In March 2009, when reality television star Jade Goody died of cervical cancer at the age of 27, it sent shockwaves around the country. Today, 10 years on from Goody’s death, the number of women going for their routine cervical screening test is at a 20-year low. Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows that over one in four women eligible for a screening do not make an appointment after receiving their reminder letter.
What do you do when your smear test reminder plops through your letterbox? If it’s the latter you’re certainly not alone as according to a new survey by a cervical cancer charity one in three women over 50 has delayed or not attended their cervical screening test. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and Gransnet surveyed 1,000 women over 50 and found that the average delay was of more than two years, while 10% delayed having a smear test for over five years.