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Pap Smears

Discussion in 'Girl Stuff Forum' started by Dirty Girl, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. Dirty Girl

    Dirty Girl TRIBE Member

    I stumbled across this while googling for something that has absolutely nothing to do with this subject, but I thought this was kinda interesting.

    particularly all the comments, and even more particularly the comment where someone claims they are coming out with a blood test for this instead of a pap. lets hope so.

    Unnecessary Pap Smears - Blogcritics Culture
  2. keline

    keline TRIBE Member

    The article says pap smears are unnecessary if you have had a full hysterectomy or if you are a virgin.. I'm sure that's not most of us.
    I actually know a chick who was diagnosed with (and treated for) cervical cancer because of a pap smear, she was only 27 at the time.
    I was surprised to learn at a party that several of my friends (late twenties/early thirties) 'refuse' to get pap smears or 'don't believe in them'. There is solid medical evidence to support it and the actual swabbing part takes like less than a minute every 2 years, what's the big deal?
  3. rubytuesday

    rubytuesday TRIBE Member

    I've been smeared annually since I was 17, it's really not a big deal, except you have to avoid sex for a couple days beforehand.

    What's interesting in that article is that so many women (20%) have had hysterectomies. That seems high. It's also interesting that to get bcp in the states women have to have a pap smear, I don't think that's true in Canada, but I might be wrong.
  4. acheron

    acheron TRIBE Member

    This American Life's podcast had a story (part of a series on the ills of the american medical insurance system) about how there are patterns of treatment in the US according to the number of doctors in a territory and how competitive they tend to be. Whereas you would think that having two doctors in town would mean that each of them would have more free time to give better care to their patients, what actually happens is both of them eventually become overworked as they perceive a competitive situation and actually overprescribe medicines and treatments in order to keep the money coming in.

    Physicians also tend to 'like' certain treatments, sometimes based on the amount they can charge the patients' insurance for it and the willingness of the insurance co. to cover it - some overworked doctors, in order to save time, recommend the last option (hysterectomy for instance) first, instead of a longer period of treatment that might actually avoid having to remove the uterus at all. What one study found was that there were whole counties in one state where women over a certain age were almost always told to have a hysterectomy if they showed even the slightest symptoms of reproductive cancers - the end result being that it was hard to find a woman over the age of 45 in the county who hadn't had a hysterectomy.

    It's a very popular procedure - it's easy to do apparently, and saves a lot of billings for patients' insurance instead of lengthly treatment regimens. For many people it's a simple question of economics. How much will a person's insurance be willing to cover? Instead of years of expensive treatments that might end up with a hysterectomy anyway, the insurance companies encourage doctors to go for the hysterectomy right out of the gate to nip the claims in the bud.
  5. Persephone

    Persephone TRIBE Member

    You must have a pap smear to get any hormonal BC in Ontario (not sure about Canada), and every year when you need the BC prescription renewed.

    I see no problem with the procedure. One swab can be used to detect so many conditions, it really seems to be a win-win. If you're sexually active, I think its pretty foolish to avoid the pap, but that's just my opinion.
  6. Dirty Girl

    Dirty Girl TRIBE Member

    you do? noone told me that.:confused:

    well you can bet your ass the next time they tell me i have to get one to get my bc pills, i will say "no I dont cause i havent had sex since the last one i had, so it pointless, so stay the fuck outta my snatch!!!"
  7. KillaLadY

    KillaLadY TRIBE Member

    I have to do it every 8-12 months, both my mom and my grandmother passed away from cervical cancer - so the scare is there and of course the doctors push that upon me.

    To me, eventhough it's uncomfortable as hell, it's worth it.
  8. LeoGirl

    LeoGirl TRIBE Member

    it's pretty normal to have one every year. I think after a certain age (menopause?) they say every two years.

    My Mom also had cervical cancer but I'm not required to go more often because of it. I had a few years that I had to go back every 4 months because of abnormalities but once I was in the clear I'm back to annually.
  9. KillaLadY

    KillaLadY TRIBE Member

    I am just scared, you know? I was told I have been cleared 4 years in a row, but I am simply so incredibly scared of this, so he said he is giving me a piece of mind, if that is what I need. :(
  10. mingster

    mingster TRIBE Member

    pap smears can detect things that aren't necessarily related to sexual activity. such as...CANCER.

    get educated. your doctor can probably help you in this arena.
  11. Metal Morphosis

    Metal Morphosis TRIBE Member

    I was told that if you have two normal pap smears in a row, you can start having them done every two years instead (regardless of age).
  12. Dirty Girl

    Dirty Girl TRIBE Member

    my doctor is fucking twat, she didnt even do a proper exam on me last time i had one. :rolleyes:

    according to that article, pap smears are for detecting that HPV cancer thing, which is a sexually transmitted disease, so if youre not having sex you should be getting the cancer, which would make the test pointless no?

    I dont trust any doctor tests these days anyway, the whole "if you dont hear from us everything is fine" bullshit doesnt wash with me. for all i know they lost the test or mixed mine up with someone else.
  13. KillaLadY

    KillaLadY TRIBE Member

    My mother was not sexually active with my step-father, nor did she have HPV, or sleeping around with other men - but she did develop stage IV cervical cancer. Mind you, she had Hodgkin's Lymphoma as her initial cancer, but my grandmother only had cervical cancer and if she had regular pap smears, who knows if it could have been detected sooner.

    I usually don't give much details when I argue on Tribe or provide my point of view - I do prefer in-person discussions rather than internet, but I am begging you not to take this lightly.
    10 minutes out of your time could save your life.

    I couldn't stress enough how important this PAP test is.
  14. erika

    erika TRIBE Member

    You're right - small amount of discomfort for peace of mind. Though it you've been clear that long you can probably get away with 12 months rather than 8.
  15. Dirty Girl

    Dirty Girl TRIBE Member

    Id be far more worried about myself getting lung cancer or tongue cancer or some shit, but i dont see them doing annual tests on me for that.

    anyway i never said i was against them or that i dont go for them, i just put up the article and said it and the comments were interesting.

    that being said i fucking hate getting them, and if i can avoid them once in a while you can bet your ass I will.

    my mother is 71, and has to have one more and then the doctor said she doesnt need to bother anymore. (i think, unless that was something else)
  16. sugar

    sugar TRIBE Member

    You don't have to be sexually active to develop cervical cancer.

    Plus, maybe you should get the annual pap just to clear away the cobwebs and make sure your vag hasn't sealed up :p
  17. cabbagetowngirl

    cabbagetowngirl TRIBE Member

    I second that emotion. I have endometriosis, so I as well, have them twice a year. You never can be too safe IMO.
  18. Metal Morphosis

    Metal Morphosis TRIBE Member

    Pap screening in Ontario shows gaps:

    CBC News
  19. r6bikerchick

    r6bikerchick TRIBE Member

    I am pro-PAP and I'm used to the full-meal deal while I'm there...height/weight/pelvic exam where the doctor will both press down on your lower abdominal and feel around with her/his gloved fingers inside to make sure that your "girly bits" (uterus & ovaries) feel normal and even sometimes a breast exam to check for lumps.

    I've gone every year since I was 17 or 18. It always coincided nicely with the timing for a new prescription for the Pill, but I don't know if it was a requirement in every province I lived in...I don't think it was.

    I was actually disappointed this year when the test was just the smear itself. I'm sure my old doctor would have been much more attentive to my concerns about the fact that I haven't seen my period in quite a while.

    I am suprised to hear about friends of mine in their 20's or 30's who have never gone, or don't go regularly, whether they are sexually active or not. To me, it's a must-do for my health and I feel very proactive and responsible for doing it.

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