The doctor's advice probably included the statistic that around 40,000 Americans are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer every year and around 40,000 Americans die of pancreatic cancer every year. He probably thought he had nothing to lose. Fear of death can do strange things to a logical mind.
Two million Americans are born every year and two million Americans die each year. Death is one of those inevitables but I know what you mean. Jobs got one of the pancreatic cancers that has a favorable outcome. He has plenty of years left in him if he would listen to his doctors. At first he did not.
He has plenty of years left in him if he would listen to his doctors. At first he did not.
Plenty of years? Maybe yes and maybe no. If he were to ask me (fat chance!), I'd tell him to listen to his doctors too. But as I know from personal experience, sometimes the doctors can offer nothing but platitudes and more testing. The "June" thing sounds to me like someone gave him six months (count from January), a nice round figure. I could, of course, be absolutely and totally off track here, but the whole illness thing has been so shrouded in mystery, it makes me suspicious.
...and it's never as simple as 'iron deficiency, take more iron'. All the nutrients we take up in our diet require interaction with other nutrients for best effect - so for example, your body won't take up iron usefully unless you have enough calcium in your diet, and vice versa. A balanced diet is a diverse diet within each day, not good stuff one week, crap food the next. I know a cello teacher who is a 3rd generation vegan and she's one of the healthiest people I know, but she does pay attention to mixing it up well at meal times. Being vegan made me ill, so I stopped it.
_________________________ If it's brokenless, don't suffix it...
I didn't really explain much by my two million born per year, two million die per year but it conveys as much information as 4,000 diagnosed per year 4,000 die per year. On average those born here then go on to live on average 75 or so years and those diagnosed with pancreatic on average are dead in five years.
But that is a terrible use of statistics. I love statistics and hate to see them abused but everyone does it from politicians to economists. So I go to my favorite scientist and reread The Median Isn't the Message by Stephen Jay Gould. Anyone diagnosed with pancreatic or any other type of cancer should read it. Steve Jobs got pancreatic cancer a few years ago and the average life expectancy after diagnosis is five years so he should be dead soon. But that could not be further from the truth for someone like him who has access to the best care in the world. Half of those diagnosed live longer than five years and Steve just needs to figure out how to be in that group. He should listen to his cancer specialists carefully, not to quacks and he could do as well as Stephen Jay Gould did. He got a mesothelioma which had an average life expectancy after surgery of eight months. He lived twenty years more, which was really what statistics showed Gould might very well happen once he analyzed the data properly. Gould would likely have said he did not beat the odds nor was it a miracle because he understood the statistics.
Most cancers are no longer death sentences. Neither are the median or the mean. The Stephen Jay Gould article explains that last sentence.
While I agree that the 40,000 diagnosed / 40,000 die of pancreatic cancer is statistically meaningless, it must be stressed that pancreatic cancer is a killer and the average life expectancy is not five years, it is more like three to six MONTHS. This, number, of course, does not pertain to the rare and more curable form that Jobs had. The fact that roughly the same number of people are dying of the disease as has been diagnosed does indicate that the disease is killing most people who are diagnosed with it, otherwise far fewer than 40,000 people would be dying of pancreatic cancer rather than heart disease, say, or in traffic accidents. The only question is, how long do they have to live after diagnosis; the answer, as stated is less than a year, far less.
Look folks - this doesn't look good- Steve has pancreatic cancer but he has the more survivable form- the islet cell tumor version vs the duct version which is more fatal. I'm trying to find out what the survival rate is for the latter. The former is 5% survival rate after 5 years and the average survival time is 3 to 6 months, BUT Steve does NOT have that type.
The survival for the Islet form depends upon whether the form is benign or malignant and if the latter HOW far has it spread. There are so many unknowns that have NOT been disclosed in Job's case... 1. was it malignant or not ?, and 2. if so had it spread and 3. if so how far ? I think (If we accept their word it's benign and has screwed up his hormones), BUT we don't know that for sure.
"Islet cell cancers overall have a more favorable prognosis than cancers of the exocrine pancreas, and the median survival from diagnosis is three and a half years. This is mainly due to their slow-growing nature. Insulinomas have a five-year survival rate of 80% and gastrinomas have 65%. When malignant, islet cell cancers do not generally respond well to chemotherapy, and the treatment is mainly palliative. Most patients with metastasis do not survive five years. "
I would say that it isn't really up to us to be predicting such things. None of us (that I'm aware of) are medical professionals. And since I'm as guilty of speculating as anyone else, I'll stop it here and now.
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