Is Pancreatic Cancer on the Rise?

24 10 2009

                                MAE VIDEO – Marc Compares Swayze & Landon\’s Pancreatic Disease Deaths      Marc MAE Fitness & Pain Management Consultant               

 I  was motivated to know more about Pancreatic Cancer after the death of Patrick Swazye.  But I was most impacted in 1991 by Michael Landon’s death.  However at that point, I was in a different time and place with my life.  Instead of realizing the seriousness of this insidious death sentence, I thought “how unfair and what a loss to all that admired his work “and the person.”  I figured this was an isolated and unfortunate rare occurrence. Then the news of Patrick Swazye’s pancreatic cancer story came and went some 18 years later.  He too was someone I admired like many of you out there.  This left me to ponder… Is pancreatic cancer or cancer in general on the rise?  Is it a geographical thing?  After all, both of these actors lived in Southern California.  Is there any way to prevent, or remove this cancer from the body once it takes hold?  I had so many unanswered questions in my head at this point in time.  These two people I greatly admired for their work.  This drew upon my curiosity as a health conscious individual to know more about their lifestyles and could they have done anything differently to change their outcome?  I decided to write this piece as a two part article.  First, let’s look at these two individual’s to see if we can determine some commonalities.  In the second piece (part2), we’ll review the statistical cancer information to draw on some presumptive conclusions in answering these questions.

 Like most of you I was an avid follower of Michael Landon.  My favorite shows as a kid were Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie and Highway to Heaven series.  Michael Landon was diagnosed with Aden Carcinoma at the age of 54 on 5 April 1991 and immediately underwent chemo therapy.  His cancer had spread to his liver at first causing stomach cramps receiving his diagnosis 7 weeks later.  The cancer became inoperable due to the cancer spreading to the liver and lymph node system.  Only 1% of patients with this combination survive the full five year period.  He died in Malibu, CA on 1 July 1991.  Potential cause of cancer for this patient, heavy alcohol consumption and a four pack per day smoking habit.   I also followed many Hollywood movies that Patrick Swazye appeared in.  Three of his movies I can think of immediately, “Dirty Dancing, Next of Kin and Roadhouse.”   Swayze was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer in March 2008 and underwent chemo therapy with new experimental drugs (vatalanib/gemcitabine) to shrink the tumor by preventing the development of new blood vessels that would otherwise nourish it.   After more than a year of cancer, Swazye completed 13 episodes of the beast without pain medication.  Swayze Died, 14 Sept 2009 at the age of 57.  Since the cancer spread to his liver surgery would help him.  His life expectancy after diagnosis was 5 months.  He lived 20 months after diagnosis.  He’s a strong guy, and he’s got a great attitude,” says Ron Wise, a Cedars-Sinai spokesman, “in my experience, that has a lot to do with how things go.”  Patrick Swayze’s biggest regret was his smoking which he continued to do until his death.  Doctor’s agreed, even if he quit at the time of diagnosis would have no bearing on his outcome after diagnosis.  See part two of this article continuation, “Pancreatic Cancer Statistics and Recommendations.”

 World Wide Web References:


 Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2009 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.



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