NHS screening

Screening is a way of finding out if people have a higher chance of having a health problem so that early treatment can be offered, and information can be given to help patients make an informed decision. This page gives an overview of the different types of routine screening offered by the NHS in England.

Aortic abdominal aneurysm screening

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening is a way of checking if there’s a bulge or swelling in the aorta, the main blood vessel that runs from your heart down through your tummy.
  • Men aged 65 years and over will be routinely invited by the NHS.

Bowel screening

  • NHS bowel cancer screening checks if you could have bowel cancer.
  • Everyone aged 60-74 years old will be routine invited by the NHS.

Breast screening (mammogram)

  • NHS breast screening checks use X-rays to look for cancers that are too small to see or feel.
  • Women aged 50-71 years old will be routine invited via letter by the NHS.

Cervical screening

  • Cervical screening (previously known as a smear test) checks the health of your cervix, which is the opening to your womb from your vagina. It’s not a test for cancer, it’s a test to help prevent cancer.
  • All women and people with a cervix aged 25-64 years old will be routinely invited via letter by the NHS.

Diabetic eye screening

  • Diabetic eye screening is a test to check for eye problems caused by diabetes. Eye problems caused by diabetes are called diabetic retinopathy and can lead to sight loss if it’s not found early.
  • All diabetic patients aged 12 years and over will be routinely invited via letter by the NHS.