This will come as no surprise to many, but Megan McCardle is an idiot (tip o’ the antlers to Michael J who linked to the Macalope’s piece below in comments there).

I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on the internet.

What does McCardle then do? Why, play doctor, of course. And on the Internet! It’s the double play of stupid!

But what seems more likely? That Steve Jobs is suffering from a “hormone imbalance” that has sent his weight plummeting and requires a leave of absence, or that his delay in treating his pancreatic cancer while he messed around with woo “alternative therapies” for nine months gave it time to metastize? Pancreatic cancer is nasty, nasty stuff. I don’t think we’re going to see another comeback this time.

Read that last line again. The Macalope has no funny retort, no snarky comeback to that. He is simply aghast at your ghoulish lack of sensitivity and boorish inclination to provide a medical opinion you yourself admit you’re unqualified to give.

Steve Jobs has never managed–or from what I understand, even much tried–to build a robust corporate culture that could be self-sustaining without his presence.

Great. Now we’ve established that not only are you unqualified to provide medical opinions, you’re also unqualified to provide management opinions.

What is it exactly you do?

  • kev:

    Um, insulin (which is made in your pancreas) is a hormone that allows your body to use the energy in carbohydrates, otherwise known as glucose. An imbalance in your insulin would keep you from being able to benefit from food very efficiently, just like a type-1 diabetic. If your pancreas is under duress and is not creating islet cells that release insulin in relation to your carbohydrate intake, you will lose weight, just like a type-1 diabetic who is pre-diagnosis.

    Occam’s razor would say that an imbalance is infinitely more likely than cancer.

  • Tom:

    My dad delayed treatment of his leukemia, whiched harmed his chances greatly. He didn’t make it but two months. I think it WAS stupid of Steve to delay, but he obviously beat the odds and still lives. Ugh.

  • Todd:

    Hmmm. These alleged journalists and bloggers? The ones making all these ridiculous statements about Steve’s health and requesting a full medical report?

    They need to release their health records, particularly those regarding their mental health. They seem to have cognitive issues. I want to know if they are getting treated for these issues before I waste any more of my time reading their writing.

  • Daniel P:

    Steve Jobs did not have leukemia though. Leukemia refers to cancer of leukocytes (white blood cells) or blood cells in general. This is obviously bad since the cancer isn’t localized, relatively speaking. However, even amongst cases of leukemia the effectiveness of treatment is variable.

    Why do I talk about the relative effectiveness? Because people are jumping to conclusions when they have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. In the mind of most people cancer = death. That isn’t true.

    The type of cancer Steve Jobs had was neuroendocrine islet cell carcinoma. This is a rare form of pancreatic cancer and not to be confused the the “instant death” cancer cliche (again it is variable). Islet cells are involved in hormone production which as mentioned impacts carbohydrate metabolism.

    Now, does this mean that he has cancer again? No. There are any number of reasons for any number of pathways to result in a hormone imbalance that result in weight loss. And just a note, hormones don’t mean steroids and body builders. Hormones are how cells talk to each other. If cells aren’t talking to each other correctly, things can get messed up, so to speak. Without access to Steve Jobs’ medical records it is just as likely that he has cancer as it is that his islet cells are not acting normally and thus harming his ability to metabolize carbohydrates.

    By the way, I don’t claim to know everything or anything specific about Steve Jobs’ condition, I’m just attempting to clarify some of the noise that is being thrown around.

  • Y’know. No doctor worth the price of your copay would diagnose anything more complex than a broken arm sight unseen. In fact, most doctors would require a one-on-one office visit to confirm a compound fracture. Yet the internet is awash with people who are willing to do exactly that. The scary part is many of them are getting paid actual dollars for that meaningless speculation.

    Worse. There are people who pay credence to that nonsense.


  • krimpet:

    Ha! Seems there’s a blog devoted to trying to get Meg fired!

  • Aaron:

    metastize? That’s not even a word. If you’re going to invent diagnoses from information that you don’t have and you want to sound even a bit credible, don’t screw up the most basic of oncologic terminology. Sheesh

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