Even “healthy” men need health screenings

Are you the type of guy who puts off doing a task and later wishes he’d just done it? If you’re a man with Medicare, now’s the time to talk with your doctor about whether you should get screened forprostate cancer, for colorectal cancer, or for both. Even if you’re feeling fine, screening tests can find cancer early, when treatment works best.

Don’t put off screenings if you’re worried about the cost: Medicare covers a digital rectal exam and Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test once every 12 months if you’re a man with Medicare who’s 50 or over. Also, Medicare also covers several types of colorectal cancer screenings, and you pay nothing for most tests.

Did you know prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, second only to lung cancer in the number of total male cancer deaths? You’re at 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 third most commonly diagnosed cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the US and the third leading cause of cancer death. 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.

Your risk of getting colorectal cancer goes up as you age. If everyone 50 or older got screened regularly, we could avoid as many as 60% of deaths from this cancer. Make sure you get screened regularly for colorectal cancer if you’re 50 or older, or have a personal or family history of colorectal issues.

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. Watch our videos on how Medicare has you covered on prostate cancer and colorectal cancer screenings, and visit the Centers for Disease Control for more information on men’s health.