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Steve Jobs regretted cancer surgery delay, biographer says [Video]

October 20, 2011 | 12:06 pm


For months after his pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2004, Steve Jobs decided to try to treat his illness with eastern-style remedies, rather than surgery.  But delaying that surgery may have cost him his long-term health -- and it was a decision he regretted.

This comes from Jobs' biographer, Walter Isaacson, who will appear in an interview this weekend on "60 Minutes" to discuss Jobs and his upcoming book, "Steve Jobs."

According to Isaacson, Jobs had a "very slow growing" type of pancreatic cancer "that can actually be cured," but still opted not to get the surgery until nine months had gone by and it may have been too late.

"I've asked him" why he didn't get the operation, Isaacson told Steve Kroft of "60 Minutes." "And he said, 'I didn't want my body to be opened. … I didn't want to be violated in that way.' I think that he kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don't want something to exist, you can have magical thinking. It'd work for him in the past.  He'd regret it."

Soon, Isaacson says, Jobs' wife and everyone around him convinced him to "quit trying to treat it with all these roots and vegetables and things," he said.  But by then it may have been too late, as the cancer had spread to surrounding tissues.

Isaacson is the only author to whom Jobs gave long-term access, and he conducted more than 40 interviews.  The book is scheduled to come out next week.


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-- David Sarno

Photo: A photo of Steve Jobs is shown under notes written from supporters outside of an Apple store in Palo Alto on Oct. 19, 2011. Credit: Jeff Chiu/AP Photo