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Jade's plight sees smear tests rocket

PUBLISHED: 16:01 11 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:17 25 August 2010

REALITY TV celebrity Jade Goody s cancer battle has led to a surge in the number of women attending cervical screenings.

REALITY TV celebrity Jade Goody's cancer battle has led to a surge in the number of women attending cervical screenings.

Bassam Younes, the cervical screening hospital-based programme co-ordinator at Darent Valley Hospital, said the number of women attending had increased considerably since it was revealed she had terminal cancer.

The 27-year-old was diagnosed with the disease in August last year while filming Big Boss, the Indian version of Big Brother and was told it was terminal last month.

In January tests in north Kent were up on the same time last year by nearly eight per cent while February saw a 15.5 per cent spike.

Mr Younes said: "We have seen an increase in the number of women attending for cervical screening following Jade Goody's story."

He added: "GP surgeries have informed us that there is a substantial demand from women in the under 25 age group who would like to be tested."

Dr Younes' findings mirror the national trend, as the 'Jade Goody effect' has been noted across the country.

University Hospital Lewisham announced it has seen a 21 per cent rise in women coming in for screenings since Miss Goody was diagnosed on live TV.

A spokesperson for Cancer Research UK said: "The publicity around Jade's diagnosis has led many more people to ask questions and seek information about cervical cancer - we've seen a dramatic leap in the number of people visiting the cervical cancer pages of our patient information website, CancerHelp UK."

They said that before her diagnosis, the number of pages viewed daily in the section was around 2,000 to 3,000 and on the day of her diagnosis this jumped to more than 32,000.

The spokesperson added: "While our thoughts are with Jade and her young family at this difficult time, we hope Jade's story will encourage every woman who receives an invitation to attend cervical screening to do so without delay.

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