Screenings and Immunizations: The Tests to Get and When to Get ‘Em

This healthy post is provided by The Chester County Hospital and Health System. To learn more about screening guidelines, visit us online.
Having routine checkups and preventative screening tests are essential to living a healthy life, but who has time to figure out everything you need and when you need it?
“Keeping up with preventive screenings and immunizations are so important to your overall health,” explains Dr. Eduardo Mercurio, Ob/Gyn. “Many diseases don’t show physical warning signs, but screenings can detect symptoms earlier, which allows treatment to be started sooner.” This is especially important for moms of teenage daughters who may soon be entering the ages of recommended screenings. Setting your daughter up for a healthy life may be one of the simplest things you can do – if you know where to start.
In this post, you will find tips and tests for women of all ages. Then, jump to your age range to find out what you should be doing to stay in good health.
Every Woman, Every Age
Make sure you can mark these things off your mental checklist when thinking about your wellness, no matter your age. Starting at age 18, these guidelines can also help prepare your daughter for upcoming screenings she should have as well.
General Health:
Routine check-up, including height, weight and mole exam
Thyroid (TSH) Test – talk with your doctor
HIV Test – get this test at least once to find out your HIV status (talk to your doctor about repeat testing)
Heart Health:
Blood Pressure Test – every 2 years
Cholesterol Test – talk to your doctor
Skin Health:
Mole Exam – monthly self-exam
Ages 18-39
Immunizations:
Seasonal Influenza Vaccine – yearly
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Td/Tdap) Vaccine – every 10 years
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – up to age 26, if not already completed vaccine series (discuss with your doctor)
Ages 40-49
Immunizations:
Seasonal Influenza Vaccine – yearly
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Td/Tdap) Vaccine – every 10 years
Bone Health:
Bone Density Screen – discuss with your doctor
Diabetes:
Blood Glucose or A1c – start at age 45, then every 3 years
Ages 50-64
Immunizations:
Seasonal Influenza Vaccine – yearly
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Td/Tdap) Vaccine – every 10 years
Herpes Zoster Vaccine (to prevent shingles) – starting at age 60, one time only
Bone Health:
Bone Density Screen – discuss with your doctor
Diabetes:
Blood Glucose or A1c – every 3 years
Colorectal Health (use 1 of these 3 methods):
Fecult Occult Blood Test – yearly
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy (with fecal occult blood test) – every 5 years
Colonoscopy – every 10 years
Age 65+
Immunizations:
Seasonal Influenza Vaccine – yearly
Pneumococcal Vaccine – one time only
Tetanus-Diphtheria (Td) Booster Vaccine – every 10 years
Herpes Zoster Vaccine (to prevent shingles) – starting at age 60, one time only
Bone Health:
Bone Density Screen – get a bone mineral density test at least once and talk to your doctor about repeat testing
Diabetes:
Blood Glucose or A1c – every 3 years
Colorectal Health (use 1 of these 3 methods):
Fecult Occult Blood Test – yearly (talk to your doctor if over age 75)
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy (with fecal occult blood test) – every 5 years (talk to your doctor if over age 75)
Colonoscopy – every 10 years (talk to your doctor if over age 75)
Family History
Know your family history to have further screenings. Below are some steps to take for common cases that may run in the family.
Breast Cancer:
Genetic Counseling (to discuss breast and ovarian cancer risk)
Breast MRI
Ovarian Cancer Tests
Other Cancers and Diabetes:
Genetic Counseling
Early Screening Tests
High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Heart Disease:
Blood Pressure Test
Cholesterol Test
Risk Factors
Your lifestyle and family history has a big impact on your health, too – see if you fall into any of these categories to find out what further screenings may be best for you.
College Age:
MMR Vaccine
Varicella Vaccine
Smoker:
Blood Pressure Test
Cholesterol Test
Pneumococcal Vaccine
Overweight:
Blood Pressure Test
Cholesterol Test
Blood Glucose or A1c Test
Family History of Cancer or Diabetes:
Genetic Counseling
Early Screening Tests
Family History of High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Heart Disease:
Blood Pressure Test
Cholesterol Test
Take charge of your health by knowing these screening and immunization guidelines for your age. These are recommendations only – talk with your doctor to decide what is best for you.
These guidelines have been adapted from www.womenshealth.gov.

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