By: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Did you ever put off doing a task or getting a test and later wished you’d just gotten it over with? If you’re a man with Medicare, now’s the time to talk with your doctor about whether you should get screened for prostate cancer, for colorectal cancer, or for both. Screening tests can find cancer early, when treatment works best.
Don’t worry about the cost–if you’re a man over 50 or over, Medicare covers a digital rectal exam and Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test once every 12 months. Also, Medicare covers a variety of colorectal cancer screenings, and you pay nothing for most tests.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, second only to lung cancer in the number of cancer deaths. Not sure you should get screened? You’re at a higher risk for getting prostate cancer if you’re a man 50 or older, are African-American, or have a father, brother, or son who has had prostate cancer.
Colorectal cancer is also common among men in fact it’s the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States among cancers that affect both men and women. If everyone 50 or older got screened regularly, we could avoid as many as 60% of deaths from cancer.
In most cases, colorectal cancer develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Fortunately, screening tests can find these polyps, so you can get them removed before they turn into cancer. If you’re 50 or older, or have a personal or family history of colorectal issues, make sure you get screened regularly for colorectal cancer.
June is Men’s Health Month, a perfect time for you (and the men in your life) to take the steps to live a safer, healthier life. Find more information about Medicare covered preventative services in the 2019 Medicare and You Handbook or by visiting www.medicare.gov.
For local assistance with Medicare or other benefits contact the Aging & Disability Resource Center of Southwest Wisconsin at 800-514-0066.