Mammography and Smears
(To detect early treatable breast cancer and cervical changes which if neglected may become cancerous)
The frequency of cervical smears varies from individual to individual and national screening policy is subject to change in the light of research. Currently it is Women between the ages of 25 and 64 (England) / 21 and 60 (Scotland) / 20 – 64 (Wales) / 20 – 65 (NI), are offered cervical screening at intervals defined nationally. Currently, the screening intervals are:
- First call – Age 25
- 25 – 49 – Screened every three years
- 50 – 64 – Screened every five years
- 65+ – only screen those who have not been screened since age 50 or have had recent abnormal tests. Women aged 65 or over who have had 3 consecutive negative smears are taken out of the recall programme. Or as specified in national directives for the various parts of the UK.
Nationally, 3 yearly mammograms are advised between the age of 50 and 65 (although we would advise continuing beyond 65. You can arrange this by special request). Your doctor will automatically send you an appointment for these programmes which are largely carried out by nurses. Please check your arrangements if in doubt.