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You don’t have to be a medical doctor to know that the human body is a complex, miraculous, and mysterious thing. Now more than ever though, researchers and healthcare providers alike are recognizing that the key to unlocking the body’s secrets may well lie in the human genome.
As recent developments have shown, the future of medicine lies within genetic testing. Not only is it playing a role in current medical advancements, but it’s also showing no sign of slowing down any time soon. Let’s take a look at how doctors are increasingly turning to GenTech to diagnose, treat, and prevent genetic diseases.
Genetic Testing and Treatment Planning
Every healthcare practitioner knows that, while statistical averages may help define treatment strategies, a patient is not a statistic. Their response to treatment can rarely be predicted through the law of averages.
Genetic testing, however, promises to overcome many of the deficiencies associated with traditional, evidence-based medicine. This allows doctors to design treatment protocols based on more factors beyond the scientific data gathered about a “generic” patient population.
Rather, medical professionals can create treatment plans and identify therapeutic by studying the patient’s individual genetic code, which will most likely maximize treatment efficacy while minimizing the risk of side effects and other adverse reactions in this particular patient.
In other words, genetic sequencing enables doctors to provide truly personalized care.
Genetic Testing and Disease Prevention
Another profound benefit of genetic testing lies in its unprecedented capacity to support disease prevention. In the current medical field and recent past, inquiring about a patient’s family history has long been a cornerstone of primary care practice,
Genetic testing, though, can remediate many of the challenges associated with patients’ self-reported hereditary risk. For example, patients may be unaware of specific medical conditions their biological relatives may have suffered, or patients may simply fail to disclose their family medical history accurately or comprehensively.
Moreover, even when the patient succeeds in providing a complete and accurate profile of their genetic risk, a disease-associated gene may not be expressed in that patient’s particular genome.
Genetic testing eliminates the guesswork that often characterizes the family history assessment, helping practitioners understand precisely which conditions pose the greatest risk for the individual patient.
This can not only substantially increase the speed and accuracy with which genetic diseases are diagnosed, but it can also significantly increase the efficacy of preventive medicine.
For instance, many severe eye diseases have a genetic component. When genetic tests are used to determine if the patient has inherited the gene associated with such a condition, they can formulate eye-care approaches to reduce the risk of disease onset. This might include increasing the frequency of ophthalmic screenings or increasingly using protective measures, such as blue light filtering glasses to prevent computer-related eye strain.
Similarly, vascular diseases are a common ailment with a strong genetic component. In addition to the pain and decrease in functioning associated with venous disease, patients who experience it may also be at heightened risk for complications and comorbidities associated with vascular insufficiency.
Through genetic testing, physicians can utilize vital information to evaluate the patient’s risk for venous disease, what type of vascular condition(s) the patient is genetically predisposed to, and create a plan that could prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of the condition.
Genetics is playing an increasingly powerful role in patient care. Through genetic testing, doctors are better equipped than ever before to identify individual patient risk factors and formulate care strategies that maximize the benefit while minimizing the risk. Genetic testing is also highly beneficial in the diagnostic process, increasing the speed and accuracy with which even the rarest of conditions may be identified and addressed.