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    Prevention Guidelines

    Prevention Guidelines for Women 65+

    Here are the screening tests and immunizations that most women at age 65 and older need. Although you and your healthcare provider may decide that a different schedule is best for you, this plan can guide your discussion. In addition, major organizations may vary in recommendations on these prevention guidelines.


    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 use or misuse

    All adults

    At routine exams

    Blood pressure

    All adults

    Every year if your blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 mm Hg

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

    Breast cancer

    All women

    Mammogram every other year or you may choose to continue mammograms every year

    Cervical cancer

    According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), women older than 65 who have had regular screening with normal results do not need to be screened for cervical cancer. Once screening is stopped, it should not be started again.

    Discuss with your healthcare provider


    Women at increased risk for infection

    At routine exams if at risk

    Colorectal cancer

    All women of average risk and in good health in this age group, through age 75. For women ages 76 to 85, talk with your healthcare provider about continued screening. For women 85 and older, experts don't advise screening.

    The ACS recommends:

    Several tests are available and used at different times.

    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 plus 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 who have access to a clinical practice that has staff and systems in place to assure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and follow-up

    At routine exams


    Sexually active women who are at increased risk for infection

    At routine exams if at risk


    Anyone 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

    High cholesterol and triglycerides

    All women ages 20 and older at increased risk for coronary artery disease

    At least every 5 years, or more frequently if recommended by your healthcare provider  

    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


    All adults

    At routine exams

    Osteoporosis, postmenopausal

    All women ages 65 and older

    Bone density test at age 65, then follow-up as recommended by healthcare 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 adults

    Every 1 to 2 years; if you have a chronic disease, check with your healthcare provider for exam frequency


    Who needs it

    How often

    Aspirin for prevention of cardiovascular problems

    Women ages 55 to 79 when the potential benefits from reducing ischemic strokes outweigh the potential harm from an increase in gastrointestinal hemorrhage

    Discuss with your healthcare provider

    Diet and exercise

    Adults who are overweight or obese

    When diagnosed and at routine exams

    Fall prevention (exercise, vitamin D supplements)

    All women in this age group

    At routine exams

    Sexually transmitted diseases prevention

    All women at increased risk

    At routine exams

    Tobacco use and tobacco-related disease

    All adults

    Every exam


    Who needs it

    How often

    Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Td/Tdap) booster

    All adults

    Td: Every 10 years

    Tdap is recommended if you are in contact with a child 12 months or younger. Either Td or Tdap can be used if you have no contact with infants.

    Chickenpox (varicella)

    All adults age 65 and older who have no previous infection or documented vaccinations*

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

    Flu (seasonal)

    All adults

    Yearly, when the vaccine becomes available in the community

    Hepatitis A vaccine

    People at risk

    Two doses given 6 months apart

    Hepatitis B vaccine

    People at risk

    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)

    Haemophilus influenzae Type B (HIB)

    Women at increased risk for infection, talk with your healthcare provider

    1 to 3 doses

    Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23)

    All adults age 65 and older

    1 dose of each vaccine

    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