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Make Preventive Screenings Part of Your Health Care Routine

Regular preventive screenings and exams can help find disease at an early stage. Talking with your primary care manager about having regular screenings is crucial. TRICARE covers clinical preventive services for breast, colorectal, cervical cancer, diabetes screenings, and Prostate Cancer Exams


Breast cancer:


Lower your risk of breast cancer by limiting alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight, and staying physically active. You may be at higher risk for breast cancer if you:

  • Are a breast cancer survivor
  • Have a history of breast cancer in your family
  • Haven’t had children
  • You should talk to your provider about when and how often to get a mammogram if you’re between the ages of 40-49. If you’re between the ages of 50-74 and have an average risk, doctors recommend a mammogram every two years.

Cervical cancer:


Reduce your risk of cervical cancer by not smoking, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and maintaining a healthy weight. Risk factors include having a HPV or chlamydia infection and long-term use of oral contraceptives.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recommends that screening begin with a Pap test at age 25. If you’re ages 30-65, you should screen with a HPV test every five years or a Pap test every three years. If you’re over 65, you should stop cervical screening if you have:

  • Had a regular screening within the last 10 years with normal results
  • No history of CIN 2 (abnormal cells affecting the surface of the cervix) within 25 years


Colorectal cancer:


More than 90% of colorectal cancer occurs in people who are 50 years old or older. Lower your risk by exercising regularly, not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, and maintaining a healthy weight. A diet that’s high-fiber, low-fat, and filled with lots of fruits and vegetables can also decrease risk. Recommendations for screening differ based on your risk level. Risk factors include:

  • Family history of the disease
  • Personal history of polyps
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis




Risk factors for diabetes include:

  • Being 45 or older
  • Having immediate family history
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having low HDL-levels or high triglycerides

Prostate Cancer Exams:


TRICARE covers exams and screenings for prostate cancer. Annual digital rectal exam and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing may be offered to men who are:

  • Age 50 years and older with at least a 10-year life expectancy
  • Age 45 and older with a family history of prostate cancer in a father, brother or son whowas diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65)
  • Age 45 and older regardless of family history
  • Age 40 and older with a family history of prostate cancer in two or more family members



*Visit Defense Health Agency for more information, or read more posts like this on DHA’s Expert Page on our website,





  • Defense Health Agency

    The Defense Health Agency is a joint, integrated Combat Support Agency that enables the Army, Navy, and Air Force medical services to provide a medically ready force and ready medical force to Combatant Commands in both peacetime and wartime. Their mission is to provide a medical benefit commensurate with the service and sacrifice of more than 9.6 million active duty personnel, military retirees and their families.


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Supporting Our Military Children

Supporting Our Military Children

One thing that has been most important to me, as a military spouse, is figuring out how to best do this life while supporting our children with the changes and difficulties. When my children were very small, there were many times that my husband was away, and I had to parent my children alone.

Mission: Milspouse is a
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