NHS cancer screening programmes can help to diagnose cancer or risk of cancer earlier and improve the likelihood of successful treatment. There are three national cancer screening programmes in England.
If you are eligible, please make every effort to have your screening test. Screening tests can detect a problem early, before you have any symptoms. Finding out about a problem early can mean that treatment is more effective. We strongly advise all our patients to attend or return their screening kits when invited.
The NHS cervical screening programme in England is offered to people with a cervix aged from 25 to 64. Routine screening is offered every three years up to 49 years of age and every five years from 50 to 64 years of age. Depending on the result of the screen, people may be recalled earlier than these routine intervals. Screening for cervical cancer is done by our practice nurse.
Breast screening uses an X-ray test called a mammogram that can spot cancers when they’re too small to see or feel. Breast screening is offered to women aged 50 to their 71st birthday in England. You’ll first be invited for screening within three years of your 50th birthday and these are carried out by the breast screening service. Please do not ignore your invite. In the year April 2019 to March 2020, 17,771 patients had breast cancer detected by the screening service.
Bowel cancer survival is improving and has more than doubled in the last 40 years in the UK. If diagnosed early, more than 90% of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully. Screening programmes test to see if people show any early signs of cancer. By detecting bowel cancer at an early stage, treatment has a better chance of working. As part of the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, men and women aged 60-74 are sent a home testing kit every two years to collect a small sample of poo to be checked for tiny amounts of blood which could be caused by cancer. You return the kit using the free postage box supplied with the kit.
If you have any questions about the screening programmes please let your GP know and we will endeavour to address any queries you may have. You can find further information about cancer screening and how to spot the signs of cancer on the Cancer Research UK website.