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CHECK Nord #4

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ENGLISH prevention

ENGLISH prevention PREVENTING Anyone who has already celebrated their 35th birthday has very likely heard from the doctor that from now on a free check-up is available and recommended every 3 years. In Germany, every person with statutory health insurance can receive a detailed consultation with a doctor and a full-body examination that includes measuring one’s blood pressure, a urine test, and a blood sample to determine blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Foto: westfotos.de /stock.adobe.com According to the Cambridge Dictionary, prevention is “the act of stopping something from happening or of stopping someone from doing something”. Since the 1970s, the early detection of diseases and cancer has been included in the catalog of services of the statutory health insurance companies. The aim was and is to identify and treat diseases in good time, focusing on those that are among the most common causes of death such as cardiovascular diseases and tumours. One can also undergo a free skin screening every two years to detect possible skin cancer. Depending on age, further preventive or early diagnosis examinations for breast cancer, colon cancer, cervical cancer, and prostate cancer are available. The costs for these examinations are covered by the respective health insurance companies and of course everyone can decide personally whether they want to undergo the examination or not, ideally in consultation with the responsible doctors. 18 CHECK NORD #4

prevention Foto: Jannoon028 / Freepik.com PINK RIBBON AND MOVEMBER October is international breast cancer month. With the symbol of the pink ribbon, the month aims to raise public awareness of breast cancer research, treatment and prevention. And November has become “Movember”, with the mustache as the corresponding counterpart for the topic of prostate and testicular cancer. Yet, not even 20% of eligible men (45 and over) use the option of preventive care and thus early detection. Why not more? Other preventive measures include vaccinations, such as booster vaccinations for diphtheria and tetanus, as well as vaccinations for indications in the case of increased risk for people and for relatives of certain age or risk groups. In this case, influenza and pneumococcal infections count as the standard vaccination for people aged 60 and over. Vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, TBE (early summer meningo encephalitis), meningococci, rubella, and whooping cough are regulated differently by health insurers. The health insurance companies also cover the measurement of the intraocular pressure for the early detection of glaucoma and, for men over 65 years of age, the one-time ultrasound examination for the early detection of an aneurysm in the abdominal artery. BEWARE OF VENEREAL DISEASES TOO The statutory benefits also include preventive pregnancy examinations and annual chlamydia screenings for women up to the age of 25. As the latter is the most frequently sexually transmitted bacterial disease in the world, it can lead to unwanted sterility (in all sexes), pregnancy complications, and infections in newborns. In Germany alone, it is estimated that there are up to 300,000 new infections annually. A study by the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) showed that knowledge about HIV has been at a high level for many years. But only 14% of the population are aware of chlamydial infections, despite the increasing number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as syphilis or gonorrhea. In Saxony, where gonorrhea infections have to go on record (anonymously), the number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants has increased more than tenfold between 2001 and 2015. Gonococci are not only transmitted through anal or vaginal sex, but also orally through the throat area. Gargling with medicated mouthwashes unfortunately doesn't help. Still the safest precautionary measures are condoms and mindfulness of what you put in your mouth or what you lick. HOW HEALTHY IS PREVENTION? The aim of preventive care is to identify and treat risk factors or precursors to a disease in good time. For example, if small intestinal polyps are discovered during a colonoscopy that could develop into cancer, they will be removed immediately. However, you never know in advance whether a disease would develop at all or whether the human immune system would become active by itself. Preventive operations are also emotionally stressful. In addition, injuries can occur during the examinations and the organism can be unnecessarily stressed by X-rays. CHECK NORD #4 19

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blu, hinnerk, gab, rik, Leo – die Magazine der blu Mediengruppe erscheinen monatlich in den Metropolen Deutschlands. Die nationale Reichweite der Magazine ermöglicht den reisefreudigen Lesern Zugriff auf alle Informationen immer und überall. Themenschwerpunkte sind neben der regionalen queeren Szene, Kultur, Wellness, Design, Mode und Reise. Unsere Titel sind mit der lokalen Community jahrzehntelang gewachsen und eng verbunden, was durch Medienpartnerschaften mit den CSD-Paraden in Hamburg, Berlin, München und Frankfurt sowie zahlreiche Kooperationen, wie der Christmas Avenue in Köln, seinen Ausdruck findet.