Know your rights: Free cancer screening programmes

Do I need to register for the free cancer screening programmes and when do I become eligible?

The National Cancer Screening Service provides free screening programmes to help find or prevent different types of cancer. If you have any specific concerns or symptoms you should visit your GP (family doctor).

Cancer screening services are continuing during COVID-19.


BowelScreen is a national screening programme to find signs of bowel cancer at an early stage, where there are no symptoms. The programme provides free bowel screening for men and women aged between 60 and 69 every two years.

If you are aged between 60 and 69 years and haven’t received an invitation for bowel screening, call Freephone 1800 45 45 55 to check if you’re on the register. If you are not on the register, you can add your details over the phone. You can also register for BowelScreen online.


CervicalCheck is a national screening programme to prevent cervical cancer. Women and people with a cervix can get a free cervical screening test if they are aged between 25 and 65.

If you are on the CervicalCheck register, you’ll get a letter when your test is due. The letter will invite you to make an appointment with a registered GP, doctor or clinic.

You do not need to wait for a letter to book an appointment if:

  • You missed your last cervical screening test
  • Your next test is due

You also do not need to be on the register to have a free screening test. If your test is due, you can book a test with a GP or nurse who is registered with CervicalCheck. You can find one in your area by visiting or by calling Freephone 1800 45 45 55.


BreastCheck is a national screening programme to help find breast cancer at an early stage. The programme offers all women between the ages of 50 and 69 a mammogram (an x-ray of the breast) free of charge every 2 years.

If you have not received an invitation for an appointment, check if you are registered by visiting or by calling Freephone 1800 45 45 55. If you are not registered, you can register online.

You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit to request a phone call from an information officer

You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on