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reviewed 11/1/2018

Screening tests

Learn more about which tests are recommended in each decade of life.

20s:

Women

Blood pressure. At least every 2 years.

Cholesterol. Every 4 to 6 years.

Cervical cancer. Pap test every 3 years starting at age 21.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea. Yearly through age 24, if you're sexually active. Thereafter depending on your risk factors.

Men

Blood pressure. At least every 2 years.

Cholesterol. Every 4 to 6 years.

30s:

Women

Blood pressure. At least every 2 years.

Cholesterol. Every 4 to 6 years.

Diabetes. Ask your doctor.

Cervical cancer. Pap test plus an HPV test every 5 years (preferred) or a Pap test every 3 years.

Men

Blood pressure. At least every 2 years.

Cholesterol. Every 4 to 6 years.

Diabetes. Ask your doctor.

40s:

Women

Blood pressure. At least every 2 years.

Cholesterol. Every 4 to 6 years.

Colorectal cancer. Start at age 45. Talk to your doctor about screening options.

Diabetes. At least every 3 years, starting at age 45.

Breast cancer. Mammogram every year, starting at age 45.

Cervical cancer. Pap test plus an HPV test every 5 years (preferred) or a Pap test every 3 years.

Men

Blood pressure. At least every 2 years.

Cholesterol. Every 4 to 6 years.

Colorectal cancer. Start at age 45. Talk to your doctor about screening options.

Diabetes. At least every 3 years, starting at age 45.

Prostate cancer. African American men should talk with their doctor about the pros and cons of screening at age 45.

50s:

Women

Blood pressure. At least every 2 years.

Cholesterol. Every 4 to 6 years.

Colorectal cancer. Talk to your doctor about screening options.

Diabetes. At least every 3 years.

Breast cancer. Mammogram every year until age 55. Mammogram every 2 years starting at age 55.

Cervical cancer. Pap test plus an HPV test every 5 years (preferred) or a Pap test every 3 years.

Men

Blood pressure. At least every 2 years.

Cholesterol. Every 4 to 6 years.

Colorectal cancer. Talk to your doctor about screening options.

Diabetes. At least every 3 years.

Prostate cancer. At age 50, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of screening.

60s:

Women

Blood pressure. At least every 2 years.

Cholesterol. Every 4 to 6 years.

Colorectal cancer. Talk to your doctor about screening options.

Diabetes. At least every 3 years.

Osteoporosis. Start at age 65; thereafter depends on your risk factors.

Breast cancer. Mammogram every 2 years.

Cervical cancer. Women who have been screened regularly and had normal results can stop screening at age 65.

Men

Blood pressure. At least every 2 years.

Cholesterol. Every 4 to 6 years.

Colorectal cancer. Talk to your doctor about screening options.

Diabetes. At least every 3 years.

Prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of screening.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm. Once between ages 65 and 75 if you've ever been a smoker.

70+:

Women

Blood pressure. At least every 2 years.

Cholesterol. Every 4 to 6 years.

Colorectal cancer. Through age 75, talk to your doctor about screening options.

Diabetes. At least every 3 years.

Osteoporosis. Depends on your risk factors.

Breast cancer. Mammogram every 2 years.

Cervical cancer. Only if you had serious cervical precancer in the past 20 years.

Men

Blood pressure. At least every 2 years.

Cholesterol. Every 4 to 6 years.

Colorectal cancer. Through age 75, talk to your doctor about screening options.

Diabetes. At least every 3 years.

Osteoporosis. Start at age 70; thereafter depends on your risk factors.

Prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of screening.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm. Once between ages 65 and 75 if you've ever been a smoker.

Screening tests can help you find and head off health problems early.

This information is intended as a general guide. Talk to your doctor for details on what types of test you need and when to get them.

Sources: American Cancer Society; American Heart Association; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; National Osteoporosis Foundation; Office on Women's Health

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