Dagenham women miss life-saving cancer appointments

Working women with hectic lifestyles have been urged to attend potentially life-saving screenings on the second anniversary of Jade Goody’s cancer death.

Demand for screening surged when the former Big Brother star and 27-year-old mother Jade Goody passed away on March 22 in 2009, following a high profile battle with cervical cancer.

But a Dagenham NHS walk-in centre has seen the number of women taking smear tests drop by 35 per cent in the past year.

Health professionals fear that busy lives may be preventing women from attending appointments for the tests which can catch the cancer early.

Teresa Mayer, service manager for Care UK at the Broad Street Walk-in Centre, in Morland Road, Dagenham, said: “Early detection of cervical cancer is crucial, so it’s important that women don’t put off getting screened due to their busy lifestyles.

“Last year we saw a rise in the numbers of women getting screened due to the increased awareness of cervical cancer brought about by Jade Goody’s death, but this year numbers have worryingly dropped off.”

Each year in the UK more than 2,800 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer – 55 women every week. It is the second most common cancer in women aged under 35, after breast cancer.

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The Broad Street Walk-in Centre holds the walk-in cervical screening clinic every Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 5pm, except bank holiday weekends. The service is absolutely free and no appointment is needed.