The End of Illness Book Summary - The End of Illness Book explained in key points
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The End of Illness summary

David B. Agus

How the body works and what "health really means"

3.4 (42 ratings)
13 mins
Table of Contents

    The End of Illness
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    One-size-fits-all guidelines don’t work for many illnesses, but there are other routes to health.

    Some health problems have simple solutions. For instance, if you get strep throat, it can be a bother, but your doctor can simply prescribe the right medicine, and you’ll quickly be better.

    Strep throat is an infectious disease, and doctors know which drug will cure it, but illness isn’t always so straightforward.

    The human body is so complicated that it isn’t suited to simple solutions or one-size-fits-all treatments – especially in the case of chronic illnesses. Just take cancer. This disease is a symptom of bad communication between and inside cells.

    Cancer is a breakdown of the system itself and is, therefore, unique to the system it’s affecting. It’s not a straightforward infection that can be eradicated with a magic bullet. The same is true of most chronic diseases.

    But even if you can’t understand the human body in all its complexity, you can still find ways to improve your health. Begin by accepting that the body is complex to the extent that science will likely never fully comprehend. From there, you can move on to figuring out which remedies are the right ones for you.

    Galileo Galilei is a good analogy. Every night, Galileo would take notes on the positions of the stars. After a while, he knew exactly what he could expect on a given night. While that didn’t mean he understood everything about the night sky, or even what a star really was, it allowed him to make tremendous progress in his field.

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    What is The End of Illness about?

    The End of Illness (2012) is all about health, how we view it, where the misconceptions around it lie and how we can feel our best. These blinks present a different model for what health really is, along with practical advice on how to be your healthiest self.

    Best quote from The End of Illness

    Its caring for and protecting the system as a whole that can impact outcomes.

    —David B. Agus
    example alt text

    Who should read The End of Illness?

    • Medical students and patients
    • Researchers and doctors of medicine
    • Anyone who wishes they felt a little better

    About the Author

    David B. Agus is an American physician, oncologist and biomedical researcher. Additionally, he’s a professor of medicine and engineering and the head of the Westside Cancer Center at the University of Southern California. His book, A Short Guide to a Long Life, is a bestseller.

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