Screening is a process of identifying apparently healthy people who may be at increased risk of a disease or condition. Screening tests are not compulsory but are offered to help people make informed choices about health. Screening can find serious conditions early, before any symptoms appear.

Scottish Ministers set screening policy for Scotland in light of expert advice from the UK National Screening Committee (UKNSC) and the Scottish Screening Committee. The UKNSC also set the criteria for screening programmes.

NHS Scotland offers a range of screening tests to different sections of the population including: 

  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) screening for men aged 65
  • bowel cancer screening for men and women aged 50 to 74
  • breast cancer screening for women aged 50 to 70
  • cervical cancer screening for women aged 25 for 64
  • diabetic retinopathy screening for everyone with diabetes who is 12 years old or over
  • pregnancy screening for all pregnant women
  • newborn screening for all newborn babies

More information about screening programmes in Scotland is available on NHS Health Scotland.

Detailed information about screening tests in Scotland is available on NHS inform.

Scottish Screening Committee

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