A new biography of the Apple visionary, which the New York Times obtained, reveals that he turned to acupuncture, veganism, herbal remedies and spiritual healing rather than undergo what could have been life-saving surgery.
His decision to put off surgery for nine months was first reported several years ago, but the book offers new details about his thinking and that of his friends and family. The author, Walter Isaacson, wrote the book after some 40 interviews with Jobs and many others with people who were close to him.
"The big thing was that he really was not ready to open his body,” his wife, Laurene Powell, told Isaacson of his initial refusal to undergo surgery and chemotherapy. “It’s hard to push someone to do that."
Mr. Jobs' story reminds us that while diet (as well as exercise and stress-relieving techniques like yoga) can have a powerful effect on our health, it isn't enough to kill a tumor once it has taken root. Yes, diet can help us when we battle cancer, primarily by controlling inflammatory processes that help the tumor grow and metastasize (something I learned by reading Dr. Servan-Schreiber's book "AntiCancer").
But far more effective when a cancer has outwitted our bodies' ability to contain it are surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and the other marvels of modern medicine. Often it is best to follow our doctor's counsel.