Screenings for Women

Routine disease screenings can help protect us from developing a number of serious diseases or help us treat certain health conditions before they worsen. The providers at Cabell Huntington Hospital, St. Mary’s Medical Center and HIMG, members of Marshall Health Network, are ready to assist you in scheduling the screenings that you need.

The following are recommended tests for adult women age 40 and older:


Women aged 40-75 should have a mammogram every 1-2 years, depending on their risk factors. Women over 75 should discuss screening with their health provider.

Blood Pressure Screening

Women should have their blood pressure tested every two years; yearly screening should be undertaken if blood pressure exceeds 140/90. Women with diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems or certain other conditions should be checked more often.

Cholesterol Screening

This testing should begin between the ages of 40 and 45. Women with normal cholesterol should be retested every five years. Women with changes in weight gain and diet, or who have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems or certain other conditions, should be monitored more closely.

Diabetes Screening

After the age of 45, women should be screened every three years. Women who are overweight or have blood pressure above 140/80 should be tested earlier and/or more frequently.

Osteoporosis Screening

A perimenopausal bone density test (DEXA scan) of hip and lumbar spine should be undertaken by women over 50 with fractures or a risk of fractures. All women should have a bone density test done at least once at age 65 or older.

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Women under 45 should be screened if they have a family history of colon cancer or polyps, or other risk factors. Women between 45 and 75 should be screened regularly with one of the following tests:

  • Fecal occult blood (stool-based) test every year
  • Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year
  • Stool DNA test every three years
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
  • Double contrast barium enema every five years
  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every five years
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years

Cervical Cancer Screening

Women in their 20s should have a Pap smear every three years. Between the ages of 40-65, women should have a Pap and human papillomavirus (HPV) test every five years, or a Pap test alone every three years. Women who have had a total hysterectomy no longer need Pap smears. After age 65, most women can stop having Pap smears after three negative tests within the last 10 years.

To schedule these important screenings, talk with your primary care provider. If you do not have one, providers across Marshall Health Network are accepting new patients. 

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