What is Precision Medicine?
Precision medicine is a way to treat or prevent disease that is personalized. Instead of one size fits all, precision medicine takes into account your genes, environment, and lifestyle to improve care specifically for you.
The human body is made up of trillions of cells. Cells do a lot of things, such as provide structure for the body and convert your food into energy. Your genes are located in your cells. Genes are made of DNA, the hereditary material that determines things like hair and eye color or height.
When living cells grow and divide, they replicate or make copies of DNA to share with new cells. However, if cells are altered, damaged, or destroyed, the body's genetic information may change, which might lead to health problems or disease.
The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the foods we eat can influence how genes express themselves. Researchers study how environmental factors, such as viruses and toxins, interact with genes to cause health problems or disease. This research is called epigenomics.
Learn about some everyday locations and situations where you might be exposed to toxic chemicals. A National Library of Medicine (NLM) resource called Tox Town will help you better understand the risks of exposure, potential health effects, and how to protect yourself.
A particular disorder might be described as “running in a family” if more than one person in the family has the condition. Some disorders that affect multiple family members are caused by gene mutations, which can be inherited (passed down from parent to child). Some hereditary genes can lead to disease.
But even if a health condition runs in your family, you can do a lot to control or prevent chronic health effects. The risk of developing diseases may be influenced by your lifestyle as well as your genes. Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and eating a nutritious diet may help you avoid heart disease, high cholesterol, or diabetes.