- The tragic story of Apple founder Steve Jobs and why alternative medicine failed him
- A cassette that could detect cancer early and save millions of lives
- A breakthrough for ovarian cancer?
One day in 2004, Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, went for a check-up.
Days later, the results were bad.
They’d found a tumour on his pancreas and the doctor told him he had perhaps six to ten months to live.
It’s everyone’s worst nightmare. Imagine getting that diagnosis and feeling the bottom of your world drop out. Your future disappear right in front of you.
But then something potentially miraculous happened.
Steve Jobs was offered a glimmer of hope.
He went through a process called a biopsy, where you remove a piece of a tumour for analysis. Testing the tissue, they discovered
that he had a rare neuroendocrine tumour. This was something that was potentially curable… if they could operate quickly.
Alas, that was the turning point.
Steve Jobs was an extraordinary character, full of self-belief and a sense that anybody could do ANYTHING if they put their mind to it.
In fact, he once said this.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
This is all so, so true.
Wise words indeed.
…Except when it comes to very specific health problems like a cancerous growth on your pancreas.
That’s when other opinions do matter. That’s when following your heart might be a risk you can’t afford to take.
Steve Jobs decided to forgo surgery and try a dietary approach alongside alternative therapies. As a passionate vegan who was sceptical of mainstream medical science, it’s what he believed in. He followed his instincts.
But this was a mistake.
An innovator in technical communications and design he might have been… but a medical expert he was not.
Look, I’m all for alternative health treatments, natural remedies and holistic mind-over-matter approaches. You’ll see many of them reviewed and recommended in the People’s Doctor. They can fortify your immune system, cure all kinds of health niggles and free you from nasty drugs and unnecessary side-effects.
But this doesn’t mean medicine is ALWAYS wrong and alternative approaches are ALWAYS best.
Many devotees of ‘alternative therapies’ can be JUST as dogmatic and blind as those who believe in conventional therapies, refusing to admit when there’s a case for the opposition.
The truth is, it’s not a case of one side versus the other.
There are times when the scientists do know what they’re talking about, and there are other times when the medical establishment should take heed of what the alternative therapists are doing.
In Steve Jobs’ case, his approach failed and the tumour expanded.
Suddenly he changed his mind and went for surgery. But by this time it was too late. They removed a tumour along with much of his pancreas, stomach and gall bladder. But the cancer had spread to other parts of his body by then and there was no stopping it.
There was a last ditch attempt to save him with a liver transplant in 2009 but in 2011 he passed away.
It’s so easy to use hindsight, and I don’t mean to use a great man’s tragedy to make a point. I just think it’s so important to remember that there have been great advances in medical science, and amazing research continues… particularly into genetic methods of switching off disease, but also early detection systems.
For instance, there’s a little British company called Angle that has come up with a way to do a biopsy without needing to dig into the cancerous tissue. All they need is a urine or blood sample. They then use a disposable cassette known as the Parsortix system to capture and harvest tumour cells (CTCs) from the blood.
You can read all about the company here if you’re interested in this kind of technology.
A breakthrough for ovarian cancer…
One of the breakthrough areas for this device could be ovarian cancer. It’s deadly because by the time you realise there’s a problem, it’s too late to do anything about it.
Dr Eva Obermayr, an expert in this type of cancer, tried out Parsortix on patients and found that 90% of those people with ovarian cancer presented a positive result.
In other words, it works.
Potentially, this could be a way to screen women vulnerable to this disease and catch it early enough to deal with the problem, saving potentially 152,000 lives a year.
This device has already been approved in Europe so watch this space!
Natural vs scientific?
As for the tussle between the scientific approach to disease and the natural approach… well, I don’t believe there is one – or shouldn’t be, anyway.
First off, I’d rather use the term ‘complementary medicine’ than alternative. Nutritional, psychological, spiritual, meditative, chiropractic and homeopathic approaches all have their place for many people, and should be used alongside other treatments.
It should never be one OR the other. There’s e no need to stick to ‘principles’ like Steve Job if there’s quite clearly a problem that science can solve, like detecting and removing a tumour.
It’s not one OR the other.
Let’s have both!
The same goes the other way round…
Just because you’re a rational person who believes the scientists are always right should not mean you are closed-minded to the many other therapies available.
We don’t know everything about science and nature. We haven’t discovered everything. And what’s more, the human mind and body are a mystery. They work together to create our sense of reality – which includes our response to pain, our wellbeing and our reactions to disease.
So who’s to say a drug or a scalpel always have the answer?
Besides, when it comes to tiredness, infections and pain in your day-to-day life, there usually are no drugs or procedures that can help. It’s all about food, lifestyle, exercise and attitude.
In fact – look out for Saturday’s email for details of a way you can get the nutritional protection you need the natural way.
In the meantime, you’re welcome to come and look around The People’s Doctor website where you can read all my latest articles. And remember to browse the shop for specific remedies for your problems and niggles!
Until next time, stay happy and healthy