I think women want honesty, risk information and respect for informed consent. More women are working out they haven't been told the full story. This cancer is rare, 1% would get it with no screening, one third will still get it with testing (false negatives) but a whopping 77% of Aussie women are referred for colposcopy and usually a biopsy in their lifetime, almost all for false positives. (L Koutsky's research) The risks are high with this testing and the Aussie program is very bad as it over-screens which increases the risk of false positives for no additional benefit. When 99% of women will never have an issue with this cancer, more women are concerned about the biopsies and treatments that can damage the cervix and cause issues like infertility, miscarriages, more c-sections, premature babies, psych issues etc.
Testing women under 25 is unsafe, unreliable, harmful and has no effect on the tiny death rate. (some say under 30)
Finland has the lowest rates of cc in the world and sends the fewest women for biopsies, they offer just 5 to 7 tests - every 5 years from 30.
As a low risk woman, my risk from this cancer is near zero, I'm not prepared to run the high risk of biopsies so a Dr can reach her target and pick up a nice cheque from the Govt. (I don't approve of these hidden payments either)
I think women should be treated respectfully, given ALL of the information and left to make their own informed decision. It is never right or wrong to screen.
Dr Raffle, UK screening expert tells us that 1000 women need regular smears for 35 years to save one woman from cc.(BMJ 2003)
We all have the right to protect ourselves from harm, few women are currently giving informed consent and that's unacceptable.
More and more I hear women questioning this program and the damage it causes to healthy women.
Men got risk info very quickly with screening for common prostate cancer and there is respect for informed consent, women are denied these things for a rare cancer.