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Cancer Screening

South West London Screening

The NHS runs three National Cancer Screening Programmes.

Research suggests that around half of all cancers could be prevented by:
Changes to lifestyle, knowing how to avoid risk of cancer and screening to detect early changes.

Breast Screening Programme Women (aged 50-70)

  • Known as a mammogram
  • X-ray examination of the breasts to find any small changes in the breast before there are any signs or symptoms of cancer
  • Test only takes a few minutes
  • Breast cancer risk increases as women get older
  • Women automatically invited every three years. The age will extend from 47-73 by 2016
  • Women aged over 70 can still attend breast screening by contacting the screening unit.
  • Breast screening is organised by South West London Breast Screening Unit
  • They can be contacted by telephone: 020 8725 2723 or their website:

Cervical Screening Programme women (aged 25-64)

  • Known as a smear test
  • One in ten women the test shows changes in the cells
  • Most changes will not lead to cancer, but early detection and treatment can prevent cancer from developing
  • Precancerous changes in the cervix occur most commonly between the ages of 30 and 50
  • Women are automatically invited once every three years between 25-49, then every 5 years between the ages of 50-65.
  • The test takes place at our Surgery, or Family planning clinics.

Bowel Screening Programme men and women (aged 60-74)

  • The test kit is sent by the screening centre to the patients home address and includes complete instructions for use
  • Screening aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage when treatment is more likely to be effective
  • About 1 in 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer in their lifetime
  • Screening is offered to men and women every 2 years from the ages of 60 to 74
  • Patients over the age of 74 can request a cancer screening kit calling the bowel cancer screening programme telephone 0800 707 6060.
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