Print out this list to keep track of tests and procedures you need after the age of 40 and take it with you to your next doctor's appointment.
Breast cancer screening
|Mammogram||Checks for breast cancer||40 (or earlier with certain risk factors)||Every 1 to 2 years, depending on risk|| |
|Doctor's breast exam||May detect breast cancers missed by mammography||20||Annually; Every three years for women 20-40|| |
Cervical cancer screening (one of the following)
|Pap smear and pelvic exam||Checks for cervical cancer||21||Every three years. Women older than 65 may be able to stop testing if your doctor says you're low risk.|| |
|HPV DNA test and pelvic exam||HPV is a virus that is known to cause cervical cancer||30||The PAP every three years and HPV every five years until age 65, or as recommended by your doctor. Women older than 65 may be able to stop testing if your doctor says you're low risk.|| |
|Pap smear plus HPV DNA test and pelvic exam||Some experts recommend as more precise means to check for cervical cancer||30||Every five years until age 65, or as recommended by your doctor. Women older than 65 may be able to stop testing if your doctor says you're low risk.|| |
Colorectal cancer screening
|*Your doctor will pick which screening test is best for you. Your screening schedule may be different depending on your personal and family history.|
Heart disease screening
|Blood cholesterol test||Measures amount of total cholesterol, "bad" LDL, and "good" HDL cholesterol circulating in the blood. Levels of triglycerides, another blood fat, are also usually checked.||20||Every 5 years, or at your doctor's discretion|| |
|Blood pressure check||Measures blood pressure, an indicator of heart risk||18||At least every other year, more often if reading is above normal|| |
|Fasting plasma glucose||Measures blood sugar, an indicator of diabetes risk|
45, or younger if you are overweight with BMI > 25kg/m2
and have other risk factors such as hypertension or high cholesterol
|Every three years if in normal range, or at your doctor's discretion|| |
|Bone mineral density test||Used as an indicator of bone strength and osteoporosis risk||65, or earlier for women with previous fragility fractures; a family history of osteoporosis; on medications that cause bone loss; or have problems with calcium absorption||At your doctor's discretion|| |
If you are sexually active and have a higher risk for STDs, get tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis yearly. Take an HIV test at least once, more frequently if you’re at risk.
|Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Td/Tdap) booster||Restores protection against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) infection||Varies. Recommended in the third trimester of each pregnancy.||One dose of Tdap as a booster, and then a Td booster every 10 years|| |
|Pneumonia vaccine||Provides lifelong protection against pneumonia||65 or earlier in people with risk factors, such as heart failure, lung disease, alcoholism, and others||Two shots if given at age 65 or later. May need to be repeated in people who have certain medical conditions who received it before the age of 65|| |
|Influenza vaccine||Provides protection against common influenza strains||Everyone 6 months of age and older||Yearly|
|Shingrix||To help protect against shingles||50||Two doses 2-6 months apart|| |
Other important screenings
- Skin exams. Most skin cancers are curable. Ask your doctor to check your skin any time you find any moles or skin changes.
- Eye exams. Be sure to get your eyes examined regularly -- every 1 to 2 years until age 60 -- to check for common problems like presbyopia, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Go more often if you have vision problems or risk factors for eye problems.
- Hepatitis C. The CDC recommends that anyone over the age of 18 get tested for hepatitis C at least once in a lifetime. It also recommends the test for people who are pregnant.
NOTE: Guidelines for screening vary. This is a compilation of generally accepted major screening recommendations from national health organizations and experts, but it is by no means comprehensive or a substitute for your doctor's advice.