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Cancer prevention

Regular screening tests are important to catch and treat pre-cancer and cancer early. The following medical tests are paid for by public health insurance companies:

Starting at Age 20:
Yearly pap smears for the early detection of cervical cancer including a general gynaecological examination

Starting at Age 30:
Yearly clinical breast exam, including the lymph nodes, to check for any changes or abnormalities (such as a lump)

Starting at Age 50:
Examination of the rectum and a fecal occult blood test (stool test checking for blood that’s not visible to the eye)

Starting at Age 56:
Either a colonoscopy every 10 years or a stool test every two years
There are additional, useful medical tests that are not covered by public health insurance. Such tests are helpful for enhanced cancer screening and result in earlier detection. Modern medicine has made considerable progress in the field of prevention, which has led to methods that significantly increase your safety. We are happy to provide you with advice.

Breast Ultrasound
In Germany one in nine women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. In addition to certain risk factors like family history, the causes of cancer are still largely unknown. We therefore recommend the following preventative screening tests:

  • Breast self-exam once a month after your period
  • Twice a year clinical breast exams (every six months)
  • Mammograms at regular intervals, depending on the risk and age of the patient
  • Yearly breast ultrasound starting at age 30 – this is considered a useful supplement
    - to the mammogram. Such an exam is considered especially useful for younger women
    - since the dense breast tissue can only be assessed to a limited extent through a mammogram.

An ultrasound of the breast has become an integral tool for breast cancer diagnosis. Using the latest technology (high-performance ultrasound with high-resolution transducers (10-12 MHz), both benign and malignant changes in the breast can be detected earlier compared to a clinical breast exam. A breast ultrasound is considered a complementary tool and not a replacement or alternative to mammograms. They are completely harmless and do not cause any radiation exposure.

Stool test for early detection of Colon cancer
Colon cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. Every year around 35,000 people die from the disease and 57,000 new cases are registered (mostly between the ages of 50-70). In most cases, colon cancer originates from benign polyps that have developed over the years. Through a stool test that checks for occult blood (i.e. not visible to the eye), such polyps can be detected early. In most cases these benign polyps can be removed through a colonoscopy, which can prevent cancer.

A stool DNA test, which is significantly more reliable than the test used in the statutory screening, can identify sources of blood coming from the upper intestines. No special diet or bowel preparation (no laxatives or enemas) are required for a stool DNA test. It is recommended to have this test once a year starting from the age of 45.