Modern medicine is defined by “4P”s: Personalized, Predictive, Preventive and Participatory.
We are getting better at achieving these goals: to predict the appearance of disease and to prevent its occurrence. But this progress requires participation of the patient for whom personalized health problem solution is developed.
It is important to appreciate that the appearance of clinical symptoms happens when the pathological process has been developing for a long time. Sometimes, a very long time.
When clinical symptoms appear, the disease is already at a rather late stage…
Everyone has serious personal health risks
These medical catastrophe risks are influenced by our genes, environment, and lifestyle.
There are several preventive clinical guidelines that apply to each of us – based on gender, age, and individual risk profile. Clinical guidelines are codified best practices to prevent, screen for, or treat a disease – developed by leading international medical experts after extensive scientific review of medical literature.
Clinical guidelines are usually applicable to people based on demographic data or specific medical condition.
Following such guidelines can help predict and prevent occurrence of serious diseases. But most people do not take full advantage of all preventive strategies that already exist and apply to them.
Yes, some ways to predict and to prevent disease will require sophisticated approaches. But most preventive and screening strategies are cheap and widely available. More hi-tech options – like genome analysis – are getting cheaper every month. A “$1,000 genome” is already here. Panels to predict hundreds of specific diseases, like blood diseases or cancer, often cost less than $100.
You might say: “I have a great health insurance and experienced general practitioner. She takes good care of me. Why should I use your service?”
We are happy that you have excellent access to healthcare. We are not aiming to replace your care; we offer to supplement it and to ensure that you know about all evidence-based predictive and preventive strategies that apply to you.
It is unlikely that within existing healthcare models any physician caring for a patient has either time or incentive to make sure that each patient benefits from all available preventive and predictive abilities of modern medicine.
The volume of patients a typical general practitioner has to serve to maintain a reasonable level of income is very large and growing, in all countries.
The incentive is limited for either the doctor or insurance company (whether private or state-run, e.g., NHS in the UK) to make sure that a serious disease does not occur in your body over the years. You are likely to change employer or insurer in a few years, so from an insurance company perspective, costs and care will be shifted onto someone else’s shoulders.
Macmillan Cancer Support – a major healthcare charity in the UK – estimates that during his lifetime every person today has more than a 50% probability of developing cancer.
It is time for you to take action
Our Health Risks Assessment and Reduction service will help you take all predictive and preventive steps that could be relevant personally to you.
Personalized prevention and screening strategies can lower the odds in your favor.
Yes, it’s much easier for a physician to say: “Oh, the evidence for this or that method is incomplete”. Saying this does not reflect badly on the physician, as medicine does not offer 100% certainty in most situations.
But such opinion also does not help a patient to become aware of and to minimize all health risks that can be minimized with some degree of certainty.
Late diagnosis of diseases is a particularly big problem today. It is poignantly illustrated by many cancers.
The key to successful treatment of many cancers is early detection, when the tumor has not yet spread. But this requires active vigilance from a primary clinician and diligent participation of people in screening programs. Effective methods of screening are available for some but not all cancers.
However, even for the most widely performed screening programs, like mammography, there are nuances that critically affect decision-making for each individual person.
For example, despite popular belief in its effectiveness, mammography detection does not work perfectly.
Here is a quote from the National Cancer Institute’s summary of analysis of multiple mammography screening trials: “Screening for breast cancer does not affect overall mortality, and the absolute benefit for breast cancer mortality is small.”
That implies that mammography is not a perfect tool for detecting the most aggressive breast cancers that tend to spread early, before being detected by mammography screenings.
Actress Angelina Jolie identified by genetic testing and family history that she had a high risk to develop breast and/or ovarian cancer, which killed multiple members of her family across several generations. Hence her decision for drastic preventive surgery was based on genetic testing. She did not want to rely on mammography screening to monitor her high risk for breast cancer (for ovarian cancer, there is no effective screening methods).
Switzerland recently became the first country that halted mammography screening programs due to unclear benefits of mammography to prevent deaths from breast cancer.
Conversely, there is a growing realization in the medical community that surgery or aggressive chemotherapy is not the automatic treatment for all discovered tumors in all situations.
Tumors in lungs or in the prostate gland are prime examples of tumor heterogeneity that requires an approach tailored to each patient. For breast cancer, again, a common finding in a mammography is DCIS, Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, which in many cases does not become an invasive cancer. However, DCIS diagnosis often leads to major surgery – radical mastectomy – with its own anesthesia and surgical risks.
Significant efforts are underway to differentiate between those tumors that will aggressively grow and may kill their “host”, and those that will remain dormant for decades or even for the natural life span of the person. This is important because treatments are often invasive and have significant side effects.
An even better way to prevent a late diagnosis of cancer, when it reaches a clinically symptomatic stage, is to predict the likelihood of its occurrence.
If the probability to develop a disease is high, then preventive measures can often reduce or eliminate the risks of disease occurrence. Angelina Jolie’s decision to undergo excision of her female reproductive organs is perhaps the most highly publicized and extreme example of such situation.
The discussion above illustrates the practical importance of assessing and reducing the health risks of every person, however healthy or young he or she is at the moment.
This is the goal of our Health Risks Assessment and Reduction service. Use it today and be confident that you have no stone unturned regarding your health for decades to come.