1. ITV Report

Cervical cancer testing rates in London down ten years after Jade Goody's death


When 27-year-old TV star Jade Goody died in 2009 from cervical cancer there was an upturn in the number of women accessing cervical screening.

But ten years on those numbers have fallen back. And figures for the number of women having smear tests in London are the lowest in the UK, with uptake at just 65 per cent.

Jade with her husband Jack Tweed

Jade came to fame as a contestant on the 2002 series of the then Channel Four series Big Brother. Her appearance led to her own television series.

She went on to have two sons before her death from cervical cancer aged just 27.

The car carrying Jade's coffin was heaped with flowers at her funeral

After the publicity surrounding Jade's death there was a significant increase in the number of women going for cervical cancer screening. Government figures show that in the months following March 2009, about half a million extra women attended smear tests, with the increase becoming known as the "Jade Goody effect".

But since then screening rates have been falling and the latest data shows that, as of the end of March last year, the percentage of eligible women screened adequately was just 71.4 per cent. That drops again to around 65 per cent in London.

Nationwide among younger women, screening rates are even worse, with just 61 per cent of 25 to 29-year-olds going for screening.

Jade Goody died on March 22, 2009

This week the charity Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust called for home testing kits to be made available as soon as possible.

For more information about smear tests visit the NHS cervical screening site.

Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust provides help and support for anyone affected by cervical cancer.

Cancer Research UK has more information about cervical cancer and cervical screening.