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To join a Welsh GP in order to get smear

(81 Posts)
99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 11:50:17

Not sure if this is even possible, but I am considering joining a Welsh GP practice so I am eligible for a smear test. I'm 23, in the age group that were too old for the cervical cancer jab and too young for smears. I know all the arguments about why women under 25 are not routinely offered smear tests but I believe it really comes down to budget.

A colleague, the same age as me, has recently been diagnosed with cervical cancer. Her doctor told her living in Wales has probably saved her life as the cancer wouldn't have been detected had she lived 10 minutes away in England. She had no symptoms whatsoever. I work in Wales so joining a practice there would be practical and closer to work.

My mum needed treatment for an abnormal smear at a similar age to me, so I really am anxious about having a test. I enquired into having it done privately and was quoted £300! No way I can afford that.

So WIBU? As I said I'm not even sure if it would make me eligible as I'm not Welsh.

AnyFucker Tue 02-Apr-13 11:51:39

Have you spoken to your English GP about it...citing your reasons why you would like a test done sooner than is routine ?

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 02-Apr-13 11:52:13

I would try putting your concerns to your GP first and see if they will do one. If not, try your local family planning clinic or GUM clinic, they might do it instead. Failing that then YANBU and should join the Welsh practice if they'll have you!

Eskino Tue 02-Apr-13 11:53:27

You have to have a welsh home address sad

99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 11:54:37

I did approach GP about 1.5 years ago who refused, giving me the usual 'does more harm than good' etc etc...

Now due to the situation with my colleague, I am even more desperate for one.

Would local GUM be more likely to do one? I have also heard about the labs sending the test back if a woman is under 25 in England.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 02-Apr-13 11:55:44

If you can, then I say do it. I had had several smear tests by the time I was 23 - is it a recent cost cutting exercise thing that they no longer do this?

My friend had abnormal cells diagnosed when she was in her early 20's. She is fine but it was worth knowing so she could have more regular smears.

AnyFucker Tue 02-Apr-13 11:55:53

A smear test doesn't "do harm" confused

TomDudgeon Tue 02-Apr-13 11:56:23

I would talk to gp first but I completely understand why you want to and wouldn't discourage you if your gp was no help.

I had a smear when I was 21 as routine (ten years ago). They only changed it to save money not for medical reasons

ElliesWellies Tue 02-Apr-13 11:56:42

Ask to see a different GP if they have more than one at your practice. Don't talk about your colleague to them - that isn't an argument that will persuade them, I shouldn't think. Concentrate on your family history, i.e. your mum's abnormal smear result.

TomDudgeon Tue 02-Apr-13 11:56:54

Sorry took ages to type
Maybe try a different doc at your practice

EuroShaggleton Tue 02-Apr-13 11:56:56

One of the family planning clinics (marie stopes?) will do them privately for £80.

I had an entire medical last year (blood tests, ECG, smear, everything) for about £350 and that was in London.

I can see why your friend's situation has worried you, but really, cervical cancer is very rare in your age group. However, abnormalities that would resolve themselves in time are common, so a smear is very unlikely to discover cancer but quite likely to uncover an abnormality that will cause you loads of worry.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 02-Apr-13 11:57:43

I would go and ask another GP at your practice if you want one, but if they say no you will have to stump up for a private test. We have had to pay privately to get decent treatment, I think more and more NHS services re heading this way tbh.

99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 12:02:02

If I could get one for £80 I'd do it... I rang the Nuffield who quoted 300 total as they charged for a consultation and then to go and get your results!

The argument about it doing harm is apparently in under 25s cells are constantly changing/immature ad these throw up false abnormal results, leading to unnecessary treatment that can effect fertility etc.

I read somewhere that the younger you are when you have yur first baby, the more prone you are to CC. I has ds at 18, but not sure if this is because they associate that with promiscuity.

99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 12:03:37

Oh also when I went to GP she said if a private smear gave me abnormal result, I'd have to pay for treatment, not sure if that's the case?

AnyFucker Tue 02-Apr-13 12:11:10

Ah, I see. I thought the GP had meant the procedure itself caused harm.

TheCraicDealer Tue 02-Apr-13 12:30:55

GP said if a private smear gave me abnormal result, I'd have to pay for treatment

You have got to be shitting me. That can't be right, can it?! Luckily I'm in NI and we get them here from 18 or 19, every four years.

OrangeLily Tue 02-Apr-13 12:35:49

YANBU. Iv been watched since about 20 for abnormal results and Im in Scotland.

5 of my friends have all had treatment in their early and mid twenties.

sashh Tue 02-Apr-13 13:27:40

Change your GP. I've had smears since I became sexually active.

I've taught a 17 year old who needed them every 3 months.

GPs do not get paid for them if you are outside the age group, but they can still do them.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Tue 02-Apr-13 13:45:07

Go to FPC and lie about your age?

I'm not sure about in England or Wales but in Scotland we don't need to give our real name or age at the FPC.

Also, what about getting an IUD or IUS? I think you are routinely given a smear before you have one fitted, just in case.

99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 13:48:26

I have an IUD fitted, no smear though. Had it done at local family planning so they would have my details on file? Have an appointment at GUM tonight, I'm tempted to lie about symptoms.

I rang Marie Stopes, they do it for £77 which is great but are in London and latest time in the day they can see me is 10am, so I'd have to stay the night, can't do it.

AnyFucker Tue 02-Apr-13 13:54:09

Do you actually have any symptoms, love ?

I am absolutely not downplaying your fears and believe the chance should be available to you, but would it be an option to simply wait until you are 25 ? Get it booked and ready on your 25th birthday...a matter of months ?

99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 13:59:49

I've just turned 23 so it's 2 years away. No, no symptoms, but neither did my colleague who has CC.

AnyFucker Tue 02-Apr-13 14:02:24

Fair enough

wetsand Tue 02-Apr-13 14:08:01

You may not be able to - IIRC a welsh GP practice will need proof of your home address (in wales!) before they will let you sign up.

99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 14:10:57

Damn it, thought that may be the case. I cannot believe the situation myself and so many others are in. The private clinics around here ripping people off (cheapest I found today was £180 - cost of NHS smear is £50) are just as bad.

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