Early Detection is Key to Breast Health


Did you know that the most common cancer in American women after skin cancer is breast cancer? According to the National Cancer Institute, “approximately 12.9% of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lifetime.” Breast cancer often has no symptoms in early stages when it’s most easily treated. This is why TRICARE-covered breast exams and mammograms are important for early detection.

“October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and a great reminder to put your health first,” said Elan Green, chief of the Medial Benefits and Reimbursement Section for the TRICARE Health Plan at the Defense Health Agency. “Take the time to make sure you’re following the guidelines for breast screenings for your age and risk factor.”

TRICARE covers clinical breast exams during a covered Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HP&DP) exam. TRICARE also covers annual mammograms for all women who are age 40 or older, and for women age 30 and older who are at high risk, as defined on the web page. This means you have a 15% or more lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.

TRICARE mammogram coverage includes digital breast tomosynthesis, or 3-D mammography. An X-ray machine creates a 3-D image of the breast, which gives greater accuracy. It also lowers false positives. TRICARE covers 3-D mammography as a preventive health care service through the Provisional Coverage Program. TRICARE also continues to cover 2-D mammograms.

Other breast health services include:

  • Annual breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), covered beginning at age 30, for women with risk factors
  • Genetic counseling provided by a TRICARE-authorized providerAn authorized provider is any individual, institution/organization, or supplier that is licensed by a state, accredited by national organization, or meets other standards of the medical community, and is certified to provide benefits under TRICARE. There are two types of TRICARE-authorized providers: Network and Non-Network. DS, before BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene testing

If you have questions about when you should begin routine screenings and how often you should be screened thereafter, talk to your doctor. More information is available to help you take command of your health. Learn more about breast health and TRICARE coverage of breast cancer screenings.

Last Updated 10/14/2021