A spike in cervical screening prompted by Jade Goody’s high-profile battle with cervical cancer has almost been reversed three years after her death.
A quarter of a million fewer women went for the test last year than in 2008/9 when the Big Brother star was highlighting the importance of the check-up.
The mother-of-two had ignored abdominal pains. By the time she was diagnosed it was too late. Her cancer had spread to her bowel, liver and groin.
When Jade first found fame in 2002 as a housemate on Big Brother, she was regularly criticised for her lack of general knowledge and frequent gaffes. But her campaign to publicise cervical cancer prompted nearly 400,000 more women to go for screening and won her huge respect.
Julietta Patnick, the director of NHS Screening Programmes, said: “In the developing world cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women. In this country it isn’t as we can control it with cervical screening so I would say to women, take control, get yourself screened, then if we find something small we can treat it easily before it turns into cancer.”