Health Screening

Bowel Screening

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme offers screening every two years to all men and women aged 60 to 69. People over 70 can request a screening kit by calling a freephone helpline when the programme reaches their area. GPs are not directly involved in the delivery of the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme but they will be notified when invitations for bowel cancer screening are being sent out in their area. They will also receive a copy of the results letters sent to their patients.

About one in 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime. It is the third most common cancer in the UK, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths, with over 16,000 people dying from it each year. Regular bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16 per cent.

Bowel cancer screening aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage (in people with no symptoms), when treatment is more likely to be effective. Bowel cancer screening can also detect polyps. These are not cancers, but may develop into cancers over time. They can easily be removed, reducing the risk of bowel cancer developing

For further bowel screening information please visit the NHS website >http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/bowel-cancer-screening/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Bowel Scope Screening

Bowel scope screening is a new test for people aged 55 where a thin, flexible tube with a camera at the end is used to look inside your bowel.

It's done to look for and remove any small growths called polyps. These could eventually turn into cancer if they're not removed.

The test is also called a flexible sigmoidoscopy or "flexisig".

When it’s offered:

Bowel scope screening is being rolled out to all men and women in England aged 55. Depending on where you live, it may not be offered in your area yet.

If you're registered with a GP and live in an area where the test is available, you'll automatically be sent an invitation. Call the free bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 60 60 to check if it's available in your area.

It's a one-off test, and you'll only be invited to have it once.

If you decide not to have the test straight away, you can have it at any point up to your 60th birthday. Call the free bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 60 60 to arrange an appointment.

From 60 onwards, you'll be invited to do a bowel cancer screening home test kit every 2 years instead.

Breast Screening

Breast screening is currently offered to women aged 50-70 in England.

You will first be invited for screening between your 50th and 53rd birthday, although in some areas you'll be invited from the age of 47 as part of the trial extension of the programme.

You may be eligible for breast screening before the age of 50 if you have a higher-than-average risk of developing breast cancer.

If you're over the age of 70, you'll stop receiving screening invitations. However, you're still eligible for screening and can arrange an appointment by contacting your local screening unit.

For further information on breast screening please visit the NHS website or click on the following link http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/breast-cancer-screening/Pages/Introduction.aspx.

Cervical Screening

All women who are registered with a GP are invited for cervical screening:

  • aged 25 to 49 – every three years
  • aged 50 to 64 – every five years
  • over 65 – only women who haven't been screened since age 50 or those who have recently had abnormal tests

You will be invited by the Health Authority by letter to book an appointment. If you have not received a letter the Nurse will not be able to undertake a cervical smear test on you as the laboratory will refuse to test them.

To book an appointment please contact the surgery on 01278 795445.

Being screened regularly means any abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix can be identified at an early stage and, if necessary, treated to stop cancer developing.

However, cervical screening isn't 100% accurate and doesn't prevent all cases of cervical cancer.

Screening is a personal choice and you have the right to choose not to attend.