The finer details of Jade Goody's appearances on various reality television shows have been more or less forgotten but Goody, who died in 2009 at the age of 27, has had one lasting impact: The Jade Goody Effect. According to the Guardian
, her highly-publicised and tragic battle with cervical cancer resulted in an increase of 400,000 more women than average getting their smear test between 2008 and 2009. Jade’s legacy was one of raising cancer awareness.
However, just as cultural references to "East Angular" no longer really register, the Jade Effect has also faded. According to the UK charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust
, one in four women aged 25-39 don’t attend their smear test. This is in spite of the fact that 1,000 British women die of cervical cancer per year – a statistic that only goes to show the importance of this week's Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.
Cervical cancer, in 99.9% of cases
, is caused by HPV, an infection that most people – men and women – will contract at some point in their lives, via sexual contact. Due to the infection’s proliferation, and the fact most people who have it don’t go on to suffer any related ill-health, detection and prevention of its most-deadly effect – cervical cancer – is a matter of screening.
Screening involves a potential
series of procedures: a smear test, a colposcopy (where a camera is used to check for abnormalities of the cervix), a LLETZ procedure (where a biopsy is taken) and a cone biopsy (where a large portion of the cervix is removed). Cancer Research UK
tell Refinery29 that, of 3,405,038 women screened in 2013-2014, 199,322 were then referred for a colposcopy. Of those, 89% then had a biopsy to remove abnormal cells. The rate of cone biopsies is even smaller, according to Cancer Research.