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Thread: The Cervical Cancer Testing Disaster - Terrible Waste of Lives -

  1. #16
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    Default Re: The Cervical Cancer Testing Disaster - Terrible Waste of Lives -

    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Bar View Post
    Perhaps a little inappropriate given that devastating interview but on the subject of vessel

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScWD...youtu.be&t=53s
    Not really inappropriate. Access to good health care is riven with inequality - income, gender, race... In some areas people can't even get a GP, so they are not going to have easy access to cervical screening.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  2. #17
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    Default Re: The Cervical Cancer Testing Disaster - Terrible Waste of Lives -

    A lot of evidence has been given by Cervical Check and by the Department of Health at this stage.


    The news reporting on this has been very unclear and confused/confusing. The 'look back' was solely a review of past tests of smears taken from women who had been diagnosed with cancer and who were receiving treatment. These were not cases of women not being told they had cancer, or pre cancerous changes. The information would still in some cases be useful in gauging how agressively to treat the cancer, because it might give a clearer idea of when cancer started. In some cases, like Vikki Phelan, the mistakes in reading smears were shown to be beyond the normal margin of error, and to have been obvious cancer cases that were missed. This is not good, of course, but in a programme of many thousands of tests, will happen. The labs used, according to the figures from Cervical Check, all performed at the normal expected rate of 'false negatives and positives.'

    https://www.cervicalcheck.ie/news/ce...018.13384.html

    https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/publ...port-may-5.pdf

    Ireland's death rate from cervical cancer is still relatively high. One reason may be the early age at which testing stops 57-60, compared with 65-75 in other countries) and the three year interval between tests. Also, the lack of HPV testing and reliance on smears only. It may also be the rate of take up of testing. There is also a crazy system that women who have had clear smear results (acknowledged to a test with many false negatives) but who have symptoms of cancer, are treated as non-urgent and waiting a long time for appointments.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 19-05-2018 at 07:40 AM.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  3. #18
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    Default Re: The Cervical Cancer Testing Disaster - Terrible Waste of Lives -

    At this stage I'm slightly embarrassed by the title I gave this thread, which was a result of highly skewed and misleading reportage in the early stages of these event.

    News media are only interested in selling papers/ ads it seems and the reporting has really made no serious attempt that I've seen to do any investigative work and present a clear and accurate picture.

    Smear testing, is of course a diagnostic tool, but not a 100% reliable one. As is the case with many diagnostic tools.

    The suggestion today by the Medical Council (if correctly reported) that it is not a diagnostic tool is only adding the the morass of disinformation and misinformation and resulting confusion.

    Smear tests detect the presence of suspect cells, at the stage of pre-cancer or cancer. Pre cancerous cells can be removed with relatively little damage (some risk of pregnancy difficulties is possible). Cancer is much more difficult to treat with a lower success rate.

    HPV tests (which are NOT done by Cervical Check) show if someone has an HPV infection - HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer. Two strains of HPV are associated with a high risk of cell change.

    Best practice is to do both tests.

    The other way in which cervical cancer is detected is when a woman has symptoms of pain or discharge and goes to the G.P.

    The current issue is that a routine cervical smear 'look back' over earlier test results of women who have cancer was treated inconsistently. Most countries do not provide the results of the look backs to patients or doctors - the purpose of the look back is to see if there was any pattern of missing cancer or pre-cancer in the testing labs, so that practice can be improved. In Ireland some women were told and some not. A number of women took cases when they found that their tests had not in their view been handled correctly or not reported correctly. I've seen NO media reports which have shed any light on whether or not the errors went beyond the normal statistical range of inaccuracy of such tests - perhaps that information is not available on a cross-the-board level.

    What is truly disturbing is that women who are symptomatic are not, according to a woman interviewed by RTE, prioritised in Ireland for consultant's appointments if they have had a negative smear result - in spite of the fact that everyone acknowledges that the tests are anything but 100% reliable. She was asking for change to this situation: does anyone know if it has been changed ?

    The battle lines are between women who are dying or at risk of death and fighting for compensation for their children, and professionals running the system who undoubtedly mean well, but seem to have only a shaky grasp of the separate and interwoven lines of statistical improvement and medical best practice for individual women, who have a right to good health care.

    Cervical testing has saved many lives BECAUSE it is a diagnostic tool.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  4. #19
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    Default Re: The Cervical Cancer Testing Disaster - Terrible Waste of Lives -

    https://www.rte.ie/news/2018/1007/10...mhic-mhathuna/

    Very sad to be posting that Emma Mhic Mathuna has died. A warrior.

    HPV testing may have prevented her ever getting cancer. So would more accurate cervical smear testing.

    Her legal case and her spirit has raised a lot of awareness. At the moment the system continues exactly as it was when her case was missed.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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