Team,"Neuroendocrine tumor of the pancreas" is somewhat of a generic term and while some of these tumours can sometimes be quite aggressive, most fortunately are relatively low grade and slow growing. (A few of you might have heard the term "carcinoid" used for some of these latter low grade tumours.) Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours are distinct from the more common ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, which has an extremely poor prognosis even after surgery.
I have some personal news that I need to share with you, and I wanted you to hear it directly from me. This weekend I underwent a successful surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from my pancreas. I had a very rare form of pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, which represents about 1% of the total cases of pancreatic cancer diagnosed each year, and can be cured by surgical removal if diagnosed in time (mine was). I will not require any chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
The far more common form of pancreatic cancer is called adenocarcinoma, which is currently not curable and usually carries a life expectancy of around one year after diagnosis. I mention this because when one hears "pancreatic cancer" (or Googles it), one immediately encounters this far more common and deadly form, which, thank god, is not what I had.
I will be recuperating during the month of August, and expect to return to work in September. While I'm out, I've asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple's day to day operations, so we shouldn't miss a beat. I'm sure I'll be calling some of you way too much in August, and I look forward to seeing you in September.
PS: I'm sending this from my hospital bed using my 17-inch PowerBook and an Airport Express.
He has not stated the exact details of his situation, but it does sound like his prognosis is good. The lesion was was felt to be removed completely (likely either by a Whipple procedure, or a distal pancreatectomy, depending on the location of the tumour), and he won't need chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
We wish him well.
PS: I love that post script. That Steve... Always the salesman. ;) Oh and I'm sending this from my couch using my 15-inch PowerBook and wireless 802.11b. :)