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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 (766 Responses)
  1. hsd1

    Why we lionize the people we do, should give us all pause. Are our lives so aimless and empty that we have to attribute godlike qualities to bright but deeply troubled personalities?

    October 26, 2011 at 08:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. JM

    As a medical student I'm frequently told how inadequate "western medicine" is and how there are so many "side effects" to medications. The way some people talk about these medication side effects, you'd think that they are taking poison. What they fail to realize is that with current human knowledge these medications even with these side effects are the best that we have in controlling or curing diseases. There is always risk and benefit in medicine. When the benefit outweighs risks you may want to take that medication. Yet, some do not see it that way and focus on the risks such as side effects and not the benefits.

    There is such a strong sentiment in some people that "natural way/food/healing" is superior to what physicians can offer. In my opinion, physicians are the ones who know the most about these health conditions and diseases although even these physicians do not know everything there is to know about them since human knowledge about the human body and diseases is still evolving. The more I learn in medical school (I'm in my final year of med school) the more I feel I don't know. There is so much unknown out there. But, what the physicians do know is the best that our world has. To ignore their suggestions and insights as Steve Jobs did is foolish, arrogant and misinformed. I love Apple products and have only used Apple products since I began using computers. God bless Steve Jobs. But, his decision not to address this pancreatic cancer when it was actually found early (which is notoriously discovered too late) and have a better chance at living longer is likely the reason he died when he did.

    October 26, 2011 at 08:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Steve Jobs won't die!

    How much money did he leave behind to create this "Legend of Steve Jobs". He should have just made a bronze statue of himself and put it in New York Harbor.

    October 26, 2011 at 08:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Paul

    Too bad Mr. Jobs never found true meaning in life through faith in Jesus Christ. A very sad ending indeed.

    "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" -Jesus Christ

    October 26, 2011 at 08:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Will

    He was smart enough to know that doctors are often wrong and don't always know what they're doing, yet not educated enough to have the slightest clue as to which medical advice was sound and which didn't make sense. Was Jobs a genius? Decidedly no. He did some things really well. He was very creative, had some revolutionary ideas and the iron will to see them through. But in the end, when things really mattered, he was just your average idiot. Let this be a lesson for all: biology will not bend to your whim. You can't will your sickness away (unless it was psychosomatic to begin with). You can't treat yourself with psychics and eastern trancendentalists and meditation and "alternative" medicine. Here in the west, we have endeavored for the last 800 years to make health care a logical, rational, and reasonable process. Put your hubris aside and embrace the ridiculous notion that 800 years of science has probably produced a better solution than the ones you can come up with in an afternoon of uneducated thinking.

    October 26, 2011 at 08:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. ThatGuy

    (verse 1)
    I want to be the very best,
    Like no one ever was.
    To catch them is my real test,
    To train them is my cause.

    I will travel across the land,
    Searching far and wide.
    Each Pokemon to understand
    The power that's inside

    (Gotta catch 'em all)

    It's you and me
    I know it's my destiny

    Pokemon!

    You're my best friend
    In a world we must defend
    Pokemon

    (Gotta catch 'em all)

    A heart so true
    Our courage will pull us through
    You teach me and I'll teach you
    Pokemon

    (Gotta catch 'em all)

    yeah

    (verse 2)
    every challenge along the way
    with courage i will face
    i will battle everyday
    to claim my rightful place

    come with me the time is right
    theres no better team
    arm and arm well win the fight
    its always been our dream

    Pokemon

    Chorus
    (Gotta catach 'em all)

    its you and me
    i know its my destiny

    Pokemon

    Oh, your my best friend
    in a world we must defend

    Pokemon!

    A heart so true
    our courage will pull us through
    you teach me and ill teach you
    Pokemon

    (Gatta catach 'em all)x4

    Yeah!

    Pokemon!

    October 26, 2011 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. keith

    he was difficult because he was full of himself.....he's been known to smart mouth back at customers and think nothing of it. He just didn't care about anything but the money that came into his pocket and the noterity that he had, all because of work other people did....the engineers at Apple are WHO created the toys all the hipsters today want, Wozniak created what because the first Apple computer many years ago.....Jobs was nothing more than a glorified car salesman who was able to 'talk' people into buying his product, but otherwise he wasn't the creator of all the 'cool' toys of today, and by far was NOT the innovator everyone claims he was....the people below him who are unknown to the world are the TRUE innovators

    October 26, 2011 at 08:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Keith Smith

      Wow, someone drank their hater-ade this morning. What flavor did you choose today? Jealousy? Covetousness?

      October 26, 2011 at 09:10 | Report abuse |
    • Shankar Narayanan

      Stay with your PC

      October 26, 2011 at 09:27 | Report abuse |
    • Opinion

      I agree with you, Keith. Jobs had a brilliant mind but he he also had a very narcisstic personality.
      A lot of people did not get their due appreciation because of Jobs' self-centredness and oversensitive temperament.

      October 26, 2011 at 09:31 | Report abuse |
    • flashtrum

      his quirkiness in the end seemed to be his undoing. It reminds me of the cult-like religious groups who won't allow their children to be operated on, vaccinated, etc.

      October 26, 2011 at 09:53 | Report abuse |
    • anna

      You took the words right out of my mouth.
      Couldnt agree more.

      October 26, 2011 at 10:19 | Report abuse |
    • nooby

      You failed to realize it was his knowledge of marketing and advertisement and the new age that allowed him to deny invented products he knew would suck.

      There was over hundreds of apple products presented to him and he knew which ones were actually good, and each one of those made it HUGE in the market.

      Jobs is a god and knows what people of this generation wanted, and he gave it to them full force the best it could be.

      Now that management has already changed, look at their newest innovation, a TV!!!!! USELESS!!! Those came out tens of years ago, they wouldnt be wasting their time if jobs could tell them how stupid making a tv is.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:19 | Report abuse |
    • John H.

      @nooby, and the phone predates the tv and yet they made their phone a sucess. Now I fully agree with keith that jobs was not and was never the true innovator at apple. It was people like steve wozniak that deserve credit.

      October 26, 2011 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      heres the thing, to an extent i agree, jobs himself was a genius with vision, he himself didnt design the products, but he envisioned them, the iphone?? he forsaw that 20 years before it happened, same with the ipad. so he may have not have beeen an innovater, but he was one of the last true visionarys. he also was a master in later years at discerning bad ideas from good ones once ideas were on the table.

      October 26, 2011 at 16:16 | Report abuse |
    • Chris R

      Just to be clear – Jobs was really good at what he did – which is take existing products and ideas and make them more appealing to a wide variety of people. He did not 'envision' the tablet computer. The concept goes back to Alan Kay's DynaBook. The first real attempts to market tablets go to Microsoft. Gates really believed in tablets and had been pushing them for at least the past 10 years. Jobs was able to come in at the right moment where technology could meet the demands he was making of it. However, he relied on the work of countless people who had pioneered the field. Same thing goes for the iPod. The iPod was actually a relatively late entry into the market and, more distressingly, they lifted the interface almost completely from the Creative Zen. Where Jobs' showed his genius was in tying everything into a single environment and the marketing. So visionary? I am not sure about that. Someone who knew how to read the market and time delivery really well? Without a doubt.

      October 26, 2011 at 17:15 | Report abuse |
    • rcr4624

      Keith..... that is exactly what Edison did.

      October 26, 2011 at 17:58 | Report abuse |
    • Leo

      Wow.....must be a PC guy! Are you serious? Jobs was a genius. I will agree it is the people under him that "Made" the electronics, but Jobs brought that company back from the brink of death....He knew what the world would buy and how to market it. He knew how to make a product sell and sell big AND he knew to listen to his customers demands and make a product better for the mass!

      October 26, 2011 at 18:56 | Report abuse |
    • Marie

      Keith, you hit the nail on the head! I couldn't have said it any better myself. He is the 'glorified car salesman' and people gave him credit where credit was not due. Jobs is an overrated high-tech rock star. I'm sorry he lost his life but, in a way, he died in his own hands. And when I read he consulted a psychic, I was blown away. This man who touts himself as down-to-earth scientific has engaged in activities a lot of people would call 'hogwash'. Absolutely a man of stark contradictions. I'll remember him most for that, not for his gadgets that people I call 'Apple Heads' are crazy about.

      October 26, 2011 at 19:13 | Report abuse |
    • jamieska

      I THINK YOU WERE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!! :)))) SICK OF PEOPLE WHO DON'T GET IT!!!

      October 26, 2011 at 19:18 | Report abuse |
    • TH

      @Andrew. Did you just seriously state he envisioned the IPhone 20 years before it was made? What kind of Jobs Kool-Aid have you been drinking? I think the IPhone came out in 2007 so 20 years would be 1987. He left Apple in 1985 to form NEXT. NEXT was a failure except for the fact that in 1996 Apple bought it to get Jobs back (a fact most fan boys seem to have forgotten). By the best estimates NEXT only sold 50,000 units and that included backordered upgrade motherboards. What would make anyone think he was thinking about smart phones in 1987? The IPod was evolutionary not revolutionary, now the ITunes store was a unique idea and that was what made the IPod a winner. As pointed out elsewhere tablet computers existed (as did MP3 players) long before Apple got involved with them. Jobs had a talent in picking the best ideas from his people and the charisma to sell it to the loyal followers. Apples dedicated followers are unique in the techworld to Apple and accounts significantly for the success of its products. There is nothing like the reports of huge sales on release (probably 80-90% are upgrades) to get loads of free publicity and to entice new buyers. But even he choose some stinkers like the Lisa, G4 cube and Apple TV.

      October 27, 2011 at 08:19 | Report abuse |
    • Chekeenan

      keith Stop Tryin To Bag ON people hes dead GOD

      October 27, 2011 at 14:21 | Report abuse |
    • elle

      What horror for his loved ones and doctors to deal with this self-destructiveness and egoism. I know people who have goofy food obsessions, and the most infuriating thign is to hear them come to their own illogical conclusions stubbornly against reasoning and scientific proof. Fortunately these people are alive if unhealthy. Jobs was definitely mentally disturbed.

      I think the marketing of Apple products, the creative advertising and spreading of the myth and legend of Jobs had a great deal to do with sales. Me, I've used Apple computers when forced to in my job, but choose PCs when I can for their un-finickiness. They're like '57 Chevies as opposed to old Rolls Royces. Interchangeable, clonable, easy to fix - as opposed to elegant and classic etc. but won't go 100 miles without breaking down..When I first started working on Apple products in 1988, my fast keyboard commands would crash the thing instantly. Fast forward to 2011. My fast keyboard commands stll freeze the system. Nothing has changed.

      October 27, 2011 at 16:34 | Report abuse |
    • JEFF

      It's your opinion. Everybody's got one. And you deserve to have yours. I don't agree, but that's ok.

      November 3, 2011 at 20:02 | Report abuse |
    • Advocate4u

      I agree totally with you, all those Apple Fans need to read about the "real" Steve Jobs and how he degraded people. He in my opinion (of course we all have one) did not practice any type of spirituality based on his poor treatment of those that made Apple what it is today. Funny how when someone dies we want to talk about what a 'GREAT' person he/she was, don't focus on the true characteristics of that individual.

      November 23, 2011 at 15:18 | Report abuse |
  8. Tom

    Maybe he thought he could turn himself into a bionic man, and fix himself with circuit boards etc. Sounds like his motherboard fried as a result of a surge of arrogance!

    October 26, 2011 at 08:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. BIll

    Steve was great, but even great men have weaknesses. Steve's weakness was thinking he could control his mortality, but in the end he still achieved immortality through his life's actions.

    October 26, 2011 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MC

      well said

      October 26, 2011 at 16:45 | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      No.. he knew death was inevitable.. you can't delay death for long.

      October 28, 2011 at 14:02 | Report abuse |
  10. Tim

    What a horrible way to die....like him or not....this had to be a awful painful death...RIP

    October 26, 2011 at 09:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rcr4624

      This day and age there is absolutely no reason to die in pain. A physician who lets anyone die in pain should lose their license. Pain medications today are fantastic. Retired RN

      October 26, 2011 at 18:01 | Report abuse |
  11. Joe Shmoe

    ur all idiots

    October 26, 2011 at 09:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Ikester

    So, has CNN applied with the Vatican to make Jobs a Saint yet?

    October 26, 2011 at 09:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Sam

    Many people have died of curable cancer because they didn't listen to doctors. Process of natural selection.

    October 26, 2011 at 09:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • justme

      unfortunately people like that die after they have reproduced, so natural selection doesn't work that well w cancer. Oh well, Jobs should have consulted another psychic

      October 26, 2011 at 22:06 | Report abuse |
    • John Wolfe

      Jobs was a brilliant moron. He would have never let anyone tutor him on the subject of computer technology and innovation. That was his area of expertise. And yet, he arrogantly decided to defy his doctors, as if he had completed 12 years of medical school.

      Jobs died of cancer, not a computer virus. But he presumed to be smarter than his doctors. His death is tragic. But the cause of his death cannot be disputed: Arrogance.

      October 26, 2011 at 23:59 | Report abuse |
  14. kim

    I am considered a difficult patient too and I don't think it has anything to do with being arrogant. I very simply feel that I, and not doctors who don't even really know me, should have say over my own body. What is wrong with that? I'm not saying they don't know more than I do but I am saying I should have control of my own body and destiny.

    I think Jobs was a genius and you don't get to be a genius by following, you get to be one by being a leader and leaders don't easily follow the directions of others. I applaud Jobs for being true to himself right up until the end!

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

      So who is forcing you to go to the doctors.
      Stay at home and do what you want to do and dont moan about it if it doesnt work.
      Your choice.

      October 26, 2011 at 10:21 | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      It's a difficult balance. Physicians receive so much training about what goes on at the cellular level. They really do understand more deeply how all human bodies work. Sometimes a little credit is due. But alas, doctors don't have control over our bodies; just the knowledge to help us make the best of what we have. People disregard doctors all the time (I see it a lot as an RN even). Usually it's to the patient's detriment, but not always.

      October 26, 2011 at 10:32 | Report abuse |
    • rcr4624

      You sound like a jerk also.

      October 26, 2011 at 18:03 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth in Mi

      You do have control of your own body, just as Jobs did. And you have to accept the consequences, just as Jobs had to accept the inevitable conseqences of his arrogance.If his doctors could have forced him to have surgery in the beginning, then he would have had the surgery and possibly been alive now. But there is often a time limit on your options. When the cancer has spread to your bones, it's a little late for that surgery

      October 27, 2011 at 01:23 | Report abuse |
  15. kim

    The trouble with a lot of the people commenting on here is that they have thoroughly bought into the Doctors are Gods Myth.

    October 26, 2011 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TH

      It's not that people necessarily think doctors are gods it's the fact that someone believing they can wish away something like cancer is just fundamentally arrogantly stupid. His arrogance did not even take into account the feelings of his own family. We are seeing a perfect example of revisionist history, Jobs had many failures but they are forgotten, he had significant success in several products but he did not invent them or even envision those 20 years before they were made. Seriously; someone on this thread actually said he envisioned the iPhone 20 years before it was made; it came out in 2007 so he left Apple in 1985 and did not return until 1997 how did he envision the iPhone in 1987? He was knee deep in forming the failing computer company known as the NEXT. By the best estimates NEXT only sold 50,000 units and that included backordered upgrade motherboards. What would make anyone think he was thinking about smart phones then? He had talented people under him and enough cults like charisma to keep them even when they were humiliated and browbeaten by him, that may be a form of leadership but it is more in line with dictatorship. Slamming the TV idea is slamming Jobs; that appears by all accounts to be one of his last ideas, whether it was a product of his uncanny perception or morphine remains to be seen. If it is successful he will get all the credit, if it fails everyone will conveniently forget he had anything to do with it and say look how bad they have become without him.

      October 27, 2011 at 07:52 | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      It's not stupid to find alternative – Science backed btw – means of preventing the spread of cancer.. after all even if you do operate on tumors.. it doesn't mean the cancer is gone and people don't know if it spread.

      October 30, 2011 at 07:41 | Report abuse |
  16. carlos urbina

    Medicina alternativa??

    October 26, 2011 at 09:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Lewis

    Alternative medicine is garbage for serious illness such as what he had. The people that sell that stuff should be prosecuted. It gives people false hope with nothing more than snake oil. He may have been a genius but he got duped.

    October 26, 2011 at 09:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rosemary

      In 2001 my mother was diagnosed with bone cancer and she opted for 'alternative herbal treatment'. Our family couldn't believe it. The Homepath told her she did not have cancer but only had a FUNGUS and my Mom believed this horribly irresposible 'witch-doctor'!!!
      The Oncologist was abolutely positve he could have helped her.
      She died an agonizingly payinful death 1 1/2 years later after drinking liters of 'snake oil' and thousands of dollars in debt.

      October 26, 2011 at 09:44 | Report abuse |
    • Mitch

      @Rosemary I am deeply sorry your mother and family had to suffer through that. As a future oncologist (presently in medical school) I am fearful over the capabilities false claims may skew my patient's understandings about their treatments. I believe your mother's story may ultimately save many lives who are influenced by the many quacks who falsely claim they have the "cure."

      October 26, 2011 at 16:38 | Report abuse |
    • Kit

      I lost a friend to breast cancer for the same reason- she opted for the surgery, but refused the chemo which she referred to as "poison". Well, yes it is poison, but its job is to kill cancer before it kills you. She tried a macrobiotic diet, apricot seed extracts and other useless "treatments". She died a little more than a year after her surgery and left behind an 11 year old daughter. So sad- she was such a nice person too.

      October 26, 2011 at 16:50 | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      Chemo kills you a lot faster than the cancer will.. it doesn't specifically target 'Cancer' cells.. it kills everything in the area that is targeted.. ultimately.. bad for you period.

      October 30, 2011 at 07:39 | Report abuse |
  18. Lee

    CNN: Enough with all the Steve Jobs stories. He's dead CNN, get over it already. sheeesh...

    October 26, 2011 at 09:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. suesark

    I am just speechless. What a thread.

    October 26, 2011 at 09:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Linda

    What really bothers me about this other than the idiots posting assinine statements is that this man had the blessing of the best medical care on earth, and scoffed at it. I feel he would have lived a much longer life had he not been so foolish. And yet millions of people can't afford even the basic medical care and die every day for lack of funds. Shameful.

    October 26, 2011 at 09:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ashley

      That is EXACTLY what I was thinking as I read this article. It's sickening. How could someone with so much knowledge even DO such a thing? He turned down a surgery that could have potentially saved his ungrateful life for a PSYCHIC? It's....absurd. I almost have no words to express how ridiculous this is. My respect for that man has plummeted.

      October 27, 2011 at 02:06 | Report abuse |
  21. Len White

    Subordinates of mine used to compare me to Steve Jobs. At first I took it as a compliment because I was driven. Later I found out it was an insult because I treated them like crap.

    October 26, 2011 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. paul

    obviously this is one of those episodes where one's demise is a lesson for us all...albeit sad and unfortunate....RIP Steve Jobs.

    October 26, 2011 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. jiaz

    Let's think about it – even though Jobs lived his life (including end of his life) the way he choose, he as one of the greatest genius could have made more contribution to our society. I wish he listened to the doctors for the betterment not only os his own but others around him and far from him.

    October 26, 2011 at 09:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Galina L

    He trusted his personal friend and physician Dr. Ornish, whose another famous patient Bill Clinton developed a heart decease under his care and now looks weak and emaciated.Too much fruits and not enough of essential proteins and fats are dangerous for one's health. Big amounts of fructose are carcinogenic..
    http://www.healthzone.ca/health/newsfeatures/article/843084–cancer-cells-slurp-up-fructose-u-s-study-finds, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/fructose-can-trigger-cancer-cells-to-grow-faster-study-finds/article1669043/

    October 26, 2011 at 10:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Julie

      Actually, Bill Clinton had heart disease BEFORE he turned to Dr. Ornish's treatments. His heart condition has actually improved since switching to a vegan diet.

      October 27, 2011 at 08:33 | Report abuse |
  25. Pepinium

    Being, if you are really the "smartest" in your circle, I sure would hate to meet the other members, :). He DID NOT grow us as an orphan, he was ADOPTED into a middle class family and at one point attended Stanford University, not your run-of-the-mill poor guy !!

    October 26, 2011 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Sy2502

    Perfect example of how one can be super smart in one area, and super dumb in another. I know enough New Age types who would take acupuncture and crystals over chemo. Take a good look at where that will take you! Jobs with his money had access to the best MEDICAL care available, and yet he'd rather go to... a psychic! If I shake my head any more, I'll give myself a concussion.

    October 26, 2011 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. windows 2.0

    he was following is own quote, stay young, stay foolish. definitely foolish. have access to great medical options and be stubborn and deny it.

    every man has weaknesses on this Earth, absolutely. we're all dust in the end. can't take your riches with you.

    October 26, 2011 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • windows 2.0

      ah hell, thats *his..damn mac

      October 26, 2011 at 16:18 | Report abuse |
  28. 194919671982

    I wonder if anyone told him or he knew that if they had opened him up to operate at the beginning he may have ended up not living as long as he did. Quite often operating gets oxygen to the tumor(s) and they spread much quicker.

    October 26, 2011 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John

      Your statement is completely false. http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/117617/Oxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancerOxygen-kills-cancer

      October 26, 2011 at 18:00 | Report abuse |
    • VRAlbany

      That statement doesn't sound like it's based in a knowledge of basic biology. It was cancer, not fire.

      October 26, 2011 at 20:53 | Report abuse |
  29. Kit

    Besides the whole money thing, why do doctors give someone a donated liver when the patient is consciously not following the recommended treatment? Seems like a wasted organ that could have been used for someone who would have A) appreciated it and B) followed the regimen set forth by the doctors.

    October 26, 2011 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ashley

      Exactly! That liver could have gone to someone who would have appreciated it, who would have loved the second chance, who would have deserved it. Any idiot who chooses a psychic over a medically proven method does NOT deserve that second chance. What a waste.

      October 27, 2011 at 02:10 | Report abuse |
    • shoaib arif

      please see my other quote i posted on this subject. you r absolutely correct, the transplant people should be prosecuted for giving him the liver. even if he wasn't actively dying, u need to ensure a patient is compliant before taking a big step such as liver transplant. how the hell do u know the patient will be compliant with meds, diet etc. possibly a case of VIP syndrome.

      October 27, 2011 at 02:38 | Report abuse |
  30. b'more guy

    The really disturbing thing here is that Jobs got a liver transplant that a.) was almost certainly a direct result of metastasis that would not have occurred had he initially followed his physicians' recommendations to have a pancreatic resection, and b.) when he received that liver transplant everybody involved had to know that it would at best just buy him a few extra years.

    Unfortunately, that means that somebody else was not able to receive that liver transplant. And that very possibly cost that other individual their life. So much for justice and non-maleficence as principles of medical ethics. As with Michael Jackson, ethics and good care is usually trumped by money and power in the American medical system.

    October 26, 2011 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Debbie

    COME ON!!! he has been gone over 2 weeks. HE IS GONE. ENIOUGH ALREADY

    October 26, 2011 at 16:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Who cares

    He is gone. It is time to move on and CNN report some NEWS

    October 26, 2011 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. ender

    Cancer patients play odds. Doctor may state the odds, but it's up the the patient to decide what bets they make.

    Sounds like Jobs made a poor bet, but I don't think anyone can really say with certainty that the outcome would have been any different had he followed the doctors advice.

    October 26, 2011 at 16:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kyle

      He lived as long as any other patient that would have had it operated on.. 9.5 years on average is how much time you get after an operation.. Steve Jobs got that.

      Surgery doesn't guarantee that Cancer will be gone..

      Btw, Death is inevitable.

      October 28, 2011 at 14:05 | Report abuse |
  34. steve

    very sad
    that's the one thing that doesn't separate the rich from the poor
    eternal life
    death gets us all in the end

    October 26, 2011 at 17:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. steve

    do any of us know this very second what is growing inside of us?
    at some point Jobs didn't either
    the big C always gets ya

    October 26, 2011 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. ashley kronschnabel

    this is the appropreate site for students

    October 26, 2011 at 17:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Ann

    Buy supplements at http://www.freshhealthutrition.com

    October 26, 2011 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RJ

    The reality is that he was a great innovator, visionary, and creator, but ultimately, not a god or perfect. He was a human being who had flaws and weaknesses like we all do. Of course, there were many people who developed the incredible products that Apple makes. I heard him interviewed several times when he said, none of these products could have been developed without the great team of people behind them. While I think my iphone is amazing, want to get an ipad soon, and , and admire his vision and leadership in bringing these products to the public, it is all of us that are making him out to be a god. I am sure he would be the first person to say he was not perfect. Just hope some of his 'stubborness' that served him so well in work, did not hurt him personally and ultimately his health. I for one am sad that he is gone. He will be missed.

    October 26, 2011 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Jessica Setnick

    As an eating disorder professional, I find the saddest thing of all to be that with all of these doctors and health professionals that he saw, no one helped him get treatment for his eating issues. Eating disorders are treatable, and untreated, they are deadly.

    October 26, 2011 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Catherine

    I have to ask, if Jobs was notorious for not following doctor's orders and the cancer had spread, why did he receive a liver transplant? Anyone else would not even be considered a good risk. A perfectly good organ lost.

    October 26, 2011 at 18:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Marcus

    FFS already!!! Really? Who cares about Jobs and really? He wouldn't have given two s**ts about you if you died... the only time he would have worried about you is it you spent your money on his crap. Get over it already!

    October 26, 2011 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ashley

      If you're fed up with the conversation, why bother taking the time to post it? Loser. We talk about it because it shows how ignorant people can be about medical issues even if they went to Standford University. People who don't deserve a liver transplant because they consistently defy doctors' orders can steal a liver from someone else who needs it just because they have the money to do so. Don't wanna discuss anything about it? Go read something else.

      October 27, 2011 at 02:14 | Report abuse |
  42. r

    And he must have had some of the best doctors on this planet telling him to get that cancer out asap. Just who the heck did he think he was?

    October 26, 2011 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. r

    Oh, wait, I just got it. No one's smarter than he was. How arrogant to think he knew what was best for his survival medically.

    October 26, 2011 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Danny Mann

    I have the same cancer as Steve Jobs. It's very rare but treatable. It's called Glucagonoma. I had surgery in 2001 and again in 2008. I am being treated at M. D. Anderson in Houston.

    October 26, 2011 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Vanessa

      I wish you the best of luck Danny. You are at a great hospital. Keep up the good fight. It must be difficult for you to read this while undergoing your treatment. I also feel very sorry for Steve Job's family reading this story. My heart goes out to them. You never know what someone else is going through, even the wealthy and powerful must face their mortality like the rest of us. Everyone has a story. There are so many cancer stories. My daughter fought and beat a brain tumor at the age of 3. We had hard choices to make too. Surgery and radiation which caused a learning disability. We used diet, prayer, reiiki and visualization. I believe in using anything that you think might help-in conjunction with the Doctor's orders and treatment. Our MDs had no trouble with anything we did as long as we ran it past them first, for instance some vitamins have interactions with treatment that we might be unaware of. She is doing well today and has beaten many odds, including being told she would never learn the alphabet, much less learn to read which she is doing really well thanks to a special private tutor. . Stubbornness can work for you. It is a blessing and a curse. We have it in spades in our family.

      October 27, 2011 at 07:46 | Report abuse |
    • Also ran

      Me too; insulinoma and VIPoma, but same cancer. I had half my pancreas removed in '94 and another quarter of it in '01. No psychics for me, thanks! Eighteen years and counting.

      November 2, 2011 at 20:19 | Report abuse |
  45. Mack And Brown

    Animated Steve Jobs Tribute Video: http://youtu.be/PNkplE6IHaM

    October 26, 2011 at 23:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. shoaib arif

    I read in this article that Jobs received a liver transplant in 2009. If that is true, then people should know that a transplant was contra-indicated in him secondary to active, metastatic cancer (and possibly other co-morbidities he may have had by this time.) This liver could've gone to someone more deserving, someone who was not actively dying. The transplant team who did the surgery should've known that. But perhaps money is all one needs to take whatever one wants, whether a more deserving person is deprived of it they don't care.

    October 27, 2011 at 02:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. chana209

    he was actually full of himself, never donated to charity, and did he even have any children??? dang where all that money go..give it to me ahahhaa ill donate ...na but it is sad no pun...

    October 27, 2011 at 02:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Julie

    It's pretty awesome that many on this comment thread "know" that his cancer would have been cured/not spread had he had the initial operation. Sorry, folks, but having an operation to remove tumors does not ensure that the cancer will be cured. My dad had a kidney removed due to cancerous tumors within the kidney. The doctors stated that the cancer was removed and that he would be ok. Well, about a year later he found out that the cancer had in fact spread to his liver.

    I've actually encountered other people that have had surgery to remove tumors only to have the cancer return within a short period of time. So, surgery does NOT always "cure" cancer.

    October 27, 2011 at 08:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Also ran

      Yeah, but the earlier you get it out, the less chance it has to spread. Use some common sense.

      November 2, 2011 at 20:22 | Report abuse |
  49. JPX

    He consulted a psychic? How could such a bright man believe in such nonsense? Althought he was brilliant, this article suggests to me that he was mentally ill as well. It's a shame that he tried a bunch of pseudo remedies rather than just have the tumors removed when they were first detected.

    October 27, 2011 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. maytom4

    Some thoughts about Jobs' surprising choices for his cancer treatment, as well as his unique lifestyle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkUVPlr-ec8

    October 27, 2011 at 18:50 | 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.