Prenatal examinations in men are used for the early detection of common diseases. Some of these examinations are paid by the statutory health insurances after 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, the examination of the prostate for cancer screening is particularly important for men. 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 checkups can prevent the development of disease. In fact, however, the studies can only identify risk factors and Illnesses in the early stages recognize.
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. To these so-called Hedgehog (individual health services) include, among others, screening 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 and the determination of the 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 three years. Between the ages of 18 and 35, the costs of a slightly reduced check-up are borne by the health insurance company once.
The study aims to identify the risk factors and early stages of diabetes as well as diseases of the cardiovascular system and the kidneys. The health check includes a detailed interview and a whole body examination, a blood and urine test. The blood test provides a complete lipid profile of total cholesterol, LDL and HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. In addition, the vaccination status is checked.
Many family doctors also offer an examination of the body surface on skin cancer precursors. This skin cancer screening is also paid every two years from the age of 35 and can also be performed by dermatologists.
Colorectal cancer screening from age 50: How often to colonoscopy?
From the age of 50, both 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 positive stool test 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 done 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 outgrowth of the abdominal aorta (abdominal aortic aneurysm), which often remains symptomless for a long time and can become life-threatening in the event of a rupture of the vessel wall in the worst case scenario.
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 fund?
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 check-ups included 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 National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV) you will find a list of all check-ups to which you are entitled.
IGeL: weighing benefits and costs
IGeL precautionary measures, on the other hand, are generally not paid by the health insurance funds 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 a condition, you should not wait for the next screening appointment, but arrange a medical appointment promptly. Investigations for the justified clarification of a suspicion of illness are usually paid by the health insurance company.