Rare Cancer Affects Steve Jobs

Craig Devoe, MD

Neuroendocrine tumors are uncommon, with only a few thousand cases a year. The most well-known case may be that of Steve Jobs, who just resigned as CEO of Apple Inc.

A neuroendocrine tumor begins in the hormone-producing cells of the body’s neuroendocrine system, which is made up of cells that are a cross between traditional endocrine cells (or hormone-producing cells) and nerve cells. Neuroendocrine cells are found in organs like the lungs, stomach and intestines, and perform such functions as regulating the air and blood flow through the lungs and controlling the speed at which food is moved through the gastrointestinal tract, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Cases like Mr. Jobs’, which affect the pancreas, number fewer than 1,000 a year in the United States. In contrast, there are around 40,000 cases of other pancreatic cancers a year. Mr. Jobs’ cancer began in the pancreas then spread to the liver, which prompted his January medical leave from Apple following a liver transplant.


Craig Devoe, MD ,

Medical Oncologist
Monter Cancer Center

*Disclaimer: The medical content on the North Shore-LIJ Health Blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for consultation with your physician regarding diagnosis, treatment or any other form of specific medical advice. More...