Getting tested does not mean that you will necessarily find a disease! But for more serenity and especially to preserve your health and sometimes even your life, it is essential to check that everything is normal.
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What is screening for?
According to the High Authority of Health, "a screening aims to detect the presence of a disease at an early stage in people who are a priori healthy and who do not yet have apparent symptoms. The goal is to diagnose the disease as early as possible in order to treat it quickly and thus slow or stop its progression."
Screening is recommended for people considered to be at higher risk of developing a disease and who are offered "a special examination at regular intervals and for a fixed period of time". In case of a positive or suspicious result, additional examinations should confirm the diagnosis.
What screening, for what disease?
Screening is relevant in the context of different diseases:
- Organized breast cancer screening concerns all women between the ages of 50 and 74.
The National Cancer Institute indicates that being screened "makes it possible to diagnose certain cancers early, before the appearance of symptoms, and to be able to treat them better, but also to limit the sequelae related to the treatments used. In some cases, screening can even prevent the onset of cancer, by identifying and treating an abnormality that could have progressed to cancer."
- Organized colorectal cancer screening involves men and women between the ages of 2 and 50 every 74 years.
- Cervical cancer screening is for women between the ages of 25 and 65.
- The use of screening for sexually transmitted infections allows for early diagnosis, better management and a reduced risk of transmission. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) test detects the presence of the virus. Early detection in relation to the date of contamination allows for early effective treatment, which improves the long-term prognosis. Treatment is therefore all the more effective when it is started early.
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What screenings are covered by the Health Insurance?
From the age of 50 and every two years (in the absence of symptoms and high risk), women receive a letter at home inviting them to be screened for breast cancer. This organized screening is 100% covered by the Health Insurance.
For organized colorectal cancer screening, the test and its analysis are also 100% covered by the Health Insurance.
The cytological examination and the HPV test carried out during the cervical cancer screening smear are 100% covered by the Health Insurance. To benefit from this 100% support, you must have received the invitation letter with the labels.
Regarding HIV testing, since January 1, 2022, it is possible to take an HIV test without a prescription, 100% covered without advance fees, on request and without appointment, in all medical analysis laboratories in France.
The law of 23 December 2022 on the financing of social security for 2023 provides for the reimbursement of testing for STIs other than HIV without a prescription and their full coverage for those under 26 years of age. A decree is expected on this subject.
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Why get tested if you feel good?
As the Health Insurance points out, "screening examinations are precisely "monitoring" examinations, in the absence of symptoms, a bit like monitoring one's cholesterol levels, for example. The goal: to be able to act very early, before cervical cancer develops."