In Your 50s
Now is the time to cultivate your vitality in life and in health. These are guidelines only. Your doctor or nurse will personalize the timing of each test to meet your specific healthcare needs.
- Full checkup — Including weight and height.
- Sleep habits — Discuss at your annual exam.
- Thyroid (TSH) test — Every five years.
- HIV screening — Get this test if you are at risk for HIV infection (unprotected sex, sexually transmitted disease, or used drugs with needles).
- Hepatitis C (HCV) screening — Get this one-time screening if you were born between 1945 and 1965.
- Sunscreen — Wear sunscreen to help prevent skin cancer.
- Blood pressure test — At least every two years.
- Cholesterol panel — Total, LDL, HDL and triglycerides; discuss frequency with your healthcare provider.
- Bone density screen — Discuss with your healthcare provider.
- Blood glucose or A1c test — Get screened if you have sustained blood pressure greater than 135/80, take medicine for high blood pressure, or are at risk for developing diabetes.
- Breast self-exam — Become familiar with your breasts so you can identify any changes and discuss with your healthcare provider.
- Clinical breast exam — Yearly.
- Mammogram — Yearly.
- Pelvic exam — Yearly.
- Pap test — Every three years.
- Sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests — Both partners should get tested for STIs, including HIV, before initiating sexual intercourse. Get a chlamydia test if you have new or multiple partners.
- Discuss with your healthcare provider.
- Fecal occult blood test, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy — Starting at age 50, get screened for colorectal cancer. Talk to your healthcare provider about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.
Oral, Eye & Ear Health
- Dental cleaning and exam — Semiannual exam & cleaning.
- Comprehensive eye exam — Every 2-4 years.
- Hearing test — Every three years.
- Skin exam — Monthly self-exam of skin and moles and as part of a routine full checkup with your healthcare provider.
- Seasonal influenza vaccine — Yearly.
- Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster vaccine — Every 10 years.
- Pneumococcal vaccine — One time only.
Sources: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention