Prevention Guidelines for Women 50–64

Here are the screening tests and immunizations that most women ages 50 to 64 need. Although you and your healthcare provider may decide that a different schedule is best for you, this plan can guide your discussion.


Who needs it

How often

Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes

All adults beginning at age 45 and adults 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

Alcohol misuse

All adults

At routine exams

Blood pressure

All adults

Guidelines recommend the following screening schedules:

  • Every 2 years if your blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 mm Hg, or
  • Yearly if systolic blood pressure reading of 120 to 139 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure reading of 80 to 89 mm Hg

Breast cancer

All women*

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

Our system has a more stringent recommendation. Please see our SCL Health mammography screening guidelines.

Cervical cancer

All women, except those who have had a hysterectomy with removal of the cervix for reasons not related to cervical cancer and have no history of cervical cancer or serious precancer

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


Women at increased risk for infection

At routine exams

Colorectal cancer

All adults starting at age 50

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS):

For tests that find polyps and cancer:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years1, or
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years, or
  • Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years1

For tests that primarily find cancer:

  • Yearly fecal occult blood test2, or
  • Yearly fecal immunochemical test every year2, or
  • Stool DNA test, every 3 years

The tests that are designed to find both early cancer and polyps are preferred if these tests are available to you and you are willing to have one of these more invasive tests. Talk with your doctor about which test is best for you


All adults in clinical practices that have staff and systems in place to assure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and follow-up

At routine exams


Sexually active women at increased risk for infection

At routine exams if at risk

Hepatitis C

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

At routine exams if at risk


All women

At routine exams if at risk

High cholesterol and triglycerides

All women ages 45 and older at increased risk for coronary artery disease

At least every 5 years


All adults

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 quits within 15 years

Osteoporosis, postmenopausal women

Women at age 60 who are at increased risk for fractures caused by osteoporosis

Check with your health care provider


Anyone at increased risk for infection

At routine exams if at risk


Anyone at increased risk for infection

Check with your healthcare provider


All adults3

Check with your healthcare provider for exam frequency


Who needs it

How often

Aspirin for prevention of cardiovascular problems

At-risk adults

Recommended for women ages 55 to 79 years when the potential benefit of reducing strokes outweighs the potential harm of an increase in gastrointestinal bleeding

When risk is identified; discuss with your healthcare provider before starting

Breast cancer, chemoprevention

Women at high risk

When risk is identified

BRCA mutation testing for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility

Women with increased risk

When risk is identified

Diet and exercise

Women who are overweight or obese

When diagnosed

Tobacco use and tobacco-related disease

All adults

Every exam


Who needs it

How often

Haemophilus influenzae B type

At risk adults

1 to 3 doses

pertussis (Td/Tdap) booster)

All adults

One-time Tdap booster, then Td every 10 years

Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)

Adults in this age group through their late 50s who have no previous infection or documented vaccinations**

1 to 2 doses

Chickenpox (varicella)

Adults ages 50 to 64 who have no previous infection or documented vaccinations**

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

Flu vaccine (seasonal)

All adults

Yearly, when the vaccine becomes available in the community

Hepatitis A vaccine

People at risk4

Two doses given at least 6 months apart

Hepatitis B vaccine

High risk adults

Three doses; 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)


People at risk**

One or more doses

Pneumococcal (PCV13)

Pneumococcal (PPSV23)

People at risk6

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)


All women ages 60 and older**

One dose

*American Cancer Society

**Exceptions may exist, please check with your healthcare provider

1If the test is positive, a colonoscopy should be done

2The multiple stool take-home test should be used. One test done by the doctor in the office is not adequate for testing. A colonoscopy should be done if the test is positive.

3Recommendation from the American Academy of Ophthalmology

4For complete list, see the CDC website

5For complete list, see the CDC website

6For complete list, see the CDC website

Other guidelines are from the USPSTF

Immunization schedule from the CDC

Online Medical Reviewer: Cunningham, Louise, RN 
Online Medical Reviewer: Godsey, Cynthia, MSN, APRN, MSHE, FNP-BC 
Online Medical Reviewer: Stump-Sutliff, Kim, RN, MSN, AOCNS 
Online Medical Reviewer: Turley, Ray, BSN, MSN 

Date Last Reviewed: 11/5/2015 

© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.


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