Embarrassing bodies - well done Natalie

Just watched Embarrassing bodies and thought Natalie done an amazing job. When I watched Natalie story I thought she came across very well and was so brave to alow so much of her treatment to be filmed. Any media coverage of symptoms can only be a positive thing and I think it struck the right balance between information and not striking fear into everyone. One thing that really annoyed me and wound me up was when the presenter dr said "basically cervical can er is a sexually transmitted disease" I thought this was an awful thing to say. This sort of stigma is not what we need and I think it was irresponsible for a dr to say such a thing on tv. When I tweeted about this he messaged back to say "it is". Maybe I am just a bit sensitive about this but felt it was unnecessary.

Hi Toca,

I’ve not seen the episode but I’ll probably look it up now. But, I share your indignation - I do NOT think it’s ok for medical professionals to be telling the nation that cervical cancer is a sexually transmitted disease!! The HPV virus is sexually transmitted yes, but from what I’ve read isn’t it from ANY sexual conact, so using a condom won’t necessarily protect you from it? And if you GET HPV you won’t neccessarily develop cc or pre-cancerous changes. The logic in saying it’s sexually transmitted is ALL WRONG. Like those who do go on to develop changes/cc must be super slutty or something?! (I may be over reacting but this is what some people will think! My mum is pretty sound and was totally fine when I broke down over the phone to her about my smear test, but my dad is EXACTLY the kind of person who would take it the wrong way (they’re not together anymore and we’re not really close so luckily it’s not something I’ve had to worry about)).

What kind of message is that putting out there to people suffering from cc or going for a smear and having it come back abnormal or with some form of dyskariosis?! As if the whole thing isn’t bad enough already the last thing you need to be thinking is ‘I’ve brought this on myself, I’m dirty etc’ and having everyone in society judge you!!!

PLUS not all cc is caused by the HPV virus!! This has made me VERY angry. x

It made me angry to and for the exact reasons you say. I thought it must have been a very unfortunate slip up but when the dr supported the view it was very upsetting. X

I’m really disappointed with that. I might ask my friends boyfriend (he’s a doctor, and a relatively new one) about it and see what he says…

And another thing (this has really got my goat lol)… NEVER during the smear test, colposcopy, LLETZ, pre-questions or post-questions did anyone who saw me EVER mention sexual transmission. IF that doesn’t tell you something… It’s not like when you go to the GUM clinic and they ask about how many sexual partners you’ve had etc!!!

I’m sure there’s something else I want to say but I’ve forgotten for right now. Grrr! x

I watched it yesterday, well done love, you are so so brave.

I find the information about HPV and CC so conflicting. When I went for my colposcopy the nurse informed me that I shouldnt worry as people who get smears dont get cancer. I couldnt beleieve her ignorance :shock:

Hi all

If that’s the case I’m really disappointed. I meant to watch Embarrassing Bodies but have been watching Hunted and didn’t spot the clash until this morning. I’m a bit dippy and forgetful since my op a few weeks ago :oops: I notice it’s on again on 4seven tomorrow at unsociable hours, will definitely record it for a watch. Otherwise, does anyone know if there is a channel 4 version of Iplayer?

If I’m unhappy with the way cc is portrayed regarding being an STD I will definitely complain to Channel 4. I’ve told lots of people that I’ve had cervical cancer but the last thing I want is for them to be viewing it as an STD :frowning: it’s something we should be able to feel comfortable to talk about and discuss openly with friends and family.

HPV does not always cause cervical cancer and is not always spread by sexual contact, plus some cases of cervical cancer are not caused by HPV. I will watch the episode but expect to be VERY ANGRY.

Natalie - I don’t want this to overshadow your story. I will watch it over the weekend but in the meantime well done for being brave enough to share it on national TV. You should be very proud :slight_smile:

Kirsty xxx

It can be viewed on 4 on demand. The didn’t make a huge deal out of it, just when the dr was talking to Natalie her closing line was “so basically cervical cancer is an STD” it then cut to another case. I just thought there was no need for it. It upset me so that’s why I thought after tweeting the dr he would agree it had been wrong to say. I fear that if people think it is an STD then it might discourage them going to the dr if they have symptoms. Also a lady might no longer be sexually active so might think there is no need to continue going for smears. It is a dangerous stigma to band around so I really hope Jo’s makes some sort of response to it.

I watched it last night too with my dad. I text a few mates to watch it, the ones that know I’ve had the abnormalities. I was pretty embarrassed when the doctor said that. now I think my friends think I have an STD! my dad tried to joke and said its because i’m a sinner. I honestly don’t feel like talking about it with family or friends any more! x

Toca and Em - exactly! It could put people off going for smears, going to the doctor with symptoms, talking to friends and family about being scared and asking them for emotional support… and all of these things should be there to support you!!

When I said my mum is pretty sound before I meant it, but I did feel the need to check with her how she viewed the whole thing (when I was feeling a bit better about the situation! Plus she’s very into religion, not fanatically but she’s got her faith and some things are black and white) and started off with ‘so… I’ve been googling and I’ve read some things where people’s families think they’ve brought this on themselves…’ and, bless her heart, she went straight away ‘well that’s ridiculous’ and I could sense the waters might be ok so I then went ‘…and some people’s families don’t support them about it because they think it’s sexually transmitted and they must have been sleeping around…’ (I tired to say this casually mind, not just bluntly like I was fishing) and again she went ‘well they’re just closed minded and obviously have no idea’. I know it’s probably me, but it’s because I know these views exist out there, and to some extent fueled by the media, that I felt the need to check!Massive GRR! x

Hi Girls,
I just wanted to say i completely share your indignation.
I have been asked by friends and family who has given me HPV…and although i dont think they meant it to be offensive you cant help but feel so. It further leaves me to be embarrased.
I did a university project on Cervical screening and the presence of HPV and unfortunately most of the literature does support the fact that its caused by HPV and is sexually transmitted. What the media fail to say it that approx 95% of people well come into contact with it at some point and that half is within the first 3 years of being sexually active.
So whether you’ve had sexual contact with 1 or 12 people your still at risk, and does it matter what the number of people is? because people think that if you’ve slept with X amount of people your more deserved of pre-cancerous to cancerous changes?

i think that unless they are going to state the full facts of CC and HPV then maybe they should steer clear of labeling its as a sexually transmitted ‘problem’

Megan x

Well said Megan! x

I have just tweeted him. honestly, how inssensitive…

Yeah completely agree Megan. I know it was the HOV virus that gave me CC but it wasn’t that alone. The majority of woman who have had the HPV virus will not go on to develope CC. Lots of other factors come into play like immune system etc. HPV is a STD but CC is not.

Hi Everyone
we really do appreciate that this topic has prompted some concerns and discussion.

I must ask you however to follow our protocols and avoid naming people directly in your discussions on the forum. With this in mind I’ve removed the names from the previous posts. This protects both you and Jo’s.

Thank you for your understanding
Best wishes

I saw that programme as well and I agree - Natalie did an amazing job.

I too was really annoyed that they said it was basically an STD. You can get HPV without having sex, right?

Hi ladies


I live abroad, so I couldn't have seen it  - glad really!

Let's not read too much into the doc's remarks ; she is on the telly and sex "sells"!   I'm told that show goes in for sensationalism and must admit that - out of curiosity - I visited the website with it's pictures of atypical bosoms and "bits"!

That being said, it was cruel and insensitive and, as has already been pointed out in this and other discussions, likely to make some women reluctant to go for smear tests as CIN/CC is something that "happens to other (slutty) people".   

Yes, it is possible to contract HPV without having actual intercourse ; the virus has been found in children who had not been sexually abused.  I don't know if you can catch it from a loo seat ...laugh.

So far as I know, lady doctors don't have some sort of congenital immunity to HPV ...

Have a great weekend