Lauren Klenda and Michele Blacksberg contributed to this article.
Sponsored By: Theranos
Imagine a world where people have control over their own health, a place where early detection doesn’t happen accidentally. The thing is, your health is too important to sit back and wait to see if a problem develops.
Early detection through preventative lab work allows individuals to evaluate their current health. Even if you don’t have any symptoms of a disease, preventative testing can identify developing problems, or even identify a condition you might already have, but don’t realize. Over time you can establish a baseline by which to evaluate any changes that may be occurring.
Unfortunately, many people see lab work as costly, unnecessary or inconvenient. But what if it didn’t have to be?
Theranos is more than a company that offers lab tests; they are a company that is looking to revolutionize the health industry. Whether a test requires a tiny micro-sample collected with a finger stick or the smallest venous draw sample used by any lab anywhere, each Theranos test means less blood and an easier process. Up to 70 tests can be run on a blood sample that fits into a vial that is smaller than a dime.
Today, blood testing can be done at Theranos Wellness Centers, currently located in more than 40 Walgreens stores throughout the Phoenix, Arizona region. The Wellness Center environments are calming and inviting, with each one designed to feel like a spa. Comfortable chairs, grey walls and soothing music help make the experience as relaxed as possible.
On April 6, 2015, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes spoke at the signing of Arizona HB 2645, Laboratory Testing Without Order. This law will allow individuals to directly order their blood work at a licensed clinical lab – including Theranos Wellness Centers – starting July 3, 2015, in the state of Arizona.
With Theranos, individuals have the ability to take their health into their own hands without burning a hole in their wallet. By providing a full list of tests and publishing their prices, Theranos ensures there won’t be any surprises when it comes to cost. They charge the same prices for everyone, regardless of whether or not you have insurance.
In addition to providing a low-cost lab testing solution, Theranos is a CLIA-certified laboratory and is the first and only lab to proactively begin submitting all their Laboratory Developed Tests to the FDA for clearance and approval.
Early detection testing in many cases helps you identify health concerns before they develop and reach a more harmful stage. Theranos lets you have that control in an affordable, easy, inviting and informative way, but you are the only person who can take control of your own health.
Early detection and preventative lab work covers a broad range of conditions, but often will include tests for:
“Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States,” according to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC). Screening tests for diabetes may include a blood sugar, a fasting blood sugar or a hemoglobin A1c, which gives a two-to-three-month view of what one’s blood sugar has been like, AACC said.
Cholesterol and lipids can build up inside our blood vessels, narrowing them and making us more susceptible to atherosclerosis and heart disease. Every five years, all adults 20 years and older should have a complete fasting lipid profile, to the American Heart Association said.
According to AACC, a complete lipid profile includes four tests:
- Total cholesterol
- High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) or “good” cholesterol
- Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) or “bad” cholesterol
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
A CBC is a common test that is usually done when someone is showing signs of anemia, fatigue, infection, inflammation, bruising or other health changes. However, because of the new law going into effect in the state of Arizona on July 3, you will soon be able to directly order a CBC test. This includes red blood cell (RBC) counts for hematocrit and iron levels (Hgb), white blood cell (WBC) counts and platelet counts, according to AACC.
“It is estimated that 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, and approximately 60% of those do not know it,” according to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. While is no consensus among health organizations as to when thyroid testing should begin, if you do have thyroid concerns or want to check your thyroid health, the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test may be a good place to start.
Prostate cancer is the most frequent type of cancer diagnosed in men. After lung cancer, it is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry reported.
Most prostate cancers are slow growing and may never cause a man a health problem. Discussion with your doctor about different choices may help. Also, starting July 3 in Arizona, patients can directly order their lab tests for this particular health concern, among others.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is the test used to screen for prostate cancer, AACC said.
HIV is the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Adults older than 50 are at risk because they may not be aware of HIV protection and may engage in unprotected sex.
“By 2015, 50% of people living with HIV in the United States will be age 50 or older, according to some estimates,” the American Association for Clinical Chemistry reported. Up to 20 percent of those infected with HIV may not be aware that they have the virus and can pass it on to others.
There are blood and oral options for testing.
Hepatitis B is spread by exposure to blood or bodily fluids from someone who is already infected. This can occur through needle use, razors, toothbrushes or through sex. A mild case can resolve in a few weeks, however, a chronic case can lead to liver damage or liver cancer.
Hepatitis C is spread by exposure to blood contaminated with the virus. This can occur from shared needle use. People with HCV can go decades without symptoms, but it can lead to chronic liver damage, according to AACC. Because of this, in 2012, the CDC recommended one-time testing for all those born between 1945 and 1965, the CDC said.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are both sexually transmitted bacterial infections. Sexually active adults who have increased risk factors should consider being tested.
Even though such conditions are not always easy to face, early detection can be crucial to discovering them. And if these conditions are present, knowing about them at an early stage allows patients to begin talking with their physician sooner.
All of the tests used to detect these conditions are offered by Theranos. A relatively painless and small blood sample could change your life. When it comes to your health, there are no excuses. Cost shouldn’t be the reason to let serious conditions go undetected, and Theranos strives to help everyone afford and receive the services they deserve.
Index of Screening Recommendations. Lab Tests Online by American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Retrieved April 12, 2015
Screening Tests for Young Adults, Diabetes. Lab Tests Online by American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Retrieved April 12, 2015. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/wellness/c-youngadult1-1/c-youngadult1-8/
Lipid Profile. Lab Tests Online by American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Retrieved April 12, 2015. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/lipid/tab/test/
Complete Blood Count. Lab Tests Online by American Association of Clinical Chemistry. Retrieved April 12, 2015. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/cbc/tab/test
PSA. Lab Tests Online by American Association of Clinical Chemistry. Retrieved April 12, 2015. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/psa/tab/glance/
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved April 12, 2015. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr6104a1.htm
Hepatitis C Testing. Lab Tests Online by American Association of Clinical Chemistry. Retrieved April 12, 2015. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/hepatitis-c/tab/test
Theranos. https://www.theranos.com Retrieved April 12, 2015.
Walgreens Partners with Theranos to provide lab services. Walgreens.
http://www.walgreens.com/pharmacy/lab-testing/home.jsp. Retrieved April 12, 2015.