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Ask the Expert: How does precision medicine help with cancer prevention?

Ask the Expert: How does precision medicine help with cancer prevention? (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A newer field of medicine in cancer can help with prevention, not just treatment. Experts at the St. Elizabeth Cancer Center recently expanded the rapidly growing field referred to as precision medicine.

Inside the new cancer center on the Edgewood campus, they can provide all kinds of personalized therapies that target cancer in a way that goes after the problem without creating side effects that can have a lingering impact.

While they obviously perform radiation, Dr. Lauren Castellini said they can do more.

"We also do special treatments with a type of equipment called vision RT which allows us to watch how patients breathe in real-time. So, in breast cancer, specifically, we can limit the dose to the heart, by watching patients take a deep breath and hold it, when that happens the heart falls down and out of the field. Well, this system shines like a bright light on them, creates over 2,000 points, so, we can give feedback to a patient, so we can tell patients take a deeper breath, let some out, so it's all about limiting the side effects."

In addition, Dr. Brooke Phillips says precision medicine is all about prevention in a whole new way, as well. They can take a look at your own genetics, with the help of blood testing, and tell you your personal risk for certain types of cancer.

Which means when it comes to something such as breast cancer, patients could not only choose everything from early breast removal surgeries, they could start prevention medication early.

"In addition to that, we have all of our integrative medicine, counseling, genetics massage, all of those types of things," said Dr. Phillips. "Our goal is to make Northern Kentucky the healthiest community."

That means, your precision medicine might be adding foods with specific nutrients. The American Institute for Cancer Research suggests especially cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and brightly colored foods such as strawberries.

It's important to remember those steps; a healthy diet, mind-body exercise, even scent therapy with essential oils for relaxation and much more, are all part of precision medicine. They're now part of this personal prescription against cancer at this new expanded cancer center.

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