Jade Goody’s tragic battle against cervical cancer shocked us all. It might have even made you worry about your own health. Cervical cancer is actually quite rare, and when caught early it’s very treatable too.
Here we’ve got the facts about the disease, advice on lowering your chances of getting it and information on how you can help other people who may suffer from cervical cancer.
Understanding cervical cancer
Get the facts
Cervical cancer rarely affects women under the age of 30, Jade Goody has actually been incredibly unlucky. Read our medical explanation of cervical cancer from Patient UK, including its symptoms, causes and treatments.
Smear tests are embarrassing and a bit uncomfortable, and this is probably why many women still aren’t having them. You’ve got much more chance of beating cervical cancer if it’s found early and hasn’t had chance to spread, so it’s best to bear the embarrassment and book a test. If there’s a history of cervical cancer in your family your risk of the disease is increased, so it’s even more important to get tested.
Cervical cancer is caused by the HPV virus, which most women get without knowing it and without it causing any harm. For a very small number (around 2,800 per year) it can lead to cancer. The vaccination now being offered to teenage girls could get rid of the virus completely and stop the next generation of women from being at risk of this type of cancer.
Find out what Jade’s cancer battle can teach us, including survival rates and how using condoms can prevent the HPV virus from spreading.
Learn about other cancers
Cervical cancer is very high profile at the moment but unfortunately there are more than 200 types of cancer altogether. The good news is that many people now survive the disease due to the treatment available, but knowing the symptoms and causes could save your life.
Keep yourself healthy
Experts say that a third of cancers can be prevented with lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise and eating well.
Hearing Jade’s story encouraged many women to get a smear test – and we even heard from two goodtoknow fans who had found out that they were at risk of cervical cancer.
Angie’s story: ‘Jade made me realise cancer can affect anyone’
Emma’s story: ‘Jade’s cancer battle saved my life’