Today the world lost innovate and entrepreneur Steve Jobs to cancer. If this wasn't enough of a tragedy already, Brian Dunning reports that the odds are Jobs would still be alive if he had gone to a hospital instead of a witch doctor when he was found out he had pancreatic cancer.
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 Steve relied on a naturopathic 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.When something terrible happens, people like to blame the things they already dislike. I am no exception, but in this case I just happen to be right.
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. But it was too late. He had a Whipple procedure. He had a liver transplant. And then he died, all too young.
Edit: Dunning has since edited the post I drew the quote from to say Jobs adopted a magic diet from Dr. Dean Ornish, not a naturopath. This does not change my overall point, but does shift it from one form of alternative medicine to another.