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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.

99problems Thu 04-Apr-13 10:29:22

I didn't include that link to argue, I get I was hoping for reassurance and one of the other posters with more knowledge than me could put the doctor's statement into perspective for me. Because it was contradicting some of the other info, guidelines etc. I'm not medically trained and I don't know anything about colposcopys, so thank you for making it clear that they are more invasive than a blood test.

trashcanjunkie Thu 04-Apr-13 13:13:36

colposcopies are not the nicest! Unless you've been told you need one, they are best avoided. Also op if you look at the statistics for cervical cancer survival rates, they are only improving! Doctors are getting things right, there's no conspiracy here. If you want to avoid the worry of cc, do all the things you should be doing, such as not smoking, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet including fresh fruit and veg. Also you can have full sexual health screening at NHS gum clinics anywhere in the uk, and discuss your worries with them. And practice safe sex. Hope that helps!

dayshiftdoris Fri 05-Apr-13 01:26:46


Ok so that doctor is saying what I said god knows how many posts back...

That some experts are saying screen but to watch and wait when abnormalities are detected... thats with colpscopy.

So you put thousands of healthy women through a costly and comfortable procedure in order to watch for her cervix to mature whilst older women with abnormal smears which can not be an immature cervical cell wait their turn?

There are only so many colposcopy suites and doctors trained to do them. It costs about £300 for just a colpscopy - times that by the thousands that would need it x the number of times across the years... Millions of pounds spent looking at what are healthy cervix 99% of the time (considering that the risk of cancer is generally less than 1% in that age group).

Thats without treatment because some doctors might treat and then in turn you have the link to premature labour (but you are right NOT necessarily to fertility issues), the costs of that to maternity services and neonatal care... not to mention the heartache.

It makes no sense to do it. The World Health Organisation dont believe women under 25 should be screened yet the Welsh NHS have decided to interpret evidence differently to the WHO - the international research hub for healthcare...

Jade Goody had had abnormal bleeding for a number of years and an abnormal smear she did not act on... her smear was done, I believe as part of investigations for the bleeding not routine screening. The lack of screening in that age group was nothing to do with it as her 'early changes' were picked up effectively by investigation of her symptoms...

The fact she developed cancer is actually irrelevant to cervical screening - why? Because ANY women with abnormal bleeding should have thorough investigations - a previously normal smear should never be a reassurance that you are ok... it's a snapshot of the cervix at that point in time NOT an insurance policy.

What anger ME is the lack of scrutiny - the Welsh NHS are spending against recommendation of the WHO and who is questioning them?

Jan49 Fri 05-Apr-13 03:02:26

OP, why don't you just get a smear done privately? I think someone here mentioned it's possible for around £80. The chances are it will come back showing you're fine and that will put your mind at rest. If it shows slight abnormalities and you are advised to have another smear in 6 months, you'll be in the same position you'd have been in if the NHS had agreed to do the first smear and you can pay for a second in 6 months. Worse possibility, a smear shows abnormalities that need immediate treatment and then you'd have a more difficult situation, but would your NHS doctor know if you'd had a smear done privately? Perhaps in those unlikely circumstances you could - ahem - find a way of getting some checks done through your GP by mentioning you had some symptoms rather than admitting you'd had a smear done privately? Nope, I didn't say that. wink

Alternatively, just accept that you are being a bit unreasonable. You might have work colleagues or friends of your age who have other medical issues and you could worry about all sorts of possible problems but it doesn't follow that you will have them. Your mum may have had the kind of 'normal' abnormalities that wouldn't be investigated nowadays.

saintmerryweather Fri 05-Apr-13 07:49:44

You doctor and whoever said you cant mix and match private and nhs care is talking bollocks link here

Welovegrapes Fri 05-Apr-13 08:05:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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