NHS Screening

Breast Screening

The NHS Breast screening programme provides free breast screening every three years for all women in the UK aged 50 to 70.

Breast screening is a method of detecting breast cancer at a very early stage. Women are invited to attend a special clinic or mobile screening unit to have a mammogram. A mammogram is a special type of X-ray that looks at the tissue of the breast. As it is able to reveal changes too small to be felt, it can potentially detect a change before you or your doctor has noticed anything different.

Screening units do not offer drop-in screening on request. Breast screening for women aged 50-70 is by appointment only. Invitations for screening are sent automatically to women up until their 71st birthday. Women aged 71 or over can contact their breast screening unit to make an appointment every 3 years. Women with breast symptoms should see their GP.

 If you would like any more information on Breast Screening please visit the National Breast Screening Programme website: http://www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/breastscreen    

The purpose of the breast screening programme is to help to save lives: the earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the chances of survival.

We would encourage you to attend your appointment when you receive your invitation, or rebook it if the time is not convenient.

If you have already been invited to have a mammogram but did not attend, you can rebook your appointment by ringing the breast screening service on 01274 365521.



Bowel Screening

Everyone aged 60 to 74 years who is registered with a GP and lives in England is automatically sent an NHS bowel cancer screening kit every 2 years.

The programme is expanding so that everyone aged 50 to 59 years will be eligible for screening. This is happening gradually over 4 years and started in April 2021 with 56 year olds.

You use a home test kit, called a faecal immunochemical test (FIT), to collect a small sample of poo and send it to a lab. This is checked for tiny amounts of blood.

Blood can be a sign of polyps or bowel cancer. Polyps are growths in the bowel. They are not cancer, but may turn into cancer over time.

If the test finds anything unusual, you might be asked to go to hospital to have further tests to confirm or rule out cancer.

Always see a GP if you have symptoms of bowel cancer at any age, even if you have recently completed a NHS bowel cancer screening test kit – do not wait to have a screening test.

 Please ensure we have the 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.

If you're worried about a family history of bowel cancer or have any symptoms, speak to a GP for advice.