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Screening Services

Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening

The aim of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening is to find aneurysms (bulges in blood vessels) early and monitor or treat them. AAA screening doesn’t look for other health conditions.

Treating an AAA early greatly reduces the chance of it rupturing and causing serious problems.

Who’ll be screened?

In Scotland, all men aged 65 are invited to attend AAA screening.

If you’re over 65 and have never been for AAA screening, you can arrange an appointment by phoning your local AAA screening centre.

Bowel cancer screening programme

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK. Screening is offered every two years to all men and women aged 60 to 74 who are most at risk.  A home testing kit that is posted out to you. Please complete and return your testing kit which could save your life as it gives us the chance to detect the disease in its early stages.

Bowel screening is offered to men and women aged 50 to 74 across Scotland to help find bowel cancer early when it can often be cured. You’re 14 times more likely to survive bowel cancer if it’s found early.

Half a million people in Scotland do their bowel screening test each year.

What does it involve?

Bowel screening involves taking a simple test at home every 2 years. The test looks for hidden blood in your poo, as this could mean a higher chance of bowel cancer.

The aim of the test is to find:

  • bowel cancer at an early stage in people with no symptoms
  • other changes in the bowel, such as pre-cancerous growths called ‘polyps’

Most bowel polyps can be removed easily, which can prevent cancer from developing.

Breast cancer screening programme

Breast screening is a test for breast cancers that are too small to see or feel.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in woman. About 1,000 women die of breast cancer every year in Scotland.

Breast screening doesn’t prevent cancer, but can detect cancer early and reduce the number of women who die from it.

Women who notice any breast symptoms or changes should make an appointment to see a GP immediately.

Who’ll be screened?

In Scotland, only women between the ages of 50 and 70 are offered breast screening every 3 years.

This is because:

  • the risk of developing breast cancer increases with age
  • the test is most effective in women who’ve reached the menopause

If you’re over the age of 70, you can continue to be screened but you’ll have to contact your local screening centre to make an appointment.

Cervical cancer screening programme

The cervical screening test (smear test) is designed to check cells from your cervix (neck of the womb) for any changes so that they can be monitored or treated. 

Without treatment these changes can sometimes develop into cervical cancer. 

Cervical screening saves 5000 lives a year. It is not a test for cervical cancer, it is a screening test to detect abnormalities in the cells of the cervix at an early stage.

Please don’t ignore your invitation. It takes just a few minutes and could save your life.
  • First time or nervous? tell the nurse/doctor, try to relax and distract your mind
  • Worried about discomfort? Ask the nurse/doctor to use a smaller speculum
  • Feeling embarrassed? Wear a skirt as you can keep this on during the test
  • Don’t want to go alone? Take a friend to wait in the waiting room with you
  • Undergone FGM/cutting? Tell the nurse/doctor
  • Not sure what to expect? Go to jostrust or call 0808 802 800

Download or view our smear test guide

Who’ll be screened?

Cervical screening is routinely offered every:

  • 3  years to women aged between 25 and 49 years of age
  • 5 years to women aged between 50 and 64

Women on non-routine screening (where screening results have shown changes that need further investigation or follow up) will be invited up to 70 years of age.