Personalized Medicine

DNAThe definition of personalized medicine is slowly evolving. Care for individuals will no longer focus on just selecting medicines and treatment to meet your individual needs. The concept of personalized medicine has broadened to include evaluation of your genetic risk of developing disease and determining how serious it may be as well as detecting diseases at much earlier stages—usually before you have symptoms. A personalized medicine approach will also tell you what medicines will work best for you, depending on many different factors, and reduce or eliminate the trial-and-error process of trying to find the right ones. A personalized medicine approach will better monitor disease and treatments and have a better chance of predicting outcomes of therapies and treatment approaches.

Medicine of the past was reactive, not truly preventive. Most people have their annual physical and immunizations and probably wait until they have symptoms to see their doctor. Once someone has symptoms, however, many life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, cancer, psychiatric and breathing problems are at a serious level and can be difficult to treat. Personalized medicine will be able to identify these potential conditions before they are serious and allow for early treatment. It will use a person's genetic information and behavior changes to customize, diagnose, treat and prevent deaths from those conditions.

Learn answers to frequently asked questions about personalized medicine.

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