Respectful Insolence

It’s been a mere two days since Steve Jobs died. Although it hasn’t yet been revealed what his specific cause of death was, it’s a good bet that Jobs’ death was due to a recurrence of his pancreatic cancer, first diagnosed in 2003, for which he underwent surgery in 2004 and ultimately a liver transplant in 2009. It’s a history that I outlined yesterday (at least up to the time the original posts were written) by reposting two posts I wrote about his liver transplant back in 2009. But a funny thing has happened since then, and that’s that Jobs has become a flashpoint in an argument that has nothing do with the technology his company created or his role in the history of American business and technology. Rather, it’s about alternative medicine and what role it did (or did not) play in Jobs’ ultimate demise.

Predictably, first out of the box is the despicable crank known as Mike Adams. As I’ve written about in the case of Patrick Swayze, Tony Snow, Farrah Fawcett, and others, Adams has made a not-so-savory name for himself for ghoulishly (and gleefully) taking advantage of the death of celebrities in order to blame “conventional” medicine for having killed them. It’s a depressing and predictable pattern that continued with Steve Jobs. Indeed, Adams produced an article on Steve Jobs’ death so quickly (within hours of the announcement of Jobs’ passing) that I have to wonder if he had already had it written and teed up, just waiting for Jobs to die. Whatever the case, Adams entitled his article, again predictably enough given his past history, Steve Jobs dead at 56, his life ended prematurely by chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer, which begins with a typical charge (from Adams):

It is extremely saddening to see the cost in human lives that modern society pays for its false belief in conventional medicine and the cancer industry in particular. Visionary Steve Jobs died today, just months after being treated for cancer with chemotherapy at the Stanford Cancer Center in Palo Alto, California. In recent months, he appeared in public photos as a frail shadow of his former self. The thin legs, sunken cheek bones and loss of body weight are all classic signs of total body toxicity observed in chemotherapy and radiotherapy patients.


Or, of course, it could have been the recurrent cancer progressing. Cancer does that, you know.

Adams then goes on and on about how gaunt Jobs looked in his last few public appearances, and, indeed, it’s true. Jobs did start to look quite unhealthy in the time leading up to his liver transplant in 2009, and, even after recovering from his surgery, he never quite looked the same; certainly his gaunt appearance never quite rebounded. In public photos, Jobs never looked truly healthy again, and speculation abounded about the cause. Again, I’ve discussed this in detail multiple times before, most recently in my repost. In 2008, I speculated that maybe he had dumping syndrome from his Whipple operation, and this was before his liver transplant was ever revealed. After his transplant, the reason was less clear.

Be that as it may, Adams then concludes, again quite predictably for him:

In other words, there is no question that Steve Jobs underwent multiple conventional cancer treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

In the end, however, even Steve Jobs could not overturn the laws of biochemistry. When you poison the human body, the result is the deterioration and eventual shut down of the body. Chemotherapy does not work! This fact should now be obvious, and yet every year, more and more people choose chemotherapy to their own demise — people like Farrah Fawcett, Peter Jennings, Patrick Swayze, Michael Douglas and many others (http://www.naturalnews.com/027047_c…).

Don’t they see that conventional cancer treatments do not work?

And:

Yet his remaining life was stolen from him by the cancer industry and its poisons. This is yet another frustrating example of how the modern medical system harms our society. It steals from us the longevity of visionary individuals who have so much more to offer our world in terms of creativity and innovation.

Of course, you can’t blame the cancer industry for causing Jobs’ cancer in the first place. Some other cause had to have been present to get the cancer growing — probably a combination of nutritional deficiencies and exposure to environmental toxins. And yet the cancer establishment says nothing to people about correcting obvious nutritional deficiencies that lead to cancer, even when most cancers can be prevented for mere pennies a day.

The truly ironic thing, of course, is that Jobs lived a lifestyle very similar to the one that Adams touts as an all-purpose cancer preventative. For example, Jobs was widely reported to be a vegan. Indeed, Jobs’ veganism was such “common knowledge” that comedy pieces were written about it. Actually, it’s not clear that Jobs really was a vegan. For instance, it’s been widely reported that he was in fact a pescatarian, which is a vegetarian who will sometimes eat fish, and was a Zen Buddhist. It is, however, clear that Jobs did not eat meat and that the animal rights group PETA has paid homage to him after his death for being a vegetarian and sympathetic to animal rights causes. The point, of course, is that Steve Jobs ate a diet and lived a lifestyle far more similar to the kind that Adams touts as a cure-all or prevent-all for cancer than the “typical” fat- and meat-laden American diet that Adams lambastes.

It goes further than that, though.

As I discussed back when it was first revealed, when Jobs was first diagnosed with his cancer, he decided to try to avoid surgery by undertaking a special diet. Indeed, in the Fortune story (The Trouble With Steve Jobs) that first reported this, Jobs was described as “skeptical of mainstream medicine” and having decided to “employ alternative methods to treat his pancreatic cancer, hoping to avoid the operation through a special diet.” In fact, this is how the 2008 article described the situation:

Jobs’ tumor was discovered in October 2003. He had been getting abdominal scans periodically because of a history of intestinal problems. His doctors noticed a growth that turned out to be an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor – a rare and operable form of pancreatic cancer. With surgery, his long-term prognosis would be good.

But Jobs sought instead to treat his tumor with a special diet while launching a lengthy exploration of alternative approaches. “It’s safe to say he was hoping to find a solution that would avoid surgery,” says one person familiar with the situation. “I don’t know if he truly believed that was possible. The odd thing is, for us what seemed like an alternative type of thing, for him is normal. It’s not out of the ordinary for Steve.”

It’s not clear just what, exactly, this “special diet” was. I do hope that Walter Isaacson’s upcoming biography of Jobs, scheduled to be released October 24, reveals a bit more about Jobs’ diet around that time and what other “alternative” cancer therapies, if any, Jobs pursued during those nine months, give that he did know that Jobs was dying several weeks ago because Jobs told him so in an interview and given that he was also given unprecedented access to Jobs and the people close to him during the last few years. It would also be interesting to know more about the events surrounding Jobs’ liver transplant in 2009. Be that as it may, if anything, Jobs might well have decreased his chances of survival by pursuing exactly the sort of non-science-based program of diets and supplements that Mike Adams routinely holds up as the sort of regimen that will cure or prevent cancer.

There is, however, the chance of taking this argument, namely that Jobs might have died because of his embrace of non-science-based treatments, too far in the other direction. Unfortunately, there are a journalist and a skeptic who should really know better who do just that, using Steve Jobs’ death as evidence of the harm that alternative medicine can do. Now, given my reputation as someone who relentlessly applies the cudgel of reason, science, and critical thinking squarely to the back of the head of woo on a regular basis, you just might think that I would heartily approve of this line of argument. You’d be wrong, not because I have any qualms whatsoever about appropriately blaming alternative medicine when someone pursues alternative medicine and ultimately dies. (I have, after all, done it myself on several occasions.) The key word is “appropriately,” and the reason that I’m not so hot on using Jobs’ death as a “negative anecdote” against “alternative” medicine is because I’m not so sure how appropriate doing so is in Jobs’ case. While Jobs certainly didn’t do himself any favors by waiting nine months to undergo definitive surgical therapy of his tumor, it’s very easy to overstate the potential harm that he did to himself by not immediately letting surgeons resect his tumor shortly after it was diagnosed eight years ago. Unfortunately, Brian Dunning does exactly that in his post A Lesson in Treating Illness (also posted over at Skepticblog):

I’m sad that today I’m adding a slide to one of my live presentations, adding Steve Jobs to the list of famous people who died treating terminal diseases with woo rather than with medicine.

Except that Jobs didn’t; at least, he didn’t for the most part. Aside from the initial nine months, Jobs largely relied on conventional therapy to treat his disease. In fact, he underwent the most invasive, cancer aggressive operation (the Whipple pancreaticoduodenectomy), which is one of the biggest, if not the biggest operation, that surgical oncologists do. Then, after his tumor recurred in his liver, he underwent the biggest, mot technically complex type transplant operation there is, a liver transplant, which, let me tell you, was not made any easier by his previous Whipple operation. Having scrubbed on several liver transplants when I was a resident, I can only imagine how difficult it was to do a liver transplant in the face of such extensive prior surgery. When his cancer apparently recurred a second time earlier this year, Jobs was seen going to the Stanford Cancer Center in Palo Alto, California, looking frail and thin. Tabloid reports on the sightings came complete with speculations from an unethical physician who, based on photos of Jobs leaving the cancer center, proclaimed him “terminal” and predicted that he had only six weeks to live.

Moreover, the other “alternative” therapy reportedly pursued by Jobs in Switzerland was a therapy based on radiation therapy, you know, the kind of therapy known to the likes of Adams as “burning” the cancer. In any case, Jobs apparently traveled to the University Hospital of Basel in Switzerland to receive a form of “hormone-delivered radiotherapy.” For some reason this is being portrayed in the press as somehow “alternative.” In reality, from what I can tell, it’s science-based, but experimental. Basically, in this therapy, radioisotopes are linked to a peptide hormone, receptors for which are found on the tumor being treated. The hormone then binds to the receptors, bringing the radioisotope close enough to the tumor cells to deliver a high dose of radiation. These can be used for imaging and therapy, depending upon the radioisotope linked to them. Examples include glucagon-like peptide-1 and other targets for directing radiation to insulinoma. This therapy is not “alternative,” although it’s not standard of care; it’s definitely science-based.

All of this leaves the sole remaining question regarding the issue of “alternative” medicine and cancer in the case of Steve Jobs as: Did Jobs significantly decrease his chance of surviving his cancer by waiting nine months to undergo surgery? It seems like a no-brainer, but it turns out that that’s actually a very tough question to answer. Certainly, it’s nowhere near as certain as Dunning tries to make it seem when he writes things like:

Eventually it became clear to all involved that his alternative therapy wasn’t working, and from then on, by all accounts, Steve aggressively threw money at the best that medical science could offer. But it was too late. He had a Whipple procedure. He had a liver transplant. And then he died, all too young.

After over seven years of science-based treatments that prolonged his life.

One has to be very, very careful about making this sort of argument. For one thing, it could not have been apparent that it was “too late” back in 2004, when it became clear that Jobs’ dietary manipulations weren’t working. For another thing, we don’t know how large the tumor was, whether it progressed or simply failed to shrink over those nine months, and by how much it increased in size, if increase in size it did. Again, I hope that information will be revealed in the Jobs’ biography; such data would go a long way in clarifying just how much, if at all, Jobs might have compromised his chance for cure by delaying. Right now, we just don’t know enough to make even a good guesstimate. Based on what we do know now, the thing that has to be remembered is that neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas tend for the most part to be fairly indolent, slow-growing tumors. In fact, reporter Sharon Begley gets it closer to correct when she describes the situation thusly:

Even those that have been present for years, and in some cases decades, often stay safely confined to the pancreas. This kind of cancer can be so indolent that patients often die with it than from it. Although an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed every year with neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas, autopsies find the disease in hundreds more–people who were apparently not harmed by this very slow-growing cancer.

In other words, it’s very much overstating the case to write, as Dunning does:

As he dieted for nine months, the tumor progressed, and took him from the high end to the low end of the survival rate.

We don’t know that this was the case, and we certainly can’t say that for sure–or even with a great deal of certainty. To reiterate, I would certainly agree that Jobs did himself no favors by waiting. If I were his physician or the surgeon to whom he was referred, I would have done my best to talk him out of such a course of action, but I would do so more out of the uncertainty of not knowing how fast his tumor would progress. So, is it possible, even likely, that Jobs compromised his chances of survival? Yes. Is it definite that he did? No, it’s not, at least it’s not anywhere as definite as Dunning makes it sound. In fact, based on statistics alone, it’s unlikely that a mere nine months took Jobs “from the high end to the low end of the survival rate,” as Dunning puts it. That’s just not how insulinomas usually behave from a biological standpoint. They’re too indolent, and that’s not even taking into account issues of lead time bias and other confounding factors that would make comparisons of operating early versus operating later not as straightforward as one might think.

It turns out that Sharon Begley’s story is far more accurate in its assessment of Jobs’ indulgence in alternative medicine, but even she stumbles a bit:

Not that the surgery was a walk in the park. In many cases, says Kim, “you can just remove the tumor with a little of the surrounding [pancreatic] tissue.” But Jobs’s was not such a simple case. He underwent an operation called a modified Whipple procedure, or a pancreatoduodenectomy, Fortune reported. The surgery removes the right side of the pancreas, the gallbladder, and parts of the stomach, bile duct, and small intestine. The fact that so much more than the pancreas itself had to be removed suggests that Jobs’s cancer had spread beyond the pancreas. The cancer might have already spread by the time it was discovered in 2003, though Jobs’s sanguine description of his prognosis suggests that if that were the case, the metastasis might have been so small– “micrometastases”–as to be undetectable. Alternatively, the cancer could have spread during the nine months that Jobs was experimenting with nonstandard therapies.

No, the fact that more than the pancreas had to be removed means that the head of the pancreas had to be removed, which requires removing parts of other organs to do. The tumor could be a centimeter in diameter or several centimeters in size. It wouldn’t matter; if the tumor is in the head of the pancreas and the surgeon judges that it can’t be safely enucleated for whatever reason, be it proximity to the pancreatic duct or whatever, then the head of the pancreas has to come out. If the head of the pancreas has to come out, then from a strictly anatomical standpoint achieving that resection requires removing the duodenum, often part of the stomach (although pylorus-sparing Whipples can preserve the whole stomach), the gallbladder, and part of the bile duct, as I pointed out again yesterday. It says very little about the extent of the tumor that Jobs required a Whipple, although it does say a lot about the location of the tumor. That the surgeon opted to do a Whipple also tells us that there probably wasn’t any evidence of metastatic spread of the tumor at the time. Otherwise, I doubt the surgeon would have recommended as huge of an operation as a Whipple just for palliation. Indeed, Whipple operations are generally done with curative intent and only very rarely done for palliation. The morbidity is too high to justify doing such an operation when it can’t save the patient’s life. In fact, it’s not unreasonable to infer from the willingness of the surgeon to do a Whipple operation that, as far as could be determined, Jobs’ tumor was still restricted to the head of the pancreas and thus still potentially curable, even after nine months’ delay. Also take into account that Jobs’s tumor was originally diagnosed by a CT scan done for unclear indications, meaning that it detected the tumor probably far earlier than it would have been detected from symptoms, and Jobs should have had an excellent prognosis.

As we all know now, he did not.

If there’s one thing we’re learning increasingly about cancer, it’s that biology is king and queen, and that our ability to fight biology is depressingly limited. In retrospect, we can now tell that Jobs clearly had a tumor that was unusually aggressive for an insulinoma. Such tumors are usually pretty indolent and progress only slowly. Indeed, I’ve seen patients and known a friend of a friend who survived many years with metastatic neuroendocrine tumors with reasonable quality of life. Jobs was unfortunate in that he appears to have had an unusually aggressive form of the disease that probably would have killed him no matter what. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t take into account his delay in treatment and wonder if it contributed to his ultimate demise. It very well might have, the key word being “might.” We don’t know that it did, which is one reason why we have to be very, very careful not to overstate the case and attribute his death as being definitely due to the delay in therapy due to his wanting to “go alternative.” It’s also important to remember that, as much of a brilliant visionary Jobs was, even brilliant visionaries can make bad decisions when it comes to health.

Comments

  1. #1 anon
    October 7, 2011

    fwiw, and not worth much I am sure, I posted a comment at skeptoid’s blog yesterday that said much the same thing as the gist of your analysis here. Skeptoid chose not to take that comment out of moderation.

  2. #2 frozenwarnings
    October 7, 2011

    Thank you for a sensible view. I was banging on about this yesterday. For a start we don’t actually even know for a fact that Jobs used any kind of alternative therapy or diet. His obsessive privacy means that all we have is journalistic speculation as far as I can see. Secondly he is hardly a good example of the harm that altmed can do considering the amount of real treatment he underwent. In fact, we know virtually nothing about his health other than he died of a form of cancer.
    Sceptics should rely on facts, not speculation.

  3. #3 Paul Ingraham
    October 7, 2011

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for emphasizing that we simply do not yet know what Mr. Jobs did or did not do. This is one of the only sensible things I’ve read on the topic so far. I protested yesterday, and have seen alarmingly few signs of other skeptics reserving judgement until we know the facts of the case.

    It is a black eye for the entire skeptical community that, apparently, all so many of us could only see in Dunning’s allegation was a juicy opportunity to confirm our bias. And there’s the real skeptical lesson here: a rather sobering reminder that no one is immune to cognitive distortions. This is just as sad as the unconfirmed possibility that Mr. Jobs might have disastrously delayed effective treatment.

  4. #4 Paul Browne
    October 7, 2011

    By far the best commentary I’ve read on this so far, good work Orac!

  5. #5 Jon H
    October 7, 2011

    If Jobs’ story from the Stanford speech is accurate, and the doctor wept in relief after the biopsy that revealed the type of cancer he had, after earlier telling Jobs to get his affairs in order (because he had little time to live), I’d think that might have contributed to giving Jobs an apparent signal that he had time to investigate other approaches.

    Had Jobs initially been diagnosed with a different kind of cancer, not the usual pancreatic cancer that kills quickly, not the slow-growing neuroendocrine type, but somewhere in the middle, he might not have risked the alternative cures at all.

  6. #6 Dangerous Bacon
    October 7, 2011

    This exploitative anti-oncology crankery is par for the Mike Adams course, but otherwise I worry that he’s slipping ever deeper into a paranoid alternative reality.

    For instance, he has a column up on NatNews about jack-booted government thugs forcing their way into the homes of innocent Americans and confiscating their lemon trees, for apparently no other reason than that they’re evil Fascists. Overlooked is the explanation that a bunch of people bought lemon trees from an online nursery using a source that was possibly infected with diseases potentially devastating to the citrus industry, hence the USDA stepping in.
    I thought of this when I saw a Wall St. Journal article earlier this week about giant African snails overrunning Miami, and teams of official eradicators going house to house to remove the snails (which are eating everything in sight). It’s believed that this latest outbreak may have been started by someone importing them for religious/healing rituals. In some cases the people being cured developed nasty stomach lumps after consuming snail mucus.

    Any day now there should be a Mike Adams column condemning the totalitarian U.S. thugs who are confiscating Magical Healing Snails on behalf of Big Pharma.

  7. #7 Tyro
    October 7, 2011

    Thanks for the moderation. I saw Dunning’s response and it caught me by surprise. I was sitting on it and withholding judgment until you or Dr Novella had a chance to respond. Sounds like I made the right call and we should wait until more data comes in.

    Thanks again.

  8. #8 Mike
    October 7, 2011

    One rumor the “special diet” was a macrobiotic diet drawn up by his wife.

    There might be some truth to Jobs being a vegan – I was at Apple during the time Jobs came back to Apple in 1996/1997. The company cafeteria within weeks of his returning dramatically expanded and improved its vegetarian and vegan menus.

  9. #9 Jojo
    October 7, 2011

    This is the best article I’ve seen about the topic so far. Very rational and science based. I really appreciate that instead of grabbing an opportunity to rant about alt med, you stayed consistent and handled the topic in reasonable manner. Much classier than the ghouls.

    @Dangerous Bacon – Well, that link effectively ruined my lunch.

  10. #10 Calli Arcale
    October 7, 2011

    Yeah, it’s so easy to take stories like this and fit them to one’s personal axe to grind, but the truth is that very few cases do the celebrities involved provide enough information for even armchair analysis. Patrick Swayze talked very openly of his pancreatic cancer; Steve Jobs, meanwhile, was so private that even many of his colleagues didn’t know he had cancer until he actually had to take time off for the surgery. And he was a very private person, outside of his work with Apple. I didn’t even know he had kids. (I figured it was probable, but I’d never heard a thing about them. And that’s fine; celebrities who manage to achieve privacy have something far more precious than any millions they might be earning.)

    Did he spend too much time on alt med? None of us knows. We all have an opinion, of course, but it would be hard enough for his own doctors to predict the might-have-beens, and they actually know the details of his disease.

    I am reminded suddenly of the recent death of Elizabeth Sladen, the actress beloved for her portrayal of Sarah Jane Smith on “Doctor Who” and assorted spinoffs. She had battled cancer for a while, apparently, but even her costars and producers had no idea until they were notified that she had passed away. She had kept her private life and her professional life separate; when she was being paid to work, she worked, and she worked hard. I think Steve Jobs was a lot like that as well, at least in terms of work ethic. Health problems are not relevant unless they are impeding the work, so until they do, keep plugging away and focus on your job.

  11. #11 Michael Finfer, MD
    October 7, 2011

    Islet cell tumors (or pancreatic endocrine neoplasms as they are now called) comprise a spectrum ranging from indolent, low grade tumors resembling classic carcinoid tumor to highly aggressive tumors resembling small cell carcinoma. Of course, we don’t know what Steve Jobs had, but I think that there are scenarios in which a nine month delay in treatment would have a significant impact on a patient’s chances of long term survival.

  12. #12 Orac
    October 7, 2011

    Jobs had an insulinoma. These tend to fall on the more indolent side of the spectrum. In any case, I’m not saying there aren’t scenarios where a nine month delay wouldn’t make a difference. I’m saying that, based on what we know of Steve Jobs’ case, nine months probably didn’t make much of a difference.

  13. #13 Mattand
    October 7, 2011

    Great article, Orac.

    @#1 anon:

    I can’t say I’m surprised at Dunning’s or his moderator’s action. This probably makes me a traitor to the skeptical movement, but I’ve never been that impressed with Dunning.

    IIRC, in a early Skeptoid, he stated he didn’t post his research via show notes as he felt it was up to the listener to verify what he was saying. I believe that’s changed since then.

    Another red flag for me is his tendency to point out how “controversial” his views are. In my admittedly anecdotal experience, people who say that tend to be obsessed about not being politically correct at the expense of accuracy.

    Don’t get me wrong; Dunning does have some interesting things to say. His dustup with Bug Girl over DDT being an exception, I just wonder sometimes if his skin is much thinner than many skeptics care to admit.

  14. #14 LindaRosaRN
    October 7, 2011

    Interesting essay.

    This case initially made me wonder if it shares any common thread with a number of other celebrity cases where the celebrities would have been better off if they had just gotten standard care. While we may never get the full picture of Jobs’ illness, what I would find most interesting of all is know Jobs’ thoughts about diet and CAM vs. medicine.

  15. #15 Denice Walter
    October 7, 2011

    What has been disturbing me lately is the new woo meme: start with woo. As we know many of the so-called cures touted by alt med ( e.g. Suzanne Somers) have curative SB surgery *first*. But they attriibute their success to the subsequent nonsense.

    While I haven’t heard Null pontificate yet, you can be sure that Mr Jobs’ death will be used as a selling point for cancer cure products – how-to books and films, supplements- before he’s dead a week.

  16. #16 TBruce
    October 7, 2011

    As Mike Adams mentions, it’s tragic how Michael Douglas met his demise from chemotherapy. However, he’s pretty active and good looking, considering he’s dead.

  17. #17 Dianne
    October 7, 2011

    Is there any evidence that Jobs ever had chemotherapy of any sort? There’s no real good standard chemotherapy for neuroendocrine pancreatic tumors (though I think mtor inhibitors may have some efficacy) and it sounds like he went with surgical options for the most part.

  18. #18 Th1Th2
    October 7, 2011

    The title is incorrect. It should be “Steve Jobs, neuroendocrine tumors, and iAtrogenesis

  19. #19 TBruce
    October 7, 2011

    This case initially made me wonder if it shares any common thread with a number of other celebrity cases where the celebrities would have been better off if they had just gotten standard care.

    It’s been my observation that celebrities often get substandard medical care – Michael Jackson, for example. I think a lot of it has to do with celebrities surrounding themselves with toadies who enable them, whether it’s with Woocare, abuse of prescriptions, addictions, ill-advised plastic surgery, etc.

  20. #20 lilady
    October 7, 2011

    What I find interesting is the statement made by Jobs’ authorized biographer about the reason for giving him unprecedented access to Jobs…”so that his children would know him…because he wasn’t always ‘there’ for them during their early childhood”. Walter Isaacson, the biographer also had interviewed Jobs during the end stages of his illness and it is reported that the length of the book is expanded.

    No matter what is revealed in the expanded book about “alternative” treatment, the woo meisters will “spin it” to conform to their theories of cancer and its treatment.

  21. #21 herpinderpin
    October 7, 2011

    Why all the crying from the quack mainstream scientists? STeve jobs was diagnosed in 2003, operated on in 2004, and survived until 2011. By all scientific measurements, he was cured. Put up a stiff upper life, quacks. You cured him. lol!!!!!

  22. #22 Jenora Feuer
    October 7, 2011

    I think a lot of it has to do with celebrities surrounding themselves with toadies who enable them, [...]

    Yeah. My comment about Michael Jackson from around the time of his death was that part of his problem was that he was constantly surrounded by an ablative shield of yes-men. A whole lot of his life might have gone better if he’d had someone willing to say to him, “This is a bad idea.”

  23. #23 S.W.
    October 7, 2011

    “Aside from the initial nine months, Jobs largely relied on conventional therapy to treat his disease[.]“

    Seriously?!?! If you think leaving a highly aggressive form of cancer essentially untreated for nine months isn’t relevant to the question, you’re deluding yourself. Nine months is between 50 and 100% of the total life expectancy. To dismiss nine months of inaction during the most critical window of treatment is not merely wrong on the science, it’s pretty intellectually dishonest.

  24. #24 Vicki
    October 7, 2011

    S.W.: (Re)read the post, please. The point is that Jobs didn’t have “a highly aggressive form of cancer”: he had a much less aggressive form of cancer in the same location. Yes, they are both referred to casually as “pancreatic cancer,” but that doesn’t mean they’re the same thing.

  25. #25 TBruce
    October 7, 2011

    and yet every year, more and more people choose chemotherapy to their own demise — people like…Michael Douglas…

    Douglas sure looks good for a dead guy.

  26. #26 Militant Agnostic
    October 7, 2011

    TBruce @16 and @25

    Douglas sure looks good for a dead guy.

    This could be a sign of the impending zombie apocalypse.

  27. #27 allison burgueno
    October 7, 2011

    First, let me say I’ve been crying for a couple of days now on and off about the loss of this great icon. I wouldn’t be who i am today if it weren’t for his inventions.
    1. We’re taking his word and the journalists word for it about the cancer. I’m not calling anybody a liar, but…
    2. There’s nothing wrong with the Macrobiotic diet. When followed correctly, it can have very good health effects for certain people. It did not contribute to making his condition worse.
    3. There is documented proof that “alternative” therapies work and prolong life.
    4. Chemo is hard on the immune system. If he did have it after the Whipple, his immune system may have already taken a severe hit. Now that his body had already produced a tumour and there was “cancer” imprinting in his digestive system, it could have re-occurred.

    Living a very intense and stressful life, especially around things that emit radiation can lead to health issues.

    I have had two friends now die of pancreatic cancer. The first was given 3 months to live and he lived 3 years.

    I have had one non-blood relatives die from cancer, one live, and one blood relative die, one smoked and worked in the energy sector, one is living and plays golf daily, works out and is 80, the last drank, smoked, ate poorly and did recreational drugs. Only one received chemo – the first. The second is still living as said (and does “alternate” therapies) and the third decided against chemo.

    With the first – they say “the chemo killed him”
    With the second – he’ll die with it
    With the third – we didn’t catch it until it was too advanced.

    All are men with high stress.

    You’ll never know unless you can talk to the person and get them to tell you the truth.

    What can we take away?

  28. #28 Jarred C
    October 7, 2011

    Allison,

    The macrobiotic diet does not prevent or cure cancer. Followed to the core, it’s a dangerous diet that can lead to severe malnutrition. If you decide to take bits of the macrobiotic diet and simply incorporate it into your normal diet, then you may or may not have health benefits, depending on what your normal diet consists of.

    Above all else, however, the macrobiotic diet is based on false premises. The concept of yin and yang, while a nifty myth, is not actually real. Food does not have properties of yin and yang, and ensuring that your diet consists of proper yin and yang balanced foods will not make you healthier.

    Yin and yang have nothing to do with diet or health.

  29. #29 lilady
    October 7, 2011

    @ allison burgueno: I visited your url website and you say you want to start a business as a consultant to schools to teach school children about growing their own food and self-sufficiency.

    You also state you support a local dairy that sells “raw goat milk”.

    I suggest you take some courses about food safety and nutritional values of “raw milk”…before you promote yourself as an expert:

    Raw Milk & Pasteurization: Debunking Milk Myths

    While pasteurization has helped provide safe, nutrient-rich milk and cheese for over 120 years, some people continue to believe that pasteurization harms milk and that raw milk is a safe healthier alternative.

    Here are some common myths and proven facts about milk and pasteurization:

    * Pasteurizing milk DOES NOT cause lactose intolerance and allergic reations. Both raw milk and pasteurized milk can cause allergic reactions in people sensitive to milk proteins.
    * Raw milk DOES NOT kill dangerous pathogens by itself.
    * Pasteurization DOES NOT reduce milk’s nutritional value.
    * Pasteurization DOES NOT mean that it is safe to leave milk out of the refrigerator for extended time, particularly after it has been opened.
    * Pasteurization DOES kill harmful bacteria.
    * Pasteurization DOES save lives.

    (FDA-The Dangers of Raw Milk)

  30. #30 Militant Agnostic
    October 7, 2011

    3. There is documented proof that “alternative” therapies work and prolong life.

    Apparently we are supposed to take your word for this.

    Living a very intense and stressful life, especially around things that emit radiation can lead to health issues.

    What kind of radiation? I see a scare word here.

  31. #31 herr doktor bimler
    October 7, 2011

    jack-booted government thugs forcing their way into the homes of innocent Americans and confiscating their lemon trees

    “It’s part of Moriarty’s cunning plan.”
    “How do you know that, Holmes?”
    “A lemon tree, my dear Watson.”

  32. #32 Denice Walter
    October 7, 2011

    @ Militant Agnostic:

    The zombies will descend upon Asbury Park, NJ Oct 21-3. They do every year. ( see njzombiewalk.com)
    Glad I’ll be elsewhere.

  33. #33 Jarred C
    October 7, 2011

    Why are nearly all my comments automatically subjected to moderation approval? I am not, nor have I ever been a troll, a sock-puppet, or a spammer.

    In fact, of my previous four comments (one of which is currently held up for approval), the only one that didn’t need mod approval was the one with the link.

    Did the rules for moderation change in the past few months, or am I on some sort of list?

    Sorry for the off-topic post.

  34. #34 Composer99
    October 7, 2011

    Militant Agnostic & TBruce:

    You mean zombie apocalypse & dead celebrities like Bill Murray?

    (Spoiler warning if anyone (a) hasn’t watched Zombieland and (b) still wants to do so unspoiled.)

  35. #35 Beamup
    October 7, 2011

    1. We’re taking his word and the journalists word for it about the cancer. I’m not calling anybody a liar, but…

    Yeah, right. There’s zero reason to make such a comment except to call him a liar.

    2. There’s nothing wrong with the Macrobiotic diet. When followed correctly, it can have very good health effects for certain people. It did not contribute to making his condition worse.

    [citation needed]

    3. There is documented proof that “alternative” therapies work and prolong life.

    [citation needed]. Especially since, once they’re scientifically validated, they become part of science-based medicine and cease to be “alternative.”

    4. Chemo is hard on the immune system. If he did have it after the Whipple, his immune system may have already taken a severe hit. Now that his body had already produced a tumour and there was “cancer” imprinting in his digestive system, it could have re-occurred.

    Sounds like you’re claiming that chemo caused the recurrence. [citation needed]

    Living a very intense and stressful life, especially around things that emit radiation can lead to health issues.

    OK, I’ll bite. To what specific radiation exposures are you referring? Keeping in mind that everyone is exposed to a good deal of ionizing radiation (cosmic rays being generally the dominant source of exposure) and so to be relevant any exposure must be significant in comparison to that background.

  36. #36 Roadstergal
    October 7, 2011

    @30 Herr Doktor: Oh god.

    What can we take away?

    That you’re a fan of unverifiable anecdotes and blanket statements unsupported by data?

  37. #37 allison burgueno
    October 7, 2011

    Steve’s choices and my choices are ours alone. I don’t push raw milk on others, certainly not other people’s children. I’m not saying I’m an expert, I believe in empowering future generations to be self-sufficient, educated enough to make their own choices and not those prescribed for them by the FDA. I do not pretend to be a doctor or give expert advice on medicine. I think that the idea of learning where food comes from is key for the health of future generations.

    Non-ionizing radiation – is supposedly the “safe” kind, yet we’re recommended to limit our exposure.

    I’ll miss following Jobs, really I will. Goodbye, farewell, goodbye.

  38. #38 herr doktor bimler
    October 7, 2011

    Adams has made a not-so-savory name for himself for ghoulishly (and gleefully) taking advantage of the death of celebrities

    One thing I have learned from Adams is that only celebrities ever have cancer. Or if it happens to non-celebrities, their survival or death is of no interest to him.

    In some cases the people being cured developed nasty stomach lumps after consuming snail mucus.

    “Alimentary, my dear Watson.”

  39. #39 allison burgueno
    October 7, 2011

    As I said – I’m not disrespecting anyone, if it is so that the tumour easily operable and was non-aggressive then he should have been in the clear?
    in his Stanford speech he said, “I’m fine now.”
    We all know that was not true.
    I am not saying that Macrobiotics cures cancer.
    People confuse modern macrobiotics with veganism. Modern macrobiotics allows some animal protein to balance the vitamin deficiency issues with veganism.
    http://macrobiotics.co.uk/cancer.htm
    http://www.ohsawamacrobiotics.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=29&Itemid=24
    http://www.gerson.org/

  40. #40 Narad
    October 7, 2011

    Steve’s choices and my choices are ours alone. I don’t push raw milk on others, certainly not other people’s children.

    “Why do you suddenly mention other people’s children?” Tom asked chattely.

  41. #41 CG
    October 7, 2011

    Non-ionizing radiation – is supposedly the “safe” kind, yet we’re recommended to limit our exposure.

    Why yes, to UV radiation which can cause thymine dimers and induce mutations.
    Anything lower energy is pretty much harmless. You don’t see people wanting you to limit your visible light exposure.

  42. #42 Jarred C
    October 7, 2011

    Allison, I checked out your links. The Gerson link is particularly amusing. It’s a juicer diet (consuming raw “organic” fruits and vegies blended into juice); and it claims that eating nearly 20 pounds of fruit and vegies (only) per day will cure cancer.

    To help with the process, they “detox” (as a toxicologist, I can tell you that detoxification programs like the one Gerson is selling is completely worthless and will not rid your body of toxins). Their detox program is coffee enemas.

    Oh, and Gerson works, because, “we treat the cause of the disease, not just the symptoms.” That should tell you right away that they’re nothing but a snake-oil salesman.

  43. #43 lilady
    October 7, 2011

    It seems that Allison is promoting some “odd” pseudoscience “commercial” sites.

    (hint to Allison) When we ask for citations…we don’t expect links to commercial sites that hawk macrobiotic books and tapes or to the notorious Gerson cancer treatment site. Why not try PubMed for studies that appear in peer reviewed journals, the American Dietetic Association, the National Cancer Institute or American Cancer Society websites for “citations”.

    What can we take away?

  44. #44 Amber Ghaffar
    October 7, 2011

    hmmm wait and see would be better approach rather speculating or commenting on cause of death,could not believe that such a great sense person can undergo so high in confidence and let himself in danger ,so for me its kinda unbelievable but i feel waiting for biography is better option.

  45. #45 Militant Agnostic
    October 7, 2011

    2. There’s nothing wrong with the Macrobiotic diet.

    One might say the same about the Paleo Diet* as well as a few other of the less loony orthorexias. In fact I have a hunch that if one was say, an Inuit the latter might be much healthier than the former.

    *Of the various orthorexias, this is probably the closest to what I eat. However, I recognize that it is based on the naturalistic fallacy and the separate evolution of lactase persistance in Northern Europe and East Africa shoots a hole in the argument that we have not evolved to adapt to agriculture.

  46. #46 Dangerous Bacon
    October 7, 2011

    allison: “1. We’re taking his word and the journalists word for it about the cancer. I’m not calling anybody a liar, but…

    I know, you’re Just Asking Questions.

    “There is documented proof that “alternative” therapies work and prolong life.”

    Work for what? Prolong life in what situations? Pancreatic cancer? Think again.

    “Chemo is hard on the immune system.”

    Cancer isn’t great for the immune system either.

    “You’ll never know unless you can talk to the person and get them to tell you the truth.

    What can we take away?”

    That anecdotes are basically worthless. But as I always say, live fast, die young and leave a wasted, prematurely aged corpse.

  47. #47 lilady
    October 7, 2011

    “What can we take away?”

    We only pass this way once…and it we play our cards right…once is enough.

  48. #48 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 7, 2011

    “What can we take away?”
    It depends on the restaurant.

  49. #49 herr doktor bimler
    October 7, 2011

    “Chemo is hard on the immune system.”
    Cancer isn’t great for the immune system either.

    As Orac noted in the previous thread, immunosuppressive post-transplant drugs have a side-effect of, umm, suppressing the immune system.

    If Jobs didn’t get around to announcing whether or not he had undergone chemotherapy, I’m happy to accept that it was his own business.

  50. #50 palindrom
    October 7, 2011

    I thought I might change the subject a tad and say that I have (and still have, thankfully) an old friend who underwent a Whipple when they found a mass on his pancreas basically by accident — by the grace of His Noodly Appendage, it turned out to be benign.

    But the Whipple was just incredibly hard. Apparently, they practically saw you in half and then stitch you back together after doing a whole lot of internal remodeling. He’s a physician himself, and he said that surgeons visibly wince when he tells them he needed a Whipple.

    It’s conceivable that any decision by Jobs to delay his surgery may have been motivated by a wish to avoid this really fearsome procedure if possible.

  51. #51 Denice Walter
    October 7, 2011

    Sickeningly enough, Adams follows up the Jobs story with one about a nutritionist- Fred Bisci- who “could have cured” the innovator because he had cured his own brother of pancreatic cancer until he backslid.

    This is all too common amongst the woo-slingers : perpetrating diet myths, reaching out to celebrities who are ill ( e.g. Aretha Franklin), and blaming people who die of cancer.

  52. #52 Jonathan Browne
    October 7, 2011

    Your premise here is flawed, as possibly was Steve Jobs. The premise being that an alternative medicine treatment should “kill” the cancer in 9 months. If your going to go alternative, you have to commit. It took the body a number of years for the cancer to develop. Its simple logic that it will take the body a number of years to “fight” the cancer.

    I’ll tell you one thing that you could definitely produce thousands of strong studies for, mr. “evidence based medicine” (i.e. mr. selectively ignore all evidence for anything that is not purely conventional or mildly experimental allopathic medicine.”.

    …. the effects of immunosuppressing drugs and having an entirely new liver that the immune system would try to fight if it wasn’t knocked nearly into nonexistence, is certainly FAR more stressful to the immune system than the cancer itself.

    Steve was close friends with Dean Ornish who advocates the role of diet in prevention, and vegetarianism. This story goes deep, i’d love to find out more. From what i’ve read about Dean Ornish he was a dude who in med school wanted to kill himself until he met an indian swami and went on a spiritual path.

    The problem, in my opinion, is that Steve was probably being advised by guys like Dean who are medical doctors who know that a healthy lifestyle can prevent and sometimes reverse disease, but are not willing to take the next logical step and really look deeply into alternative medicines beyond the accepted CAM treatment which isthings like eating lots of vegetables, meditating etc. He needed to NOT be doing chemotherapy or surgery and in the case of pancreatic cancer taking large quantities of high quality digestive enzymes, stepping down from the role of ceo of a multibillion dollar company to resolve any emotional issues he may have had (which are indicated to have definitely existed in the reports already coming out about how he wanted his biographer with im in the time leading up to his death in order to try to explain to his kids why he wasn’t always there for them) , doing extensive blood testing (that most hospitals do not ever do) to make sure all nutrients and hormones were at optimal levels, drinking large quantities of fresh raw juice, etc.

    He also should have donated a large percentage of his fortune instead of just leaving massive amounts of money to his family that they will have no idea what to do with.

    This is not to say that he was a bad man for not doing that, but I think coming closer and closer to a possible end to your life with a massive fortune accrued but not leaving a legacy of humanitarian efforts, just selling a bunch of cool looking well designed electronic devices, that is going to weigh on the subconscious mind.

    What most of you people who are honest about it will finally realize eventually, that are clinging to your allopathic medicine, despite it’s track record of both pushing the us closer and closer to bankruptcy and resulting in or at least coexisting in, an environment were disease of all kinds is rapidly growing not reducing – is that the mind IS an essential part of recovery from disease, and the science (which is in many cases actually already there if you look for it) will become more and more available and undeniable.

    But of course, the followers of this blog will continue to regard everything with suspicion until it is brought to them by a doctor near you.

    And the world keeps going on like that. Every advance in human kind was accompanied by tons of people staunchly defending the established ideas and modalities to the death, and scoffing at the claims of the wild eyed heretics daring to overturn old ideas.

  53. #53 Chris
    October 7, 2011

    Jonathan Browne:

    Your premise here is flawed, as possibly was Steve Jobs. The premise being that an alternative medicine treatment should “kill” the cancer in 9 months.

    Who is this directed to?

    Orac said: “While Jobs certainly didn’t do himself any favors by waiting nine months to undergo definitive surgical therapy of his tumor, it’s very easy to overstate the potential harm that he did to himself by not immediately letting surgeons resect his tumor shortly after it was diagnosed eight years ago.”

    Also what evidence do you have for this statement: “But of course, the followers of this blog will continue to regard everything with suspicion until it is brought to them by a doctor near you.”

    Though I have a feeling you are new here, since you use the term “allopathic” like it has any real meaning aside from a derogatory term used for real medicine by quacks.

  54. #54 tim gueguen
    October 7, 2011

    Browne, your last statement is called the Gallileo Gambit. “They were wrong about Gallileo, so they’re wrong about what I believe in!” It’s a flawed idea, as all sorts of heritical ideas are bullshit. There’s nothing else in your post that hasn’t been seen here before, and come up wanting.

  55. #55 Narad
    October 7, 2011

    This is not to say that he was a bad man for not doing that, but I think coming closer and closer to a possible end to your life with a massive fortune accrued but not leaving a legacy of humanitarian efforts, just selling a bunch of cool looking well designed electronic devices, that is going to weigh on the subconscious mind.

    What is the difference between the perceived world and the “subconscious” mind, Jonathan?

  56. #56 Julia
    October 8, 2011

    “Every advance in human kind was accompanied by tons of people staunchly defending the established ideas and modalities to the death, and scoffing at the claims of the wild eyed heretics daring to overturn old ideas”

    As Carl Sagan put it;
    “But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”

    Your post is so full of fallacies and tropes it is difficult to know where to start. If your religious beliefs are true what do you have to lose if you do a deep investigation onto why people say you are wrong? That would be an intellectually honest way to go. The fact is though, the more a person feels persecuted the more tightly they will cling to their religious beliefs.

    I call them religious because they are more like faith statements in contrast to science where you would attempt to falsify your hypothesis rather than read only what backs up your beliefs. Hypotheses that cannot ever be disproven are not real science. This is true in law courts and in science. Are you saying that your beliefs are religious or are saying they science? If they are science then produce the proof or go away to your church of non-“allopathic” “medicine” [Just as true as Christian Science].

  57. #57 SocraticGadfly
    October 8, 2011

    Orac, there’s already an “unauthorized,” but apparently very good, bio of Jobs out. Maybe it will have details you’re expecting Isaacson to provide, which he likely won’t. http://www.amazon.com/Second-Coming-Steve-Jobs/dp/0767904338

  58. #58 David N. Brown
    October 8, 2011

    Let’s see if I can run throught the options for alternative medicine:

    1. Dead celebrity used chemotherapy= blame chemo

    2. Dead celebrity used chemo and alternative medicine= blame chemo.

    3. Dead celebrity used alternative medicine= take credit for him not dying even sooner.

    David N. Brown
    Mesa, Arizona

  59. #59 lilady
    October 8, 2011

    @ Jonathan: I visited your web page and I imagine you are feeling very down about your father who was diagnosed with mesothelioma. However, that is not a valid excuse for your accusations directed at Orac or any of the regular posters here.

    Most of the posters here have a science background. We are well versed in the science of the practice of medicine and many of us are licensed clinicians, biologists, chemists and researchers. We went into our fields of study and our professions because of our sincere desires to use our education and our desires to leave this world a better place.

    Orac has blogged extensively about well-known, “popular” alternative practitioners including your hero Dr. Dean Ornish.

    It is obvious to all of us that you are simply not an expert in any field of medicine or science and that this discussion is beyond your capabilities. It is also beyond your capabilities to discuss the the costs of a highly technical and advanced medical system and its impact on the United States budget.

    We will of course be asking you to provide some citations about the efficacy of “alternative” treatments from peer reviewed medical journals.

    BTW, none of us practice “allopathic” medicine…we only practice science-based medicine.

  60. #60 Militant Agnostic
    October 8, 2011

    Jonathan Browne @51

    I hear a lot anger in your comment. Better watch that – it could be bad for your health.

    You keep using the word allopathic – would you care to define it.

    I also noticed that you close on the tired old Galileo gambit.

  61. #61 Don Gwinn
    October 8, 2011

    Regarding the radiotherapy in Switzerland, my admittedly knee-jerk reaction is that you may be giving reporters too much credit. I think it’s likely that the reason they labeled that treatment as “alternative” even though it seems to be science-based to you is that they don’t share your practice of drawing the line at whether a given treatment is based on scientific research or woo. They consider that radiotherapy to be a new way of thinking, outside the box, and believe that it is a challenge to the dogmatic orthodoxy of Western Medicine (boo!)
    They think that homeopathy and Bio-Acoustics and psychic surgery are in the same class–new and challenging notions that are shunned by evil Western Medicine not because they don’t work, but only because they are “not mainstream” and challenge the orthodox establishment. Thus, in their minds, the important thing to note about the two kinds of treatment is not their major difference (that one has at least shown promise in terms of actually working in a significant way when studied rigorously, and the others have failed that test for years if not decades or centuries) but what they see as their major similarity–that the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins don’t use them . . . . yet . . . . because they aren’t taken seriously by The Establishment. The difference between a treatment that isn’t widely used because it shows promise but has not been proven YET and a treatment that isn’t widely used because it has been shown over and over again to hold zero promise and work zero times is completely lost on your average reporter. They’re really good at deadlines, pretty good at judging an audience’s reaction to content and presentation, and usually OK at creating a lede and drawing a reader in. It’s asking a lot for them to be experts on everything else, too.

  62. #62 Jarred C
    October 8, 2011

    They consider that radiotherapy to be a new way of thinking, outside the box, and believe that it is a challenge to the dogmatic orthodoxy of Western Medicine [and is therefore "alternative"]

    Don, I think you may be on to something, there.

  63. #63 herr doktor bimler
    October 8, 2011

    Its simple logic that it will take the body a number of years to “fight” the cancer.

    That is nice, as long as the cancer is sporting enough to allow you that time.

  64. #64 Krebiozen
    October 8, 2011

    Jonathan Browne #51

    If your going to go alternative, you have to commit. It took the body a number of years for the cancer to develop. Its simple logic that it will take the body a number of years to “fight” the cancer.

    That’s not simple logic, it’s simplistic logic. Obviously adopting a healthy lifestyle is sensible at any time, and especially if you are unwell, but the idea that consuming more nutrients than are in an adequate diet (essentially what many alternative approaches to cancer entail) will somehow boost the body to superhuman levels of health that will kill cancer is just childish. We know it doesn’t work like that. There is no good evidence that a greater than adequate intake of nutrients is beneficial (in most cases the body excretes the excess) and having higher than optimal levels of some nutrients can be damaging.

    selectively ignore all evidence for anything that is not purely conventional or mildly experimental allopathic medicine

    Please direct me to this ignored evidence. I have been looking for it for years, and everything I have seen so far is very disappointing when looked at closely.

    the effects of immunosuppressing drugs and having an entirely new liver that the immune system would try to fight if it wasn’t knocked nearly into nonexistence, is certainly FAR more stressful to the immune system than the cancer itself.

    What do you base this on exactly? Are you an expert in the effects of an insulinoma that has metastasized to the liver? Do you even understand what an insulinoma is? You seem to be arguing that the potentially fatal hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) caused by an insulinoma is less damaging to the immune system than a liver transplant, which is plainly wrong.

    He needed to NOT be doing chemotherapy or surgery

    You are telling people with cancer that they should not have chemotherapy or surgery? You seriously think this will improve their chances of survival? If a patient with an insulinoma is not treated they will suffer from hypoglycemia that can cause brain damage or death. Suggesting that Jobs should not have had surgery is idiotic.

    and in the case of pancreatic cancer taking large quantities of high quality digestive enzymes

    Does that mean you are a fan of the Gerson/Gonzalez protocol for pancreatic cancer? The one that involves the patient spending most of their remaining days juicing fruits and vegetables, cleaning their juicer, swallowing supplement pills and having coffee enemas? The one that was tested in a clinical trial that found patients on conventional therapy lived three times as long as those on the Gonzalez protocol and had a significantly better quality of life?

    the mind IS an essential part of recovery from disease, and the science (which is in many cases actually already there if you look for it) will become more and more available and undeniable.

    I have looked, and what I have found are studies that show that people’s states of mind seem to have little effect on disease, even on cardiovascular disease. The idea that our emotional state has a large effect on our physical health is an attractive one, but the evidence for it is sadly lacking. That doesn’t stop it from being widely believed, as you have demonstrated.

    Every advance in human kind was accompanied by tons of people staunchly defending the established ideas and modalities to the death, and scoffing at the claims of the wild eyed heretics daring to overturn old ideas.

    Every one of these advances was accompanied by incontrovertible evidence. The claims you are making are implausible, and have been tested and found to be incorrect. It seems to me that you are the one staunchly defending your beliefs to the death in the face of strong evidence that they are wrong.

  65. #65 vince
    October 8, 2011

    Orac, the author of this article said in 2008

    “What Steve Jobs needed was for a doctor to get in his face and give him a dressing down of the sort that Jobs gives his employees, saying: “I know you’re a genius when it comes to industrial design of computers, making technology products that people love, and running an animation studio. I know you’ll be remembered as a giant in the history of computing, digital music, and technology. Unfortunately, none of that means you know squat about medicine. Diet, herbs, and the other woo you’re interested in will not stop this tumor. Nothing will heal it except cold, hard, surgical steel. ”

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/03/woo_for_cancer_say_it_aint_so_steve.php

    although I understand his trying not to take it too far in the current post

  66. #66 Dangerous Bacon
    October 8, 2011

    Jonathan is dead right when he says: “Every advance in human kind was accompanied by tons of people staunchly defending the established ideas and modalities to the death, and scoffing at the claims of the wild eyed heretics daring to overturn old ideas.”

    Defenders of homeopathy, faith healing (and all sorts of spiritual woo), radical diets, purges and useless supplements and patent medicines did stubbornly resist advances in medicine. Mainstream practitioners adapted to the new ways when it became clear through research and clinical practice that they were a vast improvement over the old ideas. Part of the problem now is convincing people who deny the efficacy of science-based medicines and want to rely on homeopathy, faith healing (and all sorts of spiritual woo), radical diets, purges and useless supplements.

    Tom Wolfe in “Radical Chic” talked about members of the celebrity Left having “nostalgie pour la boue” (roughly, a longing for the gutter) which made associating with down and out characters “chic”. Similarly, devotees of woo seem to have a longing for the good old days when infectious disease and sepsis ran rampant, modern lifesaving drugs and surgeries did not exist, and people lived shorter, more miserable lives without effective therapies for chronic and fatal diseases.

    Jonathan will find that most posters here do not share that nostalgia for the days of primitive medicine.

  67. #67 Bronze Dog
    October 8, 2011

    Tom Wolfe in “Radical Chic” talked about members of the celebrity Left having “nostalgie pour la boue” (roughly, a longing for the gutter) which made associating with down and out characters “chic”. Similarly, devotees of woo seem to have a longing for the good old days when infectious disease and sepsis ran rampant, modern lifesaving drugs and surgeries did not exist, and people lived shorter, more miserable lives without effective therapies for chronic and fatal diseases.

    That’s definitely a paragraph that captures how I see it. In the “good old days,” disease was common. The idea that being in a state of health is “natural” and taken for granted today is only possible because of the continuing success of modern science-based medicine.

    Nearly every altie I encounter lacks any sense of history. They treat time periods the way Hollywood does: Just change the fashions and the decor.

  68. #68 Denice Walter
    October 8, 2011

    A few words about Ornish ( Orac has written about him):

    I actually read one of his books ( and have heard that he’s a good tennis player); he advocates diet and exercise as health measures, especially contra CV. So does SBM, nothing earth-shattering about that.

    However, he does go over-board in assessing his approach’s efficacy and applicability. I also recall detecting a whiff of aesceticism that woud fit him in nicely amongst alt med proselytisers’ spirituality and Jobs’ Buddhism ( ” Desire leads to suffering”. So cut it out, already!). Whereas our woo-meisters act the scold, forever wagging their fingers at mere mortals’ weaknesses all-the-while triumphantly upholding their own sterling examples of perfectionacity, I suspect that Ornish is doing something rather similar in a more sophisticated manner due to his obviously greater intelligence, better education, and social savvy. I can picture him there at UCSF and in Sausalito, dressed all in white, working on his lobs, satisfied with himself as they ascend heavenward.

    I seriously can’t believe that watching your weight is a measure of your purity or character ( despite what Bill Maher is saying about a certain governor who shall remain nameless): it’s about avoidance of certain ills. In my own case, I wonder how much is directly attributable purely to vanity ( even more than fear of CV, etc.): you see, I like wearing lovely clothes. I know , I know, another atheistic SB materialist, that’s me… but hey, we are living in a material world, etc.

  69. #69 Evil Eye
    October 8, 2011

    You gave me a new perspective to think about, but I still feel that those first 9 months were the most important. Anything after that was trying to fix a problem that could have possibly have been unnecessary.

  70. #70 Cancer scientist
    October 8, 2011

    Good article. I hadn’t heard of Mike Adams before reading this, but having looked at his website its obvious he’s just trying to make money off the sick and desperate. His name shouldn’t be mentioned again during informed discussion.

    Mr. Jobs at no time made it public that his alternative therapy approach following diagnosis shorted his life. It will be very interesting what is written in his biography in this regard.

  71. #71 Theo
    October 8, 2011

    The genius whose life was founded on unconventional thinking, finally succumbed his life to the thinking of conventional medicine. The terrible irony of it all.

    Please, one an all, heed the message of this video. Self sabotage can strike anyone, no matter how great they may be:

    Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez on Steve Jobs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqt3H5YnO1k&feature=uploademail

    Blessings

  72. #72 iDeception
    October 8, 2011

    Macrobiotic diet(as used in the western world) IS NOT a BALANCED diet(whether its from an excess or more likely lack of (specific) nutrients over the long term for healthy body metabolism,therefore can it NOT add to a healthy life only increase the risk of disease as insignificant as that risk may be.This makes it more utterly naive to assume the Inuit eskimos gain health benefits purely from their overall diet when the evidence points clearly to something in their lifestyles/environment.
    Macrobiotics are just MORE FUD from logic/rationality free quacks, for DUMB celebrities Like Madonna “one DUMB shallow gimmick/platitude/cult lifestyle (bye bye Kabalah after taking years + years for her to realize it was screwing half her fortune away) after another” to follow + eulogise. This women believes (brainwashed by another RENOWN con artist fitness trainer) its healthy to starve herself of essential nutrients by everyday of her life restricting her total calorie intake to 700kcal – thank god such stupidity will kill her long before Jobs age)

  73. #73 Ann Marie @ CHEESESLAVE
    October 8, 2011

    @lilady

    Your response to allison burgueno is illogical. Classic ad hominem attack (attack against the man).

    “I visited your url website and you say you want to start a business as a consultant to schools to teach school children about growing their own food and self-sufficiency.

    You also state you support a local dairy that sells “raw goat milk”.”

    You are not responding to her argument. You are simply attacking her credibility. You bring up her support for raw goat milk, which has nothing to do with her argument, and then you say, “I suggest you take some courses about food safety and nutritional values of “raw milk”…before you promote yourself as an expert.”

    Here you are stating that she is not an expert on food safety and therefore is not credible about raw milk, and therefore must not be credible about her argument posted above.

    BAD logic!

  74. #74 iDeception
    October 8, 2011

    Quote CG “You don’t see people wanting you to limit your visible light exposure.”

    In practise YES because we still don’t have the (practical) ability to filter out the UV from visible light(Vit D production) safely on a continual basis when/where sunlight is stronger.Sun block reduce visible light exposure levels to levels

  75. #75 iDeception
    October 8, 2011

    Really allison burgueno resorting to posting under another name (Marie @ CHEESESLAVE) because you wouldn’t know what logic(NON EMOTIONAL(incl CONCEIT like yours/BIASED THINKING),logical reasoning, the scientific method ( and the VALUABLE evidence it only allows for consideration)if they BEAT YOU AROUND the HEAD SENSELESS.

    Unfortunately evolution simply has not provided you with a mind suitable for comprehending/applying with what so far we have had no better tool of logic to effectively/efficiently discover new knowledge/info AKA the scientific method, meaning ANY of your contributions will be endlessly ridiculed + treated with contempt for the UTTERLY misguided NONSENSE of a CHILD like mind they are – take some advice from someone who was using the scientific method to work life out before he was EVEN taught what the “scientific method” was – stop wasting OUR precious time, and your not so useful contributions to mankind + just STOP posting your irrational EGO-CENTRIC/STROKING DRIVEL! CHEERS!

  76. #76 Ape, not monkey
    October 8, 2011

    Great article.

    It’s very ostentatious to say “he died of alternative medicine”. It’s a lot harder (and thus more accurate) to say “It’s more complicated than that.”

    http://www.apenotmonkey.com

  77. #77 lilady
    October 8, 2011

    @ Ann Marie: Perhaps you could add something to the discussion about Allison’s statements:

    3. There is documented proof that “alternative” therapies work and prolong life.
    4. Chemo is hard on the immune system. If he did have it after the Whipple, his immune system may have already taken a severe hit. Now that his body had already produced a tumour and there was “cancer” imprinting in his digestive system, it could have re-occurred.

    In defense of Allison, how would you comment about “alternative” therapies working and prolonging life? Maybe you would like to provide some citations that Allison didn’t provide.

    Do you care to explain what Allison meant by cancer “imprinting” in his digestive system? I don’t ever recall reading about “imprinting” of cancer.

    You didn’t read my next comment directed to Allison with her referral to commercial sites in lieu of citations from actual peer reviewed journals and her promotion of the Gerson “cancer cure”. I also referred her to some reliable web sites for her to “research” about the particular type of tumor that Jobs had and the science-based treatments that are available:

    “It seems that Allison is promoting some “odd” pseudoscience “commercial” sites.

    (hint to Allison) When we ask for citations…we don’t expect links to commercial sites that hawk macrobiotic books and tapes or to the notorious Gerson cancer treatment site. Why not try PubMed for studies that appear in peer reviewed journals, the American Dietetic Association, the National Cancer Institute or American Cancer Society websites for “citations”.

    It seems that you and Allison have both chosen to post off topic to advance your pseudoscience theories about natural foods and raw milk.

    Why did you and Allison chose this forum and why haven’t you actually commented about the cancer treatment that Jobs underwent?

  78. #78 epador
    October 8, 2011

    Well Done.

  79. #79 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 8, 2011

    Theo,

    Please use the search function of this site for information about Dr. Nicholas Gonzales’s treatment for pancreatic cancer and the state of evidence supporting it. if you have data that what Drs. Mercola and Gonzales say is actually supported by good data, please share.

  80. #80 Narad
    October 8, 2011

    I also recall detecting a whiff of aesceticism that woud fit him in nicely amongst alt med proselytisers’ spirituality and Jobs’ Buddhism ( ” Desire leads to suffering”. So cut it out, already!).

    Now, now. Mahayana, at least, does not promote the cessation of desire per se but rather the understanding of nonduality. Once the identification of just who Avalokitesvara “is” is established, when suffering comes, just suffering. Form is form.

  81. #81 iDeception
    October 8, 2011

    I thought that Jobs had the Whipple was just misnomer/misconception due to Jobs/crApple highly nefarious/deceitful/relentless greed reporting of his health to the media/share holders eg How on earth did CrApple get away with naming Jobs Chairman of the Board of Directors JUST a few weeks ago when he was practically BOTH FEET in the grave as those turned out to be GENUINE(no surprise to all but fanboi indenial cultists)TMZ pics graphically showed(to try to disguise his DIRE real health state as long as possible AS USUAL – he certainly died the DAY BEFORE the official statement so as not to overshadow their all $$$ important iPhone release – given what a flop it was they should have at least been honest once in their grossly unethical miserable existence when their founder dies BUT EVEN that is carefully dishonest + marketed – but a leopard never changes its spots + as they created there success in propaganda/hyperbole marketing (ask the Chinese kid that sold his kidney to but Jobs iTrash products)their habitual deceit will end up slitting their exceptionally evil throat to ) .

    I don’t think that there has ever been any official statement made by Jobs, crApple or anyone from his medical team that he HAS had the Whipple, has there? “urban myth” Jobs + cohorts wouldn’t deny a wrong fact if it made little difference to share prices as it would just add further deception to those trying to find the truth + thus the degree Jobs/crApple would go to lie for HEARTLESS greed (well hardly surprisingly he should have DIED back before he had the $$$ immoral transplant INSTEAD he robbed the intended Liver recipient of the chance of life for his terminal cancer made more aggressive by transplants immunosupressents ie COMPLETE waste of desperately needed transplant liver for greedy selfish immoral wretched individual(BUT RICH $$$) on deaths door – a completely unscientific medically illogical transplant(saving someone who has (dead w/o transplant such is degree of cancer destroying liver) with transplant chance to have poor cancer riddled short life with PAID for donor organ + BENT UNETHICAL surgeon spewing lots illogical medical non facts (about being sure Jobs body was completely clear of cancer BEFORE the transplant LMAO seems it most certainly wasn’t will the family sue the BENT surgeon for MALPRACTICE now or was a non-disclosure deal sealed before the op??? – why is this IMMORAL con not behind bars never mind banned from practising …because there are more rich greedy people who want his services so he gets “protected” to practise his ethics free surgery for them)

    Originally from: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2008/06/13/steve-jobs-life-after-the-whipple/

    comments removed but can be found on:

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?hl=en&gs_sm=s&gs_upl=11141l16235l0l17516l14l14l0l5l0l1l250l1609l0.5.4l9l0&q=cache:bIhPiEyklZcJ:http://www.yishentong.com/index.php?mod=group_thread&code=view&id=25711+Distal+Pancreatectomy+%2B+Steve+jobs+%2B+tech.fortune.cnn&ct=clnk

    Quote:

    “Well this story is a bit misinformed. The variant of cancer that Mr. Jobs is believed to have had (well-differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (ie. pancreat islet cell tumor)) occurs most frequently in the body or tail of the pancreas (where the highest concentration of islets are). As such the usual operation to be performed is a distal pancreatectomy. This surgery does not typically require bowel resection and has a much better recovery time than does the pancreaticoduodenectomy. The Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy) is usually performed to resect a carcinoma that involves the head of the pancreas. It would be somewhat less likely for Mr. Jobs’ carcinoma to have arisen in this location.”

  82. #82 Frankenstuff
    October 8, 2011

    We really have to be the chief navigator of our own health, the captain in charge, with open eyes and ears but in the end the ultimate decision-maker. Jobs was used to being in charge. He most likely steered his own course as he thought best, using some combination of therapies. What more can we do, but pray? The jobs is not an easy one.

  83. #83 Militant Agnostic
    October 8, 2011

    A bit OT, but the Fred Phelps and his band of scumbags are planning on picketing Steve Jobs’ funeral in their never ending narcissistic quest for publicity.

  84. #84 Biopsy This
    October 8, 2011

    Maybe the intestinal problems were caused by a vegan diet. Maybe the frequent intestinal scans precipitated the cancer. Maybe we need a study about whether the incidence of cancer and other maladies is higher amongst vegans.

  85. #85 rw23
    October 8, 2011

    @Narad #80:

    Now, now. Mahayana, at least, does not promote the cessation of desire per se but rather the understanding of nonduality. Once the identification of just who Avalokitesvara “is” is established, when suffering comes, just suffering. Form is form.

    Alan Sokal, is that you? ;-)

  86. #86 Denice Walter
    October 8, 2011

    @ Narad:

    Listen- I’ve hung out with Buddhists,
    I’ve eaten rice with Buddhists,
    I’ve even dated Buddhists,
    That doesn’t mean that I actually believe what they say.

  87. #87 Narad
    October 8, 2011

    That doesn’t mean that I actually believe what they say.

    Your hermeneutics is interesting to me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  88. #88 Bruce of Canuckistan
    October 9, 2011

    I noticed a few “alties” up thread blaming Jobs’ cancer on his stress level. Questions for Orac, et al:

    1) It was my understanding that on the whole, after many studies, there was no proven link between stress level and cancer? Many other diseases yes, but not cancer. Is this correct?

    2)Further, that the original theory behind a stress-cancer link was that cancer risk would increase with a weakened immune system. But mouse studies where the mice had no or weak immune systems had no increased cancer rate, which also seemed to disprove that link. Is that correct?

  89. #89 Bruce of Canuckistan
    October 9, 2011

    This NYT article brought together what I had read:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/29/health/29canc.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1

    I’m just wondering if working oncologists tend to agree with it. The idea that the immune system doesn’t even recognize most cancers was new to me, and certainly contradicts what most of the public believes, and all alties seem to believe.

  90. #90 doloreskeo
    October 9, 2011

    Now I only know pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. http://bit.ly/reaflS

  91. #91 lilady
    October 9, 2011

    What really struck me as “odd” were the reports that Jobs’ cancer was discovered during a “routine abdominal scan”. Abdominal scans are not done “routinely”…they are done as part of a diagnostic work-up when the patient has some complaints of an ongoing nature. There was a paucity of information released by Jobs and his doctors at the time of the surgery and no additional information was ever released thereafter.

    I suspect that Jobs may have had some early symptoms including pain, nausea and overproduction of insulin which left him weak and dizzy and with a weight loss and that the abdominal scan did discover a growth on the tail of the pancreas.

    In sharp contrast to the paucity of information released about Steve Jobs neuroendocrine tumor is the information released about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pancreatic tumor surgery in 2009…which was discovered during what was described as a “routine abdominal scan” done ten years after her colorectal cancer surgery.

    In 1999 Justice Ginsburg underwent surgery, radiation and chemotherapy for colorectal cancer. At the time of her abdominal scan in 2009 a small 1 cm. growth was discovered in the body of the pancreas, which was excised along with an even smaller growth that was not seen on the scan. Part of the pancreas and the spleen were removed during the surgery. Pathological examination revealed that the 1 cm. growth was benign but the smaller growth was cancerous.

    It appears that close to three years out from her surgery Justice Ginsburg has been cured.

    Steve Jobs was very circumscribed about revealing his health issues and equally private about his personal life, which leads me to believe that nothing new will be revealed in the new authorized Isaacson biography.

  92. #92 Denice Walter
    October 9, 2011

    @ Narad:

    I don’t have a newsletter altho’ I edit and contribute to an ec wonk’s intermittenly emergent investment newsletter** for clients; while it is supposed to be about investments, the bulk explicates people’s stupid decisions and ideas about money.

    ** which shall remain nameless because I plug nothing involving friends/ relations.

  93. #93 Patricia Holman
    October 9, 2011

    I respectfully disagree with the authors pro-medical posturing, and ad hominum attack of Mike Adams.
    In addition, vegetarianism is not the appropriate diet for people diagnosed with cancer. Mr. Job’s adherance to this dogma early on in his discovery of the cancer, may have cost him his life.

  94. #94 Chris
    October 9, 2011

    Ms. Holman:

    In addition, vegetarianism is not the appropriate diet for people diagnosed with cancer.

    [citation required]

    Also, where did Orac say Mike Adams was wrong because he is something, versus explaining why he was wrong? And ad hominem would be “Mr. Adams sell supplements, therefore he is wrong.”

    What I do see is extensive quoting of Mr. Adams, followed by why it is wrong.

  95. #95 Carlos Omena
    October 9, 2011

    Steve Jobs changed the way we view the world today, his genius has no limits and certainly his creations will always be remembered. Thank you Steve, rest in peace.

  96. #96 GTW
    October 11, 2011

    It’s a waste of time speculating on the pathology of the tumor. Most pancreatic neuroendocrine patients live about six years and he lived eight. If you go to a neuroendocrine specialist, you generally live longer then the average. Jobs had two great neuroendocrine physicians nearby in Jeffrey Norton and George Fisher at Stanford. I’m not sure how much he used them if at all. To be clear, the much more typical kind of neuroendocrine tumor is called carcinoid and is found in the bowel and is typically very, very slow growing. Pancreatic neuroendocrine is generally faster growing but not like typical cancers. In fact most pancreatic neuroendocrine patients don’t even image on an FDG-PET scan which measures tumor aggressiveness. The big question in my mind is why Jobs didn’t immediately fund a massive neuroendocrine research center. He had plenty of time and the money. Didn’t he think he might need to save his own life down the road with any new drugs or therapies that might have come out of the research? I think we could have waited on another version of the iPhone.

  97. #97 MM
    October 12, 2011

    I do believe that a healthy diet, combined with allopathic medicine such as chemotherapy can only help one survive cancer. Whether this dietary approach helps by mind over matter or that the neutraceuticals possess anti-cancer properties in vivo remains an enigma.

    What I do wonder is whether Mr. Jobs was on any immunosuppressive drugs for his liver transplant? Supression of the immune system has been shown to enhanne tumor progression in animal models.

  98. #98 Gray Falcon
    October 12, 2011

    [citation needed]

  99. #99 Calli Arcale
    October 12, 2011

    MM: If Jobs wasn’t on immunosuppressants, he would have died of liver failure quite a while ago. But I don’t think it contributed to his death; the kind of cancer you get from transplant surgery is different. There was a girl in Minnesota who died of that not too long ago; she’d had a quite horrific injury (pool drain sucked out a significant portion of her digestive tract) but survived and eventually became a candidate for a major transplant operation. It was going great until she developed transplant-related cancer, which tragically claimed her life at the age of 12. It had been her only shot at a normal life (i.e. one involving normal food), though, so the attempt was worthwhile.

    GTW: First off, Jobs was not the only smart person at Apple. In fact, the iPhone was not his exclusive baby. If it was, it would never have been built; it takes more than one person to make a thing like that. So it’s a little insulting to the legion of Apple engineers to suggest that the iPhone could only exist because of Jobs’ contribution. (Considering that much of the development occurred during his absence, I doubt he had that much direct influence.) Secondly, cancer unfortunately cannot be cured by throwing money at it; the odds of someone making a revolutionary advancement in under a decade, no matter how well funded, are remote. It’s not impossible — just unlikely.

  100. #100 McD
    October 17, 2011

    @ herr doktor bimler

    LMAO

  101. #101 dreamer
    October 17, 2011

    http://blog.sfgate.com/techchron/2011/10/17/did-jobs-hasten-his-own-death/?tsp=1
    Did Jobs hasten his own death?
    Did Steve Jobs hasten his own death by relying too much on holistic medicine?

    One Harvard Medical School researcher says he did.

    In a post on the question-and-answer site Quora, Ramzi Amri said the form of cancer Jobs has was mild and he should have survived.

    “Let me cut to the chase: Mr. Jobs allegedly chose to undergo all sorts of alternative treatment options before opting for conventional medicine,” Amri said in the post, which was reported by Gawker. “This was, of course, a freedom he had all the rights to take, but given the circumstances it seems sound to assume that Mr. Jobs’ choice for alternative medicine could have led to an unnecessarily early death.”

    Amri, who is not a doctor, cites a litany of statistics which he says shows how treatable the pancreatic tumor Jobs is reported to have had is.
    http://www.quora.com/Steve-Jobs/Why-did-Steve-Jobs-choose-not-to-effectively-treat-his-cancer

    commenter “daisy” on SFGate writes:
    daisy0072 2:04 PM on October 17, 2011
    Here’s another doctor’s comments that we in a more responsibly written article:
    “Meanwhile Dr David Gorski, from the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, is cautious about judging Mr Jobs’ decision to not have immediate treatment.
    He said on sciencebasedmedicine.org: ‘While Jobs certainly didn’t do himself any favours by waiting nine months to undergo definitive surgical therapy of his tumor, it’s very easy to overstate the potential harm that he did to himself by not immediately letting surgeons re-sect his tumor shortly after it was diagnosed eight years ago.’

  102. #102 Jim
    October 21, 2011

    I can’t testify to gerson method personally. I can say, once I saw the documentary, I started juicing just to be healthy. Can’t say that it isn’t. I can tell that since, my hemroid is gone (I’ve had surgery and it came back) and my allergies have come under control. I thank my hemroid cure to addition of beets to my carrot juice 2-3 times a week. Now, just once a week. I think the allergies are under control because of the increase of vitamin C, but what do I know other than it is under control. Plus, way more energy. Improved skin. Not sluggish in the afternoon. Did I mention my butt doesn’t itch? My young son, who suffers my allergies, him 4 ounces of juiced oranges and within an hour of drinking 4 ounces, the sniffles disappeared.

    I will point you to someone who does claim Gerson has gotten her cancer under wraps. See – http://www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au/

  103. #103 Gray Faclon
    October 21, 2011

    Please don’t spam the blog, Jim.

  104. #104 Narad
    October 21, 2011

    A keeper from Jess the Wellness Warrior: Coffee Enemas: What Can Go Wrong.

  105. #105 Narad
    October 21, 2011

    So, looking a bit more at Jess the Wellness Warrior (there’s a link to an enema tips article of hers in moderation; the humor I initially found in this has quickly faded away), throwing coffee enemas at epithelioid sarcoma really seems to be a very grim affair.

  106. #106 TBruce
    October 21, 2011

    Jim, thanks for giving me an opportunity I’ve been waiting a long time for – I want to ask a “juice-head” if he also eats white bread and white rice to be healthy. After all, the goal in all of these processes is to get rid of that nasty fiber, isn’t it?

    Eagerly awaiting your response…

  107. #107 Jim
    October 21, 2011

    @TBruce
    A juice head. I like it. I drink enough to be considered such.

    Regarding white bread. As in wonder bread – No.

    White Rice. I’ll eat jasmine, basmati and other long and wild grain rice.

    I also pursue food higher in potassium. Banana and potato.

    I like angus beef, free range poultry and organic fruits & vegs. If for nothing else, it taste better.

  108. #108 TBruce
    October 21, 2011

    @Jim:

    I guess I was a bit too subtle. Here’s what I’m wondering about:

    Why is taking a fruit or vegetable as “juice” any better for your health than taking it as the fruit or vegetable?
    What is so special about juicing?

  109. #109 Narad
    October 21, 2011

    What is so special about juicing?

    I’m guessing that you’re going to want to look back to the Lebensreform if seeking a real answer to this question. Certainly, as an item of modern popular culture it goes back to the Nature Boys, in particular Gypsy Boots’ appearances on the Steve Allen Show.

    Learn to be a drinker, a drinker, a drinker
    And your muscles won’t get loose
    Just a-drink-a your papaya juice

  110. #110 Narad
    October 21, 2011

    (I should add that I don’t have a sense of how well known Norman Walker was in his time.)

  111. #111 Jim
    October 21, 2011

    @TBruce
    I see what you are asking. That is a very good question! Multiple reasons…
    Just regarding the carrot/granny smith juice I attempt to drink each day…
    – I use 2.5 lbs of carrots and a large granny smith apple to make a days worth. That makes something north of 32 ozs of juice. That is a lot of carrots to eat plus a large apple.
    – The nutrients like beta carotene I’m looking for is in the juice, not the fiber.
    – To get that much beta carotene from the carrots by eating, I’d have to eat more the 2.5 lbs. The body has to work at extracting the nutrients.
    – The juice goes right into the blood stream. Akin to penicillin from an IV verses a pill.

    Now, add the green juice I like to drink 2-3 times a week. A complete cucumber. 2/3 leaves Kale or Chard. A whole lemon. A whole granny smith. Some ginger. Some fennel. All the nutrients all ready to consumed into the blood stream.

    I also like to start the day with 1/2 great fruit and 1 1/2 oranges. You can ask, why not buy it already made. No additives and it is freshly juiced. Since it is freshly juiced, the nutrients are still viable and fresh. Plus, one can’t argued with the taste of fresh over 2-3 week old juice!

    Of course, there is nothing wrong with eating a carrot or an apple or cucumber. What juicing buys you it processes the nutrients out of the food and right to the blood stream.

    No one can take from me how it cured my hemroid (adding beets to my carrot juice) or eased the allergies. Itching and sneezing no more.

  112. #112 Denice Walter
    October 21, 2011

    @ TBruce:

    Well, juicing captures the essential *living* phytonutrients and enzymes and frees them of all that cloggy fibrous material** so that they may be ingested in their purest,rawest, most pristine form: alive and vibrating with healing power. They are like Nature’s own Pharma- without the corruption!

    Or so I’m told. Actually, some woo-meisters like them so much they shoot them up their butts as well. Especially wheatgrass***- works at either end. Adams sells supplies for both methods ( see NaturalNews Store).

    ** fibre is sold separately
    *** and I thought that wheat was *verboten*

  113. #113 Narad
    October 21, 2011

    They are like Nature’s own Pharma- without the corruption!

    I’m willing to go out on a limb and suggest that this is all a cultural back-formation. Lebensreform rejected coffee and alcohol and needed a substitute for socializing. Hence, Kneippkaffee and Sinalco. There are different threads to be found in the offshoots–juicing culture simply doesn’t seem to be as obsessed with bowel regularity as some of its cousins.

  114. #114 Jim
    November 2, 2011

    What I haven’t seen mentioned: if Jobs’ doctor diagnosed him with a slow growing tumor and also, based on the location of the tumor, prescribed an incredibly invasive and dangerous operation as the course of treatment, can you blame him for taking some time to explore his options, even if some were wacky? It’s not like the Wipple was just a snip snip, sew ‘em up job. If what I’m reading here is correct, there is a significant chance of death from the operation itself.

  115. #115 jobs in India
    December 8, 2011

    i find your blog very creative & informative.
    jobs in India

  116. #116 Giovanni
    January 26, 2012

    Sorry.. No disrespect intended.. Steve Jobs was a great man.. However Adams is right.. And you CAN NOT say that Jobs was on a SIMILIAR diet to that of the gerson therapy.. Because it mus be exact.. Not SIMILIAR in order for the treatment to work.. Chemo kills.. Cancer is an industry in which people are making billions… “You can’t make money off a bag of carrots” – Charlotte Gerson

  117. #117 Chris
    January 26, 2012

    Giovanni, this is a science blog. You cannot make a declaration like “chemo kills” without being asked for citations. And randomly quoting someone does not count.

    I suggest you read some more of this blog prior to commenting again. And when you do comment again, have those cites lined up to support any statements you make.

  118. #118 Witch
    February 26, 2012

    Chris is right, you’d want to support your arguments in a science blog (as elsewhere).
    I read an editorial in the Australian Prescriber some time ago – http://www.australianprescriber.com/magazine/29/1/2/3/ – that the contribution of chemotherapy to the survival of cancer patients is less than 3%.

  119. #119 Witch
    February 26, 2012

    For ease of reference, here are the sources:

    Australian Prescriber Editorial: The emperor’s new clothes – can chemotherapy survive?
    Aust Prescr 2006;29:2-3 – available at: http://www.australianprescriber.com/magazine/29/1/2/3/

    The research referred to:

    Morgan G, Ward R, Barton M. The contribution of cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adult malignancies. Clin Oncol 2004;16:549-60
    Abstract available at – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15630849

  120. #120 Narad
    February 26, 2012

    And you CAN NOT say that Jobs was on a SIMILIAR diet to that of the gerson therapy.. Because it mus be exact..

    Do they have specific blends and roasting guidelines for the enema coffee?

  121. #121 Chemmomo
    February 26, 2012

    A question for Witch: is a cancer a single disease?

  122. #122 lilady
    February 26, 2012

    “And you CAN NOT say that Jobs was on a SIMILIAR diet to that of the gerson therapy.. Because it mus be exact..”

    I like my morning cuppa strongly-brewed, non-organic, taken orally.

    What type of “organic” coffee beans should be purchased to make the brew for the Gerson enemas? How about this one:

    http://www.chemistry-in-context.com/articles/0006/index.html

  123. #123 ohnochenny
    February 27, 2012

    A question for Chemomo: What other umbrella terms or specific ailments are chemotherapy indicated it for?

    Not a wise-crack, I don’t know the answer myself, but I think the ‘Witch’ made the point about the 3% survival rate which needs addressing, not the ‘where is the boundary of cancer’ distraction.

    I’m interested in the actual core of this thread so please don’t de-rail with special tactics. Thanks!

  124. #124 W. Kevin Vicklund
    February 27, 2012

    Not a wise-crack, I don’t know the answer myself, but I think the ‘Witch’ made the point about the 3% survival rate which needs addressing, not the ‘where is the boundary of cancer’ distraction.

    This particular study was discussed here. Also note that Witch didn’t even bother reading the discussion on that post. Note too that Chemmomo did not say anything about the “boudaries of cancer,” but whether cancer was more than one disease.

    If you can’t be bothered to read the link, here’s a quick summary. Cancer is not a single disease, and chemotherapy works better on some cancers than on others. The study left out many of the cancers that chemo works best on, and used old studies that were out-of-date or even misreported some studies. It also looked at a timeframe that is shorter than the benefit of chemo for certain common cancers.

  125. #125 ohnochenny
    February 27, 2012

    Thank you WKV, I did think the 3% was a bit shocking so I’d guessed it must have been a cherry-picking exercise.

    What’s the real figure? Is it even possible to arrive at an accurate or meaningful figure?

    And please, what can I say to my friend who keeps on telling me that sodium bicarb cures cancer and there’s a conspiracy to keep it down???!!!

  126. #126 Beamup
    February 27, 2012

    What’s the real figure? Is it even possible to arrive at an accurate or meaningful figure?

    Because cancer is so heterogenous, it is not possible to produce any single figure that means anything at all.

    And please, what can I say to my friend who keeps on telling me that sodium bicarb cures cancer and there’s a conspiracy to keep it down???!!!

    Lots of hits in the search box for “sodium bicarbonate cancer.” Orac’s discussed it repeatedly.

  127. #127 Chris
    February 27, 2012

    ohnochenny:

    And please, what can I say to my friend who keeps on telling me that sodium bicarb cures cancer and there’s a conspiracy to keep it down???!!!

    That it is wrong. It has also been discussed on this blog several times. There is a search box on the upper left side of this page. Here are the results for the word “bicarb.”

  128. #128 ohnochenny
    February 27, 2012

    Thank you Chris, two new ones just came out on a marketwatch alert and there was a good statistic in it:

    Cancer Drug Market Evolves

    Today : Monday 27 February 2012

    Advances in cancer screening and treatment has caused the death rate from cancer to drop dramatically in recent years. Cancer death rates dropped by 1.8 percent per year in men and 1.6 percent per year in women between 2004 and 2008, according to the American Cancer Society’s annual report on cancer statistics.

  129. #129 Chris
    February 27, 2012

    A very good book to read on cancer is The Emperor of All Maladies.

  130. #130 Chris
    February 27, 2012

    I have a comment in moderation. It is just a recommendation for the book The Emperor of All Maladies.

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.