Jade Goody’s death is saving lives

More Scottish women are having smear tests

NHS chiefs reported that the death of Jade Goody has led to an increase in the number of women in Scotland being screened for cervical cancer.

In the last 12 months, 20% more Scottish women had smear tests, a rise of nearly 75,000 people. 450,000 smears were carried out in the year, the highest number since 2001/2, turning around the year-on-year decline in women taking the test since the new millennium.

Yesterday, the Big Brother star’s highly publicised battle against cancer was linked to the rise in figures. Goody died in March this year aged 27, after being diagnosed just seven months previously.

Public Health Minister Shona Robison told The Scottish Sun: ‘This is proof that being more open about this illness does encourage women to come forward. Openness is paramount – that is what will save lives.’

The biggest rise in uptake in Scotland was in women aged 20-24. In Scotland, women aged 20-60 are offered the screening every three years, while in England women are not eligible until the age of 25.

Over 90% of smears in Scotland found nothing, but 3.5% revealed dangerous pre-cancerous change.

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