BOWEL, BREAST & CERVICAL SCREENING – SAVES LIVES
National Screening Programmes are designed to detect early signs of disease in the population and then follow a reliable method of referral for diagnostic testing and further treatment, if necessary.
Screening aims to reduce the number of deaths from bowel, breast and cervical cancer by identifying the very early signs of the disease which leads to a greater chance of survival and less aggressive treatments.
Bowel Cancer Screening – a home testing kit is offered to all men and women aged 60-74
Breast Screening – is offered to all women aged 50-70.
Cervical Screening – is offered to women aged 25-64. It is offered every 3 years for those aged 26-49 and every 5 years for those aged 50-64
For more information on the screening process, please scroll down this page or take a look at our ‘Cancer Awareness’ section on our website or pop into the Practice to pick up a leaflet.
Screening does not guarantee protection but does:-
- saves lives or improves the quality of life through early identification
- reduces the chance of developing a serious condition or complications
If you get a normal result, after a screening test, this means you are at a low risk of having the condition you were screened for. This does not mean you will never develop the condition in the future, just that you are low risk at the moment.
If you have a higher-risk result, it means that you may have the condition that you’ve been tested for. At this point, you will be offered further diagnostic tests to confirm if you have the condition. You can then be offered treatment, advice and support if necessary.
The Doctors and Nurses at our Practice urge all of our patients to
take up the offer of the cancer screening tests
that are offered to them.
The screening process saves lives.
*** Bowel Cancer Screening ***
The Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BCSP) is an NHS population screening programme.
All men and women aged 60 to 74 who are registered with a GP in England are automatically sent a bowel cancer screening kit every 2 years.
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.
NHS screening kits aren’t available for people under 60.
The screening kit provides a simple way for you to collect small samples of your poo and wipe them on a special card.
You take 2 samples of poo on 3 separate occasions and send them back in a sealed envelope for testing in a laboratory.
This may sound embarrassing or unpleasant, but it only takes a few minutes and is a proven way to check if you could have cancer.
There are detailed instructions with each kit – you can read the kit instructions now by clicking on the following link:-
*** 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 50 to 70 and 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 area of thickened tissue in a breast, or you notice that your breasts look or feel different from what’s normal for you, don’t wait to be offered screening – see your GP.
Most experts agree that regular breast screening is beneficial in identifying breast cancer early. The earlier the condition is found, the better the chances of surviving it.
You’re also less likely to need a mastectomy (breast removal) or chemotherapy if breast cancer is detected at an early stage.
Breast screening involves having an X-ray (mammogram) at a special clinic or mobile breast screening unit. This is done by a female health practitioner.
Your breasts will be X-rayed one at a time. The breast is placed on the X-ray machine and gently but firmly compressed with a clear plate. Two X-rays are taken of each breast at different angles.
For more information please click on the link below:-
*** Cervical Screening ***
A cervical screening test (previously known as a smear test) is a method of detecting abnormal cells on the cervix. The cervix is the entrance to the womb from the vagina.
Detecting and removing abnormal cervical cells can prevent cervical cancer.
The aim of the NHS Cervical Screening Programme is to reduce the number of women who develop cervical cancer and the number of women who die from the condition.
Since the screening programme was introduced in the 1980s, the number of cervical cancer cases has decreased by about 7% each year.
All women who are registered with a GP are invited for cervical screening:
- aged 25 to 49 – every 3 years
- aged 50 to 64 – every 5 years
- over 65 – only women who haven’t been screened since age 50 or those who have recently had abnormal tests
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.
Screening is usually carried out by the practice nurse at your GP clinic. You can ask to have a female doctor or nurse.
If possible, try to book an appointment during the middle of your menstrual cycle (usually 14 days from the start of your last period), as this can ensure a better sample of cells is taken. It’s best to make your appointment for when you don’t have your period.
If you use a spermicide, a barrier method of contraception or a lubricant jelly, you shouldn’t use these for 24 hours before the test, as the chemicals they contain may affect the test.
The cervical screening test usually takes around 5 minutes to carry out.
You’ll be asked to undress from the waist down and lie on a couch, although you can usually remain fully dressed if you’re wearing a loose skirt.
The doctor or nurse will gently put an instrument called a speculum into your vagina. This holds the walls of the vagina open so the cervix can be seen.
A small soft brush will be used to gently collect some cells from the surface of your cervix.
Some women find the procedure a bit uncomfortable or embarrassing, but for most women it’s not painful.
If you find the test painful, tell the doctor or nurse as they may be able to reduce your discomfort.
Try to relax as much as possible as being tense makes the test more difficult to carry out. Taking slow, deep breaths will help.
The cell sample is then sent off to a laboratory for analysis.
For more information, please click on the link below:-
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