Men too rarely in early cancer detection

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Low willingness to screen for cancer in men

Men apparently neglect cancer screening more often than women. The Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) comes to this result when evaluating the insured data from 2010. Only 26 percent of men over the age of 45 were diagnosed with cancer last year, reports the TK. The proportion of women was 59 percent. The early detection can significantly reduce the health risks of cancer, since the tumors are far more treatable if they are discovered at an early stage, the experts explained when they presented their report.

Although the health insurance companies would pay for a cancer check-up every year for men over the age of 45, only around one in four men take advantage of this offer, the Techniker health insurance company said. Only 26 percent of men were diagnosed with cancer last year. After all, 59 percent of the women took advantage of the health insurers' offer. However, appropriate preventive medical check-ups are carried out by women from the age of 20, so that readiness for preventive medical check-ups is “trained” here in early years.

Gender-specific differences in early cancer detection The fact that only 26 percent of men over the age of 45 took part in early cancer detection last year is due to various reasons, according to the Techniker Krankenkasse. For example, 61 percent of the men surveyed had stated that they did not take advantage of the early diagnosis offer because they only go to the doctor in the event of a disease. 39 percent of men find the examination uncomfortable and 32 percent do not want to deal with the serious illnesses, reports the TK. In addition, 29 percent indicated that they had not previously thought about early detection. Since multiple answers were possible, the respondents were able to give several reasons for not using early cancer detection. Men’s cancer screenings examine the external genitals, prostate, and skin for possible signs of cancer. Breast cancer screening is one of the most important early detection measures for women.

Regionally willingness for cancer screening extremely variable In addition to the gender-specific differences in the willingness to undergo preventive medical check-ups, Techniker Krankenkasse also identified clear regional differences. The population in the city-states of Bremen, Berlin and Hamburg appears to be particularly prepared to take precautions. In Bremen, 33 percent of men and 75 percent of women participated in early cancer detection last year, 27 percent of men and 64 percent of women in Berlin, and 29 percent of men and 65 percent of women in Hamburg. The worst was the willingness to take precautions among men in Brandenburg, Saarland and Schleswig-Holstein, each with 21 percent, reports the Techniker Krankenkasse. According to the experts, the fact that women are generally more willing to undergo preventive medical checkups is at least partly due to the fact that early detection measures are funded by health insurance companies from the age of 20. (fp)

Also read:
Breast Cancer: Do Costs Prevent Better Screening?
Married people pay more attention to prevention
Heart attack is a typical male illness
Internists: Preventive health care is required from the age of 35

Image: Sigrid Rossmann /

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