While browsing through Quora yesterday, I came across a question titled "Why did Steve Jobs choose not to effectively treat his cancer?" As someone who was deeply saddened by the death of Steve Jobs, I stopped and clicked to give it a read. If you're unfamiliar, Quora is a site that lets anyone ask a question, and anyone else can answer those questions. It works pretty well. The best answers get voted up by the community. As of this writing, there's an answer that has over 500 votes, written by Ramzi Amri, a surgical oncologist and Harvard medical faculty member. And it's chilling to read.
In a nutshell, Amri states that in his expert opinion, had Steve Jobs chosen to treat his pancreatic cancer using traditional methods from the get-go, he would likely have made a full recovery due to the type of cancer he had. Instead, Steve decided to undergo all sorts of alternative treatment options before opting for conventional medicine, and "it seems sound to assume that Mr. Jobs' choice for alternative medicine could have led to an unnecessary early death."
The post goes on to explain, in remarkably undertandable detail, the type of cancer that Jobs had, how it could have been treated, and why it would likely have been a success. It also talks about what happened instead due to Steve waiting and putting off traditional treatment.
Now, we aren't doctors (nor do we play them on TV,) but if true, we can say that it's a damn shame that the reason for the loss of Steve Jobs at the early age of 56 may have been avoided simply by making the decision to go with the traditional (highly successful) treatment for his condition. Of course, how we are all taken care of is our own personal choice, a choice that Steve himself had as well, but that makes it no less difficult to fathom.
A story broke late yesterday about Steve Jobs being seen attending the Stanford Cancer Center in Palo Alto, California, the same center where actor Patrick Swayze sought treatment before his death. The source: The National Enquirer.
Given the source, the claim is questionable, though the Enquirer has been right about matters surrounding secretive public figures before (as former presidential candidate John Edwards can attest). Radar Online says it has confirmed the story, but it didn't say how.
Given that we know Jobs is currently on medical leave from Apple, and that he's had cancer before, the report that Jobs may be seeking treatment at a cancer center isn't surprising. The Enquirer even has photos of what it says is Jobs, supposedly looking extremely thin. A few sites have posted some of the photos, though it's hard to tell how thin the person is, or if he's just wearing baggy clothing.
The Enquirer report takes some big leaps, however, on the scant evidence. Enlisting two doctors, who have never even met Jobs, to make a diagnosis based on what's in the photos, the Enquirer says Jobs may have lost large portion of his muscle mass and probably has just "weeks to live."
As we reported earlier today, Steve Jobs has taken another medical leave of absence from Apple.
So what happens now? That's the exact question that the world seeks answers for in the wake of this morning's announcement. What we do know is certain: Tim Cook, chief operating officer, will be at the helm for the companies major product launches going forward.
What we don't know is, well, everything else. But Jobs' unexpected health announcement does shed new light on recent Apple dealings as of late and, more importantly, comes with a few givens for the future.