Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35 years old. Cervical cancer can develop when cells on the surface of the cervix (neck of the womb) begin to grow and divide abnormally. A virus called HPV (human papilloma virus) can cause these changes that may, in a few cases, turn into cervical cancer.
Most cases of cervical cancer could be prevented if women go for regular cervical screening (a smear test). By going for a regular smear test you can check the health of your cervix. The test can help to find any abnormal cell changes in the cervix before they have a chance to develop into cancer. By finding these abnormal changes early, they can be successfully treated.
A cervical screening test (previously known as a smear test) is a method of detecting abnormal cells on the cervix. The cervix is the entrance to the womb from the vagina. Detecting and removing abnormal cervical cells can prevent cervical cancer. For more information, please review the pages on the NHS website.
Every 15 minutes, someone in England and Wales is diagnosed with bowel cancer. It is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK. Bowel cancer screening uses a small sample of your stools collected at home to detect blood from polyps that may develop into cancer over time. Removing these polyps can reduce your chances of developing bowel cancer in the future. Bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer.
Bowel cancer is highly treatable when detected in the early stages, which is why it’s so important that you are diagnosed as soon as possible.
Although some people may find the screening test unpleasant, it can be done it the privacy of your own home.
You will be contacted about your bowel screening using the information held about you at your doctor’s surgery, so it is very important that they always have your current address.
The bowel screening test kit was updated in 2019 with a much easier test called a ‘FIT’ test.
The new screening kit (know as a FIT kit) is automatically sent to men and women between 60 and 74 every two years.
If you are over 74, request a screening kit by phoning 0800 707 60 60.
The screening centre for Portsmouth is Queen Alexandra Hospital. If you are concerned by symptoms of bowel cancer or by your family history do not wait for your testing kit – speak to your GP.
More information about bowel screening can be found here.
Dame Deborah James’ story is a reminder of the importance of being tested. You can read her story here.
Sadly, Deborah James passed away in 2022.
Breast screening saves around 1,400 lives each year across England. One in nine women will develop breast cancer at some time in their lives. Breast screening involves an x-ray examination of the breasts, called a mammogram.
Breast screening can help find small changes in the breast before there are any other signs or symptoms, and detect cancers at an early stage when they are too small to see or feel. Early detection means there is a good chance of successful treatment and a full recovery.
How is screening organised?
Portsmouth Breast Screening has a screening population of approximately 85,000 women. The screening Office
identifies and specifies eligible women by means of their age and registered GP in accordance with their three year Screening Plan. In order to ensure inappropriate invitations are not issued, GP practices are asked to inform the screening office of any:
- Women who have a had a bilateral mastectomy or
- Women who have recently died
Once invitations for screening have been issued, women are welcome to change or cancel their appointment by
telephoning the screening office.
Results are sent out by post and the GP is kept informed of any subsequent treatment.
Each GP is sent a report for each eligible woman registered with him regardless of whether or not they attend for
“Failsafe” screening is carried out every three months for those women who join the GP practice or enter the screening age after screening in that area has finished.
You will be contacted about your breast screening using the information held about you at your GP surgery so it is very important that we always have your current address. All women between 50 and 70 and registered with a GP, are invited for breast screening every three years.
You will be invited at the same time as other women registered with your GP. You should expect to receive your first invitation at sometime between 50 and 53. Breast screening is also being extended to women aged 47-49.
If you are over 70 you can request a screening appointment by contacting the breast screening unit. If you have any concerns, do not wait to be invited to a screening appointment – please let us know.
Where does screening take place?
Screening is carried out at the following locations:
1. Mobile Breast Screening Unit (various)
2. Rodney Road Diagnostic Centre
3. Oak Park Community Clinic
4. The Breast Services Department, D Level, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.
5. Second stage screening and any subsequent treatment is carried out at the Breast Services Department, D Level, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham
If you need to rearrange your appointment, or have missed a previous screening appointment, then please phone the hospital switchboard on 023 9228 6000 and ask for the following extension:
Breast Services – 6336
Outpatients – 3280
Yearly mammogram appointments – 4066.
For 3-year mammogram appointments call 023 9228 3613 or 023 9228 3614.
If you have a physical disability or use a wheelchair, the screening team can advise you if breast screening is technically possible and which is the most appropriate place to be screened. Every effort is made to minimise any anxiety you may experience at all stages of the screening process.