The breast cancer screening program in Germany
In Germany, women between the ages of 50 and 69 can have a free mammogram every two years. The aim is to detect breast cancer as soon as possible in order to provide better treatment and increase the chances of recovery. But mammograms can have drawbacks too. For instance, they may lead to unnecessary treatment.
In screening programs, everyone in a certain age group (for instance) is offered a specific screening test. The costs are covered by statutory health insurers. In Germany, women between the ages of 50 and 69 receive a letter from their regional mammography program center inviting them to have a mammogram and an informational leaflet. The letter includes a suggested appointment time and date, as well as information about the screening test. They can decide themselves whether or not they would like to have a mammogram.
A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. To ensure a high level of quality, mammograms are only carried out at specialized facilities that are part of the German mammography screening program.