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Tragedy which saved hundreds of women's lives: The Jade Goody effect

Jade Goody, aged 27, in 2008, when she announced she had cervical cancer

Ten years ago Jade Goody, a 27-year-old reality TV star in the UK, announced that she had cervical cancer. She died a few months later, in early 2009. She left behind two sons, aged 4 and 5, and a husband. The publicity surrounding her diagnosis had a remarkable effect. An extra 500,000 women in Britain went for cervical screening, which enabled several hundred to be identified in time for preventive measures to be taken. Put simply, the tragedy of Jade Goody's death saved the lives of several hundred other women. Here's a short academic paper about it:

Now, ten years later, screening rates in the UK have fallen somewhat. Last year, 72% of women went for screening on time, down slightly from 72.7% the year before. A reminder by a high profile person would be helpful - ideally someone without cervical cancer. Someone who could do the same thing globally, not just in the UK. I wonder if Meghan Markle would be interested in being an ambassador for cervical cancer screening?

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