A Lesson in Treating Illness

I’m sad that today I’m adding a slide to one of my live presentations, adding Steve Jobs to the list of famous people who died treating terminal diseases with woo rather than with medicine.

Seven or eight years ago, the news broke that Steve Jobs had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but considering it a private matter, he delayed in informing Apple’s board, and Apple’s board delayed in informing the shareholders. So what. The only delay that really mattered was that Steve, it turned out, had been treating his pancreatic cancer with a special diet [UPDATE] suggested by the alternative medicine promoter Dr. Dean Ornish.

Most pancreatic cancers are aggressive and always terminal, but Steve was lucky (if you can call it that) and had a rare form called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, which is actually quite treatable with excellent survival rates — if caught soon enough. The median survival is about a decade, but it depends on how soon it’s removed surgically. Steve caught his very early, and should have expected to survive much longer than a decade. Unfortunately  — and to his later regret — Steve relied on a diet instead of early surgery. There is no evidence that diet has any effect on islet cell carcinoma. As he dieted for nine months, the tumor progressed, and took him from the high end to the low end of the survival rate.

Why did he do this? Well, outsiders like us can’t know; but many who avoid medical treatment in favor of unproven alternatives do so because they’ve been given bad information, without the tools or expertise to discriminate good from bad. Steve was exposed to such bad information, as are we all.

Eventually it became clear to all involved that his alternative therapy wasn’t working, and from then on, by all accounts, Steve aggressively threw money at the best that medical science could offer. After nine months of dieting from 2003 to 2004, he finally had the surgery to remove the tumor. But it was too late. He later had to have a Whipple procedure. He had a liver transplant. And then he died, all too young.

My whole family loves Apple devices. Steve made our lives better, and I think I can say that pragmatically and without any Apple heroin in my veins. Not only that, he created my profession.

His lifelong friend Bill Gates tweeted:

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with Steve, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely. b-gat.es/qHXDsU

I saw another tweet today from @DamonLindelof that I thought was beautifully worded:

Steve Jobs. On behalf of every dreamer sitting in his or her garage who is crazy enough to try to change the world, you will be missed.

We can’t say for sure that Steve would still be alive and making lives better were it not for the alternative therapy, but the statistics suggest it very strongly. If you insist on unproven therapies, fine; but also try the proven ones while you’re at it. Nobody likes to either write or read a post such as this one.

For a more expert response to this post, see Dr. David Gorski’s critique at Science Based Medicine.

For Harvard oncology researcher Ramzi Amri’s thoughts, see the Gawker article in which he expressed the same concerns about the likely effects of Steve’s delay in surgery.

About Brian Dunning

Science writer Brian Dunning is the host and producer of Skeptoid.
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280 Responses to A Lesson in Treating Illness

  1. MT Sack says:

    You know something Brian? I’m still upset at you for siding with the Natural Gas Fracking industry. I was gonna stop reading your work then Steve dies and you gave me a simple explanation of what went wrong. Thank you for that. My Mother is currently dying of terminal bowel / stomach cancer. Steve’s money could have saved my mom.

    Mike

    • I’m very sorry to hear about your mom, that’s very rough. Cancer makes us all angry every time we hear it.

      Your statement that I took a side in my fracking episode strikes me as a little bizarre though. The only side I take is that of the science. Let’s take that conversation onto that page instead of this one, where I invite you to point out any factual errors and I’ll take pleasure in correcting them.

      • Anonymous says:

        I love u brian

      • Sigh. Being a skeptic means being able to change your point of view to fit with indisputable evidence. I read the fracking article and I believe you have changed my mind, Brian. Nice work on that one, and this one, too. It’s a shame we lost somebody like Steve to hokum like that.

      • When you “take the side of science”, I assume you mean you are attempting to promote a greater acceptance of the scientific method, and process, in the general public, in opposition especially to forms of medicine that have not been – or in some cases cannot be – verified by proper experiment.

        So what in hell possessed you to write an article denigrating one of the most beloved icons of technological innovation _in_the_world_, hours after his death?

        Just for a start, you’ve instantly alienated every Apple employee, _many_ of which are ardent and responsible champions of what you claim to “take the side of”.

        From all of us, to you:
        Quit “helping”.

        You freely admit that you have no idea what his reasoning was for delaying surgery. Leave it at that. The last thing we need more of in the effort to sway hearts and minds is a jerk of an armchair journalist saying, in a self-satisfied tone, “NYEAH, I TOLD YOU SO.”

        “Nobody likes to either write or read a post such as this one.”

        Next time follow your own intuition and dump this article in the trash where it belongs.

        • Caitlin says:

          I’m not sure how this is denigrating him. It’s more mourning the loss of a brilliant man who got bad information and may have died as a result of it. Maybe someone will see this and it will open their eyes as to the possible dangers of unproven treatments.

    • Anonymous says:

      Steve’s money could save lots of lives.. however he personally stopped Apple’s donations to charity and isn’t exactly a well known philanthropist himself..

      • CS says:

        Steve gave his money anonymously – and Apple employees and apple give to charity, you would know that if you actually worked there.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not publicly anyway… Did you know thst the majority of large donations are actually made privately?

      • Steve’s money did change a lot of lives.

      • Steve_O says:

        Steve Jobs total net worth, all earnings combined was about 1.35% of the wealth he created for the combined companies he was involved with, and competing companies who copied his innovations.

        That Apple is the most valuable company in the world says that he already did a lot for people. The iPhone 3Gs, once the hottest technology product on the market, is now free with contract activation. That’s the way it works.

        Or you can kill the goose to try to find all the golden eggs inside.

  2. I sincerely love my iPod Touch and MacBook Pro, and the great network of free podcasts offered on iTunes. That said, there’s something about Apple’s culture that was eerily reminiscent of a cult. Nonetheless, its sad to lose a innovator of Job’s caliber. Sadder still if that loss was preventable.

  3. Steven says:

    The unattributed tweet came from Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof (@DamonLindelof): http://twitter.com/#!/DamonLindelof/status/121734950608322561

  4. Eric says:

    Hey Brian – just to add to this, here’s an article talking about the high survival rate if caught early enough. http://articles.sfgate.com/2004-08-03/business/17441322_1_neuroendocrine-tumors-survival-rates-islet

    And then of course Steve being a vegetarian had to be even more difficult to maintain after having the Whipple procedure. Who knows what he meant here when he was being “robbed” of proteins. http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2009/01/05Letter-from-Apple-CEO-Steve-Jobs.html

    As I commented to a friend earlier – I only wonder if he was so dedicated to his work that he just didn’t take enough time to better understand modern medicine and his own body.

    • DOn says:

      > And then of course Steve being a vegetarian had to be even more difficult to maintain after having the Whipple procedure.

      You are speaking from ignorance. Vegetarians get plenty of protein, and they don’t contribute to the horror that meat-eating creates in the world. Bless Steve Jobs for his choice.

      You don’t need meat to get protein.

      • Anonymous says:

        Steve Jobs was a pescatarian anyway, save it for the death of a famous vegetarian.

        • Anonymous says:

          Or alternatively, don’t save it at all, because vegetarians are no more moral than normal people. Vegetarianism is not the solution for the world’s problems.

          • John Harrington says:

            Does someone have to practice THE solution to the world’s problems to be “more moral”? If I refrain from shoplifting, am I more moral than someone who shoplifts even though my refraining from shoplifting won’t solve the world’s problems?

      • McGill says:

        Speaking of ignorance… vegetable sources do NOT have the same properties like animal proteins (meat and eggs).

        • John Harrington says:

          Really, do tell. Because I’m a trained biochemist, and I’m unaware of these mysterious “different properties” you allude to between proteins obtained in vegetarian diets and those gotten from meat based diets.

          • Mattt says:

            I agree about the mysterious properties argument……

            but,

            “Really, do tell. Because I’m a trained biochemist”

            This means nothing and actually hurts your comment, because your trying this unverifiable appeal to authority bs.

      • Eric says:

        Don,

        Humans evolved to be omnivores. It doesn’t mean that with our knowledge that vegetarians cannot be healthy, but it is not easy to get all of the nutrients, especially proteins, from a vegetarian diet. I never said it was impossible. I said it was difficult.

        I am not a medical doctor. But since Steve Jobs’ death, what I’ve read on the Whipple procedure tells me it reduces what the body is able to absorb from the food consumed. Since a vegetarian has to consume a fairly large quantity of food anyway (volume) to get the proper amount of protein, having part of the stomach removed AND a reduced ability to absorb nutrients would make that task more difficult.

        It was his choice to stick to that diet. I don’t fault him for that. I was simply summarizing the information I had gathered about his diet and condition.

        • Chaya Gilburt says:

          According to the U.S. government’s CDC site, men need at least 56 grams of protein daily. This amount can be acquired by eating 1 cup of milk (8 grams), a 3-ouce piece of meat (21 grams), 1 cup of dry beans (16 grams) and an 8-ounce container of yogurt (11 grams). Hardly a large volume of food, wouldn’t you agree? Cooking those beans is allowed! You may take a look at this information yourself by consulting the following site:

          http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/protein.html.

          • Chaya Gilburt says:

            By the way, you could substitute nuts, tofu, and advocado for that 3-ounce piece of meat! No sweat…

          • John Mills says:

            You are correct, the vegan diet is based on philosophy not physiology. Also many foods must be properly prepared for proper assimilation. You can eat all the so-called good food and supplements you want but if youre just eliminating them it’s pointless. One must finally remember, that contrary to what some may argue food science and research will never represent reality until it starts realizing the vast differences in what constitutes “real food”. For instance, lumping together all “read meat” as causing A without understanding the difference between highly processed read meats and grass fed free range is criminal. The list goes on and on thus making the majority of research total nonsense.

  5. Tonawanda says:

    As the only individual in my immediate family who hasn’t had cancer, I’ve watched those around me combat the disease in its various forms with the combination of traditional and alternative medicines. And in the end, early detection is still what matters most — and then going after cancer like it stole something from you.

    Couldn’t agree more, even if it’s an “unpopular” or “uncool” position to take right now. It’s got to be said, though; thank you for sharing hard truths.

  6. pris says:

    Choice- it was Steve Job’s choice to try and treat his cancer with diet.
    Whatever you and I may think, this was his decision. There should be
    no guilt laid at anyone’s feet. I am sure Steve Jobs knew his options and
    consequences. A Whipple Procedure is not an easy surgery- it is tough with
    multiple complications. Steve Jobs made his choice, it is not for you or me
    to say what his decision should be.

    • I totally agree about choice. But it’s wrong for alt-med promoters to spread misinformation, leading intelligent people like Steve to think his choice is an informed one.

      • Thomas says:

        You are saying that Steve Jobs wasn’t educated enough on his options? Come on, you don’t create and run the largest (by market cap) company in the world by not fully analyzing a situation as serious as the one he encountered with his health. Steve was very much informed. This article is using Steve’s notoriety to promote and illustrate how it is wrong for alt-med companies to spread information to uninformed, unintelligent people. Not “intelligent” people.

        • DFS says:

          Just because someone is “smart” in terms of business doesn’t mean that their judgments about medical science are always sound.

      • JohnONolan says:

        I sincerely pity you if you truly believe that you are more intelligent than Jobs, or that his choice was misinformed. You are small minded, choosing to publish the facts which support your own cause and not those which refute it. If we are going to talk about misinformation and misleading statements, you are no better.

        You fear that which you don’t understand – which is why you will never be even a tenth of the man that Jobs was.

        Crawl back under your rock.

        • Winning comment of the day. Five stars.

          • Brian,

            I almost just fell out of my chair! Thanks for your critical analysis… it’s very refreshing to have someone like you around!

          • Tom says:

            I don’t know where you did your research Brian, but Steve Jobs, did take doctors advice when he was originally diagnosed with cancer and had surgery almost immedidately. You can here his account in this speech he gave to students at Stanford Uni.

          • Ron says:

            It was around nine months between diagnosis and surgery, his comment in the commencement was simply “it was type curable with surgery, I had the surgery, I am fine now.” He says nothing about doing so immediately.

          • Dillon says:

            Haha…. nice reply Brian… that guy clearly is not familiar with who you are and what you do. I commend you for making this article. It’s an accurate, matter-of-fact look at a situation. Whether Steve Jobs was unfortunately misinformed and believed he was doing the right thing by sticking to a diet or or if he knew exactly how slim his chances were, is all beside the point… The point is, this happens all over the world, 1,000s of times a day.

            Steve Jobs situation is merely a chance to shed some light on the unfortunate false-hope that many people are given, that ends in disappointment and premature passing that could of at least been significantly delayed.

          • Thomas says:

            Cancer has been on the rise and rarely effects the rich. I believe that there is a possibility that he could have just disappeared, its pretty easy for someone with the amount of money he had to make this happen. All we know is what they tell us. Did any of you personally know Steve Jobs. Does anyone on here know anyone that went to his funeral? Im just too skeptical. Of course they would want people to believe that alternative medicines didn’t work in his case, what makes them more money, someone going through chemo and radiation treatment or using alternative medicines? Im just saying my opinion here. Heres a website with some info on cancer statistics with references that sourced their info. though.http://www.sovereignindependent.com/?p=27563

          • John Mills says:

            “Steve Jobs situation is merely a chance to shed some light on the unfortunate false-hope that many people are given, that ends in disappointment and premature passing that could of at least been significantly delayed.”

            The exact same thing can be said regarding “conventional treatments”. If one really looks carefully at most outcome studies you will see that “a cure” is equal to about five years. And even that is suspect. Look even further and the statistics begin to shine the light on the obvious – conventional intervention is an illusion. Also the “one size fits all” alternative intervention is an illusion. Both combined form the greatest illustion of all…and the biggest money maker for the promoters. The physiological and psychological constantly changing variables for each and every individual is so vast when a so-called malfuction like cancer occurs pinpointing the causes based on “well accepted” standard models is a crap shoot. As is the case for alternatives. If you win your for the system that helped you. If you loose you accept your fate and move on. The reality is neither “system” had any real effect…your own body took care of the problem or it did not. You either fully recovered, partially recovered or are dead. The only true science is self science. Understanding the many variables that make up how and why we do the things we do (eat, drink, breath, think, etc.) will determine ones ultimate longevity. Unfortunately, this will not work in our current societal arrangement. To make the statement “premature passing that could of at least been significantly delayed” means you are just as delusional as the people and alternative choices you are biased against. This serves only your ego. Be humble enough to say “I just don’t know anything for sure”. False hope vs no hope vs hope vs truth beyond the obfuscation & vested interest. The choice is yours. Most take the easy way out. I understand that totally and with great sadness.

        • DFS says:

          “You fear that which you don’t understand:” The chestnut argument of those who advocate new age spiritualism and various other forms of woo

        • vince says:

          okay, what facts refute Brian’s case?

          • Carlos says:

            Well John, obviously Steve din’t make the right decission as he died beforetime…

          • unexist says:

            crickets…

            that lady’s daugther became a mental retard after the vaccine…

            my friend knows someone who’s uncle defeated cancer by eating hot peppers all the time. he died from stomach cancer 2 years later tho…

            god works in mysterious ways, blah blah blah…

          • Dillon says:

            Did that guy just say someone defeated cancer by eating peppers all the time? lol There are WAY too many variables in any given case to make such a simple a claim like that, especially when there is only one weak example of it “working”…..
            Plus he died of cancer 2 years later? I bet he was eating peppers then too but I’m sure that just got written off like, “well NOW the cancer is too strong and the pepper method doesn’t work… but it did before, scouts honor”

          • Mattt says:

            Think unexist was making a joke ;)

            To add I just had a conversation with a co-worker talking about Steve Job’s passing.

            After talking about how awful cancer was, he then began to tell me of a priest who ate green beans and prayed a lot and there was not trace of cancer afterward.

            /sigh

        • Michael Sizer says:

          Some of the smartest people are lulled into bad decisions based on emotional motivations and bad information. That’s a fact. If this story is true, the Jobs did exactly that. Uncritical thinking happens to even those of us who are trained in critical thinking. Nobody is perfectly rid of out nature to think uncritically. Not even your precious Jobs (no disrespect intended to the man himself, only your aggrandized admiration for him).

        • Matt says:

          Wow. I think you should probably come back out from under your rock and actually refute what was been written.

          It seems you would rather sink to personal insults though. Where are your facts that refute what is written?

          And calling skepticism his “cause” is interesting. Wanting to know the facts, thinking about things logically, and refuting treatments that have yet to show scientific merit is not a “cause” – it just makes sense.

        • John says:

          Brian did not say that he was “more intelligent” than Steve Jobs, so please unruffle your feathers. It is possible for smart people to be wrong about particular things in life. When an intelligent person is, another person (who may be more, equally, or even LESS intelligent) may point that out. A genius physicist might know very little about Roman History (etc.) Does that make him/her dumb? There’s something about wacko “natural” medicine, in particular, that sucks people in–even people who are otherwise very rational and smart.

        • chatterb0tX says:

          i doubt you, anyone commenting here, or 99% of the earth population will amount to 1/10th of what he was – especially the direction this world is headed

          so whats your argument?

      • Anonymous says:

        So you heard what these practitioners told Jobs? You heard all of their claims, heard Jobs’s reasoning, and you’ve come to the conclusion, based upon all that, that the practitioners made a serious suitability error?

        Of course you haven’t. The thing that you are forgetting is that the gold-standard medical response to cancer, especially pancreatic cancer, is cripplingly debilitating and leaves you both looking and feeling like a shell of yourself. Chemotherapy is the hardest thing anyone will ever live through. The chemo destroys everything it touches in the hopes that it will destroy the tumors; radiation destroys everything in the treatment area with the same hope. This is what Jobs’s reality was after the surgery failed him (which, you don’t mention, he had). Even if Jobs had received this and lived another year or two, chances are fantastic that he would have been seriously debilitated or bedridden thanks to it, especially when you take his age into account.

        Who are you, a bystander, to say that Jobs’s decisions were uninformed? Is it really so inconceivable to you that he realized he would die a few years sooner, but that his remaining time would be more vibrant and healthy? Is it really such an alien idea that a rational, informed person would make that call?

        Remember, Jobs was actively involved in negotiations for new Apple properties and other large-scale deals less than a month before he died. Find me ‘normal’ cancer patients who do that. This article is grossly irresponsible and biased tripe. It’s people like you that give real skeptics bad names.

        • Vincent Najger says:

          You OBVIOUSLY haven’t read the article properly before your little rant….I DO GET YOUR POINT (I’m a supporter for auto-euthanasia and a persons Right to Die…..I’ve had VERY close family experience)…..BUT…. you seem to have missed the point. I suggest looking at the rest of the skeptoid site (seriously dude…check it out…its one of the most awesome sites on the net…..it’s not a mean or nasty site (just some of the commenter’s)….it simply promotes Scientific Thinking)….oh and about that ‘call’…don’t you think it odd that he had the surgery the moment that the ‘alternative’ turned out an abysmal failure…..oh and I wasn’t aware a liver transplant was ‘alternative’ therapy….the REAL medicine is what kept him alive and kicking, with some semblance of a quality of life, since the terminal failure of the ‘alternative’

      • Gary Vasseur says:

        I think we need to de-bunk this “alternative medicine” industry. Either something is medicine and is helpful or it is not medicine and not helpful, and thus being sold this fake elixer can delay treatment. That said, I am a big fan of the work of Dean Ornish. His “Eat More Weigh Less” was a New York Times Best Seller. I very much doubt Dr. Ornish would have advised Mr Jobs to postpone tumor removal and I’m skeptical of the source of this story.

      • Freke1 says:

        The western lifestyle (processed food lacking nutrients and large quantities of meat) is, according to these alt-med promoters spreading misinformation (as You call them), the very reason for the large number cancer victims. These alt-med promoters have medical educations and half a century of research behind them, but their message only reaches the public through independent docu’s because it is ignored/suppressed/falsely debunked by what should be the consumer protecting/advising people in government offices but what actually are people on the payroll of corporations selling HFCS, sugar, emty calories food, fat (with the result that the consumers get fat and ill and can be handed over to the medical/pharmaceutical industry for profit).
        It may not be a conspiracy but that’s how it works and You does nothing to change it. On the contrary.
        Maybe Steve Jobs would have gotten cancer 10 years before had he not been on a vegetarian diet. How do You know? Haven’t You watched “Forks over knives” or similar docu’s? There are loads of them.

    • Maggie says:

      You’re missing the gist of this post, the reason for even posting it. This blog post is not to vilify Steve Jobs in death, this post is for the benefit of the living. So that they might make better, more informed choices should they find themselves in similar circumstances.

      • Edwin says:

        And I think that this comment hits the nail on the head, thanks for reiterating it, Maggie. Brian was right to make this post, even though some may complain about the timing. I’m not one of those people, however. I’ve watched a number of family members fight various forms of cancer. Some survived, most didn’t. The ones that didn’t often waited many months before seeking medical help, choosing instead to consult with naturopaths, homeopaths, and chiropractors.

        Thanks for making this post, Brian.

  7. Daniel A says:

    The loss of Steve Jobs is a great one- there are very few people who ever have his impact in their field.

    It’s difficult to find anyone whose life hasn’t been touched by cancer, personally or through their family and friends. Medical science is making great progress in treating cancers- let’s hope that in the lifetime of people alive today all cancers will be not just treatable, but curable. I have great hope that the many superb researchers working on this problem will achieve this. Survival rates have increased dramatically for many cancers over the past 30 years.

    Seriously, if you’re fortunate enough to catch a serious disease in its early stages and to be living at a time when medical science has a chance to make a real difference, then don’t waste time with fringe treatments- please seek the best conventional medical treatment that you can. Science-based medicine is what has led to the change in survival rates, and that’s provable. Relying on something that lacks that evidence is taking an unnecessary, and all too likely, costly risk.

  8. Jeff says:

    Congrats once again Brian for having the courage to speak that which should be said, even though it’s not popular. When I posted links to this I said, Speaking ill of the dead?

    A) Who cares? Their dead…, and
    B) NO! Try to speak sense to the LIVING!

    It’s the reason I am a contributor to skeptoid. Win, lose, or draw, you seem to always speak the facts, facts that have that ‘ring of truth’ as Phillip Morrison called it, and let others call you names.

    I am sorry Jobs is dead. But if he himself contributed to his mortality, then there IS a lesson that should be learned from such a high profile dead. And it’s not about marketing or vision. Neither of those are fatal.

  9. Aks says:

    I don’t think anyone knows the extent of medical and alternative therapies that Mr. Jobs might have pursued. As you state, he did not divulge his cancer to his board of directors for a while. The obvious question is ‘how long did he actually have cancer’? I think it’s irresponsible to claim that Mr. Jobs never took part of any allopathic medical therapies. He seemed to protect his privacy pretty completely.

  10. Kevin says:

    While I don’t disagree with anything in this post, it might be a touch premature. I think it would be nice to allow people to honor his life before we criticize his death.

  11. LovestoSpooge says:

    Ah Steve Jobs, the man who conclusively proved that a fool and his money are soon parted.

    • Sarah says:

      I think the problem is that Steve Jobs was clearly not a fool.

      So what protection does the average person have against these quacks?

  12. DOn says:

    > We can’t say for sure that Steve would still be alive and making lives better were it not for the alternative therapy….

    …but you don’t mind speculating about it on the day he died.

  13. Austin Slack says:

    Wow, I didn’t know that he did 9 months of alternative therapy, how sad. A true game changer might still be with us today if he hadn’t had made those choices.

  14. Sean Griffin says:

    Steve Jobs was a hero of mine, as are you. His life had many lessons for us, including the one that you had the courage to share on a day when many may criticize you for it. Thanks for making Steve’s death a teaching moment that, if enough people read it, may end up saving some lives and sparing families needless suffering.

  15. Harris Reynolds says:

    It is also wrong for you to act like modern medicine fully understands cancer. It is a *very* complicated disease. Furthermore, many MDs seem to want to ignore the giant impact that diet and lifestyle have on our health… to them eating a pop tart is the same as eating an apple.

    • Brandon says:

      It is wrong to act like modern medicine fully understands cancer, that’s true. That’s why it’s a good thing that no one is doing that. There are parts of cancer that we do understand, at least enough to know that the alt treatments it’s reported he was engaging in could not have been of any help.

      I don’t know any MDs who ignore the giant impact of diet and lifestyle, or any who think that eating a PopTart is the same as eating an apple. None. That doesn’t mean that diet and lifestyle have all the effects that some naturopath say they do.

    • Adam says:

      I’m so sick of these oft-repeated and poorly-considered arguments about doctors not understanding the importance of diet. It’s easy to say and throw around and because of that, people do.

      Seriously Harris, if you are seeing a doctor who thinks that pop tarts and apples are the same thing then you should probably find another one.

    • Tiny Turtle says:

      Diet and lifestyle for sure have a great impact on our health, but do make the distinction between eating well to not develop cancer and eating well to cure it once developed. Do you believe the latter one is possible?

      • Vincent Najger says:

        No…its not……..yet…..(one can only dream of the possibilities that science will open up). But at the moment the ‘western diet’ does NOT help…. it’s SUGAR….SUGAR more than ANY other thing we intake into our body that starts the whole bad health spiral….we now have many thousands of times more refined sugars than we did even 3 generations ago and our bodies are not adjusting well (since I’ve ditched ALL sugar from my diet, except for 1 teaspoon of unrefined sugar in my tea in the morning, I can’t recall that I’ve felt healthier since being a teenager…..when you look at how much and what a healthy person consumed pre-modern age and what we consume now, Its NOT difficult to see a correlation between bad diet and bad health…..so to live as long as one could pre-civilisation, ditching the sugar is the obvious first step to getting the most out of one’s genetics……I intend to get the MOST out of my gene’s (and even more if I’m lucky to live long enough) and I am counting on REAL SCIENCE to help me to achieve this…….coz MAGIC isn’t REAL…….but obviously good diet and being as healthy as possible will be of huge benefit to someone fighting such a disease (or any disease….just like you would think a person being treated for lung cancer would stop smoking)….its sad not all of us find that as blindingly obvious as some others can, a true testament to how ignorant humans are as a whole.

  16. Alessandro Martin says:

    Congrats Brian, it takes some courage to post this stuff at this particular moment.
    I think that a person should be remembered for what he/she has accomplished in life, no matter if good or bad and that includes his/her mistakes (or what others perceive as such).
    I don’t know if Jobs’ attitude towards western medicine was a consequence of his religious belief
    (I am assuming it was, at least partly, the case) but still it’s baffling how such an incredibly
    intelligent person could be so short sighted, at least regarding this particular topic.
    I must say I disagree with those who think that it was “his decision” and it was “his body” because there is something much more important at stake here: every kind of superstition is potentially harmless, no matter if it’s called “religion”, “astrology”, “homeopathy”, “non traditional medicine” or whatever.
    Critical thinking and the scientific method can really save lives and could have easily given some extra years to Mr. Jobs to be spent on this planet enjoying life, giving birth to some amazing new gadgets or simply spending time with his family.
    That’s just my 2 cents.

    • Seraphim says:

      “Congrats Brian, it takes some courage to post this stuff at this particular moment.”

      Not really no, it is called “Kicking a Guy When He is Down”

      “I think that a person should be remembered for what he/she has accomplished in life, no matter if good or bad and that includes his/her mistakes (or what others perceive as such).”

      I agree, so why is this posted today?

      • Adam says:

        Because this is a perfect opportunity to highlight the importance of real medicine and the dangers of alternative medicine. If this information could save a person’s life then I really don’t give a crap if it hurts your feelings.

      • Dave W says:

        >>”Not really no, it is called “Kicking a Guy When He is Down”

        No it isn’t.

        You could maybe have argued that if the article had been posted before he died, *and* had been disrespectful of Steve as a person, but neither of those things are the case.

        Seems more like “Failing to Shoot a Guy After He’s Dead”

      • Sonya R says:

        The question is, if Steve thought that a different course of action (agressive, tested, medical treatment asap) could have saved his life, would he want to share that fact with others considering alternative remedies? We can only speculate, but I feel safe assuming that he would want people to know the facts about what happened to him. Thanks for posting Brian.

    • Seraphim says:

      “I must say I disagree with those who think that it was “his decision” and it was “his body” because there is something much more important at stake here”

      No.

      You don’t get to ‘disagree’. It was his life, body, and decision. There was *nothing* more at at stake here. YOU don’t get to decide how a man lives or dies.

      • Adam says:

        - It was his life, body, and decision. There was *nothing* more at at stake here. –

        Pretty sure his family might disagree with you there.

        – YOU don’t get to decide how a man lives or dies. –

        Sure, but you can inform others and hopefully prevent them from making the same mistake.

      • Jake says:

        Steve certainly should have been given the choice as to how to treat himself, but anyone who claims to heal, while giving people deadly advice, should be put in jail.

      • Yed says:

        disagree != decide
        Do you even read what you write?
        mmh…is it worth arguing with Seraphin??

      • Alessandro Martin says:

        So I don’t even get to disagree? Wow, you’d make a great dictator.

  17. Sarah says:

    Brian,

    Do you know if it is possible that he could have avoided the liver transplant if he had had early treatment?

    That has always bothered me about his decision. I wonder if we are talking about one life lost or possibly two (Steve and whomever didn’t get that liver).

    I do not blame Steve at all. I blame whomever misinformed him.

  18. Mr V says:

    I am not sure where Brian got his information about the median being 10 years for surviving pancreatic cancer but i have known a few people close to me who did not survive more than 1 year after being diagnosed. Even in a early detection phase the percentage of people living more than a few years is very small. If modern medicine fully understood cancer then we would not be having this debate. Regardless of the route he chose in trying to heal himself, you have a karmic path and sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do when it’s too late to reverse your fate. Steve lived for 7-8 years after the diagnosis of cancer and holistic treatments do not always work but they do tend to extend your life longer when you live with cancer. Death comes more gracefully and less painful this route then going through full on chemo or other so called modern miracle treatments. RIP Steve you have fulfilled your path in life.

  19. Alyssa says:

    Funny how I just watched a speech he gave today and in it he said that he had surgery.

  20. Dave says:

    It’s pretty annoying that as soon as someone that has been trying to treat an illness via natural means passes, that people come out almost cheering. However when conventional medicine fails, as it does more often than not, everyone shrugs thinking they did their best.

    • Agreed. The alt-med promoters love nothing more than to gloat over how many people die while under medical care. Everyone loves to see their ideologies confirmed by anecdotes.

        • Brandon says:

          …which of course means that they’re doing a great job at reducing all the other causes.

          • Anonymous says:

            Did you not read that article? The misdiagnoses and mistreatments and over-application of medicine are killing people, and this is admitted by the medical community, albeit in words the normal person can’t understand.

          • Brandon says:

            Try reading what I wrote again.

      • Shawn Finkler says:

        Well, after all 10/10 people die and most under medical care, ohh my god, it’s the medical care that’s killing us!

        • Vincent Najger says:

          You hit the nail on the head…..That is what is commonly called ‘Anecdotal Evidence’……Humans have an amazing talent for it…..its ALSO why we have the Scientific Method ;D

      • Ben Lynch ND says:

        Using Steve Job’s credibility and massive popularity to blast naturopathy without Steve being here to support it is pathetic.

        Given the name of this website, “Skeptoid”, makes me wonder if there is any slight bias towards conventional medicine vs naturopathy. Perhaps just a little?

        Blaming Steve Job’s death on a naturopath is ludicrous.

        There are many compounding factors here.

        Steve was a brilliant man with a strong passion. People who are passionate tend to work themselves hard.

        We do not know if Steve was compliant with all recommendations made by the naturopath.

        We do not know if the naturopath informed him to work with an oncologist or to undergo conventional treatment immediately.

        Perhaps all Steve wanted to do was change his diet because he wanted to continue working. If he underwent conventional treatment, he would not have been able to – or would have in a very limited capacity.

        To a man with Steve’s passion, drive and abilities, that is worse than dying.

        Casting a negative blanket on naturopathy is doing a disservice to all that utilize it successfully and properly.

        It is a disservice to those who could greatly benefit from working with a naturopathic physician.

        It is also a disservice to us naturopathic physicians who dedicate our lives to furthering research, applying researched methods and working alongside conventional doctors in a team effort for the betterment of the patient.

        Given that you are a ‘Skeptoid’, I am likely wasting my time.

        I understand that believing in one form of medicine or another is like a religion to some. One is right and the other wrong.

        Don’t wear blinders.

        It is also your choice obviously.

        If you don’t like naturopaths, no worries.

        Just don’t link a naturopath to Steve Job’s death as you have no idea what went down.

        Both forms of medicine have benefits. When practiced together, that is the ideal approach in many situations.

        For those who have yet approached a naturopathic physician, I invite you to do so.

        I’ve helped countless people improve their health and I’m sure the naturopath who worked with Steve did – and does – as well.

        My sincere condolences go out to Steve’s family.

        • Ping says:

          There are two forms of medicine—ones that work and ones that don’t.

          If your medicine works, people will seek it out. And people will want to profit .

          You are simply lame, using this to advertise yourself (“I’ve helped …”)

          • Vincent Najger says:

            Ben@ whats the ND stand for? and more importantly what did you ‘earn’ it for and from which REAL uni awarded it to you, and which REAL hospital has let you within a mile of a real patient…..your a joke….a FAILED doctor….I don’t know how you can live with yourself…..reduced to stealing and giving false hope to those most in need…….a truly VILE human being (I don’t even KNOW you, but because of your arrogance and the fact that you KNOW you are dishonest and your treatments ore snake oil….you ARE a thief and a liar)………Though one question (and can you answer this HONESTLY? Look at it as a challenge)….If you, or one of your loved ones, are REALLY sick, would you send them to a naturopath, or a Doctor in a Hospital (with REAL letters after their name)? C’mon…the TRUTH now? Lets hear it?

    • pvandck says:

      Dave, where do you get the idea that “natural” = “good”? Most of the deadliest stuff in our world is very “natural”. Strychnine, aflatoxin… Natural strychnine isn’t safer than the synthesised version.

      “Natural” = “good”, is the triumph of wishful thinking and sentimentality over evidence and reality.

      We can credit our increased longevity and improved quality of life on being intelligent and clever enough to avoid, control or change much that is “natural”. Living with only what is “natural” means dying in misery from cholera, typhoid, polio, meningitis, insect bites, broken bones, abscesses, heat, cold, thirst, hunger… and a billion otherwise preventable or treatable things

      We can, however, credit our ability to improve our chances of survival on our ability to apply our “natural” curiosity to our “natural” tendency to adapt our “natural” surrounding to our advantage.

      Humanity’s greatest achievement is critical thinking, which has led to science – the process by which we overcome our ignorance.

  21. Seraphim says:

    Your link As he dieted for nine months which leads to unsubstantiated claims on a CNN site.

    When you want to be a Skeptic, start at Home first eh?

    • Denise says:

      Shut up seraphim.

    • Chris says:

      Seraphim,

      Jobs did try to treat the cancer with diet. That is true and has been confirmed. When a magazine like Fortune makes a statement like that they do fact checking which consists of asking the people involved if what they are about to print is accurate. To do otherwise would open up the magazine to charges of libel. Jobs did not dispute the report. People close to him did not dispute it. The company did not dispute it. So I’m sorry, insisting that this is a lie or unfounded rumour is just an attempt to make a lie out of the truth.

  22. Dean says:

    Just want to say thank you for being willing to take criticism to maybe extend someone’s life that you don’t know. I am in pain 24/7 with failed back syndrome and have had surgery twice. If I had been more aggressive in dealing with the issue, I may not be in pain now. You may have given a mother or father a chance to see their child grow up with your article. Thank you for being bold.

  23. Webbstre says:

    I posted this on Facebook and my friends attacked me as “it was his choice” and “the medicine didn’t kill him, it was the cancer.” Maybe this is the unpopular topic to bring up right now, but lately I’ve just gotten more and more upset with the medical scams that are out that in the form of “alternative medicine.”

    Anyways, thank you Brian, and the rest of the skeptic community, for keeping me informed.

  24. mcmurrin says:

    Steve Jobs did so much to advance technology and humanity. Before his death, he could have done one last monumentally great deed for humanity by announcing: “boy, was that ever a fucking stupid idea” (the naturopathic diet)

  25. Jimmy says:

    It is true that unproven medicines do not have scientific proof of curing cancer. But mainstream medicine has scientific proof that it doesn’t cure cancer. How many people do you know that have beaten cancer ? I know 5 people, chemo, then comes “no more cancer”, then comes relapse and death.

    Where are the skeptics in mainstream medicine. They can’t even cure the common cold. Sometimes you should be skeptical not just of new science , but of old.

    Steve Jobs is the one of the most innovative people in the world, you think he’s just a fool for trying alternative medicine to which current technology has no cure for?

    • This is not correct. Cancer is not “a disease” that’s either curable or not; it is many hundreds of different diseases. Some of them we can cure completely, like some leukemias. Most of the rest we can prolong survival (the type Steve had is one of these).

      If alternative medicine had ever been proven to do either if these, it would no longer be called alternative.

      Steve is not the one who was a fool; he was a victim of well-meaning charlatans who gave him bad information.

      • Seraphim says:

        “If alternative medicine had ever been proven to do either if these, it would no longer be called alternative.”

        You mean like chewing Willow bark for ages was known as a pain cure? You view of ‘Alternative Medicine’ is very narrow.

        • Yed says:

          I don’t understand, you validate Brian’s comment and then you criticize it.

          Willow Bark stopped being alternative/natural medicine when the effectiveness of it was proven. A synthetic product derived from it is called Aspirin.
          There are a lot of herbal medicines that are effective and most of them have a modern drug that was based on them. Herbs that are proven effective in reputable clinical trials are *not* considered alternative medicine.

        • Edwin says:

          “You mean like chewing Willow bark for ages was known as a pain cure? You view of ‘Alternative Medicine’ is very narrow.”

          Well, since in your example, the active ingredient in willow bark was refined and turned into aspirin – a much more efficient and powerful painkiller – Brian’s comment remains valid. If alternative medicines are found to work, then they cease to be alternative, and become medicine. Your example actually proves Brian’s point. Well done!

      • Seraphim says:

        “Cancer is not “a disease” that’s either curable or not; it is many hundreds of different diseases.”

        And your view on cancer is…astounding. Pro-Tip: No cancer is really ‘curable’

        • Seraphim says:

          This is not correct. Cancer is not “a disease” that’s either curable or not; it is many hundreds of different diseases. Some of them we can cure completely, like some leukemias.

          And your view on cancer is…astounding. Pro-Tip: No cancer is really ‘curable’.

          repost for clarity

          • Cleo says:

            REALLY?? Wow…..I was diagnosed with leukemia at the ripe old age of 4 and here I am 45 yrs later. Are you saying you expect me to die of leukemia in the next 40 years?

    • Dave W says:

      >>”How many people do you know that have beaten cancer ? I know 5 people, chemo, then comes “no more cancer”, then comes relapse and death.”

      Well, thinking in the first instance of close relatives, my grandmother lived for more than 20 years after breast cancer surgery and radiotherapy in the 1950s, and ultimately died at an old age of non-cancer related problems, which I guess counts as ‘beating cancer’, and my mother seems to be fit and well 10 years after *her* treatment, which she certainly wouldn’t have been without it.

      “Where are the skeptics in mainstream medicine.”

      Doing evidence-based research.
      Where are the skeptics in alternative medicine?

      >>” They can’t even cure the common cold.”

      How many people need a common cold to be cured, or even treated?

      At least real medicine has useful things it can do if complications arise as a result of normally minor self-limiting infections.
      If someone ended up getting pneumonia, they’d seem likely to have significantly better odds of survival if they were treated by a proper doctor rather than an alternative ‘healer’.

      • Chris says:

        They can’t ‘cure’ the common cold because there are over 200 different viruses that cause the ‘common’ cold. They also tend to mutate rapidly preventing the body from maintaining a solid immunological defense. So even if we could come up with a vaccine against *all* 200 viruses you’d have to keep getting vaccinations to match the mutations.

        Can you ‘cure’ a cold after you catch it? Maybe – but you’d need to use antivirals. There has been some success with some medications but the cost and potential side effects make it a somewhat pointless exercise expect for a small number of high risk people.

  26. Beadbonnet says:

    If Steve lived for 7/8 years on alternative treatments then that is astounding. We come from a medicalised culture where people pop pills for headaches caused by simple dehydration, or have a constant supply of antibiotics to try and get rid of one problem only to get a host of other illnesses that require stronger and stronger medication. We don’t let the body try and cure itself. My husband is a doctor and he says that Steve’s survival rate was phenomenal (if the information we have read is right…and it’s so often not). I firmly believe in the power of diet (love the pop tart post!). Cancer treatments are horrendous and most people die from the poisons administrated by chemotherapy. Ok some survive, but some don’t. The same happens with alternative therapies, but your body is getting goodness and not poison. I admire Steve for being brave enough to try the alternative methods. He certainly wasn’t a coward. Seven years is a long time to survive (if the information is correct).

    • Sonya R says:

      He tried alternative therapy (special diet) for 9 month. He found the cancer growing in his body regardless and at that point decided to have surgery (which was recommended to him from the beginning by his doctors and close friends). If he had the surgery right away the stats support him living for more than 10 years….

    • Chris says:

      I have a feeling you didn’t really pick up on the details of the article. He didn’t survive for 7 to 8 years on alternative treatments. He tried alternative treatments for 9 months and realised that they weren’t working and he needed to do something *real*. He had surgery, took medication, an even got a new liver.

      Also, the body will heal itself as best it can and all modern medicine does is try to give the body that chance. Now, we *know* what it was like before modern medicine when every treatment was an ‘alternative’ treatment. Many people died from cancer, died from common infections, died from smallpox, tetanus, and diphtheria. They died from fevers and parasitic infections. They died of cholera and tuberculosis. Homeopathic, alternative, non-invasive, herbal, and other remedies were pretty much all they had. The end result is that people died from diseases that can no be addressed with basic routine medical care.

      So if you look at the evidence from a rational point of view you’d understand that modern medicine does work.

  27. Mike Fusco says:

    Hey Brian.

    It’s sad that Steve Jobs died, and that he could have prevented it. And Steve took the wrong advice. He had a beautiful vision of the future and it’s a shame that it was cut short.

    Solemnly sent from my iPad 1.

    Mike Fusco

  28. Before you criticize alternative medicine, you should do a lot more research. You obviously don’t know much about it. I have been involved with it for 17 years and have a natural health business. It has served my wife and many of our family and friends very well. Nothing heals or cures except for the body’s innate ability to do so. This is accomplished by building an environment within the body that resists disease.

    • Chris says:

      So basically what you are saying is that you have a financial stake in people thinking that natural remedies are more effective than modern medicine. So you are coming from a highly biased perspective with a significant conflict of interest. Tell us why we should believe you.

    • Andrew says:

      So you have 17 years to experience doling out “good stuff” to people and watching their immune systems function as they would anyway. How do you know what you’re doing has any effect whatsoever? You tell Brian to do research (which he does an extraordinary amount of, by the way), but why don’t you lay your cards on the table first? Where are the results of controlled experiments demonstrating the effectiveness of alternative medicine? 17 years worth of anecdotes doesn’t count.

  29. A “cure” will never be found in the United States. Too much money in keeping people sick. Look around you. We use more drugs than any country in the world, and we are the sickest people in the world. Go figure.

    • Shawn Finkler says:

      That’s easy to say but in reality cancer is a complicated disease, how can you build up the body’s ability to fight something without understand what that something is? That’s a lot of trial and error.

    • Kirk says:

      James – you are rather dull.

      Steve Jobs had enough money to corrupt even the most heartless co-conspirator in this suppression of a cure – if there were such a thing.

      Do you think there is a cancer researcher out there who would let his mother(brother,father,sister,friend) die of cancer simply so he could continue making a little bit of money in his job of suppressing “the cure”?

      Spend a little time educating yourself. We have cured cancers, we are curing cancers and medicine is even preventing cancers. We have vaccines that prevent cancers, even.

      And..
      Treating Polio was a frickin’ gold mine. Where’s polio today?
      Treating measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis – all very profitable.

      Educate yourself – or continue to loudly and proudly declare to the world that you are ignorant. Just stop lying to people.

      Have at your natural health business – because all that is natural is good (except for the countless things that will kill you). (After all, cancer is natural!)

  30. Julie says:

    Are you kidding me? It was HIS life and HIS body and HIS choice how he wants to address HIS situation. Someday if you have pancreatic cancer, you can choose whatever you want to do about it.

    When it’s my time to go, you are not going to find me pumped up full of poison trying to extend my life for an extra six months that I will mostly spend puking. I will take less time and higher quality living any day.

    And if you think he could have been cured of cancer, I would again remind you that it’s ___HIS CHOICE___. He wasn’t exactly a stupid man, and I’m sure he was capable of understanding statistics and books on physiology/nutrition.

    • Chris says:

      Did anyone say it wasn’t his choice? Of course it was his choice. It was a *really* dumb choice though and he *realized* that after 9 months of trying alternative treatments. After that he had surgeries, was pumped full of ‘poisons’, and even got a new liver. So don’t make it seem like he thought natural medicine worked. He tried it and it failed him miserably. After it failed him he went back to modern medicine and *that* is why he lived 8 more years. *IF* he had treated the cancer with modern medicine from the beginning there is every chance he would still be alive.

  31. Beadbonnet says:

    He must have been on conventional medicine, especially after a liver transplant, because you need more than freshly squeezed juice to get the body to accept a transplanted organ, so this whole post is a bit misleading, as the alternative therapy was done way back in 2004, since then he’s had a whipple, a liver transplant and who knows what.

    • Chris says:

      What is with people not reading the article? The author didn’t say *anywhere* that he only used alternative treatment or continued to use them. The author wrote that he initially tried special diets for 9 months and it didn’t work. The author continues on to write that if he had treated the cancer with modern medicine from the beginning as opposed to his nauturopathic diet he might still be alive today as the kind of cancer he has responds well to treatment if stated early.

  32. Boris says:

    Steve Jobs made a lot of money, he could have easily made the world a better place for everyone. Instead, he made the world a “better” place for those who could afford it.

  33. Hats off to you for publishing a brave post. One that’s bound to put the hackles up many a natural remedy fan.
    Speaking from experience, I am a medically trained doctor – diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour (astrocytoma) three years ago (that’s an ‘incurable one’ for the above commenter).
    After diagnosis and initial resection, Contrary to my medical training – I bought every ‘anti-cancer’ diet book going. Popping dozens of supplements, eating carrots by the bucket load and shunning anything that possibly could contain a carcinogen.
    At times when your life is out of control – it is a natural reaction to try something that makes you feel in control. It is entirely understandable why anyone (Steve Jobs included) would opt for ‘empowering’ natural treatments over the conventional ones. They make you feel more personal and give the illusion of control that ‘medicine’ does not.
    Alas, eighteen months later – social life was hampered through a restrictive diet, and life revolved around strict regimes. The cancer recurred and needed a further operation.
    I now have a more ‘everything in moderation’ approach – have a better life, have more energy and the cancer remains at bay.
    My personal testimony is but one anecdote – but an evidence-based approach is the way forward. And for what it’s worth – Brian – your piece was very tactfully written – people really shouldn’t take offence…

    • Vincent Najger says:

      Well there ya go ppls…..the first seriously ill person, with real medical training, to share first hand what its like to have a terminal illness on this thread……..I can’t imagine what you are going through atm Stuart……If a trained medical professional can be swayed (if albeit only temporarily), by the marketing techniques of the Sellers of Woo (all happy to take money off a terminal patient,by taking advantage of and manipulating the psychology of those in greatest need), what hope for the rest of us. I wish you well Stuart, I hope you become one of those statistical anomalies that live when they shouldn’t, because the world does need more people like you. And thank you for your comment…..I WILL be showing it to a friend of mine that is walking a similar path to yours (I hope she will see what I saw in it)

  34. Ralph says:

    Nicely put. You have a new reader. Stupidity kills, science saves lives.

  35. Maria says:

    Somehow I’m having a hard time to bring together the emphasis on scientifically proven procedures and the vague What-ifs in this article. I can see a slight inconsistency here. Also surfing on the wave of attention for ideological means is rather not my cup of tea, no matter if it is the “right”¹ ideology or not.

    I understand you have lost a person that was important to you, Brian. But I wonder if Steve Jobs would have approved your article. In my understanding if he had wanted to convey such a message, he simply would have done so. Everything else is speculation.

    ¹ “right” as in common ideologies like approving medical science and disapproving alternative therapies

  36. m says:

    Sorry, but the “mainstream medicine” is one of the worst ways, to cure a disease.
    If you have a Cold, it is not the medicine makes you feeling better, it’s your body. And even no Scientist knows exactly how he does that.

    • Brandon says:

      So that’s why we’re all living longer with less cancer and better standards of living now, because modern medicine DOESN’T work. I also like how you felt you had to capitalize ‘Scientist’.

    • Any infection is best viewed as a three way battle:
      The pathogen (e.g. cold virus, bacteria) vs. Your immune system and antibitoics/antivirals
      You are correct that the immune system is the main factor in fighting an infection, but its ability to fight off infection can be improved with antibiotics / antivirals.
      To say ‘mainstream medicine’ as ‘one of the worst ways’ to ‘cure a disease’ (and then citing the common cold) is simple lunacy!
      I take it, should you have cancer – you’ll be resorting to avoiding all surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy? Or would you advise that to your loved ones?
      You are correct in that we have yet to discover ‘exactly’ how the immune system works – but that is another story…

  37. Sarah Jane says:

    I am confused, in this commencement speech http://youtu.be/D1R-jKKp3NA, he mentioned that his doctor found his rare form of cancer curable, and he had the tumor removed and that he was okay? Conflicting information? Can you clear this up?

    • Vincent Najger says:

      Jobs, possibly criminally, didn’t tell the Apple board, or the world, he had cancer….he tried crank therapies for 9 months….which helped precisely zip…. once her realised this…he ditched the witchdoctors faster than a bat outa hell…..but it was simply too late(which is a REAL shame…coz the particular pancreatic cancer he had is unusual in that it responds VERY well to treatment….as long as its found, and acted upon by REAL medicine early….if he hadn’t wasted that 09 months on Ju Ju…he might just well still be here….and even if he would have died eventually….he would have been around ALOT longer (and he was only around THIS long thanks to modern medicine and a Liver Transplant….which…last time I checked, wasn’t an ‘alternative therapy’….so essentially a murderer of a ‘alternative doctor’ has an even fatter bank account and the world loses one of its great innovators)

  38. pvandck says:

    Where does the idea that intelligent or informed people don’t have prejudices or blind spots? That Steve Jobs, because he was an educated, innovative, popular man, couldn’t make poor choices because of prejudice or misinformation. Steve Jobs happened to put his health in the hands of unsuitable people who misled him, just as plenty of well educated and financially savvy people put their money with Bernie Madoff.

    Or maybe from another angle, why would anyone invite the world’s most eminent civil engineer to do a spot of brain surgery, or vice versa?

    The lionising of Steve Jobs, as if the man were some messiah who could do no wrong, is disrespectful to him and what he achieved. The man was human with all that goes with that condition – including sometimes making disastrous choices.

    His death is tragic, mostly because he was only 56 years old and he died from something that, had he made a different decision and not trusted to quackery, had a better chance of a different outcome. Steve Jobs wasn’t an infallible messiah – he was a human being. And we humans make mistakes for any number of reasons, including prejudice and misinformation.

    Excellent blog post, Brian Dunning.

  39. Worthy discussions Brian, but let’s ask you fans to wait until Steve’s will is opened before we judge his “charitable giving”. A billion dollars could go a long way towards understanding a common and incurable cancer like pancreatic. But good work opening up the alternative medicine debacle.

  40. BigSoph says:

    To all the well-meaning but ultimately deluded folks who think that Brian is being mean because he is doubting Jobs’ to make a good decision regarding the treatment of cancer: How did you feel when that Vegan couple starved their kid to death? It must have made you happy because they refused to bend to Big Pharma, Big Grocery and Big Oil (why not?)
    Folks, cancer is not some mysterious evil spirit. It is a medical condition. No, we do not have a cure. I doubt we will ever have a cure for all cancers – there are simply too many things that can go wrong with our bodies (we are built by evolution to fail eventually)
    Some fun facts: Cancer rates are not up (adjusted for age, they are lower than a few decades ago… our population is aging), cancer survival is up, you can do everything right and still get cancer, you can do everything wrong and not. Cancer is on odds though, the race may not go to the swift nor the battle to the strong but that sure as hell is the way to bet

  41. Kev says:

    I think Steve, regardless of how clever he was, made a poor choice (informed or not) at the get go with his treatment. Given how aggressive this type of cancer is you really can’t afford the time to be mucking around with unproven wishy washy therapies.

    Six years ago my younger brother was diagnosed with a grade IV glioblastoma tumour and given a time to live of around 12-18 months maximum. Aggressive modern medical intervention – surgery, radiation therapy and chemo knocked the cancer into remission. Six years later he is still very much alive and kicking. Admittedly he had a hellish year of recovery, but in return he gained five extra years, and hopefully many more. If my brother had tried to treat his cancer with scented candles, yoga, meditation and unnatural dietary regimes then he’d be pushing up daisies a long time ago.

    Well done posting this article, hopefully it will make gullible folks who have bought into these cultish lifestyles think twice about their health before considering voodoo cures.

  42. Tom Strong says:

    I worked at Apple most of the last 10 years and we saw a lot of misinformation in the press regarding Steve’s medical history and treatment, and that includes your one source, the Forbes article. You’ll see in his upcoming biography that Steve never left science-based medicine. But I guess using poor, unconfirmed sources for your arguments is ok when YOU do it, Brian. So disappointing.

    • Brandon says:

      If better information comes to light, then Brian will likely change his stance. I know I would. But with the information available to us right now, that’s not the case.

      IF he never left science based medicine, then obviously he can’t be criticized for shunning it.

    • ? says:

      So you were either one of his closest colleagues or you heard chinese whispers.

    • Sayle says:

      Opinions can be re-evaluated in the face of emerging evidence. In this current case, evidence puts forward a case that he eschewed conventional medicine. Since it was published by a ‘respected’ source (i.e., Forbes) and not contradicted by other sources, that makes it evidence that supports Brian’s assertion that Jobs did not use conventional medicine.

      This does not make it true. At the moment, however, it has more evidentary value than ‘I dunno’. Furthermore, your comment is anecdotal. If the board of Apple was no informed for some time, and the shareholders not informed for even long, it may be prudent to actually place a /negative/ value on your experience in that information does clearly not freely flow through your workplace.

      In short, you are entitled to your opinion that Forbes’ assertions are inaccurate. But that’s all it is. Your opinion.

    • Chris says:

      Tom,

      Funny running into you here. Long way from CMU. Anyway, what makes you think that the Apple employees are privy to a better source of information regarding Jobs’ medical treatments?

    • Tom Thumb says:

      Wow, Tom Thumb turns out to be just as dumb as I thought. Here’s the biographer speaking…

      Steve Kroft of “60 Minutes” gets Isaacson to discuss Jobs’ handling of a tumor, which Isaacson says Jobs attempted to treat with alternative medicine versus having it surgically removed.

      “You know, I’ve asked him about that,” Isaacson told Kroft. “He said ‘I didn’t want my body to be opened, I didn’t want to be violated in that way,’ he’s regretful about it,” Isaacson remembers.

      “I think that [Jobs] kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don’t want something to exist, you can have magical thinking, it had worked for him in the past. He regretted it.”

      Well Tom Strong, maybe next time you can keep your big mouth shut huh?

  43. Clare Emmett says:

    Very sad business. Ruddy quacks.

  44. Nathan says:

    Who appointed you the protector of others? If Steve chose to use alternative medicine, that was his prerogative. People choose to smoke, people choose to live in cities full of cancer causing agents. That is life, it is all about choices. I would rather have the choices, good or bad, than have none at all.

    That is the beauty of freedom, not having others get in the way. If I make a bad choice, well then too bad for me. I would rather die free, than live having others make decisions for me. What exactly qualifies people like you to make decisions for others who have not appointed you to such a capacity?

    • Dave W says:

      >>”If I make a bad choice, well then too bad for me. I would rather die free, than live having others make decisions for me. What exactly qualifies people like you to make decisions for others who have not appointed you to such a capacity?”

      Who was telling you what to do?
      I thought the general idea was to give (hopefully accurate) information and give personal opinions.
      Neither of those things seem to be ‘having other people make decisions for you’ unless you think a decision can only really be your own if it is made in an atmosphere of ignorance.

  45. Mark Bivings says:

    Who are we, or you sir, to question Mr. Jobs’ choice of treatment. Did you know him personally and counsel him on his decisions? Assumptions and conjecture are based rarely on the full story and usually serve to promote the agenda of the person writing their opinion and for a purpose other that the choice of the person afflicted.
    So please allow me to be one of those people to say “stop”. When you have a full set of facts to base an opinion on Mr. Jobs’ choices, then please feel free to opine away. Until then, please let his family morn and respect his passing as truly sad event that is ongoing and will allow for plenty of time in the future for you conjecture.

  46. Leonardo Boiko says:

    It’s bad form for a skeptic to draw causation from correlation without evidence.

    Do we have any actual evidence that 1) he knew of the option of early surgery, and consciously chose not to have it; and that 2) if 1 is true, that he did it because he thought the natural therapy would be enough?

    The CNN article is the only source I can find, and it names no sources and feels a lot like hearsay. Even its sources feel unsure (“I don’t know if he truly believed that was possible”). If a naturopath presented this kind of sketchy evidence for his successes, would you believe him?

  47. Guy McCardle says:

    As I see it, this piece is not a condemnation of Steve Jobs, but rather a cautionary tale to the living explaining what can happen if one chooses to ignore real medicine for woo. The point of the story would be just as valid if his name would have been Steve Smith rather than Steve Jobs.

    • Chris DiLorenzo says:

      i wholly concur with the above statement. I would also like to add that i am impressed by the fact that Brian wrote this (knowing he is a massive fanboy) at all.

    • Chaya Gilburt says:

      This is no cautionary tale at all. Jobs used conventional therapy in conjunction with a diet change. That is common practice today. If there is some moral to this story, then it is that nothing works against cancer, neither conventional medicine or alternative medicine.

  48. ab2ms says:

    While the untimely death is tragic, hopefully it will help steer others in a similar situation toward more proven therapies. We all make choices that aren’t always the best, but tragedies like this can at least help give some the tools to make more informed decisions that may prolong their lives. In the end our choice is our choice, we have to respect that.

  49. Rob Bodine says:

    I have a similar story. When my father died of the so-called “flesh-eating disease,” being a nerd, I immediately started studying the disease. My dad’s case is typical: it acted so quickly that by the time they realized what it was, he was dead. His first major symptom was 44 hours before he died. This is all typical. Muppet-creator Jim Henson also got the disease, but he was a remarkable case in that the strain was so weak, he was able to last 2 weeks before dying. During that time, they were able to diagnose it, and he would have certainly survived *if it weren’t for the fact that he refused medication*. Henson’s and Job’s deaths don’t affect me personally. I didn’t know them. It does seem remarkably reckless, however, for someone to throw away their life like that.

    • Chaya Gilburt says:

      Jobs didn’t refuse treatment. He had surgery and neuroendocrine therapy. The diet change was used as support for the regular treatment, a practice which many oncologists recommend.

  50. manhattanhockeymom says:

    Brian,

    I think you made an important point. I’m impressed with the politeness and thoughtfulness of all of the comments, even the ones that I think are off base and uninformed (he should have had the surgery right away!) and even more impressed with your patient and thorough responses. Well done!

  51. Anjali says:

    If you look at the Pancreatic Cancer cases worldwide, India has one of the lowest and all other cancers are fairly low too. One of the reasons could be the population is widely vegetarian and consume less alcohol. Or a spice such as TURMERIC may be a factor. If you read studies on Turmeric you will learn how much this natural spice is helpful to our health. Of course it starts with preventative measures, Turmeric may help with the preventative side. Although I don’t see Turmeric as a treatment to cure Cancer. I believe nothing on on this planet could ever cure cancer for now. Maybe one day, but I don’t see it happening in my lifetime a least. This is just my opinion. For now I’ll just stick to the knowledge I have for prevention and hope that will help me to avoid getting cancer, but of course not guaranteed. And just like Steve who chose his own treatments, everyone is entitled to their own decisions for why they chose certain treatments and we should respect that. RIP Steve.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or, of course, it could be because people in India die of malnutrition and poverty-related diseases before they live long enough to die of pancreatic cancer.

      • Dave W says:

        I assume a lot depends on how information is collected.

        Information from India could be really useful if it was collected in the same way as elsewhere (such as from people with good access to healthcare and comparable post-death examination into causes of death), but would be trickier to use if it included data from many people where diseases may have been undiagnosed or where deaths might not be fully investigated or, as pointed out where the people concerned may not be comparable due to other different factors influencing health and lifespan.

        Without knowing the nature of the statistics in question, it’s impossible to know what use they are for comparison purposes.

  52. Ed says:

    Thank you, Brian. Anyone considering alt medicine treatments of cancer over modern medical treatments that have been proven to work, should read this post.

    ES

  53. It is not clear what choices Steve Jobs did or did not make. This post is based on a vague and unsubstantiated allegation. I hope very much that Mr. Jobs did not delay proper treatment for the sake of experimenting heavily with alternative medicine. Fortunately, I do not yet have any reason to believe that he did. I, for one, will reserve judgement.

  54. Colin McEwan says:

    Thank you for writing this article.

    I’d like to suggest that you include links to eg. http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/02/news/companies/elkind_jobs.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2008030510 in the text of the article — many of us, including me, had never heard of this before, and without that knowledge it sounds like ghoulish speculation.

  55. admirer says:

    Brian, as some wise guy has said on the Internet once “you only know what you know”

    • Deep says:

      http://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/steve-jobs-loses-his-battle-cancer

      “Apple co-founder Steven Jobs, 56, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer yesterday, after months and weeks of rumors that the disease he had been fighting since 2003 had returned. Jobs had tried several treatments, including surgery to remove the pancreatic tumor in 2004 and a liver transplant in 2009. When Jobs announced at age 49 that he had been diagnosed with a islet cell neuroedrocrine tumor, a rare form or pancreatic cancer, he said that his cancer was cured by surgery.

      Jobs also tried to improve his diagnosis with dietary changes and is reported to have made a trip to Switzerland in 2009 for a radiation-based treatment for neuroendocrine cancer that is not available in the U.S. “

  56. SS Natarajan says:

    if, IF what the author says -that steve decided early on to trust naturopathy over surgery till it was too late- is true [the author has not elaborated on the basis of this conclusion - which of course does not mean it is untrue or not probable] it is a greater tragedy that the world was denied a decade ot two more of this undeniably extraordinary and excotic genius. this column has been carefully and powerfully worded. what it limelights is that even the sharpest brains do have their blindspots. steve’s family would do considerable service to humanity if they decide to make public the complete details of his medical treatment instead of clamming up, thinking that that is what steve would have wanted -to keep it private. steve did think so, but that was because he first believed in naturopathy. now that it has come out that that belief cost him decades and cost the world steve’s decades, the family would be rendering public service in medical education by revealing all.

  57. Paul Ruggeri says:

    I have to disagree Brian, with where you said that bubble gum will cure pancreatitis…

    …what????!??

    Well there so many people who obviously haven’t read the original post, that I thought I’d see what I could get away with from them.

  58. JJones says:

    I can’t help but see this into a different perspective…

    At least Jobs didn’t have to deal with insurance companies (i.e. delays in coverage when switching employers, pre-existing conditions or claims of, deductibles, co-pays, poor coverage, caps and denials, etc).

    I think these issues, as well as the confusion of being forced to buy may push many toward alternative medicine. With alternative medicine I imagine they feel they have more control and the chance of a financial life after they are cured. Job’s didn’t have this excuse, but he paid much too high a price for his delay.

    The U.S. would be foolish to back away from universal healthcare.

  59. SJParker says:

    As a strong skeptic of alternative medicine, I take issue with this post, as I feel it undermines the general argument against natural/alternative therapies. Although, it is unlikely Job’s alternative soiree for 9 months improved his prognosis. Without access to his health records, it is also unclear that it was a death sentence considering his cancer was of a very indolent form. Perhaps it made the difference between living another 2 years, but perhaps not. Decisions made in his mainstream medical treatment may have been equally harmful. I would prefer you saved some of your more scathing arguments for a situation that more clearly deserved them.

  60. jaranath says:

    I’m astonished at the lack of reading comprehension among many of these commenters, but I suppose I shouldn’t be. I’ve seen hypersensitivity to challenges of ideas shut comprehension down so consistently, I’m thinking it’s the norm. Which makes us skeptics freaks, but then, we knew that already…

    Bravo for the article, Brian, but I must add a bit of criticism. I agree with Orac’s opinion that you can’t necessarily pin Job’s death on his 9-month woo sabbatical. You say that statistics suggest very strongly that Jobs would have survived had he not used woo. I very much doubt that; while I’m sure Jobs hurt his odds with that mistake, do you actually have survival statistics relevant to a roughly one-year delay in treatment after initial diagnosis of Jobs’ specific type, at Jobs’ specific stage?

    Again, I agree with all your core points, so you might think this is pointless nitpicking, but I beg to differ. Cancer is a very complex, very diverse set of diseases. It’s prognoses and susceptibility are often surprising to those unfamiliar with the state of the medical art. As with most things in Biology, cancer is messy and while not necessarily unpredictable, follows a bizarre set of seemingly arbitrary rules. Without some pretty dang specific data, I don’t think you can responsibly argue that woo killed Jobs. I have no desire to defend woo or denial; I lost one family member to denial and the misinformation of woo-hucksters, and nearly lost a parent to it. But without more data the best you can probably say about Job’s death is that he made it more likely when he delayed treatment.

    • walile says:

      Finally, a voice of reason. I agree with the main points made by Brian, and also with your criticism, especially given that the information source of his alleged diet treatment does not seem bulletproof (additional sources, anyone?). Although it may be good cautionary advice whether true or false, reasoning alone cannot confirm the premise. Of course I will be happy to change my opinion should better evidence be presented (regarding Jobs’ intentional choice of treatment).

      Unless there are statistics to back up his claim and specific, non-public information about his medical state, I think it is overreaching to claim that Jobs would “still be alive”. IMO Brian got the message across, but he is either jumping to conclusions or short on references.

  61. Drew says:

    Brian,
    I sincerely feel sorry for you. You are downright scared and angry at what happened to Jobs (his death), and this is common. To blame his death on a diet that he went on is ludicrous! How do you know 100% that this diet led to a premature death? Can you prove this? Where is your citation that states that this diet decreases the chances of surviving this type of cancer? It sounds like your emotions are controlling your thoughts, and the anger you feel is trying to understand what happened to this great man. How can you state “many who avoid medical treatment in favor of unproven alternatives do so because they’ve been given bad information.” You think Steve Jobs took all information as fact? You think he didn’t do research on his own? The man made a choice, his choice, to go on a particular diet. Brian, do you know anyone that did not live past the 5 or 10 year survival rates even with the “best” surgery, chemo, and radiation? I know people that suffered greatly with the ill effects of these therapies only to have a poorer quality of life and die earlier. Can we definitively say that these conventional therapies killed these people? No we cannot make that claim, nor can we make the claim that a diet led to an earlier death. Brian, you may want to look into therapy for yourself to sort out your emotions before you put blame on something that may have actually improved his quality of life. There is no 100% cure for cancer in the conventional or complementary world.

    • jaranath says:

      Read it more carefully, Drew. The claim is not that the diet itself caused Jobs’ death. Unless there was something especially strange about it, the diet probably had no effect. Given the failure of any dietary choices as cancer treatments (though not necessarily preventatives), the likelihood that the diet was related to some that have been tested, and the lack of evidence for any mechanisms of action in diets, this is not an unreasonable assumption.

      The claim is that Jobs, in pursuing the unlikely-to-help diet IN LIEU of medical treatment, caused his own death via the delay. The delay is the core problem; we’re just griping about the cause of the delay, and I’m griping about the framing of the delay as being fatal, which I think overreaches the evidence. But note that while I agree wholeheartedly with your observation that some people die and some people live despite our best efforts at medical treatment, pseudoscientific treatment, or no treatment at all, that changes nothing. The science and statistics establish unquestionably that for nearly all cancers, the sooner the disease is detected and properly treated, the better the outcome.

    • Guy McCardle says:

      Drew,

      I can’t speak to what Brian said, because I did not write the post. I do, however, feel compelled to give you my own opinion on this topic.

      I fail to see where the diet itself is blamed on the death of Steve Jobs. Unless it was very nutritionally unsound, it probably did no harm. The potential (probable in my opinion) harm was done when Mr. Jobs opted not to have the surgery immediately upon diagnosis. Yes, this was 100% his choice and I’m certain he must have known how this choice had the potential to negatively affect him. Odds are that if he would have had the surgery immediately he would be alive today. That is just a statement of fact.

      To me, articles like this one serve as a cautionary tale to those who are faced with a similar decision as Mr. Jobs. Everyone has the right to make in informed decision regarding his or her health. Scientific evaluation of woo should figure into that.

      –Guy

      • Drew says:

        Dear Guy and Jaranath,
        I do agree with what both of you are saying. Early detection is better. However, Steve knew this going into treatment and he decided to opt out of surgery (or so the story goes). Steve was incredible at making decisions, and we all know that from his creations that he was an innovator beyond belief. I think the author Brian is angry and sad, as most of us are learning about Steve’s death, and is deciding to dump his emotions into a blame game. We could also argue that the chemo and radiation that Steve received in the last months of his life greatly accelerated his death. Or what if Steve did receive surgery immediately after his diagnosis and lived just as long as he did? Would we be blaming the surgery for not prolonging his life anymore? I think not. No one is god here, especially Brian, so I have a hard time reading comments that blame a particular treatment (or lack there of) on a cause of death. Most of us have not faced death as Steve had to, so we have no idea of what was going on in his mind to make the decisions he did. Surgery is not without complications, and we need to remember this. Obviously, Steve knew more than we ever will in regards to his health. Let’s celebrate his death by thanking him for all the lives he changed, and all the beautiful creations he masterminded.

        • Guy McCardle says:

          I’ll second that. Here’s to a celebration of the life of Steve Jobs, all of his wonderful creations and all of the lives he changed for the better.

        • jaranath says:

          I agree, Jobs’ life should be celebrated, even if only for his accomplishments (I know almost nothing about his personal life). This is still also an opportunity to have public discussion about critical thinking and the dangers of CAM, and I don’t think we’ll have to worry about Jobs being insufficiently eulogized.

          Jobs’ right to individual choice is irrelevant to the point being made here; it was still the wrong choice. As I said, no, we can’t identify with much certainty what specific choices led to his death. But you can’t use his right or that uncertainty to validate his or others’ choice to use pseudoscience and woo.

          If we had Star Trek-ish scanners and instruments that could scan every cell’s workings in realtime, then we might be able to identify for any given patient whether treatment helped or hurt, how long they truly would live treated or untreated. But such capabilities are centuries away, if feasible at all, and even if we had them the science would remain the same. A given treatment would still help and harm the same statistical proportions of patients, which is why we do scientific research to discover those statistics in the first place.

          Given our current medical knowledge, and that survival was pretty clearly his ultimate goal, Jobs’ decision went against the odds. It may not have harmed him. His science-based treatments may have killed him. But even if we could prove the latter today, he still made the wrong decision eight years ago.

        • Talal says:

          Hi Drew,

          What does being angry or sad have to do with what Brian is saying though? I mean, Martin Luther King Jr. was angry does that mean that the civil rights movement he helped lead was a bad idea because he was angry? It could be argued that it was a bad idea, but most would agree that reducing harm is better than increasing it. So, if anger lead to reduction of harm through teaching people about the outcomes of a particular issue then anger was a good thing. Brian being angry thus leading to a possible reduction of harm by making good choices could be a positive thing.

          Thoughts?

  62. Dryfus21 says:

    When you have Pancreatic Cancer you are put on Enzyme pills that help your body absorb nutrients, including proteins. As soon as they found that he had cancer, more then likely because all of the sudden his blood sugar levels were going nuts, he was put on enzymes pills so he could process food better. By getting a liver transplant, it was a move to extend his life. Without your Pancreas, which is removed during the Whipple procedure, you liver becomes stressed and damaged, and can only take so much. And everyone else with Pancreatic Cancer dies because their liver fails. And before it fails their lives are horrible, pain and blindness to name a few things.

    But you and I, the average non billionaires, can’t afford to find a doctor that will give us a liver transplant when we have an incurable deadly form of Cancer and need to introduce the ipad . Just think that liver might have saved a couple of lives. None of us would even be considered to be added to the transplant list if we had Cancer, no matter what the life expectancy was.

    And before anybody makes a comment, I have dealt with Pancreatic Cancer first hand. It isn’t pretty. And if Steve Jobs was such the brilliant humanitarian, how come he didn’t bring his battle with Pancreatic Cancer into the spotlight or donate some of that money to the most under funded form of Cancer research?

    • What’s your point? Not everyone who is afflicted with an incurable disease wants to stop their life’s work, wade into the public spotlight, and become a poster child for what’s killing them.

      Even wealthy people value their privacy and dignity.

      Stop wringing your hands because you didn’t get a slice of his money before he died. He is survived by plenty of people who can act charitably on his behalf. He surely knew that would be the case, and he was a man who lived for his work. You, by contrast, apparently live to take potshots.

      • dryfus21 says:

        Garrett, I never asked for a slice of his money. And I was not taking potshots. I was stating fact. He bought a liver to extend his life. The average person does not have the choice, chance or ability to have a liver transplant when they are dying of Pancreatic Cancer.

        And don’t you tell me what I live my life to do. I want to find a cure for a horrible killer. And of course he didn’t want to let people know he had a horrible incurable disease, he was more worried about the bottom line. He wouldn’t want to part with a buck.

  63. MikeG says:

    Well while i think most of you are ignorant clowns who don’t know what your talking about, any type of pancreatic cancer is a major survival battle that ultimatley will claim the life of the patient. Some say he would have lasted longer with conventional medicine, maybe..maybe not, he lived for 6-7 years after being diagnosed which is remarkable in itself as it usually claims lives much sooner, as to why he lived this long again is debatable. This crap about median survival rates being 10 years with his type of cancer is a guess at best and in no way means the man himself would have lasted that long.
    And as to early detection, you do relise that once todays most advanced cancer detecting tools has picked up the cancer the chances are you have actually had it for anything up to 10 years, how is that early detection?
    No natural or conventional medicines have the ultimate 1 answer to cancer and neither will they ever due the fact that the triggers are different in every person.
    Conventional medicine has claimed to be just around the corner from a cure for the last 50 yrs all they say they need is more and more money.Yet there treatments are still the same as they where 50 yrs ago cut/burn/posion they also make big pharma companies most of there money, not to mention the hopitals,surgeons and specialists most of theres. Infact if a cure was found tomorrow it would put so many people out of work it would collaspe many a western world economy.
    Do you think judges/police/lawyers want a cure to world crime ? of course not as they would be out of work so the same applies. And of course ‘medical science’ was the same bunch of boffins that used to adhere to bloodletting as a cure for many ills about 150 yrs ago.This procedure even killed a monarch or two but at the time it was the best treatment they had and was used for everything (sounds a lot like chemo to me today) and in a 150 yrs we will see it as the barbaric practice that it is. The cure rate which means 5 yrs of no recurrence is low and the recurrence rate high, chemo has never cured anyone, it was never meant to it simply is a way of retarding the cell differential rate and reducing tumor size.
    Leukemia is not cancer so it’s another case, yes it works to a certain degree and leukemia survival is better, but, unfortunatley a lot of people 15-25 yrs later are on organ transplant lists as there organs have suffered major damage from the treatments and they have also been left with many ongoing medical problems.
    Alternative medicine is not the answer either. There are so many combinations of this and that and so many different views it can be quite confusing. But at least most of these if they don’t work don’t do any harm, but not all.
    I would suggest people use the best of both medicines to get the best possible outcome, but to put a blind faith in either is a fools mission.
    Steve jobs had a destiny, his destiny is now complete, none of us will live forever, some live longer some live less, it’s what we do with the time here that counts and for this he has earned the right to accolades.

    • Phin says:

      Mike, your post made more sense than Brian’s!

      Chaya Gilbert made sense too.

      Brian, you are as biased as the people you call charlatans.

      Science has it’s place, and I am more in favor if science for most answers, but am nit blinded by it as to be fanatical and that is here you are Brian.

      Stand back and take. Look at your writing. You have gotten overzealous.

      • Vincent Najger says:

        Mike….I’m pretty certain that you are intelligent person….but don’t make the mistake of being hypocritical….

        “And as to early detection, you do relise that once todays most advanced cancer detecting tools has picked up the cancer the chances are you have actually had it for anything up to 10 years, how is that early detection?”

        That’s a broad and misleading statement….and what was your source for that info? (I was under the impression that many of today’s cancer detection methods are astoundingly sensitive and accurate. They are also becoming less invasive …for e.g. http://www.prostate.org.au/articleLive/pages/Testing-and-Diagnosis.html )

        and Phin…..the Scientific Method…look it up….the whole point is to not be blinded by anecdotal evidence, or ones own beliefs….and to produce consistently repeatable results using a method that others can verify independently.

        • MikeG says:

          The most advanced tests that are available today still only pick up tumors, and tumors can take up to 8-10 years to form to a mass large enuff to be seen thru tests.
          The link to PSA tests, well these PSA tests are highly problematic as they are often seen to result in patients with small non invasive tumors being subjected to major surgery/chemo/radiation.
          Even some of the medical association are in doubt of there worth because if you test most men 55 or over there would be a majority that would test PSA high and yet more than likely never be troubled by the condition. Although i admit it has a good use as a heads up to look out for
          What is needed is a test to pick up cell differential before a tumor is formed, then we would have early detection of some benefit..there are some such as pap smears for women which can pick this up, unfortunatley not for all cancers

  64. Chaya Gilburt says:

    Early diagnosis, surgery, and conventional cancer treatment are no guarantee either. I know dozens of cancer patients who relied on chemotherapy and radiation alone and then simply died on schedule, five years later. There are records of other patients such as Dr. David Servan-Scheiber, who used a combination of conventional treatment and life-style changes and had their survival merely expanded. Other patients such as, Chris Wark, opted for surgery and diet alone and is alive and well today. The truth is, your so-called hard-core science, when it is applied to cancer treatment, is no magic bullet.

  65. Henry (from San Jose) says:

    We are not unique, but in a way you could say that Steve Jobs died of Bay Area Disease. Belief in snake oil and suspicion of science is rampant among the upper and upper middle classes here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Several tony neighborhoods even saw a major outbreak of whooping cough last year because of vaccine hysteria. In the shopping centers near where Steve Jobs lived, you’d be hard pressed to find one without a vitamin shop, diet consultant, naturopath, chiropractor, reflexologist or aroma therapist. Mostly it’s viewed as harmless fun that livens up the chatter at cocktail parties. Thanks, Brian, for the reminder that it can be deadly serious too.

  66. BillyJoe says:

    Brian,

    I was hoping you might comment on Orac’s article.
    On reflection, do you think that maybe you have jumped the gun a bit on this one?

  67. Phin says:

    My brother had the very same cancer as Steve Jobs. He also had the surger, chemo and radiation. He lived 4 years less than Jobs.

    Brian, you are just like the people you claim to be superior to. Coming off all superior about science as if modern medicine and science has all the answers.

    Maggie, you are all over the Internet. I see you on other sites promoting science over And trying to debunk everything. Brian doesn’t have all the answers like he tries to show here.

  68. Reginald Honeysac, B.Q. says:

    I feel about as sad as if the CEO of Exxon or Goldman Sachs died. Apple, especially under Jobs’ reign, has become a giant obstacle to technology and innovation ie Anticompetitive walled gardens that severely harm software development, deliberate prevention of hardware interoperability, zealous DRM, litigious patent warfare, and many more. All these things were done under Jobs. Good riddance. Unfortunately, many will follow in your footsteps.

  69. A.L. says:

    Woo isn’t life threatening, as long as it doesn’t replace or work against reasonable, scientific treatment.

    From my own experience, I get the feeling that the farther-out stuff is more readily accepted in the creative business. It becomes yet another badge of how you’re different from the herd. Living the healthy life and hating the grey machines (non-Apple, that is) enhances your status as an emotional and sensitive rather than sensible being. Except that the straight thinkers threaten to become the exceptions now. :D

    Nothing of that necessarily applies to Jobs – I can’t possible know, obviously. But he wouldn’t be the first and won’t be the last.

  70. Ken LeBlanc says:

    I agree with Phin…and many others. Science is a big arena that has been around a lot longer than just the last few hundred years (or less). Hippocrates himself made the statement regarding food, “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.”

    I work in a Heart Institute at large hospital in Southern California. I manage a bunch of servers for image storing (Ultrasound, X-ray, etc) and do database administration. I assist in physician conferences quite frequently.

    My father died from Cancer back in 1994 and so I’m quite familiar with the all that medicine throws at the disease.

    I recommend all of you watch the recent movie called “Forks over Knives”. I learned about it from a Cardiologist here at our facility, one with many many years of experience.

    One very important point a number of people made here is that one should be careful before they judge. It’s far too easy to judge, especially to use that judgement to try and sway people’s views. I think you could have brought up some very important questions regarding Steve’s choices without having to judge him as being a victim of alternative therapies.

    Personally, the people, books, movies, etc, that have influenced me the most have been the ones that left me to decide the ultimate answers to various questions that they raised.

    • Freke1 says:

      “Forks over knives” is excellent. If not revolutionary. Highly recommended. Found it on Netflix.

  71. icanrule says:

    I posted this article on facebook. Out of the 20 posts on the subject not a single person came out and said that they are fans of real medicine and real science. They all found holes in the story that weren’t really there.

    The closest comment to supporting medicine was someone who posted “I’m not going to be part of this conversation”.

    The saddest comment I read was someone at the young age of 22 saying they beat cancer and they will never endure the cure of radiology, and drugs again. She would die before that happened. Then her boyfriend, a nurse, liked that comment. How could a nurse support his own girlfriend in not taking real drugs to help fight cancer?

    Maybe I just need new friends.

    • MikeG says:

      Probably as the nurse knows through first hand experience that the treatment doesn’t work as well as what some of you clowns would like to think ! Strange that when a poll was taken most oncologists would refuse chemo if they needed it …what do they know?

  72. Ali_G says:

    I support Brian. He made his point clearly and without bias. I also support medicine (modern not sCAMs).

    This blog seems to be attracting all the cranks today. Brian, get their emails and save them for future use.

    • MikeG says:

      Narrow minds stick together..right?

      • Vincent Najger says:

        If ‘narrow minds stick together’ why are you here trolling everyone then?….I mean …..we’re all just narrow minded simpletons here…so why should you even care what we think?…Coz as we ALL now know, you have AMPLY demonstrated your intellectual superiority and we all cower before your giant troll brain ..and if you’re so non-narrow minded, why do you frolic in the primordial sludge with us lowly simpletons then…do us all a favour mike….go troll a christian site somewhere

  73. Bill Johnson says:

    I think your article was very appropriate. It was important to get the message out there about the pitfalls of non-traditional medicine. Bravo to you for having the courage to write about this when it can be easily mistaken and taken the wrong way as a slam on Steve Jobs when it wasn’t.

  74. Reginald Honeysac, B.Q. says:

    Why don’t you all contemplate the stone cold fact that radiation and chemotherapy treatments … cause new cancers, even if they manage to slow an existing tumor? One is statistically guaranteed a new cancer from cancer “therapy” inside seven years due to the extreme mutagenicity of radiation and toxic chemicals. Do you have any idea what kind of industry this is and how much Big Pharma money is at stake? They aren’t interested in curing what they can charge hundreds of thousands of dollars to “treat.” My TCM doctor cured her pancreatic cancer with … TCM and no other treatment. She has before and after MRI’s of her tumor on the wall. Acupuncture and traditional herbs saved her life and motivated her to become a TCM doctor.

  75. Reginald Honeysac, B.Q. says:

    p.s. acupuncture and TCM alone got an elderly relative of mine out of a wheel chair and walking again in only three treatments. she had post polio syndrome.

    • Vincent Najger says:

      oh dear…..I suggest that you take a look at Brian’s many excellent articles about Acupuncture Therapies etc…….I’d say something else got your Gran out of her chair(good on her btw), and because she was getting alternative therapies at around the same time ish….that MUST have been what cured her (a classic case of typically human, flawed logic….keep reading this site and you will learn how to recognise and avoid such thinking, AND the people that exploit it)……I’m sorry Reg, but you are a perfect example of prime meat for Crank Therapy Pedallers.

      • Reginald Honeysac, B.Q. says:

        and you are a fatuous and arrogant idiot.

        • Vincent Najger says:

          Now why do you say that? I was not rude, ‘arrogant’ or ‘fatuous’….I merely pointed out a thoroughly studied and well known flaw in human thinking, it is simply basic human psychology….which is why I also expected a response from you like the one I got…..>sigh<…..human nature is just SOOO predictable, it's almost PAINFULLY obvious why it's so easy to exploit. I merely suggested using science and logic.

          P.S. I'm from Australia, we don't have the 'big pharma' problem over here as most common important drugs are subsidised, so what usually costs hundreds, cost AU$4.80 (about $5.20 in usa dollars). We do have 'private' health care, but when the standards are the same between the 'public' and 'private' systems, the only real difference is how many ppl you share a room with…… ALL of our healthcare is free (yes even heart surgery….even transplants and brain surgery….all free)…and what's not free is subsidised….and there MUST always be a choice for the patient/consumer to be able to buy a generic version of a prescription drug, so its fair for everyone….big pharma is a non-issue here…coz TV advertising pharmaceuticals is banned (thats right…no Viagra ads…no NOTHIN) the usa REALLY needs to look at Australia's Medicare System…its ALWAYS under strain, yet you can be poor and still have the same access as the 'wealthy', to the best healthcare available in Australia/world…and I REALLY like that :)

          • MikeG says:

            yes surgery is free, usually after a long wait that some patients have died in the meantime and as for the drugs they are given at discount rates at TAXPAYERS expense they are not free and big pharma still makes huge profits from them. And as you said $4.80 i can assume you have a health care card as you are either unemployed or have a disability or at least faking the above…without a healthcare card scripts from doctors are upwards of $21 for those not abusing the system.
            Sorry but you just proved to me what the poster before accused you of.
            If you based your ‘ass’umption about his gran with the same skill as you based your last few statments then yes you are an idiot

          • Vincent Najger says:

            @MikeG…I DO actually READ the posts before commenting…I am employed, in Australia’s Mining Industry (so you could say that I’m more employed than most), and I currently have private heath cover (but seeing as work comes and goes, life is transient and things change, as our friend Steve Jobs just amply demonstrated, I am VERY glad that Australia has provided a safety net for its citizens health and wellbeing…..who knows?….maybe we just value our citizens more than American does their own…..there is no such thing as being ‘too poor to see a doctor’ here in Australia and I think thats GREAT) …..and I WAS just pointing out that ‘big pharma’ is not as big an issue for Australians as it is for Americans….And it seems to me, according to your rant, that you think that a less fortunate person shouldn’t be able to access health services that are available to the ‘rich’ (oh and the ‘health care card’ thing…its issued to EVERY Australian at 65, as well as those who need it earlier….possibly another reason why Australia consistently scores higher in the ‘standard of living’ scale than America does….by a considerable amount for quite a number of years now)…..when it comes to highly specialised treatments in Australia (eg brain surgery, heart surgery, chemotherapy, transplants, major burns etc)….sorry to burst your bubble….whether you are private or public, once you need a certain level of specialisation…there is only ONE system…..and if its such a crappy unfair system…why does it work so well? PS Maybe you could learn from us horrible communists, instead of attacking a system that has tried, to the limit of its ability and beyond, to make healthcare fair and accessible to all…..oh and you may DIE on a waiting list….but at least one has SOME hope of survival…and that’s infinitely better than NONE……oh and Mike?…I REALLY hope one day that you are too poor to see a doctor and you think back to the comments you have made (oh and FYI…my Dad had his heart surgery botched by one of the best heart surgeons in Australia….a mistake caused by exhaustion…he spent 4 months in a vegetative state before I had to ‘switch him off’ by withholding sustenance…yet I will still defend our health system to the last, coz at least he had a CHANCE at life….I find your comments crass and inhumanly insensitive)

          • MikeG says:

            I am australian as well and i know the way the healthcare system works here..!
            Where did i say healthcare was for the rich and the poor should not be seen? I said the scripts are discounted for people with a healthcare card and i simply stated that there are a lot here who fake reasons to obtain one who really don’t deserve one.
            And i could learn from you horrble communists? wtf are you talking about?
            Mate you are so far off the reservation with most of your rant i just cbf’d reading it.
            And you hope i am too poor to see a doctor 1 day..nice one douche, personal attacks about possible futures are so cool..u win..lol.
            So let me get this right, your father had complications from a free surgery by a doctor who was overtired and then was left in a vegetive state? correct? Wow, sounds like the system is working fine to me..I am sorry to hear this but you used first as an example.
            Sorry but you haven’t changed my mind about you :)
            btw there was no reply to post below your last post so i had to use this area

          • MikeG says:

            hmm…seems to set it below the last post anyways..strange forum setup

          • Vincent Najger says:

            yes it is strange… and I sprayed my ranted diatribe under the assumption that you were one of the many americans that attack me for my views, on many of the sites I post comments on (they do say never assume for it will make an ‘ass’ of ‘u’ and ‘me’) …..Americans seem to actually take offence at our system…I feel compelled to enlighten them. Keep in mind that I though you were American, so read it again from that angle…..and yes I did loose my father to an unfortunate mistake that could have happened on ANY operating table anywhere in the world(and I forgave the surgeon, coz I thought of the thousands he had saved…so i didn’t even sue, though he virtually asked me to for the sake of his conscience)….but at least my dad had a chance (ironically the surgery DID work…the mistake was made while stitching him up)……the mistake was made by one of Australia’s best Heart Surgeons at the time, and it was just pure bad luck that it happened to my dad…..which is why I still defend our health system, especially in comparison to Americas….coz in America he would have never had the chance for the surgery at all…….oh and I reacted to your comment because of …and I quote ….this :”

            And as you said $4.80 i can assume you have a health care card as you are either unemployed or have a disability or at least faking the above…without a healthcare card scripts from doctors are upwards of $21 for those not abusing the system.”

            So let me rephrase my previous comment too….”I hope you get sick while you are poor, while attending an Ignorance Convention IN AMERICA”
            at least now I can deduce what sub-culture of Australian I’m talking to…..so good day to you sir and you can blow your comments out your ass (its a personal failing of mine….why do I ALWAYS let myself be baited by ingrates, bigots, red-necks and just plain ignorant simpletons….really!…..(maybe there’s a herbal pill for it? hmmm) so I’m stopping myself here before I loose all credibility on this site….I bid you adieu, as I’m NOT going to waste my time on the likes of you, especially when there are INTERESTING things happening in the universe)

          • MikeG says:

            Whoa, more personal attacks, your so full of win Mr Sheens would be proud of you.
            I don’t blow my comments out of my ass, although it seems thats where you speak from literally.
            I see that you say you have now conceded defeat and and staring out into the universe for a comet or something to hit you on the head and knock some sense into you..you need it.
            You lost credibility after your first post so don’t worry about that aspect in your replies.
            So you group me as a ‘ingrate, bigot, red-neck and just plain ignorant simpleton’ really…strange as thats how people see you here..were you looking in a mirror when you typed that ?
            Well i have to admit, reading your posts was amusing as i felt like it was the response of a child..how old are you 14-15 , i am thinking you must be, either that or you been in the mine too long or just plain brain damaged..i don’t know.
            Good luck with missed opportunities in your life as you i think you too dumb to see them when they appear.
            Maybe you can end up like your Dad with all the faith you put into Trad medicine it’s a possibility.
            So, see you when you grow up…50-60 yrs from now

          • Vincent Najger says:

            are you SERIOUS……read all that again and then read what you just posted (or is your reading as ‘thorough’ as your typing and spelling)….and you imply I’M ignorant….personally I think I’m wasting my time…..but it seems some ppl just get off on being vile human beings….why don’t you actually EXPLAIN what you are getting at (ps…in the 17 years I’ve been crawling across the interwebs, NEVER have I been more insulted by anyone than by you….and on a SCIENCE site of all places….I live in Cairns….(wanna do this the old fashioned way? I’m always game to see how our ancestors lived and I’d be super excited to get attacked by a real life example of an ‘angry peasant’……….coz it seems more in line with your personality…I’m sure you’d love to bash my head in with a heavy object, with beer in hand, then you can beat your chest and expound your genetic virility and obvious strength and massive intelligence to the other apes of the urban forest)

            To the OP —-> If anyone is moderating this comments section, could you please delete all of my sparring posts with MikeG….somehow I feel ‘dirty’ now……besides, they are inappropriate and off topic <———

  76. Sheri says:

    Steve Jobs was diagnosed 7 or 8 years ago. According to the American Cancer Society, there is a 5% survival rate after 5 years for cancer. For the type of cancer Jobs had, I find experts reporting 7 or 8 year survival rates as the average. Since we do not know the complete details of Steve Jobs illness, blaming him for accelerating his own death seems quite cruel. Yes, maybe with “proper treatment” he would have gotten another 2 or 3 years–but the probability of this is still very small. Using statistics and survival rates of pancreatic cancer survivors tell us even conventional treatments still make it highly unlikely the cancer can be stopped. Maybe the decision to use alternative treatments was not “scientifically correct”, but I see no evidence that his using them caused an early death. He survived for the “average” number of years. Had he done nothing “scientific” it would have certainly been a death sentence. But with pancreatic cancer, it seems to be a matter of “when” you die, not “if” you die.

  77. António Marques says:

    Cancer treatment with a “special diet”? Give me a break…
    http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/02/news/companies/elkind_jobs.fortune/index.htm
    “A Buddhist and vegetarian, the Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) CEO was skeptical of mainstream medicine. Jobs decided to employ alternative methods to treat his pancreatic cancer, hoping to avoid the operation through a special diet – a course of action that hasn’t been disclosed until now. “

  78. Vincent Najger says:

    Hopefully another high profile victim of crank therapies will sway a few more of the ignorant….maybe if Apple put its weight behind a Foundation in Steve’s name that goes after cranks that cause harm and death by spreading ignorance (and considering the intelligence, and scientific genius of the man that was swayed by a crank therapy, you can see just how dangerous that industry really is….an industry that kills as indiscriminately and as callously as any out-of-control mercenary army, doesn’t murder just the ignorant and desperate)

    PS. ……….and now a gripe of a TOTALLY different note:- …….Steve Jobs this…….. Steve Jobs that…..SIK of hearing about Steve Jobs’ death….”Oh He’s was SOOO AMAZING….He changed the way we live and communicate SOOOO MUCH ….we’ll NEVER forget him”….I have ONE question for ppl who crap on like that and play the ‘we’ll NEVER forget him’ card…..Who invented the Cathode Ray Tube?

    • MikeG says:

      Surgery/Chemo/radiation therapy kills people each and every day and because Steve Jobs tried alternative medicine for 9 months before using traditional medicines you blame the alternative therapy? HE WAS NEVER GOING TO LIVE no matter what! And traditional medicine has killed a lot more high profile people than alternative medicine has ever killed…you are some real kind of non thinking douchebag

      • Henk v says:

        Sorry to point this out on such a terrible piece of news.

        Michael, that was about the worst time you could kick an own goal for Colombia. Please ask to have this removed.

        Anyone dying is tragic. The adventure of self is over.

        I have tried to stay right out of the twin towers debate on skeptoid, Its because its totally tasteless and insensitive. This is simlar but orders of magnitude less in impart.

        Steve Jobs died of cancer and lifestyle possibly affecting his decisions. He was an innovator and a hard nosed business bloke, two generations think he was as kool as Michael Jackson.

        Lets face it, we envy him for his great achievements.

        Vale Centurion!

        • MikeG says:

          if you dont like the convo—-> that way to the door, don’t bump your head on the way out

        • Vincent Najger says:

          Your words are lost on him Henk…..he seems to be a skim reader…..he is too obtuse to realise that he addresses a Gentleman of Intellect, and that he could actually learn from your Words of Wisdom, in your many posts on this site. I have already made the mistake of letting him bait me… and on this comment thread of all comment threads…a totally shameful personal failing of mine.

          please remove this comment too

          • MikeG says:

            ‘Your words are lost on him Henk…..he seems to be a skim reader…..he is too obtuse to realise that he addresses a Gentleman of Intellect, and that he could actually learn from your Words of Wisdom, in your many posts on this site. I have already made the mistake of letting him bait me… and on this comment thread of all comment threads…a totally shameful personal failing of mine.’

            His words arn’t lost i just don’t agree with him and as for a gentleman of intellect..his post was not of that standed , maybe it is just a reflection of your own low standard that you attribute this mantle to him.
            Actuslly it was you who baited me by your bias one sided posts above.
            And this thread is ok as long as you don’t go against any of your thoughts or opinions..nice one.
            You have more than failings than that, it’s just this one stands out more..

            QQ more about getting posts removed..lol..you bunch are sad

          • Vincent Najger says:

            now I MAY deserve your criticism but Henk does NOT…… If you actually bothered to read any of the many posts he has left on this site you might actually learn something….go on….have a go at trolling Henk ….I dare ya

  79. JJ says:

    This Brian Dunning guy who wrote the article just got owned over at http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/10/steve_jobs_neuroendocrine_tumors_and_alt.php

    lol

    • Vincent Najger says:

      It is sad that people like your good self just don’t get it yet. It’s not about who gets pwned by whom……its about promoting good scientific thinking and educating the public, so less people make incorrect decisions, as a result of misinformation spread by something as benign as a pair of housewives passing on, for a common example, the wrong way to treat a burn, to the actively malignant pseudo-science promoting crackpots (that are usually enthusiasts and self promoting entrepreneurs, rather than philanthropists and/or followers of real sciences)…….Brian dispels ALOT of myths about all sorts of stuff….and it takes real guts to stand up to some of these rabid crackpots, backed by their legions of misinformed followers…..besides I believe that, arguably, you were the one who’s been pwned, as Brian doesn’t mind being ‘wrong’, Skeptoid (and followers) in general openly welcome being corrected, as should ALL logical thinkers and those enlightened by the sciences……just as long as you can back your rebuttal up….coz these guys are a massive target for the nay-sayers of all breeds, they make sure they do their research very thoroughly….which is just ONE reason why I’m a permanent fan, and every time I hear anyone say something misinformed, or just plain STUPID (eg. one of my friends just wasted hundreds on a homoeopathic treatment, that did nothing except make her considerably poorer, AND she still has the ailment), I point them DIRECTLY at this site……coz its a GREAT starting place for anyone’s Great Quest for Personal Enlightenment….and I hope that you have a look at the rest of this site. I am certain, that if you have more than half a brain, you too may become a convert :D

      • MikeG says:

        Says the bloke who folds at the first person to contest him..this site seems to be full of people who like the statusquo and don’t want to beleive anything they don’t go along with or wish to beleive has any good in it at all.
        I have found most of them to be quite narrow minded and unable to comprehend anything thats not the norm..

        • Vincent Najger says:

          I’m in it for the Science….its becoming more obvious that you just don’t get it

          • MikeG says:

            Science? it’s been wrong before and it will be wrong again

          • Vincent Najger says:

            Such is the Great Journey of Enlightenment…Science can stop us going too far down an incorrect path….but we are human and therefore fallible.

            …and what do you mean, “folds at the first person to contest him”…..I just re-read (again) all your posts on this article….I still don’t get your point…..coz you don’t seem to have one….you just seem to disagree with ppl for the sake of it…..
            ….you’re like a bad drunk who just wont stay down….insists on continuously getting up, insulting everybody, then staggering around inelegantly, making an even BIGGER fool of themselves.
            Its one of the saddest things I can think of, people as eloquent and intelligent as yourself, swinging blindly at anything that comes in range. A total waste. Sad. Stop embarrassing yourself. (though I predict that you will make ANOTHER pointless post….just to get the last word in…..prove me wrong….I bet you can’t help yourself…its in your Nature)

  80. steve hansen says:

    the ignorant posters defending quackery even after it killed Jobs fill me with despair

    • MikeG says:

      The ignorant posters who blame alt therapy for his death fill me with despair as well..do you really beleive he was ever going to survive under any treatment..guess what..he wasn’t. Pancreatic cancer is terminal, no matter what..so actually both alt and trad medicine are equally responisble for his death as both failed.

      • Josh says:

        MikeG, I wonder whatyou make of this:

        NY Times quotes from the coming official biography:
        “His early decision to put off surgery and rely instead on fruit juices, acupuncture, herbal remedies and other treatments — some of which he found on the Internet — infuriated and distressed his family, friends and physicians, the book says.”

        CBS has this from the interview with the biographer:
        “In one of his deepest discussions with him, Isaacson says Jobs told him he regretted his decision to try alternative therapies and said he put off the operation because it was too invasive.”

        • MikeG says:

          I am not pro alt or conventional medicine..both have there place and at times both fail..
          I am just saying that even with surgery had it been performed 9 months earlier it is not a guarrantee of his long term survival.
          Remmeber the Trad doctors say that after 5yrs with no recurrence you are cured..they tend to forget the long list of people who come back at year 6,7,8,etc with secondaries.
          Yes i am sure his family where infuriated but it was there decision to make in the end.
          And in hindsight yes he might have regretted the delay, we all make decisions that if we could go again we might not have made..that is life i guess

          • Josh says:

            The point the article makes is that Jobs’ example should be a warning to others not to rely on quackery in serious situations.
            The newly emerged facts are now proving the initial guessing right.

            You wrote about Jobs’ destiny; if I’d believe in something like that I’d say the WARNING is a part of it.

            Quackery may make FEEL you better, but it can’t fight the cause of illness.

          • MikeG says:

            ‘The point the article makes is that Jobs’ example should be a warning to others not to rely on quackery in serious situations’
            Sometimes both fail, quackery (as you call it) and trad (science based) therapies in serious situations.
            I personally think both have things to offer, it’s just a shame they don’t get along for the sake of the community.
            ‘Quackery may make FEEL you better, but it can’t fight the cause of illness’
            Actually in some cases it can, in my own family it has done some great things when traditional therapy has failed.
            My 9 year old daughter was a chronic asthma suffer who after 4 hospital stays in 9 months was actually getting worst rather than better. The doctors told us to get an oxygen bottle at home for her and up her dosage of steroids to the max level and sent her home saying, ‘well we don’t have anything else at this time’. She came home and was blue/purple in the face and skin from lack being unable to breathe, she twice nearly died in hospital on her last visit there. My wife would not accept that this was it and proceded to do some research and found a chinese therapist who would treat her, myself at the time was a fully pro science based medicine beleiver but as they had run out of answers i let my wife take her to this alt therapist.
            To cut a long story short, this alt therapist within 3 months cured my daughter who to this day does not suffer anymore from this condition. This is when i started to beleive that there are other answers to things
            we encounter in life. I have since recommended this therapist to others with children with the same complaint and they all have had great success thru her treatments.
            As i have said i am not pro alt or trad therapies, but you would be on a fools mission to beleive either have all the answers

          • Vincent Najger says:

            MikeG@…I read your post above about your kid’s asthma (seeing a child in respiratory distress is traumatic…sometimes even more so for the parents than the kid) ..now I finally understand where you’re coming from and why …I kinda agree with you there about the asthma thing….I can remember primary school in the early 80’s, the kid with the Asthma Puffer was the odd one out….now it seems that they’re all suckin on puffers and the kid without a puffer is the odd one out. I have alot more to say on the subject but I lack the time (its beyond doubt that there are huge respiratory problems in the latest 1st world generations, with mountains of research being generated on the subject, for undoubtedly complex reasons that could possibly, almost definitely, be boiled down to various Western lifestyle choices. but this is the wrong article for comments on my thoughts on that particular subject)

  81. MikeG says:

    The best thing about this thread is that i had no idea so many narrow minded fools existed in the world..ty for the education..now quick back under your rocks as the sky is falling and the world really is flat..

    • Vincent Najger says:

      Seeing as the Pancreatic cancer he had was one of the rare highly treatable types, AS STATED IN THE ARTICLE, with very high survivability rates if CAUGHT EARLY….yes he WOULD have survived…..that’s THE POINT!!!!….you have just skim read this ENTIRE article AND all the comments HAVEN’T you? Its obvious….by just how badly your comments are off target….you Sir are not only Trolling this entire thread, you’re not even a very good Troll….do EVERYONE a favour and leave Skeptoid to the people who actually WANT to learn
      PS. you are NOT helping your credibility commenting before properly reading the articles or the comment threads
      PPS. And I personally am tired of you

      • MikeG says:

        Who said the article was true and that was his diagnois ? Only fools beleive whatever is written as truth. Show me the stats on the survival rates of of any pancreatic cancer and you will see extremely low success rates if any..and no he probably wouldn’t have survived..the writer wants you to think that as it serves his purpose..read between the lines he has a bias even tho he is not meant to.
        You learn by opening your mind to other things that you might at first understand or believe..remmeber people used to think and argue black and blue that the world was flat..they were wrong.
        Skeptoid is supposed to be an open forum so why should i leave ? You want me to leave because i don’t agree with you ? lol…
        P. S: I have read nearly every post
        P.S.S: I don’t care what your tired of it’s of no importance

        • Vincent Najger says:

          then why do you still appear to be trolling NEARLY A WEEK LATER…..you trolls are all the same…

          • Vincent Najger says:

            besides…as you don’t appear to have noticed, nor do you appear to care, that you are preaching to/attaking the converted…..its not hard to pick a omni-phobic conspiracy nut that rails at the world (you must be a very angry man)…….Every comment that you have made in this thread is an attack (I checked)….and I said “leave skeptoid to those who want to learn” (more proof of your skim mis/reading)…not “leave”…..I am also always confident of Skeptoid’s ability to do good and thorough research so (for reasons I have already stated but you prob didn’t read it so don’t bother), yes, I believe the article…..but you ‘appear’ to hate everything and I can’t work out your true stance on the subject….you seem to think ALL intervention is bad/fatal….so are you a Jehovah’s Witness? Yes?……no?……ahhh I know….you must be following up with practice, Brian’s excellent series of articles on how to spot, defend yourself from and exploit Logical Fallacy’? Didn’t read it….no?Skim Read? …..no? didn’t think so….well I’m stumped……in ALL of your posts, did you actually have a POINT, that someone else hasn’t already said better…..but you had your chance to enlighten me….now I don’t really care any more what you may have wanted to say (whereas I may have been interested in your views before you came in swinging at friend and foe alike…and thats a great way to make friends, promote and discuss science and scientific thinking)…..either that or you’re just some little gen-Y turd, thats trolling just for fun (and if your not, you SURE act like one, so please forgive my assumption if I’m wrong….but I’d put money on the fact that you don’t have a lot of friends, simply from your abrasive style)….anyway….always happy to cross swords…..so till its goodbye, just until I spot your next vitriolic and ignorant comment (on ANOTHER article preferably……coz this ridiculous and pointless bit of swordplay has left a bad taste in my mouth, and both of us badly off topic)

          • MikeG says:

            I am not a troll, i have been away..some of us have other things to do

        • You are speaking of “pancreatic cancer” if it’s a single disease. There are a number of different kinds. All but one (if I’m correct) are terminal with only weeks to a few years at most after diagnosis. You are trying to combine those stats with the rare type Steve had. Simply cutting it out before it metastasizes is a complete cure for many patients.

          • Vincent Najger says:

            Thanks Brian…you’re a legend….keep up the awesome work dude….its IMPORTANT

          • MikeG says:

            Brian..
            Medical science derives a cure as 5 yrs with no recurrence of disease. Do you mean that or a lifelong cure ?
            Most reports i have read say that his type of cancer has a 64-80% 5 year survival depending on the diseases progression at time of detection. Rates for other types of pancreatic cancer are at 4% 5 year survival.
            But as you said “before it metastasizes is a complete cure for many patients” but not all, if i am reading that correctly which inturn makes the prognosis no certainty of extending life beyond the median expectancy.

        • Vincent Najger says:

          Besides…as you don’t appear to have noticed, nor do you appear to care, that you are preaching to/attacking the converted…..its not hard to pick a omni-phobic conspiracy nut that rails at the world (you must be a very angry man)…….Every comment that you have made in this thread is an attack (I checked)….and I said “leave Skeptoid to those who want to learn” (more proof of your skim mis/reading)…not “leave”…..I am also always confident of Skeptoid’s ability to do good and thorough research so (for reasons I have already stated but you prob didn’t read it so don’t bother), yes, I believe the article…..but you ‘appear’ to hate everything and I can’t work out your true stance on the subject….you seem to think ALL intervention is bad/fatal….so are you a Jehovah’s Witness? Yes?……no?……ahhh I know…. Brian’s excellent series of articles on how to spot, defend yourself from and exploit Logical Fallacy’? You must be following up with some ‘real-world’ practice…….Didn’t read it….no?Skim Read? …..no? didn’t think so….well I’m stumped……in ALL of your posts, did you actually have a POINT, that someone else hasn’t already said better…..but you had your chance to enlighten me….now I don’t really care any more what you may have wanted to say (whereas I may have been interested in your views before you came in swinging at friend and foe alike…and thats a great way to make friends, promote and discuss science and scientific thinking)…..either that or you’re just some little gen-Y turd, thats trolling just for fun (and if your not, you SURE act like one, so please forgive my assumption if I’m wrong….but I’d put money on the fact that you don’t have a lot of friends, simply from your abrasive style)….anyway….always happy to cross swords…..so till next time, its goodbye, just until I spot your next vitriolic and ignorant rant (on ANOTHER article preferably……coz this ridiculous and pointless bit of swordplay has left a bad taste in my mouth, and both of us badly off topic)…..Maybe in future you’ll gain the subtlety required to talk someone around to your view…..not just abuse and insult everyone (coz there is NO WAY they could POSSIBLY be ‘smarter’ than you….so they’re all just ignorant peasants…I come across your ‘type’ with depressing, and growing, regularity……slightly above average intelligence, which leaves you mistakenly thinking “I MUST be smarter than everyone else…coz they’re all stupid”..childish?…..just tryin to speak your Language…… and remember your motto …… NUSQUAM VERITAS….feel free to have the last word/abuse me one last time….

          • MikeG says:

            repeat yourself much?
            If you had read all of my posts..which i doubt..you would have all the answers you need..skim read much yourself?
            Anyway, after reading all your personal attacks about my religion (not a JW btw) and all the other non related comments i just couldn’t be bothered with you. I doubt you will ever learn anything as you berate anyone who doesn’t agree with you.
            I doubt i will bother crossing swords as you say with you again i would rather see you live in the ignorance that i find you relishing in.
            Really comments on how many friends i have..lol..really, this type of reply is really beneath a person of my statue even replying to..so i won’t, suffice to say you have again managed to comment on something you have no clue about.
            I only actually ridiculed your comments as i found them to be quite misleading and without any thought process used. If only you had answered the actual original post with the equal amount of thought before posting i might have seen you as the fool you appear..but too late now for you.
            Good luck to you and your views…whoever writes them for you

          • Vincent Najger says:

            good try….your right….I am WAY ignorant and I swim daily in a big pool of it….

            And not very good at recognising sarcasm yet ay? (the JW post you refer to was an attempt at sarcasm…I know, I’m not very good at it…I shouldn’t even try)

            and seeing as I’m ‘beneath’ a person of your “statue” (lol…FAIL….)
            I am no longer worthy of commenting in your great presence…allow meto say this one last thing oh master great sage equal of heaven……..seems that most of the ignorance that you have accused me of, you seem to be not to bad at yourself.

          • MikeG says:

            Well goodbye, i am not going to comment on anything you just typed as you are just trolling my posts and the points are useless..so once again goodluck and good bye

  82. anthony rock says:

    After Steve Jobs was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2003, he allegedly delayed surgery to remove the tumor — the recommended treatment — for nine months.
    During that interim period, he attempted to treat his cancer with alternative medicine, including a special diet, according to news reports.
    Could such a delay in treatment have worsened Jobs’ prognosis, and ultimately hastened his death?
    The claim that Jobs decided to forgo mainstream medical treatment after his diagnosis remains unconfirmed. And the experts we spoke with could not comment on his case directly.
    However, Jobs was reported to have a form of pancreatic cancer called a neuroendocrine tumor. This type is less lethal than the most common form of pancreatic cancer, an adenocarcinoma. Neuroendocrine tumors grow more slowly than adenocarcinomas. That means patients don’t necessarily have to rush to treatment, said Julie Fleshman, president and chief executive officer of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, a Manhattan Beach, Calif., organization that advocates for pancreatic cancer research and patient and family support.
    If surgery is an option for an adenocarcinoma, the patient is “usually in the surgical room the next day.” However, for a neuroendocrine tumor, “the length of time before you have to make decision about your treatment is not as quick as someone whose been diagnosed with an adenocarcinoma,” Fleshman said.
    “It could be normal that someone would wait some time before they might have surgery,” Fleshman said.
    So Jobs’ alleged decision to delay his treatment may not have been as ill-advised as some have claimed.
    “I don’t think waiting nine months for surgery was a bad decision,” Dr. Maged Rizk, a gastroenterologist at Cleveland Clinic, told WebMD in an interview last week. “Especially if it is limited disease, especially if it is an islet-cell tumor and the cells are [typical of early cancer], and as long as you don’t have symptoms, you can sit on it a bit,” Rizk said. (Neuroendocrine tumors are also known as islet-cell tumors.)
    But what about Jobs’ use of alternative medicine? Could that have had an impact on his cancer?
    Some experts say that, if anything, use of alternative medicine approaches may have helped Jobs’ overall health. Jobs lived 8 years after his diagnosis.
    The average life expectancy for someone with a metastatic neuroendocrine tumor is about two years, according to PCAN. (It remains unclear whether Jobs’ cancer was metastatic when he was diagnosed.)
    “I believe that he must have really refocused his heath practices,” through changes in diet and exercise, said Dr. Ashwin Mehta, an assistant professor and medical director of integrative medicine at the University of Miami’s Sylvester Cancer Center. “To do as well as he did, he must have done a lot of things right,” Mehta said.
    Therapies such as mediation, acupuncture and exercise may be used in conjunction with standard cancer treatments in order improve health and reduce the side effects treatments, which can include fatigue, chronic pain and problems with sleep, Mehta said. Mehta said he prefers to think of these practices as “integrative” rather than “alternative,” because they are always combined with standard treatments. Integrative medicine is intended to improve the patient’s overall health,, Mehta said.
    However, Mehta would never recommend treating cancer using only alternative medicine.
    “I would never say to one of my patients, you don’t need to continue with your radiation treatment or your chemotherapy, all you need to do is meditate and adopt healthy sleep habits, and start an exercise routine, and then you can cure yourself,” Mehta said. “The reality is that that’s not the case,” he said.
    But used the right way, integrative medicine may provide a meaningful impact on the health of a patient with cancer.
    “The bottom line is that, the mind is such a powerful thing that it’s unreasonable not to use it as an ally in the course of standardized medical treatment,” Mehta said.
    Pass it on: Alternative medicine therapies may improve health for those with cancer, but they should always be used in conjunction with standard medical care.

    • MikeG says:

      “I would never say to one of my patients, you don’t need to continue with your radiation treatment or your chemotherapy, all you need to do is meditate and adopt healthy sleep habits, and start an exercise routine, and then you can cure yourself,” Mehta said.

      This is not really alternate medicine, it’s pretty much all they allow you to do as they want to know if there treatments are working and not if it’s something else instead .
      Alternate medicine is far more involed than just the 3 very basic elements that are listed.

  83. Doesn't Matter says:

    Pragmatism will never trump spirituality and mysticism. Having lost my father to cancer as well, There is no formula, rationale, or science to who survives and who does not. My father also had access to the best treatment – with nowhere near the money Steve did – he just had great insurance – it WAS caught early on, diets were changed. Morton Plant, Moffit, Shands, and Duke did their best. He was open and tried experimental treatments since he was a chemist and believed that science might be able to figure it out. Sometimes, it is just time for people to go after they have made their contributions and I do believe that it is their choice – I will say however, I also know people who’s spiritual practices through meditation and change in diet and strong willed beliefs have beaten and have had no reoccurrence of their cancer so…go figure. Perhaps Louise Hay is right – The proper belief structure can truly heal. That is of course, if you are willing to change and be open to it. People are more powerful than they think. I do find it sad that we lost a true visionary of our times. I hope Steve’s ideas will live on and Apple will remain true to his vision – like anything else though – only time will tell.

  84. Nique K says:

    Great article — it shows you how even the smartest most innovative people can be lead to believe in non evidence based “medicine” by so called “doctors” — it’s bullshit. This guy ornish should really get his ass handed to him somehow.

  85. I wish you luck, and all the other nay-sayers. You may get your turn, still, some point in the future.
    I know what good medicine IS. I had a prominent dentist and physician in my family. I was diagnosed with cancer. I experienced the best America had to offer at Mass General, and the Lahey.
    I wont go into details. Nor will I describe my experiences with what you call “Woo-medicine”. I will just let you find out for yourself. Hopefully you will never have to go through what I have gone through.
    Martin

  86. Josh says:

    So, it turns out the article’s guessing went quite into the right direction.

    Leaked-out parts of the coming biography and the interview with its author confirm the growth of the tumor in the respective nine months. The word is even about “regret” on Jobs’ side for that delay.

    See CBS link above (James) and the NY Times piece:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/21/technology/book-offers-new-details-of-jobs-cancer-fight.html

  87. Dee says:

    I have to agree with the ND who commented here. Since Steve was a “private person”, we have no idea what the naturopath recommended as his treatment plan besides the dietary change. There may have been more on the table. But since Steve is not here, we can only speculate that diet was the only recommendation. Steve admitted that he chose a less invasive route. He may have turned down the recommendation for surgery for all we know. We.were.not.there. We can only speculate what happened in the ND’s office from what little information that we do have. We all know that Steve was not a stupid man by any means. He was a man with cancer. His own mortality had set in. When he was first diagnosed, I couldn’t imagine what went through his mind. It wasn’t about electronic gadgets anymore. Now he REALLY had to think different.

    I do both. Mainstream and Naturopath. I have benefited by using both…and they compliment each other. With the changes I have made in my diet and supplements, my family physician has told me to continue because it is working for me in conjunction with what I am already doing. Both my MD and ND share the information to get the treatment plan right for me. After 2 years on this plan, at the age of 50, I am feeling better than I have in years. And all of my labs have been back in normal range for over a year.

    Bottom line is, only Steve and whoever was close to him know what was laid on the table by the naturopath. Whether he chose to do only part of the treatment, or the surgery was never recommended by the ND, we don’t know.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, we DO know now that his family, his company and his physicians urged him not to wait with the surgery. That is pretty clear, isn’t it?

      Here is a quote from the NY Times (they had obtained the biography before the official release):
      “His early decision to put off surgery and rely instead on fruit juices, acupuncture, herbal remedies and other treatments — some of which he found on the Internet — infuriated and distressed his family, friends and physicians, the book says.”

      Later, he was obviously not able to express his regret about that decision publicly, but he made a point about it talking to his official biographer. So he wanted to have it included in his biography.

      Basically, the article on top got it right.

  88. Kathy says:

    In Nov. of 2002 my sister, at age 58, was diagnosed with lung cancer (she started smoking in high school, though she had quit in her early 50ties). Although she was contacted by various “alternative health providers” at the time, she went solely with radiation & chemo in early 2003. And never changed her diet. Today she is still very much alive. I have to wonder IF she had done the “complementary treatment”, if she (& others) would have “believed” it contributed to her still being around in her late 60ties. I have to wonder if that’s not the case with a lot of people.

  89. Ronald Hayden says:

    Brian, could you indicate the source for the information that Ornish suggested the diet to Steve?

    I’m no fan of Ornish, but my understanding from the Isaacson biography is that he, at least at some point, was also urging Steve to get surgery and there’s no indication there that he suggested the diet.

    I heard that people working in a restaurant said they overheard a conversation between Ornish and Steve where Ornish pushed the diet approach, but that on looking into this the timeline didn’t match when Steve had been diagnosed.

    If you have a solid source, I’d be most appreciative, as I would like to understand just how far Ornish can go.

  90. Ronald Hayden says:

    Here is Orac’s take (on SBM) after reading the biography — surprising conclusion:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/10/just_one_more_thing.php

  91. Henk v on the road! says:

    You’d wonder how any “alternative” practitioner can take anything out of this.

    Even if this pioneer didnt die of bad advice from an unqualified quack, you would wonder what sort of society would have a man of such intelligence and ability scraping the barrel of nonsense for his own personal health philosophy.

  92. Heathre says:

    Shit such as this makes my blood boil. I don’t doubt they are douch holes that use fake therapies and take advantage of people, most alternative therapies ARE legitmate. Its proven with BOTH personal experice and science to back that up. Have you tried any alternative therapy? Taking herbs, changing your diet is legitmate.Look up Daphne Miller, William Rae, Sherry Rogers.

  93. Tgden says:

    I believe in looking at ALL options when diagnosed with a serious disease like cancer. There is plenty of research going on to support the use of mushroom supplements for cancer (especially Turkey Tail for breast cancer) as an adjunct therapy, turmeric to lower cholesterol, portulaca to reduce the effects of Lichen planus, etc. the list goes on and on. yes-they are small studies, but are done at reputable universities (our local University of Toronto is currently undertaking some studies in these areas). The important thing to remember is this – yes – scientific evidence gives us all peace of mind – if indeed the results are accurate and can be documented and verified by other similar studies.
    Woo Science – as some of you call it, or anecdotal evidence is often based on hundreds, if not thousands of years of practice by alternative therapists using whole foods, functional foods or other types of therapies (remember when acupuncture was considered ‘woo science’?

    The fact is, big studies are not done on potentially valuable natural therapies because Big Pharma can’t patent cloves, or turmeric, or mushrooms. So – just in case most of you have’t ‘got this’ yet – they are not there to help anyone-just to make billions of dollars. And most of the therapies in modern medicine have plenty of side effects.

    If I were diagnosed with cancer, the first thing I would do would be to discuss with a team of experts and use conventional AND alternative therapies together – can’t hurt. In the meantime – to address the comments from many people – eating meat is a moral choice – and we eat far too much of it on this planet. Most people can’t afford good quality meat – the government simply does not provide any subsidies for organic farming practices – ironic isn’t it?

    I find this a very very strange site – full of hot headed opinions and armchair intellectuals. I am neither a genius or an intellectual, but I do my research, I do read and I do believe that much of the Woo Science is probably safer for you than consuming chemical cocktails and having radiation.treatments. I think if we cleaned up the pollution in our planet (yeah – North America will really get on THAT bandwagon), improved our food supply by eliminating most of the unnecessary additives, completely eliminated any processed food, and got off our rear ends and moved around more – well – we might just see cancer and a whole lot of other diseases go down in numbers. But then – our big companies wouldn’t make enough money would they?

    Although I think Steve Jobs was a brilliant man, I am not enamored with technology in my daily life-I am of an age where I actually got more done on a daily basis thirty years ago – when a 30 second phone call answered a question (instead of 10 emails), where people could concentrate for more than 5 minutes without glancing at a cell phone screen, and companies actually had people answer the phone. Although it has improved some things (love that I can keep in touch with family around the world) – it has also produced a generation of rude individuals who don’t recognize normal body language anymore, can’t spell, read or write, and have absolutely no manners. Not to mention that we waste more paper than ever before. My 2 cents on technology, and I do keep up with it at work-just refuse to have it control my life.

  94. Stine says:

    According to the wikipedia, there is no evidence that Steve Jobs was on a diet prescribed by dr.Ornish. Even in Steve’s biography, it stands that dr.Ornish told him that he really needs to do the surgery. Too bad this statement stays on your page without any good reference.

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