Should Steve Jobs talk more openly about his pancreatic cancer?

As you have read here and elsewhere, Apple’s Steve Jobs recently underwent a liver transplant for a rare form of pancreatic cancer.

He, however, is not talking publicly about his case, and Apple is tightly controlling the information surrounding Mr. Jobs’ health.

Certainly, he is entitled to his medical privacy, but there are some who believe he should use his stature and celebrity to raise the awareness of pancreatic cancer. It is indeed one of the most dire diagnoses, with an often fatal prognosis. Perhaps it is because of the dismal statistics that funding for pancreatic cancer is so low. Indeed, the National Cancer Institute spends over $13,000 per prostate cancer death, compared to $2,200 for pancreatic cancer.

On a blog post, the New York Times’ Tara Parker-Pope notes that celebrities can do an effective job in raising the awareness of disease, and goes on to cite the Last Lecture’s Randy Pausch and actor Patrick Swayze, each of whom also had pancreatic cancer.

Indeed, although it’s not known what Mr. Jobs has contributed behind the scenes, Ms. Parker-Pope writes that, “I do hope that this remarkable man and creative thinker who helped revolutionize computers, music, phones and animated movies will, someday soon, finally open up and lend his special brand of magic to the cancer community.”

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