Patrick Swayze died on Monday at the age of 57. However, his 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer showed how tough the disease is -- and how unusual it is for people to survive with it as long as he did.
The actor and dancer died of pancreatic cancer. When Swayze was diagnosed, he was given a few months to live.
"The median survival is probably five months," said Dr. Lucas Wong, co-director of the gastrointestinal cancer program at Scott & White Memorial Hospital & Clinic in Temple, Texas. Wong's assessment was confirmed by several other oncologists who work with pancreatic cancer patients.
Wong said that five months represents the median survival time, so half of all patients would be expected to live beyond that time. In Swayze's case, other factors would suggest he would outlive five months.
For one, Swayze really seemed to benefit from his regimen of chemotherapy, typically administered to pancreatic cancer patients in a drug called gemcitabine, msnbc.com reports.
Meanwhile, "Dancing with the Stars" will honor Patrick Swayze on its Sept. 23 live results show.
“We have some very fond memories of [the late actor] coming to help us our when we were a tiny little show way back when,” Dancing’s executive producer Conrad Green says.
Swayze made a guest appearance on Dancing’s inaugural U.S. season in 2005, teaching friend and fellow actor John O’Hurley a few dance moves in rehearsal. He also came to the show and supported O’Hurley by attending the season 1 finale.
“He was one of the few people to integrate dance with being an A-list actor,” Green says. “He inspired many people and many of our pros to dance. We want to honor the great moments he’s brought to film by getting our dancers to do their interpretation to some music from his films.” –Monica Rizzo, People Magazine reports.
It was also reported, ‘The Time of My Life’ - Patrick Swayze’s memoir - will hit bookshelves Sept.29
It’s a fair bet that when many celebrities set out to write their autobiographies, their purpose is to let the world know what wonderful and fascinating people they are. But not Patrick Swayze. When he wrote the memoir that will hit bookshelves Sept. 29, he wasn’t telling his story to others so much as to himself.
“When he sat down to write the book, he wanted to see if he had lived a good life,” Judith Curr, publisher of Atria Books, told TODAY’s Matt Lauer Wednesday in New York. Curr said that those reading “The Time of My Life,” written with his wife and high school sweetheart, Lisa Niemi, will answer that question in the affirmative: “He absolutely was a good person and lived a good life,” ABC News reports.