Cancer Screening

Breast Cancer screening

All women between 50 and 70 years who are registered with a GP are eligible for screening. A list is automatically and centrally compiled from our GP records, so it is important your contact details are correct.

Women who are in the relevant age group or aged over 70 who have not been screened for three years can still request an appointment by contacting London Breast Screening at t: 020 3758 2024 or e:

Anyone of any age with concerns about their breasts should contact us immediately.

Further information about NHS cancer screening programmes in Camden


Screening for BRCA gene

BRCA refers to two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, that every one of us has. These genes play an important role in the prevention of cancer.

Some people may have a spelling mistake or fault in one of their BRCA genes. Having a BRCA gene fault puts you at increased risk of developing certain types of cancer- specifically breast, ovarian, prostate and pancreatic cancer.

NHS England is now offering free BRCA gene testing for anyone living in England, aged 18 or over with one or more Jewish grandparent, of any type of Jewish origin (Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Mizrahi etc).

In line with medical research, it is now considered best practice to offer BRCA gene testing to all Jewish people, irrespective of their own personal or family history of cancer. A similar approach has already been adopted in Israel.



Aortic Aneurysm

An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a bulge or swelling in the aorta, the main blood vessel that runs from the heart down through the chest and tummy.

An AAA can be dangerous if it is not spotted early on.

It can get bigger over time and could burst (rupture), causing life-threatening bleeding.

Screening for AAA is routinely offered by the NHS to all men aged 65 and over.



Bowel Cancer Screening

Bowel cancer screening checks if you could have bowel cancer. It's available to everyone aged 60 or over.

You use a home test kit to collect a small sample of poo and send it to a lab. This is checked for tiny amounts of blood.

Blood can be a sign of polyps or bowel cancer. Polyps are growths in the bowel. They are not cancer, but may turn into cancer over time.

If the test finds anything unusual, you might be asked to have further tests to confirm or rule out cancer.


Screening invitations

Invitations (both the letters and screening kits) are sent from a central hub at St Mark’s Hospital. Individuals across NCL are sent to UCLH for further investigations if they have a positive result following the completion of a FIT kit. Please ensure your contact details are up to date in our GP records.

If you have missed your screening invitation please call:

t: 080 0707 6060

Also eligibility is 56-74-can we amend and add the info below:

Eligibility Criteria


Eligibility for the NHS Bowel Screening Programme is as follows:

  • aged 56-74: invitations are automatically sent every two years to men and women
  • age 75+: men and women can request a screening kit every two years by calling the free Bowel Screening Hub Helpline on t: 080 0707 6060

As of April 2021, there has been a phased introduction to lowering the screening age. People aged 56 and 58 are now being invited for screening. This will gradually be lowered to 50 years of age.


Cervical screening

Cervical screening is not a test for cancer. It is a method of preventing cancer by taking a sample of cells from the cervix (the neck of your womb)  and looking for the virus called HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) that causes abnormalities that can lead to cancer of the cervix. This allows us to detect early abnormalities which, if left untreated, could lead to cancer in a woman's cervix (the neck of the womb).

A sample of cells is taken from the cervix for analysis. A doctor or nurse inserts an instrument (a speculum) to open the woman's vagina and uses a spatula to sweep around the cervix. Most women consider the procedure to be only mildly uncomfortable.

Who is eligible for cervical screening?

All women between the ages of 25 and 64 are eligible for a free cervical screening test every three to five yearsThe NHS call and recall system invites women who are registered with a GP. It also keeps track of any follow-up investigation, and, if all is well, recalls the woman for screening in three or five years time. It is therefore important that all women ensure their GP has their correct name and address details and inform them if these change.

Women who have not had a recent test may be offered one when they attend their GP or family planning clinic on another matter. Women should receive their first invitation for routine screening at 25.


Why are women under 25 not invited?

This is because changes in the young cervix are normal. If they were thought to be abnormal this could lead to unnecessary treatment which could have consequences for women's childbearing. Any abnormal changes can be easily picked up and treated from the age of 25. Rarely, younger women experience symptoms such as unexpected bleeding or bleeding after intercourse. In this case they should see their GP for advice.


Why are women over 65 not invited?

Women aged 65 and over who have had three consecutive negative results are taken out of the call recall system. The natural history and progression of cervical cancer means it is highly unlikely that such women will go on to develop the disease. Women aged 65 and over who have never had a test are entitled to one.


What about women who are not sexually active?

The NHS Cervical Screening Programme invites all women between the ages of 25 and 64 for cervical screening. But if a woman has never been sexually active with a man, then the research evidence shows that her chance of developing cervical cancer is very low indeed. We do not say no risk, only very low risk. In these circumstances, a woman might choose to decline the invitation for cervical screening on this occasion. If a woman is not currently sexually active but has had male partners in the past, then we would recommend that she continues screening.