What is screening?
Cancer screening is meant for healthy people with no symptoms at all. If you have symptoms, you should tell your doctor.
Screening looks for early signs that could mean cancer is developing. It can help spot cancers at an early stage, when treatment is more likely to be successful and the chances of survival are much better. In some cases, it can even prevent cancers from developing at all, by picking up early changes that can then be treated to stop them turning into cancer. This is how cervical screening prevents cervical cancer.
Screening has harms as well as benefits so make sure you read the leaflet that comes with your invitation to help you decide.
What screening programmes are available?
In the UK there are national screening programmes - for breast, cervical and bowel cancer.
Breast screening is offered to women aged 50-70 in all UK nations. In England there is a trial in some areas to see the effect of inviting women aged 47-73.
Cervical screening is offered to women aged 25-64 in the UK. It is offered every three years for women aged 25-49, and every five years for women 50-64.
Bowel screening is offered to men and women aged 60-74 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, men and women aged 50-74 are offered screening. In England, another type of bowel screening called Bowel Scope is also starting to be offered to people at age 55.
(text above extracted from https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/screening/understanding-cancer-screening)
It is important to engage with cancer screening services, if you need help with doing so or want to discuss your options please book an appointment with the GP.
We also have a MacMillan Information Stand in each of our Practice reception areas.
Living with and Beyond Cancer
More people now than ever are surviving cancer and it is important we recognise that those people need support for many years after. Here are a list of support services available to you: