Cancer Screening

Cancer Screening

Cancer is a word that we are taught to fear from a very young age. But the reality is that it affects a large proportion of us. Based on data gathered between 2015 and 2017, approximately 39.5% of the population with be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime.

As medicine has progressed, so has the outlook for recovery from cancer. Early detection greatly contributes to this. As a result you are offered regular screening for some of the most common cancers, including cervical, breast and bowel cancers.

Cervical Cancer

The NHS offers a cervical screening programme from 25 years of age, also known as a smear test. This is recommended to be repeated every three years up until 49 years of age, dependent upon the results of the screen, and every five years between the ages of 50 and 64.

The cervical cancer screen initially checks for Human Papillomavirus (HPV), the virus which causes most cervical cancers. This helps to identify not only those who already have cervical cancer, but those who are at an increased risk of developing it. This could prevent around 600 additional cancers each year.

Book online with a nurse or call reception if you receive an invite or feel you are due a screen.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is extremely common. So much so, that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lives. Screening, also known as a mammogram, is offered to anyone registered as female with their GP between the ages of 50 and 71. Watch this short video on YouTube detailing what to expect: Having a mammogram | Cancer Research UK. If you have a particularly high risk of developing breast cancer you may receive a screening invitation earlier than 50 years of age, and you can still request mammograms after turning 71.

It is very important that, should you experience any symptoms such as finding a lump in your breast tissue, you do not wait to be offered a screen but make an appointment immediately with your GP. If you are transgender, for more information read through the ‘Information for trans people – NHS Screening Programmes’ document from Public Health England.

If you are unsure about attending your screening, please watch this video: Breast Cancer Screening at The Rose Centre at St George’s hospital

Book online with a nurse or call reception if you receive an invite or feel you are due a screen.

Bowel Cancer

Bowel Cancer, if diagnosed early, has a 90% success rate of treatment. This goes to show how important it is to utilise the screening tests offered to you.

People aged 55 and over can be invited to have a flexible sigmoidoscopy. This is a one off test that involves having a thin tube inserted in the bowel to look for any abnormalities and, if necessary, remove small samples of the bowel wall to send for further testing.

Men and women aged 60-74 receive home testing kits every two years in the post. These collect your faeces and test for signs of blood which is a common indicator of bowel cancer. The NHS aims, in the long term, to lower the bowel screening age to 50 years old.

Book online with a nurse or call reception if you receive an invite or feel you are due a screen.

More information on Cervical Cancer and Screening processes

More information on Bowel Cancer and Screening processes