How is precision medicine used in cancer?

How is precision medicine used in cancer?

Precision medicine is a branch of medicine used to lay out the specialized diagnosis, care, and treatment for a patient's disease. Healthcare professionals use precision medicine by analyzing a person's gene mutations, which may also be used in targeted therapy.

When is precision medicine used in cancer?

It is important to note that while precision medicine is helpful for accurately diagnosing patients, it cannot be used for every type of cancer. As of now, its use is limited only to certain types of cancers, including:

  • Melanoma
  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Esophageal and stomach cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Specific kinds of leukemia

It is common for those who have any of the types of cancer listed above to be tested for gene changes during and after prognosis. A consultation with a medical professional is necessary to ensure that the patient receives the best treatment options possible.

How is precision medicine used in cancer?

Health care providers use precision medicine in cancer by analyzing the patient's genetic changes to identify the best course of action for treatment.

Genes are the most basic building block of our bodies and are essential to maintaining normal bodily functions. Cancer usually arises when there are abnormal mutations in our genes. Researchers say that a person's body goes through multiple gene changes before a cell becomes malignant.

If the patient already has cancer, precision medicine can be used to check whether or not the genes in the person's cancer cells will affect treatment. It can also be used as targeted therapy which focuses on particular kinds of malignant cells present in breast and colorectal cancer.

What are the advantages of precision medicine?

Precision medicine's application proves to be helpful for certain types of cancer. Here is a list of precision medicine advantages:

Provides more accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Cancers that can be treated with precision medicine can be treated more precisely, allowing doctors to select which treatment best matches their patient's needs.

Can detect or prevent cancer before it gets worse.

People who have a higher risk of cancer may use precision medicine to lower the odds of developing it by evaluating the family's medical history.

Checks if treatment needs improvement.

Precision medicine allows health care professionals to determine whether or not the treatment has been a success or if the gene mutations slowed its efficacy.

What are some disadvantages of precision medicine?

Precision medicine cancer can be efficiently dealt with when evaluated carefully. But it can have its own limitations.

For one, clinical trials are limited. There are few clinical trials ready for precision medicine since it is only available in larger hospitals. For another, lack of data on a patient's cancer history may be an issue. Precision medicine may be risky to use inside and outside a clinical trial, especially if the patient's family background on cancer is unknown.

In some cases, precision medicine may also be unable to test tumors to know if their gene mutations will possibly affect treatment.


Key Takeaways

Precision medicine is a way for healthcare professionals to make a customized plan of prevention and treatment for cancer by analyzing a patient's cell mutation. The analysis determines whether the cells will affect treatment or not. Although its application and availability are limited for now, it may become more effective in treating more forms of cancer in the future.

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