Steve Jobs’ death was caused by a rare form of pancreatic cancer. In 2004, Jobs announced that he had undergone surgery for a rare form of the disease called an islet-cell neuroendocrine tumor.
A patient’s best hope for survival may be that the tumor is operable. ABC News reported that in February 2009 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had an early-stage pancreatic tumor removed at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Experts are speculating that Steve Jobs’ cancer may have been a case of late diagnosis.
Allheadlinenews.com reports that pancreatic cancer has become the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. It is also the most deadly with a survival rate of only 6 percent. The American Cancer Society says around 44,030 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011, and about 37,660 will die because of it. Yet there have been no major advances in treatments or early detection.Steve Jobs received a liver transplant five years after his cancer surgery. Dr. Khaled el-Shami, a cancer specialist at George Washington University Medical Center said, according to Voice of America News, “It’s a balance between removing a big chunk of cancer in the liver and the risk of weakening the immune system, which may encourage the original cancer to return, and even the emergence of others.
The chairman of General Surgery at Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Matthew Walsh believes Jobs' cancer was never likely to be cured. He said, “Most patients might think that they are cured of the cancer after treatments. The cancer tends to be a disease that does come back, spreads, does take your strength away.”