Brigadier General W. Bryan Gamble, M.D.
Deputy Director, TRICARE Management Activity
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States but fortunately, many common types of cancer are treatable if detected early. To ensure early detection, TRICARE covers a variety of cancer screenings at no cost to you.
Cancer screenings are among the most effective preventive measures available to protect your health. As you get age, cancer screenings should become part of your regular medical routine. Talk to your primary care physician about recommended tests for a person your age. It could save your life.
Here is just one example of how screenings and early detection of cancer save lives. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (www.nejm.org) found the death rate from colorectal cancer decreased 53 percent in those screened. In addition to starting treatment for those found to have colon cancer, screenings allowed doctors to detect and remove small pre-cancerous growths called polyps. Screenings improve your chances of preventing cancer before it emerges, or diagnosing it early enough for effective treatment.
There are many effective screening tests for different types of cancers. Tests are performed before you have symptoms, with the idea being to catch cancer early when it may be easier to treat and even cure. The National Cancer Institute has information about when you should consider different screenings (www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/screening).
TRICARE covers cancer screenings for breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer and others. Since cancer screenings are preventive care, there is no cost to you for the service, although you may have to pay office visit cost shares if you visit your doctor.
Learn more about TRICARE coverage of preventive services like cancer screenings at www.tricare.mil/mybenefit/home/overview/HealthyLiving/PreventiveCare.