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Screening and Diagnostics

If you are worried that you may have cancer, it is imperative that you speak to your GP as quickly as possible.

To help detect cancer early in people with no symptoms, the NHS runs three national cancer screening programmes. A number of other screening programmes are also operated by the NHS - a handy leaflet showing the timeline of theses can be found, in different languages, at the bottom of this page.

In addition, in Coventry and Rugby a pilot is underway for Lung Health Checks aimed at people aged 55-74 who smoke or have ever smoked.

Bowel Cancer Screening

The Coventry and Warwickshire Bowel Screening Centre, based at University Hospital, Coventry, aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage (in people with no symptoms), when treatment is more likely to be effective. 

It offers screening every two years to all men and women aged 60 to 74. People aged 75 and over can request a screening kit by calling a freephone helpline 0800 7076060. Residents in this age group will be sent an invitation through the post, then their screening kit, so they can complete their test in the privacy of their own home.

Bowel cancer screening can also detect polyps; which are not cancers, but may develop into cancers over time. They can easily be removed, reducing the risk of bowel cancer developing. Regular bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16%. 

Breast Cancer Screening

The Warwickshire, Solihull and Coventry Breast Screening Service is managed from its base at University Hospital in Coventry and has a screening population of 155,276 (50 to 71-year-old) women.

The service carries out screening at three static sites:

  • University Hospital, Coventry
  • George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton
  • City of Coventry Health Centre

It also has access to 16 mobile sites. All assessments are carried out at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust and symptomatic services are provided by UHCW and George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust.
In line with the national screening programme women aged 50-70 are invited once every three years. Women aged over 70 can self-refer every three years for as long as they wish to be screened.

Cervical Screening

Cervical screening, generally undertaken at your GP Practice, is available to women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64.

The first invitation is sent to eligible people at the age of 24.5 years. People aged 25 to 49 receive invitations every 3 years. People aged 50 to 64 receive invitations every 5 years.

All eligible people who are registered with a GP (as female) automatically receive an invitation by mail. Trans men (assigned female at birth) do not receive invitations if registered as male with their GP, but are still entitled to screening if they have a cervix.

Population Screening Timeline