Cancer Screening Programmes
Screening in North East London
Cancer screening services are key to diagnosing cancer at an early stage. There are three national cancer screening programmes – bowel, breast and cervical screening. These all aim to detect early changes which could lead to cancer.
Bowel cancer screening
If you are aged between 60 and 74 (now extended to 56 year olds) you will automatically be sent a home testing kit every 2 years, which will look for blood in your poo (instructions are sent with the kit, but you can watch a video here). Blood in your poo does not always mean that you have cancer, but it indicates that you need to have more tests.
North East London Screening Sites
In North East London, the Bowel Screening Service will invite you to attend further tests in one of its screening sites. These are:
- Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital.
- Homerton University Hospital
- The Royal London Hospital
- Whipps Cross Hospital
Bowel cancer screening process
Breast cancer screening
All women aged between 50 and 71 who are registered with a GP will be invited for breast cancer screening every 3 years. It involves taking X-rays of your breasts (mammograms) to see if there are any changes or signs of cancer before they can be seen or felt. This will be done by a female mammographer.
There are two breast screening services in north east London. The inner London service provides screening for residents of City and Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest and the outer London service provides screening for women in Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge.
More information about the breast screening services can be found here.
Breast screening is important in preventing and detecting breast cancer. It offers a significant opportunity for early detection which increases the chances of recovery and reduces the need for aggressive treatments like chemotherapy.
Breast cancer screening process
Women and anyone with a cervix between the ages of 25 and 64 should be invited for cervical screening at their GP surgery. Cervical screening does not test for cancer, but looks for human papilloma virus (HPV) which can cause changes in the cervix. If these changes are picked up early, they can be treated before cancer develops.
Anyone between the ages of 25 and 64 with a cervix and who was assigned female at birth is eligible for cervical screening, but trans men and non-binary people may not be automatically called for screening if they are not registered as female with their GP. The No Barriers service at 56 Dean Street in Soho provides screening appointments for trans men and non-binary people, who may not feel comfortable attending their GP practice.
It’s important to attend a screening appointment when you are invited. It’s important to attend a screening appointment when you are invited. If you notice any of the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer, or if you have symptoms that worry you, don’t wait for your next screening appointment, make an appointment with your GP.