Comic Steve Mazan was Dying to do Letterman: a Medical Detective Story

In February or March 2005, 35 year-old comedian Steve Mazan was diagnosed with a “rare form of intestinal cancer.” At Celebrity Diagnosis, we always try to provide the most accurate and specific information about diseases because the mainstream media often glosses over important details and sometimes just gets it wrong (such as in the case of Apple CEO Steve Jobs so-called “pancreatic cancer.”) So in the case of Steve Mazan, we searched for more information about his precise diagnosis but it was nowhere to be found. So we decided to treat this case as a medical mystery and track down the most likely suspect using the few clues we did find in various stories on the web.

Here are some of the descriptions of Mr. Mazan’s disease:

  • inoperable liver cancer
  • incurable form of cancer
  • suspected at first to be appendicitis but turned our to be a rare form of intestinal cancer

Other clues came from statements made by Mr. Mazan himself, quoting his doctor:
“…the tumors are slow-growing. If everything goes OK, you could still live 10 to 15 years with this…worst case scenario is 5 years.” Mr. Mazan also said that “surgeons removed 12 inches of my intestines.”

Before we try to figure out what’s going on, here’s a little bit more about how Steve Mazan reacted to his diagnosis. One of a professional comic’s dreams is to appear on the David Letterman show and they often have to practice and hone their craft for years at other venues before getting “the call.” Steve was no different in this respect and performed at numerous venues including several tours to entertain troops in Iraq. (You can find more details of his resume on his web site. When he was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, he decided that one of his goals before he died was to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman and even formed a web site called DyingToDoLetterman in pursuit of this goal. Anyway, Steve finally got his wish and appeared on the show on September 5, 2009.

Here’s the video

About Dying to do Letterman

For the medical detectives among our readers, what specific disease does Steve Mazan really have?

Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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