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Which preventive health screenings are recommended for women in their 60s?

Healthy women in their 60s should have a routine physical and gynecological exam yearly. The following guidelines are also recommended for women in this age group:
  • Blood pressure test: Have your blood pressure taken at least every two years if normal, more often if it is at or above 120/80.
  • Bone mineral density exam/bone mass measurement: Once you reach age 65, you should be screened regardless of risk factors, and follow-up scans should be performed about every one to two years.
  • Breast self-exam (BSE): If you choose to perform a monthly BSE, ask your healthcare provider to show you how to perform one.
  • Cholesterol: Have your blood cholesterol tested every five years or more frequently if you have risk factors for heart disease.
  • Clinical breast exam: Screening recommendations vary on whether this is beneficial in combination with a mammogram, so talk with your healthcare provider about whether it's right for you.
  • Colorectal cancer screening: You should be screened for colorectal cancer using any of several different screening methods.
  • Dental exam: Visit the dentist regularly. Professional tooth cleaning is also important for preventing oral problems and should be done every six to 12 months.
  • Diabetes blood sugar test: You should be screened every three years; more often or earlier if you're overweight or have other risks for diabetes.
  • Eye exam: At age 65 and older, you should be examined every one to two years to check for eye conditions.
  • Mammography: You should be screened for breast cancer with mammography every one to two years. Guidelines on breast cancer screening vary, so talk to your healthcare provider about what's right for you.
  • Pap test and pelvic exam: If you've been screened and had normal results and are not at high risk for cervical cancer, you may stop getting screened after age 65.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases: If you have a history of chlamydia or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or you or your partner have had multiple sex partners, ask your healthcare provider about whether you need to be screened for STDs, including gonorrhea and HIV.
  • Skin exam: The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you have your skin examined every year.
  • Thyroid test (TSH): Recommendations vary. Ask your healthcare provider for guidance.
  • Weight: Ask your healthcare provider for more information on healthy weight guidelines or weight-management strategies.
This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.