Smear Test Poster - Little Boy on stair - Mum didn't have test - now I have no Mum.

(153 Posts)
Granitetopping Wed 20-Feb-13 23:34:37

AIBU to think that this poster is in poor taste and uses unnecessary emotional blackmail?

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 20-Feb-13 23:36:04

That's the point isn't it. I've not had a smear for 10 years. But this ad has made me think.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 20-Feb-13 23:36:14

That's the whole point of it

ceeveebee Wed 20-Feb-13 23:36:59

Yes you are BU. it's incredibly important to have smear tests and if it takes a shock tactic like that to wake people up to that fact, so be it
Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer?

shesariver Wed 20-Feb-13 23:37:10

Well then its done it job. What do you find in poor taste?

SirBoobAlot Wed 20-Feb-13 23:37:57

Yes, YABU. The point is to shock you. And if it shocks you enough to piss you off, but then makes you think ''When did I last have a smear..?'', then it's worked.

I expect it's made like that on purpose.
The idea is to guilt people into doing what "the nanny state" want us to - doctors get paid bonuses for how many patients they get to do certain things, and smear teat take up is one of them.
Yes, it can save lives (although data varies as to numbers and ages and suchlike) but the Practice also get paid for each woman they get to have one. They are incentivised to "make" or persuade women any way they can, and emotional blackmail is one of those ways.

test not teat confused

Granitetopping Wed 20-Feb-13 23:40:46

No I don't know anyone who has had cervical cancer. I think it is in poor taste for anyone with children who is receiving treatment for cervical cancer. I don't think the guilt trip is necessary.

ceeveebee Wed 20-Feb-13 23:44:13

I know someone who has cervical cancer and she would disagree with you as it's always banging on about keeping up to date with smear tests

ceeveebee Wed 20-Feb-13 23:44:34

Oops not its - she's

SirBoobAlot Wed 20-Feb-13 23:45:29

Hardly think it's a ''nanny state'' issue, Pom. And if a doctor gets paid a bit more but more women are diagnosed with cancer earlier on, then that's fine by me.

Northey Wed 20-Feb-13 23:45:57

I wouldn't want to speak for people with children undergoing treatment for cervical cancer, but it' not impossible that they would support a campaign to encourage women to be screened and perhaps be saved from being in the same position that they are.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 20-Feb-13 23:48:02

A friend of dh's died of cervical cancer in her early 20s leaving very young children. Her mum now consigns for younger women to be allowed smears. They would support anything that got women to their tests.

Broodymomma Wed 20-Feb-13 23:50:02

Have to say I did not like it either I think it says "mum missed her smear test, now I miss my mum" but I suppose it done its job and provoked a reaction.

No, I think it is a good idea.

It may piss some people off or seem poor taste but if it saves even 1 life through that then it is worth it.

Booyhoo Wed 20-Feb-13 23:54:07

well that is the reality for many children whose mothers have died due to cervical cancer that wasn't caught early enough. i'm not sure what the problem is really. it is entirely possible that if you dont have regular smears you could miss the window of opportunity to save your life and leave dcs behind.

WorraLiberty Wed 20-Feb-13 23:55:10

Yes it's a guilt trip and it's a good one.

My Aunt died of cervical cancer...hated medical check ups and didn't find out until it was too late.

My best friend discovered hers in the early stages through smear testing and I thank God every day that she do her DH, DD and her grandson.

I write as someone who is a cervical cancer survivor, but will never have children because of it.

Cervical cancer does kill young mothers every year. I did not find the advert in poor taste - yes, I do affectionately nag my friends about smears, and I shared the poster on FB. At the time I was going through my treatment I got to know several other women through the Jo's Trust website - sadly, not all of them survived and some left behind very young children.

Madlizzy Thu 21-Feb-13 00:31:10

I absolutely agree with the advert. Smear tests DO save lives. I'd be dead by now in all probability if I'd not had regular smears, as I had so rogue cells zapped off. My sister in law, same age as me ended up with a radical hysterectomy due to cervical cancer that was detected by a smear test. That was the smear test that she'd put off for a while. Nothing at all to do with the nanny state and I consider that a daft opinion.

I love that the NHS is given incentives to to have us give up smoking, have smears and all that. Would you rather live in the US where healthcare makes most money when people are, and stay, sick? No thanks. Pills for bloody everything and everyone is still sick.

squeakytoy Thu 21-Feb-13 00:43:17

My birth mother has just had the all clear, after a year of treatment including chemo. She didnt bother to have smear tests for many years. She is very lucky to be alive.

hoobnoob Thu 21-Feb-13 00:55:32

I knew a lady who died of cervical cancer, she was in her late 20's with two small kids.

Anything that will shock people into getting a smear test done is fine with me.

EverythingInMjiniature Thu 21-Feb-13 01:01:55

Oh FFS pombears! Why do you think GPs are 'paid' to encourage smears? For shits and giggles? It's really not.

Who do you think commissions these ads? The individual gp practices? Or the department of health, who (via a roundabout route) have to pay more to each practice if they meet QOF targets? It's really not a conspiracy, it recognises a devastating cancer early enough to treat.

JakeBullet Thu 21-Feb-13 01:04:29

Yeah Pombear because doctors and nurses really LOVE watching a woman doe from a preventable cancer hmm.

So if they are given incentives to encourage folk in for the test and it prevents just ONE woman dying needlessly then it's worthwhile in my opinion and NOTHING to do with a "Nanny State".

Morloth Thu 21-Feb-13 01:06:41

Women are often givers and put themselves last, especially Mums.

When I think about dying, I am not afraid for myself, I am afraid that my children would be left without me and that would break their hearts and effect them for the rest of their lives.

I seriously doubt I am alone in this. So while I might put off a smear test because it is unpleasant and to be honest I don't fear death from a personal point of view. I will go through it, because it increases the chances that they will have their mum for longer.

Anything that gets women to take a bit of care for themselves is a positive in my book, even if they are doing it for other people.

DoJo Thu 21-Feb-13 01:09:18

The only reason the quotas exist is to incentivise the cheaper option of prevention rather than cure, which is also the option most likely to have actually cure the cancer - it works for the NHS and the patients, so why not?

YABU and yet not at the same time.

I know I really struggle with ads like this. I remember almost bursting into tears in a petrol station after they played an advert about stopping smoking which had a child's voice saying, "don't smoke mummy, I don't want you to die", which I just had to hear on the day my mum told me she had inoperable terminal lung cancer.

So yeah... I get why they do ads like that, but it can be really harmful if you are vulnerable.

RaspberryRuffle Thu 21-Feb-13 01:20:23

YABU - the point of the ad is to encourage women to go for their smear test and presumably is more effective than "Please do come along for your smear ladies if you can fit it in". So many women postpone them when 5 or 10 minutes could literally be a life-saving choice.
Similar tactics are used in road safety accidents or anti-smoking campaigns. Considering the outcomes portrayed are actually possible then I don't think they're in poor tasse at all.

IneedAgoldenNickname Thu 21-Feb-13 01:39:58

Sometimes adverts like that are needed, I have a couple of friends who put off their smear tests as 'they are uncomfortable' maybe this ad will make them think twice!

And this thread has reminded me that mine is due, so thanks smile

My friend who had cervical cancer last year posted that on facebook a couple of weeks ago. If it's okay for her, then it's okay for me. If a guilt trip saves a womans life then so be it.

All said and done, it's true. If you don't have a smear but have cancer, you will be diagnosed too late and could die, leaving behind your loved ones. Noboday wants that.

When I think about dying, I am not afraid for myself, I am afraid that my children would be left without me and that would break their hearts and effect them for the rest of their lives.

Hell yes. I realised I was a mother when, DURING A SMEAR my nurse found an issue. I was having a near panic attack thinking that my darling girl could grow up without a mother. Then I realised, hold on, I could die. Weird how things change when the small people turn up.

Have a smear everyone.

lottiegarbanzo Thu 21-Feb-13 04:02:20

The point is it's very treatable if caught early. So if you keep up with the smears, chances of developing untreatable cancer are very low. If left, it can become untreatable.

Jade Goody's case made people think about exactly this scenario and boosted uptake of smears. Probably that effect has worn off now and this campaign is an attempt to keep numbers up, referencing her case for those who might remember.

MercedesKing Thu 21-Feb-13 07:01:55

In fact I thought the ad target the right point, it worth it from aspects of saving lives. hmm

TheOldestCat Thu 21-Feb-13 07:11:56

That nanny state eh? Trying to save lives and all...

I shared this on Facebook. Had CIN 3 cells picked up by a smear a few years ago. I'm grateful for that nanny state.

SkinnybitchWannabe Thu 21-Feb-13 07:15:38

I hope it does shock more women into having their smears.
Jades death made me go after leaving it for 10 years..thank God I did, after 3 operations and a smear every year I have had the all clear for the past 4 years.
If a poster like this means we're in a 'nanny state' then so be it..I'd happily give bonuses for every sucessful treatment (ridiculous comment btw)

MissPants Thu 21-Feb-13 07:28:04

Well it's effective. Having had various annoying but ignorable symptoms myself for a few months (pelvic pain, irregular bleeding, period just arrived 3 weeks late etc.) I just, after reading this thread, decided to make a GP appointment this morning.

The thought of leaving my precious DC is terrifying, but I have spent months thinking in terms of "this is irritating but I can cope". I never once allowed myself to think how they would cope if I ignored this and it all went wrong.

So YABU, but thanks for popping this on here, I hadn't seen the ad myself.

LauraPashley Thu 21-Feb-13 07:31:20

I'm going for a smear today, put off 2 reminders because of work hours, childcare etc. only got finger out and booked because I saw the ad.

TheDeadlyDonkey Thu 21-Feb-13 07:49:10

I am due a smear test.
I saw this ad, and promptly booked myself in.
It works, so I'm ok with it, even though it is upsetting.

I think its good!

I was to scared to go for my smear and put it off for two years, i posted here and a very wise mumsnetter encouraged bullied me into going.

Whatever gets women to book and go.

Rosa Thu 21-Feb-13 08:06:21

If the add prevents 1 woman from dying of cervical cancer then its worth it.

diddl Thu 21-Feb-13 08:20:42

Is there still an age limit of 25 before your first smear?

Wonder if reducing that would help at all?

I thought that you were supposed to have them when you started having sex?

Or is that outdated now?

A woman I went to school with died from cervical cancer in her twenties, after refusing smear tests for years. She left 3 small children. She spent her last months campaigning to raise awareness - I think she would have approved of this. As do I.


expatinscotland Thu 21-Feb-13 08:36:45

YABU. My daughter died of cancer. She was 9. What I find in poor taste are ads about cancer with smiley, happy actors so the least common denominator don't find anything in poor taste and also because those ads are a sack of shit.

Cancer, it's so unpleasant, isn't it, the way it just doesn't discriminate and anyone can get it. Let's try to pretend it doesn't happen, that'll make it go away.

JenaiMorris Thu 21-Feb-13 08:47:55

YANBU. I very much dislike emotive advertising for anything, from that dreadful John Lewis ad to the NSPCC one with the toddler rummaging through a bin. I resent attempts to pull on my heartstrings - I don't need dirgey music or photos of sad children to convince me to do or buy anything so it just pisses me off.

However having read the responses here I concede that these campaigns are effective so we are both BU.

HighJinx Thu 21-Feb-13 08:59:42

A few years ago I worked with a man who lost his 24 year old daughter to cancer. She had a 3 year old child at the time.

When she went to the GP with symptoms and asked for a smear test aged 22 she was told she was too young. The GP said she had an STD (without proper testing) and made all kinds of incorrect assumptions about her and her partner.

She kicked up a fuss but it took months and months to sort out and by the time she was 'allowed' a smear it was too late.

After she died her family sued and won a settlement and a full apology but it was small comfort.

So if the NHS are going to place adverts tugging at our consciences then they must follow through.

StuckOnARollercoaster Thu 21-Feb-13 09:03:36

The ad is doing what it needs to do - provoking a reaction, getting people talking and hopefully getting women to go for smear tests.
I was one of those that used to put it off because it was an embarassing and for me uncomfortable procedure. Eventually went and was diagnosed with the precancerous cells. Had the treatment and now clear for 3/4 years. Those few weeks between results and treatment were agony (and I didn't have children) and it made me profoundly grateful that it had been caught in time.
Since then I have also spent lots of time on Jo's Trust website and talking with other women about this topic.
The ad maybe shocking but it gets people talking openly about this topic and that is a good thing if it gets some women to go take their tests. Unfortunately if someone is vulnerable because of their personal family situation then I think there is going to be more than this poster that upsets them as they go through life dealing with their situation. We shouldn't avoid difficult and controvesial images/stories/topics for this reason as the overall benefit unfortunately I think does outweigh their personal grief.

Lemonylemon Thu 21-Feb-13 09:32:28

I've had to have a smear every year for 10 years following an op for cervical pre-cancer. If I hadn't have had my pre-cancer smears regularly, then my son wouldn't have his mum and my daughter would not have been born.

Yes, the doctor's surgery may be paid £X per procedure, but I think that moaning about that is cutting your nose off to spite your face. You're the one who may be at risk, not the doctor's surgery.

IneedAgoldenNickname Thu 21-Feb-13 09:41:24

diddl my gp surgery refused to key me have smears until I was 25, despite the fact I had 2 children. My Auntie was always telling me I should have them so was sexually active, but the Dr said no. That was around the time that jade goody died too, but the Dr still said I was too young. Thankfully when I had my first test it was clear, but I do think the age should be lowered.

I agree that the age should be lowered. I had my first smear when I was 18 but I lived in Wales then and I think the rules were different. I also have a family history of cervical cancer so that might have affected the decision too, I don't know. I've had one every 3 years since then and count myself lucky that I've only had an abnormal result once.

ILikeBirds Thu 21-Feb-13 09:51:15

They raised the age about 5 years ago.

When i was 18 the guidance was 18 or a year after first sexual activity i think.

The rationale for changing it was the number of false positives in that age group which worried people i think making x many people anxious is worth it if it saves lives but that's just my opinion.

Scheherezade Thu 21-Feb-13 09:55:21

Yes I went to the GP with symptoms when I was 24, not allowed a smear as too young, but she 'had a look' and said it looked fine. I had a baby and steady partner. A few months later I got my smear reminder and booked in ASAP. Abnormal cells found, had two colposcopies and waiting for results and decision on treatment now.

I just feel so lucky I'm 25, and its not a year earlier.

diddl Thu 21-Feb-13 10:03:11

I started having sex at 18 & went on the pill & my GP started me on smears then.

Think they were annual as well??

Then I had some bleeding & went "between smears" & CiNll was discovered.

No idea if waiting until my next smear would have been a problem.

So, perhaps as well as regular smears-a drive to get anything "unusual" checked out?

But I have to say I can´t see the problem with getting used to these things "sooner rather than later".

WilsonFrickett Thu 21-Feb-13 10:04:38

When I was young our neighbour died of cervical cancer, leaving 4 small children. Quite frankly, if a doctor had been paid hundreds of thousands of pounds for persuading her to have a smear test, catching it and curing it, it would have been money well spent.

specialsubject Thu 21-Feb-13 10:04:40

the person whining about the 'nanny state' and 'quotas' makes me so angry. Please go and live somewhere where healthcare is not free if it annoys you so much.

It is necessary-and I say this as someone who was diagnosed with cervical cancer two months' before her wedding in 2007. I had 'ignored' a request to attend for a repeat smear (mine were often coming back 'inconclusive' and follow ups hadn't revealed anything untoward)at the time I was in the process of moving, changing GP Practice and planning a wedding. Arranging a follow up smear was not a priority. It bloody well should have been!

If that ad makes just one woman think twice about putting it off, it will be a job well done...

Dahlen Thu 21-Feb-13 10:11:12

I haven't seen the ad.

My gut reaction is anything that gets people thinking about it is a good thing. A few minutes embarrassment and discomfort is nothing compared to premature death.

However, nearly all cervical cancer is caused by HPV, which suggests that the biggest thing we could do to reduce the rates of cervical cancer is to encourage safe sex and creating a social norm where sexual partners have to disclose their full sexual history before anything happens.

The vaccine will hopefully change the rates of cervcal cancer for young women in the future.

Flobbadobs Thu 21-Feb-13 10:20:54

YABU it needs to be done.
Anything that gets women thinking about the reality of cervical cancer is a good thing. When Jade Goody went public I believe the rate of cervical smear appointments went up. Putting herself in the public eye while clearly dying was a brave and courageous thing to do and by all accounts worked. Tis poster is no different. It forces people to confront the fact that it can be terminal but it can be treated.
I ignored smear reminders for months and ended up having a colposcopy for pre cancerous cells. I'm only just back to normal recall for my smear tests.
Seeing something like this would have struck a chord with me and got me to book in sooner.
The age limit should be lowered to 16 imo too.

ILikeBirds Thu 21-Feb-13 10:21:31

I have tested positive for HPV (the cervical cancer sub type). I have never had unprotected sex (i.e. without a condom)and have never had sex outside a long term relationship. Sexual health checks do not check for hpv.

Dahlen Thu 21-Feb-13 10:39:11

HPV can be spread by direct skin-to-skin contact, that's the problem. So you can practise safe sex and still contract it sad, although the risk is still far, far higher through fluids.

There wouldn't be a direct correlation between everyone only having safe sex and a significant reduction in HPV, sadly, since most carriers are asymptomatic, but there would be some.

My main reason for pushing safe sex and sexual history is because in an age where sex is so casual (nothing wrong with this by the way, this isn't a moral judgement), the fall out is something that is affecting women far more than men. Men don't get cervical cancer and women are something like twice or three times as likely to catch a STD from a man than men are from women. This affects women's fertility far more than it does men. Men don't get PID scarring their fallopian tubes either.

If more women refuse to have sex with a man unless he practises safe sex and can provide a full, cleared sexual history (including HPV, which I'd like to see included in screening), more men would practise safe sex and the risk of STDs for women and the subsequent risk to their fertility, would reduce. It wil never be eradicated, but it will reduce.

NotAQueef Thu 21-Feb-13 10:46:53

I haven't seen the ad/poster - does anyone have a link?

WheresMyCow Thu 21-Feb-13 11:00:28

I haven't seen the ad, but reading this thread has reminded me that my smear was due before christmas and that I need to get it booked in.

I wouldn't even start TTC until I'd had my last test and got the all clear as I've always remembered an episode of Peak Practice from years ago where a woman was pregnant and then found out she had cervical cancer. She had to make the choice between having the treatment, losing the baby and the ability to have more children or not having the treatment but it being potentially too late for it once the baby was born. That has stuck with me.

I think that anything that encourages women to get the test done has to be a good thing and I'm not a fan of this kind of advertising, so I think that YABU.

Andro Thu 21-Feb-13 11:03:53

I detest ads like this - shock tactics using children inevitably leave me dealing with a distressed DD who wants to know if xxxx would have saved her mummy/daddy.

She hasn't seen this one yet, but it's probably only a matter of time

YABU and YANBU at the same time.

WheresMyCow Thu 21-Feb-13 11:05:56
NotAQueef Thu 21-Feb-13 11:10:13

Thanks wheresmycow
I keep putting off my smear as I haven't registered with a new doctor since I moved towns.
Will definitely get it on the list for this month

happybubblebrain Thu 21-Feb-13 11:14:07

Nobody bangs on about (or uses emotional blackmail) for getting tested for all the other cancers/illnesses you can get though do they. Why is cervical cancer so special, that's what I want to know???

OutsideOverThere Thu 21-Feb-13 11:16:21

Oh it's horrid. sad

I go for all my smear tests and last time it was really painful - she dashed in, shoved something up there and jabbed at it with what felt like a poking stick, and I was almost in tears it hurt so much.

Sorry if that puts people off going. I think HCPs might need a bit more training in this department - that would help people feel less scared of doing it.

OutsideOverThere Thu 21-Feb-13 11:17:30

Happybubblebrain - because it's something only us women can get, so they are allowed to boss us around, make us feel like crap if we're scared to go, etc etc.

I'd like to see if anyone can point at an ad about testicular cancer in this format. <could be wrong>

OutsideOverThere Thu 21-Feb-13 11:18:34

I mean it is like they're saying, it's your fault if you get this and leave your children behind.

That's what's so appalling about it.

OutsideOverThere Thu 21-Feb-13 11:19:30

and tell that to my friend who died of cancer at 34, leaving her kids - Oh but she was misdiagnosed for nearly a year, even though she did all she could.

Try out this poster on her.

JenaiMorris Thu 21-Feb-13 11:23:56

That is a very good point OutsideOver, re blame.

OutsideOverThere Thu 21-Feb-13 11:25:39

Thankyou, I was afraid I'd get a bit flamed sad

I am a bit outspoken today.

TwinTum Thu 21-Feb-13 11:29:30

I had a scare earlier this year. Realised I had not been for a smear for 5 years and had the odd "symptom". When I had the test the dr had a lot of trouble getting a sample (blood on the cervix). She sent it off but said it would probably be inconclusive and I shoudl book in for another one a couple of weeks later. From her reaction, i was pretty sure she thought something was up. In fact, the smear came back clear, but in the week I waited for it, I felt exactly the guilt that the advert depicts (and I did not see the advert until after I got the all clear). So overall, I think it is a good advert. I doubt it makes anyone in that position feel any worse than they already do.

JenaiMorris Thu 21-Feb-13 11:32:11

No flaming from me, but then I'm pretty much alone on this thread for posting a YANBU.

It's difficult because clearly any campaign which encourages people to have cancer screening is a Good Thing. I'm just not sure that the approach this campaign takes is the only or the best way.

OutsideOverThere Thu 21-Feb-13 11:33:05

I think if my friend had seen something like this in the 9 months she had after her eventual diagnosis, she would have been gutted. And very angry that she wasn't given treatment early enough.

EuroShagmore Thu 21-Feb-13 11:36:26

I have to say I dislike the emotional blackmail in this campaign, but I do think smear testing has value.

However, I have a huge issue with over-treatment of abnormal cells. The standard treatment involves removing part of the cervix, which can have numerous implications. When most people with mildly abnormal cells will see them simply clear up by themselves - they are the body's reaction to coming into contact with HPV. According to the NHS's own stats, someone with CIN1 has a less than1/30 chance of developing cancer. So if everyone with CIN1 is treated, more than 29/30 will have had unnecessary treatment.

(From the NHS website:

CIN is graded using a number system from one to three. The higher the number, the more abnormalities there are in affected cells. It is estimated that:

•one third of women with CIN 1 will progress to CIN 2
•around half of all women with CIN 2 will progress to CIN 3
•around one third of women with CIN 3 will develop cervical cancer
Therefore if you develop CIN 1, your chances of developing cervical cancer at a later date are less than 1 in 30.

The progression from becoming infected with HPV to developing CIN and then developing cervical cancer is very slow. It usually takes at least six years to progress from an initial infection to CIN 3. It takes up to 10 years for CIN 3 to develop into cervical cancer.)

lottiegarbanzo Thu 21-Feb-13 11:36:39

I don't think it is blaming women. It is trying to scare us, with reason I think. The point is that cervical cancer, once started, can develop to become untreatable very quickly. So missing one smear, or delaying by a year or two can be the difference between easily treatable and not treatable.

That's why the 'cost benefit' calculation for usefulness and justifiability of scare tactics falls heavily in their favour in this instance.

junemami Thu 21-Feb-13 11:37:25

Happy - because cervical cancer is one if the few cancers that can be reliably screened for, in that a 'simple' low risk test can pick up precancerous cells that can then be treated before they become cancer. And because otherwise cervical cancer can affect young women. And because if its not picked up and treated early the treatment for advanced cancer is pretty horrible and doesn't always work. And because people die from this (as several posters have mentioned).

I can't think of any other cancer screening programme that is as effective.

We are fortunate to live somewhere where this is free and simple to access. All we have to do is take responsibility for our own health and take up the invitation.

I do agree though that the age should be lowered and am grateful to live in Wales where I had 2 smear tests before women in England of the same age would have had their first.

MrsDeVere Thu 21-Feb-13 11:39:21

There is always a problem with this sort of advertising.
It needs to jolt people out of complacency but at the same time it is likely to distress those with cancer or those who have lost people from the disease.
In order to make people take responsibility it can also been interpreted as apportioning blame to those who have died.

I got very, very upset at a cancer research video yesterday. It showed lots of young children frolicking in a meadow. The premise was that 40 years ago the majority of children died from leukemia but now the majority 'survived' and this was down to research.

Now I know that this is meant to get people to donate and to see a point in their donation.
But you know what I thought? 'you fucking lying fucking bastards, how dare you make out that leukemia is cured and no one needs worry about it now'

I was angry at an organisation that is trying to cure the disease that killed my DD. I HATE that advert but I support the work.

If they had shown a lot of dying children people would probably turn away and if I had seen that when my DD was sick I would have been terrified.

Sorry if I am rambling. I am not feeling the best atm. But it is very hard to get this stuff 'right'. It will always distress someone.
WRT the cervical smear poster - i totally understand what the op is upset about. But I don't know what else we can do when so many women do not go for their smears.

JenaiMorris Thu 21-Feb-13 11:39:45

Assuming that women aren't so scared by the campaign that they're frightened off going for screening, lottie.

EnjoyResponsibly Thu 21-Feb-13 11:41:03

If this ad shocks and the GPs get paid I'd say FANTASTIC! Whatever it takes, get people in for a quick exam. Save lives. Save treatment money. There's no losers in that argument.

My only question would be where's the same post addressing the men's cancers?

EnjoyResponsibly Thu 21-Feb-13 11:42:57

Expat and MrsDV I'm so sorry for your losses.

Meglet Thu 21-Feb-13 11:44:04


I've run the gauntlet of gynea procedures for abnormal smear tests + carcinoma in situ, ending in a hysterectomy. And I always had regular smears, I probably wouldn't be here if I'd messed around and avoided them.

Sorry, I hated smears, I would cry and needed diazepam for my first colposcopy but I bloody did it. A few minutes of discomfort is miles better than being dead. Call in babysitting favours, take a valium, go shopping afterwards, anything to get your backside to the GP's and get it over and done with.

ILikeBirds Thu 21-Feb-13 11:46:05

EuroShagmore - in my area they are now testing for hpv and if you don't have type 16 or 18 they are not treating slight abnormalities which shoukd prevent some unneccssary treatment.

I also wonder about how the vaccination schedule will impact on treatment protocols

This thread has just reminded me to rebook mine, so thank you all.

MrsDeVere Thu 21-Feb-13 12:00:35

hijinx I may have met that father.
It may have been another dad but the story is very familiar sad

I met him at a weekend for bereaved parents. Unfortunately it is not a one off story so it may well have been someone else.

Our stories were shockingly different. My child whisked in (although there was quite a delay in her diagnosis) and his child fighting, fighting to be heard.

Too sad.

HighJinx Thu 21-Feb-13 12:33:51

So very sorry for your loss MrsDV.

Sadly I think this story is echoed many, many times in all forms of cancer. It seems that early diagnosis is often missed despite the patients best intentions.

Midori1999 Thu 21-Feb-13 12:35:08

euroshagmore I don't think CIN 1 is routinely or often treated with lletz or similar, there is usually a colposcopy and maybe biopsy. Certainly my Mum, who has had CIN 1 several times has never had more than colposcopy. In my area (different to my Mums) I was told CIN1 is not treated.

I had CIN3 removed by LLetz last year having just 'not got round' to having a smear for around 8 years. blush I felt v wry stupid, even more so as my consultant told me when my biopsy results came back that if I'd waited another 6 months then she would almost certainly be telling me I had cervical cancer.

I think any campaign that's will save lives is worth while.

HighJinx Thu 21-Feb-13 12:37:39

I now live in The Netherlands and here you are only entitled to a smear test on a standard health insurance policy every 5 years.

In the USA it is annually I believe.

I wonder what the statistics are for cervical cancer survival dependent on these different policies.

persimmon Thu 21-Feb-13 12:54:37

I just Googled the poster and have literally welled up!
It does exactly what it's meant to do.

EasilyBored Thu 21-Feb-13 13:25:55

I had my first smear at 18, and had some abnormal results, off and on for the next several years. They never needed treating, but I had to go back for repeat smears every six months for years. It was finally dropped down to every three years, then I had a dodgy one and needed a repeat, but I was pregnant and too nervous after a recent msc. Anyway, smear post baby (at my six week check up, that was fun) showed CIN1, went for colposcopy and had a LEEP at the same time. The consultant said that they are treating more and more women with colposcopy and LEEP now rather than six monthly repeated smears because so many women are just not going for the repeats and it's better to just have a good look with the colposcopy and see what's going on.

By the time you get symptoms of cervical cancer it is often very late. I nag my friends endlessly to go for smear tests. The poster does exactly what it should. I know it could hurt people who have suffered or have had a loss, but if it gets more women through the GP's doors, then it's a good thing.

expatinscotland Thu 21-Feb-13 13:26:34

The US is every three years following IIRC, two or three normal smears.

EuroShaggleton Thu 21-Feb-13 13:43:02

Ilike and Midori perhaps it is not the normal policy, but my consultant wanted to carry out a lletz for CIN1. I researched it and declined treatment for 6 months, wanting to have a repeat smear first. My next smear was clear.

And Easily who posted just above me mentions that she had CIN1 treated.

Samu2 Thu 21-Feb-13 13:43:52

After reading "The Patient Paradox-sexed up medicine" it made me realise how much treatment is done on people who have low grade HPV that would probably have cleared the virus themselves (same for mammograms) However, personally I would prefer to get early treatment, even if that means getting treated for something that may not have turned into cancer if left alone. The book is very good though and I recommend it to anyone who wants to know the truth about screening tests.

I had a biopsy for CIN 1 which turned out to be fine and it went away on it's own. I have had two normal smears since then but now go yearly.

I do think these campaigns are great but as a health anxiety sufferer I do try to avoid them as they get my anxiety going.. especially the ones on the radio that gives you some of the symptoms of certain cancers. If it saves only one life it is worth it.

Samu2 Thu 21-Feb-13 13:52:49

When I said same for mammograms I wasn't talking about being able to clear the virus yourself as it isn't a virus, obviously.

I was talking about how it isn't really proven that regular mammograms has helped the survival rates of breast cancer and plenty of women are being treated for DCI's which could never have turned harmful if left alone.

ILikeBirds Thu 21-Feb-13 14:02:47

The thing is, it's never going to be right for everyone, i can see the benefits of conservative treatment but looking back i would have preferred lletz initially rather than colposcopies every 6 months, multiple biopsies, freezing, cauterisation, before finally having a lletz procedure 3 years later.

minibmw2010 Thu 21-Feb-13 14:04:29

It worked on me, I hadn't had one for ages, had several reminder letters, saw that advert and made an appt right then. I couldn't care less if people think its in bad taste, at least it has done its job.

Lemonylemon Thu 21-Feb-13 14:09:25

OutsideOver, there was a campaign for testicular cancer. It was called 'Check Em Out'.

AllBellyandBoobs Thu 21-Feb-13 14:13:32

CIN I isn't immediately treated in my area either, 6 month follow up is advised. HPV testing is now routinely carried out alongside the smear to give more information.

I have had regular smears since i was 18. Six years ago I was told I had CIN III and treatment included LLETZ followed by a cone biopsy. The consultant at the time told me it is not unusual for her to see people who have gone from a normal smear to having CIN III changes detected within 6-12 months. Not really common but certainly not unusual. The cells affected in me were glandular cells rather than the more typical squamous cells, as a result I've had 6 monthly check ups (for 3 years) followed by annual check ups, I still have another 4 years before they'll discharge me from clinic. I've had a beautiful dd during this and will worry more once I have been discharged i think.

I'm amazed by how many women put off or ignore having smears done. Also by how many women think that because they've only had one sexual partner they are somehow immune to it. The advert is sad and upsetting but I hope it encourages more women to act when their reminder letter comes and/or to see the GP if they have any unusual symptoms .

sherzy Thu 21-Feb-13 14:39:43

Yabu it will never please everyone and is designed to get a strong response. Job done imho.

GazpachoSoup Thu 21-Feb-13 14:48:06

YABU. I haven't seen the advert, but it sounds like a great idea. If it makes people take notice, then surely that's a good thing and job done?
I'll never understand why people regularly put off smears. Yes, they're uncomfortable (but only very briefly for a couple of seconds, then job done!)
Surely a few minutes of discomfort is worth it?
Sounds like the advert's done its purpose if it's evoking strong feelings in people.

OutsideOverThere Thu 21-Feb-13 14:52:52

LemonylemonThu 21-Feb-13 14:09:25

OutsideOver, there was a campaign for testicular cancer. It was called 'Check Em Out'.

Yes, but I don't remember it involving pictures of crying small children and the implicit message in that. (ie that as women we're responsible for our children's torment and culpable if we die due to not getting a test)

midastouch Thu 21-Feb-13 14:55:59

I guess its supposed to get that reaction to make you think! i have never had one im 25 in a few months i think they should start them sooner if you have kids

ChairmanWow Thu 21-Feb-13 14:59:58

Agree re gendered nature of the advertising Outside, but overall anything that persuades women to get screened can only be positive.

My understanding is that by the time symptoms appear the cancer is fairly advanced.. Someone I was at school with died 2 years ago at the age of 38 leaving 2 kids. She hadn't been for screening. What a pointless and avoidable waste of a life.

AllBellyandBoobs Thu 21-Feb-13 15:08:21

I don't think it's saying we're culpable as such. It's saying that this scenario could be avoided if women take up the option to have a smear. It's marketed to get an emotive response from women, presumably found to be the biggest driver for women. The Check Em Out campaign was heavily promoted in football stadia, again gender bias being used in a successful manner.

lottiegarbanzo Thu 21-Feb-13 16:54:03

OutsideOverThere, who is reposnsible for women attending smear appointments then? I'd find any suggestion that it is the responsibility of someone else, perhaps the NHS, to drag me there, very patronising and worryingly infantilising. As adults we are responsible for making and acting on decisions about our own health such as attending regular check ups. If we choose to ignore good advice we do take a risk.

Of course sometimes people do all the 'right' things and get horribly ill anyway, because the disease is too virulent or too fast. That is terrible and not fair but it isn't necessarily anyone's fault.

I see life insurance adverts all the time online with a 'think about your children' theme, showing both women and men looking worried, next to images of sad children. However, as others have said, women may be more likely to respond to a 'think of the children' message than they are to a message about their own well-being. Perhaps men respond better to messages about themselves, so don't need adverts to focus on impact on others.

XBenedict Thu 21-Feb-13 16:56:17

YABU it's designed to get a reaction, it's supposed to be hard hitting. Good for those of you that have acted as a result of it.

MrsDeVere Thu 21-Feb-13 17:00:17

I have been thinking about this.
Whilst I agree about the concerns re the implication that the mother is to blame for her child's misery, for her own death etc...

Perhaps it is more a a tactic to get women to do something by using their concern for their children? How many women will stay in DV relationship (for example) until they realise their children are suffering?
Maybe this is more of a 'look, we know YOU don't think YOU are that important but we know you will do anything for your kids so get a smear done'.

Be gentle with me...I am still in bed and not feeling particularly cogent....

XBenedict Thu 21-Feb-13 17:01:55

I think you're spot on MrsD

lovetomoan Thu 21-Feb-13 17:50:05

I hate vaginal examinations and I have been putting it off after the birth of my DBaby, but this thread made me book an appointment for a smear test as much as I hate the speculum

OutsideOverThere Thu 21-Feb-13 18:16:21

'OutsideOverThere, who is reposnsible for women attending smear appointments then? I'd find any suggestion that it is the responsibility of someone else, perhaps the NHS, to drag me there, very patronising and worryingly infantilising. As adults we are responsible for making and acting on decisions about our own health such as attending regular check ups. If we choose to ignore good advice we do take a risk. '

I didn't suggest that at all. I said it seemed to imply that women are responsible for their children's torment if they don't go for a test, then find they have cancer and subsequently die.

Of course it's our responsibility to look after our own health to a degree and no one should be making us do it - but neither should they be pushing us into it by means of emotionally charged and guilt inducing advertising, imho at least.

OutsideOverThere Thu 21-Feb-13 18:17:39

'Of course sometimes people do all the 'right' things and get horribly ill anyway, because the disease is too virulent or too fast. That is terrible and not fair but it isn't necessarily anyone's fault. '

Does that imply that for people who don't 'do the right things' it's their fault?

RevoltingPeasant Thu 21-Feb-13 18:45:45

Can I just ask - only read 2 pp of thread, but - they only do them every 3 years where I am, and it seems pretty pointless.

I mean, if cancer is going to develop, it's going to develop pretty quickly, surely? So the chances of a once-every-three-years smear catching it are pretty low, right?

Of course it's worth it for those whose symptoms happen to manifest in that window, but surely if they were serious about saving lives they'd do it more often....?

Or am I wrong?

ILikeBirds Thu 21-Feb-13 18:50:12

You are wrong, cervical cancer develops very slowly.

RevoltingPeasant Thu 21-Feb-13 18:57:23

Ah okay Birds. That makes more sense! I am at a big risk of melanoma so it is the cancer I know most about (which is not much) but that develops hella quickly so once every 3 years would be useless.

I also think it is not helpful when people say 'Oh it's just three minutes of discomfort' etc.

I have been for smears when necessary, and I am actually quite lucky that I have a baggy vadge don't find them uncomfortable, but I hate hate HATE them with a passion, and indeed any kind of intimate examination. I am sure some will find this melodramatic but it feels like being sexually assaulted. I know this is totally screwed up, but somehow having to willingly submit to it makes it a lot worse, psychologically. It somehow feels like the ultimate degradation.

I still go and I recognise this isn't a reason not to go, but please do appreciate this can give rise to really strong feelings in some women.

Crikey, I'm not going to cope well with childbirth, am I? grin

MerryCouthyMows Thu 21-Feb-13 19:01:17

Actually, YABVVVU.

This poster urged me to get tested when I'd not bothered for 6 years.

I have early stage cervical cancer. It MAY have been caught early enough to save my life as a result of THIS poster.

So no, that poster ISN'T 'too much'.

lottiegarbanzo Thu 21-Feb-13 19:05:26

OutsideOverThere - Well, the reality is, we are given plenty of information about the reasons for having regular smears and we are reminded to attend. If we choose not to have them, we do take the risk that a problem will go undetected, potentially to the point that it's untreatable. I think that is a personal choice, so a matter of personal responsibility. To say we have no individual responsibility for the consequences would be to infantilise us.

The whole point of smear tests, is that with cervical cancer, there is a very good chance of early detection and prevention. In many cases and unlike many other cancers, it is not something we fall victim to unpredictably and hopelessly.

Obviously, once someone is ill, pointing out they could have done something to prevent it is unhelpful and cruel. These ads are not aimed at the ill but at prevention of illness by reminding the well why it is important that they get checked regularly.

But, to answer your question directly, do I think that if I failed to attend smear appointments, got a cancer that would have been treatable had I attended, and died, I would be responsible for the effects of my early loss on my child? Yes, of course. That's why these ads could work. It's exactly because the balance between accepting a minor inconvenience to avoid an unlikely but extremely serious consequence results in many people hoping it won't happen to them and avoiding the issue, that scaring people into action might be a reasonable approach in this case.

midastouch Thu 21-Feb-13 19:12:26

Cann i ask does anyone know why they arent started earlier than 25? And why they're only done every 3 years?

MerryCouthyMows Thu 21-Feb-13 19:22:41

MrsDeVere - I share your anger at that STUPID STUPID advert for childhood leukaemia.

I'm just glad that (so far) DD hasn't seen it yet.

YES, 80% of children MAY survive leukaemia now - but not those like her best friend, who died last July, after having her leukaemia misdiagnosed by the NHS as anorexia for 6 months after age started losing weight.


However. This cervical cancer advert was what made me stop putting off my own smear test.

7 years ago, I had an 'inconclusive' smear test, followed by a clear one.

Then life got busy, with multiple DC's with SN's, and I put it off and put it off.

Two weeks ago, I had some rectal bleeding, and needed a rectal exam to look for issues. I saw the cervical cancer poster on the way there. So when my rectal exam was taking place, I asked the nurse if she would do a smear 'while my trousers were down'.

That decision, made BECAUSE this poster had jogged my mind, may just have saved my life.

My smear came back as CIN3 changes. They have looked again at the sample and found a few cancerous cells. So I have early stage cervical cancer.

I am hoping that it has been caught early enough to be easily treated. And if it has, it is as a result of this campaign.

So I can't be het up about it, as it may have saved my life.

Ladies, no matter HOW busy you are, PLEASE do not put off your smear tests.

MegaClutterSlut Thu 21-Feb-13 19:25:37

I think the ad is good and gets to the point. When I first saw it it made me well up blush so job done imo

I've had my smear results yesterday, they're abnormal sad just have to wait for a hospital appt for futher testing. Am shitting myself tbh

chunkymonkeybaby Thu 21-Feb-13 20:17:59

Sorry to digress a little just need to talk about it and here seemed a good place.

I'm nearly 25 and recently had the letter about going for my first smear test. I'm just way too scared to go. It's not so much the test itself but of what they might find. I've been sexually active for 10 years now, it seems such a long time to have not been checked and I'm worried about what might have developed in that time. I asked about having the test when I was 20ish and told I couldn't have it. Can't help but feel angry as my age group were too old to benefit from the HPV vaccine yet the age to have smear tests was upped as well so we couldn't have that sooner. I guess that's irrelevant now but it annoys me.

I really struggle badly with medical stuff as it is and I just can't bear the thought of finding out something is wrong and having to go back for more tests or treatment. I have a 4mo DD though (who I had by c/s as giving birth was my my biggest phobia!). I feel I should should have the test for her sake but I'm really really scared. Please can anyone reassure me, that I'm not alone in feeling like this? I know no-one can help really but just feels good to talk about it as can't talk about it in rl.

Book a separate appointment and tell your GP that you are that anxious about it. They'll reassure you and explain everything and then you'll feel better about making the appointment and having the smear. The results come back really quickly, so you won't be waiting and worrying for ages.

If you're afraid of the actual procedure as well as the outcome, the GP can prescribe something to help you through it too.

SmilingMakesMyFaceAche Thu 21-Feb-13 20:35:31

My cousin died of cervical cancer leaving three small children. I find this ad very upsetting

chunkymonkeybaby Thu 21-Feb-13 20:41:47

I clam up just thinking of it though and can't even talk to my DH or my mum. It sounds terrible but I think if I didn't have DD I wouldn't even contemplate having the test.

Right I just have to do it for her don't I, I know I do.

You can do it. Honestly, speak to your GP about it. And be completely honest. S/he will be used to reassuring people about smears and won't think you're being silly.

And you can get something to help you through it too, if necessary. I got a prescription for diazepam for an MRI (which was still horrible, because an hour in a teeny tiny enclosed space is not my idea of fun). I dread to think how bad it would have been without the diazepam. If you're just worried that it'll hurt, you can take painkillers beforehand.

It will be fine.

It's a very quick procedure. Over before you know it.

MamaBear17 Thu 21-Feb-13 20:52:20

I hate the advert too. I know that it is to make people think and it is a scare tactic that will work, but it makes me really sad.

chunkymonkeybaby Thu 21-Feb-13 20:54:57

I think it's more the worry of what they'll find, and having to go back for more tests or procedures.

Too scared to talk to my GP but the one person I might be able to talk to is my health visitor as she is lovely. I know it's not what HV' s usually help new mums with but I trust her and it might help.

GazpachoSoup Thu 21-Feb-13 20:56:27

chunkymonkeybaby It's not so much the test itself but of what they might find
Surely, though, it would be better to find anything early therefore able to blast it into oblivion, than to not know you were ill and to slowly develop symptoms that you only picked up on until too late?.

Your HV will help. Talk to her.

chunkymonkeybaby Thu 21-Feb-13 21:04:54

Gazpacho I just can't stand medical treatment of any nature, I'm really phobic of it. I suffer a lot with anxiety so I don't know how I'd cope, I tend to bury my head in the sand where possible...

I know how important it is though an maybe just not even thinking about myself and thinking of DD will force me to do it.

BinksToEnlightenment Thu 21-Feb-13 21:16:12

No I agree with you OP. I don't like the advert and I think it's unnecessary.

What's wrong with a poster with the facts on it? Or a nice nurse saying 'I won't jam a wrench in there - it'll be two ticks and you can have some valium'?

No need for the crying boy. Horrible thing for anyone who has lost a parent to see too.

CarpetBagger Thu 21-Feb-13 21:18:19

loads of things about cancer but will the doctors listen and respond? in my experience on different things - no.

yes to smears of course - thats all set up with a nurse but if you have any other concerns it can be hard to get them to listen, sometimes i think they need to let the doctors in on thier campaigns.

MerryCouthyMows Thu 21-Feb-13 21:27:40

Binks - what? I lost my father when I was 10yo. It didn't bother me about MY dad - it made me think about MY DC's being without me. Which made me get a smear test done.

So it did the job it was intended to do, surely?

And, again, MAY have saved my life in the process.

It may not have because I was a twat who put off a smear test for 6 years but I'm trying not to think negatively despite being scared shirtless about having been told I have early stage cervical cancer.

MerryCouthyMows Thu 21-Feb-13 21:30:35

Scared shirtless?!


BinksToEnlightenment Thu 21-Feb-13 21:37:44

I think there are better ways to encourage women to go for smear tests.

I imagine most people don't go because they think it will be a bit of a shit way to spend their afternoon. Why not focus on reassuring women about it?

What about the women who don't have children?

MerryCouthyMows Thu 21-Feb-13 21:46:13

There probably WASN'T another way that would have persuaded me to ACTUALLY get a smear test done.

This campaign is obviously aimed at people like me, where the only thing that DOES get through to them and make them ACTUALLY go for a smear test is imagining their DC's without a Mum.

There have been other posters and campaigns in the 6 years I didn't have a smear test that didn't have enough of an impact on ME to make me go for one - they may have been aimed more at childless women, or older women, or whatever.

But THIS campaign worked for me.

Whether it is too late or not, time will tell.

MrsDeVere Thu 21-Feb-13 21:46:59

I have PTSD regarding medical stuff.
Particularly anything connected to cancer.

One of the things that triggers me is the thought of waiting for test results.
I am glad to say that smear tests seem to come back very quickly.

I really am very, very distressed by most things medical. I have been in therapy for a long, long time.

But I go for my smears because my DD went through worse and she did it without a fucking murmur.

So I am totally sympathetic to all women who are scared. But you are grown up and you can and must get it done.

It is not that bad for the vast majority.

Take a valium if you need to.

MerryCouthyMows Thu 21-Feb-13 21:47:46

And I have to say, this smear test wasn't half as bad as my previous ones.

For a start, the metal thingy WASN'T metal any more - it is plastic now, and far less uncomfortable. For a second, my nurse seemed to be so gentle I barely felt it.

expatinscotland Thu 21-Feb-13 21:51:45

What MrsDeV said. I have been diagnosed with PTSD, too. After DD1 died, I hadn't been home in 2 months and found a letter dated 25 May to go for a smear test. It was July. I rang up the next day and went in. NO ONE likes them, but they are the only way to test for cervical cell abnormalities.

Alwaysasking Thu 21-Feb-13 21:56:13

I'm 23, so am not able to get a smear until I'm 25. Adverts like this scare the shit out of me because I am desoarate for a smear but not able to get one. I am convinced the age requirement is just the NHS trying to save money, I have a 4 y/o ds, the younger you are when you have your first baby the higher your risk.

I was in the bracket of women who were too old for the anti-cervical cancer injection and too young for the smear. I work in a college in Wales, where there are posters everywhere reminding students in their teens to go for there smears. Makes me pretty mad.

Always I've had 2 smears and I am only just 22. confused

You could always go to a FPC and say you are 25?

AnnaRack Thu 21-Feb-13 22:56:17

Can i just say a smear test is no big deal, takes about 1minute. It doesnt hurt much

McNewPants2013 Thu 21-Feb-13 23:12:09

A smear test is not a great big deal, I put it off for over 6 years and thanks to the lovely posters on here i took the big step and had it done.

The poster stops and makes people think, because I would challange anyone to say what fears them more having a smear or leaving thier young child without a mother.

ThisIsMummyPig Thu 21-Feb-13 23:18:11

I haven't read past the first page, but I knew someone who contracted cervical cancer which was found when she was pregnant. She died before she celebrated her daughter's first birthday.

I don't find it an entirely comfortable experience, but there is no way I would not go.

Fightlikeagirl Thu 21-Feb-13 23:23:06

Not leaving my two DS's without a mum was the biggest reason I let doctors pump me full of toxic chemicals a few years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I didn't want to put myself through treatment but family reminded me I needed to do it for them and they were right. So many of us say we'd give up anything for our children and I gave up my hair! (Growing back steadily!)
I'm 2 yrs clear now but still live in fear that I may leave them before they grow up.
I got my smear test reminder this week, I will definitely be going just like I go regularly for check ups at the BC clinic.
Emotional blackmail or not it works for me and for plenty of others so if it saves lives then brilliant.

ImagineJL Thu 21-Feb-13 23:50:27

YABU. It's not meant to be a poster that makes people happy, or even a poster that is so bland that people don't notice it. It's meant to grab your attention and make you think, and the reaction from people here is evidence that in many cases it has prompted action.

These ad campaigns cost a lot of money for the NHS, and are only undertaken if there is a reason, so I imagine smear numbers are down, suggesting that simply having knowledge and gentle advice isn't sufficient for the population. Scare tactics are needed.

I think the end justifies the means.

And just for info, GPs don't actually want to refuse smears to under 25s. They have no choice, the labs simply won't process smears of people under 25, due to government guidelines.

ImagineJL Thu 21-Feb-13 23:52:44

And whoever it was that implied that GPs only promote smears for the money - words fail me, that is beyond ridiculous.

FitzgeraldProtagonist Fri 22-Feb-13 00:12:26

I took my children to my smear test. Perhaps more educational than need be!

Alwaysasking Sat 23-Feb-13 00:10:29

SchroSawMargeryDaw do you live in England? And what's an FPC? confused

MerryCouthyMows Sat 23-Feb-13 01:23:31

FPC = Family Planning Clinic.


echt Sat 23-Feb-13 07:25:22

I had no idea 25 was the start date for this in the UK. It's 18 here in Australia, and a good thing too.

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