Get the Screening Tests You Need

Screening tests help find diseases early, before you have any symptoms. This is when diseases are easier to treat. You can get many of these tests in your doctor's office. Other tests need special equipment.

Here are screening tests you need from ages 40 to 65. The guidelines below come from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). While organizations like the CDC, American Diabetes Association and American Cancer Society may have different recommendations, scientific research supports the USPSTF guidelines. Most health insurance plans follow them for coverage purposes.

Your doctor may recommend slightly different schedules, depending on your situation and family's health history. If you have any questions about when you should be tested, talk it over with your doctor.

Screening Tests for Men and Women

Screening Test Ages 40-49 Ages 50-64
Blood pressure test

Everyone should be tested annually for high blood pressure.

If your blood pressure is:

  • 130/85 or higher, talk with your doctor about treatment

Everyone should be tested annually for high blood pressure.

Cholesterol test

Everyone from 40 to 75 should have their cholesterol and other blood lipids checked.
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Everyone from 40 to 75 should have their cholesterol and other blood lipids checked.

Colorectal cancer screening

(fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy)

Routine screening is not recommended until age 50, but if you are at increased risk for colorectal cancer, talk with your doctor about when you should start.

Starting at age 50, follow your doctor's recommendation. Ask how often you need it.
Diabetes test

The USPSTF recommends screening for adults ages 40-70 who are overweight or obese.

The USPSTF recommends screening for adults ages 40-70 who are overweight or obese.

HIV test

The USPSTF recommends screening for adolescents and adults beginning at age 15. Rescreening is dependent on risk factors and should be made in accordance with physician recommendations.

The USPSTF recommends screening for adolescents and adults beginning at age 15. Rescreening is dependent on risk factors and should be made in accordance with physician recommendations

Syphilis test Get tested if you are pregnant or at increased risk for infection. Get tested if you are at increased risk.

Continued

Screening Tests for Women Only

Screening Test Ages 40-49 Ages 50-64
Bone mineral density test (screening for osteoporosis) The USPSTF recommends starting routine screening at age 65, or earlier for younger women at increased risk for osteoporosis. Check with your doctor about your risk of osteoporosis.
Breast cancer screening (mammogram)

The USPSTF says check with your doctor about whether you need testing.

The USPSTF says get tested every 2 years, starting at age 50.

Cervical cancer screening (Pap test) Get a Pap test every 3 years, or a Pap test along with a human papillomavirus (HPV) test every 5 years. No testing is needed if you had a hysterectomy and have no history of a high-grade precancerous lesion. Get a Pap test every 3 years or a Pap test along with a human papillomavirus (HPV) test every 5 years. No testing is needed if you had a hysterectomy and have no history of a high-grade precancerous lesion.
Chlamydia test Whether or not you are pregnant, get tested if you are sexually active and at increased risk. Get tested if you are sexually active and at increased risk. If you have to be treated, get retested after 3months.
Gonorrhea test Whether or not you are pregnant, get tested for gonorrhea if you are sexually active and at increased risk. Get tested for gonorrhea if you are sexually active and at increased risk.

Screening Tests for Men Only

For men, there is a screening test for prostate cancer called the PSA test.

The USPSTF says that testing may be appropriate for some men age 55 – 69. They recommend that men talk to their doctor to discuss the potential risks and benefits of being tested. The American Cancer Society says starting at age 50, possibly earlier if at high risk, men should discuss the pros and cons of the PSA test with their doctor to decide if it's right for them.

The American Urological Association says if you are a man ages 55 to 69, you should talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of a PSA test.

Check with your insurer to find out whether the PSA test is covered.

You should also talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of getting a test if you are at higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on August 07, 2018

Sources

SOURCES:

Womenshealth.gov: "Screening Tests and Vaccines: Screening Tests for Women" and "Screening Tests and Vaccines: Screening Tests for Men."

MedlinePlus: "Health Screening."

NCI: "Mammograms."

CDC: "Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing of Adults, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women in Health-Care Settings."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Screening for Prostate Cancer;" "Screening for Cervical Cancer;" Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Screening;" and "High Blood Pressure in Adults: Screening." "Prostate Cancer Screening Final Recommendation." "Colorectal Cancer: Screening." "Statin Use for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Adults: Preventive Medication." "High Blood Pressure in Adults: Screening."

American Urological Association: "Prostate Cancer Screening."
 

 

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