As many of you will know, across this last year Coronation Street (ITV) have been running a cervical cancer storyline based around the experiences of a character called, Sinead. The storyline has followed Sinead through diagnosis and treatment and the impact it has had on her, her partner Daniel and young son Bertie. Whilst Sinead's specific circumstances are thankfully rare, they do sadly happen and throughout this time, the writers of the programme have reached out to us to work closely with us ensuring the storyline has been portrayed as accurately and responsibly as possible. It has been an incredible opportunity to raise awareness of cervical cancer and how it affects lives as well as helping to dispell numerous myths about this cancer. It has prompted many conversations across social media around prevention of the disease.
This Friday evening (24th October) at 7.30pm on ITV, there will be an hour long special showing Sinead's last moments before she sadly passes away. The episode is extremely emotive and some viewers may find it intense or potentially triggering. We are conscious that, if you do choose to watch it, you may need support during or after the programme. Please remember that we are here for you should you need us. Our helpline will be open on Saturday from 11am to 1pm and from 3pm to 6pm on 0808 802 8000. Alongside that, our online forum is also available should you wish to access support in this way. I know that you will provide your usual incredible support to one another.
It felt right to share this with you in advance of the programme - please look after yourselves
Sending my very best wishes
That's very kind Rebecca. Obviously it will be a difficult one to watch but anything that raises awareness is a good thing.
For goodness sake, when will this scaremongering of British women stop? Terrify them as they are of the weaker sex and they will go for their smears. When will they be treated as equal to men who are capable of deciding for themselves? Women need to given unbiased information on screening instead of the usual sales pitch so that they could make an informed decision on whether to screen or not.
What has that got to do with Coronation Street Marjusa? The storyline wasn't about screening as the character was too young to be eligible. The story was about decision-making in pregnancy, and we have recently lost a member of Jo's who was faced with that exact decision.
Please stop posting your anti-screening stuff on Jo's. It is not an appropriate forum.
My message was posted in order to give some advance warning of a particularly emotive programme that some in our community may find upsetting. The post was deliberately placed in forum sections for those who have been affected by cell changes and cervical cancer, and not in the general screening concerns section. The reasoning behind this was to avoid causing unnecessary worry to this group.
Whilst I appreciate that you have strong views around screening, I would respectfully ask that you consider the impact of your words, especially on those using the colposcopy and cancer sections of the forum who are seeking support.
Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
I have to agree with what Karen has said, this is not an appropriate forum.
I have not watched coronation street so whilst aware of the storyline I'm not very familiar with all the ins and outs of it.
What I do know is what i have experienced. I never went for my smear tests. Ever. This is something I regret deeply. I was 36 when I started experiencing cervical cancer symptoms, bleeding excessively and during sex. I ignored them for some time because I was so embarrassed about going for a smear. Eventually I did, but it was to late for me. A year ago today I was told I had cervical cancer, a month later I was told it was stage 4 with spread to lymph node at top of my body. This last year has been chemotherapy and radiation. 8 rounds of chemo and 33 radiotherapys. I am now waiting for scan results and there's a strong chance I will need more treatment. I don't know what the future holds or how much of one I may have.
I really wish I had gone for my smear test. I wish I had been able to talk to people about my issues with the test. I wish I had listened to my friends who couldn't believe i wouldn't go. Now there are many women who struggle to attend smear tests and some have far more reasonable reasons for this then I did.
Had I gone for my smears I may have have caught my cancer sooner, I may not have even got cancer at all. We will never know... but it's a what if that will haunt me forever.
If anyone is debating on whether to have a smear test done I urge you to go. If you have worries about it or issues I urge you to talk to someone about it. There is support out there. Jo's can help you. It's so important. #Don'tbelikeme #nowhatifs
Helen, you are a shining star!!
Well said Karen and Helen, I'd felt extremely irritated reading this post and certainly not the right place for airing views like these.
Karen, glad you doing fab, you really are an asset to this forum. Helen, hope it's all good news at your next appointment.
I was commenting on Rebecca's post and not on Coronation Street.
The Trust is not just for women affected by cell changes or cc, they provide Information on screening, smears etc. For this reason I do not agree that it is not an appropriate forum to post a differing view on the matter.
As you found it irritating to read my post or comments I find it the same when everyone red arrows me or screams at me for having a different view.
This section of the Jo‘s Trust organisation/website is a forum for women who have cervical cancer and other associated cervical conditions to provide support for one another. If you have an issue with the information the trust provide about screening then you should contact their management directly. Alternatively there are plenty of opportunities to discuss screening on wider social media. A support forum is not an appropriate place.
May I make a suggestion that you remove the section of Smear Tests entirely from the Forum. That way you are going to have the Forum exclusively for those who have been affected by changes or cancer.
I consider your original post to be inappropriate in this section of this Forum. It should have been in the News or Blog Section for the exactly the reasons you mention. If you were thinking that women would only read in one section, that it is a bit improbable.
I responded to your post unfortunately in this section. However, when I was responding in the Screening section to a lady's comment on opting out, the post was deleted without a trace. As a matter of fact, I do have a statement from Jo's, black in white, that you support informed decisions. What is wrong again with voicing this opinion? I stand by my words.
You want me to respect women on this Forum, which is what I am doing (I have never intentionally offended anyone on the Forum or have ever made a post on the Colposcopy or CC section), others should respect me with my views. It is unthinkable that only women who are in favour of the Programme are seen favourably and the other ones scolded, screamed at, red arrowed me etc. I suppose women on this Forum if they could, they would stone me or burn me at the stake.
I am in total agreement with the other ladies who have posted and who like myself have experienced the utter devastation that this cancer brings. Lives are saved by cervical screening and promotion is key to ensuring that this continues. It is your choice to participate or not but I have no idea why you think with no experience you have the right to try and influence others and also agree that this is certainly not the right platform for doing so and quite bluntly don't really understand why you are even a member here unles you purely wish to cause disruption and upset which is certainly something to you do seem to achieve.
Because of cancer I lost my fertility. I have a colostomy and urostomy. I have a fake vagina made out of my thigh. If I can prevent one single woman going through what I have been through I would fight you to the grave. I have a PhD in medical decision making and I can assure you that what you call "informed choice" is not because you are actually not fully informed. You read what you want to read and hear what you want to hear instead of doing a proper systematic review of scientific paper. You want to believe anything to get yourself out of the test which is absolutely fine as it's your body and your life but please do not encourage others to do the same.
I understand that this thread has got a little heated and has upset a number of our community. I must ask that you now leave this matter with the Jo's moderators and no longer add to the thread.
Thank you for your understanding and your patience whilst we resolve the situation.
Sending my very best wishes