Let me open by saying I’m not a doctor nor do I have special knowledge of Steve Jobs’ health. What I do have is family history with pancreatic cancer, how it can involve the liver, and what that means for long-term survival.
We now know that Jobs recently had a liver transplant. This is not terribly surprising. Liver disorders and cancer go hand-in-hand with pancreatic cancer. Jobs as you may recall, had a cancerous tumor removed from his pancreas in 2004. He was remarkably lucky, if you can use a word like that for a situation like this, in having a very rare form of pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor.
Unlike the far more common kinds of pancreatic cancers, which even with good, timely treatment has a median survival period of about six months, the islet cell variant can be beat, or at least held in check. With excellent care, patents can see a median survival rate of five years. I think we can safely presume that Jobs got the best care money can buy.