What if you were diagnosed? Four ways to survive cancer

  • Published
  • By Shari Lopatin
  • TriWest Healthcare Alliance
Nearly 12 million Americans are living today, after being told they have cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

That's as many people who live in the state of Ohio.

Due to medical advances, the word "cancer" is no longer a death sentence. More and more people are surviving because of early detection methods. However, this fact remains true: If you choose not to get your TRICARE-covered screenings, cancer can kill.

TRICARE covers a variety of preventive screenings to help catch cancer early--at no cost to you.

Here are four ways (a.k.a. screenings) you can catch cancer early and save your life, for you and your family:

1. Breast cancer screening: TRICARE covers one mammogram every 12 months for women older than 39. If a woman is considered high-risk for breast cancer, she can begin receiving mammograms at 35 years old.

2. Cervical cancer screening: You can test for cervical cancer by getting regular Pap tests. TRICARE covers both pelvic exams and Pap tests together when necessary, or every year beginning at age 18. Once a woman has three consecutive normal Pap tests, TRICARE will cover screenings once every three years, unless a doctor recommends otherwise.

3. Colon cancer screening: Several testing options are available under TRICARE. The CDC recommends one colonoscopy every 10 years for people ages 50 and older. If you have a history of colon cancer in your family, talk with your doctor about when and how often to have screening tests.

4. Prostate cancer screening: TRICARE covers prostate screening tests for men who are:
· older than 50
· older than 40 and had a vasectomy
· ages 40-49 with a family history of prostate cancer

For more cancer prevention information, visit www.triwest.com/prevention.