In heartbreaking news, PageSix.com is reporting that actor Patrick Swayze has been diagnosed with cancer. The movie stars' publicist confirmed to the website that Patrick is suffering from pancreatic cancer, which he was diagnosed with in early January.
"Actor Patrick Swayze has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and is currently undergoing treatment," his rep said in a statement. "Patrick's physician Dr. George Fisher states, '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.' 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."
The average life expectancy for the disease is six to nine months, with only 4 percent of patients living more than five years.
I can't tell you how sad I am about this news. Patrick has always been one of my favorite actors -- in fact, I had just singled out Dirty Dancing's Johnny Castle in our Favorite Romantic Movie Characters slide show. Let's hope there are many more memorable roles to come.
Let's all pray that Patrick beats the odds. Send your good thoughts!
To find out more about pancreatic cancer, visit our Pancreatic Cancer health guide.