NHS cancer screening programmes can help to diagnose cancer or risk of cancer earlier and improve the likelihood of successful treatment. If you are concerned that you are experiencing signs and symptoms of cancer or have a strong family history of a specific cancer, then please book an appointment with a GP to discuss this further.
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.
As part of the NHS Cervical Screening Programme, all samples taken at cervical screening appointments are now being tested for high risk Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in the first instance. This is the virus which causes nearly all cervical cancers. Samples that test positive for HPV will then go onto be further analysed with Liquid Based Cytology to detect cell abnormalities. The new test will identify more people at risk of cervical cancer earlier and could prevent around 600 additional cancers a year.
HPV is a very common virus which effects around 8 in 10 people; it is nothing to be embarrassed about, and in many cases, your immune system will naturally get rid of HPV.
Learn more about cervical screening:
If you believe you are due a smear test, then please contact the surgery to book an appointment.
About 1 in 8 women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. If detected early, treatment is more successful and there’s a good chance of recovery.
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 will first be invited for screening within three years of your 50th birthday. If you are 71 or over, you will stop receiving screening invitations. You can still have screening if you are 71 or over if you want. Contact your local screening unit to arrange an appointment.
If you’re worried about breast cancer symptoms such as a lump or an area of thickened tissue in a breast, or you notice that your breasts look or feel different from what’s normal for you, do not wait to be offered screening, please make an appointment to speak to a GP.
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.
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. If you’re 55, you’ll automatically be invited for a one-off bowel scope screening test, if it’s available in your area
- 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 you’re 60 to 74, you’ll automatically be invited to do a home testing kit every 2 years
If you’re 75 or over, you can ask for a home testing kit every 2 years by calling the free bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 60 60
Learn about the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer.