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Interview 11

Age at interview: 62
Brief Outline: Normals smear test results. Experience of inadequate smears.
Background: Practice Secretary; married, 2 children.

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It is better to be safe than sorry. Two minutes of feeling uncomfortable is worth it to know that...

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I think it's literally 2 minutes of feeling uncomfortable, not painful, having something quite cold just pushed inside you while they run a little wooden spatula. It's worth it because from experience in the surgery so many people have had routine things and things have been picked up so early and because of all the fear especially of carcinomas I think yes I would have no fear at all, you know better to be safe than sorry. And as I say I know, we do know a lot of patients, especially single ladies don't really want it done but you know for 2 minutes, and it's just uncomfortable, it's worth it.

 

Describes her feelings about receiving her first inadequate cervical screening test result.

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It hurt like hell and then the surgery said "Oh there's something wrong here," and I nearly went bananas and it was simply that they hadn't got enough testing which years ago we just weren't told, we were all in the dark. And I thought right okay I'm not going for one of those again. It was when I came out here and then this routine letter, and 12 years and my present place of work were horrified and from then on it's been no problem.

 

ItÂ’s worth having several repeat cervical screening to know that you are healthy.

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Well I didn't mind because I knew that the nurse had said to me "I'm a little bit doubtful that I haven't got enough here to be tested," so I didn't really, I didn't mind. The second time it wasn't so good, the third time it was, it was uncomfortable and it was just sore for a few minutes but she is tremendously experienced and it's just a bit uncomfortable for a little while. But it's worth it in the end to find out you're perfectly alright. I'd rather, I mean I suppose I could've left it and said no wait but I wanted to make absolutely sure everything was alright, sort of taking her word and everything and that was it. So I had no qualms about that, I'd much rather have gone for 3 or 4 knowing that it was probably going to be alright than to leave any shadow of doubt.

 
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Describes her experiences of inadequate smears after the menopause and the information she was...

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She has explained why as you get older and you go through the menopause it's a little bit more difficult to catch cells and I'm quite happy with that. I'm happy with the fact that once she has seen you and looked into the cervix and tells you "Yeah this looks perfectly alright," I'm quite happy about it. Er but I think for you know a lot of single ladies say "Well," especially ladies who haven't had sex "well I don't have to worry about this," but then that doesn't always er that isn't always true. So I think for the sake of going and getting testing then your mind is completely at rest, you're never worried about things. And I think especially for things of the breast, the womb, doctors know how vulnerable we women are and sort of do take the time to explain. That's been my experience anyway.

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