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GP Extended Access Service in Stevenage

Stevenage Locality are looking at the best way to provide a GP Extended Access Service for patients in Stevenage. Patients are therefore kindly asked to complete a short survey - you will find the relevant link to the survey and further information on how to do this in our 'Latest News' section. Your comments and feedback from completing this survey, will help to structure how the service will be provided.

Cancer Awareness


Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men.  In the UK, about 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives. 

The prostate is a small gland about the size and shape of a walnut.  It lies beneath the bladder and surrounds the upper part of the urethra (the tube that carries urine). 

For some, prostate cancer grows very slowly and may not cause any problems.  It may be monitored, rather than treated.  For others, the cancer grows more quickly and eventually some cells may break away and start tumours in other parts of the body.

What affects your risk:-

  • Age - The older you are, the greater the risk.  Only 1 in 100 cases of prostate cancer are in men under 50
  • Ethnicity - Prostate cancer is more common in black men than white men and least common in asian men.
  • Family History - If a close relative (such as father or brother) has had or has prostate cancer, particularly at a young age, the risk is higher.  If your mother had breast cancer, your risk of prostate cancer may be slightly higher too.
  • Previous Cancer - The risk may be higher if you have had some type of cancer before.
  • Weight - The risk of advanced prostate cancer may be higher if you are overweight or obese.

Symptoms to look out for:- 

  • Having to rush to the toilet to pass urine
  • Needing to urinate more often than usual
  • Difficulty urinating
  • A sense of not being able to completely empty the bladder
  • Difficulty getting and erection or erection problems
  • Blood in your urine

These symptoms are more often caused by problems that are much less serious than cancer, but if you develop any of them, or there are any other unusual changes that have happened to your body, please book an appointment to see your GP to get them checked out.

For more information about prostate cancer, please click on the links below:-


Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK, one person is diagnosed every 10 minutes.

1 in 8 women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. 

There are three main risk factors of breast cancer:-

  • being a woman - over 99% of new cases of breast cancer are in women
  • getting older - more than 80% of breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50.  Most men, who get breast cancer, are over 60.
  • Significant family history - this isn't common, around 5% of people diagnose with breast cancer have inherited a fault BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.

Most breast changes will not be cancer - but you need to tell your doctor as soon as you notice any changes to your breasts to be sure. 

When your GP examines your breasts they may feel that there is no need for further investigation, they may ask to see you again after a short  time or they may refer you to a breast clinic. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have breast cancer, just that further tests are needed to find out what is going on.

For more information, please click on the links below:-


The theme for the Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is " Reduce Your Risk". 

Cervical cancer can be prevented.  With your help we can ensure that every woman knows how they can reduce their risk of the disease and the steps they can take to look after their health.

This means:-

  • attending cervical screening, when invited
  • knowing the symptoms of cervical cancer and seeking medical advice if you start to experience any of them
  • taking up the HPV vaccination if aged 11-18
  • talking to friends and family to ensure they know how they can reduce their risk
  • knowing where to find support and further information

The facts:-

  • every day in the UK 9 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer
  • around 2 women lose their lives from the disease every day
  • cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35
  • 75% of cervical cancers can be prevented by cervical screening (smear tests), however 1 in 4 women do not attend this potentially life-saving test

For more information, please click on the link below:-


Over 46,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer every year, with nearly 36,000 dying from it. It is the UK's biggest cancer killer in both men and women.

Early detection is the key to surviving lung cancer. The sooner it is caught, the more likely you can have curative treatment so make sure you know the signs and symptoms of lung cancer.

Anyone can develop lung cancer, but around 85 per cent of cases occur in people who smoke or who used to smoke. The risk of getting lung cancer increases with the total number of cigarettes you have smoked. If you stop smoking, the risk gets less over time. Breathing in other people’s smoke over a long period of time can increase your risk of getting lung cancer. The condition usually affects people who are aged 60–80. Young people can develop lung cancer, but this is rare.

Non-smokers are more likely to develop one particular type of lung cancer – adenocarcinoma.

Cancer starts out as just one abnormal cell. It might take up to five years for it to multiply and grow big enough to be noticed. Often lung cancer will not cause any symptoms until the tumour becomes quite large. This means it might only be discovered when you have an X-ray or scan for a different problem. You will experience symptoms as your condition progresses. These might include:-

  • a cough that lasts more than three weeks
  • feeling out of breath
  • wheezing from one side of your chest (this might make it difficult to sleep on one side)
  • blood in your mucus or phlegm
  • pain
  • unexplained weight loss

If you have these symptoms, you should see your Doctor.  However these symptoms are also very common in people who do not have lung cancer.  People with long-term lung disease might have many of these symptoms, but it’s very important to tell your doctor if your usual symptoms change or become worse. Your doctor can arrange for tests to find out whether or not you have lung cancer.

If you have a tumour that has spread outside the lungs, the first symptom might not come from the chest at all. In this case, symptoms might include:-

  • jaundice (when the colour of your skin or eyes becomes yellow)
  • bone paint or fracture
  • a skin lump; and
  • nerve or brain damage.  This might affect walking, talking, behaviour or memory

If you are worried about your symptoms you should talk to your GP.

Remember that in many cases there will be another explanation for your symptoms other than cancer.

For further information and support, please click on the link below:-


European Head & Neck Cancer week is an opportunity to promote awareness about the symptoms of head & neck cancer.

  • There are more than 30 areas within the head and neck where cancer can develop
  • Head and neck cancers include cancers of the mouth and throat, as well as some rarer cancers (cancer of the sinuses, the salivary glands, or the nose or middle ear)
  • Mouth cancers can develop on the lip, tongue or anywhere inside the mouth.  The most common places are the side of the tongue or floor of the mouth.
  • Some head and neck cancers are preventable.  You can reduce your risk by stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake, eating 5 fruit and veg a day and keeping a healthy weight.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Sore tongue, non-healing mouth ulcers and / or red or white patches in the mouth
  • Pain in the throat
  • Persistent hoarseness
  • Pain and / or difficulty swallowing
  • Lump in neck

For further information please click on the link below:-

There are also leaflets available, please see below:-


Public Health England have launched the 'Be Clear On Cancer' campaign.  This is a re-run of the respiratory symptoms campaign which first ran across England in summer 2016. 

More than 70% of all premature deaths in England are attributed to cardiovascular disease (CVD), respiratory disease and cancer - that's over 100,000 people a year.  The key messages for the campaign are:-

  • If you have had a cough for three weeks or more, it could be a sign of lung disease, including cancer.
  • If you get out of breath doing the things you used to be able to do, it could be a sign of lung or heart disease, or even cancer.

Finding it early makes it more treatable - so please don't ignore it, tell your doctor.

Please click on the link below for further information about this campaign, and others:-

JUNE 2017

Cervical Screening Awareness Week 12th - 18th June 2017

Cervical Screening Awareness week is an opportunity to promote awareness about cervical cancer.  Cervical Screening is the process of taking a sample of cells from your cervix, which are then examined under a microscope to detect abnormalities that might become cancerous in the future. 

For further information regarding the Cervical Screening (Smear Test) and abnormalities, please click on the link below and choose from the selection displayed:-

Regular cervical screening provides a high degree of protection against developing cervical cancer.  Each year screening saves 5,000 lives in the UK.  Not going for cervical screening is one of the biggest risk factors for developing cervical cancer.

For more details, please click on the links below:-

If you are due or overdue for your cervical screening, please book an appointment with Reception today. 

Cervical screening saves lives.

MAY 2017

Sun Awareness Week - Skin Cancer

Sun awareness week commences 8th May 2017.  This provides an opportunity to promote awareness about skin cancer prevention an early detection of changes of moles.

In 2016 the British Association of Dermatologists identified that 8 out of 10 people are failing to adequately apply sunscreen before going out in the sun.

For more details, please click on the links below:-


APRIL 2017

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month - April 2016

Bowel cancer screening saves lives but at the moment in some areas of the UK only a third of those who receive a test in the post complete it. Thousands of people are missing out on the best way to detect bowel cancer early when it is easier to treat and there is the greatest chance of survival.

We can all raise awareness of bowel cancer screening this Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.

  • Over 60? (or in Scotland and over 50?), take the test when you receive it in the post.
  • If you are younger, tell the people over 60 (or over 50 in Scotland) in your life, to take the test.

Why is screening so important

Screening can detect bowel cancer early before any symptoms appear, when it is easier to treat. It can also prevent bowel cancer from developing in the first place by picking up non-cancerous growths (polyps) which could become cancerous in the future.

Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer but it is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Nearly everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage will survive bowel cancer however, this drops significantly as the disease develops. Taking part in bowel cancer screening is the best way to get diagnosed early and early diagnosis saves lives.

How does screening work

If you’re registered with a GP and aged 60-74 (50-74 in Scotland), you will receive a free NHS bowel cancer screening test in the post every two years.

You have to collect three samples of your poo, over a maximum of two weeks (10 days in Scotland), and send it back in the hygienically-sealed freepost envelope provided. You carry out the simple test at home in private and it comes with clear step by step instructions. The test looks for hidden blood in your poo, which could be an early sign of bowel cancer.

You usually get the results of your test in about two weeks.

Most people have a normal result. If this happens, you will receive a test again in two years but see your GP if you have any symptoms in the meantime.

If the results aren’t clear, you might be asked to do the test again.

If blood is found in your poo sample, you will be offered more tests to take a closer look at what might be causing this. This doesn’t mean you definitely have cancer as it could be as a result of a non-cancerous polyp or another health problem. But it is definitely worth investigating. If it is cancer, the earlier it is diagnosed the quicker it can be treated and the greater the chance of survival.

Whatever your age, if you have any symptoms you are worried about, speak to your GP. 

If you have any questions or are over 75 and would like to request a kit, contact your local screening programme:

  • England 0800 707 60 60

For more detailed information about screening visit our screening page 

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