This post originally appeared on KQED's NewsFix on October 7, 2011
Since Steve Jobs’ resignation as Apple CEO in August, many of the basic facts of his disease have been widely written about. Jobs had a rare form of pancreatic cancer, Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors. The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post both feature solid pieces with additional detail about this disease.
The American Cancer Society’s five-year survival rates for the more frequently diagnosed type of Pancreatic Cancer are bleak. But for those afflicted with the rare type of this cancer Jobs had, survival rates are much higher.
For a moving obituary, the American Cancer Society’s Dr. Len Lichtenfeld had a surprising approach. He writes about Steve Jobs as a survivor.
…his greatness is amplified by what he accomplished under the most difficult of circumstances. For here was a man who had an uncommon cancer that recurred and required a liver transplant. Here was a man who was failing in his health, yet had the fortitude to face every day as a new challenge, to do what he wanted to do, to accomplish successes that had never been accomplished before. Here was a man who embodied the drive and the spirit that so many cancer survivors possess every day of their lives, even when facing the ultimate moment as Steve Jobs faced today.