Cancer Screening – National Programmes

Cervical Smear

We work together with NHS England and Islington (NCL) CCG to help develop the NHS Cervical Screening Programme. This includes inviting patients with a cervix between the ages of 25 and 65 to have regular screening in order to identify early signs of cervical cancer. We would like to encourage everyone eligible to attend as screening can save lives.

Invites are usually done by sending a text message reminder but you may also receive a letter in the post from us. NHS England routinely sends out invite letters to your address so please respond. If you would not like to receive these invites, you will need to sign and return a Disclaimer form: Cervical Smear Disclaimer Form. We will also try to reach out via telephone and help you book an appointment with a nurse. It helps if you know when your periods are due so we can offer an appropriate appointment between them.

Screenings booked or performed without an invitation will not be processed by the Health Authority.

There are easy-to-read guides about cervical cancer screening, explaining the process and the results. The following links open a pdf file.

An NHS Easy Read Guide to Cervical Screening 2023

Jos Trust Guide to Cervical Screening 2023

Everything you need to know about cervical screening:

  • Cervical screening, or the “smear test”, is a routine health check that identifies potentially harmful cells and changes on the cervix.
  • Appointments take around 10 minutes
  • Cervical screening is not a test for cancer but catching any changes early can reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer.
  • Finding abnormal changes early means they can be monitored or treated so they do not get a chance to turn into cervical cancer.
  • Cervical cancer kills two women every day. Regular screenings can help reduce that number, which is why it’s so important you attend your screening when invited.
  • All women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 should be invited by letter.
  • You’ll get your results by letter, usually in about 2 weeks.

What happens at your screening?

Smear tests for people with learning disability:

Cervical Screening When You Have a Learning Disability | Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust (jostrust.org.uk)

Bowel Cancer Screening

Invites are usually done by sending a text message reminder but you may also receive a letter in the post from us. NHS England routinely sends out invite letters to your address so please respond.

Breast Cancer

Invites are usually done by sending a text message reminder but you may also receive a letter in the post from us. NHS England routinely sends out invite letters to your address so please respond.

When you'll be invited for breast screening and who should go - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Anyone registered with a GP as female will be invited for NHS breast screening every 3 years between the ages of 50 and 71. You’ll get a letter in the post inviting you.

If you’re a trans man, trans woman or are non-binary how you are invited will depend on the sex you are registered with at a GP:

  • if you’re registered as female with a GP you will automatically be invited for breast screening
  • if you’re registered as male with a GP you will not automatically be invited for breast screening

For more information please see the NHS website – When you’ll be invited for breast screening and who should go – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

More information for people with a learning disability:

Easy Read Breast Care Leaflet This leaflet can help you understand how to check your breasts and when to see a GP.

www.macmillan.org.uk has lots of useful information and links to help patients understand good cancer prevention health care.

Self-check

Get to know your breasts with some TLC – Touch – Look – Check

Touch, Look, Check | Breast Cancer Now

 

 

PSA

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Cancer Support

Finding out that you have cancer can be a shock, even if you already suspected it. These days, many people are cured of cancer or are able to live with it for many years. But being diagnosed can still cause different fears and emotions. There is no right or wrong way to feel.

Macmillan Cancer Support can help with the following if you have been diagnosed:

It is natural to worry about these things and to be upset by them. It is fine to cry and say how you feel. But remember that help is available.

There is advice and support too at Macmillan Cancer Support, which offers a free helpline 8am-8pm 7 days a week on 0808 808 00 00.