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The Lucky Years

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The Lucky Years

How to Thrive in the Brave New World of Health

Simon & Schuster,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Take charge of your health care to be healthier and live longer.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable
  • Overview


Cancer specialist David B. Agus, MD, calls the 21st century “the lucky years” because this unprecedented era offers so much potential in health care and because people live longer than at any time in history. Agus discusses new developments in research, technology and health care, and offers practical advice for preventing disease. He explains how to make better health decisions in the face of information overload. His more theoretical earlier chapters discuss scientific research, technology and medical history. Later chapters offer practical suggestions for managing your health care. Agus covers solid preventive strategies, such as getting enough sleep and exercise, and embracing the benefits of sex and touching. getAbstract recommends Agus’s advice to anyone seeking to live a longer, healthier life.


Brave New World

“These are the lucky years.” If you live in a developed country and are under age 15, you’re less likely to get or die from breast cancer, heart disease, lung cancer and leukemia before age 60, because preventive strategies and early detection have led to decreases in these diseases. The choices you make govern the course of your health. Each person is unique. You live in your own “environment,” or context, and must “honor” it. What is right for you may be wrong for someone else. The lucky years will present challenges, such as the ethics of privacy, the proper uses of advanced technology and even counterfeit drugs. In less-developed countries, 40% of medications are fake.

Health and Technology

In the future, the medications you take will be unique to your body because they will come from your cells. Promising cells including stem cells and T cells, which come from your immune system. Stem cells are undifferentiated, which means they have the potential to become any type of cell, such as a muscle cell, red blood cell, neuron (brain cell), and so forth.

In mammals, females tend to live longer than males. This difference...

About the Author

Dr. David B. Agus is a professor at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine and its Viterbi School of Engineering. He also leads USC’s Westside Cancer Center and the Center for Applied Molecular Medicine. He wrote the bestsellers The End of Illness and A Short Guide to a Long Life.

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