Know Your Rights: Free Cancer Screening Programmes

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Know Your Rights has been compiled by Kerry Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public…

Question: My friend has been offered free screening for cancer. She says it’s a national free screening programme. How can I take part?

Answer: The National Cancer Screening Service provides free screening programmes to help detect or prevent several types of cancer.

BowelScreen – The National Bowel Screening Programme aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage in people who have no symptoms. It offers free screening every two years to men and women aged 60 to 69. If you are in this age group, you can ring BowelScreen on Freephone 1800 45 45 55 to check your details are on the register. If you are on the register, you will receive an invitation to take part in the BowelScreen programme.

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CervicalCheck – The National Cervical Screening Programme tests women aged 25 to 60 for changes in the cells of the cervix. Early detection and treatment can prevent cervical cancer. If you are aged between 25 and 60 and have never had a CervicalCheck smear test, you can simply make an appointment with a GP practice or clinic registered with CervicalCheck. You can find one in your area by visiting or by calling Freephone 1800 45 45 55. A letter of invitation is not needed to make an appointment and attend for a first test.

BreastCheck – The National Breast Screening Programme invites women to a free mammogram (x-ray of the breast) every two years. The screening has been available to women aged 50 to 64 but is being gradually extended over the next few years to include all women aged 50 to 69. If you have not received an invitation you can check if you are registered by visiting or by calling Freephone 1800 45 45 55.

Screening can help prevent or detect cancer at an early stage in people who have no symptoms. If you have any specific concerns or symptoms you should visit your GP (family doctor).

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Service below.

• Contact us in Tralee on Tel: 0761 07 7860 Killarney 0761 07 7820, Listowel 0761 07 7840 Kenmare 0761 07 7810, Killorglin 0761 07830 & Caherciveen 0761 07 7780.

Information is also available online at and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000

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