Cancer and other health problems affect people of all ages, backgrounds, and lifestyles. The medical community is still unable to explain why many of these illnesses occur or predict how certain individuals will respond to standard treatments. Much of this is because a person’s individual genetic makeup affects many aspects of health–from how a person absorbs nutrients and breaks down toxins to how that same person resists certain infections and not others.
- The more we understand what genes do and how they interact with each other, the more we can understand how to improve health.
- We can better understand the risks and likelihood of getting cancer and hopefully develop better early detection and prevention methods.
- We can make better treatment choices for cancer patients by considering their individual genetic make ups and choosing therapies more likely to work on them.
- We hope to develop more treatments that work with a person’s biology to stop the disease from progressing and allow the body to heal and adapt.