Test surge after Jade loses fight

THE BOROUGH has seen a massive surge in women taking cervical smear tests following Jade Goody s public battle with cancer. Around 5,000 more women were screened from January to March this year, compared with October to March 2008, rising from 13,310 to 1

THE BOROUGH has seen a massive surge in women taking cervical smear tests following Jade Goody's public battle with cancer.

Around 5,000 more women were screened from January to March this year, compared with October to March 2008, rising from 13,310 to 18,316.

Barking and Dagenham PCT say laboratory staff at Queens Hospital, Romford, are working overtime to meet the national "expected standard" that women should receive results in six weeks.

Because of the huge workload, women whose tests show no abnormalities may have to wait longer for results in the next three months, a PCT spokeswoman said.


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But she added: "The workload will not affect the notification, assessment and treatment of any abnormal smears found in testing."

The PCT admitted there had been a temporary shortage of cervical smear testing kits at the Queens Hospital lab during February, but it was "resolved within a week."

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Reality TV star Goody, 27, was told she had cervical cancer last August and died from the disease on Mothers Day last month.

The PCT spokeswoman said the increase in women having cervical smear tests was "very good news."

"We hope they continue to take up the offer of regular tests in the future.

"Cervical cancer is one of the few cancers where we can detect pre-cancer changes, treat them and stop cancer forming."

"It is very important that when a woman receives an invitation she makes arrangements to have the smear test performed either at her GP practice or a family planning/sexual health clinic."

In England, women aged 25 to 49 are invited for cervical screenings every three years and those aged 50 to 64 are invited every five years.

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