The Cowal Medical Practice
The Cowal Medical Practice

Scottish NHS Screening Programmes

The Scottish NHS offers several Health Screening programmes:


All men and women aged 50–74 are invited for bowel screening. Bowel screening involves taking a simple test at home every two years. Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland. Every year in Scotland, almost 4,000 people are diagnosed with the disease. Although bowel cancer is common, it is also highly treatable if detected early.  If we find bowel cancer early enough, there’s more than a 90% chance of successful treatment. The sooner it’s caught, the easier it is to treat, so please do the test when it drops through your letter box.  If you have lost your kit or wish to request one as you have changed your mind about participating in the programme, please call 0800 0121 833 and a new one will be sent out to you.


Scotland’s abdominal aortic aneurysm screening programme is for all men aged 65 in Scotland.  If you are a man aged over 65 and you have never been for AAA screening, the contact details of your local AAA screening centre are available at the practice reception, or by calling 01463 704067. You should be invited for screening if you are aged between 65 and 70. If you are over 70 years old you can self-refer by calling the above number.


The Scottish Breast Screening Programme invites all women between 50 and 70 for breast screening approximately every three years. Invitations are not sent to people over the age of 70, but you remain at risk of developing breast cancer and are still welcome to attend every three years. Phone the local breast screening centre on 0141 572 5800 to ask for an appointment.


In Scotland, all women between the ages of 25 and 65 are offered a cervical screening test every three years to five years. Some, but not all, changes found by cervical screening tests may give an early warning sign of the possibility of developing cervical cancer. By dealing with this at an early stage, many cervical cancers can be stopped.  You can have this test done at the surgery by the practice nurse, just call us to make an appointment.


Diabetic Retinopathy Screening is offered every year to anyone with diabetes aged 12 and over. This condition occurs when diabetes affects the small blood vessels in the retina, which is at the back of the eye. The blood vessels in the retina can leak or become blocked. This condition may cause blindness or serious damage to your eyesight. In its early stages there are no symptoms so you may not realise that you have diabetic retinopathy. If you have diabetes then screening is important because your eyes are at risk of damage from diabetic retinopathy. Screening is a key part of your diabetes care and can reduce that risk by detecting the condition early, before you notice any changes to your sight. Untreated diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of sight loss in people of working age. When the condition is caught early, treatment is effective at reducing or preventing damage to your sight. Please attend an optician annually for this check.

For more information on any of the above conditions or screening programmes please visit:


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