'Sensitivity matters' Cervical cancer charity issues statement ahead of Jade Goody documentary
"We don’t want to isolate those who are already finding the concept of a test hard."
A cervical cancer charity has issued a statement ahead of the final episode of Channel 4's Jade Goody documentary.
Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain has been detailing Jade's rise to fame following her time in the Big Brother house, and her tragic cervical cancer diagnosis that led to her eventual death.
Tonight's episode will focus on the star's diagnosis and her passing after she failed to attend a smear test having experienced pre-cancerous cells in the past.
Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust have urged viewers to be sensitive following the documentary.
Although the charity have always encouraged women to go for their smear tests, they also recognise that there are many reasons why some people fear getting checked.
Head of communications and public affairs Kate Sanger said that viewers must try to use the correct language when talking about cervical screenings.
"Jade’s story is very emotional and it can evoke many different reactions," she said.
"For those who have had a cervical cancer diagnosis, or have lost someone to the disease, it can bring back memories of a difficult time. For those who have been diagnosed recently, it can heighten anxiety or worry.
"One thing is very clear: cervical screening is not always easy. While many women will have a straightforward experience, there are lots of reasons which can make screening difficult for others."
Sanger lists fear, experiences of sexual violence, and vaginismus as reasons why a woman may avoid going for a smear test.
She also said that many people simply feel embarrassed by the discussion and that it is important not to blame and shame women who are finding the decision difficult.
"Going for screening is a choice and no one is silly or stupid for having questions, concerns or fears, or struggling to book a test, so let’s be kind and mindful with our words, and make it clear that we are here to support each other," she said.
"We don’t want to isolate those who are already finding the concept of a test hard, however well-meaning the messages are."
The charity included a list of ways to approach discussing cervical screening, including not assuming how a person feels, listening to a person's anxieties, acknowledging that it's not always easy.
Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain continues tonight at 9pm on Channel 4.