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Observations Medicine and the Media

Jade, class, and cervical cancer

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 18 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b691
  1. Jane Cassidy, freelance journalist
  1. janecassi2{at}

    Jade Goody was the reality television star the media loved to hate. Now facing death from cervical cancer, her controversial tabloid persona may be the very thing that touches those women the public health campaigns couldn’t reach

    The final chapter of British reality television star Jade Goody’s life looks set to be played out in the media this week as the rights to her wedding and her sons’ christening are sold to the highest bidder.

    Jade, a 27 year old mother of two, is typically candid about getting paid for media coverage and fronting a fly on the wall television series charting her treatment at London’s Royal Marsden Hospital.

    Following the news that her cancer is terminal and she only has a short time to live, she says she is trying to secure the financial future of her young children.

    Commentators criticising Jade’s relationship with the media (see box) ignore the worrying fact that women in her age group are failing to turn up for smear tests.

    “It tends to be …

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