Why screening is offered
Bowel screening is a key way to save lives from bowel cancer. Regular NHS bowel cancer screening can detect invisible signs of bowel cancer. Bowel cancer is the 4th most common type of cancer. Screening can help find it at an early stage, when it's easier to treat successfully.
How to get a home test kit
Everyone aged 60 to 74 who is registered with a GP and lives in England is automatically sent a bowel cancer screening kit every 2 years. - The programme is expanding to make it available to everyone aged 50 to 59 years. This is happening gradually over 4 years and started in April 2021.
Make sure your GP practice has your correct address so your kit is posted to the right place.
If you're 75 or over, you can ask for a kit every 2 years by phoning the free bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 60 60.
Red flag symptoms
If you are worried or have any of the symptoms below please see your GP.
More information and advice
Call the free bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 60 60 if:
What is cervical screening?
Cervical screening (smear test) checks the health of your cervix. The cervix is the opening to your womb from your vagina.
It is 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. If you are aged 25-49 screening should be carried out every 3 years. If you are 50-64 screening should be carried out every 5 years.
The sample is checked for certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause changes to the cells of your cervix. These are called "high risk" types of HPV. If these types of HPV are not found, you do not need any further tests.
If these types of HPV are found, the sample is then checked for any changes in the cells of your cervix. These can then be treated before they get a chance to turn into cervical cancer.
You'll be sent an invitation letter in the post when it's time to book your cervical screening appointment.
When you’re invited
Up to 6 months before you turn 25
25 to 49
Every 3 years
50 to 64
Every 5 years
65 or older
Only if 1 of your last 3 tests was abnormal
You can book an appointment as soon as you get a letter. If you missed your last cervical screening, you do not need to wait for a letter to book an appointment.
If your last cervical screening test was done outside of England or Wales you will need to provide proof of the test result by email or by bringing to your practice so this can be added to your medical record.
All cervical smear appointments are bookable online via the NHS App or Patient Access (ask your reception team for details. You will need to supply photo ID, or download the NHS app from your usual app store). Alternatively, click here to find the most suitable option for you.
As well as going for screening you still need to be aware of any unusual symptoms, as they may be signs of cervical cancer. Although also common in other conditions the following could be signs of cervical cancer and should be checked out by your GP as soon as possible.
Cervical screening - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
About cervical screening | Cervical cancer | Cancer Research UK
Public Health England and Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust have made a video about cervical screening for those with mild to moderate learning. Jo's Trust also have an easy read booklet.
Go to this information on Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust website
The NHS offers screening to save lives from breast cancer. Screening does this by finding breast cancers at an early stage when they are too small to see or feel. Screening does not prevent you from getting breast cancer.
Breast screening uses a breast x-ray, called a mammogram, to look for cancer that may be too small to see or feel. The sooner breast cancer is diagnosed, the more effective treatment is likely to be. Screening can pick up breast cancer before there are any signs or symptoms.
The NHS Breast Screening Programme invites all women and people from the age of 50 to 70 for screening every 3 years. This means that some people may not have their first screening mammogram until they are 52 or 53 years.
If you have not been invited for breast screening by the time you are 53 and think you should have been, contact your local breast screening service.
Overview - South East London (Kings) BSS - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Tel - 020 3758 2024
Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it's always best to have them checked by a doctor.
You should see a GP if you notice any of the following:
Breast cancer short films from partnership
Speak up, Say no to cancer, Together, It’s in your hands
Breast screening (mammogram) - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
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