The current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association contains an article whose headline is:…
Also doctors want to make it look as tho All woman get paps to make woman feel like they cant servive with out pap smears and to make it seem like its part of being a woman and to make it seem as like the only reson woman are alive is because of the pap smear. also doctors think most woman do get the test when really its a lot less than they think.
I just worry that Obama's awful health legislation will FORCE women to have those barbaric exams and tests or face paying fines or be thrown in jail. I cannot believe that law was upheld by The Supreme Court.
Im about worried about that too. if they pass a forced health insuerance then they must have no respect or baundres for people. also i know it sbeen said before in that bill there is going to be a push for preventitive health and womans health also paying doctors to keep pple healthy sounds like the insentives that drives the UK pap system. I dont know what to think but. Im 28 and have not and will not have paps i wonder i think woman like me are going to be there first targets. im scared what if i break my arm and i cant get medical help bcause im not up to date with there screening.
Also I dont make that much so im sure ill have to get meadicad. all iv heard is horrer storys about how ever woman onit is treated like a walking std protitute and is harrased to be on birth control. yes I am scared.
OK so this blog started in 2005. And what is today's headline in Medcsape Daily news? "Unnecessary Pap Tests in Millions of US women".
Doctors have to be serious slow learners.
Mary, Have you read the recent posts on Sue's site? I think we need your medical science degree...amazing that many of us have studied this subject for decades and most of our information comes from sources like the Nordic Cochrane Institute, BMJ, MJA, Dr Raffle, Prof Baum...yet everything we post becomes "unsubstantiated" because we don't have a medical degree. Of course, these people express great concern that we may be misleading women and turn them into victims, yet have no problem with the majority of "health" websites and brochures that present a one-sided view of screening. We have to present peer reviewed references, they don't, nor do the women who say every woman in their family has had cervical cancer and was saved by pap testing. Interesting we're the only group that's viewed with suspicion, anger, impatience and are clearly regarded as a problem for some/many in the medical world and elsewhere.
I hadn't visited Sue's site lately, but I just added my 2 cents.
What a tool he is.
That was fun. Mary thank you for your two cents! Thank you Elizabeth for alerting the troops as I was hoping the cavalry would arrive. And arrive it did! Thank you. It is a nice feeling to know I have an army of support. I inadvertently started the back and forth going again with a comment last night, but I couldn't contain myself after learning about the "facebook debacle".
Chrissy thank you. You showed up at a particularly good point in time last night.
I laughed at those references to "lab monkey" and "tool".
Sue, no problem, glad to help.
His condescending and patronising posts sent me down memory lane. If I had a pound for every doctor I have met with this arrogant and superior attitude I would be a very rich woman.
Hopefully he will now think twice before attempting to ‘educate’ others in the same hectoring manner.
I know this may be a little off from the subject of smear tests and choice but I just read the following: http://www.comelook.org/Intro.html
and I am forever shocked.
Sue, sorry for the late response, but yes I'm totally fine with you quoting some of my words in your excellent article about the psychological harms of pelvic exams!
I also enjoyed the comments that put our anton boy back into his place lol. Though I think it's sad that he can only show respect and humble himself when he realizes he's dealing with someone with an academic degree in medical science. It shows how obedient he is to those whom he considers to be his superiors in the hierarchy of medicine and how he positions himself like a priest speaking the word of 'God' towards all those who don't have his education like a bunch of peasants who need to be lectured and patronized.
I find it very dangerous and it's a symbol of the patriarchy we still live in. It means that if none of us had an academic degree in medical science, he'd still not be listening and what is being said, goes one ear in and the other one out. Closed-minded much? For someone who wants the 'truth to out' he should care more about the message or info instead of from where the info is coming from.
In his patriarchal mind, only the ratio is valued as a source of intelligence and reliability, whereas other forms of intelligence, such as intuition aren't even recognized as such.
If women feel raped for instance by this medical exam that is still considered as medically beneficial, then they are being silenced and ridiculed because their feelings are unjustified in the face of the so called facts. Excuse me, but I don't need no facts or external proof from an "expert" or peer reviewed journal to know whether I have been raped or not or to know whether this test is of any value. The scientific facts, even the real ones as we know them, should become secondary in such a case. Therefore everyone is entitled to their beliefs about what is healthy or good for themselves. Science has its place in society but should not be used as the all knowing and only source of knowledge or it becomes a religious institution and ironically makes it no longer a real science.
Elizabeth: "Of course, these people express great concern that we may be misleading women and turn them into victims, yet have no problem with the majority of "health" websites and brochures that present a one-sided view of screening"
Yeah, because their great concern isn't about whether women are misled/ victimized or not, but whether women are still going to listen to the established order and keep viewing them as the authority. If they dare to start to follow their gut instinct for instance, these doctors lose their sense of superiority and that is what really concerns them so much ..
I've been reading some of the comments on Canadian sites...frantic responses to the news that the starting age for pap testing will be raised to age 25 and then every 3 years.
Very few women understand why, most think it's dangerous cost-cutting, but then most are "survivors" or know someone who survived thanks to pap testing and "treatment"...off with those bad cells.
Incredible that after decades many have a view of cc and screening unsupported by the facts. You can't blame them, this is the story that's been fed to us for decades. Walt Disney could do a version...
CC is not rampant and never was, it was never a major health issue in developed countries. "Cervical cancer would be an epidemic without pap testing"...rubbish, it's always been rare.
It's telling there are so many comments from women, "I had bad cells off at 19, imagine if I'd been screened for the first time at 25"
Yeah, imagine, a healthy young woman with an intact cervix. Instead we have a woman who "thinks" she owes her life to pap testing, a survivor, who is terrified of a rare cancer and never misses a pap test. This is the sort of thing we hear over and over...now this is helpful when coverage is the only concern - fear is a powerful motivator, it keeps many women tied to annual pap tests. "If I leave it any longer something bad might start growing"..."my pap test was normal and the next year abnormal, what if I'd waited 3 years"...you probably wouldn't have got the abnormal pap test, clearly a false positive - the odds are very high with annual screening. Yet over-detection convinces women that even 6 monthly pap testing might be safer.
This really must be the most successful snow job in history, how were they able to keep so many deceived for so long? I guess because they have the power to control the type of information released to women, and control the consult room...and they've always silenced dissenters and dismissed informed consent. The acceptance of medical coercion helped as well. Still...you'd think after decades more of us would have woken up.
It cuts across the generations with younger women vigilant, "because my mother had cancer cells treated when she was 20, thank goodness for pap tests".
Hopefully, when these changes are finally made, more women will see that they've been deceived/misled by their trusted health professionals.
I've just read through Sue's blog... Dear friends, you have done a great job! If women's health care ever improves, starts treating women like grown-ups, abolishes the patronizing attitude and starts respecting informed consent, it will be because of you and the like!
I believe if we keep demanding the truth, keep learning the real facts, keep questioning the "recommendations" and "guidelines", keep seeking the heath care that will REALLY act in OUR interests, keep protecting ourselves from unnecessary harm, keep refusing pap smears because they are unreliable, invasive, excessive tests with potentially harmful outcome, we may eventually force the medical system to arrive to 21st century and offer women HPV primary testing with self-test option, and invest the money currently wasted on pap smears into the development of therapeutic vaccines that could clear existing HPV infections, prevent the appearance and progression of lesions and eliminate existing lesions and cancers.
Such therapeutic vaccine, in conjunction with freely-available HPV self-test, would do a much better job in preventing and curing cervical cancer.
Who would disagree (if one is concerned about cervical cancer) that it is much better to have an HPV self-test, and, if it is positive, do the same test a year or two later, and, if still positive, have a few therapeutic vaccine shots to clear the virus, rather than being coerced into pap smears, then being raped with speculums, then having the cervix butchered with lasers, LEEPs, freeze, cone biopsies and who knows what else, and then coerced into more pap smears?
The medical system keeps whining that this way is too costly. But if so, they should stop wasting taxpayers' money on the faulty pap-screen program, annoying pap smear registers, stupid TV ads about pap-smears and silly posters in public transport about the "rampant" cervical cancer. They should... but I bet they don't want to dismantle the existing monstrous pap-smearing medical machine and loose all the employment opportunities in coercing, bullying, smearing, biopsying, slashing, burning, freezing and smearing again. All "for our own good", naturally.
Hello. I am reacting to comments posted above about the case of former GP Clifford AYLING. I am his daughter, and would like to confirm that I have not abandoned supporting him just because I no longer deal with the website that I set up for him. There is plenty sufficient information on the website to show that a lot of what was written in the Ayling Inquiry Report was misleading or incorrect, and I feel that it is more useful at present to direct my energy elsewhere. Unlike other people, I have had access to a lot of documentation concerning the case, and also some of the witnesses to the Inquiry, and am in a position to know that there was no attempt to actually find out the truth of the allegations against my father. I am still working on the case in the background, but obviously have my own life to lead also. I was able to provide the Ayling Inquiry with evidence that Clifford Ayling was not working in some of the places where it is claimed he indecently assaulted patients (who are impossible to identify and whom apparently the Inquiry never attempted to trace...). I can understand that people who are informed only by the media and an incorrect report should feel horrified, but that is what misleading sensationalist reporting aims at. It has been suggested recently in independant academic documentation that the Ayling Inquiry Report should be reviewed and that there is a high probability that the criminal conviction which led to the Ayling Inquiry was a miscarriage of justice. Reading this was very uplifting for me as I no longer feel alone in my knowledge that something went very wrong in the handling of the case. Thankyou for reading this. Joan AYLING
I've just been reading about the 1.3 million American women over-diagnosed with breast cancer over the last 30 years.
"More than a million US women have received unnecessary and invasive cancer treatments over the last 30 years, thanks to routine mammograms that detected harmless tumors, scientists said" You'll find the study in quite a few places.
No wonder many women think cancer is everywhere today, it is a real problem, but when you add 1.3 million cases to the incidence rate it looks even more common. Not to mention the poor women who endured unnecessary surgery, radiation and chemo and live with the cancer tag. (and their daughters and sisters would be considered high risk with all the hassle and worry that brings)
I also read millions is spent doing mammograms on American women over 75...I guess money is money, it doesn't have to make sense.
Joan, I adored my father and cannot imagine the pain you're living with, but I simply don't believe this large number of women, many with strikingly similar stories, almost all unknown to each other, are lying, mistaken or just chasing compensation. I feel very deeply for anyone who's been abused by a doctor, priest, teacher or anyone else - these men got away with it for a very long time.
I think you're wise to be getting on with your life.
Hello Elizabeth from Australia.
Your comment is an example of the result of misleading media reporting, because many of the women who made allegations did know each other. The first two who started off the allegations were friends and talked together about making a complaint before they did it, it says so in the trial transcript.
I don't really know why people keep assuming I'm living with some sort of pain, I'm not. I did the research and myself and my family now know for certain that my father was a victim of a miscarriage of justice. You can have no idea how such a large case can be trumped up until you start investigating how women were interviewed and what there was in it for the authorities. My father spent a few years in prison and lost his assets, but he didn't die, or have a terrible accident, and he's still here with us able to enjoy time with his children and grandchildren. I'm not in any pain.
I also feel deeply for anyone who has been abused. But I don't feel anything in particular for people who go around pretending to have been abused, or those that go around upholding false claims and manipulating women for their own financial gain (notably police officers looking for promotion and solicitors who obtain fantastic amounts of public money in fees). Those people do great harm to the real victims of abuse who don't get any support if they aren't part of some big group who get compensation by being numerous - in the Clifford Ayling case the women got money from the health authority as out of court settlements, but there was no admission of liability. I haven't seen anything about any of these women having set up any form of support group for victims of abuse. One of them even said in court that if she got compensation she wouldn't use it for any form of therapy.
Here's a link to a summary of the academic documentation I mentioned in my commentary above. It says "The Ayling case exposes the potential for miscarriages of justice involving doctors, because it demonstrates the effect of trawling tactics used by the police in their investigation and the risk of the compensation factor....All of the inquiries in this work were instigated by Labour's Health Secretary, Alan Milburn. It is argued that the Blair administration was less concerned with addressing the problem of medico-crime than using inquiries into such cases to introduce a raft of new NHS policies. It suggests that a solution to the problem of medico-crime could be rooted in health consumerism, but that such a solution runs contrary to the resource-control aims of the State".
Elizabeth, the Cochrane Review says it all. If you screen 2000 women regularly for 10 years, 10 healthy women will become cancer patients and will be treated unnecessarily. And those women end up in the breast cancer incidence statistics. Considering over-diagnosis in breast screening makes the common breast cancer a little less common.
I guess over-diagnosis is very welcome for the medical community. It means more profit for them and even more importantly, over-diagnosed women usually don't die from breast cancer or from the treatment after 5 or 10 years after the diagnosis. They help immensely to boost the survival rate.
Has anybody seen the news that ACOG are now recommending that doctors encourage teenage girls to use birth control implants instead of oral contraceptives as their only method of birth control other than condoms. This is yet another tactic to groom American women from an early age to become used to invasive treatment and a life long dependence on the gynaecological merry-go-round. I don’t believe this is the best strategy to prevent teen pregnancy, comprehensive sex education has been demonstrated to work effectively. I am also concerned that IUD’s still hold more of a risk to women from infection and perforation of the uterus than complications from oral contraceptives.
Sia, that article is misleading by saying the pill has to be taken at the same time every day. That only applies to the mini pill and most women are on the combined pill. The main reason there are unwanted pregnancies in the US is because doctors create barriers to hormonal contraception by enforcing pelvics and paps.
If I wanted to have children in the future I would NEVER get an IUD. The perforation rate seems incredibly high just from the ancedotal stories I read on the www.
If the IUD gives a women even a small chance of becoming infertile from infection or perforation why on earth would they recommend them? And why would doctors want teenagers who haven't given birth to go through the insertion process of IUDs? It's apparently especially painful for nulliparous women.
That does not surprise me one bit. hear in the US doctors do seem to use birth control to control woman and young girls. i have heard of some of our doctors pushing birth control on woman that dont want or need it as a cancer preventitve. i do think its used to forcde woman to come inevery year and pay for exams and paps. but the teenage birth control thing is going way to far, who the heck knows what those hormonal implates can do to the young femaile body also i can see doctors trying to force teens to use this also brain wasxh moms not to trust there daughters and force them to come in for an implant. if someone sugested i have one when i was a teen i whould have had a meltdown. its nothing but suprestion.
You're right Mary, IUD’s are way too risky, we've all heard horror stories from China's mandatory contraceptive implants, it's alarming that ACOG would recommend that IUD’s be the main source of birth control for young women, at the beginning of their reproductive life.
At least in the US there are some doctors, who will prescribe oral contraception without a vaginal inspection, if girls and women are now being pressured to only use IUD's, which requires an exam and fitting, I would think that this would contribute to even more of a barrier to obtain birth control and lead to more unwanted pregnancies.
Also most woman that have not had kids yet say the insertion is most most pain full thing they have ever had screeming in pain. also intense cramps like being stabed for weeks and heavy painfull periods. its disturbing. also this idea has came to lite after the new health bill made birth control free. i can see this being shoved at girls and woman like paps have been. i find it very disturbing
And just another plan to have acces to the girls bodys with this devise girls will have to have a pelvic it could be the acog is geting reports of woman demanding bc with out paps ans pelvics and this might be a nother attempt at keeping power ovedr girls and woman. also creating more income from all the firtiltiy and health problems this will create.
keigh I think you're spot on. If doctors can't keep info away from women anymore that that they can get the pill without a pelvic exam and pap smears are only recommended every three years then gynos are probably worried about their loss of income. There's no money in writing a script but an IUD requires a yearly pelvic to check it's in place. Widespread IUDs will help keep the status quo.
Actually the stories I read of the numerous visits women with IUDs make back to their gyno probably make them very lucrative. Going back to get the strings cut, getting ultrasounds to check it's still in the right place, medication for side effects, IUDs are a great income stream for doctors. They irony is IUDs are promoted as a "set and forget" form of birth control but they are anything but.
well what do ya know...
"“Gynecologists typically do a pelvic and speculum exam after placing an IUD, but there’s no sonogram involved,” said Dr. Moschos, when the study was published in the May 2011 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. “Based on the results of our study, we believe that sonographic evaluation of IUDs after insertion and for surveillance should be a topic of ongoing consideration.”
I came acroos this article on IUDS. Read this bit: "Nellie got her IUD easily and cheaply at Planned Parenthood and she’s since converted two friends, though one backed out mid-insertion. To a certain extent, the sisterhood of the IUD is forged in the stirrups: The device is inserted into the uterus is through the cervix, which can hurt. Women struggle to describe the brief but memorable discomfort."
You know maybe this is like the sisterhood of the pap. Maybe we just don't get this sisterhood women's health BS. I think these women love having something unpleasant in common to share.And they hate us because we expose them for being gullible and foolish and we take away their feel good factor.
You took the words right out of my mouth. How lucrative to sell IUDs to teenagers and then tie them to annual "care" for many years. The profession knows population pap testing is being wound back and eventually more women will seek out HPV primary testing or self-test...so income from screening/over-screening and over-treatment will fall. Also, with the Pill available OTC, you can't coerce women into excess and more women are seeing through the annual well-woman nonsense. I'm sure we'll see more desperate measures to secure women and income.
I just read about a new pap test they're working on - their minds never rest. It will "hopefully" detect ovarian and uterine cancer. This means most women would be pressured to have invasive testing their entire lives.
I can see day procedure and surgery full to overflowing.
I have no interest submitting to invasive (and you can bet unreliable) testing every year of my life searching for rare cancers. If it happens women should have a very close look at it...you can bet Papscreen will "embrace" any new test.
Elizabeth I was reading that article about the new pap detecting ovarian and uterine cancer last night and it was making my toes curl. But if you read the following piece from the article it is possible to see they are actually testing the DNA:
"Researchers are trying to retool the Pap, a test for cervical cancer that millions of women get, so that it could spot early signs of other gynecologic cancers, too.
How? It turns out that cells can flake off of tumors in the ovaries or the lining of the uterus, and float down to rest in the cervix, where Pap tests are performed. These cells are too rare to recognize under the microscope. But researchers from Johns Hopkins University used some sophisticated DNA testing on the Pap samples to uncover the evidence, gene mutations that show cancer is present."
So they better be careful how they roll that one out - people will be able to catch on that they are testing for cancer using DNA. In other words, they would be able to collect samples from any part of the body containing DNA such as from saliva or blood, as all DNA is the same in every cell of the body. That is my understanding of DNA, Mary is this correct?
Creepy that they would choose to collect the DNA from the vagina - but not surprising.
Here is the link:
And it is a bit odd the news about the more "inclusive" monster pap comes on the heels of doctors getting their hands and speculums slapped away from women under age 25. Almost as if they are slapping back. I agree with you Elizabeth, it does sound rather desperate.
I haven't touched upon that yet but I will be this year. I just had a peek at the textbook I'll be using this year and it looks like cancer cells have different DNA to normal cells because they have mutated. Otherwise you would have cancer in every cell in your body if you had same DNA.
Thanks Mary, that makes sense. I remember a while back they were promoting an HIV test, which they tested using saliva. If they can test for HIV using saliva, I wonder why they can't test for HPV the same way - or maybe they can.
If cancer cells can "flake off" and "float down", then wouldn't they be in a person's blood stream? Also, if they can "rest in the cervix", why wouldn't they "float down" to the vaginal vault. Everything "floatable" inside the uterus does eventually work its way out and down, such as menstrual blood. In this case, it seems a self vaginal swab would be just as effective as a cervical swab.
Sue, Dr Papanicolaou's paper from the 1940s which I read the other day talks about cancer cells shedding and migrating down into the vagina. Also he studied uterine cancer not cervical cancer. In his early experiments they collected the cells by putting a pippette into the vagina and letting it suck up some cells. They weren't scaping the cervix. So I reckon it should be able to be done that way. But there probably is a lot of other kind of stuff in the vagina which makes it harder so they would rather do it by scaping the cervix further up. It might be easier for them but it's not going to be fun for us.Patient comfort comes second.
Mary would the cancer cells not also be in a person's bloodstream? Also, it seems menstrual blood would be an effective way to collect cancerous cells that were resting in the cervix. "Floatable" cells don't "rest" anywhere as far as I know. If they can locate and identify cells from blood/saliva/bodily fluid then they should be able to collect cells from the vaginal vault. When a woman has had a hysterectomy due to malignancy, they still collect cells from the vaginal vault in order to test for cancer. Why? If there is other stuff in the vagina that makes it more difficult, why do they still do it?
Also, HPV is a virus just as HIV is a virus, and therefore would be in saliva - why no saliva test for HPV? If they can do it for HIV why not HPV? Or any virus for that matter.
Sorry Mary, I'm just on a bit of a rant and you don't have to answer any of these questions! I'm just venting, and confused as I suspect there are plenty of other methods to test that are effective without having them look for further excuses to open up women's vaginas. I have heard there are blood/DNA tests for everything but there is resistance to make them available. There was a blood test for prostate cancer (PSA) that was being used, but they have now taken it away.
I think that blood tests don't check for cancer per se but look for certain reactions in the blood that are happening when someone has cancer, which is probably why they say PSA and CSA blood tests aren't accurate.
"When a woman has had a hysterectomy due to malignancy, they still collect cells from the vaginal vault in order to test for cancer. Why? If there is other stuff in the vagina that makes it more difficult, why do they still do it?"
We know the anwswer to that. Money. There is no evidence that vaginal vault tests are effective at all.
I think that your ideas are probably a few years away yet. The industry has loved pap smears so much that we have had this stupid outdated thing for way past its use by date. I think it's unbelieveable that they still use such an antiquated test.
Sue, some things are still unclear, but these facts are crystal clear:
Women who wish to test...do not need 26 or even more pap tests. It high risk for no additional benefit.
Women under 30 don't benefit from pap testing, but produce the most false positives.
The same number of cases will occur whether you screen or not, so why would you screen? Perhaps, to enjoy the profits from a rich pool of over-detection. Call me a cynic...but a similar comment was made by an English doctor in the Comments section of the BMJ when discussing our program, "a lucrative sideline for gynaecologists". I'm sure many in the medical world would agree...albeit behind closed doors.
Over-screening provides no additional benefit, but greatly increases the risks, so why do we continue to seriously over-screen? Note: Finland has had a 7 pap test program since the 1960s.
We now know that only 5% of women can benefit from pap testing, those HPV+ and aged 30+...so why do we persist with population pap testing and over-screening?
For those women who wish to test, there is no need for most to have invasive exams/testing at all, women could simply test using the Delphi Screener which would rule out 95% from pap testing. (or Tampap)
So why do we persist with unnecessary pap testing (with the high risk of over-treatment) for most of the female population?
I have always believed people who control these programs are not acting in the interests of women. They're people who don't care how many women they harm, and they're content to put women through frequent, uncomfortable/painful etc pap testing.
That's all I need to know, I wouldn't trust these people with my health and well-being. I'll continue to go straight to medical journals and especially, to the NCI, Dutch and Finnish sources.
Our doctors are not stupid, they know all of this, certainly the ones at the top.
If you've read the excellent book on breast screening by Dr Peter Gotzsche, you'll know that Australia has some powerful people who blocked the release of the NCI report for quite a few years. I think their actions and inaction are VERY concerning. I have nothing but contempt for those who feed off the healthy female body to satisfy their own interests.
Elizabeth, thank you and I was hoping to hear some comforting wise words from you. As for the "flaking" and "floating" "cancer" cells - good grief. Cells don't "float down" to where you want them to "rest". Cells are absorbed into the blood/lymph streams. How ridiculous to think they will "float down" to a predictable location.
I heard from Jacqui and she is OK. She said she will be back here in about a week.
Hi! First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who contributed to this blog. It's been of a great help to me. I've read through many comments here - very informative and eye-opening! But I still need a bit more help in getting some more information.
I've jut been to a doctor because of my injured foot. I haven't been to this medical practice before: we moved house 2 years ago and haven't had a need to see a doctor all that time. Anyway, the foot was quite sore and I thought I'd better get it checked.
The doctor seemed very welcoming and smiling at first. Because I was a new patient, she went through a long list of questions, and, of course, eventually arrived to the infamous "When was your last pap smear?" I honestly answered: never.
I know I can tell you this here: I just don't believe in these smears. The only woman I have ever known in my life to get this "rampant" cervical cancer was the woman who has been religiously smearing bi-annually, just as the medical system wants us to. All other friends of mine, colleagues and family members - nobody does pap smears, nobody even goes to ob/gyns, unless pregnant! And they are all fine, even though some are very old now.
I didn't tell any of this to the doctor. But she wouldn't have given me a chance anyway: after she heard my "never", she just made very big and scary eyes and announced that I am an irresponsible young woman who is playing Russian roulette with her health and life. And that I "must" have a pap smear, better right now, before it's too late.
I really didn't want any smear. Not then, nor later. But I tried to be polite and reasoned that I need to think it over, do some research, consider the harm/benefits balance and, if I conclude I do need one, I'll come for a pap later.
At this point the doctor started sound quite angry. She said that it's the doctor's job to make conclusions about medical tests and treatments. She also added that I may already have cervical cancer and not know it, because it is very common in women who don't screen!
I told her that it shouldn't be that scary: I had a negative HPV test result 3 years ago, and that I will have an opportunity to do another HPV test in 3-4 years. The doctor replied that the next HPV test is not going to be enough to rule the cancer out. She said that the cells can be damaged by HPV, then HPV is cleared out, but the cancer still develops out of the damaged cells. She also said it's just horrible how people read some rubbish in the Internet and then think they can argue with doctors!
That made me sick and angry. So I just asked her to give me an x-ray referral for my foot and left.
Then I went to Google and found this blog. Reading it made me feel so much better! I found lots of new info about the screening and cervical cancer. Thank you all for that.
But I'd like calm my nerves now, and want to feel at least as good as I was before visiting the doctor. I noticed that some women here are very knowledgeable about the topic (Elizabeth, for example). So I'd like to ask someone here (since I can't ask the doctor), just to get all those scares out of my mind.
I am 30 now. 3 years ago I worked in Northern Europe and met my boyfriend (now husband) there. Both of us have been in relationships before (never short term though), and we have been in absolutely monogamous relationship ever since we met. We both are quite responsible people and done a thorough STD check before getting intimate (we both felt we are very serious about each other and wanted to be 100% sure). Both of us confirmed to be healthy. During that check-up I was also offered an HPV test, which I accepted and which came back negative.
My questions are:
1. Can I really have cervical cancer, as the doctor frightened me, if I was HPV-negative 3 years ago?
2. Is it true that a negative HPV result doesn't mean there is no cervical cancer? Can it really happen that the body clears HPV, but HPV managed to "damage" the cells of the cervix into cancer before the clearance?
Sorry for the long text: I really wanted to provide as much info as possible. I am not a huge specialist in medicine, so I am quite confused about these details. And it is so difficult to find the truth: the "official" sources seem to be providing very carefully composed one-sided information and insisting on the necessity of frequent and continuous pap-screening, the facts they are giving don't seem to match and add up, which makes me reluctant to believe them.
Can anyone help to clarify the matter and find the truth, please?
My wife has a cyst growing in the joint of her 1st finger. the GP does not feel competent to cut it out and is getting a visiting dermatologist to have a look. but surely an orthopedic/joint specialist would be better?
I'm by no means an expert but from what I've read is that first of all HPV has never been proven to be the cause of cancer. I think it's more likely that in the case of cancer or any other disease, the body is already in a state of bad health and this attracts things like HPV (if HPV even exists, because there's a virologist Stefan Lanka, who argues that viruses don't exist. He does believe in parasites and bacteries..)
This idea that germs or in this case a virus causes disease is based on the germ theory that has never been proven.
Louis Pasteur, the so-called "father of modern germ theory" so widely revered by mainstream medicine, was largely responsible for germ theory being a primary precept of today`s medical practice. Few people are aware of the controversy which surrounded Pasteur in his early days or of the work of a more esteemed contemporary whose works Pasteur plagiarized and distorted. That contemporary was fellow French Academy of Sciences member Antoine Bechamp, one of France`s most prominent and active researchers and biologists whose theories and research results stood in stark opposition to Pasteur`s germ theory.
Bechamp, on the other hand, proved through original research that most diseases are the result of diseased tissue and that bacteria and viruses are largely after-effects instead of causes of disease.
Antoine Bechamp was able to scientifically prove that germs are the chemical by-products and constituents of pleomorphic microorganisms enacting upon the unbalanced, malfunctioning cell metabolism and dead tissue that actually produces disease. Bechamp found that the diseased, acidic, low-oxygen cellular environment is created by a toxic/nutrient deficient diet, toxic emotions, and a toxic lifestyle. His findings demonstrate how cancer develops through the morbid changes of germs to bacteria, bacteria to viruses, viruses to fungal forms and fungal forms to cancer cells.
Here more on the myth that HPV causes cervical cancer.
"Few scientists have a better grasp of the proposed virus/cancer model than Berkeley's Peter Duesberg PhD. In his scholarly paper tracing the history of the HPV/ cervical cancer story, Duesberg explains why HPV is such an unlikely cause of any cancer:
"no set of viral genes is consistently present or expressed in human cervical cancers.  S HPV does not replicate in the cancer cells. "
All that has ever been shown is that HPV is sometimes present in cervical cancer tissue, but as we know it's also present in half the normal population.
"There is a total lack of evidence that cervical cancer appears in women with HPV more often than in women without it."
Barbra, she said that you "must" have a pap smear. why do these doctors think they can order woman to have hands and tools inside there vagina. dont they knoe what rape is. the way they push this invasive exam on woman makes me wonder what there agenda is.
And she had no right to talk to you like that and make that statement. I whould have told her thats not what you were there for and thats not her place to say that. also i am 28 and have not had a pap smear ether. i do think they hate when woman see that they can servive years with out paps the ones that keep goign think the only reson that they are still alive is because of this test. and i too have been blasted by a medical profestional nurse when i she found i had not had a pap at the age of 24. you should have seen her face and she was not mush older than i. i bet she whoulf flip her lid if she had know most other countrys dont even test woman til 25 or 30 what a fool she was.
Barbara to answer your question I would say "no". Now of course I'm not a doctor. But for cervical cancer to occur the current thinking is that you need a perisistent long term infection. I do not believethat you can get an infection and then your body clears the HPV but then you get cc.
As countries are now offering an HPV test first and then only a pap smear if you are HPV positive then if would seem that your doctor doesn't know what she is talking about.
Here's a study showing how HPV tests are superior to pap smears.
"Significantly, none of the women who were negative on their DNA test died of cervical cancer. “So if you have a negative test, you’re good to go for several years,” Dr. Blumenthal said."
Hi guys! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and congrats to OIA on the birth of her baby. I have been really slack, finished up at hospital last week, back at work and having lots of nanna naps, and have not done more than have a quick read now and then to keep myself up to date with you guys. I'm now back (although probably a bit slower for a while!) Glad to see you're all still here, except for Phoenix, I hope she comes back. I am off to catch up on Sue's site, but just wanted to say I missed you all, and can't wait to get my shit together, catch up properly, and start arcing up! I think the forklift is long overdue for a workout Elizabeth! All the best to you guys, and hopefully this will be a great year for us. Oh yeah, I am amazed that so many of us on here are rug rat free. Yes, I have had the same mind numbing, eye rolling conversations that you guys have all been through. Imagine a woman knowing her own mind and knowing that she never wants kids. What next? Thinking doctors are out to get her via her vagina? Oh, um, hang on....
Hi Jacqui - welcome back!
Thanks Jane. I have missed everyone on here terribly.
Jacqui, be still my heart, so pleased to hear from you. We've missed you. How did the oxygen therapy go? Have things improved? I hope so...AND yes, pleased to hear the forklift is no longer safe. Hope you had an enjoyable Christmas and all the best for 2013.
Barbara, welcome. I agree with Mary...HPV does not "cause" cancer, but rather a persistent high risk strain of HPV over many years is a necessary first step, usually about 10 years...but that alone is not enough. It's the next bit that's unclear, it's a persistent hrHPV infection AND another factor, still unknown, something that pushes these rare cases to invasive cc. It may be HPV and smoking or HPV and an impaired immune system. The research continues, but I don't believe an HPV negative woman is at risk of cc. (and cannot benefit from pap testing) The new Dutch program means they'd agree with us.
The new Dutch program will only offer pap testing to the roughly 5% of women aged 30 to 60 who are HPV+...this sort of program is also being considered by several other countries.
Of course, someone HPV negative can always be infected by a new partner or her partner may pick up an infection and pass it to her, that's why Dutch women will be tested 5 times in total...to cover the risk of a new infection. I believe though, those women HPV negative and no longer sexually active might choose to stop testing if they were aware of the facts...and some HPV negative and confidently monogamous women would do the same thing. I think women should be given the facts and left to decide for themselves, the system shouldn't be making assumptions about us or our partners.
Do your reading and make up your own mind AND shop around for a decent doctor. I couldn't work with someone who demanded I test, tried to scare me with misinformation (or doesn't know the facts, just pushing the program) and then became rude. I wouldn't consider someone like that to be an ethical or competent doctor. Note: the target for pap testing to qualify for the financial incentives rose to 70% of eligible patients recently, so some/many GPs will be looking for every un-screened cervix to make up the numbers.
Can I ask where you tested for HPV? Did you use a self-test device? Did they explain the significance of being HPV negative?
Hi Elizabeth. Yes, fingers crossed it seems to have worked, instead of 50+ times per day I now go 10 - 20 times, and they hope it will reduce further. The effects are cumulative, so they feel I should have further improvements in the next 3 - 6 months. They want to do a paper on me as I am only the second patient they have had with these symptoms from radiation enteritis due to cc. They said because I am in effect a bit of a guinea pig I may need to come back in 6 - 12 months for a top up treatment of 10 - 20 sessions, but it is really just wait and see. Personally I am ecstatic that I have not had to wear a nappy for over 2 months, and that I have only had 2 very minor accidents in 3 months. Hardly any muss, not much fuss, it is so cool! I still have the "if I gotta go, I gotta go NOW" urgency, but that is much easier to cope with when it's only 10 or so times a day, rather than 50 or more times, and I get to SLEEP all through the night almost every night!!! I am so happy I have cried about it. Last week I did all the food shopping, and for the first time in I don't know how long I was home and back in 40 mins. No toilet stops, no having to restart my shopping, no more 3 - 4 hour saga! I didn't realize how awful it really was until it has stopped happening. I even went up to the local shops yesterday that I don't normally go to as they have no public toilets. Didn't even blink. I am crying as I write this, as it is becoming clear to me every time I go somewhere and don't have a poop issue just how much of my life it had taken over.
Enough about poop though, I am so glad to be typing a message to you! I have had yours, Mary's, Sia's, Phoenix's, Kleigh's, Sue's and everyone's voices in my head the last few weeks, encouraging me on, and getting my shit together (literally and figuratively!), and really feel like I had everyone's support while I did this treatment. It left me exhausted, and I had lots of trouble with my eyes (both were side effects I was told about, but not too bad, more aggravating than anything else), and I am so glad to be back. I have really missed everyone on here, and am just catching up on here and on Sue's site. Glad to see you all giving that arrogant wanker (sorry, educated man of medicine) the facts. What a tool.
You all look after yourselves, and the first thing I smash with the forklift will be just for you Elizabeth!
Thanks everyone for the helpful answers! Mary, Elizabeth, after what you said and linked to, things started making much more sense and it looks like I'm quite safe without any pap-screening. I definitely won't go to this doctor again.
Elizabeth, I had the HPV test as a part of an elective comprehensive STD check-up, so it wasn't a self-test device. It was done in Sweden. From what I understood, they were trialling primary HPV testing at that stage and were offering willing women to take part in it. It didn't require any extra examination/inconvenience in addition to the tests I wanted to have done, so I agreed. When results came back negative, they said that, if the current knowledge about HPV/cervical cancer link is correct, I am not at risk of this cancer and that I don't need to do this test again for at least 5 years. That's why I felt safe and that's why I was so shocked by my recent visit to the doctor. What she was telling me was the opposite to what I was told in Sweden.
Graeme, I am far removed from the medical profession, so please consider the degree of helpfulness of my experience. I used to have a cyst on the inner side of my middle finger. It appeared suddenly. Looking back, I think I strained the joint a few weeks before the cyst appeared. The cyst size was about 4mm and caused moderate pain when it was under pressure; so every time I held something in my hand, I felt it. I visited a very good joint surgeon to check it (luckily, had an opportunity in Sweden). He said it was a ganglion cyst. Ganglion cysts are benign (never turn to cancer), but they may cause inconvenience and even pain, when surrounded by nerves. He also said that it is not 100% known why they appear. There is an option to do a surgery to remove it, but the downside of it that after the surgery, there is almost 80% chance it will appear again.
Because I have very fine hands, the surgeon advised me not to proceed with surgery. The risk of damage was high. He said that if I could live with the pain/inconvenience the cyst was causing, I should wait another year. Ganglion cysts sometimes disappear in the first year after their appearance. The doctor said I should be careful with my hands: no straining, no pulling or heavy lifting. He told me to massage the joint and do very gentle stretches. I had a bottle of emu oil from Australia and used it for the massages. I also tried to eat food that is good for joint health. After 5 moths the cyst disappeared. The joint still feels a bit tender, but I am being very careful with it.
Jacqui, it's great to see you here and to hear that you are feeling better! I'm so glad the the therapy worked!! Hope the improvements continue and in 3-6 months you will feel even better. Please take care. We all missed you here.