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FourthLevel-wellness+ Articles

wellness+ Articles

Medical Screenings You Should Not Skip
Plus a Couple You Might Not Need

If you’re 65 or older, experts recommend certain medical screenings, even if you are healthy or feeling fine. Having these screenings can help you avoid potential health problems and catch possible issues early when they are easier to manage.  Below are medical screenings you shouldn’t skip after age 65:

Screenings You Should Not Skip


How often?

Physical Exam

Every year.

Blood Pressure Screening

Every year, more often if you have certain health conditions.

Cholesterol Test

Have your cholesterol checked if you have never been screened or if you have risk factors for heart disease. If your levels are normal, a re-check may be recommended after 5 years or as directed by your healthcare provider. If your cholesterol levels are abnormal or if you have certain health conditions, you may need to have it checked more often.

Colon and Rectal Cancer Screening
Different types of tests:
Stool test
Sigmoidoscopy + stool test

Depends on type of test, and ranges from every year to every 10 years, until you turn 75.
You may need a colonoscopy more often if you have certain risk factors.

Dental Exam (and cleaning)

Every year.

Diabetes Screening  (fasting plasma glucose test)

Every 3 years, and more often if you have risk factors.

Eye Exam


Every 1 to 2 years if you have vision problems or are at risk for glaucoma.

Hearing Test

Every year if you have symptoms of hearing loss.

Lung Cancer Screening (low-dose computed tomography)  

Discuss with your doctor if you’ve been smoking for 30 years and still smoke or quit within the past 15 years.

Osteoporosis Screening (DEXA scan bone density test )

One time for women, and only for men with specific risk factors.

Mammogram (women only)

Every 1 to 2 years until age 75. If you are 75 or older, talk to your doctor about whether to have this screening.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening  (men only)

One time, only if you have smoked and are between 65-75 years old.

And below are screenings that you might be able to skip, depending on your situation:

Screenings You Might Not Need



Pelvic Exam and Pap Smear (women only)

After age 65, most women may stop having Pap smears as long as they have had 3 negative tests within the past 10 years.

PSA Test for Prostate Cancer (men only)

No longer recommended as a screening test for all men; talk to your doctor about your specific risk factors


These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, and are not intended to treat or cure any disease.  Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of scientific literature may vary.  Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise, or medication regimen.



Medline Plus: Health Screening Men over 65

Medline Plus: Health Screening Women over 65

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: Health Screening Recommendations

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion