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Free Cancer Screening Training

Proposed Script to Inform Conversation with Communities

(Taken from CRUK Information)


What is the benefit of increased screening uptake?


Cancer screening looks for signs of cancer in healthy people. There is a lot of evidence showing that cancers detected through screening are easier to treat and people tend to live longer than those who have cancers detected after they have developed symptoms.


What is the problem?


There is also evidence that people from more deprived communities and from ethnic minority groups are less likely to take up their cancer screening appointment and as a consequence more of them die of cancer or have cancer diagnosed after it has grown or spread and needs more complicated treatment. Other groups in the population also tend to miss out on screening tests, such as people with mental health problems or a learning disability.


We want all people to understand the importance of taking up their screening appointments, although everyone needs to have the facts about the benefits of screening and make up their own minds about whether they want it or not.


What is screening?


Cancer screening is meant for healthy people with no symptoms at all. Screening looks for early signs that could indicate cancer is developing. It can help spot cancers at an early stage, when treatment is more likely to be successful and the chances of survival are much better. In some cases, it can even prevent cancers from developing at all, by picking up early changes that can then be treated to stop them turning into cancer. Cervical screening is the best example of this.


What cancer screening programmes are available?


In the UK there are national screening programmes for breast, cervical and bowel cancer.


Breast screening is offered to women aged 50-70. Women over 70 can still be screened, but will need to make their own appointment as they will not get an invitation. In England, this age range is gradually being extended to 47-73.


Breast screening uses a test called mammography which involves taking x-rays of the breasts. Screening can help to find breast cancers early, when they are too small to see or feel.


Cervical screening is offered to women aged 25-64


Cervical screening is a way of preventing cancer by finding and treating early changes in the neck of the womb (cervix). These changes could lead to cancer if left untreated. 


The screening uses a test called cytology, which many people know as the smear test. A nurse or doctor takes a sample of cells from the cervix with a small brush. They send the sample to a laboratory to be checked for abnormalities. In some cases, samples are also tested for a virus called human papilloma virus (HPV) that increases the risk of cervical cancer.


Bowel screening is offered to men and women aged 60-74.


The screening programmes send a bowel cancer testing kit every 2 years to people eligible to take part. You need to be registered with a GP to receive your screening invitations. 


The bowel cancer testing kit is designed to allow people to collect samples of their poo. Blood in your poo (stool or faeces) can be a sign of bowel cancer. The poo is tested for tiny traces of blood that you might not be able to see. You do the test in your own home with the testing kit. 


The kit is a simple way for you to collect small samples of your poo. You wipe the sample on a special card, which you then send for testing in a hygienically, sealed, prepaid envelope. There are detailed instructions with the kit. 


You may think that the tests sound a bit embarrassing, or unpleasant, but collecting the samples doesn't take long. 


Bowel Scope Screening. The screening programme is also starting to invite people for a bowel scope test to look at the inside of the lower bowel and back passage (rectum). You have this test once, at age 55.


Bowel scope screening uses a thin flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end to look at the inside of your large bowel. It is also called Flexi scope or flexible sigmoidoscopy (flexi-sig).


The test looks for polyps. These are most likely to grow in the lower bowel. The polyps might develop into cancer if they grow. It can also find cancers if they have already developed and is likely to pick them up at an early stage.


What should people do?


People should make sure they are registered with a GP practice. Unless they are registered they will not receive screening invitations/appointments.


They should read the information provided with the screening appointment so they understand the risks and benefits. They can then decide whether to have the cancer screening test.


If people have any questions about cancer screening they can discuss it with their GP or with the GP’s Practice Nurse.


There is also a lot of information on-line, for example on the NHS Choices Website, Cancer Research UK or the Macmillan Website.


Where can people get more information from?


Breast screening: 02476 967200

Bowel screening: 0800 707 60 60

Cervical screening: Practice Nurse at GP surgery

All cancer screening programmes:


Breast Screening

The NHS breast screening programme was set up by the Department of Health, based on the recommendations of the Forrest report, which was published in 1986. The programme was launched in 1988 and it now offers free breast screening services to all women aged 50-70. The Cancer Reform Strategy (2007) outlined a further age expansion to include women aged 47-49 and 71-73. This is being phased in from 2010.

Breast screening aims to find breast cancer at an early stage, often before there are any symptoms. To do this, an x-ray is taken of each breast (mammogram). Early detection may often mean simpler and more successful treatment.

Breast Screening in the West Midlands is provided by eight screening units, which are designed to deliver screening services at a convenient location for all eligible women in the region. We aim to provide and promote an efficient and effective, high quality breast screening service, to all our eligible women within a caring environment.

The surgeries next screening programme is due as detailed below;

Budbrooke Medical Centre
Slade Hill, Hampton Magna, Near Warwick, CV35 8SA

** You can change the date and location of your appointment by contacting the West Midlands Breast Screening Programme: or on  Telephone No: 024 7696 7200

For more information please visit:

Cervical Screening:

  • First invitation for screening:
    • Age 25 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
    • Age 20 in Scotland.
  • Routine recall:
    • England, Wales and Northern Ireland: routine three-yearly recall between ages 25-49, then five-yearly recall until aged 65.
    • Scotland: routine three-yearly recall from age 20 until aged 60.
  • Women over the age of 65 are only screened if they have not been screened since the age of 50 or have had recent abnormal tests.

When you receive your invitation please call the suregery to make an appointment.

Bowel Screening:

  • Colorectal cancer is common and has significant mortality:
    • In the UK, bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer mortality.
    • Each year 34,900 people are diagnosed (about 1 per GP) - 63% in the colon and 37% in the rectum.
    • It causes 16,100 deaths per year.
    • The lifetime risk is about 5%.
  • Early detection improves outcome.
  • Early diagnosis may reduce morbidity.

A national call and recall system has now been rolled out across the UK

Patients are sent faecal occult blood (FOB) test kits, and local screening centres analyse samples, despatch results, provide endoscopy investigation services, specialist screening nurse clinics and, if necessary, referral to a local hospital multidisciplinary team (MDT) for people with abnormal results.

Men and women are screened every two years between the ages of 60 to 69. People aged over 70 can request a screening kit by calling the freephone helpline 0800 707 6060. Some English areas are extending the screening age to between 60 and 75, although full roll-out across the UK is still uncertain. Scotland screens all patients between 50 and 74 years, Wales between 60 and 74 years and Northern Ireland between 60 and 71 years.

Results from the pilots indicate that on average 1.9% of tests are positive.

For more information about cancer screeing please visit:

NHS Cancer Screening Programmes website


Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

* Men aged over 65

* A simple scan can tell if you have an abdominal Aortuc Aneurysm

* This is an enlargement of the main blood vessel in the abdomen and if left untreated can be fatal.

* NHS Screening invitations will be sent to men aged 65 this year and those over 65 can request a scan.

* For more information visit: or talk to your GP.

*You can arrange your AAA scan using the following:

  Telephone: 01788663428


  You just need your NHS number 

Diabetic Eye screening 

Diabetic eye screening is a key part of diabetes care. 

People with diabetes are at risk of damage from diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can lead to sight loss if it's not treated.

*Everyone with diabetes who is 12 years of age or over should be invited to have their eyes screened once a year.

*The screening appointment should last about 30 minutes.

*You'll be given eye drops to enlarge your pupils, which takes between 15 and 20 minutes, and photographs of your retina will be taken.

*Bring all the glasses and contact lenses you wear, along with lens solution for contacts.

*If you have diabetes and become pregnant, you'll need special care as there are risks to both mother and baby associated with the condition.

You'll be offered additional tests for diabetic retinopathy at or soon after your first antenatal clinic visit, and also after 28 weeks of pregnancy.

For further information on this please follow this link:

If you have had an appointment letter and forgotten your time, please phone 01788 422300 or 0333 456 7670

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