Radical Changes to Pap Testing in Australia

As of December 1, 2017, Australia introduced some big changes to its cervical cancer screening program.   The outdated pap test has been replaced with a new HPV test, and intervals between testing have extended from once every two years to testing once every five years.  There is also a new recommended age to begin testing.  Australian women were previously encouraged to begin screening at age 18, but women are now advised to begin screening at age 25.

The reason for the changes is due to the improved accuracy of the HPV test. Experts claim that HPV testing is more accurate than the pap test, and therefore does not need to be done as often (source).

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Hi. My name is Sue and I am interested in promoting holistic and respectful health care.
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120 Responses to Radical Changes to Pap Testing in Australia

  1. Shelli says:

    Australia’s new guidelines are a start. I can hear all the gynos out there screaming and howling that women still must come in yearly to get their annual rape done. Women in the Netherlands have a home cervical screening test available to them; I wonder if it will be modified to include (or exclusively be) the HPV. I forget if I mentioned it on this site or not; The United Nations World Health Organization has also spoken out very recently calling for the reduction of paps, and questioning the whole getting felt up the vajayjay part. The organization flat out said that pelvics are over done. Their conclusions were scientific, evidence based. The bimanual part detects nothing. It does not detect uterine or ovarian or anything, frankly. But at least this whole subject is starting to get some attention. I, of course, have made the decision that I am done with all this nonsense. Keep fighting the good fight, women! I love all of you!

  2. Kiwicelt says:


    The Dutch cervical screening leaflet is here in English. They are so progressive. The leaflet makes it clear that screening is a choice, some women may be harmed. The self HPV test is also offered and they do not screen pregnant women.
    Our new NZ programne encourages smear takers to test pregnant women if they are not up to date. They will not treat pregnant women until after the pregnancy and they admit that a specialist colposcopist is needed to look at the pregnant cervix and that what may present as CIN, readily regresses post pregnancy.
    As suspected, the sheeple are protesting about the raised screening age in Australia and the extended screening age. They cannot work out that those running the screening programmes have known about overtreatment for years. They believe they would not be here if their cervices hadn’t been sliced and diced aged 20 plus.
    I had a discussion with a Doctor telling me that self HPV tests were only an option for those refusing the speculum and a poor second to a physician collected sample.
    The new evidence suggests that PCR self HPV testing is as accurate as a physician collected sample.

    • Thanks Kiwicelt for linking the Dutch cervical screening leaflet. The English leaflet states:
      “When you are between 30 and 60 years old, you will automatically receive an invitation for the free screening every 5 years”. Also, if women between 40 and 50 years old do not test positive for HPV they are invited for screening again in 10 YEARS.
      The leaflet states: “If you do not have HPV, the risk of getting cervical cancer within 10 years is very small. So small, that another smear test in 10 years’ time will give you sufficient protection.”
      The Dutch program helps to highlight how excessive programs are in other parts of the world. They don’t begin screening until age 30, and then scale back to once every 10 years for women between 40 and 50 years old who do not test positive for HPV. And yes, they make if very clear that screening is a choice, and that it might not be the best course of action for all women.
      The fact they don’t screen women when they are pregnant or have just given birth is interesting! They do not explain why this is the case . . .

      • Kiwicelt says:

        Presumably because of the changes to the pregnant cervix.
        I have information from our Updated Guidelines for Cervical Screening in NZ which state ” Changes to the cervix during pregnancy make colposcopic assessment more challenging. Although the squamocolumnar junction (SCJ) and the T zone are more exposed, complete visualisation of all four cervical quadrants is often hindered by oedema, cyanosis, vaginal wall protrusion and thick mucus production. An experienced colposcopist should perform the examination because of the difficulty in differentiating between changes that result from pregnancy and those due to cervical pathology. A less experienced colposcoppist could potentially overestimate the severity of dysplasia, mistakenly diagnose invasive disease and prompt uneccessary investigation during pregnancy”

        The NHS do not encourage screening in pregnancy but NZ are quite happy to get medical professionals to do it.

        Just to say I too, think this site is brilliant.Great to interact with likeminded informed individuals. Thank you.

      • Kiwicelt says:

        The guidelines also say
        “Because treatment is associated with an increased risk of pregnancy complications ‘HSIL’ diagnosed during pregnancy should be treated after delivery. This approach is safe as ‘CIN’ progresses to invasive disease during pregnancy in only 0-3% of cases. Almost all of these cases are micro-invadive and amenable to curative treatment. It is also common for CIN to regress post partum.”

  3. Sophia says:

    I love this website and am really pleased I found it but could I say that the pictures of speculums on this article and elsewhere are really triggering and unpleasant for me.

    I am not able to look at the website some days because I cannot cope with seeing them.

    It would be good if they were removed 🙂

    • Hi Sophia,
      Thanks very much for your feedback. I’m sorry to hear how the picture was affecting you and I have now replaced the speculum picture with an Eve HPV self-test image.
      I am leaving the others in place for a few reasons, including those related to cognitive behavioral therapy (exposure therapy) that some women may find empowering/therapuetic over time. The images do get views, perhaps because some women are simply curious to see what gets inserted, and in this sense might be empowering as well.
      The other pictures are hopefully easier for you to avoid, but I realize the top place position of the now deleted picture would have been more difficult to avoid, and for that reason replaced it with hopefully a less triggering one for you.
      Sue XO

      • Sophia says:

        Hi Sue and thank you for changing the photo 🙂

        Unfortunately I can’t avoid the photos. There are six photos of speculums on the homepage that I see every time I visit. Each article is listed on the homepage and all show the photo for the article. So there is no way to avoid them.

        I understand that some women want to look at them and why.

        I think having them in a separate article/tab (like you have “About” and “References and Education” etc at the top of the homepage) would be better. If women want to see them then they can look but I am not forced to look at them if I want to read the information/support here.

        This should be a safe site but sadly because of the photos it is not and I have to limit the times I visit or avoid it altogether.

      • SuzieQ says:

        I actually am glad you have the pictures. It justifies my right to say NO!

    • Amelia says:

      Sophia, you can block images on specific websites by changing settings in your web browser. If you Google “how to block images on a specific websites”, you will find step-by-step instructions on how to do it. That way you won’t have to see the images when you visit the website, but other women will still be able to see them if they want to.

    • Heather says:

      If you find a picture of a speculum disturbing, you should also Google tenaculum, another tool of female genital torture. Apparently, in this day and age of technological advancement, there is still no better way to hold a cervix or uterus than to take a tool with sharp metal claws, grab the cervix with it by puncturing holes, sink the claws into the meat and clasp the tool, causing tissue injury, bleeding and severe pain. Often this is done without any warning or anesthetic, because old farts at AMA think that “women don’t have nerve endings down there”. Perhaps their wives don’t, since they’ve never displayed any emotions in bed, but all other women do! Can you imagine anything of the sort done to a male penis?

  4. Daia says:

    I remember reading somewhere (maybe here) that HPV tests can be done by a self-swab… which made me wonder why in Aust it still has to be done by a GP with a speculum? The first article on this I read in Aus earlier this year said it would still be with a speculum, and the linked article says women won’t notice any difference with the test, other than that it happens less often now. I supposed the increased accuracy is a positive thing, but I’m still not sure if the invasive nature of the test is warranted.

    • Kiwicelt says:

      Daia there is a self HPV test available for women in the new Australian screening programme.


      They are not publicising this. It is only to be offered to women over 30 who are “overdue” by two years or more or who have never screened. I get the impression that Drs are offering it as a last resort if they cannot persuade a woman to accept the speculum. A woman will get one Self HPV test and once on the register, will be directed to a speculum test next time. NZ are not offering self HPV testing when they first roll out Primary HPV testing in 2018.

      • Kiwicelt says:

        If you are in Oz and you choose to screen, be firm and demand a self HPV test. If more of us do this things may slowly change.

      • Daia says:

        Hmmm in a way this kind of makes the whole thing even worse – so even when there are options available for women NOT to have someone poking around inside them, the default is still to go internal…. this really must be some sort of rape… how can anyone ‘consent’ to this procedure if they’re not told there is another option? This whole thing makes me sick to my stomach.

  5. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    That’s right, there’s a self-test option but we’ll be told it’s not as good as a sample taken by a doctor, women who want to self test will have to stand firm, I read somewhere that you’d have to decline the invasive HPV test for 6 years before you’d be offered a self test. They probably hope in that time they can get most women to accept the invasive HPV test.
    The HPV self-test is really just an attempt to get non-screeners on board, the attitude is…”you can’t say no now, he’s a self test option”…
    Wrong, I’ll continue to say NO,
    The program definitely doesn’t want women who currently have pap testing to start doing HPV self testing, so they’ll make it as hard as possible, and mislead women by saying it’s not as reliable.

    There were self test options online, like the Delphi Screener, but I assume too many Aussie women were using them – so they seem to have blocked the sites, that doesn’t surprise me, this is what they do, block all alternatives to force women into the program.

    Of course, women using the Delphi Screener may have worked out the significance of your HPV status: HPV- and you’re not at risk of cc, but more than that…HPV- and no longer sexually active or confidently monogamous…you might choose to forget about testing.

    Our program has (IMO) knowingly and seriously over-screened women for decades and over-treated HUGE numbers, many left worse off…there was always a better way, but they chose to continue to put women through pointless and excessive testing that did nothing but fill up day procedure.
    It tells me they don’t give a damn about women and our health and well-being, I wouldn’t trust them for a second. I know someone heading for Singapore to use the Delphi Screener, there are some cheap airfares at the moment, so she decided to take a 5 day break and use the Screener while she was there…that way she can confidently tell them to shove their program. (she’s confident her status will be HPV-) Remember that about 95% of women aged 30 to 60 are HPV-…

    By the way, the self test HPV option here won’t be available for the “unscreened” until next year, they claim there’s a problem with the lab accreditation, who knows whether that’s right or not.

    • Kiwicelt says:

      I read that about the self test not being available yet. Maybe they are deliberately holding it back, wouldn’t surprise me.

    • Kiwicelt says:

      The other thing that enraged me was the fact that if you are” eligible” for a self test, you have to do it under supervision at the GP surgery. Total control! I would just march right out taking my self test with me if I were going to screen.

      • SuzieQ says:

        The “Eve” kit is available in the US for $110. It still looks awful, and I would never be able to do that to myself.

  6. Why are they so against self testing?
    I think a few reasons: deeply entrenched paternalistic attitudes in the medical profession, a lack of respect for women, our dignity, bodily privacy and comfort.
    This program has ignored ethical and legal requirements for consent and informed consent from the very start.
    It also comes down to medical profits, they want women going into the consult room on a regular basis. Also, the perceived need to control women combined with the accepted fact that women can’t be trusted with their own health.
    Doctors have used the Pill, HRT and pre-natal care to force women into Pap testing, it’s all about entrapment, there was never anything elective about this program.
    This program doesn’t care about women, they’re happy to force women into regular and invasive testing when they know almost all can’t benefit but can certainly be harmed, they persist with the speculum exam in older women knowing most would be HPV- and knowing it will cause pain, bleeding, bruising/soreness and may even cause a UTI. They do Pap testing on pregnant women, seeing an opportunity to catch these women, but knowing the test is even more unreliable during pregnancy and that testing will often lead to months of worry about a false positive result and the possibility of a referral for an excess colposcopy. It’s cruel…
    We test young women knowing it doesn’t help but leads to lots of excess biopsies and over-treatment, we’ll continue to worry and harm our young women under the new program, we’ll start hpv testing at 25 even though the evidence clearly says…do not test before age 30.
    It says to me vested interests want these young women…to do pointless testing and for all the lucrative follow up.
    We had an opportunity to adopt an evidence based program, one that freely offered hpv self testing, it would have produced results, saved more lives with far fewer women being harmed but no….vested interests won again.

    • Kiwicelt says:

      You are so right Elizabeth. I agree that screening women in pregnancy is cruel. Imagine being pregnant and thinking you are at risk of Ca cervix, as many will. The health professionals know that even if you have ‘HSIL’ it will not be treated It is a pointless exercise. Hopefully some Doctors and LMCs will put the woman first. In our new programne they are considering offering vaginal oestrogen to get that speculum into post menopausal women! No mention of a self HPV test.
      As I have declined all further screening, I haven’t visited my Doctor in nearly four years. When I hit 55 I will, apparently, be offered a blood test so that I can be cardiovascularly risk asessed I won’t be having that either nor will I allow my weight to be taken or my blood pressure( I monitor that myself). From now on I take total charge of my health care.I will inform my Doctor when I am in need of his help.

    • SuzieQ says:

      Exactly right. I was told “no birth control” if I didn’t have a PAP once a year. It was awful.

  7. diane says:

    I met a woman at at a arty then other night. I mentioned I go to holistic Dr. and I am Dr Phobic. She started questioning me about screenings. ( what nerve) . She would nor acknowledge the fact that I am phobic. Just went on how it would save my life. I just said I choose not to screen.
    Why other women so insensitive , to women who have Dr Phobia. I found women Gyn even worse tan the men.
    I am so happy I finally gave tying to get help foe my issue. ( vaginimous or whatever).
    Yrs of anxiety and abuse and no help!.

    I agree its all about vested interest. SICKING!
    Too bad if Drs don’t respect my right not to screen!

  8. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Some interesting comments…
    Again, no mention that some women choose not to screen, and that’s fine, it’s all about getting every woman screened who falls into the target population. There’s some discussion about HPV self testing, looks like it will now be offered to women more than 2 years “overdue”…but the sample must be collected at the GPs surgery, they’re using a general swab – the comment is made it’s almost as good as a test taken by a GP – so you can imagine the Delphi Screener is going to be just as good.
    Of course, the whole program and official discourse drip of disrespect and the need to control women…and part of that is blocking access to things like the Delphi Screener.

    • Mint says:

      “A doctor or nurse will tell you how to collect your own sample, which you can do in private if it makes you feel more comfortable”

      Of course you would want to collect your sample in private! The idea that a doctor or nurse would watch you as you collect the sample brings this process to a whole new level of creepiness.

  9. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    “Approval under section 42DF for use of restricted representations by Delphi Bioscience Australasia”
    The approval expired on 1/5/2017 so this is probably why the Delphi Screener seems to have vanished here…it was a restricted approval anyway, but now the precious new program is about to start…that’s the end of the Delphi Screener for Aussie women. (unless you fly to Singapore)
    I’ve sent an email to the Singapore office to see if they’ll post out the kit and allow women to return it for checking, I’m sure the answer will be no, unless you go through an Aussie GP.

    If we were serious about reducing the already low incidence of cc, we’d make it easy for women to test, allow them to buy the Screener and then give them sound advice, whether they’re HPV- or HPV+

  10. Kiwicelt says:

    Off topic I know but there is an article about 3D tomosynthesis in the Daily Mail. If you have time to comment it would be great.

  11. katrehman says:

    Hi kiwi…done! I’ve posted a couple and will keep an eye out x

  12. oh wow thats good as hpv test is definitely more specific!

  13. Alice (Australia) says:

    Australian “healthcare” system has been cornered into changing the program. They run out of lies and excuses, they could no longer continue with the antiquated, unreliable and harmful pap testing. But even then, they delayed the changes for a few years, to get extra time for finding new employment opportunities for the lab staff whose salaries were dependent on the pap-machine. How many hundreds of women have been harmed during these interim years – the system doesn’t care. It has always been about control and profits, not about health or care.

    Unfortunately, even with paps gone, cervical screening registers will still be operating, which means Australian women won’t be able to screen without their personal details being sent off to the genital surveillance database (unless they tell the doctor to write “not for register” on the lab form, and the lab complies). There is also a national surveillance register on its way, and its operation has been auctioned off to Telstra. That’s right: every woman that has ever agreed to a cervical test had her personal and medical information sold by the government to a private company without her knowledge or consent!

    Australia finally ditched the paps, but it won’t let go of control and surveillance. That’s why Delphi screener was blocked: our medical system doesn’t want women to do tests and make decisions without the system knowing. And until Australian medical system allows 100% anonymous testing, I will never believe that they are not obsessed with control and surveillance.

  14. That’s right, Alice, it’s their way or women are left with nothing, they’ve closed off other avenues to force women into the program…you’re left with a trip to Singapore to use the Delphi Screener.
    So they’d prefer you unscreened than doing your own thing, even when that option is far superior to anything offered by our new program.
    It’s a disgraceful way to treat women.

  15. Anna says:

    This is wonderful news that testing is becoming more HPV oriented instead of the rather vaguely described PAP test. My only question is if NOT at risk for HPV whatsoever will Doctor’s still insist it be done anyway? Asking instead for date of last HPV test as opposed to the date of last PAP test question and then still berating you for NOT having it done either… I can NO longer tolerate going to the doctor’s because I have been lied to and deceived so, many times about this BS as well. However, there will likely come a time where I once again find myself at a Doctor’s office or Hospital for an emergency situation of sorts. And it would be nice to know there may come a time when they can say to me “NOT at risk NO need to test either at home or in the office, we’ll just focus on YOUR reason for this visit instead 🙂 .”

    • Anna says:

      PS. with all the other very critical and more frequent STI’s and STD’s out there the only one these people seem to focus so, heavily on is something that may or may NOT be living in the vagina, but NO one really asks are you at risk or NOT at risk for STI’s and STD’s in general. In the last year or so, the push in the news sources where I live has been for the PAP test with HPV test-( AKA way over testing it!) But, hopefully this too, shall pass.

      • adawells says:

        Hi Anna, a lot of women in the UK have been doing their homework and been telling their doctor/nurse that they are not at risk. Unfortunately, many women have then come in for deeper probing about their personal lives: What still a virgin at your age! Pushed to explaining whether penetration took place at all, whether their relationship is a faithful one or not. In the UK, womens records are marked and pop up on the screen before you have closed the door and sat down. It’s the first question that will be fired at you. I’ve read online accounts by women who are still having to explain their virginity well into middle age. It’s deeply insulting, and won’t change unless women recognise how unethical this is and make a stand against this.

  16. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/jade-lane/cervical-screening_b_4959164.html
    We need to hear from more women who choose not to screen, this reporter says no to cervical screening, must have been frustrating for many that you couldn’t leave a comment.
    I recall reading the article written by Margaret McCartney and another woman, can’t recall her name, they were soundly criticised for simply being honest about their decision not to screen. It highlighted to me that choice was never part of women’s cancer screening, how dare they choose not to have an elective screening test!
    Go Jade Lane, thanks for making clear we really do have a choice, we can, and more of us do, say NO

    • I saw this the other day too :https://www.glamour.com/story/your-breasts-are-not-a-ticking-time-bomb

      It’s an older article but very relevant. All this pushing female screening is contributing to health anxiety rather than helping women!

      I hope women who read the Glamour story find their way to this site and educate themselves.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        I doubt very much that any woman is going to be ‘educated’ by articles like that, sorry. On the one hand, it tries to allay the paranoia in young women over breast cancer, yet the very last section reinforces the age-old message that mammograms are hugely beneficial and women should be having them regularly from age 40. An educated woman, fully informed on the problems with breast screening, would be asking herself IF she should be having mammograms, not WHEN she should start.

      • Miso99 says:

        Since the article is from 2010, I could cut the author some slack since the opposition to mammograms wasn’t very public yet. But as a medical reporter she should have known better, isn’t she paid to read medical journals and such?

        But for a woman’s magazine it’s a good article to keep your target audience hoodwinked on the fear of breast cancer, and doesn’t accomplish anything than to remain on the surface of things and never truly analyzing the real issues. The article state that family history is the biggest influence for cancer risk, but when you actually look at cancer statistic, heredity only counts for 5-15% of all cancer cases, and the author never mentions that, it’s a huge contradiction!

        I don’t trust anything that comes out the Komen foundation, since they got so many financial interests in the pharmaceuticals that manufacture cancer drugs and the mammograms manufacturers. What motivate them is to get as much women as possible on these drugs, and the best way to do it is promote the mammogram since it’s 1st step into cancerland.

        Most of those interviewed are radiologists, who have the biggest motivation to have mammograms used as much as possible and be extended to younger women. The article would have been more interesting if she had interviewed pathologists or people working beyond the screening mammogram step as they’re the one seeing the true damage done by these screening campaigns and would have presented a more neutral opinion on the subject.

        Regarding that young women’s fear of breast cancer, it would have been interesting for the author to question how a new generation of women who are into new technologies and spend vast amount of time using them and spend significant money to get the latest IPhones, Samsung galaxy and whatnot (and make a show of it), but yet happily submit and rely on a stone age era device to screen for cancer, who is inaccurate, impractical and dangerous. Same questioning would go for pap smears!

        So no your breasts aren’t a ticking bomb, as long you submit to the screening and the aggressive one, i.e. as early as 40 or even earlier than that.

        And no, learning your family’s history of cancer will not lower your risk of cancer.

  17. Anna says:

    Hi, Adawells, I don’t live in the UK…. However, I do understand all too, well the harassment and abuses these Doctor’s and Nurses dish out on a regular basis… As I have had it all happen to me too. And have also had very real physical and emotional damage done on to me by these examining Doctor’s as well. With it all starting prior to my having my first ever PMS experience. My hope (however in vain that maybe) is that having it be the HPV test instead of PAP test may help to clear up some more of the confusion that’s still out there only more, so for those patients who still DON’T know what it’s all for and about… Just as I DIDN’T know for a lot of years, either. What I was told from day 1 was “Have it or else very bad things will happen to you!” And that was all knew of it for a very long time. I wasn’t being allowed to talk about it or be upset by it, it was called being a girl and I had to just deal with it. If the testing had been titled something along the lines of what it actually is for and about, Maybe just maybe my then Stepmother would have known better than to put me through that horrible ordeal in the first place. Anyway, where I live (however stupid this may come across) the information was indeed being made extremely limited until around mid 2011 with still more progressive improvements being made this year, to let still more honest information get through. Prior to this time frame there was really nothing to go on but biased magazine articles and medical websites with sayings such as “pelvic exams and PAP tests are uncomfortable sure but necessary and quick, absolutely!” The news articles also backed this up 100%. What finally started to wake me up from these lies though NOT completely was that last test and exam I had was so, violent it was exactly like that first exam all over again, where I was painfully ill from it for an entire week and suffering once again from bad burn marks on that region of the body. This was caused by the large heat lamp that the Doctor had used to see by. And this Doctor too, DIDN’T care that I was in pain and she too, absolutely refused to stop! -I DON’T wish that pain emotional or physical on anyone NOT even my worst enemy. Right now in my home country the Doctor’s AREN’T going allow the HPV test to be done by it’s self the biased reports brought about by big pharma, etc. is that it’s too, risky to allow it to be done by it’s self and that it must be done only as part of co testing with the PAP test. Meaning that so, long as it is with the PAP I WON’T be allowed to fight it and still seek medical care unless, I can bypass a Primary care Doctor altogether. Which is very rare to be able to do. With some improvements being made in other countries here and there I’m hoping those improvements will one day spread like wild fire and create more change to these policies everywhere in general.

    • Kleigh says:

      Anna , I have to ask if you have been helped by any of this testing or exams. I avoid doctors and only use walk in clinics if need. I hate that they ask the dates of Pap smears. It’s like we have to have a date for them and when I didn’t one time I was insulted by a nurse. I am 33 by the way. It’s funny to hear woman say we have to”. I have have lived so long with out theses exams I don’t fear not having this testing but I do see these exams as intrusive because I am not brainwashed like so many women are. It all seems based on fear and the more woman have paps the more chances they will end up with false positives leading them to believe they were saved by the Pap. I’m in the US btw. That makes me madd what happened to you. I don’t know what I whould do being up in your position. I have herd a woman that was giving birth told the doctor to stop the exam or she was going to file asult charges. A man whould get charged for rape had he not stoped. These exams are intimate and you have a rite to say no.

      • Anna says:

        Hi, Kleigh I Thank You for your kind words. I personally have NOT been helped by any of these PAP tests and exams. If anything I find it all very frightening and confusing. Because too,many times their made to sound like they can detect all sorts of issues when they really DON’T. If asked if more blood work and oral swab tests were needed that would be a nicer option, in detecting potential STI/STD and other health risks that’s my opinion. As the PAP test DOESN’T do any of that as you well know. However, I have a mentally ill Aunt who had a twisted ovary misdiagnosed as being cancer right off the bat during an exam one time. Because, the Doctor felt something by pushing on just her stomach but couldn’t rightly see what It was during internal exam so, she automatically said it had to be cancer. Thankfully my Aunt was sent for a sonogram straight away, before any chemo drugs could be issued. I believe had she been sent to the sonogram first and foremost it would have been a much better option, than having the Doctor shout out “cancer!” As though she was shouting out “Bingo!” on a Bingo card game. In my Aunt’s case though, she doesn’t know enough to be nervous or scared over a diagnosis and because she is also extremely low risk I DON’T think it’s right for her care taker to keep signing her up for these things. Especially, when this same care taker is so, very much against flu vaccines. And as far as how I handle my situation I take it one day at of time and sometimes this website helps, too. I think it’s like anything else there are good days and then there are bad days.

  18. Kat says:

    So I have a question – during my last gyno visit, I got offered a breast ultrasound. Kind of surprised me, as I was only 3o at the time. Are there any health risks related to ultrasounds? And how reliable are they, compared to mammograms? Would it be possible to replace the mammograms with ultrasounds? Or is it another shill made by the doctors?

    • Alice (Australia) says:

      Ultrasounds are safer than mammograms as they do not expose you to harmful radiation. In addition to radiation harm, mammograms are ineffective in women younger than 40. Ultrasounds are also more informative, as they are happening in real time and the sonographer can have a better look at the puzzling areas there and then. Often if a mammogram shows something ‘abnormal’, the woman is sent for an ultrasound to investigate the area further.

      However if you had no symptoms or complaints regarding your breasts, the offed examination would be totally unnecessary. This phenomenon is called ‘bikini medicine’, when the entire medical system or a specific doctor are obsessed with only two parts of female body: breasts and genitals, while ignoring more important concerns or disregarding the real reason of the woman’s visit to the doctor’s office.

  19. Alice (Australia) says:

    Just received an email with an article in a local newspaper from a Brisbane friend:

    “Women turning 50 who don’t participate in BreastScreen Queensland’s screening program will soon receive a pre-booked breast-screen appointment letter.
    The appointment letter is an initiative to increase participation in the breast-screening service and will arrive by mail around the time of a woman’s 50th birthday.
    The introduction of pre-booked appointments follows a successful trial within Brisbane Southside Service, which saw four times the usual number of new clients attend for a breast screen during the trial period.
    Dr Kate Taylor, medical director at BreastScreen Queensland in the metro south region, said previous consultation* showed the community supported the idea of pre-booked appointments.
    Dr Taylor said women who receive a letter could easily reschedule the time and day of the appointment online at breastscreen.qld.gov.au or by calling BreastScreen Queensland on 132050.”

    Happy 50th birthday Australian woman. Now you have two options: to present your breast for squeezing and radiation as ordered, or to reschedule. Not a word about opting out and banning BreastScreen from ever harassing you again!

    * A note for foreign readers: “community consultation” is an codename used by Australian authorities to disguise or justify the introduction of anti-privacy, anti-freedom and anti-democratic changes to the status quo. The process of actually consulting the community is not a part of it.

    My friend was rightfully outraged: This is intolerably patronising and totally unacceptable! I have never given my permission to BreastScreen, or any other Screen, to access my personal details, let alone prebook anything without my explicit consent.

    We have just managed to get rid of Pap smears in this country, after knowingly harming millions of women for decades. Too early to celebrate: the government attention quickly turned to another part of the ‘bikini medicine’ – our breasts.

    “Four times the the usual number of new attendees”! Huh? How low was it before then?? Simple maths tells us definitely below 25%. So what part of NO doesn’t BreastScreen understand? If you get below 25% mark at school, you fail. If you get below 25% of votes in an election, you lose. Yet BreastScreen, after getting below 25% screening uptake, managed to get access to our personal data and extra funding from our tax money to hassle us with letters! I wonder whose pressure, whose lobby, whose vested interests were involved to achieve that?

    Enough of these harmful screening programs that insult women’s right and ability to choose and decide for themselves. Brebooked appointments is the last straw. Every Australian woman reading this, please contact BastScreen, that Dr Taylor, politicians, privacy advocates… anyone you can reach and voice your protest. We must stop this contempt of female independence and bodily autonomy, before it’s too late.

    • Kat says:

      Wouldn’t it be possible to simply ignore the letter and not go to the appointment? Or would you get penalized for it somehow?

      • Mint says:

        Just shred the “invitation”. That’s what I do with mine. I don’t bother to cancel. I didn’t ask for the appointment. It’s an “invitation”, not a summons.

      • adawells says:

        I’ve cancelled mine in the UK in the past, and had no reminders, although it’s quite apparent that your GP is notified and your records flagged for “discussion” at your next appointment. We are sent prebooked appointments. I’m expecting a 3rd this year and am considering whether to opt out permanently or not when it comes. I’m toying with the idea of opting out of recalls, but half of me thinks it’s wise to keep an eye on what the enemy is up to.

      • Alice (Australia) says:

        Of course this “invitation” will be shredded. It’s just the fact that our hard-earned tax money is wasted on such patronising and insulting “initiatives”, and our personal data is given out by the government left, right and centre.

        Enormous funds are given to boobs&vagina hunters, while such important areas as aged care and mental health are in a dreadful state in this country and subjected to more funding cuts every year.

  20. We might be rid of Pap testing to some degree but I think women will face a lot of pressure to have hpv testing, the invasive test taken in exactly the same way as a Pap test, they have a call and recall register, and intend to offer self testing to never screened women or those long overdue…they don’t get that you can’t be overdue for a screening test!

    i’m ready and waiting for them to make contact…make my day.
    My GP will not be providing them with a list of her unscreened patients, so if i’m contacted it will be after a lot of effort cross referencing census data with the old screening registry.

    A pre-booked appointment is about coercion, backing women into a corner so they feel they have to attend or call and make another appointment, no other option, i’d suggest tossing the “invitation” in the bin. I’d like to see how you change your appt online, can you just cancel altogether? Is there a link to opt out?
    Given all we know about breast screening, in my opinion, it’s culpable to continue to focus on the target and protecting the program…it shows how brazen these programs are, and how they have zero respect for women or concern about our health or legal rights. How is that permissible in 2018?
    I’ll send the link to Robin Bell from Monash, she was brave enough to speak out about the risks of breast screening…hopefully, she’ll publicly condemn this disgraceful approach.

    • Alice (Australia) says:

      Too true Elizabeth. I suspect BreastScreen got their snout either into Medicare database, or Electoral Commission lists, or as you suggested – the Census nazis disclosed our personal data. In either case, this is gone too far! The government and medical bureaucrats think that our personal data is their property and they can do with it as they please.

      I have contacted a few privacy advocates about this disgraceful “initiative”. Hopefully BreastScreen, and this blatant disrespect for personal choice and individual privacy will get such bad publicity that their pathetic 25% attendance falls even lower.

      • Hi Alice
        Yes, there’s a few ways they can locate the “unscreened”…what a huge waste of time and money, when so many other areas like aged care and mental health are crying out for more funding. It’s supposed to be an offer, not a pursuit!
        I’ve sent something to a couple of people here who might do something, at least make it known they can just ignore these appointments.
        Some women believed Pap testing was compulsory, some might still feel that way, these pre-arranged appointments may lead some women to feel the same way, like they must attend…that’s unacceptable

    • katrehman says:

      Ada I opted out in 2015 after cancelling my first and only “invitations “.it’s not been raised since though smears have even though I opted out in the same year. I avoid the doc who keeps hassling me about it. I ask for a fantastic woman doc if I need to go for any reason

    • Kiwicelt says:

      In NZ they are chasing down our Maori and Pacific women by obtaining their information from the GPs for mammography screening. They bribe them with $20 supermarket vouchers!

      • adawells says:

        This is shocking. Sounds like ethnic cleansing to me. I’ve seen adverts targeting Asian/black women in the UK, but not actually aware of them being picked out in this way.
        I’ve read Lynda Bryder’s book on the National Women’s hospital, and the Maori women forced into smears were treated to very badly.

        I’d steer clear of this Nazi too. I hope this isn’t near you?

      • Kiwicelt says:

        Nazi is right, ” convincing these women to have their smear”!! Where is the informed consent? I don’t live there but they have special days for “priority group women” near me. I am thinking of fronting up one day and asking some hard questions. Sounds like in this practice the GPs inform on any woman who hasn’t had a smear and the Nazi nurses move in before she is allowed to leave. Totally disgusting! The truth is many nurses are clueless about the harms of screening, just like many of the general public.

      • katrehman says:

        This bit got me that the clinics gave consent for the womens details to be given out. The owners of the details had no say in it. Precisely the way we in the uk are treated though we don’t get the bribes. I wonder how many of the women actually wanted to screen but gave in under pressure

  21. adawells says:

    Hi Sue, As Kat mentioned, it is cervical cancer brainwashing week next week, and I wondered whatever happened to the poster that Ann did a few years ago: the one with the crying boy, stop the propaganda? Is anyone able to download/ use it?

  22. katrehman says:

    This is really important. I saw on mumsnet this crying child poster was the catalyst making a woman screening. She didn’t want to leave her DC crying children. …

    • adawells says:

      Yet it is more likely that a mother will lose her unborn child if she has screening than if she doesn’t. How they had the nerve to produce this propaganda is just shocking.

  23. katrehman says:

    Daily fail yesterday. Britain’s most tattooed man (he’s even had his eyeballs stained). He has a beard and is straight as in heterosexual. He has all his man bits but registered as gender neutral at his docs as he feels that’s what he is with the tattoo’s. We’ll
    You guessed it he’s been “invited” for a smear test even though it really is physically impossible for him to have one…the paper wonders if he is also going to be “invited” for male related screening…

    • Mint says:

      The NHS are so desperate to increase the screening figures, it seems like they are going to include every individual that might have a cervix.

    • moo says:

      Anal pap test
      So if they really don’t want to fire all the cytologists then they might start pestering men to get this. The article recommends screening all homosexual and bisexual men even if I suppose they always use condoms. So why not screen all men since they might have had some type of activity where they could have possibly got an hpv infection? Of course they just stick a swab up there and no speculum type device. But would men really go for that?

    • moo says:

      Add to that list… anyone who had a colonscopy because they could have been infected with HPV or mamy other microbes. The equipment for these procedures is difficult to clean and sterilize properly or maybe someone made an error and used a dirty one. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/12/06/endoscope-sterilization.aspx
      Some clinics use pressurized hydrogen peroxide but no method works when it is clogged up with debris or whatever that has not been properly brushed out.

      It might happen but I know it does happen. I knew an elderly man who was bullied into a colonscopy. He had hemrhoids so that screeening test was falsely positive. He later received a letter from the hospital that he could have been exposed to HIV, HPV, hep C or whatever since they accidently did not sterilize the equipment properly.

  24. Tracey says:

    There has been so much in the news over the last few days about more and more women not going for their smears and how dangerous it is and how they are risking their lives. This has raised my anxiety to an all time high. My last smear was over ten years ago and i’m so scared by all this news coverage, what if I have cervical cancer and my kids will be left without their mother and its all my fault. I’m 51 and have read that in menopausal women smear tests can come back abnormal so i’m even more scared than ever to go for one.

    Sorry for the rant, just very anxious today.

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Tracey, the NHS is planning on introducing HPV primary testing sometime next year. Which means they have concluded that your HPV status is the most important risk factor.
      Unfortunately they will still ‘need’ to scrape a skin sample from your cervix so women will still be expected to submit to this humiliating exam, even though self-testing kits have been around for a few years.
      If you’re really concerned about your risk, as Kat says, you can buy self-testing kits online – and it may well be that some of the women who are allegedly ‘too embarrassed’ to bare all for dear old nursie may be doing exactly that!

      You need to understand that the smear test is appallingly unreliable – more than 100,000 women undergo needless surgery every year thanks to this awful programme. Most of these women believe they’ve been ‘saved’ from the jaws of death and become rabid supporters of the programme. That’s why the Jo’s Trust charity is always in the media whining about those of us who don’t go for our test because they rely on the support of all of these ‘survivors’. If they are so concerned for women’s health, why not put the money they make into researching better testing and treatment instead of this constant stream of ‘awareness’ campaigns?.

      • Kiwicelt says:

        I couldn’t agree more Kate. I think someone on this forum used the word “odious” to describe Jo’s cervical trust that is so apt!

    • adawells says:

      Yes Kat is right. If you Google HPV self-test there are a lot of suppliers online, test.me, superdrugonline. You can’t buy them over the counter at Superdrug stores you can only order them from their website. From those who have done them they arrive in a couple of days and you get the result within a week. Unfortunately they cost about £50. Not available on the NHS as they don’t want women to find out about them. If HPV negative you’re not at risk. Hardly any women over 40 are HPV positive.


  25. katrehman says:

    Hi Tracey . that’s precisely. WHY they run these scare weeks to round up scare and guilt trip us into this testing! Don’t fall for it Yes menopausal women are ore likely to produce a false positive result due to hormonal changes linked to the menopause. As the menopausal cervix doesn’t shed cells easily its also harder to get a result and a re take might b required.
    Please remember the cancer research stats. 0.65%risk ofCC…lifelong risk of lung cancer for never smoked 53 year old me 8%. Ditto8% for breast cancer but I’ve never been chased about mammograms.
    And at 51 you’re hardly likely to have HPV however should you wish to check there’s the Superdrug kit for around £50 to be sourced online thinking of you. X

    • Jen says:

      That’s absolutely disgusting that they are still going to scrape the cervix to test for HPV. Why?! Women are perfectly capable of swabbing themselves. I did a home test myself recently. It makes you wonder about the ulterior motives of this whole scheme.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        Jen, all of these mass screening programmes provide jobs for thousands of people, and cervical screening is a lucrative source of extra income for GP’s. Any change to the programmes means a huge amount of upheaval and it seems to me that the screening Nazis are more concerned with the welfare of the people working within the programmes that the welfare of the patients. If the screening ‘experts’ really cared for the health and wellbeing of the patients they would be striving to create better tests and treatments instead of pouring money into scare campaigns and initiatives designed solely to get more bums on seats.
        Everyone involved in screening, the charities (looking at you, Robert Music), and the politicians responsible for these appalling screening programmes all profit from them one way or another, so naturally they want their little gravy train to keep chugging on for as long as possible. Change will only come when the patients turn their back on the system.

        With any luck, by the time the NHS gets around to HPV primary testing, word will have spread that HPV self-testing is a viable alternative to an invasive exam and even fewer women will play ball with the programme.
        The problem with HPV testing of any kind, though, is that you cannot be sure how long you’ve had the infection – it’s only persistent infection one needs to worry about. Even if they offered us all home testing on the NHS, a positive result means an appointment with the dreaded speculum and possibly surgery for an infection which could have cleared in time. Naturally the experts want women to believe that an HPV infection is a death sentence to keep us fearful and compliant. So no matter how much they fiddle with the system, it’s still going to lead to too much overdiagnosis and overtreatment.

    • Tracey says:

      I don’t understand, why would I be less at risk just because i’m 51?

      • Kate (UK) says:

        Tracey, cervical cancer is believed to be caused by certain strains of HPV, a skin virus. HPV is as common as a cold and many women are infected with these ‘high risk’ strains during their twenties. In the vast majority of women, the immune system clears the virus within a few years. In a tiny minority of cases, the immune system cannot get rid of the virus and it’s these people who can develop cancer many years later. And I would say that if these people have such a poor immune system they cannot deal with common skin virus then they’re at high risk of developing all sorts of nasty diseases.
        Bottom line is, at age 51, you’re likely to have picked up HPV at some point and cleared it from your body already. As we said, if you’re worried about your risk you can use a self-testing kit. The NHS has already decided that HPV is the cause of cervical cancer – the vaccine’s been around for quite a few years, right? Yet under the current system, they’re still searching for ‘abnormal’ cells – which can be can be caused by anything – and only testing a minority of samples for HPV. Since you’re menopausal and your body is fluctuating, you run a very high risk of having unnecessary surgery if you rely on a routine ‘smear’.

    • Tracey says:

      Is it not possible to be re-infected with hpv later in life if you change partners? Women in their 50s and upwards to get cervical cancer. How do you know for certain that the virus doesn’t lie dormant in our bodies only to be activated at a later time? Is it not the same as the virus that causes cold sores?

      • Kate (UK) says:

        No, it’s not the same. I believe this theory that the virus can lie dormant is a lie concocted by the screening Nazis to keep women who are celibate or in steady relationships coming back for more smears. If your immune system cannot eliminate the virus, then the vaccine wouldn’t work.
        True enough, there are several different strains of HPV which are thought to cause cancerous changes in a minority of people which can be caught at any stage of life, but the reality is this: If you catch one of the high-risk strains and it does not get cleared, it takes many years for cancer to develop, it doesn’t happen overnight. The reason everyone insists that we ‘need’ screening every three years is because the traditional smear test is so unreliable. It has a very high rate of false positives – labelling normal cell changes as ‘precancerous’ when they’re not – and a high rate of false negatives, where women who do have genuine cancerous cells are given the all-clear. Thus, the expert thinking is that, since the disease takes such a long time to develop, if we miss any real problems this time around, hopefully we’ll pick it up the next time. Hopefully. Yet a good proportion of women who are diagnosed with the disease have had regular screening. Of course you never hear about them, so most women believe such cases are rare.
        I realise this is not helping with your anxiety levels, but again, if you are worried about your risk you would be far better off using a self-test HPV kit than having a smear test.
        As I said, the NHS does not routinely test for HPV, and when they do eventually get around to doing so they will still require you to have an invasive exam, which I presume you may not be too keen on considering you’ve not had one for ten years.

      • Tracey says:

        I dont understand why medical professionals would lie to us. What do they have to gain by doing this? If you have hpv would your smear show up changes? I’ve had about 4 smears and they have always come back fine, should that reassure me?

        Sorry for all the questions, i’m going to look into the home hpv tests. If it’s clear does that mean I don’t need a smear?

      • adawells says:

        Hi Tracey,
        It’s not that GP’s lie to us, but in the UK they have to work to a system of incentive payments for the work they do. If you see a GP now, they will bring your details up on their computer, and a number of pop-up windows will remind the GP of all the tests you are “due” while you are there. There are incentive payments allocated to each test, so the more tests the GP carries out the more money he gets. Cervical screening is one of the tests, but there are many others depending on your age group and sex. In cervical screening, the GP can start to earn incentive payments if over 45% of the female patients accept a smear test, but if he can persuade even more to do so, the stepped payments increase with every additional 5% he can persuade to screen, the maximum payment being awarded to GP surgeries which can hit an 80% uptake rate. The government set this up to increase competion between GP surgeries, iron out discrepancies between treatments the public gets, and ultimately privatise primary care in communities. However, there has been a lot of anger that it is getting GPs to concentrate on only the diseases they get paymrnts for and not others.

  26. katrehman says:

    Tracey I’m not as well informed as some of the others here but here goes. What do medics have to gain? Sadly money. The GPS who get incentive payments to herd the maximum number of us into screening. The companies who produce the speculum and brush kits landslides.. The people who read the smears.. The colposcopy clinics rake it in to. I actually read a post on the PHE blog from a worried screener worrying about redundancy. Yes redundancy is awful but this is women’s health we’re talking here!
    The UK is still rolling out primary HPV testing I believe most districts test first for abnormal cells and then for HPV.. Remember abnormal cells can be caused by lots of things a new brand of tampons. Having sex. Or in menopause when hormones fluctuated. Now remember the vast majority of cell changes revert to normal very quickly and would never have been discovered if the woman hadn’t screened.. Even severe changes can revert to normal . .Also they can’t predict whatwull develop into cancer and what won’t. Hence a lot of over treated women. If a smear comes back abnormal and high riskHPV is found you might be invited for colposcopy.. Or you might be asked to test more frequently to see what’s going on. Again only a tinyfew ofHPV cases develop into cancer.
    If you test for HPVand get a negative result and you’re confidently monogamous or no longer sexually active you might choose not to test again or only if your circumstances change. If your result is negative you are at no risk of cancer. If your test is negative no you dot need a smear this is another reason I think the NHS is stalling they want women to keep getting smears.

    • katrehman says:

      Also worth bearing in mind is each year a whopping 200,000 smears come back abnormal meaning a lot of worried and anxious women. Obviously there aren’t 200,0 cases of cervical cancer a year! Just proves how unreliable the test is

  27. katrehman says:

    Ladies I found this gem on the cervical screen 1 Instagram page. Warning its totally nauseous.
    Never fear your cervical smear
    Book it now not next month or year
    Delay it longer you could brig tears
    To all loved ones you hold so dear
    Get on the phone and call your GP
    get an appointment don’t do it for me
    Do it for your future family and life..

    Any comments other than blergh?!

    • linda says:

      Nauseating beyond belief and very insulting.

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Nursery rhymes now, huh? Blergh indeed.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        Oh Tracey… this whole programme is built on lies. Most of the things you are told by the ‘experts’ – screening authorities, healthcare providers, charities – are lies.
        See, the smear test has never been though any trials to prove that it is safe and effective. Medics believed that it detects ‘precancerous’ cells. But it doesn’t. It just detects changes in the skin which, in most cases, have nothing to do with cancer.
        We do not know how many lives the programme saves – all we can be sure of is that at least 100,000 women every year are having surgery for something that would never have troubled them.
        Cervical cancer is not, and never has been, a common disease, and the smear test is horribly unreliable. If the powers-that-be had allowed the test to go through proper trials, it would have shown how crap this test is and the programme wouldn’t exist. Dopey politicians gave the test the go-ahead because charities and women’s health groups were screaming for it. Anything to win the pink vote, eh?
        But the point is, using an unreliable test for an uncommon disease means you have to screen huge numbers of people to have any hope of helping anyone – they need at least 80% of us to have regular testing to make the programme look like it’s worthwhile. They take around 3 million samples every year – as Kat says, that means there are tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people who’s jobs only exist because of the programme, and GP’s, pharma,and charities make money out of us too.

        When you set up a huge system which employs so many people, you can’t just shut it down once you realise it doesn’t work very well – especially when you’ve convinced so many women that we’d all be dropping like flies without regular smears. Any politician who suggests shutting down such a scheme would be committing political suicide. Look at what’s happened to the breast screening programme – evidence shows quite clearly now that it’s does more harm than good. Many experts now think the programme should be scrapped – did the government listen? No. They’ve extended the age ranges so even more women are pulled into the programme. Protecting the programme and their careers.

        But to answer your question: HPV causes changes in the skin. So yes, it’s likely that if you have an HPV infection your smear will come back abnormal. However, cell changes can be caused by all sorts of things and your smear can come back ‘abnormal’ even when you don’t have HPV. And sometimes you can get a ‘normal’ result when you do actually have abnormal cells! The smear just can’t be trusted.
        Again, if you’re worried about your risk, the HPV test is your best bet, because the NHS isn’t acting in our best interests.

        If you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask.

        And Kat… it’s my understanding that HPV testing is only done on women over 30, and then only on borderline/minor abnormalities. Younger women and those with moderate/severe changes are sent straight to colposcopy. We have to keep the colposcopy staff fully occupied, right, because if we shut the clinics the poor lambs would have nowhere to go. I mean, it’s not as if hospitals are crying out for more staff now, are they? *rolls eyes*
        I’m also under the impression that young women don’t have any HPV testing until after they’ve had surgery as a ‘proof of cure’. I could be wrong, but if I’m right then that’s nothing more than a scam.

    • adawells says:

      Kat, I don’t have an Instagram account, but if I accidentally swallow anything poisonous and need to induce instant, projectile vomiting, I’ll take a look. It’ll be sure to work and be about the only time that website has ever saved a life!

      • katrehman says:

        Thanks Kate. ..as I said I’m really not so well informed. And ladies can anyone suggest natural remedies for stress related illness ? Really I don’t want blood test and conventional remedies?

    • Yuck, yuck and yuck. I have been following the revolting #smearforsmear campaign on Twitter and chipping in where I can. A few women actually took interest in the Margaret McCarthy article when I sent them the link.

      Overall I have actually seen a few women come out against screening and Jo’s Trust’s propaganda. I was pleasantly surprised, they are the minority but more than I thought.

  28. katrehman says:

    Luv it ada and if you still feel sick try the wise cervix. ..I’ve been kicking my heels off sick and have found plenty vomitable stuff. ..

    • adawells says:

      Only one more day of this awful campaign and that should be it for a while…
      I came across a post by the lady who runs cervicalscreen1 recently. Turns out she has become very overweight that it is affecting her health and has had to go on a strict diet. Now isn’t that just typical – she tells everyone else how to run their life? I think her site is terrible. It’s full of wannabe porn stars. Perhaps we ought to set up a website telling her how to run her life and get healthy?

  29. katrehman says:

    Sue I can’t post comments. .

    • Hi Kat, what was happening? I hope it’s working okay now?
      I have no control over that part of WordPress. Sometimes comments end up in spam, which then can get ‘trashed’ without my knowing about it.
      Thanks for letting me know. Were comments not appearing properly? I will go check the spam bin and if I see some of yours in there I will rescue them!
      Sue 🙂

  30. Tracey says:

    Sorry to be a nuisance but I was talking to someone today who told me that her mother-in-law was diagnosed with cervical cancer in her 80’s, how would that happen?

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Tracey, cervical cancer can happen at any age, although it’s extremely rare in the under 25’s. Just because screening stops at 65 doesn’t mean you can’t develop the disease when you’re older. It’s only fair to say that some of these women may never have had smears or stopped testing at some point – many older women stop going for smears since the test can become very painful after the menopause. It’s actually very difficult to get a good sample from post-menopausal women, too.
      Even so, as we keep saying, the test isn’t foolproof – it’s not guaranteed to prevent you from getting cancer even if you have regular testing.

      I’m not surprised that you find it hard to believe a woman in her 80’s could get the disease. The screening Nazis have been targeting very young women for years, it’s seen by most as a young woman’s disease, and now more young women are ignoring the scare campaigns, suddenly the ‘experts’ are concerned about older women, trying to scare them into going, when they know full damned well why these older ladies don’t want to go.

      Not sure if I answered your question, but if you’re wondering how you diagnose a woman in her 80’s, it’s like any other illness. The patient develops symptoms, they go to the doctor, and with any luck they have tests which reveal the problem.

      Remember, screening is for people who don’t have symptoms – if you have a problem you need to be properly checked out, not have a screening test. A screening test can only tell you that you ‘might’ have a problem, not tell you what the problem actually is. It can even make matters worse by giving the wrong results and delaying your diagnosis.

      • Tracey says:

        I was just surprised because it would mean that this woman must have had hpv and I would assume that she may not have been sexually active at her age, so maybe the virus lay dormant for a lot of years. I thought that didn’t happen.

      • adawells says:


        Hi Tracey, I found this article about older women and cervical cancer. It sounds as though this elderly lady had had the HPV virus for some time, and succumbed to it eventually in very old age. The paper explains why a lot of elderly women may not recognise the symptoms, and often only report ill health when the cancer is at an advanced stage. This should change with HPV testing. As the paper explains, anyone leaving the programme should be offered an HPV test (preferably a self test) to make sure they are not still HPV positive.Up to now HPV testing is only running in a limited number of UK pilot sites, and is not due to be rolled out nationwide in the UK until 2020. I think they should bring in HPV self tests as a 5 yearly option for all over 30 and ditch our current screening programme right now. Older women could test themselves whenever they like.

      • katrehman says:

        Tracey I have a 21 years old daughter. At 9 she was diagnosed with arthritis. She’s the exception not the rules. .

  31. Tracey says:

    Adawells, I read the article. It’s just worried me more. So, it seems that older women are getting cc because they haven’t had smears and it has gone unoticed. If its true that you need to have hpv to get cc then that means that all of these women hpv and most probably have never cleared it from their bodies or the virus CAN lie dormant for years only to be activated later on.

    • Kate (UK) says:

      Tracey, there is NO evidence that the virus can lie dormant – it’s just an idea that some screening fanatics have put around to frighten women into staying in the system.
      Women who are no longer sexually active who test negative for HPV may decide not to have any more smears – as we said, the programme needs huge numbers of women to go for tests to keep it going, and will do and say anything to make sure you keep coming back for more punishment.
      What’s happening is that a very small number of women will catch the virus later in life than most and their immune system cannot fight off the virus. Cancers in older people tend to be slow growing where cancers in the young can be fast and aggressive, because the whole body slows down as you age. So an HPV infection in older women can take decades to turn into cancer. The virus hasn’t gone into hiding – it’s just been there a long, long time.
      A smear test is just a scraping of skin cells. There are many women who find a speculum exam humiliating and painful, and it can be particularly tough for women after the menopause due to the changes in their body. These changes make it difficult to scrape enough skin cells, too, so it’s common for older women to have to go back for repeat smears. When the test can be traumatic, it’s not surprising that some women stop going at that point in their lives. Routine HPV testing using a painless, easy to use device that you can use in the comfort and privacy of your own home would easily identify the women who need to be monitored and leave the rest of us alone to get on with our lives. Our programme just doesn’t seem to want us to have better testing – too many jobs depend on the programme doing as many tests on as many women as possible.
      The experts have also been telling women for years that the smear is the perfect test. Many women think that if you have regular smears all your life you can’t get cervical cancer. That’s not true. The smear is unreliable and there are many women who have testing for years and years who still get the disease.
      As I said, all the scaremongering is aimed at very young women and that has lead many to believe that older women don’t get the disease. So older women may ignore symptoms, whereas young women will rush off to the doctor as the first sign of a problem because we’re so afraid of this disease.
      When have you ever seen a story about this disease in a newspaper or a magazine about featuring an elderly lady? Never.
      Again, the screening rates are dropping, especially among young women, and there have been a ridiculous amount of ‘awareness’ campaigns and initiatives to try to force the youngest women to go for ‘their’ smears. But they’re just not working. It might very well be that more women are saying no to the speculum and using the home testing kits.
      Only now that they’ve failed to bully and scare the youngest women into dropping their knickers for the nurse are they now looking at older women and talking about them.
      This disease has always occurred in older women, why all of a sudden, after 35 years of screening, are they ‘really concerned’ about older women when they gave zero shits before? All they care about is the programme, not the welfare of women.
      Sometimes I wonder if the system views woman as nothing more than breeding machines – young women are more important than older ones because they can pop out a future taxpayer. Once you’re no longer able to reproduce, your ‘female’ parts are worthless and disposable.

      Anyway, let me ask you a question. Tracey. You said it’s been, what, ten years since you’re been for a smear. Why is that? You can be perfectly honest here, many of us are in the same boat.

      Elizabeth, as I’m sure you’ve already guessed, if I were running the country my screening programmes would be very different to the ones we currently have!

      • Tracey says:

        It’s been ten years because waiting for the results causes so much anxiety in me that I can barely function. I went 11 years between that smear and the one before, I was a complete mess until I got the results.

        My sister has’nt had one for 22 years and at her last one she had abnormal cells which were treated.

        I worry so much that i’m being irresponsible and that i’ll die from cc and my kids will hate me for not going for my smears.

      • Tracey says:

        I also worry because i’ve read that the more children you’ve had the higher the risk of cc. I have 5 kids.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        Tracey, medics believe that trauma – bruising or tearing – that happens during childbirth can make your cervix more vulnerable to infection, so the thinking is that the more children you have, the weaker your cervix will be.
        However… if you have ‘treatment’ for ‘abnormal’ cells they are actually cutting out part of your cervix, and the flesh is burned to slow down blood loss. Now, if a normal natural process like giving birth can raise your risk of getting CC, surely cutting off and burning the flesh is even more dangerous?

        If you go for a smear now, this is what’s going to happen; If your smear is normal, this doesn’t mean everything’s ok because the test often fails to pick up abnormal cells.
        If your cells are ‘abnormal’, it’s highly unlikely that you will get cancer – those cell changes could be cause by your hormones, among other things. If the abnormal cells are very minor, they will test the sample for HPV. If the cell changes are worse, it’s straight to the clinic. No HPV testing.
        You may end up having surgery for something perfectly harmless.
        If your test shows no HPV, you’ll be told to come back for another smear in 5 years.
        If you use a home testing kit you’ll get a definite yes or no and you’ll certainly get the results back much quicker than you would on the NHS!

        If there were no screening programme, no smear tests, no constant ‘awareness’ campaigns in the media, you wouldn’t worry about this disease at all.
        There are almost 20,000 cases of lung cancer in women every year, do you worry about that? No? That’s because there’s no screening for it. You shouldn’t be living in fear of your own body – that’s definitely not good for your health!

        Something for the other ladies, now – I suddenly noticed that the figures quoted in our screening brochure and the official statistics don’t add up.
        According to the leaflet 6 in every smears is classed as abnormal, and 4 of those 6 women are ‘invited’ (ha ha!) to colposcopy.
        According to the most recent (2015) stats, there were 3.2 million routine smears.
        6% of 3.2 million is 192,000. And, according to the leaflet, 128,000 of those women would have been referred for colposcopy.
        Yet the official stats claim there were 198,000 referrals. I did wonder whether those figures were also including clinical referrals – women being sent for investigations due to having symptoms – which would explain the discrepancy, but there is also another table which states the number of new appointment for colposcopy as 246,968.
        It is my suspicious mind going into overdrive, or are they fiddling the figures?
        Any thoughts?

  32. katrehman says:

    Smear tests hit the. Commons this week with Teresa May saying she knows they’re uncomfortable because she has them as others do but of course we should always go . Also its been brought up about testing under 25s after the death of amber cliff. Also PHE Have released a new bog for CC prevention week . To combat the drop in attendance they plan…wait for it drum roll….another awareness campaign!! I’m sure even the space aliens on Mars have awareness of it now . Actually it really wound me up because “its great we have smear for smear to help women remember about their smear test! Patronising or what? I left a couple comments but doubt theyl pass the censor lol
    Ada you’re right about that cervical screen 1. She’s added lots of posts this week. All news and weather presenters bleating on about how amazing smears are woo hoo.. Tracey I found a stat for you on the new PHE blog that might put your mind at rest. Remember there’s around 30 million women in the UK? in 2015 there were 2,517 cases of CC reported and 660 deaths from it reported in England. Hope this helps

  33. katrehman says:

    And Sue thank you. Don’t know what happened yesterday but the above post is what it wasn’t letting me post!?

    • adawells says:

      Kat and Sue, I’ve had a few posts like that which fail to come up. Resending them gives me the message “you’ve already sent that once do you want to send it again?” but the post is nowhere to be seen on the site. Maybe WiFi hiccup at our end?

      • Hi Ada,
        That might explain why some comments end up posting twice, thanks for letting me know. I checked spam but didn’t find any from you or Kat. WordPress has some glitches here and there. Maybe when it happens next time you could send it again and if it ends up posting twice I can just delete the double?
        Sue 🙂

  34. endlessleeper says:

    has anyone here heard of “yonacare”? it’s a company that’s “reimagining” the medically redundant and dangerous pap smear/pelvic exam procedure. it’s done by a “kickass group of women” who don’t use the word “women” regarding the patients, rather they use the term “people with vaginas” or just “vagina”. not at all misogynistic, outdated, or useless. it’s infuriating seeing yet more women waste their time on trying to fix the intentionally broken and humiliating male-created system instead of gathering and creating more legitimate research.

    • adawells says:

      Just Googled it and very worrying. They say it is to make “your trip to the gynecologist more enjoyable” and have based the new speculum on a sex toy which is available from a sex toy outlet called “Good Vibrations”.

      They clearly want to maintain the annual exams in the face of the new 3 yearly pap which is coming into the US anytime now, I think?

      They sound like the same kind of people who clambered for mass cervical screening to be introduced in the first place. Perhaps that’s where gynecology should belong: in the sex shop. Let them get their regular perverted pleasures from there, and the rest of us have a healthcare service which addresses our healthcare needs instead of a regular fingering for cash incentives.

      • endlessleeper says:

        hear hear, adawells. at least someone with a strange fetish they didn’t drag the unwilling into could never create the horrible damage that the mass rape-n-scrape does. even women who are into gynecologist roleplaying say that the actual exam is humiliating. that about says it all!
        (as a tangent, shouldn’t people who call themselves “sex-positive” be MORE interested in the privacy of women and girls than they currently are? after all, how can you be an empowerfulized fauxminist when everyone’s up in your business, so to speak.)

  35. Allison says:

    I tried to email those Yona Care freaks to give them a piece of my mind and the message came back as delivery failure. 😦 Those demented broads inventing a new speculum for the gynorapogists to rape them with… isn’t that charming? And their idea of sending texts about your vagina is so effing sick and creepy!

  36. adawells says:


    It seems that HPV self testing is now available in Victoria, Australia.

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