January 12th, 2013

Steve Jobs Regretted Alternative Medicines

I knew that Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Inc, died with pancreatic cancer, but didn’t know that he was on alternative medicines and regretted it.

According to the CBS news on January 7th, Steve Jobs had warned his friend, David Kelley, who was diagnosed with throat cancer, “ don’t mess with any alternative treatment—go straight to Western medicine.’

Usually pancreatic cancer is very aggressive and kills patients quickly, but Steve jobs’cancer was a rare type with slow progression and even curable if it’s found in the early stage, and he found it early.

He had a good chance to beat the cancer though, declining doctor’s advice for a surgery, he chose herbs, vegan diet, spiritualists, etc.

How come such a genius, who created so many high-tech gadgets, refused  modern medicine?

According to Isaacson, who was the author of a book “Steve Jobs”, Steve was afraid of opening his body; “He didn’t want to be violated that way.”

9 months after the diagnosis, as Steve Jobs learned his cancer was not shrinking but getting bigger, he finally changed his mind to have the surgery.  If he had chosen the surgery first instead of trying the alternatives, could he live longer?  We will never know the answer. Yet he must have regretted that stunning unexpected result of the alternative treatments.


 Integrate Western and Eastern Medicine

Andrew Well, the director of the integrative medicine program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, said to CNN that after he had studied alternative medicines and Western medicine for 40 years, he found no alternative medicine which was effective on cancer, although he admitted even standard treatments such as a surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy may cause more harm than benefits.

He believes as of now, in spite of nasty side effects, the standard treatments are the best options for cancer patients and instead of rejecting them, if we integrate with Eastern Medicine, it could ease side effects, improve the quality of life, make chemo more effective, and make it less costly.

I understand that even if we bare the harsh side effects, chemo or radiation may not work.  Even with T-DM1, “the promising super Herceptine”, the effective probability is less than 40%. The alternative medicines that doesn’t cause any side effects  sound really tempting, but the fact is that the odds to beat cancer for alternative medicines is much less than the standard treatments.

I receive plenty of information about alternative medicines, including supplements almost every week.  Tonight was about soursop, a tropical fruit. The site I read said “ Soursop Fruit Kills Cancer 100-Fold better Than Chemotherapy”.  However, as I researched, I found out this fruit may cause Parkinson’s disease.

Through the maze of overwhelming information, a cancer patients’goal may be finding the truly trustable integrated treatments with trustable doctors.