"Jade effect" helps save lives as cervical cancer rates rise

August 2, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- The rate of new cervical cancers diagnosed in the UK increased by 15 per cent in a year, according to figures from Cancer Research UK today.

Experts say that this dramatic rise could be driven by more attending or visiting their doctor following the of Jade Goody in August 2008.

Cervical for women of all ages have remained broadly stable in the UK since 2000.

But latest figures show that there were around 3,400 new cases of cervical cancer in the UK in 2009 compared with nearly 3,000 a year earlier – equal to an increase in rates of almost 15 per cent. And this suggests fewer women will die from the disease thanks to the ‘Jade effect’ as the earlier cervical cancer is diagnosed, the better chance a woman has of receiving life-saving treatment.

The number of cervical cancer cases rose by more than 20 per cent among women aged 25-29 and also those aged 30-34.*

Experts believe that new awareness raised by Jade’s illness may have encouraged more women to be screened leading to this significant rise in cervical cancer cases.

Professor Peter Sasieni, Cancer Research UK’s cervical cancer expert from Queen Mary, University of London, said: “We closely monitor cervical cancer rates and noticed that rates in young women rose sharply in 2009.

"We believe that the timing of these diagnoses means that the rise in cervical cancer rates can be attributed to the increased cervical screening activity resulting from the media coverage of Jade Goody’s cancer.”

Mum-of-three Hayley Sneath, 30, from Basildon, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in February 2009 after being prompted to go to see her doctor following the publicity around Jade's experience.

“I kept putting off having my but when I heard about Jade Goody, I finally went.

“When I got the letter telling me I had cancer, I had to face my worst-ever fear. I thought I would die and my children would have to grow up without me. My operation took place on the day of Jade’s funeral and all I could think of was that I would be joining her very soon.

“But, thankfully, because I went for my smear test, my cancer was picked up early and I was able to have it treated successfully.

“I feel very lucky to have survived. Cervical screening involves just a simple routine test but it’s so easy to put off. And all too often cancer is detected further down the line when it’s harder to treat.

“I’ll always be grateful to Jade for reminding everyone to go and have their tests.”

Professor Sasieni added: “Rather than being a bad news story, we believe that the increased numbers diagnosed in 2009 will have meant that fewer women will have developed advanced cervical cancer and many women owe their life or at least their ability to have children to Jade Goody.

“In other countries, cervical cancer affects one woman in 25. If Jade Goody is to have a lasting legacy we must increase our efforts to maintain a high level of public awareness of the disease and the benefits of screening to ensure that as many lives as possible can be saved through HPV vaccination and cervical screening.”

is the 11th most common cancer among women in the UK, responsible for around two per cent of all new cases of cancer in females.

Sara Hiom, director of information at Cancer Research UK, said: “Cervical screening can detect early changes in the cervix that could lead to cancer if left alone.

“It’s estimated that the national screening programme saves around 5000 lives each year in the UK. And since the introduction of cervical screening (smear tests) in the 1980s, rates of the disease have almost halved. So it’s really important that women take-up the opportunity to go for their smear test when invited.”

Explore further: HPV testing followed by smear could improve cervical screening

Related Stories

HPV testing followed by smear could improve cervical screening

February 29, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Testing for the human papillomavirus (HPV) – a virus most women will encounter at some point in their lives – followed by a smear test if they are HPV positive, provides the most effective approach ...

Cervical cancers rise in young women

November 7, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- The incidence of cervical cancer in women in their 20s has risen by over 40 per cent between 1992 and 2006 in England, despite the overall incidence of cervical cancer dropping by 30 per cent, according ...

Regular smear tests boost chances of cure from 66 percent to 92 percent

March 2, 2012
Women can boost their chances of surviving cervical cancer substantially through regular cervical screening, claims a research paper published today in the British Medical Journal.

HPV testing in screening program saves 3,500 women from unnecessary tests

September 28, 2011
Testing for the human papillomavirus (HPV) as part of cervical screening reduces the number of women unnecessarily going on for further tests by over a third, new research shows today.

DIY screening could save lives of women who cannot access smear test

November 2, 2011
A study published today in The Lancet shows how a do-it-yourself screen for cervical cancer could help prevent the disease in thousands of women who, for a number of reasons, cannot have a smear test.

Recommended for you

Molecular changes with age in normal breast tissue are linked to cancer-related changes

July 20, 2017
Several known factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer including increasing age, being overweight after menopause, alcohol intake, and family history. However, the underlying biologic mechanisms through ...

Immune-cell numbers predict response to combination immunotherapy in melanoma

July 20, 2017
Whether a melanoma patient will better respond to a single immunotherapy drug or two in combination depends on the abundance of certain white blood cells within their tumors, according to a new study conducted by UC San Francisco ...

Discovery could lead to better results for patients undergoing radiation

July 19, 2017
More than half of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy, in which high doses of radiation are aimed at diseased tissue to kill cancer cells. But due to a phenomenon known as radiation-induced bystander effect (RIBE), in which ...

Definitive genomic study reveals alterations driving most medulloblastoma brain tumors

July 19, 2017
The most comprehensive analysis yet of medulloblastoma has identified genomic changes responsible for more than 75 percent of the brain tumors, including two new suspected cancer genes that were found exclusively in the least ...

Novel CRISPR-Cas9 screening enables discovery of new targets to aid cancer immunotherapy

July 19, 2017
A novel screening method developed by a team at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center—using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology to test the function of thousands of tumor genes in mice—has ...

Combining CAR T cells with existing immunotherapies may overcome resistance in glioblastomas

July 19, 2017
Genetically modified "hunter" T cells successfully migrated to and penetrated a deadly type of brain tumor known as glioblastoma (GBM) in a clinical trial of the new therapy, but the cells triggered an immunosuppressive tumor ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.