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HealthSheets™

Prevention Guidelines, Women Ages 50 to 64

Screening tests and vaccines are an important part of managing your health. A screening test is done to find possible disorders or diseases in people who don't have any symptoms. The goal is to find a disease early so lifestyle changes can be made and you can be watched more closely to reduce the risk of disease, or to detect it early enough to treat it most effectively. Screening tests are not considered diagnostic, but are used to determine if more testing is needed. Health counseling is essential, too. Below are guidelines for these, for women ages 50 to 64. Talk with your healthcare provider to make sure you’re up to date on what you need.

Screening

Who needs it

How often

Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes

All women beginning at age 45 and women without symptoms at any age who are overweight or obese and have 1 or more additional risk factors for diabetes.

At  least every 3 years

Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes

All women diagnosed with gestational diabetes

Lifelong testing every 3 years

Type 2 diabetes

All women with prediabetes

Every year

Alcohol misuse

All women in this age group

At routine exams

Blood pressure

All women in this age group

Yearly checkup if your blood pressure is normal

Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg

If your blood pressure reading is higher than normal, follow the advice of your healthcare provider

Breast cancer

All women at average risk in this age group

Yearly mammogram should be done until age 54. At age 55, switch to mammograms every other year or choose to continue yearly mammograms.

All women should be familiar with the potential benefits and risks of breast cancer screening with mammograms.

 

Cervical cancer

All women in this age group, except women who have had a complete hysterectomy

Pap test every 3 years or Pap test with human papillomavirus (HPV) test every 5 years

Chlamydia

Women at increased risk for infection

At routine exams

Colorectal cancer

All women in this age group

Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, or colonoscopy every 10 years, or double-contrast barium enema every 5 years; yearly fecal occult blood test or fecal immunochemical test; or a stool DNA test as often as your health care provider advises; talk with your health care provider about which tests are best for you

Depression

All women in this age group

At routine exams

Gonorrhea

Sexually active women at increased risk for infection

At routine exams

Hepatitis C

Anyone at increased risk; 1 time for those born between 1945 and 1965

At routine exams

High cholesterol or triglycerides

All women in this age group who are at risk for coronary artery disease

At least every 5 years

HIV

All women

At routine exams

Lung cancer

Adults age 55 to 80 who have smoked

Yearly screening in smokers with 30 pack-year history of smoking or who quit within 15 years

Obesity

All women in this age group

At routine exams

Osteoporosis

Women who are postmenopausal

Ask your healthcare provider

Syphilis

Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider

At routine exams

Tuberculosis

Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider

Ask your healthcare provider

Vision

All women in this age group

Ask your healthcare provider

Vaccine

Who needs it

How often

Chickenpox (varicella)

All women in this age group who have no record of this infection or vaccine

2 doses; the second dose should be given at least 4 weeks after the first dose

Hepatitis A

Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider

2 doses given at least 6 months apart

Hepatitis B

Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider

3 doses over 6 months; second dose should be given 1 month after the first dose; the third dose should be given at least 2 months after the second dose and at least 4 months after the first dose

Haemophilus influenzaeType B (HIB)

Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider

1 to 3 doses

Influenza (flu)

All women in this age group

Once a year

Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)

Women in this age group through their late 50s who have no record of these infections or vaccines

1 dose

Meningococcal

Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider

1 or more doses

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23)

Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider

PCV13: 1 dose ages 19 to 65 (protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria)

PPSV23: 1 to 2 doses through age 64, or 1 dose at 65 or older (protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria)

Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Td/Tdap) booster

All women in this age group

Td every 10 years, or a one-time dose of Tdap instead of a Td booster after age 18, then Td every 10 years

Zoster

All women ages 60 and older

1 dose

Counseling

Who needs it

How often

BRCA gene mutation testing for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility

Women with increased risk for having gene mutation

When your risk is known

Breast cancer and chemoprevention

Women at high risk for breast cancer

When your risk is known

Diet and exercise

Women who are overweight or obese

When diagnosed, and then at routine exams

Sexually transmitted infection prevention

Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider

At routine exams

Use of daily aspirin

Women ages 55 and up in this age group who are at risk for cardiovascular health problems such as stroke

When your risk is known

Use of tobacco and the health effects it can cause

All women in this age group

Every exam

1American Cancer Society

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