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The Power of Prevention: Get Cancer Screenings With TRICARE

Image of The Power of Prevention: Get Cancer Screenings With TRICARE. Lt. Col. Teresa Finnila, officer in charge at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Mammography Department, reviews mammogram images as part of routine screening. (Photo by John Ciccarelli)

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, catching cancer early is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from cancer.

That’s where routine cancer screenings come in. Screening tests can find many common cancers before they cause symptoms.

“Finding cancer early can make a big difference in your treatment options,” said Dr. Ross Colt, medical director of Clinical Oversight and Integration for the TRICARE Health Plan. “If you’ve been putting off a screening that’s recommended for you, it’s time to make it a priority.”

By screening for cancer, you can take control of your health and potentially catch cancers before they progress.

Getting screenings

TRICARE covers a wide range of cancer screenings at no cost to you when you follow your plan’s rules for getting preventive care. Check out the TRICARE Costs and Fees Fact Sheet to learn more about preventive care costs. You can get many cancer screenings during your annual Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Examination.

The recommended cancer screenings depend on your age, sex, and risk factors.

For women, TRICARE covers:

  • Mammograms to check for breast cancer every year, usually starting at age 40
  • Pap tests starting at age 21 to look for cervical cancer

For men, TRICARE covers:

For both men and women, TRICARE covers:

Recognizing cancer symptoms

It’s important to remember that preventive screenings are meant to find cancer before you have symptoms.

If you show signs or symptoms that could mean cancer, see your doctor as soon as possible. Common warning signs include:

  • Lumps or thickening in the breasts, testicles, or other body parts
  • Sores that don’t heal
  • Unusual bleeding or discharge
  • Chronic cough or hoarseness
  • Changes in bowel or bladder habits
  • Obvious changes in a wart or mole

“No one wants to get a cancer diagnosis, but preventive screenings can help find cancer early, when it’s most treatable,” said Colt. “You should take advantage of these covered screenings. They could save your life.”

Questions about cancer screenings? Ask your doctor at your next visit, or learn more about how TRICARE covers cancer screenings.

Would you like the latest TRICARE news sent to you by email? Visit TRICARE Subscriptions, and create your personalized profile to get benefit updates, news, and more.

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Last Updated: April 15, 2024
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