NHS Bowel Screening Programme
If you are aged 60+, the NHS invites you to join the NHS Bowel Screening Programme. If you are about to turn 60 and registered with us, you will soon receive your first invitation and screening test.
Bowel Cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK and 80% of the people diagnosed are aged over 60 (Cancer Research UK). Which means that it is essential to detect the early stages quickly and effectively. 9 out of every 10 people with early-stage bowel cancer survive the disease.
All men and women between the ages of 60 and 74 are invited to take part in screening every 2 years. If you are eligible, you will be sent a test kit through the post in which you can use privately in your own home.
If you need advice or more information, you can speak to your GP. Cancer Research UK also offer advice and more information on 020 8900 6020 or you can also visit their website: www.cruk.org/bowelcancerscreening.
Our surgery is a big supporter of the NHS Bowel Screening Programme and we hope that you will take advantage of this life-saving offer and decide to complete your test. Remember, regular screening and knowing when to visit your GP will help to make sure that bowel cancer can be picked up early and treated successfully.
Please do not be embarrassed – this is a type of test that millions of people have done successfully and as a result lives have been saved.
Breast Cancer Screening
About 1 in 8 women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. If it’s detected early, treatment is more successful and there’s a good chance of recovery. Breast screening aims to find breast cancers early. It uses an X-ray test called a mammogram that can spot cancers when they’re too small to see or feel. But there are some risks of breast cancer screening that you should be aware of.
As the likelihood of getting breast cancer increases with age, all women aged from 50 to their 71st birthday who are registered with a GP are automatically invited for breast cancer screening every 3 years. In the meantime, 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. See a GP.
Cervical screening (a smear test) checks the health of your cervix. The cervix is the opening to your womb from your vagina. It’s 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.
During the screening appointment, a small sample of cells will be taken from your cervix. 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 get your results by letter, usually in about 2 weeks. It will explain what happens next.
Try not to put off cervical screening. It’s one of the best ways to protect yourself from cervical cancer.
When you’ll be invited for a cervical screening?
|Age||When you’re invited (routine)
|under 25||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|
If you have any abnormal screening results, you may be put on a shorter recall, i.e. 6 month or 12 month.
You’ll be sent an invitation letter in the post when it’s time to book your cervical screening appointment. We offer early morning and late afternoon appointments times. We also have online bookable smear appointments which you can access if you have online services.