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 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

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
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