Pancreatic cancer is notoriously lethal — there are almost as many deaths from it each year as there are new cases. The deaths this week of Apple founder Steve Jobs and Nobelist Ralph Steinman bring unusual attention to this less-well-known type of cancer that has actually been declining despite no big advances in treatment or finding it early.
A decline in smoking, one of the top risk factors for the disease, may be behind the drop in cases.
Jobs lived more than seven years after being diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor — a less common, slower-growing and more treatable type of pancreatic cancer than the kind that killed Steinman a week ago and actor Patrick Swayze two years ago.
Apple chief kept details of his illness behind a firewall and declared
he was cured after cancer surgery in 2004. However, five years later,
gaunt and having lost a lot of weight, Jobs had a liver transplant.
Experts said it was likely because his cancer had returned or spread... Read More