It is not clear that Steve Jobs actually significantly delayed effective treatment for his cancer as he experimented with alternative medicine, as reported by Brian Dunning of Skeptoid.
I question the accuracy of the allegation. Dunning presents no persuasive evidence for it, just a couple additional unsubstantiated claims in Forbes and Fortune. And it is directly contradicted in the comments by an Apple employee, Tom Strong, in much the way I thought it might be:
“You’ll see in his upcoming biography that Steve never left science-based medicine. But I guess using poor, unconfirmed sources for your arguments is ok when YOU do it, Brian. So disappointing.”
So let’s just wait and see, shall we? Crazy idea, I know. Yes, maybe he did do a crazy quack diet … and maybe he didn’t.
Update: Dr. David Gorski has written a good article about Jobs’ cancer treatment for ScienceBasedMedicine.org, effectively emphasizing the medical complexity and awful uncertainties that were inherent in the choices Jobs had to make:
Dunning is massively overstating the case in his eagerness to attack alternative medicine. This is a mistake. Again, I would certainly agree that Jobs did himself no favors by waiting … is it possible, even likely, that Jobs compromised his chances of survival? Yes. Is it definite that he did? No, it’s not, at least it’s not anywhere as definite as Dunning makes it sound. In fact, based on statistics alone, it’s unlikely that a mere nine months took Jobs “from the high end to the low end of the survival rate,” as Dunning puts it. That’s just not how insulinomas usually behave from a biological standpoint.