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Известный онколог Дэвид Агус, который лечил Стива Джобса, о том, что надо делать для профилактики рака


David Agus is a professor of medicine with multiple awards and awards for research in the field of oncology. Agus leads a multidisciplinary team of researchers looking for the latest ways to fight cancer, writes

It was to Agus' team that Steve Jobs turned to when it became clear that his disease was progressing. In recent years, the oncologist has published three books, including "Rules for a Long and Healthy Life" and "Tomorrow Starts Today" (published by "Bombora"), where he tells readers how to take care of their health. Tanned, lean Agus himself follows his own advice. After a genetic study that showed a high risk of stomach cancer, he did a colonoscopy at 43, without waiting for the recommended 50 years, and removed the detected polyp: "It may not have turned into a tumor, but I do not intend to check."

Let's start with your book Tomorrow Starts Today. You are giving an unexpected epigraph to a book on health - a quote from Aldous Huxley's Brave New World "... Most people will grow up content with their bondage and never even think about revolution." What do you mean?

For me, health is a very personal matter. Health is not what doctors tell you, not something that happens by the will of circumstances. You are responsible for your own health. Everyone has the chance to live a much longer and more enjoyable life than is commonly believed. But it's important to open your eyes in time. Medicine and technology are developing rapidly, and people are not trying to take this into account.

The modern society really lacks leaders in the healthcare sector. When I look at Russia, such an influential state, I see that everything is in order with your political leadership. Perhaps this now characterizes Russia - a very strong leader. But this is in politics, and when it comes to health - there is no person enjoying the same influence. There are political, economic, military leaders in the world, but there are practically no those who would determine the attitude to health by their example. And since there are no leaders who can lead a revolution in the attitude of a person to his own health, you have to do it yourself. You see, no matter what miraculous drugs are invented, health and longevity will not come by themselves - for this you need to start taking care of yourself. Today. Now.

Useful Information: Cancer Prevention

What do you mean by the concept of "health care"?

Prevention. The main problem is that health is a very long-term investment. The result is not immediately visible. This hinders most people: you have to do today what will help not tomorrow or in a year, but in 10-20 years. If you drank the medicine today and you feel better tomorrow, everything is clear. But doing something, counting on the effect in 20 years, is difficult. You need to be aware of this and rebuild your thinking.

Look at Singapore for example - they are changing the system itself. Yes, a person can refuse the colonoscopy prescribed during the clinical examination, but in this case, if he is later diagnosed with colon cancer, he will spend $ 60,000 on research. He can continue to smoke, but in this case, lung cancer treatment will cost him $ 90,000 Through this approach, Singapore has made significant advances in early cancer diagnosis. In the States, no one forbids a person to smoke, but his health insurance will cost twice as much. You have a very developed free medicine in Russia, but at the same time smokers are equal in rights with those who do not smoke. In fact, a person is paid for treatment, regardless of his lifestyle. And this is commendable from a social point of view, but does not in any way stimulate people to look after their own health. I think it's time to reconsider the attitude towards prevention and responsibility.

How long have you been studying cancer?

I have been studying cancer for over 30 years.

Are you afraid of cancer yourself?

No. You know, when I was 12 or 13 years old, I took part in a national science experiment. That is, as a teenager, I ended up in a scientific laboratory - and instead of football or baseball, in my free time I was busy with test tubes with samples. And I realized very early that I wanted not just to take tests, but to really help people. Oncology is the area where it is most needed now. We are all at risk - patients, doctors, scientists. And during my short, in general, career, I already see tremendous progress. We started when medicine offered only chemotherapy, which helped, but weakly. Now I can give the patient a drug that blocks the false signal of "me" from cancer cells and thus makes his own immune system fight the cancer.

Cancer is a verb, not a noun. It is something that the body "does", it is a process. The body does not "receive" cancer, but "produces"

I'll tell you about an important incident from my practice that happened in 1997, when I was working in the largest cancer center in New York (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center). A 25-year-old patient came to me, he had testicular cancer that metastasized

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