October's Minutes 2017

Minutes October 2017

For Octobers meeting we welcomed Helen Jessop from Public Health Wales who are now the people who deliver all the health screening programs in Wales.

They are the team that provide the antenatal screening of things such as ultrasound scans and mothers blood tests, the newborn bloodspot screening tests and the hearing tests performed on newborns within the first 2 weeks of life.

Cervical screening is for women aged 25 – 49 every 3 years and aged 50 -64 every 5 years. In recent years the vaccine against the HPV Virus has been introduced into school age girls normally in year 8. As cervical cancer is caused by a virus this can be vaccinated against to reduce the risk of developing it later in life. Smear tests are carried out at GP surgeries and some GUM clinics where a sample of cells from the cervix is taken with a soft brush and sent to a laboratory for testing, results are normally sent out 4 weeks after your test. If changes are found, you may need a more in-depth test at your local hospital clinic.

If you have any questions about cervical screening you can contact the South-East Wales screening service on 029 2078 7910

Breast screening in women is conducted by the Breast Test Wales team, women aged 50 -70 are invited for an x-ray called a mammogram, every 3 years, you will normally receive your results by post within 3 weeks. If any changes are found you will be invited for treatment at your local hospital. Women over the age of 70 are not routinely called for screening but can ring and ask for an appointment with Breast Test Wales

It’s worth noting that up to 400 men a year will develop breast cancer however this is not routinely screened for compared to the 52,000 women who are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. 1 in 8 women are at risk of developing breast cancer.

If you have any questions about breast screening you can contact Breast Test Wales, South East Wales team on 029 2039 7222

Bowel Screening is available for Men and Women aged 60 – 74 and you are invited to take part in the screening every 2 years. This screening test is looking for hidden blood in your poo. This could be evidence of polyps which could be a pre-curser to bowel cancer and conducting these tests can lead to a 90% chance of finding bowel cancer early. The test is sent to you by post with full instructions of how to use it and provide a number of samples over a few days and returned by post. Your results are sent to you within 2 weeks. If any hidden blood is found in your samples you will be offered further tests at your local hospital/

If you have any questions about bowel screening you can contact Bowel Screening Wales on 0800 294 3370

Triple A screening (AAA) is Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening and is a one off screening offered to men aged 65. The test involves an ultrasound scan which can identify a swelling of the aorta in the abdomen.

You will be given your results at the time of the test. If your aorta is bigger than normal you will be offered regular scans to check its size. If the AAA is large you will need to see a specialist team who will talk about your care. This may include an operation.

Any men over the age of 65 can request a AAA screening by contacting the AAA screening Program.

If you have any questions about AAA screening please contact the Wales Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Program, South East Wales Team on 01443 235161

The screening service we all use is the Diabetic Eyes Screening, as you know people with diabetes are called on a yearly basis, from aged 12 for Type 1.

Eye screening has been responsible for 50% less sight loss in people with diabetes. The Eye screening is digital photographs taken of your retina’s that are examined for signs of diabetic retinopathy.

Your screening is  carried out at clinics sometimes held in your GP surgeries or mobile units. Your results are then posted to you within 4 weeks.

If any changes are seen you will be offered more tests and an appointment at your local hospital eye specialist.

If you have not had your appointment within the last 12 months please chase up your screening.

If you have any questions about diabetic eye screening please contact the Diabetic Eye Screening Wales team on 01443 844244

Overall a really interesting talk by Helen with lots of information, all the above information can be found in the booklets Screening for Life, from Public Health Wales of which there are extra copies available at the group night information table.

Novembers meeting will see Leanne from Malmo Hearing coming to talk about hearing loss and its link to Diabetes. The November meeting is Thursday 16th November 7pm – 8:30pm

See you there