At a meeting of the nation's top oncologists in Denver a couple of years back, Dr. David Agus, a prominent cancer researcher, was giving a keynote address. Agus talked about the need to take a new approach to treating cancer. He argued that focusing on killing or slowing the spread of cancerous cells was not enough. After all, despite a half-century of research by some of the best medical minds in the world, the death rate from cancer hasn't changed much since the 1950s. Instead, doctors should try to keep a patient's entire system healthy so the disease is less likely to take root in the first place. He said we should be able to control cancer without fully understanding it. At that, hisses arose from the audience.
不过这点嘘声并不能使像阿古斯这样坚定的科学家感到气馁。他相信他已经找到了一种办法，可以大大降低人体生病的几率。阿古斯把他的理论写成了一本有可能具有颠覆意义的新书——《疾病的终结》（The end of illness），这本书刚刚登上了《纽约时报》（New York Times）的畅销排行榜。阿古斯在书中阐述了他的防病理论，并用相关研究和生动的病例进行了佐证。
A few Bronx cheers aren't enough to discourage a scientist as determined as Agus. He believes he has found a new way to greatly reduce the odds of getting sick and has set out his philosophy in a potentially game-changing new book, The End of Illness, which just became a New York Times bestseller. In it, he offers his prescription for preventive medicine, and backs it with studies and lively anecdotes.
我采访这位身材瘦削、衣着随意的医学家时，他飞快地介绍着他的想法，仿佛唯恐全世界不能尽快了解自己的思想。他说：“我希望医生们从病人健康时就着手治疗，而不是到生病时才去治。”阿古斯的灵感来自他2004年在《财富》杂志（Fortune）上读到的一篇文章：《为什么我们输掉了与癌症的战争》（Why We're Losing the War on Cancer）。文章作者克里夫·利夫当时担任过《财富》杂志编辑，他本人就是一名癌症幸存者。他写道，癌症研究人员们习惯于治疗癌症的各种症状，而不是设法直接控制癌症。史蒂夫·乔布斯去世前的最后几年，阿古斯也是乔布斯治疗团队的一员。阿古斯说：“我们忘了治癌要从防癌开始。”
When I caught up with this slim, casually dressed man, he rattled off ideas as if he couldn't let the world know fast enough about his thinking: "I want doctors to treat toward health and not treat toward disease," he said. Agus had his eureka moment after reading a 2004 Fortune article called "Why We're Losing the War on Cancer," by Cliff Leaf. Himself a cancer survivor, Leaf, a Fortune editor at the time, wrote that researchers have come to treat the individual features of cancer rather than putting their efforts into directly controlling cancer. "We have forgotten that curing cancer," says Agus, who was on the team of doctors who treated Steve Jobs in the last years of his life, "starts with preventing cancer in the first place."
Today, if we get cancer, we attack the cells. If we get a heart attack, we perform a bypass. That's fine, but why not avoid the disease in the first place? Agus believes that diseases like cancer and heart disease should be thought of as verbs and not nouns. In his lexicon, "cancering" suggests a systemic problem. He points to a study of women who, after treatment for breast cancer, were given either an osteoporosis drug or a placebo. The ones who took the drug had a 40% lower rate of recurrence of the cancer, as their system was changed and the cancer didn't grow back. "Keep the soil healthy," says Agus, "and the bad seed won't grow."
One way to keep your body's soil healthy is to treat inflammation. When something is wrong with your body, it goes into panic mode and triggers inflammation, a process that rallies the vascular, immune, and cellular systems to heal injured tissue. Numerous studies show that patients who take statins -- which not only lower cholesterol but reduce inflammation -- lowered cancer rates by 40%, although no one knows exactly why. That's not all. A growing body of evidence suggests that inflammation may be linked to a host of other diseases, from heart attacks to Alzheimer's to diabetes. This doctor's orders? Ask your physician if you should be on Lipitor or other statins and a regimen of baby aspirin, which help curb your body's inflammation.
2012-02-22 17:29 编辑：kuaileyingyu