Dirty Dancing and Ghost Star Patrick Swayze Has Pancreatic Cancer
Actor Patrick Swayze, 55, was recently diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas. Although the National Enquirer reported that he has only 5 weeks to live, more recent reports indicate that the cancer is in early stages and is responding well to treatment. According to his rep, Swayze, who captured the hearts of women worldwide as bad boy Johnny Castle in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing ("Nobody puts Baby in the corner!"), is still working a normal schedule despite his illness.
The National Cancer Institute estimates about 37,600 new cases and of pancreatic cancer and 34,200 pancreatic cancer deaths in 2008. The Mayo Clinic describes cancer of the pancreas as one of the more serious cancers because it is seldom detected early and generally spreads quickly, which contributes to a 5-year survival rate of less than 5% and makes it the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the US.