Steve Jobs gave no specific explanation for his sudden resignation as Apple CEO. But one possible health reason is that his pancreatic cancer may have returned.
If Jobs had suffered the most common form of pancreatic cancer, adenocarcinoma, the chances are he would have died soon after his 2003 diagnosis. But as Jobs later revealed, he had an unusual form of pancreatic cancer known as a neuroendocrine tumor or islet cell carcinoma.
In 2004, nine months after his diagnosis, Jobs underwent surgery to remove the tumor. In 2009 he underwent a liver transplant, a procedure appropriate for only a small number of patients with this uncommon form of pancreatic cancer.
What is known about this kind of cancer? Can it be cured? What if it comes back? WebMD answers these and other questions.
What Is a Neuroendocrine Tumor/Islet Cell Carcinoma?
When doctors discover that a patient has pancreatic cancer, the outlook usually is grim. But once in a while — about 200 to 1,000 times a year in the U.S. — it turns out to be an islet cell carcinoma.