Steve Jobs refused cancer treatment too long: biographer

Apple Inc co-founder and tech icon Steve Jobs refused potentially life-saving cancer surgery for nine months, shrugging off his family's protests and opting instead for alternative medicine, according to the tech visionary's biographer.

When he eventually sought surgery, the rare form of pancreatic cancer had spread to the tissues surrounding the organ, biographer Walter Isaacson said in an interview with 60 Minutes on CBS, to be aired on Sunday.

Jobs also played down the seriousness of his condition and told everyone he was cured but kept receiving treatment in secret, Isaacson said in the interview.

The biography hits bookstores Oct. 24 and emerged from scores of interviews with Jobs. It is expected to paint an unprecedented, no-holds-barred portrait of a man who famously guarded his privacy fiercely but whose death ignited a global outpouring of grief and tribute.

The book reveals Jobs was bullied in school, tried various quirky diets as a teenager, and exhibited early strange behavior such as staring at others without blinking.

In his 60 Minutes interview, Isaacson confirmed details that had been speculated upon or widely reported, including that Jobs might have been cured of his slow-growing cancer had he sought professional treatment sooner, rather than resorting to unconventional means.

Jobs deeply regretted putting off a decision that might have ultimately saved his life, according to Isaacson.

He tries to treat it with diet. He goes to spiritualists. He goes to various ways of doing it macrobiotically and he doesn't get an operation, Isaacson said in the interview.

I think that he kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don't want something to exist, you can have magical thinking, he said. We talked about this a lot.

Jobs announced in August 2004 that he had undergone surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his pancreas. In 2008 and 2009 -- as his dwindling weight stirred increasing alarm in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street -- he said first he was fighting a common bug, then that he was suffering from a hormone imbalance. In 2009, news emerged that he had undergone a liver transplant. [ID:nN1E77O005]

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