Ages 65 Years and Older: Exams and Screening Tests

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


Exam/Screening Test



What and Why






Bone density screening



A screening test for osteoporosis



No more than once every 2 years beginning at age 65 years, unless new health risks develop



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



You and your health care provider may decide to discontinue cervical cancer screening if you have had two negative co-test results in a row or three negative Pap test results in a row within the previous 10 years, with the most recent test performed within the past 5 years, and no history of moderate dysplasia or higher.



Clinical breast exam



Breast exam by a health care provider






Colorectal cancer screening



Screening tests to look for cancer of the colon and rectum



Colonoscopy every 10 years (preferred). 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



Every 3 years



Hepatitis C testing A 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

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






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



Yearly; talk to your health care provider about whether to continue having mammograms if you are aged 75 years or older



Thyroid-stimulating hormone screening



A test to check if your thyroid gland is working correctly



Every 5 years






A test to measure the levels of certain substances, such as glucose, in your urine







Next: Ages 65 Years and Older: Immunizations

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