I don't think you're being over-sensitive and I can completely understand why it upset you. But I also don't think that there is any intentional judgement or blame behind that slogan. I think things like that look very different to us, having had the experiences that we've had, than they do to someone who has never had any cervical abnormalities or cervical cancer. It is, after all, those women that the campaigns are aimed at, rather than women in our position. I suspect that as well as referring to the HPV vaccine, the logo/slogan refers to the fact that if you attend your regular smears and get an abnormal smear result, which is CIN or CGIN, they can remove the abnormality with a loop, for example, and thereby prevent cc developing. It is certainly the case that it is this aspect of the National Screening Programme which is responsible for the massive reduction in the number of women developing cervical cancer. However, the system isn't perfect, every case is different and it certainly isn't the case that cervical cancer can ALWAYS be prevented, but I don't think the slogan is suggesting that anyway. I don't know about you but I am pretty sure that before I was diagnosed I didn't realise that cc was a preventable cancer and I have certainly found amongst my friends that most women were unaware of this. It would seem to be an important message to get out there! It is a very distressing statistic that 30% of women still don't attend their smears and that 50% of those diagnosed with cc have not attended their smear appointments - there is no element of blame or judgement on those women, but how brilliant and amazing would it be if we could get some of that 30% to attend their smear tests, so we can prevent more women from going through the awful and frightening experiences that we've been through.
I think there are some very nasty people out there - if you search for it on the internet (which I don't recommend!) then there is no end of stuff saying that cancer is a judgement or is nature's way of keeping the population down etc etc..- just really ill-informed, hateful bullshit written by people with limited intelligence who are ruled by their own fears and prejudices. People like that would blame us for our own cancer anyway, well-intentioned Jo's Trust slogan or not, because that blame is entirely about them and their own small little minds and really has nothing to do with us.
I understand your feelings though. Something that worries me is that promiscuity is still listed in Macmillan literature as a risk factor for cervical cancer. Apart from the fact it is far more complicated than that (for example, you can be promiscuous but if your body can clear HPV naturally, you're not going to get cervical cancer, even if you sleep with every man in the world!) the word 'promiscuous' is judgemental in its very existence and I really don't think it's helpful to have it there - it seems outdated to me.
Love, Annabel. x