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Medical Monday: Genetic testing

Posted: 7:28 PM, May 23, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-24 12:50:15Z
Dr. Peter Johnson, a gynecologic surgeon and a genetic testing and personalized medicine advocate with Aurora BayCare, joined us on Wisconsin Tonight to talk about genetic testing. 
 
Genetic testing examines your genes using laboratory methods. Your genes are the DNA blueprints you inherit from your parents. Genetic tests may help identify increased risks of health problems, determine the best course of medical treatment, or help better assess a response to treatment.
 
Genetic tests can help:
 
* Diagnose disease and determine its severity
* Help doctors decide the best medicine or treatment to use
* Identify gene changes that may increase the risk of a disease or be inherited by children
* Screen newborns for treatable conditions
 
Personalized medicine tailors medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient. The more personalized medicine gets, the more likely it is that physicians can provide the right treatment, to the right person, at the right time, at the right place. The practice of medicine traditionally has been reactive, and as such, our efforts to treat diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s are often imprecise, unpredictable and ineffective.
 
You should care because the goal of genetic testing and personalized medicine is to provide the best possible medical care and outcomes for each person, to include treatments, medication types and dosages, and/or prevention strategies that may differ from person to person. In other words, under an expanded system of genetic testing and personalized care, you would receive care tailored specifically to your health situation.
 
Personalized medicine allows healthcare providers to, among other things:
 
* Predict susceptibility to disease
* Improve disease detection
* Preempt disease progression
* Customize disease-prevention strategies
* Prescribe more effective drugs
* Avoid prescribing drugs with predictable side effects
 
For information, call Aurora BayCare at 844-260-3002.