Colorectal Cancer Exams

TRICARE covers the following based on an average risk for colon cancer.

Beginning at age 45:

  • Annual Fecal Occult Blood TestingEither guaiac based or immunochemical based testing of three consecutive stool samples
  • Fecal Immunochemical Testing (FIT). FIT of one stool sample once every 12 months
  • Fecal Immunochemical Testing (FIT-DNA). U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved stool DNA tests once every 1 to 3 years.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy once every 5 years
  • Optical (conventional) Colonoscopy once every 10 years
  • Computed Tomographic Colonography once every 5 years
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy with FIT. Flexible Sigmoidoscopy once every 10 years plus annual FIT beginning at age 45.

You’re considered average risk for colon cancer if you don’t have:

  • A personal history of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps
  • A family history of colorectal cancer or advanced adenomatous polyps in:
    • At least one first-degree relative, or
    • Multiple second-degree relatives.
  • A personal history of inflammatory bowel disease. This includes ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
  • A confirmed or suspected hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome, including:
    • Familial adenomatous polyposis
    • Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer or Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer)
  • A personal history of getting radiation to the abdomen (belly) or pelvic area to treat a prior cancer
  • Signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer

NOTE: The American Cancer Society no longer maintains guidelines for people at increased or high risk of colorectal cancer. Talk to your provider to determine if you may be at increased or high risk of colorectal cancer.


This list of covered services is not all inclusive. TRICARE covers services that are medically necessaryTo be medically necessary means it is appropriate, reasonable, and adequate for your condition. and considered proven. There are special rules or limits on certain services, and some services are excluded.

Last Updated 3/20/2022