Patrick Swayze Dies From Pancreatic Cancer, Is Source Of Inspiration

Patrick SwayzePatrick Swayze, star of many hit films such as Dirty Dancing and Ghost passed away recently, battling pancreatic cancer.

This form of cancer is one of the lesser known cancers and the actor and his struggle with the cancer has helped raise and increase awareness of what is known as a ‘stealthy disease’.

He was diagnosed last year with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and died at the age of 57.

According to Doctor Gagandeep Singh, MD, director of hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Swayze and his struggle with his affliction has been a source of inspiration.

Since the actor continued working even after being diagnosed with the cancer, he has showed people that it is possible to carry on with life, that there is life even after pancreatic cancer.

The reason that this particular form of cancer is so dangerous is that there are no screening tests to detect it, and there is no way to identify its onset expect when it has spread considerably. The fact that there are also no symptoms to begin with is responsible for the low survival rate of the disease.

Posted in: Pancreatic Cancer

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  1. Judith Murphy says:

    I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in November 2010. IIt started with a trip to the ER with what I thought was a really bad kidney infection in April 2010. After a routine CAT scan the radiologist noted two swollen lymph nodes in my abdomen. I was sent to an oncologist who was baffled as to the cause. In June 2010 I was sent for a PET scan which showed no change in the lymph nodes so he felt it might be a slow growing lymphoma. He suggested a lymph node biopsy so had one done from a lymph node in my neck and also a spot on the back of my tongue which were both benign. Had another biopsy done through EBUS on a lymph node near my windpipe which came back as cancer of an unknown origin. Had a colonoscopy that was negative and and endoscope that show nothing. Had another EUS which showed a 2CM tumor at the throat of the pancreas this past November. Meantime I had had no real symptoms and was fine. I did lose about 20 lbs from April to present but I was so uptight about what the outcome might be I didn’t think much of it. I also noticed overeating really bothered me. Now I am told I am sort of an anomoly as I should be very sick or dead after 8 mos. As this was discovered earlier than most, I’m guessing, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of knowledge as to how this will progress. I am 64 years old and smoke. The medical profession advocates chest xrays for smokers but never an EUS. I have no history of pancreatic cancer in my family and I believe it was the smoking. It is now 10 months later and have minor discomfort but am undergoing chemo only to postpone the inevitable. I don’t seem to fit the mortality profile at this point. Was curious as to whether anyone else is like me and to make people aware of the “other” risk of smoking.