Philip Borg

Living a longer and a healthier life is the dream – but advances in medicine and screening mean that nowadays it doesn’t have to remain a dream. Led by Dr Philip Borg, the Longevity Clinic at St James is focused precisely on translating the dream into reality via a plan that includes 360-degree health assessments which are then used to create a personalized longevity plan.

An American board-certified physician in Anti-Ageing & Regenerative Medicine, Dr Borg is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists and a Consultant Interventional Radiologist at The Christie Hospital in Manchester, besides being a best-selling author who has published extensively in academic and medical journals and textbooks. Now, he has brought his expertise to the Longevity Clinic, having created an annual in-depth health assessment that takes into account risk factors for developing chronic diseases of ageing.

The longevity annual assessment includes a detailed history, blood tests and a one-hour fitness assessment. These results are then analysed by Dr Borg, who writes a personalised lifestyle intervention plan for each patient. 

Dr Borg explains that our health outcomes are actually in our control. By intervening early with changes in our lifestyle as well as medicines when appropriate we can actually prevent the diseases of ageing. As we age, the risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes increase. The traditional approach to medicine has been to wait until any of these conditions manifest symptoms, go to the doctor’s to get it checked out and start treatment. Of course, the axiom ‘prevention is better than cure’ says it all, and by the time symptoms appear it can be too late to fix the issue satisfactorily.

As an example, Dr Borg cites that, for a significant percentage of people with coronary artery disease, by the time they suffer the first symptom it’s already reached a fatal stage. The Longevity Clinic at St James takes the opposite approach, using advances in medical screening and testing to stop these four conditions in their tracks before they actually become a problem. And, while it is impossible to guarantee that a person will never be struck by disease, there is a lot that can be done to manage and lower the risk – and the good news is that many of it can be achieved by changes in lifestyle.

The process starts with the afore-mentioned Longevity Annual & Fit for Age Assessment ™, which screens early for heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and metabolic disease before symptoms appear to help patients optimise their health and prevent the onset of disease. Following the screening, the patient’s biomarkers are interpreted by the longevity medicine specialist to help achieve a longer and healthier life.

Patients can choose between two packages, Dr Borg explains. The first one is Longevity Blue, which includes an initial 50-minute consultation with the longevity specialist, the Fit For Age assessment, the Longevity Blood Panel and a urine analysis, before finishing off with a consultation and a customised longevity plan based on the findings. The latter includes prescription medication, if needed.

There is also an option for Longevity Gold, which includes all the afore-mentioned services with the addition of the cutting edge Trucheck Intelli™. The latter is an annual multi-cancer screening blood test that is available exclusively at Saint James Hospital. It is completely non-invasive and is capable of detecting 70 solid organ cancers before they cause symptoms.

The consultations included in each package are extremely comprehensive and will investigate personal and family risk factors for cancer and other diseases. The Longevity Clinic also offers each service as a stand-alone, together with other add-ons like the CT Calcium Score + Lung Care, which is an invaluable screening tool for smokers who want to assess any potential damage to their lungs.

The aftermath to the longevity screening is just as important as the screening itelf, Dr Borg cautions. Patients are given a full programme that covers all the areas that are imperative to living longer, healthier lives. These include nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress and mental health, social networks and emotional health.

While all these aspects are crucial for anyone pursuing a healthy life, the details for each varies according to the individual. In other words, there is no one size fits all. To give one example, someone who is facing regular stress in their profession will require a different programme to someone who doesn’t have those issues. Someone who exercises regularly but has a family history of heart disease will need a different approach to someone else who is similarly active, but has no such history. The list continues, which is what makes a personalised longevity screening so necessary.

Interestingly, Dr Borg’s approach at the Longevity Clinic goes beyond what is typically expected of traditional medicine. Instead, he also places emphasis on mental wellbeing and all the small details that some doctors may not take into account. For instance, aspects of stress management like breathing techniques and meditation are highlighted, as is sleep hygiene, so as to offer a truly comprehensive programme that tackles literally every possible weak link. Using this comprehensive approach, any risks that can be mitigated are actually mitigated, helping you regain control of your lifespan and your quality of life.

For more information about services at St James’ Longevity Clinic, click here.

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