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    Prevention Guidelines

    Prevention Guidelines for Women 50 to 64

    Here are the screening tests and immunizations that most women ages 50 to 64 need. A screening test is done to find possible health problems or diseases in people who don't have any symptoms. The goal is to find a disease early so lifestyle changes can be made and you can be watched more closely to lower the risk of disease, or to find it early enough to treat it most effectively. Screening tests are not diagnostic. But they are used to find out if more testing is needed. Health counseling is vital, too. You and your healthcare provider may decide that a different schedule is best for you. But this plan can guide your discussion.


    Who needs it

    How often

    Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes

    All adults starting 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

    Yearly checkup if your blood pressure is normal.

    Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg. 1

    If your blood pressure reading is higher than normal, follow the advice of your healthcare provider.

     Breast cancer

    All women 2

    Yearly mammogram should be done until age 54. At age 55, switch to mammograms every other year. Or you may choose to continue yearly mammograms. 2

    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 a higher risk for infection

    At routine exams

    Colorectal cancer

    All women of average risk in this age group

    According to the American Cancer Society (ACS):

    For tests that find polyps and cancer:

    • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, or

    • Colonoscopy every 10 years, or

    • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years

    For tests that primarily find cancer:

    • Yearly fecal occult blood test, or

    • Yearly fecal immunochemical test every year, or

    • Stool DNA test, every 3 years

    You will need a follow-up colonoscopy if you choose any test other than a colonoscopy and you have an abnormal result. Screening recommendations vary among expert groups. Talk with your doctor about which test is best for you.

    Some people should be screened using a different schedule because of their personal or family history. Talk with your doctor about your health history and what colorectal cancer screening schedule 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 a higher risk for infection

    At routine exams if at risk

    Hepatitis C

    Adults at a higher 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 a higher risk for coronary artery disease

    At least every 5 years


    All adults

    At routine exams

    Lung cancer


    Adults age 55 to 74 who in fairly good health and are at higher risk for lung cancer defined as current smokers or persons who have quit within past 15 years, and have a 30-pack-year smoking history (Eligibility criteria may vary across major organizations; Age limit may extend to age 80.)

    Talk with your healthcare provider for more information.


    Yearly lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan (LDCT)

    Osteoporosis, postmenopausal women

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

    Check with your health care provider


    Adults at a higher risk for infection

    At routine exams if at risk


    Adults at a higher risk for infection

    Check with your healthcare provider.


    All adults5

    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; talk 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 a higher risk

    When risk is identified

    Diet and exercise

    Women who are overweight or obese

    When diagnosed

    Sexually transmitted disease prevention

    Adults at a higher risk for infection

    At routine exams

    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

    Tetanus/diphtheria/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 6

    1 to 2 doses

    Chickenpox (varicella)

    Adults ages 50 to 64 who have no previous infection or documented vaccinations 6

    2 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 risk7

    2 doses given at least 6 months apart

    Hepatitis B vaccine

    High risk adults

    3 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 6

    1 or more doses

    Pneumococcal (PCV13)

    Pneumococcal (PPSV23)

    People at risk 7

    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 6

    1 dose

    1. American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines

    2. American Cancer Society

    3. If the test is positive, a colonoscopy should be done.

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

    5. Recommendation from the American Academy of Ophthalmology

    6. Exceptions may exist. Please check with your healthcare provider.

    7. For complete list, see the CDC website.

    Other guidelines from the USPSTF

    Immunization schedule from the CDC

    Online Medical Reviewer: Adler, Liora C, MD
    Online Medical Reviewer: Cunningham, Louise, RN
    Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2018
    © 2000-2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 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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    Southern New Mexico
    Surgery Center

    2301 Indian Wells Rd. Suite B
    Alamogordo, NM 88310

    Phone: 575.437.0890
    Fax: 575.437.0905