Women’s health screening guidelines for every age


Key takeaways:

·       Learn the key screenings every woman should have based on age.

·       Keep colorectal health on your radar.

·       Find out when to schedule your mammogram to monitor your breast health.


Women are the ultimate jugglers. But they can often neglect their own health while balancing the needs of others. Although adding more to your to-do list may seem overwhelming, it's essential to keep up with the recommended screenings and procedures based on your age and family history. And if you're staring down age 50, it's time to schedule that mammogram or colonoscopy.

In honor of Women’s Health Month, we’re providing some guidance to help you stay on top of your health and prepare for your next well visit.

Don’t ignore your colorectal cancer health

Women often put off colon screening, specifically a colonoscopy—possibly because the testing takes more effort and preparation than many screenings and requires help getting home once you complete the procedure.

Although it isn’t a convenient procedure, it’s important to get screened because a colonoscopy can detect precancerous polyps and remove them before they progress into cancer. 

Mammograms, self-exams and breast health

Different medical groups, including the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists recommend slightly different ages when you should schedule your first mammogram. They also vary slightly on the recommended frequency.

The bottom line is there are a few different guidelines for mammograms, but management should be individualized depending on each woman's risk factors for breast cancer. So, if it’s time to schedule your regular screening mammogram – and especially if you have any concerning symptoms – don’t delay. “Cancer that is detected in the later stages is more challenging to treat, and that can have a huge impact on patients,” says Christine A. Lee, M.D., FACS, interim medical director of the Swedish Breast Care Program. 

Breast self-exams are another vital component of maintaining your breast health. It’s a good idea for women to examine their breasts and become familiar with how they normally look and feel so they can get a timely evaluation if there are any changes.

Screenings all women need

Don’t put off the care you need to maintain an active, healthy life at any age. Here’s a quick checklist you can keep handy for your next well visit.



Find a doctor

Whether you require an in-person visit or want to consult with a doctor virtually, you have options. Swedish Virtual Care connects you face-to-face with a nurse practitioner who can review your symptoms, provide instruction and follow-up as needed. If you need to find a doctor, you can use our provider directory.

Find out the latest updates on how we’re handling COVID-19.

Related resources

Colorectal cancer screenings may save your life

Don’t delay your mammogram even during COVID-19

Don’t delay life-saving cancer screenings

Heart disease: What women need to know

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

About the Author

Whether you are seeking gynecological advice, need help navigating your way through the menopause stage of life or researching a recent breast cancer diagnosis, the Swedish Women's Health Team is committed to helping women find the information they need to live happy and healthy lives.

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