BACKGROUND: The purpose of the current work was to describe the rate of use of breast and cervical cancer preventive services by women in Greece and to determine related factors among several socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics as well as medical history. METHODS: Between March 2004 and July 2009, 9682 women aged between 40 and 69 years were recruited into a screening programme for breast cancer. Baseline socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics were recorded together with familiar medical history. Self-reported data regarding the use of Papanicolaou test, mammography and breast self-examination were recorded. Two composite measures that indicate the use of the aforementioned breast and cervical cancer preventive services either within the recommended timeframe or at least some time in their life were calculated. RESULTS: Only 7.8% of women were adherent to the recommended timeframe for these three screening services. Moreover, 58.2% of women reported that they had never used any of these selected preventive services in their life. The percentage of women who had not used at least one of the aforementioned preventive services within the recommended timeframe was associated with the women's age, educational status, area of residence, nationality, number of deliveries, BMI status, stability of menstrual cycle and cancer-related family history. CONCLUSIONS: The percentage of women in Greece who are adherent to selected routinely recommended cancer screenings is very low. Therefore, specific programmes should be developed and implemented, aiming to increase women's awareness of the benefits of regular use of preventive services for cervical and breast cancer.