I commented on this article earlier on Twitter. It’s Cervical Cancer Awareness Week (in the UK) this week and there are many posts and articles online talking about cervical smears. Unfortunately, my tweet caused a few people to use it as an excuse to throw negativity at me so I have deleted the tweet. I don’t respond to negativity. I figured I would write a blog instead to explain my view.
1 in 4 women in the UK are not having regular smear tests due to having a poor body image. I don’t have a very good body image myself and a nurse friend once called me body dysmorphic (I think I’m bigger than I am/unattractive). So, I completely understand that smear tests would cause girls/women to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable.
However, millions, if not billions, of pounds have been spent on cancer research to reach the point of being able to offer free tests to diagnose this disease and to know how to fight it. To have that resource available but it not being used to its full capability is crazy. What will happen if/when these girls and women want to have children or need to be tested for an STI? All involve doctors and nurses being in that particular area of a woman’s body. A sexual organ is the same as a big toe to medical professionals. They don’t see it in the same way as we do.
To flip my argument around to an M.E perspective. Hands up M.E peeps who wouldn’t mind (yes, we’d cringe and squirm but…) a rectal exam or cervical investigation if it would lead to a diagnosis or treatment? I would do ANYTHING if it would lead to being ‘fixed’. I know I’m not alone in that. I think this article highlights the difference between ‘healthy’ people and their views on health checks (to prevent them from getting sick) and chronically ill people who would do anything to get better.
I hope I’ve made my point clear, I don’t mean to guilt trip anyone. It is YOUR choice whether to have the test but it’s a wasted opportunity if you let embarrassment stop you from attending your free appointment.
(brain fog has kicked in so sorry if my writing is a bit blah)