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Breast cancer, bowel cancer and cervical screening

NHS Cancer screening is a test that looks for early signs of cancer in people without symptoms. It can help to spot cancers at an early stage when treatment is more likely to be successful.

If you do have symptoms that you're concerned about, contact your GP. Do not wait until you're called for screening.

Breast cancer

Breast screening uses a breast x-ray called a mammogram, to look for breast cancers that are too small to see or feel. These tiny breast cancers are usually easier to treat than larger ones.

Breast screening in Stockport is managed by the East Cheshire and Stockport Breast Screening Service.

You'll be invited for breast screening every 3 years if you’re registered with a GP as female and aged 50 to 70. This means you may be approaching age 53 when you’re first screened.

When it’s time for your screening you'll receive a letter from the Breast Screening Service, inviting you to attend for screening at a local mobile unit. Make sure that your GP has your correct contact details.

Invitations are currently being sent to everyone who's female, aged between 50 and 70, and registered with Bramhall and Shaw Heath Medical Group which has Bramhall Park Medical Centre and Shaw Heath Health Centre. Appointments will take place from 13 May to 25 June on the new breast screening mobile unit based at Shaw Heath.

Once you reach the age of 71, you'll no longer receive letters inviting you to breast screening. You can still be screened every 3 years but you'll need to make your own appointment. You can read guidance from NHS England on the benefits and risks of breast cancer screening if you're aged 71 or over.

Why screening starts at the age of 50

Screening starts at the age of 50 because your risk of breast cancer is generally very low if you are aged under 50. Mammograms are more difficult to read in younger people because their breast tissue is denser and the patterns on the mammogram don't show up as well.

There is little evidence to show that regular mammograms for those below the screening age would reduce deaths from breast cancer.

Change or book and appointment

You can change your appointment time or book a new appointment if you're over the age of 71:

More information

Even if you go for breast screening every 3 years, it's important to get into the habit of checking your breasts every month so that you know how they normally look and feel.

You can find out more about breast screening, and find frequently asked questions on the East Cheshire and Stockport Breast Screening Service website.

You can also find more information in the NHS easy read guide about breast cancer screening.