The 5 most important health checkups for men

M al honest: When men feel ill, they may suffer quite a bit. Especially in the presence of a woman. But go to the doctor? Nope, not necessary. If your own body finally forces you to see a doctor, the sober diagnosis from the experts is in the worst case: “If you had come earlier, we could have saved something.” Whether ignorance, fear or allegedly no time: the data speaks against you! The most common causes of death in men are cardiovascular diseases and tumors. These and many other insidious diseases can often be detected in good time through early detection screenings. Problem: Only a lousy 17 percent use the free health check-up for men over the age of 35. 

Don’t let it get that far. We will tell you which 5 preventive medical check-ups you are entitled to, from what age they are sensible and how often you should take them. Tip: Many health insurances award points for bonus programs when you participate in the so-called screenings . The bill: You pay attention to a healthy lifestyle and have yourself examined, for this you reward the health insurance, for example with cash premiums (up to 300 euros) or benefits in kind.

1. Skin cancer screening

When and how often? From the age of 35, often much earlier, as a person with statutory health insurance, you are entitled to an “early detection examination for skin cancer” every 2 years.

Your entire body will be examined for different types of skin cancer, such as malignant melanoma (black skin cancer). Yes, the doctor will look at your entire body, including your hairy scalp and every fold of your body. Do not believe just because certain parts of the body are not exposed to direct sun that you cannot get skin cancer there.

Important: You do not necessarily have to see a dermatologist. A specialist in general medicine can carry out the screening, informs the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV). In addition: Many health insurance companies offer the early detection examination much earlier. It can even vary from state to state. Example: With the Techniker Krankenkasse, patients from the age of 20 can be examined for skin cancer. Therefore: Be sure to ask your health insurance company.

2. Health check-up

When and how often? From the age of 35, as a person with statutory health insurance, you are entitled to a health check-up every 2 years.

You can think of the examination as a kind of inventory: the doctor will first ask you about previous illnesses and illnesses of family members as well as any complaints. Then a blood count is done and balance, reflexes, muscle tone checked, blood pressure and pulse rate measured. Your nervous system will also be examined.  

You feel good and fit, so why should you do this check-up? It only takes time! We are happy to repeat it for you: because many diseases, such as diabetes, now start inconspicuously! For a cardiovascular disease such as arteriosclerosis (hardening of the blood vessels), a high cholesterol level and blood pressure can be sufficient. In the worst case scenario, it can end in a heart attack. And do you know what your urine is telling you? The color and smell can indicate kidney and bladder disease or diabetes.  

3. Cancer screening

When and how often? From the age of 45, the health insurances take over this useful preventive examination once per calendar year.

This involves a medical examination of the external genital organs, the local lymph nodes and a palpation of the rectum to examine the prostate. Testicular and prostate cancer are one of the most common types of cancer: Prostate cancer alone ranks third among the causes of cancer-related death in men. Prostate cancer does not automatically affect older men. Actor Ben Stiller was diagnosed when he was only 48 years old.    

Many experts and health insurance companies also advise: Men should feel their own testicles once a month from the age of 18. Look out for indurations, lumps, enlargements or reductions and pronounced tenderness of the testicles. Because: The malignant testicular tumor is the most common cancer for men between 20 and 35 years of age.  

4. Dental care

When and how often? The statutory health insurance companies offer 3 types of health care for your biters. First there is the well-known check-up. Adults can have their teeth checked for diseases such as tooth decay by the dentist twice a year. Next up: Once a year you can have tartar removed. You should definitely not do without it. Because: If left untreated, inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) can quickly turn into periodontitis. In addition, you can go for periodontal early detection every 2 years, the so-called periodontal screening index, informs the consumer advice center. Everything is free. Do it.  

5. Colon cancer screening

When and how often? From 50 to 55 years of age, you are entitled to the screening examinations for the early detection of colon cancer once a year. This is first done using a test for invisible blood in the stool, the so-called immunological stool blood test (iFOBT). You can then have this test done every 2 years. The proctologist does that, but so does your family doctor. From the age of 55, the health insurance companies offer a colonoscopy, which can be repeated every 10 years. If colon polyps are found, the doctor can remove them on the spot.  

So far, the stool blood test was only valid from the age of 55. Why was the screening brought forward? Because it was found that 10 percent of the diagnoses were made before the age of 55! Plus: Colon cancer is the second most common diagnosis of all types of cancer and also the second most common cause of death, reports the Robert Koch Institute. In 2018, they estimate that 33,000 men will be newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The earlier the disease is detected, the higher the chances of survival. Your relative 5 year survival rate? Solid 62 percent. So don’t hesitate: make an appointment with your specialist! 

Conclusion: preventive medical checkups can save your life

Many diseases creep up over the years. Early detection examinations for men are therefore not only useful for the over-50 generation. On the contrary: If you are between 18 and 45 years old, you are in luck: health insurances are obliged to offer their patients a certain number of preventive examinations free of charge. Use the chance to identify and defuse diseases at an early stage.

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