The Effectiveness of a Population-based Skin Cancer Screening Program: Evidence from Germany

Micha Kaiser, Jörg Schiller, Christopher Schreckenberger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In this paper, we analyze how a nationwide population-based skin cancer screening program (SCS) implemented in Germany in 2008 has impacted the number of hospital discharges following malignant skin neoplasm diagnosis and the malignant melanoma mortality rate per 100,000 inhabitants. Our panel data, drawn from the Eurostat database, cover subregions in 22 European countries, measured at the lowest nomenclature of territorial units for statistics (NUTS) level for 2000–2013. Applying fixed effects methods, we find a significantly positive and robust effect of the German SCS on the number of patients diagnosed with malignant skin neoplasm. However, the program does not significantly influence the melanoma mortality rate. This finding conflicts with the decreased melanoma mortality rate found for the pilot SCS program in northern Germany. Our results indicate that Germany’s nationwide SCS program is effective in terms of a higher diagnosis rate for malignant skin neoplasms and thus may contribute to an improvement in the early detection of skin cancer.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Health Economics
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)355-367
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer prevention
  • Fixed effect
  • Melanoma
  • Screening
  • Skin cancer

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