Men: Get Screened for Cancer Risk
By TRICARE, TRICARE
/ Published June 23, 2017
Your doctor calls to give you your test results. Is it cancer? You are worried because cancer runs in your family. Luckily the tests come back clear. Although there’s no magic potion to prevent all cancers, you may be able to reduce your cancer risk by participating in recommended cancer screenings. Learn more about risk factors for cancers that are common in men and about screenings covered under TRICARE.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the U.S. It’s also very curable and easily preventable if found early. Several factors might affect a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer, but the American Cancer Society identifies age, race and family history as leading risk factors. More specifically, those at a higher risk include:
- Age 50 or older. Your risk increases as you age.
- African Americans. You’re more than twice as likely to die of the disease.
- Family history. Father or brother who have or had prostate cancer
TRICARE covers exams and screenings for prostate cancer for those men who meet certain criteria.
Colon cancer is more common in men than women, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Factors that may increase your risk of colon cancer include:
- Older age. The majority of people diagnosed are older than 50.
- Family history. Your risk is even greater with more than one family member.
- Being overweight or obese
- Smoking or heavy alcohol use
Regular screening is one of the most important things you can do for preventing colon cancer. TRICARE covers colon cancer exams based on a person’s age and cancer risk.
The most common form of cancer in the U.S. is skin cancer. Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light (sun, tanning beds, sunlamps) causes the majority of skin cancer. Risk factors vary for different types of skin cancer, but some general risk factors are:
- Physical traits such as fair skin, blue or green eyes, and blonde or red hair
- Excessive sun exposure and a history of sunburns
- Many or abnormal moles
- Skin that burns, freckles, reddens easily, or becomes painful in the sun
TRICARE covers skin cancer exams for individuals who meet certain criteria, including family or personal history of skin cancer.
Testicular cancer is not common. About one of every 263 males will develop the disease. The average age at the age of diagnosis is 33. TRICARE covers annual testicular cancer exams for 13 to 39 year olds with a history of testicular issues.
If you have risk factors for cancer, talk to your doctor. If you don’t, it’s still important to discuss what cancer screening is right for you and how often to get tested. Learn more about covered screenings under TRICARE.