Screening Information

Breast Cancer Screening

About 1 in 8 women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. If it’s detected early, treatment is more successful and there’s a good chance of recovery.

Breast screening aims to find breast cancers early. It uses an X-ray test called a mammogram that can spot cancers when they’re too small to see or feel.

But there are some risks of breast cancer screening that you should be aware of. For further information on this risks, please visit the NHS website.

As the likelihood of getting breast cancer increases with age, all women aged from 50 to their 71st birthday, and registered with a GP are automatically invited for breast cancer screening every 3 years.

In the meantime, if you’re worried about breast cancer symptoms, such as a lump or area of thickened tissue in a breast, or you notice that your breasts look or feel different from what’s normal for you, don’t wait to be offered screening – see your GP.

For further information on the screening, please read the following leaflets:

Bowel Cancer Screening

Bowel cancer screening involves having tests to check if you have or are at risk of bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer is a common type of cancer in both men and women. About 1 in 20 people will get it during their lifetime.

Screening can help detect bowel cancer at an early stage, when it’s easier to treat. It can also be used to help check for and remove small growths in the bowel called polyps, which can turn into cancer over time.

NHS bowel cancer screening is only offered to people aged 55 or over, as this is when you’re more likely to get bowel cancer.

If you’re too young for screening but are worried about a family history of bowel cancer, speak to your GP for advice.

There are 2 types of test used in NHS bowel cancer screening:

  • bowel scope screening – a test where a thin, flexible tube with a camera at the end is used to look for and remove any polyps inside your bowel
  • home testing kit (the FIT or FOB test) – a kit you use to collect small samples of your poo and post them to a laboratory so they can be checked for tiny amounts of blood (which could be caused by cancer)

If these tests find anything unusual, you might be asked to have further tests to confirm or rule out cancer.

For further information on the screening, please read the following leaflets:

Cervical Screening

Cervical screening (a smear test) checks the health of your cervix – it’s not a test for cancer, it’s a test to help prevent cancer.

All women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 should be invited by letter.

During the screening appointment, a small sample of cells will be taken from your cervix, then the sample is tested for changes to the cells of your cervix.

Finding abnormal changes early means they can be monitored or treated so they do not get a chance to turn into cervical cancer.

You’ll get your results by letter, usually in about 2 weeks.

For further information on the screening, please read the following leaflets:

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening is a way of checking if there’s a bulge or swelling in the aorta, the main blood vessel that runs from your heart down through your tummy.

This bulge or swelling is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm, or AAA. It can be serious if it’s not spotted early on because it could get bigger and eventually burst (rupture).

In England, screening for AAA is offered to men during the year they turn 65. Men aged 65 or over are most at risk of AAAs. Screening can help spot a swelling in the aorta early on when it can be treated.

For further information on the screening, please read the following leaflets:

NHS Health Check

The NHS Health Check is a health check-up for adults in England aged 40-74. It’s designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia. As we get older, we have a higher risk of developing one of these conditions. An NHS Health Check helps find ways to lower this risk.

If you’re in the 40-74 age group without a pre-existing condition, you can expect to receive a letter from your GP or local authority inviting you for a free NHS Health Check every five years.