Vital or superfluous? Precautionary Checks you really need

By mammogram than a colonoscopy to skin screening, we present the most common Checks and say, what is really needed and what research you can save yourself.

If Doctors, insurance companies, and the Minister of health to advertise for the same thing, then it must be important: With regular campaigns, we will be prompted for the deals for the early detection of cancer to cardiovascular disease. But of what Benefit are these Checks really?

We have taken the most popular deals under the magnifying glass: both those that will be reimbursed from the statutory funds, as well as those that have to pay patients to the doctor. At a glance, you can see here, what are the precaution should take services make sure you claim what is recommended and what you can do without.

These Tests must be

X-ray examination of the breast (mammography)

Occasion: Every two years, women between 50 and 69 by letter to the free x-ray Check of the chest asked. This age is considered the main risk range for breast cancer, the most common Tumor in women. Of the Invited to take a little more than half of the appointment.

Expiration: In the case of mammography, the Breasts vertically from above and obliquely laterally between Plexiglas plates pressed and x-rayed. On the image the radiologist even can’t detect such breast cancer herd, which can still be keys. How well this works, but depends heavily on the composition of the breast.

Assessment: The process helps in many cases, the cancer so early to discover that the women concerned will be cured. 78 out of 100 tracked tumors show no lymph node involvement But the mammogram also weaknesses. In the case of dense breast tissue can hide the nodes on the x-ray image, such as behind a curtain: About 60 of the 100 malignant tumors remain undetected (in addition, the risk of developing breast cancer is high breast density five times higher than in soft tissue). Younger women – but also every third people over 50 to fall through the mesh of the Screening.

Alternatives: In the case of poet, d. h. gland rich breast is a complementary high-resolution breast ultrasound is useful. This Mamma-sonography cost between 35 and 75 Euro (statutory health insurance funds pay only when the findings are abnormal or familial risk). As the sole method of ultrasound is not suitable, because it proves precursors of breast cancer and, in turn, problems in fat rich breast. As a more powerful Alternative to the x-ray Check-up and breast ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the question. With over 95 percent hit ratio, the breast provides the best results of the MRI. Unfortunately, the funds pay about 500 euros expensive screening only for women with very high breast cancer risk.  Display  

Reflection of the colon (colonoscopy)

Occasion: aged 55 and over have a legally Insured person is entitled to two colonoscopies at intervals of ten years.

Procedure: Using a Lubricant pushes the stomach-intestine specialist (gastroenterologist) for a flexible hose up to the cecum. When you pull Back on the in the endoscope, in-built camera provides pictures of the intestinal mucosa, where existing pre-cancerous lesions (polyps) are visible. 90 percent of all Kolonkarzinome arise from such benign precursors, which grow very slowly. By pliers suspicious tissue can be removed. Thanks to twilight syringe, the unpleasant procedure is sleepy.

Assessment: go and see it! According to a US study, the colorectal cancer mortality is decreasing in the study area by 53 percent. Complications such as bleeding, are rare. They relate to only two to three out of 1000 Surveyed.

Alternatives: 50 women and men every one to two years of your stool for blood. This preliminary test suggests, the colonoscopy according to the causes. The virtual colonoscopy by CT (for private payers) is more pleasant, but is considered less reliable.

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Smear for cervical cancer

Occasion: As part of the annual cancer screening for women aged 20 and checks the gynecologist, whether the cells of the cervix, inflammation or early signs of cancer. It’s called a Pap Test.

Procedure: The doctor takes with a spatula or small brush smears of the cervix and cervical canal. The mucous cells are checked under a microscope. Depending on the Test-classification of I (normal) to V (seriously) is added to the Pap Test an HPV Test, after a few months, can be repeated, or it is taken from a tiny tissue sample.

Assessment: it is A very sensible Test, the regular implementation with an accuracy of 80 to 90 percent. The long-term results confirm that Since the introduction of Screening at the beginning of the 70s, the cervical cancer Rate in Germany decreased in the women who took part in every year, to 90 percent.

Alternatives: at the Earliest from 2018 to women aged 35 and the Pap smear only every three years, combined with the HPV Test. In the process, the doctor checks, whether in the vaginal area human papilloma virus detect – so the pathogens, which can cause cancer over many years to decades.

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As you should go

Health Check on the heart and kidneys

Occasion: As a kind of TÜV offer General practitioners legally Insured over 35 a standardized Check-up. By the Standard controls at intervals of two years, heart, circulatory and kidney diseases, Diabetes are detected early.

Procedure: As a First inquires of the physician after disease, family situation, special risks. According to this medical history, he inspected the entire body, that measures blood pressure and pulse rate. An examination of the urine, and a blood sample on total cholesterol and fasting blood sugar are also part of the “Check-up 35”.

Assessment: For the health conscious, it is not an absolute must. For all the other already, because the doctor detects high blood pressure, or metabolism problems early on. Some experts criticize that the test scope was too small. Useful additions can be the breakdown of Cholesterine in HDL and LDL, an important Vitamin levels, as well as the long-term blood sugar test, HbA1c. In contrast to the fasting blood sugar is just a snapshot in time, the HbA1c indicates the blood sugar over the past eight to ten weeks.

Investigation on skin cancer

Occasion: From 35 have legally Insured entitled to a free skin cancer Check with a dermatologist or a specially qualified doctor. According to the German cancer aid, about 234 000 people are diagnosed annually skin cancer, including approximately ten percent of the malignant (malignant) melanoma. Early the disease is recognized as a curable disease.

Procedure: The doctor searches for the whole body with a bright lamp or magnifier to liver spots, including the scalp, buttocks and genitals. In the case of conspicuous skin changes, he takes a tissue sample and sends it to the lab.

Assessment: Reasonable. An experienced physician recognizes nine out of ten melanomas. Whether thanks to a skin – Check, ultimately fewer people will die on the so-called black skin cancer, is still open. After all, The risks of the investigation are small. A birthmark is removed unnecessarily, it remains only a Mini-scar.

Alternatives: Some Doctors inspect the skin by light microscope. This study is more accurate, but is not adopted by all the statutory funds (cost: about 15 to 25 euros). A new procedure called “Nevisense” uses the electrical conductivity of the skin, in order to distinguish malignant from healthy cells and can avoid the unnecessary cutting Out of fabric many times. According to studies, the hit ratio of the electrical impedance spectroscopy for skin cancer-is 97 percent. The pain-free analysis of the skin in patches, it takes a few minutes, but it costs between 90 and 120 euros.

Measurement of intraocular pressure

Occasion: Check with the eye doctor to glaucoma, glaucoma is called. In this disease the sensitive fibres of the optic nerve will be squeezed due to high pressure in the eye. Because it is painless and over the years, happens, notice a lot of patients with glaucoma late. Eye doctors therefore recommend that from the age of 40 to have regular routine checks.

Expiration: In the case of the Goldmann method, the majority of medical professionals is used, expresses a about three millimeters small gauge body, the cornea is flat. The force that is necessary for this purpose, corresponds to the pressure in the eye. The is Healthy about between the ages of 16 to 21 millimeters of Mercury (mmHg). Before the examination, the cornea is anesthetized skin with eye drops.

Cost: Between 10 and 22 Euro. As Individual health performance of the Check must be paid out of your own pocket. In case of justified suspicion on a glaucoma the statutory health insurance kicks in, often when there is an increased risk – for example, by Diabetes or severe short – sightedness -.

Assessment: As the sole Check does not make sense. The physician measures the intraocular pressure, 50 per cent of all glaucoma undetected. It is crucial, moreover, that the optic nerve head is examined (fundus-copy). With additional eyes mirroring the Test costs 20 to 40 euros.

Alternatives: The eye pressure can be used with different techniques to check. In the case of the Non – Contact tonometry such a small amount of air, a suppressed impact to the cornea. The method requires no anesthesia, is less precise.

Digital examination on the prostate cancer

Occasion: from the age of 45 have a legally insured men a year for the doctor on prostate cancer examined.

Procedure: The doctor gropes the genitals and the associated lymph nodes in the groin. He also scans the prostate from the rectum.

Assessment: For the most common men’s cancer, there is no really good screening.

Alternatives: An Alternative is to have the PSA Test, the determination of the so-called prostate-specific antigen as a Biomarker for prostate cancer.


You can save yourself (often)

Measurement of bone density

Occasion: With the loss of Estrogens after the menopause, the female bones are thinner. (When men get osteoporosis, it is almost always a consequence of other diseases.) The precautionary bone density Check to the orthopedist should indicate an undetected mineral deficiency in the skeleton, before it may come to a breaking point.

Procedure: a standard method is the Two-spectra – x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). While lying on an examination table, measures a low-dose x-ray of the lime salt content in the femoral neck bone and lumbar vertebral bodies. In these regions, osteoporosis shows up particularly clearly. The Test is very accurate and takes about 15 minutes.

Cost: About 50 Euro. In the case of certain diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, or in case of suspicious bone fracture, the Fund pays.

Review: women under 70, the study save. Unless you are at increased risk for osteoporosis. This affects those who smoke heavily, for a longer time cortisone have taken hardly in the fresh air move, a delicate bone structure own or family-are preloaded.

Alternatives: in addition to the DXA to provide Doctors, among other things, the quantitative computer tomography (QCT). This x-ray examination also captures the small trabeculae in the Interior of the bone. Disadvantage: The radiation exposure is significantly higher than in the other method.


PSA Test for prostate cancer

Occasion: Statutory health insured men over the age of 45. Age of however, a free examination of the external genitalia and the prostate offered. The palpation examination of the rectum shy away from a lot of men. An Alternative seems to be the PSA Test.

Procedure: A simple blood test by a urologist to determine the PSA value. Since the values can vary greatly, it must be the case of abnormalities, repeated several times.

Cost: The average of 25 euros per blood test apply the statutory funds usually do not.

Assessment: cancer cells form significantly more PSA than healthy cells. A higher value so it can be a sign of prostate cancer. However, other causes are driving the PSA level in the height: inflammation or benign enlargement of the prostate gland, but also Cycling or even sexual intercourse. For early detection the PSA Test is no good, therefore, only to a limited extent. Exceptions are men with high risk for this cancer. Urologists will appreciate the PSA Test, especially as a precise Marker for therapy control, if a man with prostate was diagnosed with cancer, and the gland was removed. Any increase in the PSA value indicates the new cancer cells.  Display