preventing cervical cancer logo at marathon

Hi everyone

Dunno if i am being really sensitive or hormonal but it really upset me today to see the tshirts jo's had at the marathon. Its a shame i feel the need to post as the efforts of the fundraisers is fantastic.

The back of the tshirt says 'cervical cancer can be prevented'

Like i said not sure its not  me being oversensitive but i  feel i have always led a healthy lifestyle,  had my smears etc  and still got it.

I think there is enough stigma and don't need the added baggage of blame :((

What message was this trying to portray?

Sorry for rant but what do you lovely ladies in the same boat as me think?

Kath xx

I'd personally be very upset to see this message. There is nothing more I could have done to prevent it, I was unlucky and will have to pay for this my whole life.

I presume it's regarding the vaccine now available to protect younger generations, but there are lots of ladies living with CC who did not have that option at school. It makes me angry to read people don't take it, I certainly would love to have had that option!

Hi Kath,

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

Thanks Annabel

I am today feeling sorry for my rant because i do not want to upset people or stop them from having their smears for fear of being judged.

It just really p*****d me off to be honest!!

 I have had a shit time ( as lots of us ladies have) and jo's has helped me a great  deal(thx ladies) but i just find the suggestion i am to blame anymore than another cancer victim is and mine could have been prevented by me quite hurtful.

Smears obviosly play their part in prevention but i am scared people think smears are the only symptom and  everythng is all fine an dandy if thats clear:

Not in mine or  many other cases :(( Jo's need to make this clear :))

Hate to have negative thoughts  but feel hindsight may  have helped me  :))

Lotsa lov to u all xx

Kath xx

Don't feel bad for raising it Kath. It hurt you and you needed to say it and that's what the forum is for.

xxx