The idea of personalized medicine to help people prevent illness or simply live better is simply exciting. I just wanted to jot down a few possibilities – both present and future:
1 – Catching cancer early: knowing that you have a gene(s) that predispose you to getting a certain type of cancer later in life will allow you to screen (test) for this type of cancer regularly and catch it much earlier than if you waited for signs and symptoms to arrive.
2 – Knowing some of your physical weaknesses: knowing that you have a gene(s) that confer things like heart disease, diabetes, predisposition to alcoholism, etc. will allow you to make choices that can prevent, postpone or lessen the effects of these possibly debilitating diseases.
3 – Giving your doctors the ability to diagnose and treat disease more effectively: predispositions to getting certain genetic or infectious diseases will allow doctors to make much more focused decisions on which laboratory tests to order that will lead more quickly to correct diagnoses of the diseases that you get in life, such as influenza, meningitis, digestive ailments, and many more! Knowing negative reactions to drugs, such as serious allergies, will also allow doctors to avoid any unnecessary life-threatening reactions. Simply knowing how your body metabolizes certain drugs will also all your doctors to prescribe those that will be of the greatest benefit to you.
4 – There are so many more possible benefits to knowing your genetics:
a – Knowing if you (as a pregnant woman) is likely to deliver early, late or on-time
b – Knowing what types of exercise to which your body will best respond
c – Knowing how your body digests and utilizes different foods (e.g., those that will make you gain weight)
d – Knowing the functions of your specific immune system, and what diseases it is good at fighting and those to which you would be most susceptible – even the types of food or vitamins that would best boost your immune system
e – Knowing the types of allergies (and there are tons of them) that you are likely to develop
f – Knowing the types of psychological disorders that you could have or develop – and face it with your eyes wide open
These are only a few ideas – the possibilities are practically endless!