Ask Dr. K

May 25, 2012

Regular screening tests allow timely intervention


(1) Fecal occult blood test: yearly OR

(2) Flexible sigmoidoscopy: every five years OR

(3) Colonoscopy: every 10 years.

  • Complete eye exam: every two to four years, or as advised by clinician.
  • Hearing test: every three years.
  • Mole exam: clinical exam or physical; self-exam monthly.
  • Dental exam: routinely; discuss with dentist.

Finally, pay attention to your body. Keep an eye on new spots and bumps. Note changes in your regular patterns, be they in appetite, sleep, mood, energy or bowel habits.

We have more information on staying healthy as you age in our Special Health Report, "A Guide to Women's Health: Fifty and Forward." (Learn more about this report at, or call 877-649-9457 toll-free to order it.)

Screening guidelines change once you hit age 65, so revisit this topic with your doctor in a few years.

Dr.Komaroff is a physician and professor at Harvard Medical School. To send questions, go to, or write: Ask Doctor K, 10 Shattuck St., Second Floor, Boston, MA 02115.

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