Bio Details Swayze's Cancer Fight

It was almost too late before actor visited doctor
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2009 9:56 AM CDT
In this Nov. 28, 2005 file photo, actress Patrick Swayze, right, accompanied by his wife Lisa Niemi pose prior to the premiere of his film "Keeping Mum" in central London.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, file)
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(Newser) – Patrick Swayze’s first inkling that something was wrong came while sipping champagne on New Year’s Eve 2007, reports the New York Daily News. “It was like acid on an open wound,” he recalls in a new biography out Tuesday. At the end of January 2008, after dropping 20 pounds, he went to the doctor—then, despite a 5% chance of surviving pancreatic cancer, decided to go back to work.

“He told us, ‘Guys, I have some horrible news,’” recalls the executive producer of Swayze’s TV show The Beast in Wendy Leigh's Patrick Swayze: One Last Dance. “‘But if you can be patient and stand by me, I’m going to come back and do the show. I’m in great condition. I’m a cowboy. I’m a dancer. I’ll beat this.’”