Harvard Health Letter

Steve Jobs's cancer

Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors are becoming more common (the bad news) and also more treatable (the good news).

Pancreatic cancer is a dreaded and especially deadly type of cancer. About 44,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year, accounting for approximately 3% of all cancer diagnoses. Unless some dramatic breakthroughs in treatment occur, fewer than 3,000 will be alive in five years.

Steve Jobs fared better than many with pancreatic cancer. The charismatic co-founder of Apple died on Oct. 5, 2011, almost exactly eight years after his cancer was discovered incidentally on a CT scan of his kidneys (the pancreas is near the left kidney). According to the best-selling biography of Jobs that was published shortly after his death, his urologist had urged him to get the scan because of kidney stones he'd had several years earlier.

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