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Guide to Blood Tests for Seniors – Advanced Screening for Longevity & Prevention

Futuristic blood vials aligned with a digital holographic screen showing health reports and predictive analytics in a minimalist setup.

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Read this First – The Important Disclaimer about Advanced Blood Tests

Before delving into the specifics of blood tests, it’s crucial to emphasize that the information provided on the site is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace the advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. You should consult your doctors for personal health concerns and before starting any new health-related protocol. Many of these cutting edge tests involve new science that is not yet FDA approved.

Routine Bloodwork After Age 60

Routine bloodwork is a cornerstone of preventive healthcare, helping to catch potential health issues before they become serious. For individuals over the age of 60, regular screenings become even more critical due to the increased risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Routine blood tests typically include:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC): Screens for blood disorders such as anemia or clotting issues.
  • Lipid Profile: Assesses the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, important for heart health.
  • Liver Function Tests: Evaluates the health of the liver by measuring enzymes, proteins, and substances in the blood.
  • Kidney Function Tests: Assesses how well the kidneys are working by measuring substances like creatinine and urea.
  • Blood Glucose Levels: Screens for diabetes or prediabetes conditions.
  • Thyroid Function Tests: Checks how well your thyroid is working.
  • Vitamin D and B12 Levels: Important for bone health and energy levels, respectively.

The frequency of these tests depends on individual health conditions, family history, and previous test results. However, a general recommendation is to have a comprehensive panel done annually.

These medically approved routine tests are important and can help diagnose issues and for chronic illness management. However, there are still many detectable diseases  that are not covered in routine medical tests.

 

Company NameTest Type1-Sentence DescriptionProsConsPrice
GrailGalleriA multi-cancer early detection test analyzing cell-free DNA to identify signals associated with over 50 types of cancer.- Capable of detecting over 50 types of cancer from a single blood draw.
- Utilizes advanced sequencing and machine learning for analysis.
- High cost.
- Not covered by most health insurance plans at this time.
$949
Exact SciencesCancerguard™An innovative multi-cancer early detection test aiming to detect cancers early using a multi-biomarker approach for higher treatment efficacy.- Focuses on early-stage cancer detection.
- Leverages multiple biomarker classes for comprehensive screening.
- Supported by the DETECT-A study, showing potential to double the number of screen-detected cancers.
- Still under development and not yet FDA approved.
- Pricing details not disclosed.
Not Disclosed
23andMeHealth + Ancestry ServiceProvides insights into genetic predispositions, carrier status for inherited conditions, wellness traits, and comprehensive ancestry analysis using genotyping technology.- Direct-to-consumer, no doctor's prescription needed.
- FDA authorized for certain reports.
- Offers a wide range of genetic health insights and ancestry information.
- Not a direct equivalent to cancer screening tests.
- Cost is out-of-pocket as it's generally not covered by health insurance.
~$199
TruDiagnosticBiological Age TestUtilizes advanced epigenetic data analysis to measure biological age, offering insights for lifestyle and medical interventions to potentially extend lifespan and improve health.- Focuses on biological aging with insights for anti-aging interventions.
- Largest private epigenetic database, leveraging AI for cutting-edge diagnostic tools.
- CLIA certified lab ensuring high standards and reliability.
- Specific regulatory details not mentioned.
- Focuses more on aging rather than disease detection.
Not Disclosed
OneTest™Multi-Cancer ScreeningAn advanced blood test for early detection of over 20 types of cancer, enhanced by artificial intelligence for accurate biomarker analysis.- AI-powered analysis for enhanced sensitivity and accuracy.
- Affordable pricing supports annual testing.
- Comprehensive screening for a wide range of cancers with the potential to improve survival rates through early detection.
- Regulatory approvals not explicitly mentioned.
- Focuses on tumor proteins rather than genetic screening.
Standard: $189
Premium: $269

Advanced Blood Tests for Longevity & Wellness

Beyond routine screenings, there are advanced blood tests that can provide deeper insights into your health and potential risks for certain conditions, including early detection of cancers. These tests can be categorized based on their primary focus:

1. Health Markers

 

 

  • Inflammatory markers such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) can indicate chronic inflammation, which is linked to various diseases.
  • Advanced lipid profiling provides a deeper look into the types of cholesterol and particle sizes, important for cardiovascular health.

2. Early Cancer Detection

 

 

  • Multi-cancer early detection tests: Utilize advanced technology to detect genetic markers or mutations in the blood that could indicate the presence of cancer. Companies like Grail and Exact Sciences are at the forefront, offering tests capable of screening for multiple types of cancer from a single blood draw.

3. Genetic Tests for Disease Prediction

 

 

  • Genetic testing analyzes DNA to identify changes or mutations that may indicate a higher risk of developing specific diseases, including various types of cancers, heart disease, and neurodegenerative conditions. These tests can offer invaluable insights for individuals with a family history of certain diseases, allowing for early intervention and personalized health management strategies.

Innovative Blood Testing Companies

Grail / Galleri Test

Grail is a healthcare company based in Menlo Park, California, focusing on early cancer detection through blood testing. A subsidiary of Illumina, Grail was launched with the ambitious goal of developing an early cancer screening test for asymptomatic individuals. Their flagship product, the Galleri test, introduced in June 2021, is a multi-cancer early detection (MCED) test capable of identifying signals associated with over 50 types of cancer from a single blood draw. Grail employs advanced sequencing technology and machine learning to analyze cell-free DNA for abnormal methylation patterns indicative of cancer. The company has been involved in numerous clinical trials to validate the efficacy and utility of its MCED tests

  • Test Name: Galleri
  • Screens For: Over 50 types of cancer with a single blood draw.
  • Technology: Utilizes advanced sequencing and the analysis of cell-free DNA to detect cancer signals.
  • Cancers Detected: Capable of detecting a wide range of cancers.
  • Cost: The list price for the Galleri test is $949. Most health insurance plans do not cover the cost of the Galleri test at this time. However, a flexible payment plan may assist with 0% interest for up to 12 months.
  • Accessibility: A doctor’s prescription is required for the test. The test is recommended for use in adults with an elevated risk for cancer, such as those aged 50 or older

Exact Sciences Cancerguard™

 

Exact Sciences is at the forefront of the multi-cancer early detection (MCED) field, which is rapidly evolving as a novel approach to cancer screening and detection. With a focus on enhancing public health outcomes through early detection, Exact Sciences is dedicated to the rigorous development of its pioneering Cancerguard™ test. This test represents a significant advancement in the realm of cancer diagnostics, aiming to augment existing screening standards with its innovative approach.

Vision and Development Approach: The Cancerguard™ test embodies Exact Sciences’ commitment to unlocking the full potential of MCED testing. It is designed to integrate seamlessly with standard-of-care screenings, leveraging the combined power of multiple biomarker classes. The test aspires to detect a wide array of cancers, particularly those with significant public health impact, while ensuring high specificity to minimize false positives. Its emphasis on detecting early-stage cancers enhances the prospects for effective treatment and curative intervention. The development process is characterized by a comprehensive, evidence-based approach, including a streamlined imaging-based diagnostic resolution pathway to reduce the need for invasive procedures.

Clinical Validation: The foundation of Cancerguard™’s development was laid by the DETECT-A study, a groundbreaking initiative that doubled the number of screen-detected cancers and identified cancers in the absence of recommended screening protocols. This study enrolled over 10,000 women without a cancer history, exploring the efficacy of combining blood testing with standard screenings for early cancer detection. Subsequent research has further validated the importance of a multi-biomarker approach, demonstrating significant potential in early cancer detection across various organ types, which constitute approximately 75% of all cancer deaths. Preliminary results have shown over 62% overall sensitivity, with stage-specific sensitivities of 30.4% for Stage I and 50.4% for Stage II cancers, while maintaining high specificity.

Future Directions: Exact Sciences is committed to continuing its rigorous clinical development pathway, focusing on finalizing biomarker selection and initiating a comprehensive, prospective, interventional, longitudinal pivotal trial. This effort is supported by collaboration with the broader cancer community, patient advocacy groups, and professional forums to collectively advance the field of cancer detection.

Regulatory Status and Thought Leadership: As of now, the Cancerguard™ test is still under development and has not received clearance or approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any other regulatory body. Its features and capabilities are being refined to meet the high standards required for regulatory approval. Exact Sciences is also actively contributing to the growth of thought leadership in the MCED field, engaging with various stakeholders to shape the future of cancer detection.

  • Screens For: Aims to detect multiple cancers, particularly those with significant public health impact, using a single blood draw.
  • Technology: Incorporates a multi-biomarker approach, harnessing the additive sensitivity of mutations, methylation, proteins, and aneuploidy to detect cancer signals.
  • Cancers Detected: Designed to detect cancer across various organ types, representing approximately 75% of all cancer deaths, with a focus on early-stage detection for a higher chance of effective treatment.
    Cost: The CancerGuard™ test is currently under development; therefore, pricing details have not been disclosed. Similar to other innovative medical technologies, cost considerations will likely address market dynamics and insurance coverage policies at the time of launch.
  • Accessibility: Upon approval, the test is expected to require a doctor’s prescription. It aims to complement existing standard-of-care screenings and may be recommended for individuals at elevated risk for cancer, following clinical guidelines established through ongoing and future studies.

Key Results and Efficacy:

  • DETECT-A Study Outcomes: Demonstrated the potential to double the number of screen-detected cancers and detect cancers that are not covered by recommended screening protocols.
  • Sensitivity and Specificity: Achieved >62% overall sensitivity in detecting early-stage cancers (30.4% for Stage I and 50.4% for Stage II), while maintaining high specificity to minimize false positives.
  • Clinical Development: Ongoing studies aim to finalize biomarker selection, with plans for a comprehensive, prospective interventional trial to further validate the test’s efficacy.

Regulatory Status: The CancerGuard™ test is under development and has not yet been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any other regulatory authority. Its features and performance characteristics are subject to change based on ongoing research and regulatory review processes.

Overall, the CancerGuard™ test by Exact Sciences represents a promising advancement in the field of multi-cancer early detection (MCED), offering hope for a more effective approach to cancer screening and the potential to significantly impact cancer outcomes through early detection.

  • Developing: Cancerguard™
  • Focus: Multi-cancer early detection test, though detailed cost and insurance coverage information would require further research specific to this product.

23andMe

23andMe is primarily known as a direct-to-consumer genetic testing company that offers insights into ancestry, traits, and health predispositions based on DNA analysis. While 23andMe provides information related to health predispositions, including risks for certain genetic conditions and carrier status for others, it’s important to differentiate this from cancer screening tests like the Galleri or CancerGuard™ tests. 23andMe’s offerings do not include a direct equivalent to a multi-cancer early detection (MCED) blood test designed to screen for a wide range of cancers from a single sample. However, I can format an overview based on 23andMe’s health-related genetic testing services for a general understanding:

  • Test Name: 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service
  • Screens For: Genetic predispositions for certain health conditions, carrier status for inherited conditions, wellness traits, and comprehensive ancestry analysis.
  • Technology: Utilizes genotyping technology to analyze over 600,000 genetic markers across the genome to provide insights into the user’s health, traits, and ancestry.
  • Health Insights Provided: Includes reports on genetic predispositions for certain diseases (e.g., Type 2 Diabetes, Celiac Disease), carrier status for conditions like Cystic Fibrosis and Sickle Cell Anemia, wellness reports (e.g., muscle composition, sleep behavior), and pharmacogenetics (how genes may affect medication response).
  • Cost: The list price for the 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service is typically around $199, but promotions and discounts are often available. This cost is out-of-pocket, as genetic testing for ancestry and traits is generally not covered by health insurance.
  • Accessibility: Available directly to consumers without a doctor’s prescription. Users can purchase the kit online, collect a saliva sample at home, and send it back to 23andMe for analysis. Results are delivered through an online platform, with the option to participate in research or consult with a healthcare professional for further insights.

Regulatory Status: 23andMe’s health reports are authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under a regulatory category that allows for certain types of direct-to-consumer genetic tests. The company has received authorizations for reports on genetic health risks, carrier status, and pharmacogenetics, among others.

It’s crucial to note that while 23andMe can provide valuable genetic insights, its services are not intended to diagnose diseases or replace traditional medical testing and consultation with healthcare professionals. Users are encouraged to discuss their results with a doctor, especially if they have concerns about their health risks or conditions.

Life Length

TruDiagnostic is dedicated to transforming global health by translating the potential of epigenetic data into actionable insights. The company collaborates with leading biotech developers, researchers, and prestigious academic institutions to advance the field of epigenetics from theoretical research to practical, real-world applications.

Aimed at improving human lifespan and quality of life, TruDiagnostic equips both patients and physicians with novel biological insights. These insights enable timely and appropriate lifestyle and medical interventions based on the individual’s unique epigenetic information.

  • Test Name: TruDiagnostic Biological Age Test

  • Purpose: This test measures the biological age of an individual, which may differ from their chronological age based on various factors including lifestyle, genetics, and environmental influences. The test aims to identify accelerated biological aging, a significant predictor of chronic diseases.

  • Technology: TruDiagnostic utilizes advanced epigenetic data analysis, specifically focusing on DNA methylation patterns. The company boasts the largest private epigenetic database in the world, leveraging data and artificial intelligence (AI) to develop cutting-edge methylation-based diagnostic tools.

  • Insights Offered: The test provides a comprehensive analysis of an individual’s biological aging process. By measuring baseline and changes in the pace of aging, it empowers users to make informed decisions regarding anti-aging interventions, lifestyle modifications, and health and wellness strategies.

  • Lab Certification: TruDiagnostic operates a private laboratory that is CLIA certified, ensuring compliance with high-quality standards and reliability of test results.

  • Research and Collaboration: With over 30 ongoing clinical trials and partnerships with top academic institutions such as Duke, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, UCSF, UPenn, Ohio State University, and more, TruDiagnostic is at the forefront of epigenetic research. The company’s commitment to science-first approaches and evidence-based processes positions it as a trusted source of epigenetic information within the scientific community.

  • Regulatory Status: While the specific regulatory details are not mentioned, TruDiagnostic’s emphasis on scientific rigor and its operation within a CLIA-certified lab underscore its commitment to maintaining high standards of quality and reliability in its testing services.

    TruDiagnostic represents a pioneering effort in the field of epigenetics, offering individuals and healthcare providers a powerful tool to understand and influence the biological aging process. Through its advanced technological platform and dedication to scientific excellence, TruDiagnostic provides valuable insights that can guide lifestyle and medical decisions aimed at enhancing longevity and health quality.

OneTest™ Multi-Cancer Screening

Purpose: OneTest™ is designed to facilitate the early detection of over 20 types of cancer, improving patient outcomes through timely diagnosis. This advanced multi-cancer blood test is enhanced by artificial intelligence to accurately identify cancer biomarkers.

Technology: OneTest™ leverages a combination of established tumor marker antigens and cutting-edge artificial intelligence. The AI algorithms enhance the sensitivity and accuracy of the test by analyzing real-world data from tens of thousands of patients over 20 years at one of Asia’s leading academic hospitals.

Versions and Biomarkers:

  • OneTest™ Standard: Includes 5 or 6 cancer biomarkers (AFP, CEA, CA 19-9, CYFRA 21-1, CA 15-3, CA125, PSA – varies by gender) associated with the most commonly diagnosed cancers.
  • OneTest™ Premium: Offers increased accuracy with a total of 12 biomarkers (including HE4, ApoA1, B2-Microglobulin, CRP, and Prealbumin) and provides expanded cancer risk reporting for 8 commonly diagnosed cancer types.

Cost:

  • Standard: $189.00
  • Premium: $269.00

Features:

  • AI-Powered Analysis: Utilizes artificial intelligence to process real-world data for enhanced test sensitivity and accuracy.
  • Cancer Risk Management: Features biomarker velocity tracking to visualize changes in biomarker levels over time, aiding in early detection through serial testing.
  • Affordability: Priced to support annual testing, making it an accessible option for early cancer detection.

Why Use OneTest™? OneTest™ addresses the need for early cancer detection, which significantly improves survival rates. It measures tumor proteins rather than genes, offering an advantage over popular DNA tests that focus on inherited genes. This approach is critical because most cancer-causing mutations result from random DNA copying errors over time, not inheritance. Countries in East Asia have long recognized the value of routine cancer marker testing, and OneTest™ brings this practice to a broader audience.

Innovative Aspects:

  • AI Enhancement: Dramatically improves the sensitivity and specificity of tumor marker tests, setting a new standard in early cancer detection.
  • Comprehensive Screening: Capable of identifying a wide range of cancers early, including those with typically poor outcomes if detected late, such as pancreatic and lung cancer.
  • Accessibility: Offers an affordable and efficient method for annual cancer screening, potentially transforming global health outcomes by catching cancer earlier.

Regulatory Status: While the specific regulatory approvals are not mentioned, the use of established biomarkers suggests a commitment to scientific validity. However, users should consult healthcare professionals for interpretation and follow-up.

OneTest™ represents a significant advancement in the field of cancer screening, combining traditional biomarker analysis with the latest AI technology to offer a comprehensive and accessible option for early detection across a wide array of cancers.

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