Check-ups for early detection

Are you due for a mammogram or skin check-up? Or do you need to have a PSA test or colonoscopy for the first time? Which check-ups are useful for whom and what costs are covered by Sanitas.

Text: Ruth Jahn; image: iStock


Why: Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in adults and develops from benign polyps.

How: A colonoscopy helps to detect changes early. An additional test to detect hidden blood in stool samples is also a good idea.

When: Recommended for everyone over age 50 (stool sample every 2 years, colonoscopy every 10 years). If there’s a history of bowel disease in your family or you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, you should have the tests done earlier.

Basic insurance: Covers colonoscopies and stool screening for cancer prevention between the age of 50 and 69. In some cantons, the deductible is waived as part of a screening programme.

Supplementary insurance: The Classic, Family, Jump and Natura Komfort plans cover part of the costs for check-ups carried out before the age of 50 or without a family history.

Breast screening

Why: Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women.

How: An X-ray examination of the breasts (mammogram) can detect cancer and pre-cancerous conditions at an early stage and improve the chances of recovery.

When: Recommended from the age of 50. Earlier if there is a family history of breast cancer.

Basic insurance: In cantons with a mammogram screening programme women over the age of 50 can have a check-up every 2 years that is covered under basic insurance without the deductible being applied. Basic insurance also covers the cost of this check-up for younger women who have an increased risk of breast cancer due to their family medical history.

Supplementary insurance: In all other cases, the Classic, Family, Jump and Natura Komfort plans cover the cost of mammograms.

PSA screening

Why: Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men.

How: Men can get themselves checked by their family doctor or a urologist – the check-up involves a rectal exam and PSA blood test. The latter has always been somewhat controversial, but is still used today as it often alerts doctors to the presence of cancer.

When: This check-up is recommended for men between the age of 50 and 70.

Supplementary insurance: Sanitas supplementary insurance plans Classic,Family, Jump and Natura Komfort

Skin cancer

Why: Skin cancer (malignant melanoma) is one of the most common types of cancer in men and women.

How: Keep an eye on your skin and have any moles checked regularly by your family doctor or a dermatologist.

When: Any age.Basic insurance: If there is an increased risk of skin cancer (melanoma) in your family,this check-up is covered under basic insurance.

Supplementary insurance: In other cases, costs are covered under the supplementary insurance plans Vital, Classic,Family, Jump and Natura Komfort.