Colorectal cancer screening, early diagnosis helps save lives

| March 12, 2010 | 0 Comments

News Release

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Colorectal cancer screenings may be an uncomfortable subject for some people to discuss, but their importance cannot be underplayed.

With one in 19 Americans being diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime, the good news for Tricare beneficiaries is that colorectal screenings are available to them at no cost.

Courtesy PhotoThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate at least 60 percent of colorectal cancer deaths could have been avoided with regular screening.

When cancer is caught and diagnosed early, treatment is more effective.

Since early-stage colorectal cancer often has no symptoms, today’s screening technology is a powerful tool.

Screenings can find abnormal growths, called polyps, and they can be removed before becoming harmful.

Many types of screening tests are available to find the colon polyps or colorectal cancer.

• Beneficiaries 50 and older should have annual fecal occult blood testing, a proctosigmoidoscopy or sigmoidoscopy every three to five years, or a colonoscopy every 10 years.

• Beneficiaries as young as 25, with a higher risk of colorectal cancer — for example, those with a close relative who had the disease — should talk to their doctor about earlier screenings.

For Tricare Prime and Standard beneficiaries, there are no cost shares or co-pays for many important preventive care services, including colorectal cancer screenings.

For Medicare-eligible beneficiaries covered by Tricare For Life, Medicare covers colorectal cancer screening tests and Tricare generally pays the remainder of any costs not already paid under Medicare.

Category: Community

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