TV's cervical cancer plot fuels smear test demand
Doctors and GPs are hoping that a cervical cancer storyline in popular UK soap Eastenders will encourage more women to have a smear test.
Actress Jo Joyner’s character Tanya Jessop has just been diagnosed with the disease and doctors are now hoping the response to the plot will be similar to when reality television star Jade Goody publicly battled cervical cancer.
Following Goody’s diagnosis in 2008 the world’s leading cancer charity Cancer Research UK saw 10 times the usual volume of visits to its website.
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Local cervical cancer screening units in the UK also reported a rise in the number of women visiting them for smear tests.
Eastender’ Executive Producer Brian Kirkwood commented: “Viewers will see how Tanya, a mother of three, will use her inner determination to deal with what will be one of the toughest challenges of her tests.”
He reminded women they should have smear tests every three years and added cervical cancer was “very treatable” if it was caught early through regular check-ups.
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