The tragic death of reality television star Jade Goody has led to an unprecedented demand for cervical smear tests.
Figures unveiled today by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde for 2008-2009 revealed a 23 per cent increase or 21,674 more than for the previous year.
Dr Emilia Crighton, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, said: “What we have seen is an unprecedented demand in uptake of smear tests as a result of the media interest in Jade Goody’s illness and death from cervical cancer.
“However we are not complacent, there are still many women who do not take up their, invites and I would urge every woman offered the test to make an appointment for their cervical smear test.
“There appeared to be a lack of knowledge about cervical cancer and the purpose of cervical smears until Jade’s personal story was publicised. Jade’s story showed women that there remains the possibility of developing cervical cancer while comparatively young.
“We want to maintain this awareness and encourage women to continue to take up smear test appointments.”
Cervical cancer is caused by an extremely common virus called HPV and most girls and women will acquire this virus at some point in their lives without having any symptoms.
This virus can cause changes which in time can develop into cancer. Women aged between 20-60 years in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area are invited to have a smear test taken every three years.
Dr Crighton added: “Regular smear tests can prevent cervical cancer by picking up on changes in cells of the womb that in time can develop into cancer and this is why I urge all women to take respond to appointments for tests.
“Prompt treatment can result in permanent removal of affected areas of the cervix and prevent the development of cancer.”
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