Warning: this may come across as a litle TMI; I don't intend it to be at all And to all the men who choose to read this thinking it might be something interesting to you, trust me, you might want to stop reading right about now
I just thought I'd post here after the events of the last couple of months...I'm sure not many of you are as daft as me but ladies, you need to be having your cervical screening (smear) tests! I have never requested one (or even really thought about it to be honest) but thankfully was offered one during a visit to my clinic. The results from that and a follow up test have shown consistent cell abnormalities, which, hopefully, are nothing to be concerned about. However, further tests are being carried out to be sure and I'm quietly confident it will all be fine.
The reason for me posting this here is that the whole experience has really opened my eyes to how important these things are and had I not been offered one, I probably wouldn't have thought to get it done. I think they are available to everyone in the UK over the age of 25 (though in some cases I'm sure they're available at an earlier age). If you haven't had one, go do it!
I hope the results come back as nothing to worry about. I've had 3 in my adult life, thankfully nothing has come back from them. Like you my sister went for one and they found abnormal cells and sent her up to the hospital that evening. Its uncomfortable but a necessity - which reminds me I should sort out my next smear!
I have to disagree with the OP on this not being of any interest to the male members. Woops, sorry for the pun! Most men have a wife or girlfriend and all have, or have had, mothers. Many of us have daughters and female friends. All of us blokes have prostate glands.
Cancer, which is what we are talking about here, can strike either sex, at ANY age and should be taken seriously. The screening in this country is based on careful analysis of statistics. So the age range etc. that is offered screening is the appropriate one for the particular target.
Men are incredibly silly about female plumbing and our society would be a lot more balanced if the childish dweebs would grow up and think sensibly about issues like menstruation and breast-feeding.
EVERYONE should react to screening requests by going along and accepting the service offered.
MOST of us will get negatives but whatever your results, the earlier things are detected, the better the treatment will be.
Allegra- The exact same thing has happened (and is happening) to me.
My doctor reffered me to the hospital after having unusual bleeding, so I had a smear, which came back with 'abnormal' results. I then went for a Colposcopy (which was a weird experience...the doctor was a middle-aged man and spent the whole procedure talking to me about skiing...I guess it sort of helped lol!). After the treatment the results from the biopsy were better, so he was happy for me to carry on as normal and have regular smears to make sure nothing creeps up again. I've just recieved a letter saying 'it's that time again!'
Allegra- The exact same thing has happened (and is happening) to me. My doctor reffered me to the hospital after having unusual bleeding, so I had a smear, which came back with 'abnormal' results. I then went for a Colposcopy (which was a weird experience...the doctor was a middle-aged man and spent the whole procedure talking to me about skiing...I guess it sort of helped lol!). After the treatment the results from the biopsy were better, so he was happy for me to carry on as normal and have regular smears to make sure nothing creeps up again. I've just recieved a letter saying 'it's that time again!'
I recently had the same experience, my middle aged Doctor was talking about a film he watched the night before lol, its the strangest thing! The whole experience its terrifying and very unpleasant (I wont lie) to say the least, but in most cases the colposcopy clears the abnormal cells up and you have regular check ups again at 6 months then onto a year if your clear then eventually back to 3 years.
My 6 monthly check up thankfully came back clear after the treatment.
After talking to a few friends I realised this treatment is a lot more common than you think its just no one likes to talk about it.
my boyfriend has suggested i have one, ive been in hospital recently with sepsis and an infection thats lasted a month and a half despite being blasted with 5 major antibiotics, they have removed my appendix, scanned my ovaries, preformed an exploitative laposcopy of my liver, x-rayed my lungs and chest... although i was pretty sure it was my already damaged kidney (my right kidney has been scarred for 12 year due to septicemia when i was young) but for the last 3 weeks ive developed bleeding (only light more like constant pregnancy spotting but im defiantly not pregnant it would of showed in in any of the blood and urine test or on the scans and x-rays) now it sort of got me worried about the 3 lumps ive been ignoring for 2 years, but previously every time i mentioned it doctors shook me off making an appointment for Tuesday as i have to go to uni tomorrow (or risk being kicked out from being off so much)
Ratana- definately go and get checked. One of my fellow student-nurse friends is on the Gynecology ward at Addenbrookes and keeps telling me how lovely every single doctor and nurse is. By the sounds of it, its just not Addenbrookes whose staff are really nice! They'll make you feel at ease, and although, like Claire said, it's not the most dignified or comfortable procedure, its well worth getting checked out!
I would also like to say how important the smear test is. I had my first at 19, after requesting it on the advice of my mother because of some issues. Thankfully, all was ok, but I have also had the 'abnormal' result. It's important to note that cervical cancer is pretty silent; you can't not go for the smear and hope you notice the symptoms in time, the smear is the single best way to catch any early signs. The smear may be uncomfortable, but cancer is always going to be worse than 5 minutes of embarrassment and discomfort.
If you're ever invited to any kind of screening test, go! Population screening procedures aren't passed by the *whoever passes these things* unless they are shown to increase the likelihood of catching the disease early AND that catching it earlier leads to a higher survival rate from the disease, amongst other things. Don't think it's just a "we'll screen everyone and hope for the best" approach, it really isn't. Screening programmes exist for a reason