Steve Jobs Refused Early Surgery For His Pancreatic Cancer, Isaacson Says — A Decision He Later Regretted

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Walter Isaacson, author of the forthcoming biography of Steve Jobs, says Steve refused to allow doctors to perform surgery for his pancreatic cancer, instead pursuing alternative therapies for a crucial 9 months in 2004.Steve’s wife and children were in favour of surgery, Isaacson told 60 Minutes, in an interview that will air this Sunday.

“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.”

Isaacson’s biography of Steve will be published next week.

Here’s a clip of his remarks.

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