Jobs said little about pancreatic cancer struggle

October 6, 2011 By MARILYNN MARCHIONE , AP Chief Medical Writer
In this Jan. 6, 2004 file photo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs displays the iPod mini at the Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco. Jobs, the Apple founder and former CEO who invented and masterfully marketed ever-sleeker gadgets that transformed everyday technology, from the personal computer to the iPod and iPhone, died Wednesday. He was 56. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

(AP) -- Steve Jobs managed to live more than seven years with a rare form of pancreatic cancer that grows more slowly than the common kind. But his need for a liver transplant two years ago was a bad sign that his troubles with the disease probably were not over.

The Apple founder long kept information on his illness behind a firewall, and no new details emerged immediately after his death.

However, unconnected with his care say Jobs most likely needed the transplant because his came back or spread. They said his death could have been from cancer, the new liver not working, or complications from immune-suppressing medicines to prevent .

A liver transplant can cure Jobs' type of cancer, but "if it were to come back, it's usually in one to two years," said Dr. Michael Pishvaian, a specialist at Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Jobs declared he was cured after surgery in 2004 for an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, a much more treatable form of pancreatic cancer than the more common form of the disease that killed actor Patrick Swayze two years ago.

But the Apple chief never revealed whether the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes or liver, or how extensive his surgery was. Many doctors speculated he had a Whipple procedure, in which part of the pancreas, part of the small intestine and in some cases part of the stomach are removed and the digestive system is reconstructed.

"It is a big operation but it can be performed very safely by experienced surgeons at experienced centers," said Dr. Steven Libutti, director of the Montefiore-Einstein Center for in New York City.

Several years later, Jobs was dramatically thinner and gaunt. In January 2009, he attributed those problems to a and said there was a simple treatment for it. A few weeks later, he went on a and then had a liver transplant that was kept secret for two months.

Even then, Jobs would not say why the transplant was needed, though doctors said spread of his cancer to the liver was the likely explanation.

Usually transplants aren't done for people with cancer, but "there is some support for the idea that a can be curative" for a neuroendocrine tumor as long as the cancer has not spread beyond the liver, Pishvaian said.

Average survival for people with neuroendocrine tumors that have spread is seven to eight years, and some patients have survived 20 to 30 years, said Dr. Martin Heslin, cancer surgery chief at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

It was not to be for Jobs.

In January, he announced his third and final leave of absence, and resigned in August.

Explore further: Jobs makes info about his health a trade secret


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3.5 / 5 (2) Oct 06, 2011
You may have had one hell of a temper, but if it hadn't been for you we'd probably still be struggling with much of the technology that we use, whose ease we now take for granted. Plus, much of it might not even have seen the light of day. Rest in peace, Steve Jobs!
1 / 5 (4) Oct 06, 2011
Yes. It is a wonderful thing that Unix is a dead OS, and LinTards have been forced to emulate Microsoft Windows.

5 / 5 (4) Oct 06, 2011
Yes. It is a wonderful thing that Unix is a dead OS, and LinTards have been forced to emulate Microsoft Windows.

0/10 for trolling. Ironically, Unix is alive and well in the Mac, iPhone, iPod and iPad lines, among other places.
1 / 5 (3) Oct 06, 2011
"Unix is alive and well in the Mac."

That would be Mach. Without the command line interface of course.

The perpetual failure of Unix/Linux is a result of it's user interface.
5 / 5 (2) Oct 07, 2011
Pretty amazing he was able to keep it secret for that long. And he worked till about the very end. If he had released this information I would imagine that Apple stock would plummet at the time. It was pretty heroic of him to work to the very end to ensure minimal fallout to everyone from his leave and eventual death. RIP Steve...
2 / 5 (4) Oct 07, 2011
"Unix is alive and well in the Mac."

That would be Mach. Without the command line interface of course.

The perpetual failure of Unix/Linux is a result of it's user interface.

Huh? Linux distros has more better user interfaces than windows does, depending on the window manager that comes with your distro or that you install. Obviously you are spouting nonsense about things you know nothing about. Also linux is a kernel not an OS. Linux/Gnu is command line interface and im very happy about that, in fact i believe many embedded devices and webservers enjoy that feature(i know i certainly do) And on top of that it is your choice what interface you install. I compile my own kernel and programs and i am now typing on linux in chromium. I use XFCE4 desktop because its light. i boot with 130 MB RAM and 100MB HDD usage and have full desktop functionality and if not, i have command lines to fix that, and fix my video driver issues. Linux>anything.

Luckily for you: Ubuntu.
3.3 / 5 (3) Oct 07, 2011
"Linux distros has more better user interfaces than windows does" - Kassinees

And they are all unmitigated crap.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 08, 2011
"Linux distros has more better user interfaces than windows does" - Kassinees

And they are all unmitigated crap.

Why? And i have no idea what you mean? If you think these interfaces can be better than go ahead and help the devs.
My last comment had really bad grammar . .-.- it was late, excuse me.

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