Did you know that every year 42,000 women die of cancer in the United States alone? Breast cancer is only one of many diseases that affect women in particular. Others could include ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and various genetic conditions.
Whatever the case, personalized medicine can play a big role when it comes to saving the lives of women. Personal medicine, sometimes referred to as pharmacogenomics, gives women the opportunity to peer into their own bodies on a molecular scale and see what kind of conditions they might be predisposed to developing. This can be a big help since, after all, conditions such as cancer can pop up at any moment.
If you don't catch them at the right moment, they could spread and, in some cases, might even become fatal. Keep reading and learn more about medicine personalization and what it can do to help women stay healthy.
What Is Personalized Medicine?
Everyone has a unique genetic code known as a genome. The genome is the sum total of a person's genes. No one has the exact same genetic code except for twins, and even then, there may still be some significant differences.
These differences are one of the many reasons why personalized medical care for women is such an important concept. The problem with modern medicine is that it is designed in a "one size fits all" fashion. For example, suppose that there is a type of cancer drug that is designed to treat people with breast cancer.
That drug may work on the majority of people with breast cancer, but it isn't really all that simple. On a more detailed scale, you will find that the same drug will work better on some people rather than on others. On the other hand, that same drug may not work at all on some people in particular.
Rather, some people may experience a buildup of the drug in their system and they may develop drug toxicity as a response. This toxicity can be very dangerous and, in some cases, even fatal. The reason why this might happen comes down to the genetics of the individual.
Some people may be able to metabolize a certain drug better than others. For that reason, some people will have a very good response to a drug while another person might have a terrible response to the same drug. As you can imagine, understanding the differences between the genetics of different people can be extremely important when it comes to treating certain conditions.
And yet, modern medicine has still not incorporated personalized medicine to a significant extent. Fortunately, pharmacogenomics is becoming more and more known in the world of medicine.
Why Do Certain Drugs Only Work for Certain People?
How to get personalized medicine is slowly becoming easier as pharmacogenomics becomes more popular in the world of medicine. However, what still remains complicated in the minds of many people is how genetics can make such a big difference when it comes to treatment in the first place. You might know that genes can determine whether your hair is blonde or brown and whether your eyes are brown or blue.
However, what do genes have to do with metabolizing certain drugs? And what do certain genes have to do with the development of various cancers or health conditions? When it comes to the metabolism of drugs in the body, there is a collection of enzymes you should know about called cytochrome P450.
This collection of enzymes is essential when it comes to breaking down drugs. When you take a certain drug, it is this collection (also known as a superfamily) of enzymes that allows the drug to break down, process, and then leave the body. Without the cytochrome P450 enzymes, a given drug would not be able to do anything to your body and it certainly wouldn't be able to help any medical conditions you might have.
Most people have this collection of enzymes, but some people, according to their genes, may have something wrong with the cytochrome P450 enzymes. For example, a person may have genes that composed these enzymes in a faulty fashion, making it difficult for that person to metabolize drugs.
In some cases, the cytochrome P450 enzymes might not work at all or some of them may be missing. In this case, a person may develop a toxic reaction to various drugs. In some cases, this toxicity could be fatal.
By learning more about genomes, doctors and individuals can prevent this from happening.
Conditions That Are Problems for Women
Pharmacogenomics can be of particular use for women since they can be predisposed to developing certain health conditions. For example, even though breast cancer can occur in men, the vast majority of cases occur in women. Some women may also be more likely to develop breast cancer than others.
Personalized medicine would be able to give women the opportunity to see whether they may be at risk of developing breast cancer. This is true for other types of cancer such as ovarian cancer. Both ovarian cancer and breast cancer can be fatal if you don't catch them in time.
Personalized medicine is also important for genetic conditions that some women are born with. By developing medicine that is specifically for the individual, the results of the treatment can be maximized.
Everything You Need to Know About Personalized Medicine
Personalized medicine is slowly gaining its place in the world of medicine due to its many important uses. By sifting through one's genome and creating the perfect treatment for the individual, pharmacogenomics can accomplish more than traditional medicine ever could.
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