September 13, 2016

Why is Precision Medicine the Next Frontier?

Doctor and patient precision medicationThe idea of precision medicine is based on the fact that certain conditions, such as heart disease or cancer, do not behave the same way in everyone. Each patient’s body composition will vary and the ways a disease effects them will vary as well. The central idea behind precision medicine is to research these distinguishing effects.

Genetic makeup and environmental factors can affect your health, as well as the symptoms and treatments when you get sick. Thus, individual cases of the same condition may be treated in different ways.

It is becoming clearer that a single treatment option is not always suitable for a patient. For example, a treatment that shrinks one person’s tumor or ease one person’s arthritis symptoms may not have the same effect on another person. Precision medicine has an ideal image of the medical practice. “Picture this: You get detailed tests that can gauge how your arthritis or cancer differs from someone else’s. Then you get a treatment that’s tailored to you, rather than to anyone else” [1].

This phenomenon is precisely what precision medicines are all about; “matching the right drugs to the right people” [1]. While this idea is gaining popularity, it is not yet possible for many conditions or diseases. The field needs more research and testing, but there are promising concepts that may affect the medical field. Family physicians use standardized drugs to treat most conditions because it is the accepted method. Precision medicine aims to change that.

[1] Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/cancer/breakthrough-research-16/precision-medicine

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