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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?

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.

deliciousdevilwoman Thu 21-Feb-13 10:06:59

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

link here

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.

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