When you visit your medical provider for a checkup or a certain health concern, he or she may suggest a treatment that helps the “average patient.” But this “one-size-fits-all” approach may not work for everyone, including you. This is where Precision Medicine can help you and your loved ones get the best care possible.
Precision Medicine is the latest way for doctors to help prevent and treat patients' diseases. Different people have different genetic make-up based on their genes and that can play a large role in the success or failure of different types of treatment. Precision Medicine looks at these patient differences and comes up with the best way to treat a certain type of illness to best fit the needs of each patient. It’s a little like getting eye glasses, each person needs a pair made especially for them.
As of now, Precision Medicine is not available for all diseases, but it has made great advances in cancer treatment, and the medical community hopes to see that success reach all areas of health. But this success depends on everyone.
In President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, health officials hope to get a million Americans from all different types of backgrounds to volunteer and contribute their DNA for genetic testing and health data over time. This health information is needed to understand who develops disease and why, and create better treatments and improve the health of a broader range of Americans--especially those who need it most. If everyone—but especially those from minority groups—participates in this project it can help close the gap in better healthcare services for all.