Jobs' cancer consultant talks health care
October 26th, 2011
01:09 AM ET

Jobs' cancer consultant talks health care

Cancer expert David Agus was dissuaded from his original book title after Steve Jobs told him: "When you put health in the title of anything, it makes me feel like I’m eating brussels sprouts."

Agus was actually part of Jobs' cancer treatment process; Walter Isaacson says in his biography of Jobs that Agus joined a meeting of doctors as an "outside consultant" in May 2011 to discuss new information that had been gleaned from analyzing the genetic signatures of Jobs' cancer.

Tuesday at TEDMED, Agus, who is a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern Calfornia, discussed ideas from the book that ended up being called "The End of Illness."

He pointed out that, according to the latest research, aspirin reduces the risk of cancer death, heart attack, stroke and a variety of other ailments. Yet it is not mandatory to take aspirin. Plus, people are not required to take statins, which have been shown to not only lower "bad" cholesterol, but also reduce the incidence and recurrence of cancer by double-digit percentages.

"Society has to bear the health care costs of not taking these preventive medicines," Agus said.

And it's been known for a long time that sitting down for most of the day is bad for your health. A 1953 study of the British transit system found that ticket-takers, who do a lot of standing and moving, had a much lower rate of heart disease and cancer than drivers.

These conditions are costly to the health care system and since aggressive treatments at the end of life cost that system a lot of money, it follows that living into your 90s is less costly to society than dying younger of one of these diseases, since older people may be less likely to seek aggressive techniques.

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. BlackYowe

    Why is CNN so obsessed with Steve Jobs its starting to creep me out?

    October 26, 2011 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sugarland

      I agree with your comment. Let him go.

      October 26, 2011 at 17:53 | Report abuse |
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      Think about it this way they are not talking about, gulp, $arah Palin, there I said it........eewwwww.

      October 26, 2011 at 19:24 | Report abuse |
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    People always wonder why we can't cure cancer with all the millions of dollars people are donating. This gives a good explanation on why cancer can't be cured right now.


    October 26, 2011 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Bobby

    It's a placebo just like most Anti-Depressants..

    October 26, 2011 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.