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31. March 2011, Koblenz

March is the designated colon cancer prevention month: selfinitiative provides life insurance

Survey: the majority of German physicians considers colon cancer prevention as extremely important and encourages their patients to get screened.

Koblenz – March 31, 2011: Colon cancer is the most frequent type of cancer, and right after lung and bronchial cancer, it is the most frequent cause of death due to cancer in Germany. If detected early on, the disease is usually completely curable. Clinicians are familiar with the risks and know about the chances for a cure if patients act in time. For that reason, 83% of physicians specifically talk about preventive colon cancer screenings with their patients that are over the age of 50. Almost half of all survey physicians (45.5%) even advocate for recommending these screenings to younger people. That was the result of the monthly survey of the CGM health monitor.

Symptoms of colon cancer don’t show up until very late
According to statistics by the Robert Koch Institute, about 73,000 people each year are diagnosed with colon cancer. Approximately 26,500 of the affected patients do not survive the consequences of this serious illness. Experts have an explanation for this alarmingly high death rate: symptoms of colon cancer don’t show up until very late and the cancer can therefore remain undetected for a long period of time. Long enough for the cancer to invade the body and an effective therapy is no longer possible. It is therefore even more important to interpret one’s own risk and possible warning signs early enough. Eight out of ten surveyed physicians (81.8%) attribute an enormous significance to annual screenings. Comparatively few of their colleagues, merely 17.3 percent, feel that this is exaggerated.

Growing awareness of prevention
Far more than half of the physicians surveyed (64.8%) report that their patients see them more frequently for preventive screenings than five years ago. This encouraging development is surely due to the efforts of the many physicians (83%) that actively address the screenings with their patients over the age of 50. Educational media campaigns, such as the one by the Felix-Burda-Stiftung (Felix Burda Foundation), where celebrities advertise for preventive colon cancer screenings, also play a role in this increased awareness. These kinds of initiatives combat the taboo associated with this subject and help people overcome inhibitions about being examined. Almost 14 percent of physicians even emphasize that many patients bring up the subject on their own.

The earlier, the better
The statutory health insurance funds cover the expense of the annual preventive screenings for patients over the age of 50. Half of the surveyed physicians (53.2%) feel that it is sufficient to recommend preventive colon cancer screenings as of that age, since the risk of the disease increases at that time. Nearly as many physicians (45.5%) urge for more caution in light of the fact that an early diagnosis can save lives; they advocate for also encouraging younger people to have preventive screenings.

Many physicians lead by example
When asked whether they had personally had a preventive colon cancer screening in the past year, one out of three physicians surveyed (29.8%) answered with “yes” and 42.3% said “no.” However, at the time the survey was taken, one out of five physicians (22.5%) was below the age of 55.

About CompuGroup Medical AG
CompuGroup Medical is one of the leading eHealth companies in the world. Its software products are designed to support all medical and organizational activities in doctors’ offices and hospitals. Its information services for all parties involved in the healthcare system and its web-based personal health records contribute towards safer and more efficient healthcare. CompuGroup Medical’s services are based on a unique customer base of over 380,000 doctors, dentists, hospitals and networks as well as other service providers. CompuGroup Medical is the eHealth company with one of the highest coverage among eHealth service providers worldwide. Approximately 3300 highly qualified employees in 25 countries support customers with innovative solutions for the steadily growing demands of the healthcare system.

The CGM GesundheitsMONITOR:
The CGM GesundheitsMONITOR is a joint initiative of CompuGroup Medical, the Medical Tribune and the Rhein-Zeitung. They perform representative monthly surveys of 440 general practitioners with regard to current issues in the healthcare system. You can download free printable graphs and find publications as well as information about the representative survey at www.cgm-gesundheitsmonitor.de.

About Medical Tribune:
For over 40 years, the Medical Tribune has been one of the most widely read publications for private practice physicians. The popular weekly newspaper offers an attractive mix of medicine, health and professional policies relevant to private practice, and economic issues that apply to the medical profession. In a unique style, the Medical Tribune provides multifaceted continued education, personal advice, and interesting reading material within a newspaper. The Medical Tribune’s success story has been documented by the independent readership review (LA-MED) for decades.

About Rhein-Zeitung:
The Rhein-Zeitung area of circulation connects the metropolitan areas Köln-Bonn and the Rhein-Main region. The economically strong region around Koblenz is located in the center. With a circulation of right of 224,000 copies and 17 local issues, the Rhein-Zeitung has approximately 640,000 readers.

Contact for media representatives:
CompuGroup Medical AG
Barbara Müller

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