Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Patrick Swayze’s rep confirms he’s suffering from pancreatic cancer

Patrick SwayzePatrick Swayze is fighting pancreatic cancer, it was confirmed today.

The Dirty Dancing star is currently being treated by California doctors for the disease, the same one that killed Luciano Pavarotti.

"Actor Patrick Swayze has been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and is currently undergoing treatment," a statement from his representative read.

"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."

Swayze's doctors have also rejected claims in the National Enquirer magazine that the star has only five weeks to live.

"Patrick has a very limited amount of disease and he appears to be responding well to treatment thus far," Swayze's doctor, Dr. George Fisher, said.

"All of the reports stating the timeframe of his prognosis and his physical side effects are absolutely untrue. We are considerably more optimistic."

The Hollywood star was diagnosed with the condition in late January, and told that it has now spread to other organs.

Swayze, 55, has been receiving treatment from specialists at the Stanford University Medical School in California for the past month.

A distraught family insider earlier told the Enquirer that Swayze has been told he only has five to six weeks to live. "It was unbelievable. One day he's okay and the next he's going to die in a few weeks," the insider allegedly told the Enquirer.

Swayze and wife Lisa have flown their private plane to the nearby Palo Alto airport for regular treatment sessions.

The Enquirer claims that Swayze visited the Cancer Center on January 30, February 2, February 8, February 14 and February 22. Swayze received three chemo treatments during that period, and visited with his doctors twice.

The star's tumour allegedly shrank during the period of treatment, but doctors have told him to expect the worst, the Enquirer claims.

"He was told he could have two more treatments, but his cancer was not responding," the insider said. "In short, they held out little hope for a cure.

"Patrick's family and friends are so grief-stricken they can barely contain their tears and anger."

Swayze reportedly began showing symptoms of his illness back in December 2007, while he was shooting a pilot TV show in Chicago.

"Patrick began spitting up blood and was taken to the hospital," the insider added. "But it wasn't until early February that he spent the night at Stanford.

"His doctors realized the cancer had spread and only a new radical, cutting-edge treatment could possibly help.

"Lisa and Patrick would fly in from Los Angeles, he would have the treatment - that lasted about 3.5-hours - and then they were back in the plane and heading home."

By Graeme Massie, Mar 05 2008 © Copyright 2008 - Showbiz Spy

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