Screening Tests

Screening tests aim to find out if you are at a high risk of a disease, so that early treatment can be offered. Screening can detect a problem early, before you have any symptoms. Some deaths from abdominal aortic aneurysms, bowel cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer can be prevented. However, screening tests, like any tests, are not 100% accurate. You could be told you have a problem when you don’t, which may lead to unnecessary further tests or treatment. A screening test could also miss a problem.

Cervical screening

Cervical screening is offered to women aged 25 to 64 to check the health of cells at the opening of the womb. It is offered every 3 years for those aged 26 to 49, and every 5 years from the ages of 50 to 64. You can book an appointment for this test at Harborne Medical when your test is due. You should receive a letter from Public Health England.

Breast screening

Breast screening is offered to women aged 50 to 70 to detect early signs of breast cancer. You will be sent a letter from Public Health England. Women over 70 will not receive a letter, but can self-refer to South Birmingham Breast Screening Service on 0121 623 6890.

Bowel cancer screening

There are 2 types of screening for bowel cancer. A home testing kit is offered to men and women aged 60 to 74. Bowel scope screening uses a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end to look at the large bowel. It is offered to men and women as a one-off test at the age of 55. For more information please contact 0800 707 6060.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening

AAA screening is offered to men in their 65th year to detect abdominal aortic aneurysms (a dangerous swelling in the aorta).