Patrick Swayze cancer confirmed
Patrick Swayze's pancreatic cancer has been confirmed.
News the 'Dirty Dancing' star was battling the illness and allegedly had only five weeks to live emerged yesterday (05.03.08), and now the actor's representative has released a statement saying Patrick is "responding well" to treatment.
Annett Wolf said: "Patrick Swayze has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and is currently undergoing treatment. Patrick is continuing his normal schedule during this time, which includes working on upcoming projects. The outpouring of support and concern he has already received from the public is deeply appreciated by Patrick and his family."
Patrick's physician Dr. George Fisher added: "Patrick has a very limited amount of disease and he appears to be responding well to treatment thus far. All of the reports stating the timeframe of his prognosis and his physical side effects are absolutely untrue. We are considerably more optimistic."
The 55-year-old star has reportedly received three radical chemotherapy sessions at Stanford University's highly-respected cancer centre in Palo Alto, California, which he has been attending with his wife of 32 years Lisa Niemi.
Patrick's mother Patsy Swayze, a dancer and choreographer, emotionally said: "I don't really want to talk about it, but I know he's sick. But he has great doctors and a great prognosis, and that's all I can say."
Despite the optimism of his family and friends, cancer specialists insist the disease is often terminal.
Mace Rothenberg, a professor at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, Texas, said: "Only four per cent of patients who suffer from pancreatic cancer are alive after five years.
"The disease is typically a silent killer, producing no symptoms until it spreads around the body. It also tends to spread very early."
Patrick - who spent time in rehab to be treated for alcoholism following his sister Vicky's 1994 death from a drug overdose - has been continuing with his normal schedule. He recently completed shooting 'Fired Up' - a comedy in which he plays a gay cheerleading instructor.
He first shot to fame starring as bad boy Johnny Castle in the hit 1987 movie 'Dirty Dancing' before going on to star in a host of hit films including 'Ghost' and 'Point Break'.
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