Screening Tests for Adults (age 50 and above)

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Not everyone in this age group may need screening for every condition listed here. Click on the links above to read more about each condition and to determine if screening may be appropriate for you or your family member. You should discuss screening options with your health care practitioner.

Breast Cancer

Currently all women in the UK aged 50 and over are provided with free breast screening every three years by the NHS Breast Screening Programme . Around two million women are now screened in the UK each year. Women aged between 50 and 70 years old, registered with a GP, are routinely invited for breast screening every three years. However, because the local screening units invite women from GP practices in turn on a rolling basis, not every woman would have received an invitation for screening by the age of 50. However, she should have received an invitation by her 53rd birthday. Once a woman has passed the age of 70 she is still eligible for free screening every 3 years however will not receive a routine invite. Therefore it is advised that women over 70 make their own appointments with their local mammogram unit.

The screening programme is now extending the age range of women eligible for breast screening to those aged 47 to 73. This started in 2010 and is gradually being phased across the UK. It is expected to be complete by 2016. Currently, only a small group of women aged 47-49 and 71-73 from eligible areas are randomly being selected for screening. Eventually however all women in these age groups and in all areas will be invited.