June 17, 2024

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Precision Medicine: Tailoring Treatments to Individual Patients

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Precision medicine offers an effective alternative. By tailoring treatments precisely to individual patients, precision medicine can ensure better care.

Precision medicine (or personalized or targeted medicine) refers to diagnosing, treating and preventing disease through personalized or targeted approaches.

Individual differences such as genes, environment and lifestyle all play a role in shaping health and illness outcomes for an individual.

What is Precision Medicine?

Precision medicine (also referred to as personalized medicine) has become more and more prominent over time, serving as a more precise way of understanding how your genes, environment and lifestyle interact to impact your health.

An innovative approach to healthcare that seeks to eliminate some of its major flaws. For instance, it seeks to alleviate patients from receiving incorrect doses or timing of their medication, and also remove “one size fits all” approaches to prevention and treatment that have existed for decades.

However, precision medicine’s current implementation can be misleading. It primarily utilizes biological data for individual purposes that align with biomedical models of people, potentially leading to a reductionist view of self. Furthermore, there is no wider perspective regarding exposures internal (e.g. genomics and proteomics) or external (e.g. exposomes) that impact one’s health status.

It’s a more personalized approach

Traditionally, doctors have relied on what works for most people when designing treatments; however, this may not always be accurate.

Precision medicine uses your genes and environment to develop customized treatment plans that focus on you as an individual, helping prevent disease while improving the quality of your life.

In cases of colon cancer, your doctor may suggest specific medication tailored to your genetic makeup or lifestyle choices that will increase its efficacy while decreasing any chance of resistance development.

Precision medicine is rapidly expanding, already being utilized in many fields including cancer and heart disease treatment. But, its application remains limited. Precision medicine holds promise of helping patients live longer, healthier lives at reduced costs while potentially making the difference between life and death for some individuals; but, there are still risks involved with its implementation.

It’s more effective

Healthcare providers have increasingly adopted precision medicine protocols into their practices, tailored specifically for individual patient’s genetics, environment and behaviors.

Precision medicine has proven successful in cancer treatments by targeting mutations or proteins which drive tumor development, then finding drugs to target them directly. Targeted therapies and immunotherapies encompassing precision medicine have proven highly successful against certain forms of cancers while improving patient survival rates.

Precision medicine offers more efficient ways of treating disease, and lower costs associated with drug development by conducting studies on smaller groups more likely to respond positively to specific drugs. Furthermore, increased competition within therapeutic areas helps bring down prices further still; an approach which could benefit us all and highlight why precision medicine is so vitally important – getting it right could save lives and ease family heartache.

It’s safer

Your own genetic makeup and its genetic symptoms should likely make targeted treatments safer than mass medications or treatments intended to address large groups. Nobody knows if a drug will have the same effects on all people taking it; after all, doctors have long known that not every patient responds equally well to any given drug regimen.

Precision medicine allows physicians to test new treatments that may be less harmful for you than the more traditional approach of prescribing the same drug for all their patients, such as lower dose or shorter duration medications or combinations of drugs. This could include lower dosage or shorter duration dosage or different combination drugs being utilized instead.

Precision medicine is no longer just an ambitious future goal – it has already transformed health care! Our What Doctors Wish Patients Knew series shows just how precision medicine is reshaping medical landscape. Stay tuned for more insights into this dynamic topic!

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