NHS cancer screening

There are three types of cancer screening for adults in England, and they save thousands of lives each year.

Watch a video about breast cancer screening

Cervical screening

Cervical screening is offered to women aged 25 to 64 to check the health of cells in the cervix. It is offered every three years between the ages of 26 and 49, and every five years between the ages of 50 and 64.

Most women's test results show that everything is normal, but for around 1 in 20 women the test will show some abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix.

See more about cervical screening.

Breast cancer screening

Breast cancer screening is offered to women aged 50 to 70 to detect early signs of breast cancer. Women aged 70 and over can self-refer.

Breast cancer screening uses an X-ray test called a mammogram that can spot cancers when they are too small to see or feel. There's a good chance of recovery if the cancer is detected in its early stages.

See more about breast cancer screening.

Bowel cancer screening

There are two types of screening for bowel cancer.

A home testing kit is offered to men and women aged 60 to 74.

Bowel scope screening uses a thin flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end to look at the large bowel. It is offered to men and women at the age of 55 in some parts of England.

See more about bowel cancer screening.

Breast cancer screening

See what happens during a mammogram. Plus, the benefits of mammography and ultrasound are explained.

Media last reviewed: 14/07/2015

Next review due: 14/02/2018

Page last reviewed: 04/06/2015

Next review due: 05/06/2018


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NHS screening

Find out about the different types of screening offered by the NHS in England

Bowel cancer: flexible sigmoidoscopy

In this video, TV presenter Lynn Faulds Wood is having a flexible sigmoidoscopy performed. This is a five-minute colonoscopy test that can detect the key symptoms of most bowel cancers.

Media last reviewed: 27/12/2017

Next review due: 27/12/2020

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