Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The End of Illness Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From one of the world’s foremost physicians and researchers, a monumental work that radically redefines our conventional conceptions of health and illness to offer new methods for living a long, healthy life.
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. Dr. Agus argues for a way of honoring our bodies as complex, whole systems. This outlook informs how we can avoid all illnessesânot just cancerâand empowers us to take charge of our individual health in personal, customized ways we could not have imagined before.
This indispensable book is filled with practical but impossible-to-ignore suggestions, including: how taking multivitamins and supplements could significantly increase our risk for diseases such as 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 three inexpensive medications can substantially change the course of our health for the better; and the single most important thing we can do today to preserve our health and happiness that costs absolutely nothing.
The End of Illness is a bold call for all of us to become our own personal health advocates, and is a seminal work that promises to fundamentally change how we live.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
(1) Taking a baby aspirin a day might well save your life.
(2) If you spend a lot of time sitting down on the job, get up every once in a while and walk around. Take the stairs when possible. That could add years to your life.
(3) Frozen fruit is probably better for you than "fresh" fruit. As a result, making smoothies is probably better than juicing.
(4) As the costs of whole genome sequencing come down (and patent issues are resolved), people would be well advised to get their genome read and diagnosed - whether by this author's company or another's. While genes don't tell the whole story, they can be very indicative of preventable problems. And prevention is far preferable to treatment.
(5) Do whatever you can to avoid the release of stress hormones - those can cut your life short too. Obviously stay clear of stressful situations (or develop coping mechanisms); less obviously, try to eat your meals on a regular schedule, and keep a regular sleep schedule.
(6) Do what you can to avoid inflammation generally - inflammation can have long-term effects. Taking a daily aspirin is a good start; getting a regular flu shot might be another.
A bit more controversial are his recommendations regarding statins and nutritional supplements. He says that taking statins when you turn forty will reduce your chances of inflammation and cancer, and he points to studies that suggest that in some cases, taking nutritional supplements can do more harm than good - specifically that taking large amounts of vitamin D or vitamin E has been linked to prostate cancer, and that tumors tend to feed on vitamin C. I see that other reviewers consider these studies biased (apparently they were paid for by pharmaceutical companies), or simply wrong (was the study vitamin D, or its metabolite calcitriol?), but I think the author makes a valuable contribution by bringing them to our attention. If in fact the studies he relies on are flawed, people will come forward with the studies and books that refute them.
I'm giving the book four stars because it taught me some things I didn't know and because I think it makes a real contribution. I'm not giving it the fifth star, because I don't think it's that much better, or that much more of an eye-opener, than any number of health and fitness books I have read. All of them have the same basic message about taking care of the entire organism, yet the author here acts like he's the first one who thought of that. And didn't Aristotle recommend moderation in all things?
On top of that, I'm disturbed by the way this book was marketed, and the route it took to the top of all the best-seller lists. I see from Beowulf's review that all of the big-name reviewers (Al Gore ["dramatic, new way of thinking about our own health"], Lance Armstrong ["tour de force"], Dean Ornish ["brilliant new model of health"], Steve Case ["shatters the myths"], etc.) turn out to be friends or investors of the author's, and that most of the five-star reviews are probably fake. I also recently learned that Connie Chung - whose interview with the author convinced me to buy the book in the first place - is actually the author's mother-in-law (or step-mother-in-law, to be more accurate - he's married to Maury Povich's daughter). I don't think it's fair to customers not to disclose all of these connections, and I'm concerned that all of these undisclosed connections have contributed disproportionately to the popularity of this book.
I am assuming though that you're interested in this book because you want to: (a) avoid an illness, particularly a life threatening illness or (b) you already have an illness and think this book will give suggestions on how to improve your life and get control of your illness. Learning about new advances in medicine which may or may not lead to anything that will help you during your lifetime is just a bonus but not high on your list of priorities. To be truthful, even if you read the book for that last purpose, you'd still be disappointed. I'm one of those unlucky people who was diagnosed with a chronic illness at the tender age of 13. Before then, nothing major happened in my life to kick start the illness - no drug use, no past illnesses/accidents, no lack of exercise, no atrocious diet, no lack of sleep habits, not a genetic disease. Sometimes $%&@ happens. As a mid 30s person, I'm pretty well versed in health matters but not an expert by far. I suspect many people my age and slightly older already know about the "tools" Dr. Agus "details" in this book and probably have been using them for years. It's the same "tools" you can learn about in any of the pithy little "Live to be 100" yahoo health articles the site spouts off every few weeks - and today.
Since the table of contents is available, I don't think I'd be breaking any rules or providing any spoilers by mentioning these tools:
(1) Don't believe every health study that comes out (duh)
(2) Taking vitamins is not as good as eating healthy food (duh)
(3) Try to avoid or lessen inflammation in the body (big Duh) - doesn't really tell you how except to get flu shots and wear comfortable clothes. Basically anytime you injure yourself or get sick there is inflammation. Not really a way to avoid all that esp. if you were a rambunctious kid since apparently things that happened to you as a kid can have a long lasting effect on your health today. From the anecdotes he tells in this section, I think Monk would be the only person capable of pulling this suggestion off successfully from birth to death. Even so, he could still get an illness because $%#@ Happens!
(4) Exercise (really?!)
(5) Keep a regular schedule for eating, sleeping, exercising (you don't say)
(6) Overall theme, keep track of how you are health-wise. Find out what's normal for you (done and done)
Rest of the book is filler on historical discoveries you learned in high school and hopes for the future, particularly with proteomics. He does seem to have a love affair with statins. Not being in the age range or having the type of illness to require these meds, I have absolutely no opinion on that.
There were only two things I took away from this book - that it's better to exercise in spurts than all at once (read about that earlier somewhere but it doesn't hurt to reinforce it) and you may want to get a DNA test to show your susceptibility to certain illnesses .... tests which coincidentally are offered by a company co-founded by Dr. Agus. Imagine that. Regardless, it does sound helpful esp. the ability to tell which drugs will work best for you. My doctor would probably say it's a waste of time and money but I'll make that decision after further research.
That's the book in a nutshell. He could have just written that in a two page internet article but I guess it wouldn't get much attention or money. Oh, and although the book is called "The End of Illness," it of course does not say a thing about "ending" illness now or in the future. A more truthful title would be "The Possible Downgrading of Terminal Diseases and Chronic Diseases that Substantially Lower Your Quality of Life into Easily Manageable Minor Diseases that You'll Still Suffer From But Will Have Better Control Over than Previous Generations." Reminds me of the Chris Rock joke where he says doctors will never cure AIDS but they'll make it manageable so all you have to do is take a pill everyday. The money's in the medicine. Not the cure. Prevention is the biggest weapon we have but you don't need this book to tell you that.