Cervical Screening Leaflets
Cervical Screening Leaflets – helping you decide
Cervical Screening Leaflets – Lesbian & Bisexual Women
( Information from cancerscreening.nhs.uk and NHS Nottingham City)
In England all women aged 25-49 are invited to a screening every three years, and women aged 50-64 every five years. In order to be invited you need to be registered with a GP who has your current address on file. The NHS call and re-call system will then issue invites to screening and track any follow up investigation. If you are unsure about eligibility or want to confirm your details, speak to your GP.
Cervical screening is not a test for cancer. It is a method of preventing cancer by detecting and treating early abnormalities which, if left untreated, could lead to cancer in a woman’s cervix.
Is cervical screening effective?
Whilst cervical screening cannot be 100 per cent effective, cervical screening programmes have been shown to reduce the incidence of cancer in a population of women. For example:
Percentage of Cancer Preventable
(Protection offered by a single negative smear)
|20-39 years||40-54 years||55-69 years|
|Sasieni, Adams, and Cuzick, BJC 2003|
Coverage of the target population
The effectiveness of the programme can also be judged by coverage. This is the percentage of women in the target age group (25 to 64) who have been screened in the last five years. If overall coverage of 80 per cent can be achieved, the evidence suggests that a reduction in death rates of around 95 per cent is possible in the long term. In 2010/11 the coverage of eligible women was 78.6 per cent3
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, 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 been in the past, then we would recommend that she continues screening.
Around a third of breast cancers are now diagnosed through screening.
Between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2010, 2,133,189 women were screened by the NHSBSP in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, and 17,013 cancers were detected in women of all ages.
5-year relative survival for women with screen-detected invasive breast cancer improved significantly from 93.5 per cent in 1992/93 to 97.1 per cent in 2002/03
Between 2 and 2.5 lives are saved for every overdiagnosed case.
Patient modules ( NHS Videos)
These are archived but contain good information (Please note the information about the screening populations may change)
- Patient module 1: Breast Anatomy
- Patient module 2: Going for Screening
- Patient module 3: Mammography
- Patient module 4: Further Assessment
About one in 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime. It is the third most common cancer in the UK, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths, with over 16,000 people dying from it each year.1
Regular bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16 per cent2.
 Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2006. Screening for colorectal cancer using the faecal occult blood test: an update
This leaflet advises you about the pros and cons of prostate testing.
Further information on cancers
Useful link to
This site not only gives you information on the different cancers, but also advises you support.