Tag Archives: colorectal cancer

Medicare Coverage for Early Detection of Cancer – What to Know

Medicare Coverage for Early Detection of Cancer - What to Know
Medicare Coverage for Early Detection of Cancer – What to Know

Navigating the ins and outs of Medicare coverage can be a challenge. Here’s what you need to know about this program and how it applies to screenings for early detection of cancer.

Do All Providers Accept Medicare?

• Participating doctors “accept assignments,” meaning they consider the amount received from Medicare along with your co-pay and deductible as payment in full, resulting in fewer out-of-pocket expenses.

• Non-participating doctors don’t always accept Medicare, so you have to pay out-of-pocket. Medicare will reimburse you for the portions they normally cover, but you still incur sizable expenses for the difference.

• Opt-out doctors don’t participate in Medicare at all, making you fully responsible for all charges.

Medicare Coverage for Cancer Screening

• Annual mammograms are covered for women aged 40 and older, while clinical breast exams (CBE) are covered every two years for women at average risk for breast cancer and once a year for those at high risk.

• Women at average risk for cervical cancer are covered for a Pap test and pelvis exam every two years, while women at high risk are covered annually.

• Colorectal screening is covered for people 50 and over based on risk factors and date of last test.

• For prostate screening, men over age 50 are covered 100 percent for an annual PSA blood test and 80 percent for a digital rectal exam (DRE).

Lung cancer screening is covered once a year if you are between 55 and 77 and have a qualifying history of smoking.

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Does Low Dose Aspirin Therapy Work to Prevent Colon Cancer?

Aspirin Therapy Can Reduce the Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Aspirin Therapy Can Reduce the Risk of Colorectal Cancer

Aspirin use has been recommended for those who have higher risks of cardiovascular disease, but can it help prevent colon cancer as well? A panel of medical experts at the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently issued guidelines that do recommend aspirin therapy for cancer in those with a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Taking low-dose aspirin on a daily basis has been shown to decrease the risk of developing colorectal cancer in those who are over 50 years old. Medical experts at USPSTF carefully considered the risks of daily aspirin use along with these health benefits in order to determine whether or not to recommend it for those with a higher risk of colorectal cancer.

The recently issued guidelines state that adults who are 50 years old or older should take aspirin daily if they have higher risks of getting this type of cancer and higher risks of stroke and heart disease. However, experts caution that taking aspirin on a regular basis is not considered safe for those with certain health issues, such as risk factors for stomach bleeding. Aspirin can increase the risk of stomach bleeding, so it’s important for those who take it to only have low doses of it each day.

Those who are considering taking low-dose aspirin therapy for cancer should talk to their doctor first to make sure it’s safe for them to do so. This helps lower the risk of side effects or adverse reactions.

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