Patrick Swayze Died Of Pancreatic Cancer At Age 57: Going Through The Ordeal And Living A Full Life

Date June 19, 2018 16:12

Horrible diseases can happen to anybody, whether you are a celebrity or a regular person. Patrick Swayze fell victim to one of the most devastating illnesses, pancreatic cancer, in 2009, yet the great actor had managed to outlive most patients with the same type of cancer.


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Outliving median survival time

It is unusual for people with pancreatic cancer to live as long as Patrick did. With the median survival time of around 5 months, the iconic Dirty Dancing and Ghost star had been fighting the disease for 20 tough months. Despite learning the diagnosis, Patrick continued his work.

According to Gagandeep Singh, MD, it is great when people don’t close the door after they are diagnosed with this rare, stealthy, and deadly disease. Pancreatic cancer is often times called monster disease, as it is extremely hard to fight against and win in this battle.

Patrick Swayze was working on his TV-series The Beast, when he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, where the disease had already metastasized to his liver, in March 2008. The horrible news didn’t stop him from completing all 13 episodes. Moreover, the actor did it without the help of pain-relieving medications to exclude the impact of the drugs on his performance.


Smoking = cancer

However, despite being athletic his whole life, Patrick smoked and didn’t quit not only his acting career but also the dangerous habit after the diagnosis. Doctors suggest this factor could lead to the development of the actor’s disease, as up to a quarter of the 37,000 annual cases of pancreatic cancer may be due to smoking. This is probably the last photo of Patrick Swayze:

Beyond Death / YouTube

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Traditional treatment

Swayze opted for the traditional pancreatic cancer treatment, which includes the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine, instead of choosing different alternative therapies. Many people would try everything to win the battle against the incurable disease. However, the actor had his own opinion regarding this point:

That's one thing I'm not gonna do, is chase, is chase staying alive. I'm not, you know, you'll spend so much time chasing staying alive you won't live, you know? I wanna live. If anybody had that cure out there like so many people swear to me they do, you'd be two things: you'd be very rich, and you'd be very famous. Otherwise, shut up.


Interestingly enough, it was the standard pancreatic cancer care and Patrick’s motivation that gave him almost 2 more years of life. Swayze raised awareness for pancreatic cancer by making his diagnosis public, thus encouraging many people with the same disease to live a full life no matter what. Patrick Swayze died “peacefully” at the age of 57 with the family at his side on September 14, 2009.

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Patrick Swayze