Before having any screening test, it’s worth finding out about the test itself and what would happen next if you found out you have a higher risk of a particular condition.
Who is the clinic for?
This clinic is available to all women between the ages of 25 and 65.
What is the purpose of the clinic?
To perform a simple and painless test to detect any abnormality at an early stage every three years.
What are the clinic opening times?
Appointments for the clinic should be made via reception on 01865 872448.
Who runs the clinic?
Our practice nurses run the clinic.
How do I contact the clinic?
You can contact the clinic via Reception on 01865 872448.
Frequently asked questions
What is cervical screening?
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 (the neck of the womb). The first stage in cervical screening is a smear test.
A sample of cells is taken from the cervix for analysis. A doctor or nurse inserts an instrument (a speculum) to open the woman’s vagina and uses a spatula to sweep around the cervix. Most women consider the procedure to be only mildly uncomfortable. Early detection and treatment can prevent 75 per cent of cancers developing but like other screening tests, it is not perfect. It may not always detect early cell changes that could lead to cancer.
Who is eligible for screening?
All women between the ages of 25 and 64 are eligible for a free cervical smear test every three to five years. In light of new evidence, the NHS Cervical Screening Programme will now be implementing screening at different intervals depending on age. The change is recommended to take place after a woman’s next smear, which will already have been scheduled.
The NHS call and recall system invites women who are registered with a GP. This also keeps track of any follow-up investigations and, if all is well, recalls the woman for screening in three or five years time. It is therefore important that all women ensure their GP has their correct name and address details and inform them if these change.
Women who have not had a recent smear test may be offered one when they attend their GP or family planning clinic on another matter. Women should receive their first invitation for routine screening at 25.
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 with a man, 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 had male partners in the past, then we would recommend that she continues screening.
What is breast screening?
Breast screening involves taking 2 scans of each breast in a type of x-ray called mammography. The breast is placed on the x-ray machine and gently but firmly compressed with a clear plate. The screening is carried out by a female health practitioner.
Breast screening does not prevent cancer but it does increase the chances of detecting it early, which significantly improves prognosis. Breast screening saves 1,300 lives each year in the UK; that is saving the life of 1 woman in every 200 who are screened.
Who is the clinic for?
Breast screening is offered to women between the age of 50 and their 71st birthday.
The NHS is also currently trialling an age extension programme to offer women one extra screening between 47 and 49, and another between 71 and 73.
How do I sign up?
When you are next eligible for breast screening, the Oxfordshire Breast Screening programme will send you an appointment letter to invite you for a mammogram.
Where do I go for my screening?
The screening is done at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford. More details will be on your appointment letter.
How do I get my results?
Your results will be sent to you and your GP within 2 weeks of your appointment.
About 1 in 25 women will then be called back for further assessment. This does not mean you have cancer; it may just mean that your mammogram was unclear.
Approximately 1 in 4 women who are called back are diagnosed with cancer.
Are there any risks?
As with all medical interventions, there are some risks and you can find out more about what they are here.
You can find further information on breast screening on the NHS website.
The file below should help you to make a decision on whether you would like to take up the offer of breast screening on the NHS.