Some women may be concerned about not being able to attend their regularly scheduled pap test due to the COVID-19 situation. Women have long been encouraged to view pap tests as necessary and life saving. Now due to the current situation, women are suddenly being told to not attend their local health clinics for pap testing.
Messaging that promoted pap tests as urgent and life saving has taken a sudden, reverse turn, with cancer screening sites prompting women to stay home rather than attend for screening. A Canadian government site states “A Pap test is a non-urgent, non-emergent screening test. By not visiting your health care provider, you are supporting physical distancing which will assist in efforts to minimize COVID-19 transmission in healthy people” (source).
Messaging in England and Wales tells women that “It may help to remember that having HPV and cell changes are not cervical cancer. About 9 in 10 people get rid of HPV within 2 years and many low grade cell changes go back to normal without treatment. It’s also good to remember that cervical cancer itself is rare” (source).
The propaganda that promoted pap tests as urgent and life saving has been replaced with messaging that is more balanced and realistic. This is a move in the right direction but it’s a shame that it took a pandemic to instill some truth in pap test messaging.
Thanks to Katrehman for her comment on April 30 about this topic.
More about this topic:
Doctor who doesn’t have pap tests: https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/2234123-why-i-don-t-have-smears https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2014/04/19/top-five-reasons-for-opting-of-pap-tests/ https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2016/04/23/pap-tests-are-not-mandatory/ https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2016/01/28/doctors-need-to-stop-pushing-pap-tests/ https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2015/01/10/gynecological-procedures-can-cause-ptsd/