How Genetics Can Influence Policy Issues
The field of genetics has become one of the most promising and future-oriented areas of clinical research. Indeed, almost every human disease has a genetic cause or an underlying component, which can potentially be useful to develop a cure or create preventative treatments. However, in order for scientists to push the boundaries of what is known and look for the genetic component of disorders, they have to collect and analyze massive amounts of data. Such information is crucial for researchers to be able to discover the frequency and prevalence of predisposing genetic factors, assess the mortality rates related to genetically linked conditions, and evaluate the effectiveness of genetic testing tools (Wright Glayton et al., 2019).
In addition, certain diseases are a legitimate concern to public health, which is why studying the mutations that cause them is especially important. Thus, the government operates a nationwide public health surveillance system designed specifically for genetically linked disorders. For instance, the United States collects data on birth defects and the prevalence of genetic conditions through local and state registries and newborn screenings.
As a result, multiple policy issues emerge particularly due to public concerns regarding genetic information and health data privacy. People want to know how much control over their personal information they have and which portion the government is in charge of gathering and analyzing. Furthermore, they demand limitations on the practices of collection and assessment of health data, citing their right to privacy.
Although specific rules are in place to make genetic surveillance and research as transparent as possible, they have many exemptions (Wright Glayton et al., 2019). Therefore, many officials have it on their policy agenda to address the concerns of the public and further limit the access the government and private corporations must individually identifiable health information. There is an ever-growing need to monitor public health with the goal of improving the quality of care as well as minimizing the prevalence and protecting the privacy of citizens and their sensitive genetic data.
Other issues associated with genetics, which translate into policy, may include genetic testing reimbursement, the ethics of genome editing, and human subject research. After all, insurance providers and Medicare are in need of regulatory frameworks for assessing genetic tests for reimbursement, which is the task of policymakers. The National Human Genome Research Institute (2021) reports that genetic discrimination is a prominent concern which substantially impacts various regulatory requirements for health insurance companies and employers. In addition, informed consent and health disparities in genetics research and treatment are some of the issues which are then added to policy agendas on the state and national levels.
Nutritional Influences for the Cause of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
It is evident that ALL is caused by genetic mutations in the cells of a person’s bone marrow. As a result, in the case of an individual suffering from ALL, oncogenes are turned on in the DNA of their bond marrow cell, while tumor suppressor genes are turned off. Thus, the body produces an excessive amount of immature bone marrow cells, which become lymphoblasts and lead to leukemia. When it comes to nutritional influences, they are not distinct, yet certain concerns need to be considered. Karamikhah and Karimzadeh (2020) note that in utero, exposure to harmful chemicals and radiation may be a contributor to ALL.
Therefore, if a mother eats foods contaminated with high doses of radiation or dangerous chemicals, a child will likely develop genetic mutations such as the ones causing ALL. Moreover, the researchers identify maternal consumption of alcohol and pesticides as other risk factors important to consider (Karamikhah & Karimzadeh, 2020). It is apparent that these are the primary nutritional concerns as a preventative measure for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
The Process of Nutritional Assessment as It Relates to Health, Prevention, Screening, Diagnostics, Prognostics, etc.
In the case of adult and pediatric patients, malnutrition is one of the primary concerns affecting the treatment process and effectiveness. Furthermore, a well-suited dietary change is an exceptionally powerful instrument for reducing the symptoms of a disease or minimizing the side effects of prescribed medications. When it comes to pregnant women, a nutritional assessment and specific dietary suggestions can be beneficial in decreasing the risk of genetic mutations in a newborn. The process is a detailed analysis of a patient’s dietary health and medical history. It consists of multiple tests, including anthropomorphic, biochemical, clinical, and dietary assessments (ABCD).
The first test measures a patient’s size, weight, height, and body proportions using screenings. The biochemical assessment examines an individual’s nutrient and chemical levels via blood, urine, and stool samples. The clinical test, it focuses on the underlying health conditions a patient might have, which can affect their nutritional health or increase the risk of malnutrition. Lastly, a dietary assessment is essential to analyze a person’s daily diet, nutritional habits, allergies, intolerances, and an overall experience after a meal.
Nutritional assessments are of particular importance for cancer patients as they are at high risk of being malnourished. The anthropomorphic, biochemical, clinical, and dietary tests can supply the medical team with enough data to develop a nutritional intervention based on a patient’s current health status, diagnosis, and long-term prognosis. Besides the typical recommendations of a healthy diet full of nutrients and macro-elements, doctors may advise eliminating certain foods. For instance, corn blocks certain biological processes, which impacts the efficiency of the Doxorubicin treatment common for ALL patients (Herrera-Sotero et al., 2020). Thus, it is evident that a nutritional assessment is crucial to ensure a patient receives the highest quality of care.
Prevalence Rates, Testing, Treatment, and Prognosis as They Relate to Human Nutrition
It is apparent that nutrition is often the determinant of whether or not a patient is predisposed to a certain condition. After all, in the case of cancer, weight loss associated with malnutrition is one of the primary factors leading to a diagnosis. In addition, dietary changes may affect the long-term prognosis and increase the efficiency of specific treatments. Determining the nutrition status l is the foundation of an accurate diagnosis, which is, in turn, the first step in offering a patient the right interventions and medications. Lastly, foods contaminated with certain bacteria, radiation, or chemicals may be the underlying cause of genetic mutations. Thus, it is extremely important to examine a person’s dietary habits and nutritional status before making any assumptions about the disorder they are affected by. Nutrition can have a significant impact on the course of treatment and future prognoses, as well as the possible risk factors.
Herrera-Sotero, M. Y, Cruz-Hernández, C. D., Oliart-Ros, R. M., Chávez-Servia, J. L., Guzmán-Gerónimo, R. I., González-Covarrubias, V., Cruz-Burgos, M., & Rodríguez-Dorantes, M. (2020). Anthocyanins of blue corn and tortilla arrest the cell cycle and induce apoptosis in breast and prostate cancer cells. Nutrition and Cancer. 72(5), 768-777. Web.
Karamikhah, R., & Karimzadeh, I. (2020). Acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children: A short review. Trends in Pharmaceutical Sciences, 6(4), 283-296. Web.
National Genome Research Institute. (2021). Policy issues in genomics. Genome. Web.
Wright Clayton, E., Evans, B. J., Hazel, J. W., & Rothstein, M. A. (2019). The law of genetic privacy: applications, implications, and limitations. Journal of Law and the Biosciences, 6(1), 1–36. Web.