1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. Grommit

    Grommit Registered User

    Apr 26, 2006
    2,127
    Doncaster
    I have recently taken Jean for a mammogram and am still waiting the results but I have now had a letter telling me that a cervical smear test is due.

    In the past these tests have caused Jean a great deal of pain and distress and I am anxious to avoid that happening to the extent that i am considering passing it up.

    Jean is 60 and, since the AD diagnosis 5 years ago, that particular aspect of our married life has been put aside and I am thinking that the smear test may be unneccesary as a result.

    I just wondered if anyone had any views on the matter at all?
     
  2. alex

    alex Registered User

    Apr 10, 2006
    1,665
    Hiya Grommit

    Smears are usually painless but its understandable that Jean would be distressed, i avoided smears for 12 years and look what happened!............but i was lucky that it wasn't worse, if i was you, i'd ring Jeans GP (the doctor will talk to you on the phone) and explain the situation and ask if he would advise missing the appointment, however, cancer of the cervix is not dependant on an active sex life, but see what her GP has to say about it.

    Cervical Smears pick up changes in the cervix, these tests can also detect other medical conditions other than cancer.

    Hope you manage to get things sorted.
    Love Alex x
     
  3. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Grommit, a lot of nurses are able to do this test these days.

    Maybe your surgery could send someone home to you and Jean. This may avoid some of the strain at this time. Hope you get something sorted out. Love n'hugs.
     
  4. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Alex is right, any woman can get cancer of the cervix, regardless of sex life. However, the test can be painful, and would also be distressing for Jean.

    These tests normally stop at 60 anyway, unless any problems have been identified,so this would probably be her last one. It could be OK for Jean to miss it, but I would certainly check with the GP.


    Love,
     
  5. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Hiya Grommitt, over the last 12 months I have had reason to question the necessity of ‘putting mum through the ordeals’ of tests - invasive or otherwise - when it seemed there was no likelihood of any action being taken if the outcome was ‘sinister’ ….. I can fully empathise with trying to avoid any distress - however one consultant did point out that diagnosis - even if a condition was deemed ‘untreatable’ - assisted in care management plans …..

    Perhaps rather different when one is talking about ‘routine screening’ rather than investigation for symptoms which give rise to concerns …… then again does screening become more important for someone who may not be able to express symptoms or concerns?

    I like Connie’s idea of performing the smear in the home environment if that is possible - another alternative to another extreme - I do know of a woman who attends a hospital clinic to have smears performed under sedation so great is her anxiety about the test.

    I’d ask what would be worse? Jean enduring the test only to discover she has the ‘all-clear’ … or not having the test and discovering later there is a problem which may have been remedied or relieved had it been found sooner …. or having the test, discovering there is a problem and then that no treatment would be appropriate on physical or mental health grounds?

    Sorry, probably no earthly use at all… just wanted you to know I’m thinking of you (and Jean, of course) …..

    Love, Karen, x
     
  6. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,419
    I'm just wondering if a smear test could be performed in a the home from a technical point of view. I mean we're talking stirrups here, and most homes aren't equiped with these. Attempting to insert a speculum to perform a smear when the patient isn't in the right position would cause more pain I would think.
     
  7. Grommit

    Grommit Registered User

    Apr 26, 2006
    2,127
    Doncaster
    On reflection, it seems that the advice to consult the GP may be the best one and I think that will be the option I take.

    Thank you all for your input, consideration and ideas.
     
  8. angela.robinson

    angela.robinson Registered User

    Dec 27, 2004
    520
    i think you have to decide when enough is enough , no more distressing tests of any kind ... wether the time is now only you can decide , but i had proplems obtaining my last smear test , due to gynaecology problems , and the consultant said, as it would have been my last one , not to worry about it ,call it a day , i think that is what i would do in your case . if you went ahead and there was something to worry about , then would you want your wife to go thr ough all that entails , just my opinion of course , most others may strongly dissagree. good luck whatever you decide on . ANGELA
     
  9. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    On one hand I agree, Jennifer ... another reason I believe a hospital clinic - complete with appropriate examination areas (including stirrups) - is more appropriate for some people to attend ....

    Without getting too graphic, :eek: , smears in my Primary Care Trust are generally performed by practice nurses in clinics or GP practices - standard examination couch behind a flimsy curtain in something which usually resembles a storeroom - not exactly conducive to a patient being approached with a mechanical device and being told to 'relax'!!!! It's bad enough even if it isn't such an intimate examination ....

    Grommit, I wonder if the GP recommends and you agree that it IS worth going ahead with the test and for whatever reason a home visit is not an option, worth enquiring about any private clinics who may be able to offer at least some aesthetic support in making the test less of an ordeal for Jean?

    Yet, all that seems a lot of effort for something which is only precautionary ..... unless Jean was considered to be high-risk .....

    Love, Karen, x
     
  10. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,419
    Karen: no stirrups?? I know I'm used to another countries health system now, but when I lived in the UK stirrups were SOP at my local clinic. Not that I think the whole thing is wonderful, with or without stirrups, but positioning is everything if these procedures are to be as pain-free as possible.
     
  11. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    I've never had stirrups, either in England or here. The test is normally done in an examination room by the practice nurse.
     
  12. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,419
    Good grief: you live and learn! When I lived in England I would go to the Marie Stopes clinic in London and they had them, over here even my GP has stirrups on her table: I would run a mile if asked to participate in this procedure without them. No wonder people say these procedures are uncomfortable - thery're not using the appropriate equipment.
     

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