What is Personalized Medicine?
Genetic research is constantly changing our understanding of the human body and how we treat diseases. Although modern medicine saves millions of lives each year, medication does not necessarily work the same for everyone. What may cure one person’s condition may do little for someone else. This is why the medical field is moving away from a “one size fits all” approach and toward personalized medicine. To give you a better understanding of this medical breakthrough, we’ve provided a general breakdown of personalized medicine and its potential.
What is Personalized Medicine?
Personalized medicine is the tailoring of medical treatments to fit the individual genetic characteristics of each patient. Today’s medicine revolves around “standards of care,” or using the same standards of prevention and treatment for the whole population. For example, most cancer patients are typically treated with chemotherapy once a tumor is found. If chemotherapy is ineffective, a trial and error process may be used to see which treatments work.
Personalized medicine takes a different approach. By examining one’s unique genetic makeup, you can determine if they are susceptible to certain diseases. With this information, we may also be able to determine which treatments will work for the patient and which will be ineffective. This will cut out of the trial and error part of disease treatment and make patient care more efficient and effective.
Genetic testing is already being applied to disease treatment, and cancer patients see the biggest impact. For example, some breast cancer medications are only effective on patients with particular genetic variations. By examining these variations, doctors can determine the likelihood that medication will work. Personalized medicine is also applied to melanoma patients. Similar to breast cancer patients, some medications used to treat melanoma may only work on people with a particular genetic makeup.
This type of research is even starting to affect how we approach over-the-counter medication. For example, some people take aspirin on a daily basis to prevent heart attacks, but doctors are discovering that this form of prevention does not work for some patients with particular genetic variants.
As research continues to grow and technology improves, the possibilities are endless. In the future, every diagnosis and prescription may be personalized to fit your specific needs. This should improve the effectiveness of disease treatments and form better doctor-patient relationships. Additionally, disease prevention will be at the forefront of healthcare. With personalized health reporting, people can tailor their lifestyle to prevent certain medical problems. This will help people take a more proactive approach to their health.
DNA Testing at Dynamic DNA Labs
At Dynamic DNA Labs, we are excited to be a part of the growing field of DNA testing. To help you improve your health, we offer personalized health reporting and DNA fitness tests. To learn more, contact us today!