Bowel, breast and cervical screening
National screening programmes for bowel, breast and cervical cancer aim to detect the very early signs of cancer. By identifying and treating cancer earlier and stopping it spreading, we hope to reduce the need for aggressive treatments and increase people’s chances of survival.
- Bowel cancer screening – a home testing kit is offered to all men and women aged 60 to 74
- Breast screening – is offered to all women aged 50 to 70 every three years.
- Cervical screening – is offered to women aged 25 to 64. It is offered every three years for those aged 26 to 49 and every five years for those aged 50 to 64
Screening does not guarantee protection but it can:
- save lives or improve the quality of life through early identification
- reduce 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.