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Why is it done from the age of 20 in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland?
apparently it's only done from the age of 25 in england, yeah? i think you can still go and ask to have one done in england if you're over 20 though. i would recommend getting it done as early as possible.
I dunno, it used to be 21 in England, I think it's dumb that they upped the age limit as I've had to go through some horrible operations that could have been avoided if I'd had the test sooner.
i might have to have that too. is it really nasty? is it something i should be PMing you about?
Mine were CN3 which is basically 'these will become cancer one day' and it was fine, if they can't remove them all though then they do a cone biposy which I didn't have but I did have two small biopsies. It's nothing to worry about though sweetie, it just would have just been preferrable to have avoided it altogether.
PM if you like, I'm off out to work soon but back tonight and don't worry :)
those operations; at a guess though, probably not. The screen was only there as a tool to detect CIN cells and their stage; not to actually fix them. Chances are that earlier detection would have led to either similar surgical procedures, or a 'wait-and-see' approach to see whether they got any worse.
and I know so many people that have had it too. SCARY. But pretty common, it seems. Best thing is to never miss a test. Also, whilst it's nasty and undiginified, it's really not anything to worry about. I'm also happy to give advice by PM on this :)
Re. the age- actual cervical cancer is very uncommon before age 25, whereas fairly harmless (or at least slow-moving) changes to the cervix are VERY common before this age, which results in a lot of uneccesary hassle for younger patients. I have no idea why the health authorities in scotland haven't adopted the new guidance, but those in England have though. *daily mail-esque rant about postcode lotteries etc*
I'd have to say, it's cause those places are better.
plus a slightly lower risk
The simplest is health economics. 25 (or thereabouts) is, at the moment, estimated to be the best age at which to start screening in order to maximise its benefits and minimise its drawbacks. Benefits are of course detection of CIN cells and subsequent prevention of cervical cancer. Drawbacks are:
False positives (and unnecessary surgery; some CIN cells don't develop into cervical cancer)
Psychological burden of inconclusive results
In terms of pure numbers, there's little case for doing it before 25. However, this doesn't mean that nobody gets cervical cancer before 25; some do, and these cases are powerful arguments. Is it worth spending millions on a screening programme that isn't completely effective and causes a lot of anxiety on saving a very small number of lives? What if that money could provide something more efficacious in other patients?
The reason that programmes are different across regions is just that different people are making the decisions. In England the health economic approach won out: the others may fall into line with the evidence eventually or the emotional appeals might keep things as they are.
Apologies if I sound creepy for writing about this; I'm interested in screening with my work..