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What Health Screenings Do You Really Need If You Are Over Age 50?

8 key tests the experts recommend

Cervical cancer: Pap smear

The test: a Pap test, involving a swab of the cervix.

The guidelines: The task force strongly recommends screening for women through age 65, saying evidence supports testing at least every three years. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists agrees it's "reasonable" to stop getting the Pap test at 65 or 70, assuming you've been adequately screened in the past and received no abnormal results for a decade.

What to consider: Cervical cancer can and does kill, but it is almost wholly preventable when abnormal cells are caught early. Indeed, death from cervical cancer has plunged after the introduction of the Pap test more than a half-century ago. Unlike breast cancer rates, cervical cancer incidence declines as women enter their 60s and 70s.

Next: Osteoporosis scan. »

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