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Patrick Swayze and Pancreatic Cancer

I join just about everyone everywhere in feeling sad about the death yesterday of actor Patrick Swayze, whose brave and public fight with pancreatic cancer helped raise awareness of this most deadly disease.

But feeling sad's not enough. Want to support those who are seeking a cure -- or even a decent treatment, or a screening tool for early detection? Check out the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

I was going to write a long and informative blog entry about pancreatic cancer today, but the folks who write the Booster Shots blog for the L.A. Times already did an excellent job of just that. Here's what they posted last evening.

Today, in honor of Patrick Swayze and all the other people who have succumbed to pancreatic cancer, please use the comments space to share your stories, memories and plans for helping to beat that disease.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  September 15, 2009; 7:35 AM ET
Categories:  Cancer  
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RIP Patrick. Dirty Dancing was by far the best movie ever! You will be missed. I left a condolense for his wife and family & lit a virtual candle in his memory at

I'm sure they will love to read how much he will be missed by all.

Posted by: akaim | September 15, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for posting this and in regards to plans for beating this disease, I would strongly encourage your readership to look into the low cost out of patent drug Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN). This is proving extremely effective with cancers. Please investigate the work of Dr Burt Berkson and Low Dose Naltrexone with pancreatic cancer. I hope this helps your readership.

Posted by: JayneLC | September 15, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Naltrexone is a medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating drug and alcohol addiction. In very low doses, it is proving to be amazingly effective in treating pancreatic cancer--with minimal side effects and at a price anyone can afford.

For more information about Low Dose Naltrexone in the treatment of cancer, visit

With best wishes,

Dudley Delany, R.N., M.A., D.C.

Posted by: dudleydelany | September 15, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I too am feeling sorrow for the passing of Patrick Swayze... I lost my husband and father to my three young children three years ago. When I hear that someone has this disease, I cannot help but be cautious in my enthusiasm in remissions. I pray for all those who are currently fighting this disease. My husband never called in sick to work in 15 years and then when he did, it was pancreatic cancer that kept him from work. I am sure if Patrick was any sort of the same person my husband was he fought hard and made it look easy. As a caretaker and mother, that ease was only there from the brave front he put on. my biggest condolence came from the fact I saw my husband leave the room, smiling, robust and calling his brothers name, who had died 20 years earlier. I know he went to a better place. My real advice to others is hospice or home care... when the pain became too great, too intense and dire, they never once refused him morphine, there was no begging for pain killers as in the they took me and my children in too and they took care of all of us for 10 days....I called it the best thing to come around for us at the time... my children are registered at John Hopkins...with the level of diabetes in both of our family histories plus a parent dying at a young age, it is good to keep up on these things. Again, I hope that Patrick met my husband and are OUTSIDING it forever....

Posted by: nundanesbitt | September 15, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

One of the things that makes pancreatic cancer so dangerous is that there is no detection test to catch it early. Perhaps the saddest example of this is Gene Upshaw, the longtime head of the NFL Players' Union, who died less than a week after his pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

It took eight months of doctor visits before a doctor was able to diagnose my father's pancreatic cancer. By then, the cancer was no longer operable, which is the only way to cure pancreatic cancer.

Fortunately, my father is still fighting the disease. The DC area is home to one of the best treatment centers for pancreatic cancer, at Johns Hopkins. The University of Maryland Medical Center is also a good center.

On the federal level, pancreatic cancer research has been severely underfunded for decades. Although it is the fourth leading cancer killer in the US, it receives less than two percent of the National Cancer Institute's cancer research budget. Seventy-five percent of all people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer die within 1 year of diagnosis.

PanCAN, the group that Jennifer linked to above, has been urging members of Congress to support H.R. 745, a bill that would require the NCI to set annual targets for making progress in pancreatic cancer research.

Posted by: Constitution2 | September 15, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Low Dose Naltrexone is a "shift in paradigm" treatment in autoimmune disease and cancer. Cancers with opioid receptors, which include pancreatic cancer, have responded to the raised levels of met5-enkphaline by remitting. Allergies, asthma, Austism, HIVAIDS and many others have benefited from this immune modulator. It is cheap, safe and readily available so do look it up and ask for help if you need more information.

Dr Chris Steele, ITV's This Morning supporting LDN

Posted by: Garnet_LDN | September 15, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

As a 7 1/2 year survivor, I am sadden by every loss to pancreatic cancer and I know that by the grace of God, that could be me.

I was a very lucky one to have the symptom of painless jaundice. My local doctors did not stop at the easy answer and kept looking. Within a month of my first visit, I was meeting with the leading pancreatic cancer surgeon, Dr. John Cameron at JHH. A month later, I had the whipple. Caught at Stage 1 - I then completed 5 weeks of radiation with chemo.

Then I waited.... to see if the surgery and follow up treatment was enough. Each anniversary has provided me with the opportunity to be grateful that I'm still here and disease free.

This cancer steals hope because far too many patients are diagnosis when surgery is too late. Like Patrick, they have to try different chemo combinations with the hope to beat the cancer back. Unfortunately, like Patrick, the chemo agents are often no match for pancreatic cancer. We measure survival in days and weeks, not years like other cancers.

While the 9th most common cancer, pancreatic cancer is number 4 on the list of cancers that will kill you. Only 4% of individuals are still here at the magic 5 year mark.

We need the financial resources to keep the researchers working on an early detection tests as well as better chemos. Without those resources, pancreatic cancer is going to be the sad step child of cancers. It's bad luck to get this cancer but it's even worse luck when you find out that there is little research going on compared with other cancers or diseases.

When Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture) died in July 2008, we lost a bright spot light on this disease. We lost another yesterday with Patrick's passing.

A cancer is not 'rare' when it hits you and some 38,000 individuals will find that out this year much to their dismay.

Groups such as PanCAN are working on raising money to keep the researchers going but we cannot do it alone. We need lots of support, both private and federal funding to change this story.

One of the hardest things for new patients or their families is to hear the statistics of pancreatic cancer survivorship. I tell them that those statistics are the truth about the past but not the story of our future.

Posted by: meoconnell81 | September 15, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

My heart goes out to the family of Patrick Swayze. I had the honor of
meeting Patrick in the mid 80s during the filming of his movie Roadhouse. He
was a gentleman and a very talented actor.

Many of us in the Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) Community began trying to
contact Patrick, his manager, and his family last spring in the hope of
sharing with them the information about the effectiveness of a drug called
Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) for pancreatic and other cancers. Please research the work of Dr. Burt Berkson.

LDN is an FDA approved drug prescribed off-label for many diseases, including cancer, autoimmune and neurologic disorders. Because it's generic it's inexpensive which could save the world's govenments billions on health care, and more importantly, could offer relief and hope to those suffering with chronic and terminal illnesses.

It's tragic to lose this young man who had so much more to give to his art,
and to those who loved and admired him. May he rest in peace.

Posted by: tamrakat | September 16, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Patrick will be missed. Dr BM Berkson has Alpha Lipoic Acid via IV plus Low Dose Naltrexone to cure Pancreatic cancer and many others. He has saved so many lives its a tradgedy its not first line defense! Patients told by university hospitals to go to hospice and prepare oneself for death. Google scholar BM Berkson to see all of his studies. We have already a cure plus treatment for pancreatic cancer and all autoimmune diseases. ALA and LDN. Everyone has a choice to make. Big pharma and hospitals keep these two miracle drugs under the rug.They make money off of transplants and keeping you under their control. Maybe with the new health bill they will discover the money savings that will occurr using it. I use it for my MS, my wife Lupus. Matt

Posted by: nomatchoo | September 16, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Google Low Dose Naltrexone plus another Google Scholar BM Berkson. My MS feels far better than when I was on Tysabri and I dont worry of PML. My wifes Lupus is nearing remission. She has weaned off all drugs. No cell cept, plaquenil or steroid. You must know how LDN plus ala saves lives and could have saved Patricks. Its generic, so big pharma cant make money on it. The govt wont step in, they dont even let us buy drugs from Canada. Your doc will act as he never heard of LDN or ala intravenous. They are protecting their job. Its called jonb security! Too bad we live in a money corrupt world. People trust their doctors way too much. Its a fine line we draw. You can find good doctors but they are far between. There and many on the Mary Bradley Boyle show who are in it for the good of humanity. Matt

Posted by: nomatchoo | September 16, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I was deeply saddened by the death of Patrick Swayze. It really hit home with me because I am a pancreatic cancer survivor. It has been almost 8 years since I was given a death sentence of 3 months. I have been through 3 surgeries, radiation, chemo and experimental drugs. It has been a rough road but I have made it thus far. There are other pancreatic cancer survivors who are out here with me.
Patrick Swayze was a brave warrior, hopefully his death will not be in vain. There is hope to beat this beast!!!

Posted by: sscoble | September 16, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I was deeply saddened by the death of Patrick Swayze. It really hit home with me because I am a pancreatic cancer survivor. It has been almost 8 years since I was given a death sentence of 3 months. I have been through 3 surgeries, radiation, chemo and experimental drugs. It has been a rough road but I have made it thus far. There are other pancreatic cancer survivors who are out here with me.
Patrick Swayze was a brave warrior, hopefully his death will not be in vain. There is hope to beat this beast!!!

Posted by: sscoble | September 16, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

My heart goes out to all the individuals that have been diagnosed with cancer and especially pancreatic cancer. My mother passed 14 months ago from Pancreatic Cancer. When the doctors said my mother had this cancer,our hearts sunk. I knew this was one of the most deadlist cancer. If he had mentioned any other cancer we would have had some hope. My mother died within 5 months of the diagnosis. It hurts just as much rather the patient is famous to the world or just famous to their love ones. The positive thing about this situation is that it brings much needed attention to this Cancer. To the family of Patrick Swayze, I offer my deepest sympathy. RIP Patrick

Posted by: iris-hurd | September 18, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

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