I Am a Woman between 50 - 59
Taking Care Of You
No matter what your age, taking care of yourself is always important. Choose your age category to learn what is important for you.
Screening Guidelines for women between 50 - 59
Blood pressure reading at least every two years. (For early detection of high blood pressure (hypertension), this can put you at greater risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure and kidney damage.)
Mammogram and clinical breast exam every one to two years.
As part of a clinical breast exam, your doctor examines your breasts and armpits, looking for color changes, skin irregularities and changes in your nipples, as well as lumps and enlarged lymph nodes in your breasts or armpits. Mammograms and other imaging techniques can detect calcification, breast lumps or other suspicious changes when they are too small to be detected by physical examination.
Pap test at least every three years to detect cancer and precancerous changes of your cervix.
Colon and Rectal Cancer
Colon and rectal cancer screening begins at age 50. The frequency of testing depends on the testing method selected as well as your personal risk factor for developing colon and rectal cancer. You may be at increased risk as a result of a family history of colon polyps, colon/rectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease. The following common screening tests — barium enema, colonoscopy, fecal occult blood test and flexible sigmoidoscopy— detect cancer and benign growths (polyps) on the inside wall of your colon that may become cancerous.
Lipid test every five years. This simple blood test measures the level of cholesterol and triglycerides (the lipids). Undesirable levels of lipids (fats) raise your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Dental checkup annually to detect tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancer.
Undergo a fasting blood sugars test if you’re at increased risk of diabetes. You may be at increased risk if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglycerides, obesity or a family history of diabetes. Your results will indicate how often you need this testing.
Eye exam every two to four years.
Bone density measurement at least once around age 65. Low bone density (osteoporosis) is a disease characterized by a loss of bone mass, which makes bones more fragile and likely to break. You may need screening earlier or more often if you are at increased risk of osteoporosis.
You may be at increased risk because of lifestyle, prior fractures, family history of osteoporosis or taking prednisone. The screening is a quick painless scan of your hip region, lower back and wrists. This test measures the density of your bones, indicating your risk of fracture at the most common sites affected.
The 50s can be a time of increased comfort with self, but “sandwiched” between the additional challenges in raising children/teenagers, and caregiving responsibilities with aging parents. As children leave home, the experience of the “empty nest” results in adaptations to the marriage/partnership. Perimenopause/menopause results in a spectrum of symptoms affecting self-image and mood.
Measure your height and weight to determine your BMI (body mass index). People who are overweight are more likely to have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and risk factors for other diseases.