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Has Jade's story affected the way that people think about cancer?

This week has seen intense media coverage of Jade Goody’s struggle with cervical cancer. Jade, who sadly was diagnosed with the disease in August 2008, has been told this week that her cervical cancer has spread.

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.

Before Jade was diagnosed, the total number of pages viewed daily in our cervical cancer section was around 2,000 to 3,000.  On the day of the news last year this jumped to over 32,000.

Since then the daily visits have continued to be around two to three times higher than before her diagnosis was made public.

Our Information Nurses phone line has also had an increase in callers asking for information about cervical cancer.

And in response to Jade being back in the news this week, we’ve seen the number of cervical cancer pages viewed increase to around 20,000.

Screening

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.

Without cervical screening in this country, many more thousands of women would be diagnosed with the disease. Cervical screening means that many cases of the disease can be prevented, because changes in the cervix can be detected – and treated – before they develop into cancer.

A Cancer Research UK study in 2004 suggested that the screening programme had saved 100,000 lives since its introduction in 1988.

HPV vaccine

On top of this, the roll-out of the HPV vaccine, which has been offered to all 13 year old girls in the UK – with a catch up programme for girls up to the age of 18, has the potential to prevent even more cases of the disease. This vaccine prevents infection with the strains of human papillomavirus that cause the majority of cervical cancer cases.

Symptoms of cervical cancer

We also advise any woman, no matter what age, who has symptoms that give cause for concern – like bleeding between periods or bleeding after the menopause – to discuss them with their doctor straight away. You can find more information about cervical cancer symptoms on CancerHelp UK.

Emma Gilgunn-Jones

Emma is Cancer Research UK’s science press manager

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Comments

leanne jade matthews March 19, 2010

R.I.P jade who is sadly missed. i feel for the family and what they are going through. I really feel for them. I loved her autobiographys, i have all of them and loved watching her on big brother back in 2007. she was my favourtie celebrity. if i do say so myself. she was a good mother to jack and freddie and a good partner to jack. She really did love them all and even her mother. rest in peace x x x x jade goody

me April 6, 2009

R.I.P. gorgeous!!

Gail Daniels March 28, 2009

I also lived overseas for almost 30 years, in Bermuda where we had smear tests every year. My friend was in her 40′s when she missed a year and by the time she went back they found precancerous cells and flew her immediately back to the UK for a radical hysterectomy and radiation. Thank God she made it through, but the lady she knew in the same circumstances, who went for treatment at the same time, didn’t. Why O why do they wait 3 years between scans over here, my friend would not have survived if that had been the system over there then.

Shaun March 24, 2009

I am sadenned to read that the age in the UK for pap smears is 25. I live in the US and have had them done every year since I was 16. I am so grateful for this because I ended up having precancerous cells in my cervix and being diagnosed with HPV. It had grown to CIN3 in less than a year. I would not be alive today if we didn’t do them every year here. I didn’t have symptoms or anything to lead me to believe something was wrong. It was a complete shock to find out the news and tough to deal with. It changed my life and how I look at things. Not everyone gets it from having multitudes of partners. All it takes is one person to come in contact with. Do your research. Become informed. It is the only way you can save your own life. And God forbid, if you do get diagnosed, tell your partners! They deserve a choice, especially if you were not given one.

Ashling March 16, 2009

Jade
I pray that God eases your pain so that you can spend your last few days with your family.
You will never be forgotten and your sons will always carry your name and memories Through their lives, you have shown the world you are a fighter, a mother and a true friend
X You will be the brightest Star. X

Ashling March 16, 2009

Hi Jade
May God look over you in your dieing days and keep all close to you at heart.
the world is thinking of you, may the angels ease your pain and guide you to eternal peace.

Lizzie March 14, 2009

Hi Jade
Jade I have spent 20 mins trying to find the right words to put on this.I remember when I have the pleasure to meet your lovely boys at alton towers with their dad a few years ago.I think they are so lucky to have such a brilliant mum.I think wot u are doing is brilliant trying your best to raise awareness cervical cancer.Since I have been looking on these pages it has made me think alot and Im booking my spear test on Monday.Take care Jade love Lizzie

hannah March 12, 2009

hi jade i just dnt have the words to explain my feelings right now.all i can say is that my love and good wishes are with you and your family at this toughest moment of your life.u will always be there for your boys as an angle and we will always remember a beautifull angle calld jade goody.may God bless u and your family.
with love and care from a well wisher……….xxxx

mieke March 1, 2009

@jan:

not so, i’m from holland and over here they don’t start regular smear tests until the age of 30. so i was pretty surprised when i moved to the uk at 25 and my gp’s kept pushing for one.

btw in some areas of the uk they do still start smears at 21. i used to live in brixton, london for example and they start at 21 there because they consider this a high risk area.

vyrquenox March 1, 2009

I am one of the few idiot men who has had to be called into witness such a test while not being the doctor because of the need for my presence due to the very embarassing nature and my presence was necessary for her being okay with it. The process for the doctor is routine, for the girl it is very capable of being traumatizing enough to not want to do it. Just remember, nobody cares what a doctor thinks about anything while is in the capacity of being a doctor, they are just trying to do their job for you. They are not judging you. And this is a particular danger to every woman. So please do not be afraid of asking for your life to be saved. I certainly wouldn’t want to be in that room seeing that again, but then again, I have to probably do a similar thing with my prostate at some point.

Raven March 1, 2009

I really feel for Jade and her family for what they are going through at the moment, it could so easily have been me and my family.

I have had laser surgery 4 times so far to get rid of severely abnormal cells, and I’m only 41. I was just 26 the first time I had the procedure done. It was only because I regularly had the smear test screening done that the abnormalities were picked up.

I am constantly banging on to the women I know about the importance of the test but have found my warnings have gone unheeded by some. I am glad that Jades very public story is making more and more women sit up and take notice. Maybe Jades legacy to the world will be thousands of saved lives?

Yes the smear test is undignified, yes it can be a bit uncomfortable but at the end of the day a few minutes of your time having the test done can literally save your life!

agnes belshaw March 1, 2009

I would like Jade to know, our family is thinking of her at this time, God Bless her and her sons. XX

Kat Arney February 24, 2009

Hi Frankie,
I’m afraid we are not in contact with Jade directly. Jade’s publicity is being handled by Max Clifford, so you could try and contact her via him. http://www.maxclifford.com/

Kat

Frankie Baby February 24, 2009

The proceeds of this song I wf sold I will like to go to jade’s nominated charity and to the research team into the cure of this infection that has tormented jade and others.
Frankie Baby.

Frankie Baby February 24, 2009

I have been following the story in the press and tv, about Jade Goody.
She deserves all the happiness that is there for her.
She has contributed to a lot of people’s happiness , and hopefully God can provide the needed miracle for her that modern day medicine cannot. The caring team I believe has done their best, and they should be credited for their efforts.
I have a song dedicated to her. Which is entitled “Come up to heaven” I will like her to hear it before she say her final good bye to us who love her.
Can you tell me where to send it of an e-mail address that I can send it for her.
Thank you
Frankie

Dr Lesley Walker February 20, 2009

While it is vital to consider any new scientific study that might offer information to the contrary, the evidence available suggests that, looking at the population as a whole, the negative effects of screening all women under 25 in England outweigh the benefits.

This is because cervical changes which are common in this age group will often return to normal without developing into serious problems. Intervening – without knowing whether the cells will turn cancerous – could mean that treatment, and possible resulting side effects, was unnecessary.

The complexities of running a national screening programme mean that these are always hard decisions to make, and as stated above, the evidence needs to be constantly reviewed, and acted upon, as it emerges.

Any women under 25 who have symptoms that give cause for concern – like bleeding between periods, pain during sex or an unpleasant discharge – should discuss them with their doctor. While these symptoms may not be due to cervical cancer, it’s always better to get them checked out.

Dr Lesley Walker
Director of Cancer Information
Cancer Research UK

Jan February 19, 2009

Please can cancer research uk lobby to get the age for cervical smears reduced again. With many girls becoming sexually active younger they need to be protected. Only England in the UK screens from the age of 25 all the other countries start at 20. The research is not conclusive regarding screening under 25s so stop this money saving exercise until there is!

Marie February 19, 2009

I live in Australia where cervical cancer screening is done every 2 years and is available once you become sexually active. I would like to see the promotion of the drug Gardasil at this time while cervical cancer is so topical.Some good may come out of this sad case if more young girls are immunised and the disease is prevented.

Samantha Dewitt February 18, 2009

Im a 26 year old woman who had cervical cancer at the age of 21 it annoys the hell out of me that one year after me having this terrible disease they moved the age bracket for having cervical screening to 25 I could be dead by now if I hadnt gone for that smear. I feel for Jade Goody and her family and it scares the hell out of me to think I could have been in that very situation. I think the NHS need to bring the age back down to at least 21 years of age for cervical screening.

Katie Kennedy February 18, 2009

Hello….

I have created a new fundraising page for cancer research and i would be soooo unbelievably greatful if you could take a minute to take a look…..

http://www.justgiving.com/katiekennedy

I have dedicated this page to the gorgeous Jade Goody. This tragic news of Jade’s terminal dianosis has shocked the nation and it’s time we all snap into action. It may now be too late for Jade but millions of people face the cruelty of this evil disease on a daily basis and perhaps this harsh news being brought to light through the media coverage is the wake up call we all needed.

Jade’s story is incredibly close to my heart and I prsonally feel like its now my mission to bring awareness to people of this essential charity and how you can help a huge amount by doing so little!

Donating through Justgiving is quick, easy and totally secure. It’s also the most efficient way to sponsor me: Cancer Research UK gets your money faster and, if you’re a UK taxpayer, Justgiving makes sure 25% in Gift Aid, plus a 3% supplement, are added to your donation.

This is a wonderful charity and needs our support. I lost my nan to cancer as a little girl and didnt even get chance to know her. Its so cruel and its getting more and more common.

Research means money and money needs you!

We all have either lost someone to this horrible cruel disease or know someone who has suffered from it.

Please give whatever you can. Every little helps!!!!

God bless you Jade!!!!

Much love to all of you!!!

Thank you for your support.

Katie xxxxxxxxxxx

Ruth February 16, 2009

Jade, I’m deeply sorry to read of your ailment. My dear sister, let me use this opportunity to invite you to my UCKG church because this week all the Pastors,Bishops and all the members of the church are on twenty one(21) days fasting for impossible miracles to happen in people’s lives.
I believe a miracle will happen in your life if you believe. What is impossible with human beings is possible with God. I believe that you have tried everything but I would like you to try God. I’m sending this email not through my inteligent but through the love I have for you as my sister in Christ. You can reach the UCKG help centre on the following contacts;

Tel Number: 02076866000
Website: http://www.uckg,org
Main Address: 232 Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park, N4 3NX

Jon February 6, 2009

Cancer Research UK has been running Screening Matters, a campaign to get more people into cancer screening since 2007 – you can find out more at http://www.cancercampaigns.org.uk/cancercampaigns/ourcampaigns/screeningmatters/