Goody death 'saw cancer cases hike'

The number of women diagnosed with cervical cancer increased by 14% around the time of Jade Goody's death, research has suggested.

Researchers said there was a "marked increase" in the number of cases diagnosed between 2008 and 2009.

They said this could "most likely" be attributed to the vast number of women who attended screenings after the reality star's high-profile battle with the disease.

"The number of cervical cancer cases diagnosed increased around the time of Jade Goody's diagnosis of cervical cancer (August 2008) and subsequent death (March 2009). This increase is most notable among women aged between 25 and 39," the authors wrote.

"This is likely to be due to earlier detection of cancers linked to increased screening coverage, particularly in women who may never have had a smear, or not attended regularly for cervical screening."

Goody's battle with cancer drew significant attention to the disease. She died on Mother's Day in 2009.

The report by the Trent Cancer Registry - produced on behalf of the NHS Cervical Screening Programme (NHSCSP) and the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) - also found that poorer women are more likely to die of cervical cancer than their wealthier neighbours.

In the most deprived areas of England, there will be 3.2 deaths for every 100,000 women compared to 1.7 deaths in the most affluent regions, the data suggested.

Researchers, who examined data from different areas of the country over the last 20 years, also found that the overall number of cervical cancer cases has decreased by a third and that the numbers of deaths associated with the disease have more than halved.

Dr Mick Peake, national clinical lead for the NCIN, said: "The results show regional variations in the cervical cancer trends, for example the average mortality rate among the 30 most deprived Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) is almost double the rate among the 30 most affluent PCTs".