Cancer Screenings Can Save Your Life

Cancer is a relatable burden for many families. A majority of Americans report they or someone in their immediate family has been affected by cancer, according to a CBS News poll. Cancer cases are rising, but so are survival rates.

Cancer screenings are the main reason why more people are beating cancer. Survival rates depend on the type of cancer, but they always increase when doctors catch cancer in its early stages. The five-year survival rate of breast cancer patients diagnosed at stage 1, for example, is between 99 and 100 percent; at stage 4, the rate drops to 22 percent. Your Local 94 benefits cover preventive care, including screenings, to give you and your doctor the best chance at catching cancer early.

Through Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, the Fund covers many types of cancer screenings with no copay or out-of-pocket cost to you. You don’t have to pay for mammograms to detect breast cancer, prostate screenings for prostate cancer, or colonoscopies for colorectal cancer. You can find a more complete list of covered services on our Preventive Care page and after you log in on Anthem's website.

In between visits to your doctor, it’s a good idea to perform self-screenings where you can. The National Breast Cancer Foundation recommends that women conduct a self-screening for breast cancer once a month by feeling for unusual lumps and knots around the breast area. The Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation advises that men do the same for testicular cancer.

The easiest screening you can do is for skin cancer. Check your body for moles regularly, and note where they are. If a mole changes in size or color, or is rough to the touch, go see a doctor.

Other lifestyle changes—moderating alcohol consumption, quitting smoking and exercising regularly, for example—can also help you decrease your risk for cancer.

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