NHS Screening Programmes

What is screening?

Screening is the process of identifying seemingly healthy people who may be at risk of a disease or condition.  More details of the NHS Screening programmes is available via the NHS Screening Portal website.

Remember, screening is only for people without symptoms.  If you are concerned about symptoms, please see your GP.

Cervical cancer

Women aged over 25 are invited to attend for a cervical smear test.  Women aged 24-49 are invited every 3 years, those aged 50-65 are invited every 5 years and women over 65 are only invited if they have not had a smear since age 50 or they have had recent abnormal smears.  Our practice nurses are very experienced in performing smear tests but if you have any anxieties about the test, please discuss them with the nurse or your doctor.  The test is best done mid cycle, about 14 days after the start of your last period, but this is not a strict rule so please discuss it with your doctor or nurse if you have trouble making an appointment at this time.

Breast cancer

Women aged over 50 will be invited for a mammogram (x ray of the breast tissue) every 3 years.  The NHS programme is a rolling one which calls women from GP practices in turn, so your first invitation may not be straight after your 50th birthday.  Women over 70 can request to continue with three yearly mammograms by calling 01865 235621.

Bowel cancer

Men and women will be sent a home screening kit every two years from the age of 60-69.  People over the age of 70 can request that they are sent a kit by calling 0800 707 6060.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening

An aortic aneurysm is a weakening and bulging of the biggest blood vessel in the body.  The condition is rare but can be very serious if it ruptures.  It is more common in men over 65.  Men will receive a letter inviting them for a screening ultrasound test soon after their 65th birthday.  Men older than 65 that missed the invitation can call our local screening centre on 01865 572636 to request an appointment.

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