updated 09:10 pm EST, Wed February 16, 2011
Apple CEO seen at clinic, tabloid paper reports
The National Enquirer is preparing to publish photos next week that show Apple CEO Steve Jobs outside the Stanford Cancer Center in Palo Alto, celebrity gossip site RadarOnline reports. The photos are said to have taken just a day after Jobs was spotted working on the Cupertino campus of Apple, shortly after announcing his latest medical leave, the tabloid alleges.
Complications and even recurrence are not uncommon among patients who have suffered pancreatic cancer, but despite Jobs' health being a frequent topic of concern in the media, he has actually done remarkably well for someone with such a life-threatening condition. Jobs underwent a surgery called a "Whipple procedure" to remove the pancreatic tumor in 2004, and took a six-month leave of absence in 2009 to address a "hormone imbalance" that eventually required a liver transplant, which he had in April 2009. Only about five percent of pancreatic cancer patients survive longer than five years after diagnosis; Jobs is approaching the seventh anniversary of the discovery of his islet-cell neuroendocrine tumor, a very rare form of the cancer.
The Stanford Cancer Center was, by coincidence, the same facility that treated actor Patrick Swayze for his pancreatic cancer before his death in 2009. If Jobs' pancreatic cancer has returned, it may be necessary to remove the remainder of his pancreas; severe diabetes is a common after-effect of pancreatic surgery.
Whether this latest medical leave is related to the former cancer, the liver transplant or some new issue is unknown. By all accounts, Jobs is still actively involved in strategic decisions within the company, issuing a press release yesterday to promote the formal announcement of iTunes subscriptions. Apple COO Tim Cook is, as he has before, running the day-to-day operations of the company. Jobs' latest medical leave is open-ended, unlike his previous one -- prompting speculation that he might not return to the role of CEO. So far, however, there is no indication that Jobs is thinking of retiring or leaving Apple.