Patrick Swayze — in the first interview since his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer last year — discussed his battle with the disease yesterday with Barbara Walters. Swayze has Stage IV pancreatic cancer, the most advanced level, in which the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms in the U.S. Just 20 percent of those who are diagnosed are still alive a year later.
"You can bet that I'm going through hell," Swayze, 56, told ABC's Walters. "And I've only seen the beginning of it."
Swayze, who was diagnosed last March, has taken an experimental drug called vatalanib.
He didn't dance around his chances last night. In an echo of the famous "watch me now!" lyric from Dirty Dancing's "Do You Love Me?" he responded to the tough odds: "Watch me! You watch what I pull off."
Another public figure who was treated for pancreatic cancer, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, has been back in the health headlines this week. His 2004 treatment for an early stage of the cancer was reported successful. But Apple said this week that Jobs was suffering from a "hormone imbalance" that was starving his body of necessary nutrients. Experts told ScientificAmerican.com that the imbalance could be linked to problems with his pancreas.
Find out more about what makes pancreatic cancer so difficult to beat here.
Image courtesy of MoonSoleil via Flickr