Apple CEO Jobs undergoes cancer surgery

“Apple Computer Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs has had successful surgery for a rare form of pancreatic cancer, the company’s co-founder told employees in a company-wide e-mail on Sunday that was made available to Reuters,” Duncan Martell reports for Reuters.

“Jobs, 49, wrote in the e-mail sent from his hospital bed that he plans to return to work in September after recuperating in August. In his absence, Tim Cook, head of worldwide sales and operations, will run the Cupertino, California-based company, maker of the Macintosh computer and popular iPod portable digital music player,” Martell reports.

“‘This weekend I underwent a successful surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from my pancreas,’ Jobs wrote in the e-mail. ‘I had a very rare form of pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, which represents about 1 percent of the total cases of pancreatic cancer diagnosed each year, and can be cured by surgical removal if diagnosed in time (mine was).’ He added that he ‘will not require any chemotherapy or radiation treatments,'” Martell reports. Full article here.

The full text of Steve Jobs’ email to Apple Computer, Inc. employees:

Team,

I have some personal news that I need to share with you, and I wanted you to hear it directly from me.

This weekend I underwent a successful surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from my pancreas. I had a very rare form of pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, which represents about 1 percent of the total cases of pancreatic cancer diagnosed each year, and can be cured by surgical removal if diagnosed in time (mine was). I will not require any chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

The far more common form of pancreatic cancer is called adenocarcinoma, which is currently not curable and usually carries a life expectancy of around one year after diagnosis. I mention this because when one hears “pancreatic cancer” (or Googles it), one immediately encounters this far more common and deadly form, which, thank god, is not what I had.

I will be recuperating during the month of August, and expect to return to work in September. While I’m out, I’ve asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple’s day to day operations, so we shouldn’t miss a beat. I’m sure I’ll be calling some of you way too much in August, and I look forward to seeing you in September.

Steve

PS: I’m sending this from my hospital bed using my 17-inch PowerBook and an Airport Express.

MacDailyNews Take: Get well soon, Steve!

Related MacDailyNews article:
What happens when Steve Jobs dies? – August 20, 2003

66 Comments

  1. Biomedical research only becomes important to people when a life-threatening disease affects someone close to us and we demand answers or cures, but then is usually forgotten for more important matters. You can’t simply demand a cure for todays problem- it takes a sustained effort. Think about your priorities now.

  2. FYI:
    Surg Clin North Am. 2001 Jun;81(3):527-42.
    Islet cell tumors of the pancreas: the medical oncologist’s perspective.
    Islet cell tumors of the pancreas are rare, indolent, neuroendocrine tumors. Approximately 50% of the patients diagnosed with these tumors present with symptoms related to various biologically active hormones that are secreted by these neoplasms. Currently, the only curative treatment for islet cell tumors is complete surgical resection. Management of metastatic disease is conservative. Initial treatment of these tumors includes expectant observation and medical management of symptoms with clinical monitoring and serial CT scans to assess tumor growth. Patients with rapidly progressive disease, with local symptoms caused by tumor bulk, or with uncontrolled symptoms related to hormone secretion require more aggressive medical or surgical intervention. The somatostatin analogue octreotide may help control hormone secretion and stabilize tumor growth. Patients refractory to octreotide with tumor predominantly in the liver are potential candidates for mechanical ablative techniques, such as hepatic arterial embolization. Radiofrequency ablation and cryosurgical techniques may also be useful, although specific data are limited. Surgical resection of metastatic disease may offer palliative relief of symptoms related to hormone secretion in carefully selected patients. Chemotherapy may be used for palliation when ablative techniques have failed or when significant extrahepatic disease is present. Streptozicin-based combinations remain the first line standard, but major objective responses are less common than had been previously thought. Because of the overall modest success of current chemotherapeutic regimens, patients with advanced disease in need of treatment should be encouraged to enroll in clinical trials testing newer antineoplastic agents or newer treatment strategies.

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