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Can we live robustly until our last breath? Do we have to suffer from debilitating conditions and sickness? Is it possible to add more vibrant years to our lives? In The End of Illness, David B. Agus, MD, one of the world’s leading cancer doctors, researchers, and technology innovators, tackles these fundamental questions, challenging long-held wisdoms and dismantling misperceptions about what “health” means. With a blend of storytelling, landmark research, and provocative ideas on health, Dr. Agus presents an eye-opening picture of the human body and all of the ways it works—and fails—showing us how a new perspective on our individual health will allow each of us to achieve that often elusive but now reachable goal of a long, vigorous life.
When Dr. Agus decided to pursue a career in oncology, many of his mentors questioned his choice. Why, they asked, would a promising young doctor want to enter a field known for its inescapably grim outcomes? But it was precisely the lack of progress that inspired Dr. Agus to join the war on cancer. He moved away from the modern methods of the medical establishment, which aim to reduce our afflictions to a single point. Instead, as he does in this book, Dr. Agus argues for the adoption of a systemic view—a way of honoring our bodies as complex, whole systems. This outlook informs how we can avoid all illnesses—not just cancer. Dr. Agus empowers us to take charge of our individual health in personal, customized ways we could not have imagined before.
This indispensable book is not only a manifesto—a call for revising the way we think about health—it’s also filled with practical but impossible-to-ignore suggestions, including:
• How taking multivitamins and supplements could significantly increase our risk for cancer over time.
• Why sitting down most of the day, despite a strenuous morning workout, can be as bad as or worse than smoking.
• How sneaky sources of daily inflammation—from high heels to the common cold—can lead to a fatal heart attack, and even rob us of our sanity.
• How three inexpensive medications—aspirin, statins, and an annual flu vaccine—can substantially change the course of our health for the better.
• How taking shortcuts to health via blending fruits and vegetables, and sometimes even by purchasing what we think is “fresh,” could be shortchanging our health.
• The single most important thing we can do today to preserve our health and happiness that costs absolutely nothing.
Dr. Agus also offers insights and access to breathtaking and powerful new technologies that promise to transform medicine in our generation. In the course of offering recommendations, he emphasizes his belief that there is no “right” answer, no master guide that is “one size fits all.” Each one of us must get to know our bodies in uniquely personal ways, and he shows us exactly how to do that so that we can individually create a plan for wellness.
The End of Illness is a bold call for all of us to become our own personal health advocates, and a dramatic departure from orthodox thinking. This is a seminal work that promises to revolutionize how we live.
About the Author
David B. Agus, MD, is a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California and heads U.S.C.’s Westside Cancer Center and the Center for Applied Molecular Medicine. He lives in Beverly Hills, California.
Praise for The End of Illness…
“In this brilliant book, David Agus introduces a whole new way of looking at illness and health. Taking a cue from physics, he views the body as a complex system and helps us see how everything from cancer to nutrition fits into one whole picture. The result is both a useful guide on how to stay healthy and a fascinating analysis of the latest in medical science.” —Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs
“Dr. David Agus has given us a remarkable peek into our health--and the impact will be profound. I’ve made it my mission in life to live strong and help others do the same. The End of Illness is one more empowering piece to the puzzle of knowing how to do just that. This book will prevent illness, revolutionize treatments, and lengthen people's lives. A tour de force in its delivery and message.” —Lance Armstrong, 7-time Tour de France winner and Founder and Chairman, LIVESTRONG
“David Agus is one of America’s great doctors and medical researchers, a man dedicated to improving the health of as many people as he can. Written in a style and format that will truly engage readers, The End of Illness presents a dramatic, new way of thinking about our own health—a way that could lead to greatly improving the quality of life for millions, starting right now.” —Al Gore, 45th Vice President of the United States, Nobel Laureate in Peace, 2007
“As physician, research scientist, and friendly guide, Dr. Agus takes his readers on a fascinating tour of ideas and facts about health and illness. They will find many of those ideas to be unconventional and thought-provoking and many of the facts to be both striking and surprising. Read this book and you will very likely change at least some of your views on health and illness.” —Murray Gell-Mann, PhD, Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1969, and Distinguished Fellow and Cofounder of The Santa Fe Institute
“David Agus's The End of Illness is a brilliant blend of enlightening manifesto and practical how-to in the realm of our most important ingredient to a long and happy life: health. Filled with unorthodox ideas backed with hard science, it simplifies for the reader the complexity of vital developments happening in medicine today and teaches us how to make the most of what's available, as well as what's soon to come.” —Michael Dell, Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Dell, Inc.
“Dr. David Agus is surfing the crest of two great waves of innovation -- in information technology and the life sciences. His End of Illness uses Big Data to decode the personal and molecular basis of disease. And, more important, advance a new model for health where prevention is key." —John Doerr, partner Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers
"David Agus, one of the nation's most innovative cancer doctors, shatters the myths about health and wellness and provides us with a handbook for living a long, healthy life." —Steve Case, Chairman of Revolution and The Case Foundation, cofounder America Online
“In this seminal book, Dr. David Agus presents a brilliant new model of health based on the body as a complex system with an emphasis on prevention. The End of Illness may reframe everything you thought you knew about health. It is both provocative and inspiring. Highly recommended.” —Dean Ornish, MD, founder and president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco
“Dr. David Agus has been disrupting medicine as we know it for his entire career. Now, he brings his ideas out of the lab and exam room and into the lives of everyone—showing us how to live long, healthy, disease-free lives. Reading this book is the best thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones. A monumental work that will change your life.” —Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, salesforce.com
"David Agus is one of the great medical thinkers of our age. "The End of Illness" reframes the entire discussion of sickness and health. Instead of thinking about disease Agus thinks about the system that is the human body, and what we need to do to guide it toward health. Before you take your next vitamin, read this book." —Danny Hillis, PhD, cofounder, Applied Minds and Thinking Machines