Personalized medicine will transform medicine from reactive to proactive.
From CBS Marketwatch Half of cancer deaths are preventable
According to the American Association for Cancer Research, cancer is not a single disease, but more than 200 different ones.
Even when patients have a hereditary link with cancer, they can choose to have cancer-risk counseling that may help them take control if further prevention options or more aggressive screening is needed, said Dr. Jeffrey Weitzel,
director of the Department of Clinical Cancer Genetics at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte, Calif.
"Genetics isn't necessarily destiny," Weitzel said.
"Advanced protocols... are designed to take what we know about breast cancer and epidemiology and turn it around in a way that might allow prevention."
Earlier diagnosis of breast cancer, for example, often allows not just for better odds of beating it altogether, but also better quality of life during treatment than was achievable even a few years ago, he said.
"Right now what we have is a good circumstance," Weitzel said. "We're having to try to figure out ever more carefully which of the early-stage patients truly need therapy and which could be spared, whereas previously we were hoping just to have a greater proportion of them be earlier-staged."
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