Blood tests are an important part of maintaining good health for seniors. A complete blood count (CBC) can help diagnose issues such as anemia and bone marrow irregularities. Generally, it is recommended that seniors get tested every three years. However, your doctor may suggest that you have a CBC and a basic metabolic panel (BMP) every year during your annual doctor visit.
Other tests may be recommended depending on age, lifestyle, and personal and family history. In most cases, your primary care provider will ask you to fast for 12 hours before the blood draw. This helps to prevent any fluctuations in blood sugar levels or other chemical changes that occur when eating and drinking. The doctor's office staff will fill a separate vial for each panel, but often only one needle is needed. The samples are then sent to a lab and the results are usually available within a few days. If one of your reference blood tests shows abnormal results, the next step is to do more tests.
After age 75, there is no standard opinion about whether mammograms are necessary or not. Women should discuss the need for breast cancer screening with their healthcare provider.