • I’ve completed the survey. I said that there are no barriers to screening. This is an excuse made by the screening mafia to explain why the uptake is low. As I never tire of saying, if someone wants screening, they will make time.

      • I filled that survey in and told them a number of truths about cervical screening and why I think the uptake for cervical screening is going down. I’d love to see the face or faces of whoever’s going to read the answers I’ve put down

      • I too filled in survey giving my opinions of the cervical screening programme and why women don’t go.
        Bolton has a very high BAME population . I shuddered reading the buddy scheme suggestions

      • It booted me out when I ticked off I live outside the UK, but good work to those able to participate. The more we make our voices heard, the better the chances they will reverberate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • As in most things, follow the money.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • You’re right Kleigh, it is disgusting. I too am sick of hearing about it every single day. I am sorry for Jade Goody, it was a tragedy for her and her family, but that poor soul passed over 10 years ago, yet they are still dredging up her illness and telling us to get smears. Just this morning on the news, Jo’s Trust yet again saying that there is a documentary on this week about Jade and we should all use it as a reminder to get smears.

      It is true that the whole world is brainwashed about it. Only us on this site can see the truth. The nature of the test is vile to me and I find it offensive to be constantly bombarded about getting the test. Men are not subject to this type of harassment about prostate exams or bowel screenings, you hardly hear anything about those tests. I am certain that the smear test thing is all about perversion.

    • I am also in the US, and I am starting to feel like a freak for not having paps. It took a LONG TIME even to convince my husband that FOR ME paps aren’t a great idea. I’ve got him to the point where he could advocate for me when I had some (expletive) fill-in doctor demanding entrance to my vagina and not taking “NO” for an answer. Even he says, when I was going through continual intrusive thoughts of this clown demanding I take my pants off and spread my legs that I need “therapy”. REALLY? Am I to believe that it’s “normal” to not object when a strange man is demanding to put hands and objects that feature blades in my vagina? What about the little fact that no freakin’ way am I going to allow them to tear pieces off of my cervix without anesthesia? Or allow them to amputate part of my cervix, severing nerves in the process – about 1/3 of which cause serious damage?

      People are so convinced that CC is common, and is a real fear that all women have. No, it’s a rare cancer that effects 0.65% of US women in our lifetimes. I’m at almost the peak age for it, and my risk of having it this year is 0.0056% WTF? Hubby accused me of reading “blogs”, because it’s very common. Yeah. I read the CDC data for the year. He saw it, and said, “That’s got to be a mistake. It was the #1 killer of women before paps.” No, The #1 killer of women in 1970 was heart attacks, just like men, just like now. The #1 killer of women in 1900 was tuberculosis, just like men. Oh, the #1 cancer killer! Lung cancer, just like men, with the same risk factors (smoking, asbestos, certain occupations). Then, there’s the “It’s the #1 killer in poor countries where they don’t do paps.” Uhhhh, yeah. In countries, such as much of Africa or SE Asia, where they don’t do paps, they have people dying from all manner of things because there’s a lack of medical care givers or medication, or even vaccines, who is doing all of these autopsies? I was given the goofy answer of “It doesn’t take a medically TRAINED person to autopsy a dead person.” What????

      I have gotten to the point of not wanting to stick around when women are talking about their health scare, or medical appointments. If I say anything, I’m a freak. Or I need therapy (see above on feeling “normal” to allow a stranger to penetrate you and damage you). Or that I pose a danger to the community. Or that I really need all of this, because it’s the #1 killer of women.

      I have diabetes, so I cannot just avoid doctors like I did for years in the past. Even at that, the diabetes and thyroid disorders are glossed over when the pap crap starts.

      • Beth those are my thoughts also, and you have articulated them so succinctly. The myth that cervical cancer was and still is a major threat to women’s health is so pervasive, even in the medical community. I can no longer avoid doctors either as I’m on high blood pressure meds and my doctor was surprised when I cited the .065 risk factor to him once when he started in about pap smears. And you’re absolutely right, even though we are well informed intelligent women, the pressure from both the medical community and our peers is enough to make us feel like an oddity or freak.

      • Mine too, was visibly taken aback when I cited the 0.65% LIFETIME RISK of CC. Still, pushed HARD for me to take my panties off so he could do a pap test “today”. There are a lot of things much more likely to cause my death or poor health.

        I just read _Everything Below the Waist: why health care needs a feminist revolution_ by Jennifer Block. Copyright 2019 St. Martin’s Press. ISBN 9781250110060 The book goes several directions, including the massive waste in US healthcare, including overcharging, excessive salaries, unneeded services, overuse/overdiagnosis/overtreatment problem that collectively costs the US $750 BILLION per year. I was taken aback by this – this is the entire budget for the US Iraq war/occupation over its 8 years. You can read the article at https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/09/how-the-us-health-care-system-wastes-750-billion-annually/262106/ or a number of other places. A bit over 1/4 of that is overuse/overtreatment, and gynecology is not the only area it’s done in, but it’s a significant portion.

        Meanwhile, the book points out, that female patients’ actual complaints are not taken seriously in deference to this pap smear stuff and its follow-ons. “I’ve got chest pains!” “I’m bleeding severely from injury!” is met with questions about pap. WTF?

        I think they’ve got the common person believing you can examine EVERYTHING inside a woman by looking into her vagina. If not that, by looking inside someone’s rectum with a colonscopy, but that’s another issue.

        There are reasons they’ve got this obsession with putting women on a conveyor belt leading to lots of follow-on care (77% of 60 y/o women have had “something done to her cervix”), and 1/3 of 60 y/o women have had a hysterectomy – going up to 1/2 of 70 y/o women. Even the true believers don’t claim that CC was ever THAT high prevalency.

        There are a few reasons, including that resident gyns or resident surgeons need to participate in a particular number of hysterectomies. Well-insured women who have completed having their children are providing material! I do not consider myself “material”. While I might consider donating my body to science, I want to do it AFTER my death. I also found that gyns have a shorter residency that focuses far less on actual surgery than other surgeons.

        Meanwhile, all of this removes the gonads, the sexual organs, cuts into and removes part of the clitoris (a human rights violation). What MAN would allow part of his penis to be torn off without anesthesia, having his penis shortened, removal of his testicles and prostate, and would BELIEVE it when a doctor proposing this radical event told him, “You’ll feel better than ever!”????

    • Some men would believe it because so many people, men and women, blindly trust doctors and think they’re infallible. But this type of medical abuse of men just isn’t going to happen because their right to informed consent and bodily autonomy is respected by the medical profession whereas women’s isn’t.

      • Hear in the US they are advertising for men to get Ed meads online so they “don’t have to have any embarrassing doctors visits.” Oh but woman are supposed to be “used to” doctors. I’m so annoyed by this.

      • Some men are bullied or coerced into certain types of care. It happened once, to about the same degree that my last medical appointment had me bullied into a pap (unsuccessfully). In his own case, his VA doctor came out into the waiting room screaming “You’re going to die!”, after he got up and walked out, if he didn’t take a cholesterol med – with a LDL cholesterol level of 128. I knew that 130 is the bottom for “high cholesterol”; it didn’t seem right. He filed a complaint, which was investigated. It seems this doc was taking money from a drug company to do some clinical trial “off the books”. The VA does plenty of clinical trials, but always with informed consent. This rogue trial was without informed consent, was not approved by anyone, and the doctor was lining his own pocket – a Federal offense. Not to mention the violation of HIPPA and other privacy regulations.

  23. There was also a case a few years back in our daily fail of a man who did his research and declined further investigation into his supposed prostate issues after reading of the harms and inaccuracies in the test. Hospital and GP bombarded him with persuasive calls even after he told them he wasn’t interested. He said it really upset him. Welcome to a woman’s world..

    • It seems that the medical industry worldwide is using/abusing the whole thing in order to assert their dominance over people rather than to actually work on improving their health in any way.

    • I’m not surprised that the age is being lowered. Too many people are declining the offer to poop in a box at 60. They will have to widen the net to justify the vast amounts of cash thrown at screening. Once again, the screening authorities have failed to come up with a process that the public will accept.

    • I see they have dropped the 5,000 lives saved every year in the UK, but still refer to that 2004 paper by Peto about the screening programme saving the UK from an “epidemic of cervical cancer”. Disappointed to see that even after full HPV test roll out the screening frequency will stay at every 3 years before age 50. That’s way too often.

  24. This is in the US!! Worth reading it all – shocking attitude!
    is a fact kept secret from health care consumers, but readily accepted by medical professionals. Not every piece of equipment, even ones that comes in contact with patients, is subject to full sterilization procedures.
    Most of the physicians and nurses felt attempting to explain the process and reasoning behind current practices would work against the public’s best interest. If women knew that a vaginal speculum was not sterile, they might refuse to get Pap exams. The methodology was too complex for them to fully understand, so it was kept secret. Healthcare professionals also denied this was an existing problem, despite the facts presented to them.
    Studies show beyond a doubt of the danger that exists from the use of non-sterile devices. Tools like vaginal specula are known transfer agents for bacteria and viruses. The evidence is there, the medical decision makers just fail to accept it.
    Even the CDC acknowledges that HAIs continue to be a pressing concern. Their current estimate shows around 80,000 people die each year from an infectious disease caught while in a hospital. That number doesn’t account for patients seen outside of the hospital, however, where over 15 million invasive scope procedures are done annually. Retired CDC microbiologist Walt Bond claims that regulating bodies like the CDC are fully aware that devices such as vaginal specula and scopes are causing infectious outbreaks.

    • There is a notion that instruments that come into contact with mucus membranes or skin does not have to be kept sterile because the skin or membrane itself is not sterile is what drives this, While my vagina, colon, stomach, etc might NOT be sterile, most likely I am not infected with such pathogens as HPV, HIV, HepA, HepB, HepC, trichomonias, gonorrhea, syphilis, etc, etc. Moreover, in the case of a pap it is expected that some blood and tissue will come in contact with it, and it’s got some probability in the case of all of the others – especially those that come in contact with the anus, as microtears are almost assured.

      At the same time they do this, they also tell us of the dangers of having unprotected sex, lest we catch one of those diseases, As it’s commonly put, it’s like having sex with everyone your partner has ever had sex with. An unsterilized speculum would seem to be about as dangerous as having sex with every woman it’s been in since it was last sterilized!

      Meanwhile, at the dentist, the dentist can autoclave and sterilize the instruments they use in someone’s mouth.

  25. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190911125114.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fhealth_medicine%2Fcervical_cancer+%28Cervical+Cancer+News+–+ScienceDaily%29

    Papillomaviruses may be able to be spread by blood

    So now will this start encouraging more women to screen do you think? Perhaps all the virgins will be captured into the programme and bring those target figures right up to where they want them!

  26. So all along as we dam well know, there is a good enough blood test for HPV!
    Some years ago, researchers were looking at blood samples from a group of HIV-positive children, and as they were testing those samples, they found that some of them were also positive for HPV,” Hu said. “Because these children were so young, it prompted the question of whether the virus could have come from blood transfusions, which some of the children had undergone.
    People who are receiving blood transfusions typically have immune systems that aren’t working optimally, so their systems are more vulnerable,” Hu said. “We might want to think about adding HPV to the list of viruses for which blood donations are screened, as well as researching whether the typical viral load of HPV in human blood would be sufficient to cause infection

    So perhaps they better start encouraging millions of men to step up and screen! After all they matter too don’t they? It will never happen! They’ll have to admit the speculum test can be replaced!

      • New post on the PHE blog report back on the cervical screening saves lives campaign back in March. Knowledge increased from 53 to 56% and women feel more positive about taking up the test. I’m now going to vomit in my cats litter tray lol…

      • I remember seeing a news item that HPV testing in India was being done by women submitting used sanitary towels. Also read that HPV and HIV are linked, but mechanism is not yet fully understood. Also that women who have cervical cancer are frequently found to have HIV too. In my home city free HIV testing kits have been put into various public places for people to test themselves, and they seem to have been very successful.
        I’m sure we will find that over-reliance on smear tests has delayed research into these viruses. Zur Hausen discovered that HPV caused cervical cancer in late 1980s, but we backed the wrong horse and decided it was lesions that were the cause. It has always seemed wrong to me that women have to repeatedly undergo testing and treatments for diseases men give them. Perhaps if the spotlight is turned onto transmission among men, they will scale back the whole pap smear business and Papanicolou will be exposed as the fraud who set back health care for decades.

  27. I was watching a re run of the Doctors tv show. This is a American show. Dr Travis started out by saying “seeing the gynecologist is essential but some woman find it embarrassing. “. Wow I don’t know where to start. Woman in other countries don’t see a gynecologist regularly. It just erked me. Words like essential. Why is it essential?

    • It’s a business like everybody must drink CocaCola. They are trying to introduce this into the UK. We’ve got a lot of private gynos spouting this nonsense too, many playing on the fact that our NHS offers a free test only every 3 years, and other countries offer more tests, so some misguided women pay for extra ones in between at these private gynos. .

  28. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0969141319871977

    Again, it’s all women must, should attend cancer screening as the norm. Nevermind that uptake among men in bowel screening is even lower, it’s all about how to increase uptake in women. Suggestions include one-stop-shop screening clinics where women can be captured for all 3 screening tests in 1 visit, to prevent them only attending some. The word choice doesn’t appear anywhere in this article, and with older women they can’t play the embarrassment excuse any more. For the over 60s they say women don’t attend due to carelessness.

    • How about the word CONSENT appearing in the article. We have a word for the event of penetrating a woman’s vagina without her consent. Consent is not the same as to acquiesce. If one is bargaining to avoid penetration without her consent, even if she acquiesces to it, she has not consented.

    • Well Ada at 55 I’m proud to be in the 10% who have No screening. No smear in almost 20 years never had a mammogram and refused to be an ally raped by the 1 off bowel screen at 55!! Woo hoo…I’m an old rebel!!

      • Kat, I shall be 58 next month, and never had a mammo or even a summons for the bowel test yet. Last smear was in 1997. So sad I had to have the hysterectomy and can no longer be a dagger in the uptake figures, but the battle has been worth fighting!

      • Well, Kat, I’m about 2 years ahead of you on “No Screening”. I am 57, I’ve never had a mammogram, figure I’ve been sodomized plenty as an abused child – and don’t want to go through THAT sort of sexual abuse recovery again – and I’m not sure I’ll make it.The combined number of colo/rectal cancer in the US is ~145,000/year (https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/about/key-statistics.html) – about 10x the number of CC cases! Then again, they perforate bowels at higher rates than that, and while it isn’t necessarily deadly, peritonitis is no fun at all! Risk/benefit of having my butt hole snaked out isn’t good enough.

        It’s been 22 years since my last pap (those also bring up rape and sexual abuse memories – including a rape that happened IN a hospital 30 years or so ago. My girlie-parts haven’t fallen out yet. I’ve got a 0.65% lifetime risk of CC, but those dealing with rape/sexual assault aftermaths have a 16% chance of attempting suicide in the first year afterward (RAINN.ORG). So, being “responsible” for my health…. 16% vs 0.65%…. hmmmm, which ones of these do I want to risk?

        With the last entitled (expletive) who I saw while he was wearing a mask and saw for the first time some chronic conditions, who had more interest in penetrating me with an object that features blades and his latex-clad hands, and how much THAT felt like an attempted rape – complete with my obsessing about it for months, there’s no freakin’ way I’m going to allow that! Yes, I’ll walk out without medications for those chronic conditions…. or more likely to RUN AWAY as any rape councilor will tell you.

        Is it possible to get healthcare without fighting off yet another sexual assailant???

    • Excellent link thank you. I did notice this part and irks me every time….section 251!

      Data availability

      Fingertips data are publicly available on https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/. No additional unpublished data are available.

      Ethics approval

      The case–control study has ethical approval from the London Research Ethics Committee (reference number 12/LO/1041) and National Information Governance Board Ethics and Confidentiality Committee (reference number ECC 6–05 (e)/2012), which permits processing of identifiable information of patients in England without consent (under section 251 of the NHS Act 2006). The Fingertips data are publicly available, and it is not necessary to seek permission for their use in research.

      Now I will be looking at the web page for “fingertips Data”
      No-one will be capturing me that’s for sure, well done ladies for sticking to your rules!

    • They make some outlandish claims. Half of women are not protected from all three cancers… have they forgotten about false negatives and false positives? They assume that all these women would be protected from cancer if they just got over themselves and attended the screening. A downright false, dangerous and outright misleading statement to make.

  29. As I’m over 60, I would call myself carefree rather than careless. I wouldn’t use the embarrassed excuse. I don’t use excuses full stop. I’m making an informed decision.

  30. Notice how the article says that further studies are needed to determine why women are not attending all cancer screening. Where is the $$$$ coming from to fund these studies?

    I would rather the funds be spent on CURING cancer or treating those that have it. They pretend that doing all this cancer screening and precancer treatment and studies on cancer screening and pretreatment is Cancer Prevention. Of course all the politics that cancer screening is an important Woman’s Issue and a right. Because they can just ignore poverty, affordable housing, daycare, education, job training, good nutrition because pap tests and mammograms will save us all.

    This is how I prevent cancer for myself. Try to get enough rest and reduce anxiety (refuse the drama of cancer screening. I filled out the form. No more calls or letters). Spend my money on a good multivitamins. Try to eat fruit and veggies, good oils everyday. Stop using aluminum containing antiperspirants and body wash years ago. In fact, I stopped seeing the doctor years ago except for emergencies. I have never felt better.

    • This makes me so mad. There’s been so many studies already why we don’t go. They know why we don’t go. Yet they don’t bring in blood tests for HPV or even a self test. Or try to modernise mammograms. You’re right moo. It’s a criminal waste of money. Our NHS can’t cope as it is

      • I’ve read that that the whole pap program costs the US (individuals, insurance, government) a whopping $20Billion+! $7.8 Billion was spent in 2010 (the most recent year I could find) on mammograms, plus another whopping $4 Billion on unnecessary overtreatment in 2014. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/04/13/398818949/the-hidden-cost-of-mammograms-more-testing-and-overtreatment

        I’m unimpressed with the concept of self-testing. It only gets rid of the routine vaginal prodding, but with 77% of women aged 65 having had “something done to her cervix”, the self-tests don’t get rid of the false-positive problem, and the no-doubt even harder push to have chunks of your cervix ripped off with a pliers without anesthesia with an extra-long speculum that stretches the vagina open even wider,

        With the billions spent on this nonsense, directly – leave alone the costs to treat the aftereffects of all of this overtreatment, it’s no wonder the US has the most expensive healthcare in the world, with the lowest life expectency in the industrialized world, highest infant mortality rate in the industrialized world (worse then many 3rd world countries), and the highest maternal mortality rate in the industrialized world.

        Can’t we spend the money more intelligently for actual problems, rather than invasively searching for something rare using outmoded methods?

        Since there clearly is a blood test for HPV, as evidenced by how they test in various published papers, why don’t we use that as a primary test, or why don’t we test or treat men? Oh, I know!!!!

  31. Beth the crazy thing is there’s always talk in the media and among politicians about how to rein in our out-of-control health care costs, but none of this overtreatment, etc. caused by screening tests is ever addressed. The politicians would never dare to say anything about it because women’s health in particular is such a political hot button issue that the response would be “oh my God, he’s trying to take away our mammos/pap smears, he doesn’t care about women!” Truly a sorry state of affairs, particularly when many who actually do have cancer often risk going without life-saving treatment when they are uninsured or under insured.

  32. The current obsession with the female body and the “empowerment” propaganda has reached new levels of ludicrousness. No surprise, that Jo’s Trust has had a mention here as well:


    I have no idea where this current fetish has emanated from, or why it is suddenlyvconsidered “empowering” to discuss vaginas, cervical smears and all manner of “women’s problems”, whether we want to discuss them or not.

    Whatever happened to being empowered through education, accomplishments, good deeds etc?

    No one’s telling men that they need to be “empowered” by stripping off, looking and behaving as if they are sexually available and being encouraged to discuss their male body parts, because we all know that it is not empowering, and men command far more respect than that.

    The current smear propaganda is embedded within this culture.
    The recent awareness campaigns are some of the most aggressive I have seen in a long time.
    GPs being encouraged to press for opportunistic screening.. how do they get over the inconvenient obstacle of patient consent, or informed consent when that issue arises?

    I have assumed that as the take-up rates continue to plummet, the campaigns will become ever more aggressive.

    Interesting question is, if the rates continue to fall, or temporarily rise before declining once again, where do they go next?

    I think it’s pretty clear that these thoroughly intransigent professionals do not recognise informed consent, and moreover, will not let this go, so what will happen next?

    I recently read that the Health Secretary may be looking at steps to make the MMR jab mandatory.
    It begs the question, will this proposal eventually be considered in respect of screening?

    There have already been questions raised as to why certain screening programmes are not considered mandatory requirements for Local Authority commissioning arrangements.
    I might be being pedantic but even in 2019, I feel our reproductive rights and right to bodily autonomy is under constant threat!

    • I’ve got to be honest, I’ve thought about mandatory screening becoming a thing and always dismissed it but it worries me.

      If jabs are becoming mandatory, could we end up moving towards a time where you need to be up to date with your screening to get NHS care? Medical professionals have always been happy to make it seem like it’s not a choice, it’s not too far of a leap to see people removed from surgery lists etc if they refuse screening.

      • It might be a struggle for them to deny NHS care (particularly emergency care), but is employers writing it into their policies as a requirement out of the question? Could they be compelled to do so by law? If it can be considered that children could be banned from schools, could women who don’t “comply” be banned from the workplace (oh, the irony), especially the public sector? Section 251 apparently allows them to overcome any privacy or harrassment concerns in the interests of containing an epidemic, so following that line of reasoning, it is not out of the question that some creativity could be devised to make employment trickier for non-compliant women.
        As those take-up rates plummet, I have little doubt that the likes of Jo’s To$$ers would push to make something like this mandatory!

      • @Apocalyptic Queen: That’s how they forced drug testing into every citizen’s pants. They subcontracted 4th Amendment violation to the private sector, paid them well to carry it out with tax dollars, withheld food and shelter from the non-compliant, and pretended it was a “equal free choice” of both employer absolute with no connection to government therefore not a BoR violation. In the same way armed robbery is a “voluntary donation” and hiring a hit man isn’t a crime.

        Of course,they did try this in Poland, requiring regular paps and pelvic for all female employment by law (of course,no equivalent humiliation for the men) and got shot down before they could enact it by massive international outcry. And in America, the ADA tends to protect people from medical exams for employment that aren’t directly required for specific safety reasons and tailored directly to those safety concerns (Thanks to Bush the Elder and Bush theYounger) and it’s one of the few that actually gets enforced. Dollar General got busted hard by the EEOC in recent years because they required extremely unnecessary and thorough medical exams that includes full blood panels and full genital and rectal exams and couldn’t show any of it was necessary for the nature of the job or prove it wasn’t being done to screen people wit irrelevant health issues off their insurance (most people in US don’t realize it’s very illegal to reject applicants based on concerns about how they will affect health insurance premiums or assumptions about future absenteeism based on health issues).

      • Demon hype – Have I read this correctly? So, it was George Bush Junior & Senior, who stopped private employers mandating employees to undergo non-specific employment-related medical tests? Who knew.

      • @Apocalyptic Queen: Yup, that’s right. I did some crazy deep research on it when I was having terror anxiety last year (for four weeks I couldn’t eat anything but liquid meal replacements and the odd very light salad due to my stomach knots, lost twenty pounds, please do not congratulate me on that because there’s nothing good about losing weight due to debilitating illness). The Bush administrations, for all their total craptasticness, did at least one good thing each. The ADA was enacted by the first Bush admin and it was expanded and strengthened by the second Bush admin. And you don’t have to be actually handicapped or disabled to file a complaint about employment medical exams because that would defeat the purpose, since the point is to protect the disabled not just from discrimination but from.being forced to disclose job-irrelevant disabilities. So Americans, if you are not disabled but object to any obviously job-irrelevant medical exams being forced on you in the work.place, complain to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)!

        Btw, I’m pretty sure that penalizing workers for not taking part in “voluntary” health programs that require medical examinations is also not allowed, including charging higher premium or punitive fees. But I had that link on.a kindle that doesn’t work.anymore.

        As far as “at least he did one good thing” goes, that one good thing they did is a big one for me. So even if I have to say F U to the Bushes for everything else, I will always be grateful for the ADA.

    • Our reproductive rights and bodily integrity are under constant threat with this opportunistic screening. Inserting any body part or object into a natural bodily orifice in violation of consent is rape. Someone with a chronic condition should not be faced with the choice of not treating the chronic condition (possibly deadly), or looking forward to a lifetime of annual rapes, or pressure to acquiesce to rape anytime they seek care.

      However, the same case cannot be made for a speculum exam as is made for vaccinations from dangerous and deadly diseases.

      These diseases are spread via the air and by casual contact and contact with objects. To prevent an epidemic of such a disease, a large percentage – varies by disease – must be immune to the pathogen. Immunologists use a nomenclature of “R-value” to talk about this, but it’s pretty simple: R is the number of people that one infected person can be expected to spread it to. If the value is 1, the disease is holding steady. If it’s below 1, it’s subsiding. If it’s greater than 1, it’s spreading. As an example, if measles is introduced to a population without immunity to measles, the R rate is around 30.

      While many people get through these diseases okay with minimal help, some people die or are permanently disabled. There are plenty of people still in wheelchairs or on crutches because of having polio in the 1950s or earlier. As vaccinations are not 100% effective, and some people cannot be immunized (babies, immunocompromised, cancer patients, etc), someone with the disease poses a risk to others.

      HPV does not spread that way. If anyone wants to protect themselves from possibly catching HPV from me, I invite them to stay out of my vagina! I think this is part of what is being (deliberately) missed when they say that some high percentage of women must be screened for it to have any effect. Sexual contact is not casual contact.

      I have mixed feelings on “mandatory” vaccinations. Yes, it is important to keep a high percentage immune so that epidemics do not take off. At the same time, quarantines, including self-quarantines are effective. People who choose not to be vaccinated could live in their own communities, with limited contact with other communities – probably with protective gear. This could be done today. Many jobs can be done remotely, and others which cannot would be fulfilled by others who’ve chosen to not be immunized.

      • @bethkz: I know what you mean. A big part of the “mandatory vaccination” thing hurts kids whose parents are the ones refusing,by denying them educations–hurting kids to protect kids. And creating a system where if you insist on bodily autonomy and control of your medical care,you better like starving in the street, is straight up.fascism. I always ask “so you want to mandate spread my legs for a gyn rape–are you also going to mandate the follow ups? Will I have any right to choose the path of investigation and treatment,including refusal of any and all, or will I be required to submit to surgeries the doctor wants to perform on me? Will I have zero say in whether someone carves into my flesh with a scalpel? They usually don’t want to go *quite* that far, so I have to ask–if I’m going to refuse treatment if I have cancer, regardless of its stage, what is the point of making me test for it?

        And, of course,flu shots. The mass application of which seems to be most prevalent in places with the most for-profit healthcare. I’m sold on MMR, which easily proved their worth, as did the smallpox vax, but not on flu shots, which I consider to be the point where medicine and capitalism merge and to be a totally pointless tailchase that makes it perfect as a cash grab, much like pap tests. So of course I’m an antivaxxer who is “killing kids”, because to question one vaccination.is to question all of them, and questions =murder, apparently.

        Seriously, I ask “why does every person I know who gets the flu shot get the flu anyway?”

        Answer ” It’s a different strain”.

        I ask “so why didn’t I get it when my vaxxed co-worker coughed in my face,which happens a lot?”

        Answer ” You’re a moocher leeching off the herd immunity they nobly created by submitting to the flu shot”

        I ask “How does their vaccination against flu strain A protect me from flu strain B, especially when it clearly didn’t protect them from.flu strain B? That makes no sense. it’s like saying my measles shot means I can get whooping cough but can’t give whooping cough to any non-measles-vaxxed people.”

        Answer “YOU are just ignorant of how science works and shouldn’t be allowed to think or speak, and I don’t have to explain how flu shot A can confer immunity to B to the unvaxxed but not the vaxxed because Science Sez So and we must all obey the High Priests in the Sacred Lab Coats and never ask them questions lest they become angered and withhold their many Elixirs of Life!”.

        I ask “Is it maybe possible that suffering through a real flu from time to time, if one has the constitution for it, confers a stronger immunity against more strains?”


        Like when they were forcing hospital staff who refused a flu shot to wear surgical masks “to protect patients”, and totally not as a scarlet letter. Really? Most people I know who get the jab get constant illnesses, including flu, and “different strains” isn’t an excuse here. So as long as someone got the recent flu jab, they can cough and spew “different strains” of flu, as well as colds and other infections, all over patients and it’s perfectly safe, but a healthy person who was not vaccinated against one specific strain is a danger? Bullshit. If you cared about safety, you’d make everyone wear it during flu season regardless of vax status, or your require workers showing symptoms to wear it regardless of vax status. You’re shaming the non-compliant and trying to paint a target on them for bullying purposes,nothing more.I

        Sure enough,they’re now admitting it doesn’t work for immunity purposes, but could “reduce the severity of symptoms” when you do get sick. Which kills their “public protection from.epidemic” argument.

      • Demonhype,

        I had a career in software testing. Part of deciding whether some test is worth doing is the answer to the question “What are you going to do with the results?” Like you, I’ve already decided against colposcopy/biopsy (having pieces of my sexual organs torn off with a biopsy forceps not especially different than a pliers without anesthesia is unappealing), LEEP (having parts of my cervix amputated, along with severing a number of nerves that leaves about 30% of the women who have that with a form of anhedonia where they don’t FEEL emotions as they once did is also unappealing – even if they use anesthesia for that), having a hysterectomy that leaves numerous women with bladder, anal, and vaginal prolapse and robs me of uterine orgasms is unappealing…. I like including the requirement for the scalpel…. how far will they go? Will they really go “full on Mengele” as part of the “fee” for treating diabetes or hypothyroidism? Or, if they don’t, is there any purpose to having this test besides checking a box somewhere?

        On flu shots, you’re right that they take a scientifically-proven thing to the point of absurdity. Yes, I’m sold on polio vaccines – my mother died of post polio syndrome after spending decades in a wheelchair, and my mother in law suffers from it. I’m sold on the value of smallpox vaccines – having eradicated the disease in the wild. I’m concerned about it being kept in government labs, especially the accident they had with a Russian lab which *might* have released some deadly pathogens – possibly including smallpox. We’ll see over coming months and years. (sigh) The MMR vaccine is another one I’m sold on – measles kills a lot of people, and rubella disables many – including foetuses when their mother gets the disease while pregnant. The MMR/autism link comes from Dr. Wakefield’s fraudulent research – and his article is the only one ever retracted by The Lancet in it’s 300+ year history. Moreover, that line of thinking implies that someone would rather have a dead child than an autistic child – even if the claim were true.On mumps… A few years ago, my husband got it from a Christmas-caroling child of antivaxxers… and it’s no fun to be around an adult man with mumps! OTOH, the fact my father got mumps as a teenager and was believed infertile is why I was conceived.

        The notion that *any* flu shot will offer some protection is slightly true, mostly false, and greatly misused. If it were true, I could have a flu shot every 10 years or so, and I’d be “good”. But, flu viruses mutate at an alarming rate. There is a lot of science and interesting ways to figure what the next round of flu will be in a given hemisphere (based partly on what goes on in the opposite hemisphere during their flu season). Sometimes they miss, and the wrong flu goes around, which the vaccine doesn’t help much with. Or, they run out of this year’s vaccine, and start giving prior year’s vaccines – without informing the patient – claiming it gives “some” protection. The truth value to that statement is “It depends”. Lack of patient consent is disturbing, as it is everywhere else that consent is not considered.

        A better way to avoid flu mutations would be to change the way hogs are raised in large houses that allow bats in, as well as chicken houses that also allow bats in, as well as manure ponds from these operations. This is almost a formula to recombine viruses! Instead, the US is getting rid of pork inspectors that can keep contaminated pork off the market and people’s plates!

        The bit of truth is that an immunity to some flu A will give someone a partial immunity to other strains of some other flu A. But not to flus of the B strain…. or other strains. Nor will it protect against mumps or ebola or polio or other viruses.

      • Beth – I understand completely what you are saying about cervical cancer not being an air borne disease, and so not contagious and meriting emergency safety procedures.
        Also, the medical protocol concerning what one should do if they receive a “positive” result (abnormal or otherwise) raises ethical questions. The UK Screening Committee is very clear about the fact that screening should not be offered unless treatment is available.
        However, a number of UK workplace policies for instance, include a time off allowance to attend smears, but not to undergo any follow-up treatment (a contradiction in itself).

        Unfortunately, despite the UK medical protocols in place, I feel that they could devise very creative ways to get round those.

        The take-up rates for cervical screening are plummeting and while this is good and means the integrity of their programme is at risk, it also makes the situation quite dangerous from our perspective, as these people have vested interests in screening and are desperate to kerp it going. There has been a very aggressive awareness campaign this year. The screening charities wants screening to be discussed in schools, workplaces etc. This is all about hunting down and outing “defaulters”, because pro-screening women tend to be very vocal and aggressive, as do NHS professionals. If someone were gorced to disclose that they do not screen in the workplace, this could cause a backlash and make people ferl uncomfortable about expressing themselves etc. Bullying is a form of authoritarianism, and authoritarians do not care about rules or medical protocols (even their own).

        Section 251 allows mefical professionals to harrass us into screening despite Article 8 Right to Privacy, under Human Rights Laws, although I don’t believe Section 251 is technically legal. Cervical cancer is not an epidemic; and even if it were, it is mot contagious in the sense that it merits, emergency procedures to contain it, in accordance with Article 8. I believe it is an outdated piece of legislation.

        Nevertheless, without being tested in court, it is very possible for draconian measures to be introduced to enforce screening.

        Their opening gambit is the NHS, and how not being screened or treated is putting undue pressure on its resources as you could be “easily” treated for something that could go on to kill you, thus saving so-called “precious” NHS resources. They’ve already tried this with some conditions.

        They have also tried limiting benefits for those with other conditions or tried to withhold benefits until those people are treated.
        Those proposals were eventually stopped and I suspect that deep down, they wouldn’t get off the ground here either, but it’s difficult to know whether a new proposal in respect of screening would gain traction, as there is very strong opinions on it.

        Women who don’t screen are seen as irresponsible, not just for neglecting their own “health” but for putting the NHS under pressure.

        The problem I see is that the moderate voices we had on this issue a few years ago, seem to have been drowned out by the more radical types, and I worry about who would be there to speak up for us should the likes of Jo’s To$$ers demand a change in approach.

  33. AQ you raise points I’ve often worried about. I work in a school so by definition a local council and government body. We are currently under draconian sickness monitoring…have so many days off get called to meetings and told you can’t have any more time off sick for x amount of time. I’m also an 0fficer in my trade union ..a good 3/4of our workload is accompanying ppl to these meetings. It’s not realistic elsewhere a disabled town hall employee was told no more time off for ONE YEAR……
    We were told it’s “our duty” to remain well and not be sick! And really in a school with all sorts going round? Our head regularly organises a nurse coming in for health checks like the NHS ones. I’ve never attended…I refuse the “invitations ” from my GP so why bother at skl?plus I’m not convinced results would remain confidential and of course it’s another opportunity to push screening…
    So yes I am worried that it could become a requirement of employment to screen. Obviously I can’t afford not to work but I would be forced into this under coercion and I WOULD trumpet it from the rooftops to the press ect. There was a Demos report a while back blasting us for the costs incurred by NHS ect when we get sick through refusing screening so…..
    There’s no room in UK prisons anyway so I can’t see us being thrown in jail for not having a smear….
    Another way I can see it being pushed into law is through the benefits system. A while ago they were considering forcing those on sickness benefits due to addiction or obesity to seek treatment as a condition of receiving their payments but this was dropped thankfully. But how long before they try to make screening a legal requirement?
    Also the odious cervicalscreen1 woman has added a few posts on encouraging BAME women to have smears and other cap if anyone feels brave. ……

  34. I went to one nanny interview where the mother of a newborn asked me if I have a certain vaccination for pneumococci. I was shocked. This was because her doctor had told her it was necessary for anyone who was around her baby. I should have told her that I had my rabies shot too.

    It is to the point of ridiculous. Apparently people in the UK are monitored about what websites they view. If they view too many “radical” websites the police with pop over for a chat.

  35. The flu vaccines are manufactured months before they are given out. The flu strain or strains it will be against are guessed at. The theory is that if enough different flu strains are in the vaccines year after year after several decades of flu vaccinations most people will be immune to those strains. It is a THEORY. These viruses mutate constantly and sometimes mutate from animal strains.

    I did get a flu vaccine a few times. It always made me sick with fever and a sore arm for a few days after the vaccine. I noticed I got sick more often during the flu season the years I did get the vaccine. I also had to wonder about the doctor who lied and told me he used individually loaded syringes when I would question preservatives in the multi vial. I would want to see the vial or package and write down the manufacturer and lot #.

    Vaccines can hardly be harmless for all people. Just google vaccine injury. There is even a special court set up by the US government for settlements for children injured by vaccines.

  36. Daily fail today ladies oh my!! HPV I’d now classes as a global epidemic and plans might be to vaccinate EVERY adult even those up to around 55 as it will help reduce costs of later life cancers and will also prevent “relapse” in those who have had and cleared it as it lays dormant. Apparently HPV Is the sole cause of CC??? The pro vaccers r probably dancing in the streets!!

    • I was pre-occupied about smears being made mandatory. Seems as though it’s the HPV jab we also need to worry about!

    • Yes, and I have been telling people for some time that heart disease kills more than half of all women. Not these commercial “girlie cancers”. Not any cancer.

      They bring up “the old days” – before this constant scramble to find girlie cancers in all women. Do you know what the highest cause of death was in 1900? Tuberculosis, same as men. Do you know what the highest cause of death was in 1918? Spanish Flu, same as men. Do you know what the highest cause of death was in 1970, right before they rolled out these screening programs on a huge scale? Heart attacks, same as men. Do you know what the highest cause of death is now? Heart attacks, same as men.

      Okay, then, in the “old days” these were the leading cause of cancer deaths. For all of those times, it’s been lung cancer – the same as men.

      Well, it’s still the leading cause of death or cancer deaths in nonindustrialized countries, such as Africa. When they don’t have the medical personnel to provide even the most basic care for serious injuries and disease, who the heck is doing all of these autopsies? Well, it doesn’t take “a doctor” to do an autopsy. Yes, anyone can cut open a corpse. That person wouldn’t necessarily notice cancer anywhere it’s found! That is, at best, “low quality information”.

      Cervical cancer was always a rare cancer, and most of those metastasized from somewhere else.

      I think they’re going on family rumors that great great grandma died as a result of some “female problem”, and “Do you think it might have been cervical cancer?” “Ahhhh, maybe.” In reality, she might have died in child birth, from child-bed fever, or maybe with ovarian or uterine cancer.

    • So concerned you make an informed decision to opt out but for decades they had no problem coercing, harassing and bullying women into screening.
      Even now some women go around in circles for years trying to opt out permanently.
      In the UK, I know some women were contacted again after 4-5 years..hope permanent now means just that

      • Exactly, I do feel like I was coerced and way back with my first screen I did not even get any true information before going ahead, it was just expected and I still feel angry, but also angry at myself for being stupidly compliant…weird how we have been wired to just do it!
        I am now 50 so shouldn’t be getting invites for 5 years, even under 50 the usual 3 year “invite” arrives by post several times a year…..perhaps due to the original 2009 abnormal test (and final one) maybe? Oh and that abnormal was due to early menopause at aged 40 which I had to insist on proving by blood tests!
        I so glad I don’t feel obliged anymore!
        This time instead of posting the opt out letter I am emailing it today to the GP surgery which means they will have to act on my request, or they will be receiving constant emails until my name is removed!

        Funny that they continue to state “women feel empowered when screening” – because now I really do feel “Empowered” not submitting to any screening!

    • Good luck, Chas. I sent Primary Care Support England numerous letters and opt-out forms which they (and the GP) continually ignored. It wasn’t until I sent PCSE a letter template which I downloaded from the Information Commissioner’s Office website, regarding using my data without my consent, that they finally responded. PCSE very quickly sent me a letter to sign and send back to be ceased. I sent the letter ‘first class signed-for’ so I could track it and they couldn’t deny receiving it. That was in December 2018 (21 months after I had first written to them to opt-out!) – I haven’t received an invitation since (I was getting them every 3 or 4 months), but it will be interesting to see if one does turn up in the future. I’ve kept ALL my records, so if I do get one, they will get short, sharp from me and I will be complaining to the ICO! x

  37. Thanks Julie – I got by post another to sign, saying it had been replaced, almost identical but one part CSAS amended to PCSE. Signed and posted but also sent it again by email so they can’t deny receiving it. Lets see what happens? Fingers crossed.
    BBC site today https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-50058559 Coronation Street fans get ready to say goodbye to Sinead Osbourne. The tragic storyline comes at a time when cervical screening rates – a test that checks the health of your cervix to help prevent cancer – are at their lowest for two decades.

    Clearly another attempt at raising our awareness & increase the uptake! Even though the storyline did not actually involve a screening test as she was 24, it was spotted when she was pregnant, followed by treatment then cancer returned (or spread due to chemo?) It has already increased the uptake in one week, what a surprise! And she said “Soaps should be showing real life so that more women go for their smear tests,” The Coronation Street writers worked with two charities – Mummy’s Star and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. “We hope it leads to more women being aware of the symptoms and understanding the role of cervical screening in preventing the disease.”

    The usual so called facts about cervical cancer included and other stories!

    • At 24, the odds are that she had adenocarcinoma for her CC – a type which is not found by a smear test. She was not to the age where any recognized medical organization currently recommends cervical screenings. Too bad for her, but having more (older) women penetrated, poked and prodded is not going to help her or others like her. Fortunately, we are getting better at treating cancer once it becomes symptomatic.

      • Thanks, Kat. 🙂 The world is indeed a cat – except for Australia, which is a toy being played with by the rest of the world (as a cat). I don’t know what our members who live “Down Under” think of that image.

        Cats own and control the world. That is one of the best arguments against flat earth – if the earth were flat, cats would have knocked everything off of it by now. 🙂

        I like your avatar too. 🙂 Your cat is more realistic than mine. Sadly, for the past 3 years, no cat has found me to be worthy to care for him or her. 😦

    • Chas I’m the same. I never felt empowered by smears just in agonising pain and feeling filthy dirty and violated. Now I have control of my vagina back and the NHS no longer “inviting” me for a test I never wanted or asked for..like you.. I feel EMPOWERED!!

      • Beth I hope you find the purrfect cat 4u and your family. …he or she will be so lucky to find you x really I’d not be without my ginger boy Leo😻

  38. It’s Towie Courtenay Green. I posted saying I was sure all women by now knew about smears and we’re capable of deciding whether to go or not by themselves without this or any other campaign and I was sure even space aliens had heard of smears by now and please DM change the record. 5 dislikes already woo hoo!

    • Anything to glamorize it or normalize it. I just saw on the CNN site that American actress Jennifer Garner filmed her mammogram. I loathe these stunts. A celebrity having one of these screening tests does not negate the fact that women are given unbalanced, cherry picked information and there is a woeful lack of informed consent!

  39. There with you Kat LOL – Using her platform…..to raise awareness……..of herself LOL! A generation of me me me!
    They just don’t like the truth, they all believe in the test…without any real knowledge, shocking! They are so dumb!

  40. https://www.england.nhs.uk/2019/10/modern-screening-can-be-more-personalised-and-convenient-to-save-lives-says-new-report/
    Modern screening to be made more personalised in the UK. What could this be?
    Tailoring frequency of tests to personal risk? Offering HPV self-testing? Accepting people have a choice?
    Of course not! They plan on offering cervical screening appointments during evenings or near your work base, and texting women with repeat reminders to attend. These innovations “have proved they increase uptake and are to be rolled out nationally”.
    Personally, I thought these things had been going for years and hadn’t changed the national uptake figures a jot.

      • ‘Independent’ review? How can it be independent when it’s overseen by a former cancer Tsar who refuses to acknowledge the harms of screening? Pfft.

      • Hooray indeed for Dr McCartney! I was very disappointed to see the answer to falling screening rates was to offer cash incentives to GPs. She is correct to point out that the “authorities” refuse to accept or acknowledged informed consent. I hope that these recommendations will not be explored but sadly I don’t think that will be the case. Bullying vulnerable women into screening during a consultation would be easy money for some health care professionals.

      • Mint and Kate so true. Well the tv campaign didn’t work nor did celeb smears so let’s take more money out of the NHS to pay doctors to bully ppl into screening. It makes me sick to think this is what I pay National insurance for…..

      • Margaret never gives up, she’s been fighting an unethical, dysfunctional and harmful system for a long time now, she’s in my medical hall of fame. It’s disappointing that we get sound bites about informed consent and the risks of screening but when it comes down to it the default position is always rounding up all women and pushing them into the screening machine. It will take women to throw a spanner into the works…this is a war we have to fight, our very lives are at stake.

    • And sadly though Margaret talks correctly that a HPV self test kit may be more acceptable to some women the authorities couldn’t care less. We have a speculum test and that’s that!!

  41. BethKCZ – please consider taking a rescue cat, there are so many available. I have rescued many over the years and still have 2 beauties that make me smile every single day! x

    • I’ve usually taken in strays and outright rescue cats. I have never purchased a cat – although I’ve adopted a few from shelters. I thought I had one that wanted to adopt me a couple of years ago, until the person charged with keeping his mom found her and encouraged her to come home. We’ll see what happens.

  42. I love Siamese cats, our Rosie is No. 4, we’ve always paired them up with a rescue cat, it works well, the moggie is more vocal to compete with the Siamese and scolds the Siamese when she gets too rowdy. Our current rescue cat was adopted as an 8 week old kitten, part of a litter found on a building site, the vet nurses fed him every 2 hours, he’s now a solid healthy cat with a lot of attitude…he’s certainly forgotten his humble beginnings!

  43. On Thursday I received a letter from the NHS informing me that in two weeks I am to get a pre-arranged appointment inviting me to bowel scope screening. This is where they insert a camera through your back passage in order to view your bowel. I am to get with this invite an enema to put in about an hour before the app.

    This is a new test being rolled out to all 55 year olds. I had never heard of it before and I keep my eye on NhS proceedings.

    With regards to informed consent the booklet that accompanied the letter is wholly biased in favour of screening. It gives information on what bowel cancer is and the rates it strikes, how long the app will take, what will happen and possible outcomes. There is a diagram showing how the procedure is performed.
    All in all the booklet trumpets the benefits of bowel scope screening.

    A tiny paragraph mentions that one in 1000 people will experience bleeding of a punctured bowel but this ‘unlikely’ event is played down with the end statement that these people go on to make a full recovery. So no guarantees that this ‘five minute’ procedure is not dangerous.

    Of course I won’t be going. The invitation is going to be ‘ignored’ I didn’t ask for this screening and as you know from my past comments after all that has happened to me at the hands of the NHS I would feel utterly and totally violated by them all over again.

    It annoys me that I can never get an app under 3 weeks when I am ill yet when I am perfectly well they contact me to tell me they want to find out if something is wrong with me!!!

    Has any one else got an invitation sent to them for this screening?

    • Linda apparently they sent me a n “invitation ” for this screening with a date and time booked which I never received. They sent a letter after saying that as I hadn’t returned my slip they assumed I did not wish to be screened at this time. I immediately rang to opt out. No pressure put on me at all to change my mind. This is the screeping my friend had where they nicked her bowel and she was wearing a pad for months as she leaked. She had explosive stinking diarrhoea and they then did a full colonoscopy. I wouldn’t fo 4 this if they paid me!!!

      • I think this screening is if anything WORSE than smears. I managed to have a few smears but I know there’s no way I could havery anything up my backside. In 55 years I never had anything up there and I’m not starting now!!!

    • The “shove a scope up your backside” screening has been big business in the US for a few decades. It’s about once every 5 years, sold with high-pressure and lots of “awareness campaigns”. It seems that anything that is wrong with your GI system, their goto test. My neighbor had “blood in his stool”, and they pressured him for this test, and only afterward looked for and treat a bleeding ulcer. With about a 6 week wait.

      In my own case, I won’t have it. In addition to all of the risks, there is the Versed they use to do a “waking sedation”, which has a very troubling side-effect profile – mainly effecting memory. Additionally, I am a victim of sexual child abuse, including a lot of sodomy. That’s such an issue that I have a firm resolution that I cannot and will not be sodomized again. A BF in the past who tried to “surprise” me with it…. well, I ended up controlling myself. With drugs in my system, I cannot promise I will be able to control myself. Plus, it’s an “extra” felony to attack a healthcare worker while doing their jobs. I don’t want to wake up and say, “We’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that you don’t have colon cancer. The bad news is that you’re under arrest.”

      I too, think it’s bizarre that when I need to see a doctor because I’m sick or injured, but not bad enough to go to an emergency room, it’s about a month wait. When you’re healthy and they want to poke and prod every natural opening I have – often to damage them – the can get you right in. When they cause problems, the poor patient/victim is back to a 6 week wait, or go to the emergency room and pay a few thousand extra $$$.

      • Oh yeah, they’ll offer a “poop test” that you mail in. Nevermind the issues about mailing potentially infective material. If that comes back “positive” – which can happen easily depending on what you’ve eaten or taken over about the past week, or you’ve got a small “incidental” problem that will clear up, they’ll push even harder to shove the camera up the backside. You can’t win.

      • Colonoscopies are indeed very big business in the US, with high pressure starting at age 50. Insurance will generally pay for them, and with a cost of about $3,000 per, gastroenterologists are doing them assembly-line style, perhaps 20 or 30 per day. If they overinflate someone’s colon and cause a perforation, that’s just too bad for the patient because they have to sign off on it beforehand. There’s quite a bit of information online from reliable sources stating that this happens much more than reported, as apparently symptoms of a perforated bowel don’t always manifest themselves immediately. I would venture to say the complication rate is much more than 1 in 1000.

      • There’s testing kits for fecal occult blood. All are a major crock of sh**. All inaccurate. There’s so many ways blood can contaminate the sample for one of these tests and none of it has to do with real cancer. The problem lies within somebody’s chapped dirt chute. Is it cracked, dry, and miserable? Yeast? Do you have ‘roids? All these can contribute blood for a false positive.
        These tests are useless.
        IF you have tarry dark stools? That’s what to worry about. Some fresh blood unless it’s a lot isn’t a big deal. But if you’ve got the tarry dark turd biscuits? Not good. Because that’s blood leaking far up the pipe. The blood is sticking to the turd and decomposing on its way out. That must be checked.

    • https://www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k1747

      Hi Linda,
      I’m well and truly fully armed for the bowel screening invites, because I remember seeing this last year, that only men showed a benefit to FlexiSig bowel screening but there were no benefits for women. Do the invitations point this out to women? Of course not, since as women, we are too simple to understand the evidence.
      I will soon be 58 and my husband 62 and in our area, we have not had the FlexiSig option. My husband has only had 1 bowel screening invite at 60, (went in bin) so I expect his 2nd invite is already in the post…
      I certainly won’t be doing mine.

      • Ada funny u should say that I just saw a piece in daily fail a while back now saying the flexibility sig lulls ppl into false security as it only looks at the bottom of the bowel and left side. Statistically most tumours ARE there but if ppl get symptoms after their clear screening they’re less likely to seek help as they think they’re ok. I also remember something about it only benefitting men. When will they ever be honest? ?

  44. This screening affected my poor friend so badly. Imagine wearing a pad for months because you leak poo. She had explosive stinking diarrhoea and had to insert more enemas every day for months after. Though her problems only began after this screening they then decided to do a full colonoscopy on her just in case. I’d have point blank refused but she had it. She went from being a bubbly outgoing woman into a shadow. Every year she goes to a high skl reunion weelend that year they rented a caravan and she wouldn’t go because of the diarrhoea. Though she’s fine now she regrets ever having the screening and actually said she is beginning to see why I refuse all screening! She has regular mammograms. ..family history and she had a couple benign lumps and she has smears. I think she’s beginning to question….

    • I’m so sorry for your friend.

      I don’t know just what happened, but explosive diarrhea that goes on for MONTHS can well be caused by a microbe. There are a number of them around now which are treatment-resistant, and those strains are COMMONLY found in hospitals and clinics. Moreover, at least with colonscopes, there have been several scandals in the US and Canada where the single-use parts on them had been re-used on every patient for months or years, without even being cleaned!

      That is another problem with all of this invasive screening: There is a risk of infection from it. Granted, some clinics are better or worse than others, and there are some ways of finding out in some States in the US, or if they take federal funds. But then, we have to believe they properly follow reporting requirements – which might be as truthy as other things they say, document, or publish.

      Some of those transmitted microbes can be passed to others in the household, or to the person’s sexual partner(s). HIV and Hep-B and Hep-C have been passed that way, which can be a death sentence on an unsuspecting and unconsenting person.

      Is that risk of infection – sometimes causing sepsis and death – higher than the risk of the condition it’s screening for? It pays to do research.

  45. So the NHS is now inviting people aged 55 for flexible sigmoidoscopy – is that one off or every 5 years?
    That would cost a fortune, much more than the FOBT. The govt program here uses the FOBT from age 50, it’s still piecemeal but think they hope to offer it 2 yearly until age 70 or so in the future.

    Some people here pay for a colonoscopy every 5 years from about 50 (earlier with family history) I know a few who’ve had issues. My mother had a small stroke (we think) during the procedure, they took her off Warfarin before the procedure – she’s never been the same, short term memory loss.

    A family friend lost some of her bowel, had a colonoscopy, felt unwell when she woke up, pain, then bloating, some light bleeding, she ended up in surgery having a piece of bowel removed. Not sure she got to the bottom of it, she was told a patch of diverticulitis was “irritated” by the scope – she thinks they perforated her bowel.
    I’m also, wary that colonoscopies are linked to diverticulitis or aggravate it…
    Leave well enough alone is my philosophy….

    • Hi Elizabeth. Thankfully the bowel scope at 55 is a one off. If u don’t have it when “invited” you can still have it on request up to 60. At 60 u get the s… kits sent in the post…..

      • Daily fail yesterday ladies DIY smears and urine tests could replace speculum test in about 5 years. The usual pro screeners braying for non screeners blood and how inaccurate the new test is lol….

  46. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-50287047
    DIY home test…….but still they say……………..
    However, larger trials may still be needed before the NHS could decide whether to offer it to patients, say experts. Even then, it would only be one option for women – as the researchers believe smear tests would continue in their current form.
    But the researchers say that in the future, some women could order the test kits online, use them at home and then send their sample by post to be analysed.

    As we know this has been carried out elsewhere for years!

      • You are welcome kat, you have had a lot of up votes so some are taking stock of what you are saying. Also to the rescue thank you kiwicelt, and another called shala? Fantastic comments from you all. If just a few women look into what we have said, research for themselves and wise up to this awful programme then that would be brilliant.

      • I go in to up or down vote, but Daily Fail doesn’t perform well on my tablet & am loathed to download the mobile app! The votes you have all been getting are really good. Just need to sow the seed of doubt…

  47. I saw the current “invitation” to screen today, the letter women receive in the mail, Australian Government on the envelope, very official looking,” our records indicate you’re eligible etc.”
    Not a word about choice or the risks of testing or self testing, just urging the woman to make an appointment. It appears this program will continue to treat women like third class citizens.
    No wonder some women view testing as mandated by the Govt, like paying tax.
    I suspect the letter has been deliberately drafted to compel women to take part…ask no questions, don’t delay, test!

  48. I’ve just been to the doctors as I have an infection and require blood works to be done.

    While I was waiting, I happened to notice a poster warning about the consequences of verbal and physical assault to the staff. It clearly states that no acts of violence will be tolerated and the police will be involved. It even warns about being verbally rude or other unacceptable behaviour to staff and premises.

    It made me wonder how I had been treated by staff at this and my previous surgery. Historically I have had to endure half truths, mis truths, no truths, lies, sexual assault and even outright rape. No one will ever be prosecuted over this.

    Its not like I can bring in the police to prosecute this. The police won’t get involved and the NHS as an organisation is well protected.

    The letter that came from the screening fairies used to be written in such away that I was given no choice to not have a smear test. Dr V insinuated he wouldn’t give me the pill without one. Nurse GG implied they were mandatory and I couldn’t get out of having one. I had seven in all.

    In My opinion not only are doctors and nurses liars, they and the organisation as a whole are guilty of seven counts of rape.

    • Linda, I noticed the same warning on my GPs website, about abuse and violence towards the staff not being tolerated in any shape or form. I thought that’s a bit rich coming from them, but then I had a devilish feeling of satisfaction that they’d had to put this notice up at all. Hope the doctor who assaulted me got some of her own medicine!

      • The smug and judgemental GP receptionist that once shouted across reception to remind me to book my smear test deserves all she gets. “You need to tell me when you last had your period”. Everyone turned to look at me. I don’t condone violence but in her case I am willing to make an exception.

    • So… “We are Gods among Men and if you dare question us, criticize us, refuse us in anything, or otherwise fail to treat us as Gods, we will get the police involved.”. Absolutely nauseating.

      • I went into the local hospital, in a small town in the center of the US to get a flu shot. On the wall was a sign, in both English and Spanish, saying that assault on a healthcare professional performing their duties is a felony.

        Gee, if someone is at immanent risk for, or undergoing physical or sexual assault, self defense or defense of another has long been legal and the law. So, if it’s come to this where they assume the right to assault someone, their whole rig-a-ra-marole of “informed consent” has gone out the window, and people ARE feeling the need to defend themselves or others.

        It’s a sad day when we’ve come to this – where seeking medical care poses actual danger.

    • That poster might as well say, “We Reserve The Right To Be Rude And Abusive To You.” If it’s necessary that a poster of that type be displayed, obviously the staff have a very poor reputation they wish to uphold. Can you go elsewhere?
      Another law protecting abusers.

    • Chas, just seen a few posts on social media announcing widespread cervical cytology labs decommissioning over the next few weeks. Portsmouth has closed and all work transferred to Chertsey, announces one poster. Others have chipped in with we are next and more to come in the New Year! I think they’re cutting them back from about 45 pathology labs to just 7 centres which will machine test for HPV. All going on about how sad it is and how many lives they’ve saved over the past 30 years…

    • Tried to comment but not sure if it got through, as usual the site continues to crash on me and when I get back in and hit comments nothing happens and now can’t see any of them!

      • I’m late to the party but had a look at the comments.

        Many of you made mincemeat out of those idiots!! Haha, lol! 🤣

    • I suspect the increase is mostly due to those who had been intending to go anyway but had been putting it off.
      Don’t really think many informed dissenters, abuse victims etc. will have been swayed by those ridiculous campaigns. And since it’s a knee-jerk reaction, rates could drop again if they stop bombarding us with ‘awareness’.
      Last year attendance was 71.4%, and the lower target for cervical screening is 75%, so that 0.5% increase is hardly anything to shout about.
      Strange that while both the upper targets for breast & cervical screening are 80%, the lower threshold for breast is 70% but cervical is 75%. Guess when you have an unreliable test for an uncommon disease you need more bums on seats to make the programme ‘successful’.

      • I noticed from the stats that there were about 45,000 less invitations sent out during those dates so wonder if this has affected the uptake which is always given as a percentage? Have more women who don’t want the test, been opting out, leaving the remaining screening fanatics to produce a higher uptake percentage?

        The figures only go up to end of March 2019, so are before those sickening campaigns and the Jade Goody tripe came out, but I see someone posted that they hope the campaigns from last spring will lead to even bigger increases next year. I do hope it’s a massive fail and the numbers sink again, but no matter how low the figures go, there’s always money in the pot for many more of these vile campaigns and failure is a word they use for other women and never for themselves.

      • Of course 0.5% is something to shout about. It’s just barely lower than 0.65%, which is the lifetime risk of the average woman to get cervical cancer. They shout and scream and “raise awareness” about that all the time, while using penetration of our vaginas as an admission price to obtaining actual health care.

  49. One thing I’ve noticed in the US recently are “awareness” messages within TV shows. In the past 2 days, I’ve seen one with a sub-plot of several women going to the gyn together, as sort of a feminine bonding thing, and another involving a jail where they not only drastically limit feminine hygiene products – leading to toxic shock, but “punish” the women by withholding their pap smears. As if these two issues are on the same level, or the hygiene product rationing is “a way of life” while the pap smears are a risk to their lives…. as backward as that actually is. I cannot wait to have another pap awareness message next time I watch a TV show.

  50. The Daily Mail stops accepting comments very quickly…..or is it just in relation to cervical screening? Well done everyone that commented. LOL the trolls were there alright, perhaps they actually work in screening & worried for their jobs?

    A good site on NNT – for when you need it.


    Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are sexually transmitted infections that are common in young people. In the United States, HPV infects nearly 80 million people. Approximately, one in four Americans are currently infected with HPV. About 14 million individuals become infected with HPV each year in the United States.1 Usually these viruses are cleared by the immune system and pose little threat. The lifetime risk of cervical cancer is approximately 0.6% and the chance of dying from cervical cancer is approximately 0.2%

    A total of 26 studies involving 73,428 adolescent girls and women were included in the Cochrane meta-analysis. The authors performed pre-planned analyses separately in groups of women 15-25 and 26-45, as the majority of trials enrolled subjects 25 years of age or younger. It must be noted that 25 out of the 26 trials were sponsored by the vaccine manufacturers.

    it is important to remember that the lifetime risk of cervical cancer is approximately 0.6%.3 So even if the vaccine is 100% effective at preventing cervical cancer, the best NNT for cancer prevention over a lifetime would be 167.

  51. Whilst I am sorry for her ordeal and do feel for her of course, now she is spouting “smear test potentially saved my life”

    Ms Jenner said she had never had a cervical smear before reporting the rape.

    “That smear test found pre-cancerous cells which required treatment. If I had not had the test the cells would not have been found.

    “That test potentially saved my life and for that I am thankful,” she said.

    Since when did the tests performed on rape victims for evidence include a “smear test” ???

    • They seem to seize any opportunity, I read about a program/study where they offered inpatients at a large public hospital a pap test, another way to capture women. I was shocked to read one of the survivors of 9/11 was talked into a Pap test while in hospital recovering from her injuries and guess what…abnormal cells!

      So naturally the leap to the test saved my life. For many women abnormal cells means cancer around the corner when in fact lots of things can cause an abnormal Pap test – infections, inflammations and even completely normal changes like menopause. That’s why I say lots have been saved from pretend cervical cancer because the real one really doesn’t bother too many women, in the developed world anyway, rare is rare.

      • Hi AQ
        No, it sounded like an opportunistic Pap test, from memory, a nurse approached her while she was recovering from her injuries – if I can find the article, I’ll link it, actually it might have been a book.

        This is an older study, 1995..but it’s happened since, another article was dated 2012 so not sure if they’re still “offering” Pap tests to inpatients at the large public hospitals – there is so little respect for women with this testing, nothing would surprise me.

      • Found it, the book is called “Angel in the Rubble” by Genelle Guzman-McMillan and William Croyle.
        (published in Australia by Allen and Unwin in 2011)
        Genelle survived 27 hours under the rubble and was the last survivor to be pulled from the remains of the WTC, she was being treated for a crushed leg, heart problems and I’d say she was also deeply traumatised…
        So on page 138, I was shocked to read:
        “”nurses did a Pap smear after my surgeries, what I thought was just going to be a routine screening drove me to fear when the results came back: signs of cervical cancer. One of the nurses told me that I would likely have to have my uterus removed, meaning, of course, that I would not be able to have any more children”.

        Of course, “after further evaluation” removing the uterus was not going to be necessary, she had the LEEP procedure and the “cancerous cells” were removed.

        I found it incredible that a Pap test would be carried out on a patient being treated for serious injuries after a deeply traumatic experience, it was almost certainly opportunistic and led to a lot more anxiety and fear…how many women go through LEEP? How many would have developed actual cc without the procedure? The answer is very few…
        Of course, this woman is left to believe her life was saved a second time.
        Can you imagine surviving a serious car accident and in your fractured state being wheeled down for a mammogram?
        The nurses were probably congratulating themselves and encouraged to test other inpatients, when IMO, they should have been warned, the patient is there to have her injuries treated, preventative health is elective, and up to her to discuss with her GP, if she so chooses, after she’s discharged.

      • What else did she say?
        Did they claim it was “routine” and/or that she MUST have it done?
        Did they ask when her last one was done?
        Was LEEP performed while she was inpatient?
        I’d be sooo pissed off…my husband especially so.

    • I’d really like to know the background to this.

      Did Police doctors talk her into a smear as part of evidence collection? Did they push it as “necessary” because of the circumstances of why she was there?

      Maybe an FOI request is in order to establish whether a smear is part of their evidence collection procedure.

  52. I’ve been watching some scifi movies set in the future, and looking at some now-debunked therapies from the 19th and early 20th centuries…. and it’s obvious “What on earth were those people thinking?” in doing or agreeing to such a nonsense and harmful therapy.

    I have had a thought: I wonder how medical and sociology textbooks will deal with this frenzy to find CC, along with some of the barbaric and harmful treatments or therapies for those things? Or, how it was considered “proper” to have a stranger sexually penetrate you every year (at least), to get the ball rolling on the more intense therapies and treatments? Or, how much we spent doing it!

    • Beth, the history of cervical cancer screening is extremely interesting and quite by chance I picked up Illana Löwy’s book on the history of cervical cancer screening quite cheaply and it is a very good read. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilana_L%C3%B6wy In it she describes how private healthcare companies wanted to put their customers through regular anhual medical tests so that they wouldn’t have to pay out for any future diseases, and sought out any medical procedures which needed to be done repetitively. There was a lot of opposition to Papanicolou’s test as it was widely accepted by expert medical practitioners to be highly unreliable, but the insurer’s wanted to test their customers annually and needed criteria to do so.

      I’d still like to get her other book on “Preventive strikes” but haven’t got around to it yet.

      Also, Linda Bryder’s book on “The unfortunate experiment’ at National Women’s hospital” in Auckland is fantastic, but very difficult to get hold of and has been largely suppressed by the pro-screening lobby. I think she’s even had death threats for writing it.

      • I found a discussion of “The unfortunate experiment” at https://bostonreview.net/science-nature/carl-elliott-what-new-zealands-unfortunate-experiment-can-teach-us-about-medical-abuse It’s mentioned on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6818227-a-history-of-the-unfortunate-experiment-at-national-women-s-hospital where they have individuals’ reviews, and sources to purchase the book or obtain it from a library.

        From the short descriptions of Illana Löwy’s book it would appear that it’s another book describing the pap test’s use and importance, and that our cervixes will all explode or something if they’re not carefully monitored.

      • https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5512163_Debates_about_cervical_screening_An_historical_overview

        Beth, I’m with Lynda Bryder all the way. Herbert Green might have been an “old school” Catholic, but he was right, that only about 10% of lesions would ever go on to become cancer over several years. He was right, that the best policy for young women was minimal hysterectomy-sparing treatment, and he was opposed to nationwide screening programmes because the vast majority of women would not benefit. Incidentally, the “victim” at the centre of this fiasco, Clare Matheson, is doing fine living in Auckland in her 90s, still claiming her life was risked by Green’s conservative treatment. The feminist reporters Bunkle and Coney are living the quiet life, Bunkle having been arrested for shoplifting booze a few years ago.
        Green’s conservative methods were on the cusp of proving that very few lesions would ever go on to become cancer, and that little could be achieved by national screening programmes. This made him many enemies among the pro-screening lobby. Unfortunately, these 2 fanatical dimwit feminists attacked someone who could have spared us these vile screening programmes, in the mistaken belief that women were being deprived of miracle medical treatment.

      • I just finished reading _A Woman’s Disease_ by Ilana Löwy. It was a much better read than I expected. A good bit of the book has to do with the wrong people are getting too many paps, and too much treatment, while those in extreme poverty – where the incidence of CC is much higher – possibly due to early sex, sexual violence, more and earlier pregnancies – as well as a general lack of hygiene and sterile things puts them more at risk. She leaves out such things as an adequate diet – lacking by the very poor and important to immune functions.

        She does point out the misapplication of statistics with HPV and CC. Most CC cases are associated with HPV. That does not mean that most women with HPV get CC – in fact, very few do. Women with HPV are under a greater microscope, have more testing, and more treatments.

        She points out that there is a lack of uniform rules about who to screen and when – especially in the US when every practice can have their own rules.

        Women are often left with untrue beliefs about what a pap test will and will not do. She brings up one notion that it’s a “general clean-out” (we’ve discussed that some men seem to have this notion), or that it protects or treats ALL STDs – and reduces the practices such as condom use or limit the number of sexual partners – and having a high pap-uptake can actually INCREASE both STDs and CC. Of course, there are the false positives that lead many women to believe they are or were cancer patients. Some women even believe that their libido is what caused their cancer! And, that women who do not attend such screenings are lazy and neglectful, probably diseased certainly doesn’t help.

        She also (thankfully) mentions that all of this testing and treatment is anything but “harmless”. Speculum insertion can hurt some women (leaving out that inserting anything into a vagina without the woman’s consent is rape), the pain caused by the brush, pain caused by scooping out insides from HPV – and the pain of follow-on treatments after abnormal results. Few abnormal smears cause CC, but they’re all treated as if they were. She mentions how this causes some women to fear their own bodies when they cannot get a concrete diagnosis – continual abnormal paps, normal (painful) follow-on tests, no treatment, another abnormal test…. They’re neither diagnosed with cancer nor are they not diagnosed with it – sort of a limbo. The US has 3 million abnormal pap tests, 12,000 diagnoses of CC, and 4,000 deaths from CC. Something is way “off” here.

  53. This article starts off promising, but lo and behold, cervical screening raises its ugly head again which makes me wonder, what is the real agenda here? Is it really about enabling better access to contraception and the morning after pill (because let’s face it, it’s never been about protecting women’s health has it), or shady attempts at “capturing” and increasing that screening uptake. When they are closing down sexual health clinics and gradually eroding access to contraception, how on earth are they going to afford these “one stop shop” clinics anyway? Will the staff there be adequately trained to accept the word “NO” when it comes to screening and deal appropriately with refusals? How can they guarantee that these staff will be any more empathetic than the judgemental pharmacists being complained about?


    The following makes for very interesting reading:


    Take a look at #18. They are targeting “disadvantaged” and “vulnerable” women – it suggests they’re aware of a growing number of assertive and informed women who are declining screening and will continue to do so come hell or high water!

    • Forgot to mention, there is a recommendation to roll-out the self-testing HPV kit in there “with immediate effect”. I bet that won’t go down well lol….

      • That depends on what they are assuming. What will the population be in 2040? If it’s increasing, where will they come from? Is that because of births being greater than deaths? Immigration? If so, from where? What will their ages be? Will those people be vaccinated from HPV too? We know that CC peaks at middle age.

        If they expect the population to triple by 2040, increase of CC cases/deaths by 143% represents a significant decrease. If they expect it to stay the same, or decrease by 2040, WHY do they expect CC to increase? Do they expect something else, like something involving radiation to happen (radiation leaks, war, more radioactive substances in the environment)?

        A statistic like that in a vacuum is meaningless.

      • I agree with Beth. Elderly population in UK is set to grow substantially by 2040 and as cc deaths are mostly in elderly women there will be an increase, as there will be in all elderly people’s diseases, but it’s being pushed like it’s an epidemic growing. It will fall drastically afterwards as vaccinated cohorts will be 45 then.

  54. My GP practice has just decided to brave the public and get a facebook account.
    Patient has posted: “XX Medical Centre is the biggest pile of wank”.
    Made my day.🤣🤣

    • Ada it’s sick but maybe they’re realising. ..scare campaigns aren’t working. Tv ads aren’t working. Maybe more are opting out or saying NO when badgered. So this is their next idea….
      Not sure many will take it up though….

      • Note that the link to view the “rewards” doesn’t work. I expect that’s to stop women looking them up and finding out they’re not worth the effort!

    • So it’s a free small coffee or a haircut with the trainee? Just wondering if it’s a ploy to get the homeless in? I see one of them in Redcar is at a barbers shop & is a half price hair cut for “man or boy”. Now that really is prostitution! It’s sad in a way, but then they all voted for Brexit there, so who cares!

      • So, I could save £5 (Terms and Conditions apply) if I get my smear card stamped every 3 or 5 years?

        Gosh, sign me up 🤔🙄

    • Didn’t NHS England do something similar with breast-feeding a few years ago (which, rightly) came under very heavy criticism.

      This is really quite tacky. If they are going to issue “loyalty cards”, they will soon resemble the sort of ID cards issued by the Gestapo in Nazi Germany.

      • It’s an indication that informed consent is still ignored in womens cancer screening, it’s still about getting women into screening any way they can, if it works, do it! I think the program only ever “worked” when consent and informed consent were ignored, the strong arm tactics in the UK (the call and recall system)produced very high screening rates, but large numbers of women were simply pressured, insulted or coerced into screening. Our opportunistic program never achieved the same results but we now have a system that attempts to exert a lot more control – it will be interesting to see the numbers after the first 5 years. The screening letters are very official looking, I thought it was a letter from the Tax office, it certainly doesn’t sound like an invitation. (I haven’t received one, still happily out of the system, hope it stays that way but if it arrives, I’ll deal with it, will almost enjoy dealing with it!)

        An informed woman isn’t going to be tempted by these incentives, so they probably assume it’s safe to tempt women who might be staying away for other reasons.
        Interesting, if they offered an incentive to have a colonoscopy, punctured the bowel, the lawyers would have a field day, is consent clouded when an incentive is offered? I’d say yes, it’s unethical at the very least..

        They probably feel safer offering incentives to have breast and cervical screening because a woman having surgery or treatment for a “breast cancer” or for DCIS can always be told, “it might go on to full blown cancer, we just don’t know so it’s safer to treat it”…
        That statement says to me you have a lousy screening test…

      • Elizabeth, I’m sorry not to be in a position to turn those letters down. Every time I saw the uptake going down it actually gave me some satisfaction that I was a thorn in the side of my GPs uptake figures in having opted out. Now I am not eligible and don’t count.

    • Apparently it’s a simple apprenticeship that will transform your caring and people skills into another career where informed consent is routinely ignored.

      I don’t see how staring down a microscope looking for dodgy cells improves your people skills. The only transferable skills would be using the equipment to gain as much information without reference to the patient. Oh – wait a minute – I see what they did there. 🙄

    • This is the problem with screening in the UK. The service is delivered by semi-skilled healthcare workers, whose hearts are in the right places but are not able to provide the higher level information women need to make an informed decision. They say they are there to answer questions and deal with any queries the public has, but in reality they often don’t know anything about the debate surrounding screening and never even heard of the 2013 Cochrane Review, which found no benefits but much harm. Easy to see why most women are oblivious to there being any problem with mammography.

  55. Reading some of the comments on the PHE Blog, and one in particular, literally took my breath away.

    A doctor had written in, clearly puzzled that his patient had tested positive for HPV and had undergone coloposcopy the previous year, and had just tested negative for HPV.

    His question was, whether the coloposcopy had “cured” his patient of HPV? The answer was apparently, yes! 😮

    They were very vague when challenged by another commenter who suggested that it was not likely that a coloposcopy could do this and that the culprit was more likely to be her immune system!

    Of course, the suggestion that HPV can be “cured” by a coloposcopy flies in the face of NHS guidance which advises that HPV can “lie dormant”!

    • Can it lie dormant, Ada? I thought that was just an unproven theory thrown around to keep the HPV negative women coming back for their Paps.

      So, it seems this doctor doesn’t actually know what a colposcopy involves. Amazing how medicine always wants to take credit for every positive outcome and ignores every other factor at work. And if things get worse, it’s always the patients fault.

      As for the mammography thing… staggering. If they really think someone peering at skin cells all day is so smart they can take on any branch of medicine, why not train them as GP’s? But no, got to protect the programme.

      • Think it was AQ who mentioned this, and just Googling the subject seems to show they really don’t know if the disease can hang around for years or whether it may be a new infection. Of course their main issue is that women who have been negative for a few smears will stop attending, and they don’t want women to get ideas like that in their heads do they? Makes you wonder if they are using this to keep women in the system.

      • If HPV could “lie dormant”, that would mean human immune system was unable to eliminate the virus and develop immunity to to it. This in turn would mean that HPV vaccines could not possible work.

        So, logically, it appears that the medical system wants to have its cake and eat it at the same time: get little girls to the doctors to HPV-vaccinate them alongside with grooming and brainwashing them, and also make mature HPV-clear women to keep fearing for trier cervixes, and come back for more screening and testing.

      • I am sure I have seen somewhere – either published on an NHS website or stated elsewhere – that HPV can be “dormant”. This is DESPITE the fact that they tell women in their leaflets that abnormalities can clear up on their own.

        Another golden nugget is telling women who have had the HPV vaccine that they must be screened as screening cannot prevent all cervical cancers (alluding to adenocarcinoma no doubt). Cervical screening is said to prevent around 7 out of 10 cases developing into cancer, those associated with types 16 & 18 of the Human PapillomaVirus.

        The contradiction is staggering! Own goal there NHS!

      • I don’t buy the dormant HPV argument, I think that’s used to keep women coming back, keep the numbers high, the reasoning would be, HPV- woman might not be at risk but if she knows that, stops screening and her husband strays, she might get a new infection, no screening, might get cancer.
        The profession from the very start cut women out of the information loop, made sure we didn’t have access to real information that might help us make an informed decision, they would make any decisions for us, the fact we might live with negative consequences was fine, it was for the best in the long run, for all women.
        It the 1950’s argument, don’t worry your pretty head, we’ll sort it out.

        It’s highly offensive stuff…
        It didn’t matter if you were 60 and no longer sexually active, because you MIGHT meet someone, get infected…women never sexually active, well, she might be lying to get out of screening, women in lifetime mutually monogamous relationships, well, he might have lied to her, he might stray…
        So that’s the thinking…
        I was surprised to read on a health forum about 8 years ago, a Dutch woman who was told, you’re fine but if you have sex again, you might want to test for HPV again.
        Oh, the horror, giving women real information and choices!

        I’ve always believed we make the best decisions when we have all the information – good and bad.
        It was impossible to make an early decision in the early days unless you went into the Medical Library so they obviously felt safe to lie their heads off….
        So I have always felt the dormant thing is about keeping women in the dark, because they might stop screening and end up getting HPV again…a new relationship, one night stand, whatever…
        I actually found a gynaecologist making this point on a health forum quite a few years ago, that is, it would be dangerous leaving these decisions to women, and there was really no issue screening women for most of their lives, even HPV- women.
        Oh really, I wonder how he’d feel about having an unnecessary and invasive test every couple of years that also carried a high risk of over-diagnosis/over-treatment!

      • It seems she’d had a smear the year before her diagnosis, but no one questioned what the outcome of it was, or why it didn’t pick up any “abnormalities”.

        One poster who was anti-screening made the point, but no pro-screening posters mentioned it. Probably didn’t enter their heads.

        Very few could understand why it was diagnostic testing the woman needed and not another god damn smear.

        Thick as mince springs to mind….

  56. Ada have u heard tha latest? Apparently GPs r up in arms as part of cancer strategy they’re going 2 b expected to go into care homes ect regularly and examine residents for signs of cancer so it can be caught earlier? Also they’re expected to do work to identify who’s using carbon neutral inhalers and also more worrying to drive uptake up for breast bowel and cervical screening also lung cancer screening? I thought they decided against mass screening in form of chest x rays?

    • I wonder what else they will do to drive uptake for screening (though nice to see men don’t escape scot free with the bowel sh*t and scrape test)?
      Matt Hancock comes across as being quite militant. Not so long ago, he was discussing mandatory MMR jabs (though the suggestion has apparently been gunned down).

      What tactics will they use to drive uptake for screening and what resources will be attached to it? It can’t all be care home diagnoses as these people are beyond the screening age.

      Will we see a return of the tactics used in the 80s I wonder?

      • ADA I really hope not. Im just glad I opted out when I did. Hope most of the ppl in care homes who are able to manage their affairs refuse these cancer checks!

  57. We’ve said for a long time that sooner or later they’d be going into the care homes to get people to test if the “uptake” became too low or fell below a certain threshold. To make a go of it in any way, they have to have enough people to test.

    They’ve decided against mass screening in the form of chest x-rays for lung cancer, but still do breast x-rays for breast cancer “prevention” on a mass scale. This is even when the majority of residents in care homes are beyond the recommended age for breast, bowel, and cervical screenings – recognizing that it causes more harm than good, and even what they find will likely be “incidentalomas” – cancers which are growing sufficiently slowly that they will not trouble the person during their lifetime.

  58. Imagine subjecting someone in a care home, possibly with dementia and already coming to the end of their life, to this? These people are scared and confused. These procedures are also likely to be painful for them as well.
    This is actually quite barbaric, but no doubt, the NHS are purveyors of devious practices and will go along with it. This needs to be highlighted for the utter inhumanity it is! I am appalled! (though there’s nothing new there).

    • For a health care system with already limited resources to even consider this is unconscionable. Even in our profit driven system in the US, cancer screening is not recommended unless the life expectancy is at least ten years.

      • In the US, resources are certainly anything but unlimited! It is utterly ludicrous to use scarce medical resources and money for cancer screening – often as a doorway or “entrance fee” to getting health care that is needed to maintain life.

        If someone is bleeding to death in the emergency room, a lecture on cancer screenings is a waste of time and energy. If someone is going to the doctor to get treatment for diabetes, it’s ludicrous to “require” that the person spend thousands of dollars on colonscopies, breast screenings, pap tests (and their follow-ons) before the diabetes, high blood pressure, or such can or will be addressed.

        It’s no wonder that the US outspends every other country on medical treatment, and has the worst outcomes and lowest life expectancy of any developed country.

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