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Page last updated at 11:16 GMT, Monday, 6 September 2010 12:16 UK
Smear test numbers in decline since Jade Goody's death
Jade Goody
Is the 'Jade effect' on the number of smear tests now wearing off?

The number of women having smear tests in Staffordshire and South Cheshire has dropped according to new figures BBC Radio Stoke obtained from the NHS.

Back in 2008, there was an increase of about 35% in the number of samples submitted to local laboratories.

Stoke-on-Trent NHS linked the rise in cervical cancer tests to the publicity surrounding Jade Goody's illness.

But there are now fears that her effect may be wearing off as fewer and fewer women are going for their smears.

Over the last 12 months, the figures have steadily dropped and in 2010, they appear to be back to pre-2008 levels.

This amounts to around 650-700 per week - about the same amount as before Jade's case was publicised so heavily in the media.

Kelly's story

One woman who knows how important it is to get checked out is Kelly Crayton from Burslem.

Kelly, 24, was diagnosed with cervical cancer around the same time as Jade Goody, back in 2008.

She admits that the plight of the former TV reality star helped her fight the illness.

"If it wasn't for Jade Goody and her story and making it public on the television, I don't know how I would have got through it to be fair.

"But knowing that she was there, going through exactly the same thing, that she was going for chemo every day, going for radio every day, it pushed me to get up and go."

Testing concerns

She is however concerned that not enough women, especially young women, are coming forward to get tested.

"For a two-minute test, the amount of people I speak to and they say 'Oh yeah, I should have gone last week and I should have gone back a couple of weeks after'.

"Then they just don't book it and it's like you're mad, because it can save your life," she added.

Around 2,800 women a year are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the UK.

To find out more information about the disease, visit the NHS cervical cancer website .




SEE ALSO
Is the 'Jade Effect' still working?
22 Mar 10 |  Magazine
Jade Goody helps smear tests soar
13 Mar 09 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife


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