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Screening Programmes

The NHS runs national screening programmes to detect the early signs of breast, bowel and cervical cancer. It also provides a prostate cancer risk management programme for men aged 50 and over.

Use the links below to find out more about how residents in Brighton and Hove can access these screening programmes.


Breast screening

About one in eight women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. There's a good chance of recovery if it's detected in its early stages.

Breast screening aims to find breast cancers early. It uses an X-ray test called a mammogram that can spot cancers when they are too small to see or feel.

Women aged 50-70, registered with GPs in Brighton and Hove, will automatically receive invitation letters and appointments to be screened every three years. Anyone registered with a doctor will be invited for breast screening before their 53rd birthday.

If you are over 50 and have not had a mammogram in the past three years, contact the Breast Screening service on 01273 664966 and ask for an appointment.

If you are over 70 and want to be screened, contact the Park Centre for Breast Care (177 Preston Road BN1 6AG) on 01273 664966 and ask for an appointment.

If you are worried about breast cancer symptoms, such as a lump or area of thickened tissue in a breast, don't wait to be offered screening – see your GP.

Bowel screening

Faecal Occult Blood Screening

Bowel screening aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage (in people with no symptoms) when treatment is more likely to be effective. If diagnosed early, over 90% of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully.

Bowel cancer screening can also detect polyps. Polyps can develop into cancer over time. They can easily be removed reducing the risk of bowel cancer.

The test is looking for hidden blood in the stools which could mean bowel cancer. 20 out of 1,000 people who take the test have a positive result and are invited to go for a bowel scope (colonoscopy) at a local screening unit. Two out of every 1,000 who complete the test will have cancer.

The NHS Bowel Screening programme is targeting men and women aged 60 to 69. Every two years they will be automatically sent an invitation for screening. This is followed by a screening kit, so you can do the test at home. The completed kit is sent off to a laboratory.

People aged over 70 can request screening by contacting the freephone helpline on 0800 7076060.

Find out more about the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme 

If you are concerned about any symptoms please see your GP. The NHS Choices website includes information on symptoms

Bowel Scope Screening

Bowel scope screening is a new free test to help prevent bowel cancer. It does this by finding and removing any small growths, called polyps, in the bowel that could eventually turn into cancer.

For every 300 people screened, it stops two from getting bowel cancer and saves one life from bowel cancer. 
Taking part in bowel scope screening is your choice. You can find out more information from your GP or by calling the freephone helpline on 0800 707 60 60

Please visit it the NHS Choices website for more information.

Find out more about the Bowel scope Screening Programme

If you are concerned about any symptoms please see your GP.  The NHS Choices website includes information on symptoms

Cervical screening

Cervical cancer screening checks for cervical cell changes and involves taking cells from the cervix.The biggest risk for cervical cancer is not attending for cervical screening.

This screening programme is for all women aged 25–49 every three years, and aged 50–64 every five years. You will receive a letter in the post informing you that your cervical screening is due so you need to make an appointment with your Practice Nurse at your GP practice or at the Contraceptive and Sexual Health Clinic (CASH) at Morley Street, Brighton.

For more information on CASH visit Sussex Community NHS Trust's website

You can request that your cervical sample is taken by a female practitioner. New technology has made this programme more effective and efficient. Results are received within two to three weeks.

Find out more about the NHS Cervical Screening Programme 

For information on causes and symptoms of cervical cancer, visit the NHS Choices website

Prostate cancer risk management

Instead of a national screening programme, there is an informed choice programme on prostate cancer risk management for men in the UK. It aims to give men information on the pros and cons of testing your  prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels.

If you are aged over 50 and decide to have your PSA levels tested, your GP will be able to arrange for it to be carried out for free on the NHS.

If results show you have a significantly raised level of PSA, your GP may suggest further tests.

For more information on PSA testing, visit the NHS Choices website and Prostate Cancer UK's website

Screening for trans people

Trans patients are entitiled to cancer prevention screening, which can be accessed via their GP.  

Automatic recall systems use a patient's current gender to make lists of people to contact for sex-specific screening.  This means that trans patients may not be included in recall lists.  

Trans patients can ask their GP to make special arrangements for the appropriate screening.

The document attached contains more information about screening for trans people in Brighton and Hove

For trans people elsewhere in England, Public Health England have published a leaflet about screening here.  

Click here for more about Trans Health.

Guidance for GPs on how to support screening for trans patients can be found here.