Cancer Screening – Early Detection

Cervical Screening (Cytology screening, PAP screening)

What is cervical screening?

Cervical screening is a free health test available on the NHS as part of the national cervical screening programme. It helps prevent cervical cancer by checking for a virus called high-risk HPV and cervical cell changes. It is not a test for cancer. 

Cervical Screening information leaflets in different languages

It is your choice whether to go for cervical screening. We hope this information helps you make the best decision for you and your health.

Cervical screening is not for people who have symptoms. If you have symptoms, contact your GP surgery about having an examination.


Comprehensive guidance/support for your cytology screening see links below:

Jo’s Cervical Trust  –

Supporting People with Mild/Moderate Learning Disabilities

Learning Disabilities and Cancer Screening 

Easy Guide to Cervical Screening

My Body Back Project – Rape and sexual assault support in London

Cervical screening: leaflet for women considering screening (available in different languages)

Video guides to cervical screening in various languages

Smear Tests and FGM – Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

No Barriers cervical screening for trans and non-binary people

No barriers to cervical screening video

Bowel cancer screening resources

Why we offer bowel cancer screening

Bowel Screening information leaflets in different languages

We offer screening to detect bowel cancer when it is at an early stage in people with no symptoms. This is when treatment is more likely to be effective. Screening can also find polyps. These are abnormal clumps of cells in the bowel. Polyps are not cancers, but may develop into cancers over time. Polyps can be easily removed, which reduces the risk of bowel cancer developing.

Regular bowel cancer screening reduces the risk of dying from bowel cancer.

We offer bowel cancer screening using a home testing kit to everyone in England from the age of 60. Your GP practice gives us your contact details so please make sure they always have your correct name, date of birth and address. Many GPs also like to have your mobile number and email address.

We offer screening every 2 years between the ages of 60 and 74. We are gradually extending this age range, and people aged 56 are now being invited as part of this process. If you are over 74, you can ask for a kit every 2 years by calling our free helpline on 0800 707 60 60.

You may be asked to take part in a research project (a ‘clinical trial’). Research helps the NHS improve bowel cancer prevention and treatment for people in the future. You can choose whether to take part or not. Your choice will not affect your bowel cancer screening.

Easy Guide to Bowel Screening

St Marks Hospital Bowel Cancer Screening Centre Resources 

Learning Disabilities and Cancer Screenin

How to do the bowel screening test video

Bowel Screening information leaflets

Breast Cancer Screening Resources

Breast Screening information leaflets in different languages

The NHS offers screening to save lives from breast cancer. Screening does this by finding breast cancers at an early stage when they are too small to see or feel. Screening does not prevent you from getting breast cancer.

Breast screening does have some risks. Some women who have screening will be diagnosed and treated for breast cancer that would never otherwise have been found or caused them harm.

All women aged 50 up to their 71st birthday are invited for breast screening every 3 years. We send out first invitations to screening some time between your 50th and 53rd birthdays.

If you are aged 71 or over, you are still at risk of breast cancer. Although you will no longer receive screening invitations after your 71st birthday, you can still have breast screening every 3 years. You will need to ask your local breast screening unit for an appointment. Find details of your local unit on the NHS.UK website.

Some local breast screening services may send you SMS (text) appointment reminders for breast screening.

New video to help understand breast pain – Royal Marsden Partners

Taking the Fear out of Breast Screening – For Patients with Learning Difficulties

Easy Guide to Breast Screening 

Support for patients with cancer

Macmillan –

Cancer Research UK –

Jo’s cervical cancer trust –