Tricare covers additional cervical cancer screening test

| June 16, 2011 | 0 Comments

News Release



FALLS CHURCH, Va. — More than 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, and 4,000 women die from this disease.

The disease was once the leading cause of death among women.

The number of cervical cancer deaths has decreased dramatically due to regular cervical cancer screenings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tricare has added coverage for an enhanced cervical cancer screening test that helps detect the presence of the human papillomavirus, or HPV. This test is done to find a high-risk HPV infection that can cause cervical cancer. To perform the HPV test, cells are collected from the cervix at the same time as a Pap test is performed.

“The addition of HPV testing increases the chance that a woman’s health care team will discover a cervical cancer (cell) early,” said Navy Rear Adm. Christine Hunter, deputy director, Tricare. “Early detection allows prompt treatment and improves survival.”

The HPV test is covered as a cervical cancer screening under Tricare’s clinical preventive services, when performed in conjunction with a Pap smear for women aged 30 and older.

Coverage is based on national guidelines for the use of HPV testing and is retroactive to Sept. 7, 2010.

Preauthorization for HPV testing isn’t required, and beneficiaries have no copayments or cost-shares for routine cervical cancer screening under Tricare.

Tricare also covers the CDC-recommended HPV vaccine series to prevent HPV infection.

The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls 11 or 12 years of age, but doctors may start the series in girls as young as 9 years old. Doctors can also give catch-up vaccinations for women through 26 years of age, if they haven’t completed the vaccine series.

Tricare covers screening for breast, colorectal and prostate cancer without cost shares or copays.

Preventative services

To learn more about Tricare cancer screenings, visit


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Category: Community, Health

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