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Patrick Swayze Dies from Pancreatic CancerSalem-News.com
Patrick Wayne Swayze, August 18, 1952 – September 14, 2009
(LOS ANGELES) - Award-winnig American actor, dancer, and song writer, 57-year old Patrick Swayze has succumbed to the cancer he's battled for the last 20 months, in Los Angeles with his family at his side.
Friends, fans and loved ones have been bracing themselves for weeks for the inevitable, but still are heartsick at his passing.
The "Sexiest Man Alive", as dubbed by People magazine in 1991, Swayze became an icon, best-known for his roles as romantic leading men in the films "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost" and as Orry Main in the "North and South" TV miniseries. Swayze received a Golden Globe Award nomination for the Dirty Dancing role and also sang one of the songs on the soundtrack, "She's Like the Wind," which he wrote with Stacy Widelitz.
Other favorite films include "Point Break", "Red Dawn", "The Outsiders", "Uncommon Valor", "To Wong Foo, Julie Newmar", "Donny Darko", and more.
He was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer in January 2008, and Swayze told ABC's Barbara Walters a year later that he was "kicking it".
“I’d say five years is pretty wishful thinking,” he told Walters. “Two years seems likely if you’re going to believe statistics. I want to last until they find a cure, which means I’d better get a fire under it.”
Pancreatic cancer is a tough adversary though, and he couldn't live long enough for that cure to be found.
According to emedicinehealth.com, Pancreatic cancer is considered one of the most deadly cancers because it is aggressive, and spreads rapidly so it's often not diagnosed until it is in later stages, and few treatment options exist.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death overall, according to the American Cancer Society.
The main recognized risk factors, some of which apply to Patrick Swayze, include:
While in treatment, Swayze reportedly used medical marijuana to treat the nausea, insomnia and anxiety from the chemotherapy treatment, as did Melissa Ethridge, when she was battling cancer as well.
His last role was the lead in an A&E TV series, The Beast, which premiered on January 15, 2009. However, due to a prolonged decline in health, he was unable to promote the series, and in June, Entertainment Tonight reported that the show had been canceled.
Patrick Swayze followed several spiritual traditions. Though he was raised a Roman Catholic, he also studied the Bahá'í Faith, Buddhism, and Scientology.
Patrick and his childhood sweetheart, Lisa Niemi were married in 1975 and never parted. They met in 1970 when she was only 14, taking dance lessons from his mother. He was 18. Five years later, they were wed.
Like Patrick, Lisa is a dancer and also has her private pilots license. She flew Patrick to Northern California for treatments through the last few months. They did not have any children.
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