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The Jade Goody effect

In 2009, reality tv star Jade Goody died of Cervical Cancer. In the weeks leading up to her death, clinics saw an increase in women having cervical smears. Women thought ‘if it can happen to her it can happen to me’.

Say what you want about Jade Goody but I think it was an amazing thing for her to be public about her illness. Take a moment to think about how many lives she must have saved thanks to women finding their illness early. Raising awareness, the way that she did, made a massive impact on worldwide women’s health.

I also think the age of screening should be lowered. Only women aged 25+ are invited by doctors to screening. Under 25s are considered to be still developing, so if abnormal cells are detected then it is because they are not fully developed and it will save the woman unnecessary stress and anxiety. For women to be diagnosed with cervical cancer under the age of 25 is very rare, but cancer doesn’t care what age you are. Jade was only 27 so I think it’s better to be safe than sorry.

According to the NHS, cervical cancer is an uncommon type of cancer that develops in a woman’s cervix. It usually has no symptoms, so it can be difficult to know if something is wrong. The most common symptoms described are vaginal bleeding caused where to buy nolvadex steroidology after sex, in between periods or after menopause. I’m not trying to scare you! If you have a symptom described, such as abnormal bleeding, it doesn’t mean you have cancer but it is something you should have investigated by your doctor as soon as possible.

Women feel uncomfortable with the idea of smear tests. This is a known factor as to why women refuse to have one done, but if a few minutes of embarrassment can save you then it is definitely something you should do.

The NHS offers a screening programme, open to women from the age of 25, which I think it wrong. Cancer can happen no matter what age you are. During the test, a small sample of cells is taken from the cervix and checked under the microscope for abnormalities. Women are usually sent a letter telling them when a screening appointment is due every 3 years.

If cervical cancer is diagnosed at an early stage there are many options of treatment to consider; surgery, radiotherapy, hysterectomy and chemotherapy.

Like all illnesses, the stage at which is it diagnosed is important in the recovery of the woman and their outlook. Recently smear tests screenings have declined and breast cancer is still the most widely known about cancer. Is it going to take another celebrity dying of cervical cancer for it to be taken seriously again?

Thank you Jade, for everything. x

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