Precaution for men: Which examinations are important?

Prenatal examinations in men are used for the early detection of common diseases. Some of these examinations are paid by the statutory health insurance from a certain age, for others, the costs are not paid. In addition to the general health check-up ("Check-up 35") and the screening for skin and colon cancer, it is particularly important for men to examine the prostate for cancer screening. We have compiled an overview of the recommended precautionary measures for men and explain how often you are entitled to what pension benefits.

For what kind of check-ups?

The term "health care" misleadingly suggests that screening can prevent the development of disease. In fact, the studies can only identify risk factors and early-stage diseases.

The benefit is that early-recognized diseases are more treatable in many cases. The health insurance companies therefore only pay for precautionary measures for diseases in which early treatment has proven benefits.

Which preventive examinations are there?

For adult men there are six preventive examinations, the costs of which are covered by the statutory health insurance from a certain age. In addition, legally insured persons are entitled to measures for dental care.

In addition, there are some other investigations that need to be paid for yourself. These so-called IGeLs (individual health services) include, among others, investigations for the early detection of:

  • Green Star (glaucoma)
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • bladder cancer
  • increased risk of stroke

In addition, the PSA test as a screening for prostate cancer as well as the determination of HbA1c value for the early detection of diabetes mellitus.

Prevention from 35: health check and skin cancer screening

From the age of 35, a general health check-up with the family doctor ("Check-Up 35") is recommended for both sexes and paid by the health insurance companies every two years.

The study aims to identify risk factors and early stages of diabetes as well as cardiovascular and renal diseases. The health check includes a detailed interview and a whole body examination, a blood and urine test.

Many GPs also offer a body surface examination for skin cancer precursors. This skin cancer screening is also paid from the age of 35 every two years and can also be performed by dermatologists.

Colorectal cancer screening from age 50: How often to colonoscopy?

From the age of 50, men and women should have a test for hidden blood in the stool and a palpation of the rectum once a year. From the age of 55 a colonoscopy (colonoscopy) is recommended every ten years.

If the stool test is positive, colonoscopy should be performed every two years. The costs of the investigations take over the legal health insurance.

Provision for the man

Men over the age of 45 are entitled annually to a urological examination for the early detection of cancer. The sexual organs and the prostate are examined and the lymph nodes in the groin are scanned. The examination can be performed by a family doctor or a urologist.

In addition, since January 2018 men aged 65 and over have been able to perform a one-time ultrasound scan of the abdominal aorta. This screening is used for the early detection of an abscess of the abdominal aorta (abdominal aortic aneurysm), which often remains symptomless for a long time and can at worst become life-threatening in case of a rupture of the vessel wall.

Cancer screening by PSA test?

The determination of the PSA value (PSA = prostate-specific antigen) for the early detection of prostate cancer is critically discussed among experts. Although blood levels are usually elevated in men with prostate cancer, many other factors, such as exercise, sexual intercourse, or benign prostate enlargement, can lead to a PSA increase. The test is therefore considered error-prone.

In addition, the benefits of PSA screening are controversial. Therefore, the PSA determination is paid by the statutory health insurance only if the palpation of the prostate was previously conspicuous. An information sheet on the pros and cons of the PSA test is provided by the Cancer Information Service.

Dental care: What does the health insurance company?

Adult men can have a free check-up twice a year at the dentist. In addition, a scaler removal annually as well as a periodontitis early detection are paid every two years by the health insurance.

Furthermore, some health insurance companies voluntarily take over the costs for a professional dental cleaning (PZR) or offer subsidies.

Which check-ups are useful?

Basically, all health care check-ups contained in the catalog of benefits of the health insurance companies make sense for the man and should be used regularly for the sake of one's own health. On the website of the Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung (KBV) you will find a list of all check-ups to which you are entitled.

IGeL: weigh the benefits and costs

IGeL precautionary measures, on the other hand, are generally not paid by health insurances because their benefits are not proven or are in disproportionate relation to possible damages and costs.

However, IGeL screening may be useful in some cases. The IGeL Monitor page provides a scientifically sound assessment and explanation for each self-payer benefit, on the basis of which insured persons make an informed decision for or against IGeL.

When to the doctor?

If you are experiencing discomfort or experiencing any changes that may indicate illness, you should not wait for the next screening appointment, but arrange for a doctor's appointment. Investigations for the justified clarification of a suspicion of illness are usually paid by the health insurance company.

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