CHECK-UP

Screening, analysis and diagnosis

If you want to learn more about check-ups, click on one of the topics below.

Cancer screening (cytological smear diagnosis, special HPV screening)

Cancer screening

One of our practice’s priorities is the early detection of the two most common types of cancer in women – breast cancer and cervical cancer. Pap smear, ultrasound scans of the upper and lower abdomen and the breast as well as a good cooperation with our cytological laboratory and the breast centre translate into fast diagnoses and help for you.

The statutory health insurance covers:

  • Speculum examination of the uterine orifice with extraction and fixation of sample material (called cytotest) from the surface of the uterine orifice and the cavity of the cervix as well as bimanual gynaecological examination.
  • For women aged 30 and older, additional tactile examination of the mammary glands and the regional lymph nodes.
  • For women aged 50 and older, this is complemented by a digital examination of the rectum and a quick test for faecal occult blood (every two years).
  • Early stages of ovarian or uterine cancer cannot be detected in tactile examinations. However, vaginal ultrasound scans can often reveal mutations in these organs at an early stage.

Additional tests upon request:

  • ThinPrep cervical smear

In short, ThinPrep tests offer the following advantages:

    • the detection rate of all pre-cancer stages is twice as high as in normal testing
    • the detection rate of existing cancer is twice as high as in normal testing
    • For women aged 30 and older, additional tactile examination of the mammary glands and the regional lymph nodes.
    • 93% of all major cell mutations detected with the ThinPrep method are confirmed in subsequent surgery. This rate is at 79% only for conventional smear tests!
    • more accurate diagnoses
    • the number of smear samples fit for assessment is considerably higher
    • unnecessary control smears and surgery can often be avoided
  • Early detection of bladder cancer by testing urine samples with the NMP22 Bladder Check
    • The new NMP22 Bladder Check test enables the early diagnosis of a urinary bladder carcinoma. With this test, a marker protein for the bladder carcinoma is extracted from the urine sample.
  • immunological stool test
    • We also carry out the more modern immunological stool test, which is performed with one stool sample only on one day and – contrary to the standard quick test – which is independent of alimentation.
    • The guidelines for early detection of cancer provide for faecal blood tests aimed at detecting early stages of colorectal cancer for women aged 50 and older only. For women aged 55 and older, the blood test is replaced by a colonoscopy which has to be repeated after ten years at the earliest for patients showing no problems. Colonoscopy is certainly the best option for the early detection of colorectal cancer and we want to convince all our patients of its advantages.
    • However, if you decide against such colonoscopy because you fear it might hurt or injure you, you are nonetheless entitled to have a faecal blood test every two years. If you had colonoscopy, the statutory health insurance does usually not pay for further faecal blood tests.

Gynaecological ultrasonography

Gynaecological ultrasonography

We would like to recommend to you some additional modern testings which complement the current range of check-ups and offer you greater security for your own protection against cancer.

Vaginal ultrasound scan (via the vagina)

  • A vaginal ultrasound scan is mandatory if you want to detect cysts, tumours and other diseases of the ovaries and the uterus. Both the vaginal and the abdominal ultrasound scan are entirely safe and painless procedures and provide immediate results.

Abdominal ultrasound scan (through the abdominal wall)

  • We can offer you examinations with state-of-the-art ultrasonic equipment. During the abdominal ultrasound scan, we will examine the uterus, the ovaries, the lower abdomen and, if necessary, the upper abdomen.

Mammasonography (breast ultrasound scan)

Mammasonography (breast ultrasound scan)

Every tenth woman suffers from breast cancer at some point in her life. The number of younger women (below the age of 40) is continuously rising. Currently, about 80% of all malign mutations are detected by the woman herself. This is the reason why regular, experienced self-examination is highly important. In order to detect changes of the breasts which are not palpable but may affect your health, ultrasound scans and mammography of the breasts can be helpful. This enables and facilitates an early diagnosis and therapy.

During Mammasonography both breasts and both armpits are examined with an ultrasonic transducer following a specified scheme in order to show any mutations. Ultrasound scans are especially important in case of breasts with strong connective tissue because X-ray images would give results of limited significance only.

The advantages of Mammasonography are that it is painless and that it provides a good depiction of changes in the mammary gland without exposing the patient to radiation. A disadvantage is, however, that microscopically small changes cannot be detected for technical reasons.

special hormone analyses in our laboratory

Special hormone analyses in our laboratory

There is a strong link between the estrogen levels in women after the menopausal years and the risk of suffering from osteoporosis (bone decay), arteriosclerosis (the calcification of blood vessels) or Alzheimer’s disease(loss of memory).

Hormonal imbalances may also often cause changes of the skin and hair. This may be due to an increased effectiveness of male hormones and may manifest itself in skin impurities and loss of hair.

During the menopausal years, ovarian function gradually stops (climacteric). The ovaries produce less and less female hormones which results in a hormone deficiency. In the end, this results in the cessation of periods.

A differentiated hormone examination of your blood facilitates an individual diagnosis. If necessary and if you wish to have a therapy, a hormone replacement therapy can be adjusted perfectly to your individual needs. Moreover, it can be clarified whether or not you should take contraceptive measures.

An early detection of hormonal imbalances in a detailed hormone analysis enables a personalised therapy.

HPV (Human papillomavirus) – smear test

HPV (Human papillomavirus) – smear test

Human papillomaviruses (HPV) rank among the most frequently sexually transmitted infections in the genital area. Certain types play a decisive role in the development of cervical cancer and vaginal cancer, but also in malignant diseases of the labia, anus and penis.

  • Population surveys revealed that most of the sexually active adults get infected with HPV in the course of their lives. In most cases the infection has no consequences because the body’s defence system (immune system) successfully combats the viral infection.
  • HPV can cause genital warts, intermenstrual bleeding, burning and itching. In most cases, however, the infection, which might actually have taken place several years ago, does not cause any problems. Often but not always, a magnified visual inspection or a pap smear can reveal suspicious results hinting to an HPV infection.
  • If such examination reveals high-risk HPV, this is not a cause for concerns. To the contrary, this is valuable information enabling us to take further steps. Your chances of an early detection of cancer and, thus, of successful treatment thereof increase considerably.

If you want to know more about HPV, please visit the scientific section of our homepage.

Bone densitometry

Bone densitometry

Our practice offers ultrasound scans (QUS) which are performed at the heel bone. The advantage of QUS is that not only quantitative statements on the bone density but also qualitative statements on the bone structure can be made.

Bone density should always be measured in cases of existing problems or special risks (familial predisposition, late onset of menstruation/early menopause, removal of ovaries
(= ovariectomy), insufficient supply of calcium or vitamin D, long-term treatment with cortisone, physical inactivity, underweight).

Therapy

  • Hormones (estrogens) lower the risk of osteoporosis in women after the menopause. They slow down increased bone decay and increase bone density even in women aged 70 and older.
  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) have an equally positive effect on bones as estrogens and they protect the heart and the circulation. Since they do not affect the breast tissue, they do not increase the breast cancer risk.
  • Bisphosphonates are antiresorptive substances, i.e. they slow down the activity of bone destroying cells. Since the bone-building cells remain unaffected in their activity, a therapy with bisphosphonates leads to a considerable increase in bone mass. This bone mass corresponds to the natural bone substance. Bisphosphonates are given as pills or infusions and always have to be combined with calcium and vitamin D.
  • Calcitonins have a pain-relieving and a limited effect as to the slowdown of bone decay. However, they are not free of side effects. Relatively frequent side effects are skin reddening, nausea and vomiting and other serious allergic reactions.
  • Fluorides enhance the activity of bone-building cells. The decisive factor here is, however, their dosage since over-dosage impairs the bone quality and stability. It is important to know that fluorides always have to be combined with calcium to ensure that the new bone material is mineralised sufficiently to achieve the necessary stability. A fluoride therapy should not exceed three years.
  • The essential parts of osteoporosis treatment are sufficient supply of calcium and vitamin D and sufficient exercise. If needed, the treatment can be complemented by pain therapy and physical methods which are often needed to enable patients to start physical exercise in the first place.