Brent and Harrow
5 May 2016 Vote for
Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
Labour Party Londonwide

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NHS Cancer Screening Explained

The NHS offers various cancer screening to people who turn a certain age, when they are more at risk of developing a particular cancer.

Breast Cancer

At the moment the breast cancer screening is available to all women over the age of 50 every three years. They invite all women who are registered to GP practices so not all women will receive the invitation on their 50th birthday but will receive it before their 53rd. Women then have to make an appointment with the nearest breast screening unit. They will explain the procedure of the mammography and will ask the patient if they still want to go ahead with it. The results are usually sent within two weeks to the woman and the GP.

Cervical Cancer

Women aged between 25 to 64 are invited to get a cervical cancer screening. Local Primary Care trusts or GP practices send out invitations and women have a choice of going to their local GP or to a family planning clinic to get the test done and the procedure is explained once you get there. Results should be available within two weeks.


Bowel Cancer

Bowel cancer screening is the latest screening available and all the invitations will be sent out to those who are eligible by the end of 2012. They invite people from the age of 60 to 69 for A bowel cancer screening. For bowel cancer they send out kits explaining the instructions which the patient has to send back to a laboratory for it to be tested. There is a helpline facility with this to help people who are unsure of anything. Results will be sent back within two weeks.

Prostate Cancer

There is no prostate cancer screening available but there is an informed choice programme called Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme which provides information about the cancer. The information packs are sent to GP’s to guide men who are worried about the cancer and all the information needed if someone did wish to take the test.

The NHS sends out these invitations to people so people can keep a check on their health and because cancer is treatable when it is caught at an early stage. However if people do not wish to take part in these screenings they do not have to, even though it is strongly recommended. NHS takes patients’ consent very seriously and they will send out all the educational material needed for people to make an informed decision on the particular screening. 

All screening information is available here or contact your local GP for more information.