Recommended Screenings: Women Ages 50 and Above
Mammograms are recommended every 1-2 years.
Women should perform a breast self-exam monthly. Instructions are available at: www.cancer.org. Click here for self-exam instructions.
Women should have a pap smear once a year for two years. If both pap smears are normal, women may then have a pap smear every three years or as recommended by their physician. At age 65, women may discontinue pap smears if their previous pap smears have been normal
Check at each doctor visit, or at least every 2 years. More often if high.
Screening recommended: either a lab screening to test for blood in the stool yearly, or a sigmoidoscopy every 5 years. A colonoscopy may also be recommended for women at high risk including women with a family history of colon cancer; women who have had colon polyps; and women who have had breast, ovarian or uterine cancer.
Screening recommended every 5 years for all women or more often if at high risk. Risk factors that will be considered by your doctor include diabetes, a family history of cardiovascular disease, family history of high cholesterol, and multiple coronary heart disease risk factors (e.g., tobacco use, hypertension.)
We all feel down or blue at times. However if these feelings are strong or last for a long time, contact your doctor as this may be a sign of depression. Answer these questions: 1) Over the past two weeks, have you ever felt down, depressed, or hopeless? 2) Over the past two weeks, have you felt little interest or pleasure in doing things?
Recommended for women at high risk. Risk factors that will be considered by your doctor include obesity, family history, history of gestational diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans are also at higher risk of developing diabetes.
A a bone density screening, such as a heel ultrasound test is recommended at age 65. Women at high risk for low bone density including those with a low weight are recommended to have the screening at age 60.
Tdap/ TD Shot
Women should have the Tdap vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough) once as an adult, and continue tetanus/ diphtheria (TD) shots every 10 years.
A flu shot is recommended every year.
Women should have a pneumonia shot at least once starting at age 65, or earlier if at high risk.
Pneumonia, hepatitis, chicken pox, or meningitis vaccinations are recommended only for those at high risk.
Always wear sun protection outside including sun screen and protective clothing. Skin exams may be necessary.
Women should take calcium supplements.
Discuss safety and any of the following: smoking cessation, AIDS, family planning and alcohol/drug abuse.
Discuss any hearing loss and/or noise exposure with your physician.
Women beginning menopause should discuss Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) with their physician.
Evidence has shown that for many individuals, aspirin can be beneficial in the prevention of heart attack and stroke. Because there are risks to consider as well as benefits, we recommend that women over the age of 45 should discuss with their doctor whether or not to take aspirin daily.