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 have different recommendations, scientific research supports the USPSTF guidelines, and health insurance plans follow them for coverage purposes.

However, 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:

  • Lower than 120/80 or
  • Between 120/80 and 139/89, get tested every year.
  • 140/90 or higher, talk with your doctor about treatment

 

Cholesterol test

Women: Start testing at age 45, or as early as age 20, if you have a risk of heart disease.

Men: Start testing at age 35, or as early as age 20, as often as your doctor recommends.

Women and Men: Get tested as often as your doctor recommends.

Colorectal cancer screening

(fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy)

Screening is not recommended until age 50.

 

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, with rescreening every 3 years.

 

The USPSTF recommends screening for adults ages 40-70 who are overweight or obese, with rescreening every 3 years.

 

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. There are conflicting guidelines on this test.

The USPSTF says men should not get routine PSA testing. 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.

Because the PSA testing is not recommended by the USPSTF, insurers may not cover the cost.

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 Sarah Goodell on November 27, 2017

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."

American Urological Association: "Prostate Cancer Screening."

 

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