The NHS Breast Screening Programme offers free breast screening to all women aged 50 - 70. Annually, the national programme screens just under 2 million women and diagnoses about 14,000 with breast cancer.
The aim of breast screening is to detect breast cancer at an early stage, often before the woman is aware of any problem. Early detection usually means simpler and more successful treatment. Scientific evidence shows that regular breast screening between the ages of 50 - 70 years reduces the death rate from breast cancer. Currently the NHS Breast Screening Programme saves an estimated 1,400 lives each year in England.
The service for our patients is provided by the West London Breast Screening Service, who are based at Charing Cross Hospital. They invite more than 60,000 women for breast screening each year. More information about the Breast Screening Service can be found here.
Cervical Cancer Screening
Cervical Screening is a test to check the health of the cervix, which is the lower part of the womb. For most women these tests find that everything is normal. However for about 1 in 20 women the test will show changes in the cells. Most of these changes will not lead to cancer.
Cervical cancer can often be prevented. The signs that it may develop can be spotted early on, so it can be stopped before it even gets started. Not going for cervical screening is one of the biggest risk factors for developing cervical cancer.
Cancer Research UK estimates that approximately 4,500 lives in England are saved each year by cervical screening.
All women aged 25 – 64 are invited for cervical screening. Women aged 25 – 49 are invited for screening every 3 years, and women aged 50 – 64 are invited every 5 years.