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    Prevention Guidelines

    Prevention Guidelines for Women 50–64

    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.

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

     Breast cancer

    All women

    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.

    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 or primary HPV testing every 5 years, or Pap test with reflex HPV test every 3 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:

    • Colonoscopy every 10 years (recommended) or .

    • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 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 fecal immunochemical test with 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 provider 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 provider 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 between the ages of 50 to 80 who are in fairly good health and are at higher risk for lung cancer who:

    • Currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years, and

    • Have a 20-pack year history of smoking (1 pack/day for 20 years or 2 packs/day for 10 years)


    Yearly lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan (LDCT); talk with your healthcare provider about your risk and situation

    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

    Alcohol use and alcohol-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 or Tdap 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

    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 risk

    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

    1 or more doses

    Pneumococcal (PCV13)

    Pneumococcal (PPSV23)

    People at risk

    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)

    Recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV)

    All women ages 50 and older

    2 doses; the 2nd dose is given 2 to 6 months after the first. This is given even if you've had shingles before or had a previous zoster live vaccine. 

    Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
    Online Medical Reviewer: Maryann Foley RN BSN
    Online Medical Reviewer: Robert Hurd MD
    Date Last Reviewed: 1/1/2021
    © 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. 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