People who have battled Cachexia
Yes, it’s shocking to hear. But even the renowned Apple CEO could not be spared from the devastation of cachexia. Steve Jobs — the enigmatic genius behind the iPhone known to reside in his own dogged reality — had every resource at his disposal along with a reported extra helping of tenacity. If anyone could beat it, he could. And yet this harnesser of perfectionism and magical-thinking could not escape cachexia. Why?
What you have to keep in mind is that at the time of Jobs’s death (2011), experts were still refining the definition of what cachexia was exactly. And beyond that, they were desperately trying to generate funding and interest for research into why it happens and how it can be treated.
For a long time, it’s simply been accepted that cachexia is an irreversible condition of late stage terminal diseases. But recently, researchers have begun to look at it differently. And preclinical research, like Cachexinol studies, support this new approach to treating cachexia.
How Steve Jobs Fought Cancer
In the fall of 2003, when Steve Jobs was first diagnosed, his doctors were hopeful. They had caught this less aggressive form of pancreatic cancer (neuroendocrine) early, and it was possible to treat it successfully with surgery.
But Jobs made a decision to try alternative medicine instead—a later much-debated topic surrounding his death. According to Jobs’s biographer, Walter Isaacson, “he tried a vegan diet, acupuncture, herbal remedies, and other treatments he found online, and even consulted a psychic.” Nine months later, though, Jobs agreed to have the surgery.
Known as the Whipple procedure, the surgery Jobs underwent is often performed to treat pancreatic tumors. This complex operation entails removing the head of the pancreas, the first part of the small intestine, the gallbladder and the bile duct. As you can imagine, the technical intricacy involves careful removal and resectioning of organs, and this surgery has fewer complications when done by a highly experienced surgeon. You can imagine Jobs had the best.
However, Whipple surgery can cause a host of digestive issues and temporary or permanent diabetes. It’s said that some people are never the same after.
Jobs’s tumor was successfully removed and he did not receive radiation or chemotherapy.
But in 2006, his cancer returned.
A Noticeable Difference from 2006 to 2008
The public first noticed a gaunter Jobs at the 2006 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Then even more in 2007.
People who had seen it before in loved ones recognized it. Others said, of course he’s not eating or sleeping; he’s working long hours getting the next iPhone ready to launch. Others accepted the Apple report that it was a “common bug”. But when Jobs showed up much thinner to the WWDC in 2008, people who had seen what cachexia looks like spotted it immediately.
You can see the progression of Jobs’s cachexia in the photos from the 2007 and
2008 WWDCs, and then the rapid deterioration in the short period of time from the photo in March of 2011 to the last picture of him, standing, in August 2011.
It is not certain what Jobs did to treat his cachexia, but what we do know is that it probably wasn’t properly diagnosed and addressed. Until recently cachexia has been underdiagnosed and under-recognized. Because doctors and researchers historically have been almost entirely focused on treating the cancer itself, a universal, agreed upon definition of cachexia and criteria for diagnosing it was not even attempted until a few years after Jobs’s diagnosis of cancer.
In 2008, several scientists and clinicians met in Washington, D.C. to agree upon a working definition of cachexia and come up with diagnostic criteria. By that time, Jobs had been progressively losing muscle mass and weight for a couple of years.
In 2009, Jobs underwent a liver transplant, which is sometimes common with his type of pancreatic cancer if it has not spread beyond the liver. From this we can infer that the cancer was still the main focus of his treatment, even though cachexia was obviously taking its toll.
Again, at the time of Steve Jobs’s diagnosis through to his death, and even up to very recently, cachexia remained underdiagnosed and regarded as an ultimate outcome for many with cancer and other terminal diseases. It was believed to be a direct cause and part of the cancer.
We can see in pictures that Steve Jobs was wasting away over many years, and then very rapidly in the end. There must be another way to approach cachexia along with the treatment of the original disease …
That’s exactly what some researchers have decided to do.
How Cachexinol Could Help
Thinking differently about cachexia has led scientists like Dr. Emek Blair to explore treatment options from a different perspective.
Just because cachexia often accompanies cancer and other diseases like COPD, heart failure, and kidney disease, does not mean it should be treated like a symptom of that disease. Researchers are now seeing that cachexia may have causes separate from the disease, and, therefore, need to be treated as such.
More than 20% of cancer patients die for the direct or indirect consequences of cachexia. Some researchers have stopped assuming that only cancer tumors cause cachexia and have started looking at immune deficiency and metabolic disorders as causes that could be treated and reversed apart from cancer.
Cachexinol is formulated with liposome technology, that allows for a new approach to help patients with chronic illnesses prevent and fight cachexia. Talk with your doctor about Cachexinol and how it may fit into your cachexia management plan.
We have seen the results of Cachexinol in mice studies. Even though their cancer remained, their cachexia reversed. They regained weight. They lived..