Screening Programmes

Breast Screening

What is Breast Screening?

Breast screening involves taking an x-ray of the breast, this is called a mammogram. Two views of each breast will be taken to ensure all parts of the breast tissue can be examined

Why is it important to attend?

Breast cancer can affect any woman. Breast cancer affects 1 in 10 Scottish women at some time in their life. It is known that if breast cancer is found at an early stage, treatment has the greatest chance of being successful. The best way of doing this is by having regular mammograms, as you may not be able to see or feel any early changes to your breasts.

Who is invited?

Breast cancer is more common in women over 50. The Scottish Breast Screening Programme invites women aged between 50-70 years old every 3 years. Women over 70 are encouraged to attend by contacting their local screening centre for an appointment.

Where do I attend for breast screening?

You will be invited to attend for your mammogram to a screening centre or a mobile unit.

What happens when I attend for screening?

On arrival, your personal details will be check and you will then be shown to a private changing cubicle. From there, the radiographer will take you through to another room for your mammograms and will explain the procedure to you. This involves positioning and compressing each breast in the x-ray machine. Your whole visit will last approximately 20-25 minutes. For more information please follow this link to the external NHS Health Scotland website: Your Breast Screening Appointment Explained (2008).

What should I wear?

As you will be asked to undress to the waist, it may be easier to wear a skirt or trousers rather than a dress. It is also important that you do not wear talcum powder or spray deodorant as this can affect the mammogram. Roll on deodorant is fine.

Is the mammogram sore?

Some women may find the mammogram uncomfortable; a small number may find it painful but the compression will only last a few seconds. The compression is necessary in order to detect early breast disease. If you are worried about the examination or have any questions, please ask the radiographer.

What happens after my mammograms?

Your mammograms will be assessed by specialist clinical staff. Normally, you will then receive your result by post within 3 weeks of your appointment. Your GP will also be notified of the result. Most women will be invited again in 3 years time as part of the routine screening process. You may be invited back for further tests if this is felt to be necessary, but the vast majority of those invited back are found to be clear of any breast disease and will be returned to routine recall.

What happens if I need wheelchair access?

It is possible to attend for screening at a mobile until with a manual wheelchair, but you will need to contact the screening centre in advance so appropriate arrangements can be made. (Contact details) However, it is not possible to attend a mobile until with an electric wheelchair. If you are an electric wheelchair user you will need to discuss arrangements with the screening centre in advance of your appointment.

What happens if I have breast implants?

It is possible to have mammograms taken with breast implants, however, the screening centre will need to know in advance so appropriate arrangements can be made and the centre will also provide you with further information. This cannot be done on the mobile units, you will be asked to attend the screening centre. For more information please follow the link below:

The West of Scotland Breast Screening Service is based at the following address:

Breast Screening Centre
Stock Exchange
77 Nelson Mandela Place
Glasgow G2 1QT
Tel: 0141 572 5800
Fax: 0141 572 5801
Text Phone: 0141 572 5858

If you want to change the time or location of your breast screening appointment or check if you should have a mammogram please contact the service at the above address.

The following website contains good information about breast screening:

Bowel Screening

The Scottish Bowel Screening Programme invites men and women aged between 50 and 74 to take part in screening every two years.

Scottish Bowel Screening Programme DVD

NHS Health Scotland and the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme have developed a DVD resource to support boards in conveying key messages about bowel cancer and the screening test.

The DVD promotes informed uptake by providing a clear and practical guide on how to perform the screening test.

Cervical Screening

All women aged 20 – 60 across Scotland are invited to have a cervical screening test every three years. In August 2010 a new set of leaflets was introduced into the national screening programme in Scotland. The leaflets explain what's involved, address reasons why women may not be coming forward and answer commonly asked questions.

The Cervical Screening Test: Put it on your list provides further information on the screening programme for all those eligible as well as answering frequently asked questions about the test and cervical cancer.

The Cervical Screening Test: Your first test provides information on the screening programme for those being invited for the first time.

The Cervical Screening Test: Information for Lesbian and Bisexual Women has been developed to address specific questions considered by lesbian and bisexual women.

The Cervical Screening Test: Your results explained provides information for women when a cervical smear test shows a non-routine result. It explains how non-routine smears are dealt with and contains tips and advice to reassure women.

The Cervical Screening Test - Information for women after treatment for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) at a colposcopy clinic. This leaflet provides information on screening tests after treatment for CIN.

Leaflets to support women with learning difficulties

Keep yourself Healthy: Do I need a Smear Test? and
Keep yourself healthy: A guide to having a smear test. are available to support people with learning disabilities and their carers.

The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for girls aged 12 to 13 years helps protect against cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine is designed to protect against the two types of HPV that can cause 70% of cervical cancer cases. As it does not protect against all other types, regular cervical screening is important. This combination of immunisation and cervical screening offers the best possible protection against cervical cancer. The Immunisation Scotland website provides answers to questions about the HPV Immunisation Programme.

Further information is available at:

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening:

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm A simple scan for men aged 65 NHS Scotland Healthier Scotland


An aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall. As blood passes through the weakened blood vessel, the blood pressure causes it to bulge outwards like a balloon.

Exactly what causes the blood vessel wall to weaken is unclear, though hardening of the arteries, smoking and high blood pressure are thought to increase the risk of an aneurysm.

Read more about the possible causes of an aneurysm.

Aneurysms can occur anywhere in the body, but the two most common places for them to form are in the abdominal aorta and the brain.
This topic is about abdominal aortic aneurysms. Find out more about brain aneurysm.

The Abdominal Aorta

The abdominal aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body. It is roughly the width of a garden hose. It transports oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to the rest of the body.

It runs in a straight line down from the heart, through the chest and abdomen before branching off into a network of smaller blood vessels.

In most cases, an abdominal aortic aneurysm causes no noticeable symptoms and does not pose a serious threat to health.

However, there’s a risk that a larger aneurysm could burst open (rupture). A ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause massive internal bleeding, which is usually fatal. Four out of five people with a ruptured aortic aneurysm will die as a result.

The most common symptom of a ruptured aortic aneurysm is sudden and severe pain in the abdomen.

If you suspect that you or someone else has had a ruptured aneurysm, call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

Read more about the symptoms of an abdominal aortic aneurysm.


The aim of treatment is to prevent the aneurysm from rupturing. This is usually done with surgery to replace the weakened section of the blood vessel with a piece of synthetic tubing.

However, preventative surgery carries a small risk of causing serious complications. It's usually only recommended if it’s thought that the risk of a rupture is high enough to justify the risk of surgery.

The size of the aneurysm is often used to measure the risk of it rupturing. Preventative surgery is often recommended for an abdominal aortic aneurysm that's larger than 5.5cm.

A number of non-surgical treatments can also be used to reduce the risk of an aneurysm rupturing. They include a type of medication known as a statin, or quitting smoking if you smoke.

Read more about treating abdominal aortic aneurysm.


The NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) screening programme is being introduced gradually from June 2012 after evidence has shown that this should reduce deaths from ruptured AAAs through early detection, appropriate monitoring and treatment.

It will be fully implemented across NHS Scotland by December 2013 and all 65 year old men will receive an invitation to attend for screening.
Those over 65 years can self refer.

To find out more, please visit the AAA Screening section of the Screening Scotland Zone.

Who is affected?

Abdominal aortic aneurysms are most common in men aged over 65, with around in 1 in 25 men being affected.

The number of aortic aneurysms that rupture is much smaller.


The best way to prevent getting an aneurysm, or reduce the risk of an aneurysm growing bigger and possibly rupturing, is to avoid any activities that could damage your blood vessels, such as:

  • smoking
  • eating a high-fat diet
  • not exercising regularly
  • being overweight or obese
Local Services, Let Bonnar & Co
Local Services, Let Bonnar & Co