Dr Lamah El-Sharkawi is a GP in Uplands and Mumbles Surgery and her sister Reem is a GP Pharmacist, both are part of the Bay Cluster Network.
A few weeks ago I was asked by a patient why he had been called for abdominal aortic aneurysm screening? We are probably guilty of not explaining why we offer screening services and why it is essential that everyone attends.
Screening allows us to find out if people are at higher risk of developing particular health problems and as a result earlier treatment can be offered to these patients. The NHS offers a wide range of screening tests to different patient demographics dependent on who would be most likely to benefit from it.
When receiving the results you will either receive:
- Normal results meaning you are at lower risk of having that particular condition at the time of the screening.
- Positive risk result means that you may have the condition that you’ve been tested for and as a result further diagnostic tests need to be carried out to confirm if you have the condition.
Early detection can mean more effective treatment.
Breast screening is offered for women between the age of 50 to 70 every 3 years to detect early signs of breast cancer. (N.B. women over 70 can self refer)
Bowel cancer screening
A home testing kit is offered to men and women between the age of 60-74 every two years to detect early signs of bowel cancer.
Women over the age of 25 are offered screening every 3 years, and women aged 50-64 every 5 years, detecting early signs of cancer in the cervix.
Men aged 65 and over are invited for a one off ultrasound screening test. An AAA is swelling of the aorta which is the main blood vessel that supplies blood to the body. An AAA can have potentially fatal consequences.
Ultimately screening is done in order to improve early detection of various diseases. It is a personal choice whether you attend when you are called but we would always advise going. Remember you can always go to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any queries about any of the screening programmes.