Steve Jobs Regretted Not Having Earlier Cancer Surgery

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Steve Jobs waited nine months to get surgery for the pancreatic cancer that eventually killed him, saying it was too invasive, a decision he later told his biographer he regretted. That biographer, Walter Isaacson, makes the revelation in a 60 Minutes interview due to air on Sunday, CBS News reported today. He says Jobs's family pleaded with him to get the potentially lifesaving surgery earlier, but Jobs sought alternative cures first. From the CBS News teaser:

"I've asked [Jobs why he didn't get an operation then] and he said, 'I didn't want my body to be opened ... I didn't want to be violated in that way,'" Isaacson recalls. So he waited nine months, while his wife and others urged him to do it, before getting the operation, reveals Isaacson. Asked by Kroft how such an intelligent man could make such a seemingly stupid decision, Isaacson replies, "I think that he kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don't want something to exist, you can have magical thinking ... we talked about this a lot," he tells Kroft. "He wanted to talk about it, how he regretted it. ... I think he felt he should have been operated on sooner."

In a detail that will reinforce Jobs's well-known desire to control information both about himself and his company, Isaacson says Jobs kept the severity of his condition from his employees after telling them of his surgery, and that he was "receiving cancer treatments in secret even though he was telling everyone he was cured."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.