Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, in human beings of whom they know nothing. (1760)
Allow me to introduce you to David Agus: the now famed oncologist and author of New York Times bestsellerThe End of Illness is also known for his involvement in the treating of such icons as Lance Armstrong and the late Steve Jobs.
“Take a moment to imagine what it would be like to live robustly to the ripe old age of 100 or more. You wouldn’t die of any particular illness, and you wouldn’t gradually waste away under the spell of some awful, enfeebling disease that began years or decades earlier.It may sound far-fetched, but it is possible to live a long, disease-free life. Most of the conditions that kill us, including cancer and heart disease, could be prevented or delayed by a new way of looking at and treating health. The end of illness is near.Today, we mostly wait for the body to break before we treat it. When I picture what it will be like for my two children to stay in good health as independent adults in 10 or 20 years, I see a big shift from our current model.”
Ladies and gentlemen, we are not there yet. With a shift in focus as the author alludes to, perhaps the end is somewhere on the horizon.
The book does provide some familiar yet vital information with respect to preventative medicine and measures one can take to help fend off the plethora of illnesses that can result in distress to human homeostasis. As well, he includes a healthy dose of unique insight. I still think the truth is yet to be told on many of the ideas presented, but others are indisputable in their benefits.
In terms of ending illness, the author merely describes how the future of medicine may look in the decades ahead. He likens genomics to a recipe; with proteomics (the study of proteins and one of the focuses of his company Applied Proteomics) being what comes out of the kitchen. Proteomics, then, lets one know what’s happening in the body at any given time. It’s already happening, but proteomics has to continue to evolve.
The future of medicine does indeed look brilliant.
“Any man who is intelligent must, on considering that health is of the utmost value to human beings, have the personal understanding necessary to help himself in diseases, and be able to understand and to judge what physicians say and what they administer to his body, being versed in each of these matters to a degree reasonable for a layman.”
Youtopia will be a regular column at Terre Magnum with hopes of being a catalyst for readers to take the necessary steps en route to preventing illness and perhaps even the eventual end of all maladies.
Stay connected (Twitter @KryzRolf)and check back often as Youtopia explores many of the concepts raised byThe End of Illness and beyond in the world of health.
From the publisher of The End of Illness (Simon & Schuster):
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.
David Agus Bio:
Dr. Agus is professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and the Viterbi School of Engineering and heads USC’s Westside Cancer Center and the Center for Applied Molecular Medicine. He received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton and his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He trained at Johns Hopkins and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. A staunch advocate for personalized medicine, he chairs the Global Agenda Council on Genetics for the World Economic Forum, and is co-founder of Applied Proteomics and Navigenics, two health-care technology and wellness companies.This article was originally publish at Terre Magnum: http://terremagnum.com/is-the-end-of-illness-attainable/