When life gets busy, it’s easy to put off an important test or screening. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, so take some time out of your busy schedule to get screened. Remember, colorectal cancer is very common among men—it’s the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. among cancers that affect both men and women. It’s important to be proactive, so talk with your doctor about whether you should get colorectal cancer or prostate cancer screenings.
Medicare covers a digital rectal exam and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test once every 12 months for men 50 or over. Medicare also covers a variety of colorectal cancer screenings—like fecal occult blood tests, flexible sigmoidoscopies, and colonoscopies—and you pay nothing for most tests.
In most cases, colorectal cancer develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Fortunately, testing for colorectal cancer can find these polyps early, so you can get them removed before they turn into cancer.