Some at-home tests may show results indicative of leukemia symptoms, but this does not constitute a diagnosis. For some health conditions, home testing may help guide a person’s decision about contacting a doctor. However, in the case of leukemia and other cancers, it is advisable to seek medical advice first.
There are many at-home tests that a person may use for a variety of health conditions. However, for some conditions, at-home testing is currently not possible.
Some healthcare companies will send a test kit to a person’s home address, and once the individual receives it, the company may require them to arrange an appointment with a specified lab to collect a sample. This is the case with at-home cancer testing.
This article will look at the options of home testing for leukemia, and it will briefly discuss the condition.
Leukemia is a broad term for cancer that occurs in blood cells. According to the National Cancer Institute, it is most common in people under the age of
Leukemia is a serious medical condition, and currently, there are no leukemia tests that a person can do at home.
The only available tests involve a person giving a blood sample at a nominated laboratory. These tests may indicate symptoms typical of leukemia diagnoses. However, these tests are not a diagnosis.
If a person thinks they may have leukemia, they should seek medical care as soon as possible.
Health experts distinguish between several forms of leukemia depending on the type of cell the condition affects. They also take into account whether it is fast-growing, or acute, leukemia or slow-growing, or chronic, leukemia.
Common symptoms of leukemia may include:
- tiredness or weakness
- shortness of breath
- pale skin
- regular bleeding, such as nosebleeds, bleeding gums, or heavy menstrual flows
Below, we look at a specific cancer detection test involving a blood sample collection at an accredited lab.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried this test. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
This Galleri multi-cancer early detection test involves taking a blood sample that a lab collects. The lab then tests the blood sample to screen for up to 50 different types of cancer, including leukemia.
To arrange this prescription-only test, a person needs to visit the Galleri website and choose the option for requesting a test online. Next, the page will automatically redirect individuals to an independent telemedicine provider Genome Medical.
The following is an example of a typical Galleri testing process:
- Genome Medical conducts an online medical evaluation to determine a person’s clinical eligibility.
- If the person is eligible, the company sends a blood draw collection kit to the person’s home address.
- The person makes an appointment with a local, approved lab for a blood sample collection.
- The lab packs and sends the sample for testing.
- The company contacts the individual for an optional post-test consultation when the test results are available, which is usually in around 2 weeks.
- The person should contact a doctor with their results and the clinical action plan that Genome Medical provides.
The company notes that the test does not currently have approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It also states that it recommends the test for people at higher risk of developing cancer, such as individuals aged 50 years and older.
It is of note that this test does not replace routine cancer screening, and false-positive and false-negative results can occur. However, a 2021 clinical study found this type of multi-cancer test to have a 0.5% false-positive rate.
Individuals with private medical insurance typically have coverage for cancer care, including consultations, diagnostic testing, and any required treatment.
However, it is important to note that medical insurers must provide specific benefits in relation to cancer care under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the following:
- A medical insurer cannot deny a person coverage for a condition they had before joining their current plan.
- A medical insurer cannot charge a person more due to a specific health condition.
- A medical insurance company cannot stop paying its part of a person’s medical bills.
Leukemia is a serious condition that requires diagnosis and treatment from a healthcare professional. There are currently no at-home tests that a person may use to aid leukemia diagnosis.
If an individual has concerns about their health, they should contact a doctor as soon as possible.
Medical insurance covers many cancer treatments, and a person should consult their plan provider or employer’s human resources or benefits department to confirm coverage.