• importance for both men n women.

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    sassykitten;) [sign in to see picture]
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    After a recent discussion on this forum I thought id make a post to highlight the importance of keeping up to date with smears... mamagrams(how do u spell it?) etc and also the importance not only for us ladies but for men to b checked too!

    Many lives are affected ... these tests dont just rule out cancer they give you a life line. Or simply could find something less serious n sort it for you, dont leave this to late.

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    jimbogemini [sign in to see picture]
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    Can't agree more. Have had experience of a life saving check. Initially very scary after diagnosis but as you say, provides a lifeline. Strange experience overall. Coped reasonably well but don't think I could have dealt with the situation if one of my family had the problem. Regular checks and screening are so important.

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    GeekyEleanor [sign in to see picture]
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    My mom died three years ago because undiagnosed breast cancer. When they got to treat it it was too late. I'm always up to date with pap smears, but I'm too young for mammograms, though I'll enter the yearly diagnose program earlier due to my familiar history (my grandmother also had breast cancer but she was diagnosed early on and after nearly thirty years she's alive and well), but I self check every month as my doctor taught me when I was a teen. My GP always tells me I'm the perfect patient, little does she know that I do it because I'm scared to death of cancer.

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    GlamRockChick [sign in to see picture]
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    It's true how important it is to get checked out. I've had two lots of treatment for precancerous cells and now have yearly smear tests. It's a few minutes of discomfort but I probably wouldn't be here now if I hadn't had such quick treatment. 12 years of clear tests now which is great.

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    butterflybee [sign in to see picture]
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    100% agree! I remember when I turned 25 a few years back and received my letter for my first cervical smear, I booked my appointment straight away and wasn't at all nervous/embarrassed to go have it done. My friend however, who received her letter a good few months before I received mine, was pretty much adamant that she was not going to have it done because she was embarrassed about someone looking at her lady bits. After much talking, I managed to persuade her to come with me when I had mine done, just to show her that it was really nothing to worry about.
    My smear was fine, I was in and out in about 5 minutes and I experienced very little discomfort (the only part that was marginally painful was her opening the speculum, I didn't feel the actual smear at all). After seeing me have mine, my friend eventually plucked up the courage to have hers done, and she felt a bit daft afterwards for worrying about it.
    I'd never miss mine (in fact I have another due this year), I have a long history of various cancers in my family and it's just not something that I'm willing to take the risk on!

    To be honest, I've never understood why people wouldn't want to have it done. I would personally much rather have it done and if anything comes back abnormal have it treated early, than not have it done, not know, and possibly put my life at risk.

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    JM88 [sign in to see picture]
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    I have only had one smear test so far when i was 24. They sent the letter 6 months early but i rang up to book and they had a cancellation (apparently usually its quite a wait which is why they send it early) and got in that week!

    I have an appointment with a nurse soon to discuss having the depo injection but i might ring up and add a breast check to that appointment (its the well woman clinic) as its something i worry about a lot. I have anxiety issues that im waiting to see the gp about and one of them is obsessing over health scares. Hopefully the nurse can do a quick check to put my mind at rest and then i can begin tackling the anxiety!

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    VirginAngel [sign in to see picture]
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    Considering how embarrassed i was having to have my boobs out in front of a stranger 2 weeks ago for an emergency heart scan i don't think i could face a smear. I got the letter when i turned 25 3 months ago but i don't want the first person to ever see it or have to touch me be a doctor.
    I'm surprised i'm not obsessive about my general health (had ocd for 20 years with my worlds biggest fear being incontinence) yet cancer, or the potential heriditary liver condition my dad has, or the possible implications of my constant dehydration on my kidneys has never worried me. Even with both my mum and her dad dying of brain cancer headaches don't panic me, although i have them a lot the last few months. I'm actually not sure why, never thought about it before.

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    GeekyEleanor [sign in to see picture]
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    They're doctors, they're trained for it, they won't look at you sexually or anything like that. What they do, they do it to save lives. OK, if you never had sex doing a pap smear is pretty useless, or so I was told when I had my first OB-GYN visit when I was 18 and still a virgin, but don't let five minutes of discomfort hinder the possibility of a full healthy life. Better safe than sorry, I think.

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    fairehlights [sign in to see picture]
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    VirginAngel wrote:

    Considering how embarrassed i was having to have my boobs out in front of a stranger 2 weeks ago for an emergency heart scan i don't think i could face a smear. I got the letter when i turned 25 3 months ago but i don't want the first person to ever see it or have to touch me be a doctor.
    I'm surprised i'm not obsessive about my general health (had ocd for 20 years with my worlds biggest fear being incontinence) yet cancer, or the potential heriditary liver condition my dad has, or the possible implications of my constant dehydration on my kidneys has never worried me. Even with both my mum and her dad dying of brain cancer headaches don't panic me, although i have them a lot the last few months. I'm actually not sure why, never thought about it before.

    I'm reasonably certain you can do your swabs yourself now. I had to do some cervical swabs a bit ago for various stuffs, and I had the option to do them myself; the doctor said it was ''exactly like a pap smear'', not that I'd know not being old enough to have had one...
    So I think, if you ask and express ''extreme anxiety'' concerns, you might be able to do them yourself at the surgery. It's worth asking at least.

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    Spoonerism [sign in to see picture]
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    I'm 22 and have been asking for a smear for a while because of some undiagnosed post coital bleeding but no one would give me one.

    Kicked up a fuss when I finally got to see a proper gynaecologist who grudgingly referred me for a colposcopy. Had it today and I DID have visible abnormal cells so they took a biopsy (which hurt like a bitch and still is hours later) so am waiting on the results now, hopefully the cells aren't precancerous.

    Ladies, when you're invited for a smear just bloody book one.

    My Mum has been refusing to go out of fear/discomfort/embarrassment but I'm gonna make her after the bullshit I've been through the last few months.

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    Blueeyes82 [sign in to see picture]
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    100% agree with this post!

    I always go in once a year for smears, mainly for piece of mind. But cancer has a long history in my faily, especially skin and cancer of the womb/overies, so you can never be too careful!

    Two years ago, I had my gallbladder removed, I was in agony for going on two years with this. It was full of gallstones and ended up having an emergency removal, due to my liver failing.

    It wasn't until a week later, after the surgery, when I went in for a 7 day check up, that the Dr's informed me that my gallbladder had cancerous cells in it. Basically cancer of the gallbladder. It is very hard to pick up with scans etc, as it grows between the tissue layers and will only show up in blood tests, if searched for. Half my gallbladder was pretty much cancer. Talk about a shock!

    I had a course of radiotherapy, to ensure they got it all out, then a scan of every vital organ. I am clear of it, never really hit me with worry, as I didn't know I had it and by the time I did know, it was gone.

    How is this related to smear tests? It's cancerous cells....white blood count can be an idicator to this, 5 minutes of uncomfort, is much MUCH much better than any session of radiotherapy treatment.............believe me, I was chucking up after the first 2!

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    sassykitten;) [sign in to see picture]
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    Wow thanks for the support of all your comments, I really after hearing and see loads of people talking about putting it off just to highlight of how important it is :) .. I had my first at 18 about 3 months after my first sexual experience so basically the second person to look at my noonie wss the gp safe to say I was a bit scared but it wasnt at all bad, 2 mins of someone in between your legs whos trained in comparison to poss chemo etc....

    Btw i want to thank u guys who shared their horrible experience of cancer or pre cancerous ..

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    Sarahgee [sign in to see picture]
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    It is definately important. I had pre cancer cells in my smear results 10 years ago (can't actually believe it was that long ago). It's scary mainly because when the doctor tells you, all you hear is the word CANCER. That is all you take in. You just sit and wait at home for your next appointment thinking this is it, it's over im going to need chemo or radiation. You convince yourself you are going to die. It's bery important not to panic and to realise its PRE-CANCER cells, this is your warning sign.. This is your chance to make it right before it mutates and becomes too late. I had the cells on my cervix cauterised. At my check up after that they still were present and i had to have 1/4 of my cervix removed.

    Please do not be scared to go back after having tour cells cauterised, don't sit there and think that you are in the clear. Go back and make sure!

    As for mammograms, i think thy hould be offering them at a younger age .

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