Steve Jobs: A difficult patient
October 25th, 2011
12:27 PM ET

Steve Jobs: A difficult patient

All those vague statements about his health that Steve Jobs put out in the last few years caused endless speculation, as the world tried to read into what could really be going on.

But now, with the biography "Steve Jobs" with Walter Isaacson, we know that behind many of those optimistic statements was a cancer that was spreading from pancreas to liver, and finally to bones and elsewhere in the body. One of the biggest surprises is that while he received state of the art medical care, he went against doctors' orders many times.

When his pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor was first discovered in October 2003, doctors said he was lucky that it had been detected so early, and it could be removed before definitely spreading. But, in Jobs' own words, "I really didn't want them to open up my body, so I tried to see if a few other things would work." Those "other things" included a strict vegan diet, acupuncture, herbal remedies, and other alternative techniques -  even consulting a psychic.

His family pleaded with him, but it wasn't until June 2004, when a CAT scan revealed that the tumor had grown and perhaps spread, that he had to realize he couldn't successfully will his own cancer treatment.

The surgery in July 2004 involved a modified Whipple procedure, removing part of the pancreas. But it wasn't a cure: Doctors found cancer spread to three spots on his liver during the operation. It's impossible to know whether having the surgery sooner would have removed the cancer before it had spread. Yet Jobs told everyone he had been "cured." In his famous 2005 Stanford Commencement speech, a rare moment of being forthcoming about his cancer to the public, he said "I had the surgery and I'm fine now."

Jobs also went against doctors' orders with his eating habits.

Since he was a teenager, Jobs had practiced strange routines involving fasting, and would go on obsessive diets.

That's a problem because, the stomach needs enzymes to digest food and absorb nutrients, making it harder for patients who've had pancreas surgery to get enough protein. The standard of care is to have frequent meals and a diet with a variety of proteins from meats, fish and milk. But, as Isaacson points out, "Jobs had never done this, and he never would."

Flash forward to 2008, when Jobs and his doctors knew the cancer was spreading. Besides being in pain, Jobs was losing a lot of weight. This was partly a result of the partial Whipple procedure, partly because his appetite was reduced because of cancer and morphine, and also because he insisted on the same restrictive diets and fasts he'd practiced since his teenage years. Sometimes he would spend weeks only eating something like apples, or a carrot salad with lemon, and then abruptly denounce that food.

Isaacson writes:

Beginning in early 2008 Jobs' eating disorders got worse. On some nights he would stare at the floor and ignore all of the dishes set out on the long kitchen table. When others were halfway through their meal, he would abruptly get up and leave, saying nothing. It was stressful for his family. They watched him lose forty pounds during the spring of 2008.

In a public statement he attributed his weight loss to "a hormone imbalance that has been robbing me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis. The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple."

We all had speculations, but what that actually meant was: Jobs had a hormone imbalance because his cancer had spread to his liver.

He underwent a liver transplant in 2009, when his health was declining rapidly. It was successful, but doctors found that there were tumors throughout the organ, meaning the cancer had probably spread elsewhere. They also found spots on the thin membrane surrounding internal organs.

Jobs again went against doctors when he insisted that they not pump out his stomach when they needed to perform a routine procedure. That led to pneumonia, and he might have died. But he survived, and didn't lose his stubbornness, even while deeply sedated. He thought the oxygen monitor on his finger was "ugly and too complex," and offered ideas for making the design simpler.

His health and spirits appeared to improve after the transplant, but in November 2010 he experienced another downturn. He was a mere 115 pounds at Christmas. Doctors saw evidence of new tumors. "Every inch of his body felt like it had been punched, he told friends," Isaacson writes.

And his dietary finickiness continued. The family had a part-time cook who made him a variety of healthy options, but he would refuse them after merely touching one or two to his tongue. Cancer curbs appetite, but Isaacson suggests Jobs had a deeper complication from his psychological attitude toward food. He took a third medical leave in January 2011.

Jobs was among the first 20 people in the world to have a complete sequencing of all of the genes of his cancer tumor, and of his normal DNA. In this way, his medical team could choose specific drugs targeted at the molecular pathways that were promoting the abnormal growth of cancer cells. "I'm either going to be one of the first to be able to outrun a cancer like this, or I'm going to be one of the last to die from it," Jobs told Isaacson.

In July 2011, however, doctors had trouble pushing back against the cancer even with targeted drugs. Jobs had stopped going to work; he was in pain, couldn't eat most solid food, and passed many days watching TV.

When Jobs announced his resignation as Apple's CEO at the board meeting on August 24, the cancer had spread to his bones and other body parts.

"I've had a very lucky career, a very lucky life," he told Isaacson. "I've done all that I can do."

soundoff (1,566 Responses)
  1. Glades2

    I've been called "non-compliant" by at least one nurse when it comes to my doing what the Doctor requires of me over the past 7 months – but they forget that patients are not only ill, but they are afraid, and fear does make people become hard to deal with when it comes to endless invasive procedures. Though not cancer, my own situation is difficult to treat and my future uncertain – and it angers me that people just say, "It could always be worse!" I KNOW THAT, but, to a patient their current state IS worse, and though Steve Jobs made his share of errors in this life, despite his wealth when it came to illness he was like the rest of us – afraid of what could happen, and struggling to deal with the illness and what it requires of a patient...

    October 25, 2011 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Thomas

      I am very sorry for whatever you are going through health wise. I hope you will get better.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:03 | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      It's amazing how many genuises (I don't know if he is technicaly one, but certainly he is a practical one) have no commeon sense.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:11 | Report abuse |
  2. troy

    wow. the media has been calling him a genius but i can't tell, after reading this article, whether he was supremely arrogant or just plain stupid?

    October 25, 2011 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JAD

      He wasn't stupid, he was afraid but the world, his industry and stubborn pride wouldn't let him show it. Those words apply to Steve Jobs and other rare cancer cases like mine. At the end of the day doctors don't know everything they practice hoping to get better when the next case presents itself. At the end of the day all he wanted to do was live and to me that is VERY smart. Rest in Peace.

      October 25, 2011 at 14:45 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Most people of genius have other issues. They have a phenomenal drive and simply are not normal. If they were normal, they would not see things the way that they do and would not accomplish what they have or will. They show sheer genius in their realm, but that does not mean they are smart when it comes to everything. Being smart often means being safe and complicit in accepting the status quo or common practice. You do not achieve what Steve Jobs achieved by accepting common practice. Greatness is often tragedy and triumph in one package and not one over the other.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:01 | Report abuse |
    • EricLr

      I've always suspected that he was vastly overrated as a "brilliant mind" and this just confirms it. Any adult stupid enough to believe in psychics is far from brilliant. He was just a good salesman who took credit for the work of the *real* smart people
      (like Steve Wozniak) who actually BUILT the products. And he didn't even have the decency to give them stock options when he made huge sums of money off their ideas.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:08 | Report abuse |
    • jon

      Stupid might be too strong a word, but I have known other people who tried these very same treatments on their own and basically refused most medical help. They are all dead.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:18 | Report abuse |
    • 0padraigh0


      October 25, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
    • TODAY

      He wasn't stupid he was excentric in someway...but not stupid

      October 25, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
    • Jeff B

      Just because Jobs was a genius doesn't mean all his ideas were good. By their very nature, geniuses are eccentric and think "outside the box." Isaac Newton dabbled in alchemy and spent a huge amount time trying to determine the exact date of Jesus' return. But who's going to tell Sir Isaac that he's full of it?

      October 25, 2011 at 15:38 | Report abuse |
    • edog355

      I don't know why anyone would suggest that he was either stupid or ignorant. There is at least a 3rd possibility – maybe he didn't want to change how he had eaten his whole life. Maybe he didn't want to go through all the hassles that doctors ask that you do in cancer cases. Jobs was gonna die, as we all do. Was it worth it to upset your lifestyle and familiarities to extend your life by possibly a couple of months or maybe not even at all? Apparantly not to him. Alot of people make the decision to go out doing the things they've always done. I knew a neighbor who was dying from lung cancer due to smoking. He quit smoking after he was diagnosed but was absolutely miserable – not so much from the treatments and the disease – but from not getting his smokes, which he thoroughly enjoyed. He took back to smoking after he knew the end was near. What good would it do to quit at that point?

      October 25, 2011 at 16:09 | Report abuse |
    • Kafir


      If that's the case, he would've stopped all treatments once he realized that his (very curable) form of cancer had spread. Instead, he chose to fight it another 6 years. That says to me, he screwed up, he knew it, and he wanted to live. He sure nipped that in the bud, by not nipping the cancer in the bud.

      October 25, 2011 at 18:23 | Report abuse |
  3. fran drake

    As a nurse of 30 years, all I have to say it that when patients who want to do something other than what the medical establishment wants them to do is labeled "difficult", we have reached an all new low. It's their body, it's their choice. Period.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JAD

      Well said.

      October 25, 2011 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
    • Pamela N

      Amen to that

      October 25, 2011 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
    • USmotomom

      Amen Fran Drake!

      October 25, 2011 at 14:49 | Report abuse |
    • nickaholic23

      II agree with you. He didn't have to do what they told him to do. It was his body. I know of someone who cured or postponed her death from pancreatic cancer by almost ten years by going to a Traditional Chinese Medicine practioner and following his diet and herbal treatments to the letter. Her oncologist had told her her condition was untreatable, and she needed to prepare for the end. He was quite surprised when she called him a year later for a follow-up. He said it was a case of unexplained spontaneous remission that had nothing to do with the Chinese Medicine.

      October 25, 2011 at 14:56 | Report abuse |
    • Bill Maher

      He wanted to live and dying was not his intention. Given that he did not want to die, it was a big blunder not taking his doctor's advice on how not to die. It would be like me wanting to fly and ignoring engineers and going with a flying carpet. Listen to the experts if you want to attain your end goal.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:03 | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Really? Because patients always know what's best for themselves. Uh, no. I'll agree that you said "difficult" might be the wrong word. Maybe sometimes we'd have to use the word "foolish" because sometimes they go against sound medical advice. Or dare I say it, simply "wrong."

      October 25, 2011 at 15:11 | Report abuse |
    • fran drake

      I haven't had a patient who has ever been "wrong" about their care. Actually, for many patients doing something that is against their own personal belief system is very stressful. The patients and families that I've taken care of want information, and then the right to make their own choices.... I have never judged a patient as being right or wrong.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      I think I'll go ahead and agree with you. So then now my question is, why do we even need physicians or NURSES like you in the first place?

      October 25, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
    • Thgir Ami

      Dan – I think F.Drake is right. The reason why you need doctors and nurses is so that they can advise you and help you understand what is wrong with you. With that information, it is your choice to do what you want. But you need them and their expertise to make that choice.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:38 | Report abuse |
    • Feekoningin

      The hardest thing to do is to go against what everyone else "knows" to be right. It's challenging to home school your children when we've been conditioned to send kids to traditional schools; it's nerve-wracking to represent yourself in court when we've been told that only a fool has himself for a client; and it's scary to sell your own home when we've received the persistent message that we need a real estate agent to get the best price and terms. Professional advice may be good for most people, or it may be good to a point for some. The article doesn't say Steve Jobs didn't seek medical advice at all or that he didn't follow up on some of it. He just chose the procedures and risks that sounded reasonable to him. Being cut open to remove cancer also comes with many risks and few guarantees. Sometimes, we just prefer to go with the devil we know. I'm sure Jobs would have found it much easier if he actually could trust all that he was told by the doctors and left his care totally in their hands, but he knew better. He was right to look high and low for the best treatment, and in the end, he could tell himself HE did everything he could.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:59 | Report abuse |
    • edog355

      Best comment on this board.

      October 25, 2011 at 16:17 | Report abuse |
    • Kafir

      No one said fighting cancer is easy. But in his case, it was among the most treatable forms of pancreatic cancer. It would've ended up being the easiest of all decisions. Being opened up is preferable to being shut down.

      October 25, 2011 at 18:31 | Report abuse |
    • Barbx

      I love Bill Maher, but the user Bill Maher is def not Maher, because Maher relies on logic. Logic dictates that he should have gotten proper med treatment. Which he did not. Then again, logic would not have created that stupid MAC OS interface which was garbage, nor the lack of ability to use what you purchased because Jobs believed that the user should be castrated before he uses his OS.

      October 26, 2011 at 00:09 | Report abuse |
  4. Kristal

    its hard 2 believe that human's can be soooooooooo ignorant if You go 2 court 2 prove some1 did something wrong u need prove yes prove theres no Prove ever that any god let alone the god u believe in ever walked this planet or 4 that matter any planet look at the world always fighting and killing what god of any religion would tolerate such a world no god would lies and more lies fed to moron idiot fool human's

    October 25, 2011 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Puta

      You need to look into some ESL classes. Whew!

      October 25, 2011 at 14:46 | Report abuse |
    • tsnootch

      what the heck are you talking about?

      October 25, 2011 at 14:49 | Report abuse |
    • Dewey B

      Funny that the sole purpose of your post is to basically call people stupid, all the while your writing is equivalent to that of third grader. Best part, you don't use any punctuation throughout your ignorant rant until the end when you incorrectly throw in an apostrophe.

      October 25, 2011 at 14:56 | Report abuse |
    • Slow down Kristal, you'll sprain something

      Kristal, it's hard to take your point seriously when you say that religion is for morons, implying that since you're not religious, you're not a moron. Your abuse of (English, I'm guessing) language and reason would paint a much different picture however...After all, the prove is in the pudding. "There's" many more instances in your mistake-ridden diatribe, but I don't have all day (You see, I should have said, "There are," but I'm making fun of the fact that you're too stupid to know what a contraction is or when to properly use it). Anyway, all snide comments aside, you're really, really dumb and that's just the truth.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:03 | Report abuse |
    • meowmeow

      Did you post earlier? May be Steve Jobs read your earlier post and committed suicide?

      October 25, 2011 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
    • alsmithee

      Oh, the irony of ignorance.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
    • Farmer Ted

      "...what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone [reading this] is now dumber for having [read] it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

      October 25, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
    • TweakerBob

      Lay off the crystal meth for a while before you post again Kristal.

      October 25, 2011 at 16:10 | Report abuse |
    • DSM


      October 25, 2011 at 16:46 | Report abuse |
    • Nos

      I really thinks she/he meant to call herself/himself "CRYSTAL" because she/he thinks she/he is pure. But as we all know, he/she can't spell either.

      October 25, 2011 at 16:49 | Report abuse |
    • Nos

      I really *think she/he meant to call herself/himself "CRYSTAL" because she/he thinks she/he is pure. But as we all know, he/she can't spell either.

      October 25, 2011 at 16:51 | Report abuse |
    • ???

      either on serious mood altering medication or you are simply on crack, you rambling idiot!

      October 26, 2011 at 09:51 | Report abuse |
  5. Lawrence Lowe

    It tells one that no matter how much of a "genius" one is perceived...you can still be an idiot.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joy Smith

      Ain't that the truth!

      October 25, 2011 at 16:35 | Report abuse |
    • Barbx

      Except Jobs was far from Genuis (Hence the overcompensating)

      October 26, 2011 at 00:11 | Report abuse |
  6. Gort01

    Les be honest,,,If Mr Jobs had started apologizing to people he was a complete a-whole to, he'd never have gotten anything done. Hopefully he did try to apologize to at least his family, mainly his daughter....but if he didnt, then she's not surprised Im sure.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jakey

      Not all bosses are complete jerks....but Jobs was a difficult boss.....very greedy.

      October 25, 2011 at 14:40 | Report abuse |
    • TweakerBob

      A boss is like a diaper . . . full of shtt and always on your a$s.

      October 25, 2011 at 16:13 | Report abuse |
  7. Kristal

    Jesus now is a different Story he acturally walked this Earth and he was never the son of god because he was the son of a Man. end of Story soooooooooo prove me wrong u bunch of human Fool'sssssssssssssssssssss.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Somebody's hammered

      Kristal, I think that somewhere just after your 73rd beer, you should have just called it an afternoon...To quote Lloyd Christmas, "Man, you are one pathetic loser..."

      October 25, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
    • Kristals an idiot

      Wow, you're stupid.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:21 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      How do you know?

      October 25, 2011 at 15:30 | Report abuse |
    • JP

      Wait, why are you even talking about religion here?

      October 25, 2011 at 15:33 | Report abuse |
    • Juana

      You are my ignorant ex husband in disquise, aren't you? Or perhpas his latest girlfriend? Either way, it worries me, the products of our educational system.

      October 25, 2011 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
    • Barbx

      73 Beers = alcohol poisoning champ. The poster isn't a cross between Manute Bol and Bear.

      October 26, 2011 at 00:12 | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      The troll is in the da house....

      October 26, 2011 at 06:43 | Report abuse |
  8. Bill Jobs

    So we can now all try the new Jobs diet? It should be called the iDiet which then leads to the iDie.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kafir


      October 25, 2011 at 18:36 | Report abuse |
  9. Kristal

    your a mean person.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jim

      Jim, the plural of Crayola is Crayolas, not Crayola's. The latter is the possessive form.

      October 25, 2011 at 16:12 | Report abuse |
    • DimJim

      Actually the plural is Crayola's crayons. Like Honda's Accords, or Kellog's Cornflakes. It's funny when people think they are smart. Seems someone forgot about brand names.

      October 25, 2011 at 17:55 | Report abuse |
    • geo pet

      Someone certainly forgot about brand names...YOU. KELLOGG'S

      October 25, 2011 at 18:06 | Report abuse |
    • Rex Remes

      Are you serious?

      "Hey Lucy ... I bought a new car. It is Honda's Accord"

      Yep. Hear that all the time.

      October 26, 2011 at 00:14 | Report abuse |
    • amanda

      it's probably crayola crayons and not crayolas. what would it mean to say johnson & johnsons. diddly.

      October 26, 2011 at 01:06 | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      Two thumbs up to this post!

      October 27, 2011 at 08:40 | Report abuse |
    • The Lunatic

      Thank you, jcren.

      October 25, 2011 at 16:38 | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      Correct spelling is: You're (meaning: you are) ...NOT "your" as you incorrectly have it. They teach the difference between these two words in grade school.

      October 25, 2011 at 17:57 | Report abuse |
    • Carolyn

      That has got to be the biggest grammar mistake made. I see it spelled wrong more often then I do the correct way. Sure sounds like Steve Jobs had an eating disorder to me. Eating disorders destroy the body. I've always heard it's a fine line between genius and insanity and doesn't take much to tip the balance.

      October 25, 2011 at 19:28 | Report abuse |
    • Of Mice and Men

      Please don't breed.

      October 25, 2011 at 20:00 | Report abuse |
    • Mouse


      October 26, 2011 at 09:46 | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      That's true in my experience, but I don't think it is for us to judge what makes a genius.

      October 25, 2011 at 21:47 | Report abuse |
    • hmmm

      who gives a flying f-ck? This isn't an essay or journalism, this is a forum.. grammar not needed here

      October 25, 2011 at 22:20 | Report abuse |
    • Dick

      Oh dear God, will you grammar loons please give it a rest. We all know what he meant and don't require further analysis.

      October 25, 2011 at 23:41 | Report abuse |
    • Obamajoe

      you are drunk,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      October 25, 2011 at 18:17 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      no you

      October 25, 2011 at 19:08 | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      Kristal, I'd have to agree with you.

      October 25, 2011 at 20:05 | Report abuse |
    • Sydney Australia

      seems her grammar was 'good enough' for you to understand. Just wanting to be a snark like most liberals?

      October 25, 2011 at 20:20 | Report abuse |
    • Eric


      October 25, 2011 at 21:17 | Report abuse |
    • John D.Seymoure

      They don't teach grammar in school inny more! My daughter only uses letters for words because of the Enternet! TTYL! C U L8r! Got it. It just changed the first word of the two word sentence be4 this 1!

      October 25, 2011 at 23:40 | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      Is that what makes you feel important? Making corrections to a post by someone you don't know? Get a life. You know what was meant by the comment and your corrections don't make the comment less valid.

      October 25, 2011 at 23:49 | Report abuse |
    • steve

      I agreed with Michelle. It's like texting, you don't need to spell everything out and the other person knows exactly what they all mean. Those who like to disconcert others in public are mentally challenged themselves. GET a LIFE LOSERS.....

      October 26, 2011 at 09:14 | Report abuse |
    • rcr4624

      It makes the person who used the poor grammar look ignorant and unemployable.

      October 26, 2011 at 18:07 | Report abuse |
    • Barbx

      Jobs didn't even talk to his first kid for ten years (estimated). That's mean.

      October 26, 2011 at 00:06 | Report abuse |
    • keith

      geeez who made you the spelling police

      October 26, 2011 at 08:53 | Report abuse |
    • windows 2.0

      i cannot stand people that think they're the 'grammer' cops on the WEB.. ITS THE INTERNETS..c'mon people.

      October 26, 2011 at 16:20 | Report abuse |
    • Carol Allyson

      Where is God in all 'these'?
      In the end, God knows all..
      Before and after

      October 27, 2011 at 05:48 | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      I think what you meant to say is “You are”. Neglecting to capitalize the first letter of a sentence is also an error in grammar.

      October 26, 2011 at 10:01 | Report abuse |
  10. Mits

    No matter how much money, power, or fame one has, but it will NOT buy us peace, happiness, or health. It's god given, therefore, should learn to be humble and learn to band our self mentally even in front of those who are insignificant to us. By doing this, even if you are so insignificant, you will feel fountain of joy in your heart. – Yogiji Maharaj

    October 25, 2011 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • nancy pantsy

      "god given"....
      which god??
      and prove that he gave it....
      you can't u moron.....

      October 25, 2011 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
    • Barbx

      There is no god. Who believes in fairy tales these days?

      October 26, 2011 at 00:14 | Report abuse |
  11. Jakey

    He sounds stupid, arrogant and difficult...I believe it. His diets sound ridiculous and unfounded.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • edog355

      Maybe he should have checked with you, "Jakey" since you are obviously expert on what is not " ridiculous and unfounded".
      Must be awesome to be so smart.

      October 25, 2011 at 16:31 | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff

    So he chose to experiment with health care modalities that didn't work..so what? Standard allopathic health care didn't work either, did it? Before everyone rushes to defend allopathic medicine and before everyone starts blaming his experiments with alternative treatment modalities as the cause of his death...take a look at allopathic medicine's kill rate. Google "iatrogenic" (illness caused by medical examination or treatment). Iatrogenic illness is now officially a pandemic in the U.S., according to the CDC (U.S. Center for Disease Control). All you docs and nurses chastising Mr. Jobs for owning his own body don't really want us to know about iatrogenic illness. They try to hide this information from consumers of medical services.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jimmiedupree

      If "they" are hididng it, why is it so easy to find on google?

      October 25, 2011 at 15:06 | Report abuse |
    • Thomas

      Jeff, Sorry but your asking to look at "kill rate" already suggest a bias because you do not ask to look at "cure' rate. I have NEVER seen anyone cured of cancer or to be honest any other disease by non-traditional methods. I have seen many non-traditional methods eliminate symptoms of disease which, when the non-traditional supplements were removed, returned as expected. I have been a alternative seeker for almost 20 years. I take to now with a BIG grain of salt. It has gotten to the point now when alternative remedies are tested and fail to show effectiveness that the alternative proponents automatically say the test was flawed yet use the same data from those test to point out the side effects of traditional drugs. They neglect to say that the sales of non-traditional remedies (all) costs the patient nearly as much as traditional drugs. I have never seen a person who used non-traditional methods solely survive cancer. I have seen people who have used traditional methods die but I have also seen some live. This is my experience so far.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:13 | Report abuse |
    • JP

      Thomas, the term "non-traditional" medicine is pretty ambiguous here. If you are referring to methods which involve specific diet and practices, they are never working directly to fight cancer, it is more like improving your body functions and conditions to fight against it. However there is a specific natural medicine that actually has a chemical property to help fight cancer. I believe red ginseng has some interesting effect on cancer cells and is being researched currently.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:43 | Report abuse |
    • Whatnow

      Thomas, thank you. I have survived cancer, but I didn't wish it away, pray it away, or become a vegan to fix it or take macrobiotics, etc. I am not a doctor so, I decided that people educated in the field probably knew more. Although it's not all that popular say these days, I actually have the medical community to thank for my life.

      October 25, 2011 at 16:37 | Report abuse |
    • Barbx

      Trust in science, not voodoo. What the hell is wrong with you people.

      October 26, 2011 at 00:16 | Report abuse |
  13. Pamela N

    Clearly, this man lived life on his own terms. He made his choices. He died on his own terms. Isn't this what makes living in America so great?

    October 25, 2011 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Yes I agree

      That is exactly right.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
    • T

      It does but one can only hope that when you bring children into the world, you consider them.

      October 25, 2011 at 16:06 | Report abuse |
    • William Hale

      True-for the individual, but my question is what was it like for his family to have to watch this and probably know that he was undermining his own chances at remission? Brilliant yes but selfish as well.

      October 25, 2011 at 16:16 | Report abuse |
    • Kafir

      All the same, if his end-game was to live, he failed. So are you saying its great that about america that you can fail, when you don't have to?

      October 25, 2011 at 18:54 | Report abuse |
    • Barbx

      People like him KILL the United States. An egomaniac that will sacrifice anything to get ahead? Hell Bill Gates wouldn't even do that.

      October 26, 2011 at 00:17 | Report abuse |
  14. Sarvan

    Oh, Steve, I was afraid I would hear just that! The world profited from your stubbornness, but you paid with your life! Rest in peace, wherever you are.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Opyt

    Brilliant people are some of the most cruel on Earth. But why should that surprise anyone? They're not trying to get along, they're aiming for perfection.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Barbx

      How cruel was Bill Gates? Not very. Jobs was just a terrible person. He should feel bad. To his grave.

      October 26, 2011 at 00:18 | Report abuse |
  16. Kathster

    I gotta say that thees snippets they're publishing of his bio make Steve Jobs look like not so nice a guy.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Rich Dunn

    He should of taken Fish Oil to cure his cancer.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • nancy pantsy

      no, apple cider vinegar cures everything...

      October 25, 2011 at 15:58 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      ...or lots and lots of vitamin C.

      October 25, 2011 at 16:00 | Report abuse |
  18. Anne

    Wonder how he received the liver transplant. By then he was diagnosed with metastatic cancer, a terminal illness. Don't understand how a healthy liver would be transplanted into someone who we believe already has microscopic cancer cells circulating in their body? This is a real question, so please don't response with comments about this money or privilege. Thanks.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carrie

      I agree Anne. Just recently my husband has started the tests to get on the Kidney and Pancreas transplant and we went to many classes and learned a lot about the procedure and the basis on which the "board" makes a determination to if you can even get on the list. Having had (in remission) cancer can keep you off the list thus keeping you from getting a healthy organ for the mere CHANCE that you are more likely to again get cancer. Very good question.

      October 25, 2011 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      They can do a partial liver transplant from a living donor. Part of the donor's liver is transplanted into the recipient. The donor is also a volunteer who chooses to donate a portion of his/her liver to the recipient, so there are no boards, etc. involved. The risk is minimal for the donor. This is likely what happened in this case.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:31 | Report abuse |
    • carole

      I, too, do not understand how he received a liver transplant. If his out look was not good and he was not following doctors orders, why would he be so privilaged? An organ transplant should not be wasted on someone who has no intention of taking care of themselves. Someone had died to save him ....take care of their gift! Organs are not in big supply. There are thousands of people on the waiting list who are more than willing to follow doctors orders and take good care of themselves and their new chance at a life. Guess it is all does amount to money and power.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:31 | Report abuse |
    • Kat

      This part bothers me the most. If Jobs wanted to choose alternative medicine, that was his right, but it's mind blowing to me that he waited until it metastasized into the liver, then was able to simply get a new one, knowing that he would still die. Amazing what money and power can do. Any "normal" patient would have been refused an organ transplant under those conditions. It makes me sad to think that someone with a survivable illness probably died waiting for a liver, while Jobs was able to use his billions to buy one.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:35 | Report abuse |
    • Snackers

      It's called corporate medicine, and sane best practice rules sometimes are ignored/don't apply due to many factors, such as the arrogance of the patient/doctor, money involved, desperation, and the like.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:45 | Report abuse |
    • TweakerBob

      It's called a massive donation to the medical center . . . and probably free iTunes for life for the docs . . .

      October 25, 2011 at 16:11 | Report abuse |
  19. Lisa

    Why was he allowed to get a liver transplant with the cancer he had? ( I know-he was rich). What a waste of an organ I am sorry to say. And his non-compliant
    behavior. Just too smart for his own good. Sad.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joy Smith

      For real Lisa...both issues with non-compliance and then the fact he had cancer preclude the NO to a healthy organ transplant. I have to agree with another person saying maybe he was promising lots of money afterwards to the center (hopefully...at least something good could come out of the situation).

      October 25, 2011 at 16:41 | Report abuse |
  20. Give him a break

    He did what he thought was best for him. You would do same if you were in his shoes. Doctor's are not GOD. Who knows what could have been if he took their advice. May his sould rest in peace.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 320

      Nobody is saying doctors are gods. You can say doctors don't have all the answers to every question and still admit it is retarded to fast or eat nothing but apples when you know for a fact your body is having a hard time getting nutrients already.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
  21. joe

    I knew a guy by the name of Herman Cain. He onced battled colon cancer because his regular diet included italian pizza with colored greens. What a combo!

    October 25, 2011 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      The greens are called collared, racist.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:51 | Report abuse |
  22. Tony

    Enough about this guy already! Isick if it.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LGBradley

      Then why are you still reading about it?

      October 25, 2011 at 14:55 | Report abuse |
  23. terry

    His body, his life, his choice. So why are his decisions considered "arrogant" and "stupid"? Who are we to judgement?

    October 25, 2011 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kafir

      If his aim was to live, then he failed, and didn't have to. I'd call that stupid.

      October 25, 2011 at 19:09 | Report abuse |
  24. LGBradley

    Everyone is so quick to label Steve Jobs as arrogant, stupid and stubborn regarding his health. It was his life, his choice – as in his professional life he went against the grain and tried other methods. He took a chance with his health and had it been successful you would instead still consider him a genius. Let him rest in peace.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JP

      Refusing to change his eating disorder? I don't think stubbornness is a perfect word to describe. Quick to label? It's just how it is.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:50 | Report abuse |
    • Kafir

      When the cancer is highly treatable and curable, opting out of such treatments for no other reason than "not wanting to be opened up" will never amount to "genius" rationale.

      October 25, 2011 at 19:12 | Report abuse |
  25. silumaya

    I am not sure not eating was a choice for him...with pancreatic cancer it messes up your whole diet in way that all food tastes like cardboard.

    it was painful to watch my father push away food that he used to love.

    I do feel jobs used poor judgement in not getting the surgery earlier, then again when you are faced with a decision like that you don't know what is right and what is wrong. It is always an afterthought!

    October 25, 2011 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jon

      It appears that Jobs had very poor eating habits his whole life for some reason. Who knows, that may actually have brought about the pancreatic cancer. But in any event, I have known other people who basically refused medical help for a condition like his and tried similar holistic remedies – like coffee enemas. They are all dead.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:25 | Report abuse |
  26. Rachel

    Steve Jobs clearly had a mental eating disorder that eventually paved the way to his death. Early on, the man had a chance. But, as with any eating disorder from mental problems relating to food, and seeking only holistic remedies to find his problem, only forced his cancer to spread and then, eventually, take his life.

    This is just so terribly sad and I feel awful for his family who had to watch him deteriorate. Steve Jobs could have still be here with us today, had he not been battling his own mind regarding foods.

    You are what you eat. PERIOD.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Lamar

    My wife had eyelet cell pancreatic cancer. I think it was the same kind Steve Jobs had. It required massive surgery, later spread to a lymph node, requiring a second surgery. Then it went to the liver, where most pancreatic cancers seem to go. RFA procedures took care of those. It's been over 10 years and she is doing fine. I realize that she is one of only a few survivors to make it, but it's important to not give up hope. That, and a world class surgeon.

    October 25, 2011 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. TimB

    To begin: hey Kristal, ever hear of "punctuation". When used judiciously, your "comments" might become a bit more, umm, readable. Okay, now that I have that out of the way, what strikes me most is fran drake's comment. Of course patients should have the right to do what they want. However, one would hope though that their choices would be made after they synthesize the relevant information, and make decisions informed by a basic understanding of science including statistics. Jobs was brilliant, but in a very narrow way. He had very little to no formal training beyond high school which makes one wonder if he actually understood what his treatment delays meant in terms of his chance of recovery. His strange dietary choices make one suspect he was clueless. Sadly, with rampant nationwide around basic science concepts, many others make the same mistakes and fall prey to quackery.

    October 25, 2011 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Gabe

    I hope there is veggie food in hell, otherwise he will starve to dead!!!

    October 25, 2011 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. If I had a penny for every stupid Republican I'd be rich!

    To begin understanding Jobs one has to realize the guy thought he was special that rules didn't apply to him. How he lived his life begins to make sense. Basically the guy was a jerk with a gift for making people think they needed to buy his vision.

    October 25, 2011 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Randy

    It is what it is!

    October 25, 2011 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Rachel

    LGBradley, obviously he made massively wrong choices. When you play, you pay, instead of listening to those with experience who know best.

    Yes, it was HIS choice and his alone. Apparently, he didn't give a rip on what was best for him. He was no doctor, nor even a nutritionalist, so his demise was imminent and quick – when he may have actually beat it early on.

    Just have pity for his family. They deserve our sympathies while dealing with the loss of a man who thought he was right when it regarded his health/life. Obviously, he was wrong.

    October 25, 2011 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Michael

    Folks he did what he thought was right for him and his family. Did he make a mistake – please be the first to cast a stone. Otherwise shutup and leave the mans legacy and family alone.

    October 25, 2011 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Seriously????

    How do you all know that his actions didn't prolong his life? We will never know the answer to that, so why be so judgmental? Let those he mistreated be filled with righteous anger, and the rest of us worry about how we treat the loved ones in our lives.

    October 25, 2011 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Skip

    I want to be able to decide, for me, what treatment(s) or diet(s) I believe would benefit me. If that makes me difficult, well, I'll choose to be difficult.

    October 25, 2011 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      You certainly have that right, and no one can deny you that unless you are mentally incapable of making sound decisions. But, without medical training (and many years of it), you will not make the best decisions to cure/manage the disease. It is a fact.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:56 | Report abuse |
  36. RillyKewl

    With great genius often times comes some madness.
    I'll miss you, Steve. You were wrong to ignore the advice of pros this time, and the price was higher than ever. Still, I respect that you did it your way. I'll still always love you.

    October 25, 2011 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. LS

    II think Steve Jobs needed good psychological support.I think nobody understood that.He was living in his own world most of the time.I suspect whether he had any good friend on this earth to whom he would listen.I don't think he has accepted the adoption part in his life.He had an wound and he died with it.

    RIP Steve Jobs

    October 25, 2011 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. T

    Jeff – Iatrogenic illness has NOT officially a pandemic according to the CDC. Several quick searches on their site proved that. Modern medicine isn't the enemy. Seems that Mr. Jobs, while brilliant in many ways, wasn't free of personal issues either. Which unfortunately worsened his health.

    October 25, 2011 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. DA

    Here's an incredibly lucky guy who gets an early cancer diagnosis, is told it's curable by surgery given that it hadn't spread, and then blows it with complete arrogance because he thinks he knows more than the doctors who are treating him. If anything, hopefully this serves as a strong warning for people who insist on believing that herbal tea, macrobiotic diets and meditation are the "cure" for cancer. Not.

    October 25, 2011 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Elsie

    Sounds like in the beginning Steve Jobs was in denial about his condition. Then later, he realized he wouldn't be able to treat it holistically. Most reasonable people would be only too willing to follow the course of treatment recommended by the Drs.
    Based on the other comments from the book, I wonder if Steve Jobs wasn't seriously depressed.

    October 25, 2011 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Rachel

    Michael.... if you re-read the story here, Steve did NOT do what he thought was right for him family. He did what he thought was right for himself and nothing more. As it says, he family tried to intervene and, instead, were forced to watch him deteriorate.

    When posting, get your facts straight first.

    October 25, 2011 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mm

      Amen! Because he was a self-centered ass who didn't care about anyone or anything but himself.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:25 | Report abuse |
  42. BellaTerra66

    CNN, could you let this man rest in peace, give his family some peace, give your readers a rest! and stop using Steve Jobs to boost your ratings? Enough is enough!

    October 25, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mm

      He's boosting his own, hince the autobiography that he wrote that is due to be released soon if it hasn't been already.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
  43. Alex Yue

    His arrogant and stubborn character makes him god in his business – an American icon, It also finish his ever ever precious life.

    October 25, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. shai

    Steve Jobs may be the only guy in the world who on his death bead probably wished he worked more saturdays. I hope I am wrong. but it sounds like his family suffered because of his obsessive behavoir.

    October 25, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Rachel

    DA, you are absolutely right-on in your words.

    Arrogance can and, mostly likely, will lead to an early demise. Steve Jobs is clear proof of this.

    October 25, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. mm

    I am so tired of people acting like this guy was some God or super natural individual. He was intelligent and invented wonderful things. Period! As each day passes since his death more and more begins to surface about this guy. Things people knew all along but never brought to the surface because they were fearful of Steve Jobs' wrath. This guy was an arrogant, self-centered, selfish, at times abusive, dishonest, overbearing, ass of a person.

    October 25, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Ryan

    truly a sad story.. to think he might have beaten it if only he had acted sooner.
    I'm sure his family has a bit of anger mixed in with their sadness.
    nevertheless, Mr. Jobs was a remarkable man and he will be missed for a long time to come.

    btw, the speech referenced in this article (that he gave at Stanford in 2005) really is incredible. it's available on you_tube and if you haven't seen it I strongly recommend watching it.

    October 25, 2011 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. jarda cervenka

    Here you go: man who changed our lives (they say) - and sort of stupid. Then you have Lance Armstrong, just a cyclist with high school – but man of excellent judgement, winning the cancer battle by finding the best doctors in the world, and following their advise to a detail. There is no other way (I spent life doing cancer research..... )

    October 25, 2011 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John


      I hope that if I ever have cancer, I have the intelligence to get the best doctors I possibly can (probably still not as good as the ones Steve Jobs had), and then follow their instructions precisely.

      There will be no time-wasting homeopathic home remedies, no acupuncture, no psychic! There might be a few prayers. 🙂

      October 25, 2011 at 15:36 | Report abuse |
    • Anne

      Well I've followed Lance Armstrong since my cancer diagnosis, and have lost respect for him over time. He really is just a regular person with regular problems who happened to survive cancer (who knows why)He still has regular problems like maintaining personal relationships (marriages) and perhaps even lying about drugs during his Tour de France comebacks. Time will tell. Cancer survival doesn't make you a super hero. It just makes you a survivor of cancer.

      October 25, 2011 at 17:47 | Report abuse |
  49. Connie


    October 25, 2011 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John


      Boy, that's a heckuva generalization... and clearly wrong.

      October 25, 2011 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
    • Joy Smith

      I agree. I've known some very creative and smart people who just didn't have enough sense to come out of the rain.

      October 25, 2011 at 16:45 | Report abuse |
  50. Karen

    The choices of an individual are shaped by the values and beliefs they hold. If an individual ignores their internal environment and allows for the external environment to affect their behaviour, they would be not be their "real" self, and instead, be an "ideal" self.
    Geniuses are never an ideal self, they are always their real self, and in that sense, yes, Mr. Jobs was a genius.
    It was great that Mr. Jobs paid attention to his internal environment and did not let people's opinions (external environment) affect his decision,he was aware of his demise and lived with it.
    To judge him for his actions is not our responsibility, but to learn from this, is our obligation. Hence, reading this article should help us understand that there are resources available to help, however ultimately it is still up to us to make our own decisions and be responsible for them.

    October 25, 2011 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JP

      Unfortunately when a person is ill there are many things that affects and often prevents from making right decision for themselves. It sounds easy from a 3rd person's perspective but not so much for the person who is actually sick.

      October 25, 2011 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
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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.