breathed a collective sigh of relief when Apple CEO announced in 2004 the bad
news/good news that he had faced a life-threatening illness, but was cured.
Jobs had been given the usually fatal diagnosis he had pancreatic cancer, but
it turned out to be a rare treatable form of the disease. And luckily for Jobs,
the surgery was a success.
But an in-depth article in Fortune article reveals Jobs kept
important details tightly under wraps. Jobs left the impression he acted on the
diagnosis and had the surgery quickly, when in fact, Fortune reports, he waited
some nine months while he tried “alternative methods” including an
unspecified special diet, to try and cure himself. Finally, after being urged
by members of Apple’s Board of Directors and others, Jobs had the surgery on
July 31, 2004 at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto near his home.
Jobs’ illness was the subject of much discussion among Apple’s Board, which wrestled
with how much responsibility it had to go public given the importance of the
CEO at Apple. In the end, and on the advise of counsel, it said nothing
publicly on the matter. The Fortune article notes that Jobs’ Buddhist and
vegetarian beliefs left him skeptical of mainstream medicine.
While no one wants to hear they have cancer, Jobs is one lucky fellow under the
circumstances and the risk he took in delaying surgery.
Roderich Schwarz, chairman of surgical oncology at the University of Texas
Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, who has performed the procedure more
than 150 times (but who was not involved in Jobs’ case), told Fortune that
waiting more than a few weeks with this diagnosis “makes no sense because
you don’t know what the potential for growth or spread is.” Schwarz said
he knows of no evidence that diet can be helpful, but that it’s up to the
patient to decide how he or she wants to be treated.
Jobs really does live by the credo of an earlier Apple ad campaign: Think