Steve Jobs’ 7-Year Health Battle: Defying Big Odds, Launching Big Products

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TIME’s health blog, Healthland, has a very interesting piece on the pancreatic cancer Steve Jobs had been battling before he passed away.

According to the post:

“Pancreatic cancer is one of the faster spreading cancers; only about 4% of patients can expect to survive five years after their diagnosis. Each year, about 44,000 new cases are diagnosed in the U.S., and 37,000 people die of the disease.

The pancreas contains two types of glands: exocrine glands that produce enzymes that break down fats and proteins, and endocrine glands that make hormones like insulin that regulate sugar in the blood. Jobs died of tumors originating in the endocrine glands, which are among the rarer forms of pancreatic cancer.”

Jobs had sought out alternative treatments for dealing with the disease—one being a special diet, and another reportedly being a radiation-based hormone treatment in Switzerland that’s not available in the U.S.

(MORE: The Pancreatic Cancer That Killed Steve Jobs)

Says Healthland:

“Whether these treatments helped to extend Jobs’ life or improve the quality of his last days isn’t clear. But cancer experts expressed surprise that Jobs survived as long as he did, continuing to fight his disease. Other pancreatic cancer patients typically aren’t as fortunate. Another high-profile patient, actor Patrick Swayze, managed to live for 20 months after his diagnosis, taking advantage of chemotherapy treatments. But, overall, patients’ median survival is generally only five months.”

So Jobs apparently outlasted a disease with a median five-month survival rate from at least mid-2004, when he reportedly revealed his illness to Apple employees, until early October 2011. And in that time period, Apple launched some of its biggest products—many unveiled personally by Jobs himself.

(VIDEO: Memorable Steve Jobs Keynote Speeches)

Here’s a timeline of some of the big-name Apple products that rolled out between 2005 and the present day:

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