Germany proclaims "best ever" mammo screening
This article was originally published in Clinica
Never before has Germany had such a high-quality and reliable breast screening programme for early cancer detection." So said Andreas Kohler, head of the association of statutory sickness funds (KBV), at a conference this week in Berlin. Sharing the podium was health minister Ulla Schmidt, who said that more than 1.4 million women in Germany have so far made use of the reimbursed breast cancer diagnosis facility that allows women aged 50-69 to be screened every two years. The aim of the programme is to offer early, appropriate and targeted therapy to the 57,000 women in Germany who contract breast cancer every year, and thereby cut mortality rates. Some 17,500 women die from the disease every year in Germany. The programme, which covers 10 million women, offers dual checking by specialists, and subjects the mammography equipment to safety checks daily. The programme costs the sickness funds euro250-300m ($380-450m) per year, but is seen by minister Schmidt as money well spent.