Precaution & check-ups

Colorectal cancer screening

What is colorectal cancer screening?

Bowel cancer screening is a preventive examination to detect bowel cancer at an early and thus easily curable stage. This is because bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers in Germany. Since bowel cancer mainly occurs at an older age, screening begins at the age of 50. Bowel cancer usually develops from protrusions (polyps) of the intestinal mucosa that can bleed, for which two different test procedures are offered.

You can either take a stool test that detects invisible blood in the stool, or you can have a colonoscopy, in which any polyps found can be removed immediately as a precaution.

Important: We do not perform colonoscopies in our Avi Medical practices. However, we are happy to recommend a specialist in gastroenterology to you.

Who should have colorectal cancer screening and at what time interval?

This examination is recommended for all persons over the age of 50. You will receive an invitation letter from your health insurance company.

For men: From the age of 50 you can either have a major colonoscopy every ten years
between the ages of 50 and 55 you can havea stool test every year and from the age of 55 you can have a stool test every two years.

For women: Between the ages of 50 and 55, you can either have a stool test every year and a major colonoscopy every ten years from the age of 55
every two years.  

Depending on the results of the examinations, you will then be informed of individual repeat intervals.

What is included in the colorectal cancer screening?

If you first decide on the test for invisible blood in the stool (iFOBT), it is completely uncomplicated and easy to use. After a consultation on bowel cancer screening, we will give you the iFOBT test kit to take home. This allows you to take the stool sample at home comfortably and without time pressure. After you have returned the stool sample to us, it will be analysed in the laboratory and we will then inform you about the test result. If the stool test shows blood, a colonoscopy is usually performed to rule out or confirm bowel cancer.

If you decide to have a colonoscopy directly (not a service of our Avi Medical practices), you will first have to cleanse your bowels with a laxative the day before the actual examination. For the colonoscopy itself, you will be put into a twilight sleep. For the examination, a long tube, about the thickness of a finger, is inserted from the anus into the large intestine and a small camera is attached to it. This allows the intestinal mucosa to be examined and, if necessary, intestinal polyps to be removed or suspicious tissue to be removed.

In the follow-up consultation, the doctor will explain the preliminary results of the examination to you. If tissue samples were taken from you or polyps were removed, the doctor will send them to a special laboratory for microscopic examination. This may take a few days.  

What should I do if I think bowel cancer screening is useful?

To check whether these preliminary examinations make sense for you, simply make an appointment at one of our Avi Medical practices and talk to our team of doctors. Here you can talk together about the advantages and disadvantages of the examinations and include your individual risk profile.