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TRICARE Preventive Health Services for Men of All Ages

Image of TRICARE Preventive Health Services for Men of All Ages. U.S. Air Force Col. (Dr.) Travis Batts, medical director, Department of Cardiology, explains a procedure to a patient at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, June 12, 2023. During Men's Health Month, Batts is encouraging men to get regular checkups and recommended screenings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Tory Patterson)

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Did you know that June is Men’s Health Month? If you’re a man, it’s a good time to take stock of your overall health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the life expectancy for men in the U.S. is nearly six years less than that for women. And that gap is getting wider. However, men can still live long, healthy lives by eating right, exercising, and getting preventive health care.

“Preventive health care isn’t just for older men,” said Jeannine Pickrell, RN, nurse consultant for Disease Management & Population Health at the Defense Health Agency. “Seeing a health care provider for preventive services can help men of all ages by detecting health problems early, before they become life-threatening.”

Many preventive services are available when you visit your provider for other routine care. Annual Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HP&DP) exams are also available to any TRICARE enrollee over age 6. This lets you get multiple preventive services during one visit. You’ll pay no out-of-pocket costs for getting preventive care when you follow your plan’s rules, as outlined in the TRICARE Costs and Fees Fact Sheet. If you’re age 65 or older and you have TRICARE For Life, follow Medicare’s rules for getting preventive care.

Which preventive services are right for you? That depends on several factors, including your:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Family history
  • Overall life expectancy

These and other risk factors determine which services are medically necessary for you and covered by TRICARE.

Below you’ll find a list of preventive care services recommended for men. Keep them in mind the next time you talk to your health care provider.

Colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is more common in men than in women. If you’re age 45 or older with average risk for colon cancer, TRICARE covers several types of screenings for colorectal cancer. Some risk factors for colorectal cancer include:

  • History of inflammatory bowel disease
  • Family history of colorectal cancer
  • Lifestyle factors such as diet, alcohol, and tobacco use

Talk to your provider if you think you may be at increased or high risk.

Prostate cancer

TRICARE covers annual prostate cancer exams for men age 50 or older with at least a 10-year life expectancy. However, you may be eligible for prostate cancer exams starting at age 40 or age 45 if you have certain risk factors. Talk to your provider if you have a family history of prostate cancer; you may be eligible for early testing. African American men are eligible for prostate exams at age 45 regardless of family history.

Testicular cancer

Not all cancer screenings are for older men. According to the CDC, testicular cancer is most common in men ages 20 to 39. TRICARE covers testicular cancer exams annually for males age 13 to 39 who have a history of cryptorchidism, orchiopexy, or testicular atrophy.

Lung cancer

Men use tobacco products more often than women. They also have higher rates of getting and dying from lung cancer than women. TRICARE covers lung cancer screening if you:

  • Are 50 to 80 years old
  • Have a 20 pack per year or more history of smoking
  • Currently smoke or have quit smoking within the past 15 years

Heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the U.S. As noted by the CDC, half of the men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms. It’s important to get preventive checkups even if you don’t display any symptoms.

Cardiovascular disease screenings are a covered benefit. This includes cholesterol and blood pressure checks.

Of course, there’s more to preventive health than checkups and screenings. Keeping a healthy lifestyle is an everyday job. Talk to your provider about things like healthy eating, getting more exercise, mental health, and more. And be sure to check out Men’s Health for more tips on staying healthy throughout the year.

Would you like the latest TRICARE news sent to you by email? Visit TRICARE Subscriptions, and create your personalized profile to get benefit updates, news, and more.

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Last Updated: July 20, 2023
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