Jade Goody’s mother has urged women to go for their smear tests as she told how she watched her daughter “disintegrate” before her death.
Reality TV star Goody died in March 2009 aged 27 after suffering from cervical cancer that had spread to her liver, groin and bowel.
Speaking on ITV’s This Morning, her mother Jackiey Budden said the number of women going for tests has been dropping, despite a surge in the aftermath of her daughter’s death.
She said: “Jade’s legacy is a kick in the teeth really because it has gone down, you know the smear tests, a lot of people don’t do it like they did a couple of years ago.”
She said people think “it’s embarrassing or they’re scared”, adding: “It takes five minutes and I’ve never, ever missed one.”
She said she did not understand why women would be embarrassed, given that they have babies and are examined internally.
Breaking down in tears when discussing Goody’s death, she added: “People say it gets easier but it’s the same every day.
“The hardest thing is that it doesn’t go away.”
She added: “It’s not a thing you do. You don’t bury your daughter or your son.
“To watch her disintegrate was the worst – but you know what? – as much as I miss her, I’m so pleased she is out of pain, that’s what I pray for every time.”
Ms Budden said that when Goody passed away she bathed and washed her body.
Around 3,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year.
Women aged 25 to 49 are invited for cervical screening every three years, with those aged 50 to 64 invited every five years and women over 65 only invited if they have recently had abnormal tests.
Last week, it emerged that a backlog of more than 150,000 cervical screening samples were allowed to pile up in laboratories across England waiting to be tested.
A study from the National Audit Office (NAO) found that in March last year, 152,742 samples were waiting to be checked. By October, the figure was 98,000.
The report also found that, at one point last year, only one in three women undergoing a smear test received their result within the recommended 14 days.
It is unclear whether some women caught up in the backlog have been waiting months for results, or what the longest wait has been.
NHS England and Public Health England both claim that the other organisation holds the data.
NHS England has said is not aware of any harm caused by delays in test results at this time.
Goody shot to fame after being a contestant in the third series of Big Brother in 2002 and was taking part in a version of the show in India when she was told of her illness.
Speaking of Goody’s sons, Freddie and Bobby, with TV presenter Jeff Brazier, Ms Budden said: “The boys are grand, I see them. They are doing really well… Jeff is grand, he’s a good dad.”