Let’s do it….
SEATTLE: Lesbians may be at higher risk of cervical cancer because they get fewer screenings than heterosexual women, due partly to doctors’ sometimes incorrect assumptions about their sexual history, University of Washington researchers said.
Although nearly all cases of cervical cancer are attributable to a human papillomavirus, or HPV, infection, healthcare providers often do not encourage lesbian patients to get regular HPV screenings, the researchers found.
That is because the disease is most commonly transmitted during heterosexual sex and doctors may wrongly assume lesbians have only had sex with other women, despite studies that have found most lesbians and their partners have had sex with men, researchers said.
Professor Julietta Patnick CBE, Director of the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes said: “The NHS Cancer Screening Programmes welcome this campaign to encourage lesbian and bisexual women to accept screening invitations.”
“Most research including that carried out by Dr Julie Fish of De Montfort University found that there is a low level of awareness of the cervical cancer risks for lesbians, among both healthcare staff and lesbians themselves.
“Many incorrectly believe that lesbians are not at risk at all. A clearer understanding of the transmission routes of HPV (the virus that causes cervical cancer) is crucial in helping to encourage all eligible women to accept screening invitations. Cervical screening saves 4,500 women’s lives every year in England alone.”
Georgina Tan (call me George), a 25 yr old closeted lesbian who works at the post office said that she encouraged all lesbians to go for the smear test.
“Lesbians should go for cervix screening just as gay men should go for colonoscopy screening,” she added.