Many of the German neglect of colorectal cancer screening

The earlier bowel cancer is detected, the better the chances of Survival. Nevertheless, fewer and fewer people take part in the screening test. 2016 11.4 percent fewer people in Germany used the so-called Hämoccult-Tests than in 2012, as the Barmer health insurance Fund calculated on the basis of the accounting data of publicly Insured of all funds.

In the Test, stool samples are examined for traces of blood. During 2012, nearly 3.9 million men and women aged 50 years and took advantage of this offer, there were 2016 still a good 3.4 million.

“It is shocking that less and less people take the colorectal cancer screening, in particular against the Background that bowel cancer in men and the third most common cancer and in women the second most common,” said the country Manager of the merciful in Hamburg, Frank Liedtke.

A Tumor will be detected in time, could be the danger, for example, through the removal of polyps in the intestine. Polyps are mucosal growths that can develop into malignant colon cancer. Annually, 73,000 people at the cancer, and 30,000 die of fall ill in Germany.

How reliable is the Test?

For the Hamburg-based internists and gastroenterologists, Andreas Block, the decline is not particularly alarming, because he considers the investigation to be unreliable. The margin of error is 20 to 30 percent, says Block, who directs, among other things, the field of prevention at the University cancer center. The Test was not sensitive enough. That is, patients cannot be sure that they are in the case of a negative result is actually healthy.

In addition, the conventional chair could not distinguish between human and animal blood. The consumption of a Mettbrötchens on the previous day could lead to a positive result. In the meantime, there is a new immunological stool test, which should be less susceptible to interference. He examined the samples for antibodies that bind only to the human blood pigment hemoglobin. Blood in the stool indicates, furthermore, only on colorectal cancer. It can also come from hemorrhoids or fissures.

“It’s still better than if you don’t mind, but much better, a colonoscopy is, of course,” says Block. Doctors could recognize in this way, 98 percent of the tumors in the approach, and the polyps also remove. Since 2002, by law, is entitled to a colonoscopy, and a further ten years later, Insured 55 years of age – a total of only two studies.

Colonoscopy with negative results – ten years of peace

This scheme could have led to the decline in the stool test, suspected Block. In fact, the colonoscopies have increased early detection, as the analysis of the Barmer. The number of investigations increased from 2012 to 2017, Germany by around 20 percent. The absolute number of participants is not Insured with approximately 467.000 by law, but nearly as large as the Hämoccult-Test. However, you have to have a colonoscopy without findings of ten years, because polyps were growing only very slowly, said Block.

“I think it would be premature to say that people are precautionary tired and do not Hämoccult more.” The initial “Hype” at the time of colonoscopy, however, died down somewhat. Because the procedure is time-consuming. Already three days in advance of certain rules in the diet must be taken into account. Before the actual endoscopic examination, which is done on an outpatient basis, the patient a sedative or light anesthetic.

The German society for gastroenterology, digestive and metabolic diseases (DGVS) calls for the colonoscopy for the early detection from the age of 50 years. The frequency of the disease increases already in this age. Mostly men have a higher risk.

The Federal Ministry of health has responded to this. Beginning in April, 2019 men get from 50 years of either a colonoscopy or the Hämoccult-Test of the funds paid. For women, colonoscopy for early detection will be accepted from 55 years of age. Due to the increase in life expectancy, the investigation also do 70 – and 80-Year-old, says Block.