A mum-of-two who appeared on the X Factor has passed away.
X Factor contestant Alexis Woolerton, from Leeds, has died at the age of 34 after suffering from cervical cancer.
A close friend of the singer took to Facebook to confirm the sad news on a page dedicated to the late musician, named Alex Woolerton’s Legacy.
‘Alexis Woolerton (Alex to those she knew) sadly lost her fourth battle with cancer on 24th December 2018,’ wrote close friend Stephanie Farquharson on the tribute page.
‘She left behind two beautiful children Annie and Ava who miss her dearly. A doting partner Ricky, A family that is lost without her sparkle and her friends that crave just one more moment with her.’
Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Alex’s partner Ricky said: ‘Alex missed one cervical smear in 2015, which cost her her life. She used to tell women not to put off going for cervical screening.’
He added: ‘She was loving and kind and anyone her last penny. She was generous to a fault and loved to make people smile.’
The grieving partner’s warning comes as the NHS warn that the number of women attending smear tests is at a 20-year low.
Nearly 900 women die each year from cervical cancer and over 3,200 women in the UK are diagnosed annually with the condition.
While a smear test is not a test for cancer, it can detect abnormal cells in an effort to detect cancer early on and prevent further complications.
Back in 2009, the ‘Jade Goody effect’ raised awareness of the importance of smear tests after Big Brother contestant Jade Goody passed away from cervical cancer.
However, the effect seems to be wearing off as official figures show that the number of women aged 25-64 who attend their cervical screening appointments is at the lowest it’s been for two decades.
The NHS reported that a new survey by charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust found that half of the women who missed their appointment did so out of embarrassment over body shape, 48 per cent were worried about the appearance of their vulva and 54 per cent were unsure if they smelled ‘normal’.
This has led to a number of high-profile figures speaking out in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of smear tests.
After recently admitting that she had missed her appointment for a year, Loose Women regular Nadia Sawalha filmed her smear test to encourage viewers that there is nothing to fear with the procedure.
Reality star Binky Felstead, actress Michelle Keegan and former I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here star have also previously taken to social media to encourage cervical screening.
Have you had your smear test? Or are you worried to take the plunge? Head over to our Facebook page to let discuss why you’ve delayed it and help us encourage others to get tested!