Cancer Screening

Breast Screening


  • Women aged 50-70 invited every 3 years
  • Mammogram in mobile screening unit
  • Results by letter
  • Those over 70 can request a test every three years by phoning 02381 204959

Breast screening uses x-rays called mammograms to look for breast cancers when they are too small to be seen or felt. All women between 50 and 70 years old are invited for breast screening every three years. The Breast Screening Service rotates through the Practices in the area on a three-yearly cycle. This means that your first invitation for breast screening will fall between your 49th and 53rd birthday, at a time when your surgery is being screened. From March 2013 the service was extended to all women who fall within the the new national screening age groups of 47 to 49 and 71 to 73. As a result of phasing in only one of the new screening age groups (either age group 47 to 49 or age group 71 to 73) will be invited along with all eligible 50 to 70 year olds. Once women reach the upper age range, they are encouraged to continue routine three-yearly screening and should ring 02381 204959 for an appointment.

The Southampton and Salisbury breast screening programme has a consistently high cancer detection rate and exceeds most national standards.  When the mobile van is in the area and you are due for examination, you will be sent an invitation directly from the Southampton and Salisbury breast screening programme. You can see when the mobile screening unit is due in your area by looking at this document.

There is more information on breast cancer screening on the Cancer Research UK website

The NHS website also has a page on breast cancer screening with lots of useful information.

Cervical Screening

  • Women aged 24-49 every 3 years
  • Women aged 50-64 every 5 years
  • Invite by post
  • Smear test in GP surgery
  • Results by letter

Cervical screening is when a sample of cells is taken from the cervix for analysis. A doctor or nurse inserts an instrument (a speculum) to open the woman’s vagina and uses a spatula to sweep around the cervix. Most women consider the procedure to be only mildly uncomfortable.

Cervical screening is not a test for cancer. It is a method of preventing cancer by detecting and treating early abnormalities which, if left untreated, could lead to cancer in a woman’s cervix (the neck of the womb).

All women between the ages of 25 and 64 are eligible for cervical screening test every three to five years.  The programme is run by Primary Care Support England and they will write to patients directly asking them to contact the surgery when they are due for screening. The result will be sent directly to you and usually within 1-2 weeks.

There is more information on cervical cancer screening on the Cancer Research UK website.

The NHS website also has a page on cervical cancer screening with lots of useful information including a cartoon video demonstrating the procedure.

Bowel Cancer Screening


  • Ages 60-74
  • Test kit comes by post, returned by post
  • Results by letter
  • Those 75 and above can request a kit every two years by phoning 0800 7076060

Bowel cancer screening aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage (in people with no symptoms), when treatment is more likely to be effective. The screening test detects tiny amounts of blood, which you cannot normally see, in your bowel motions. You can carry out the test in the privacy of your own home and the kit provides a simple way for you to collect a small sample of a bowel motion. You may think that doing the test sounds a bit embarrassing or unpleasant, but it will only take a few minutes and it is an effective way to detect bowel cancer early.

Screening is offered every two years to all men and women aged 60 to 74. The programme is run by the Southern Hub of the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. When you are due for screening, a test kit will be sent out along with step-by-step instructions for completing the test at home and sending the samples to the hub laboratory. The test will then be processed and the results sent back to you within two weeks. People aged 75 or over can request a screening kit by calling the Freephone helpline 0800 707 6060.

There is more information on bowel cancer screening on the Cancer Research UK website including a video on how to undertake the test. Bowel Cancer UK are the leading bowel cancer cancer charity and you can find their informative website here.

The NHS website also has a page on bowel cancer screening with lots of useful information.