Ages 40–64 Years: Exams and Screening Tests

The following exams and screening tests are recommended for women in this age group:

 

Exam/Screening Test

 

 

What and Why

 

 

When

 

 

Cervical cancer screening

 

 

A sample of cells is taken from the cervix to look for changes that could lead to cancer (Pap test); this test may be combined with testing for human papillomavirus in women aged 30 years and older

 

 

Preferred: Pap test and human papillomavirus testing (co-testing) every 5 years 

Optional: Pap test alone every 3 years

 

 

Clinical breast exam

 

 

Breast exam by a health care provider

 

 

Yearly

 

 

Colorectal cancer screening

 

 

Screening tests to look for cancer of the colon and rectum

 

 

Colonoscopy every 10 years (preferred) or other screening test beginning at age 50 years. African Americans should begin screening at age 45 years.

Other methods include the following tests:

• Yearly fecal occult blood test or fecal immunochemical test  with high sensitivity for cancer

• Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years

• Double contrast barium enema test every 5 years

• Computed tomography every 5 years

• Fecal DNA test (interval unknown)

 

 

Diabetes testing

 

 

A test to measure the level of glucose (a sugar that is present in the blood and is the body’s main source of fuel) because high levels could be a sign of diabetes mellitus

 

 

Every 3 years after age 45 years

 

 

Hepatitis C testing A blood test to assess whether a person is infected with hepatitis C virus  Once for persons born between 1945 and 1965 who are not aware of their infection status

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) test

 

 

A test to check for HIV, a virus that can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)

 

 

At least once during your lifetime; review annually for risk factors to determine if repeat testing is needed

 

 

Lipid profile assessment

 

 

A test used to assess the risk of heart disease that measures the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood

 

 

Every 5 years beginning at age 45 years

 

 

Mammography

 

 

An X-ray of the breast to look for breast cancer

 

 

Yearly

 

 

Thyroid-stimulating hormone screening

 

 

A test to check if your thyroid gland is working correctly

 

 

Every 5 years beginning at age 50 years

 

 

 

Next: Ages 40–64 Years: Immunizations

Your Annual Health Care Visit Home Page

Contact:

Caitlin Phelps
Associate Director of Gynecology
cphelps@acog.org