Patrick Swayze has pancreatic cancer

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">Patrick Swayze and his wife Lisa Niemi on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2007. &#40;AP Photo&#47;Isaac Brekken&#41;</span></div>
March 5, 2008 9:11:06 PM PST
A representative for Patrick Swayze says he is being treated for pancreatic cancer, but he is well enough to continue working. Swayze's representative, Annett Wolf, issued a statement late Wednesday:

"Actor Patrick Swayze has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and is currently undergoing treatment.... 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 story was first reported by the National Enquirer, and quickly spread to other gossip sites.

For the past month, Patrick, 55, has been traveling to Stanford University's prestigious cancer center in Palo Alto for radical chemotherapy of pancreatic cancer, but his doctors no longer are optimistic that the treatments will be successful, the Enquirer reported.

The report said the cancer has spread to other organs and he has five weeks left to live. His representative disputed that report.

According to the National Cancer Institute, pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death. It is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage, so the survival rate is poor compared to other types of cancers.

According to the American Cancer Society, for all stages of pancreatic cancer combined, the one-year relative survival rate is 20 percent while the five-year rate is 4 percent.

Swayze shot to fame starring as bad boy Johnny Castle in the hit 1987 movie Dirty Dancing. He also starred in Ghost and Point Break.

He recently wrapped filming on the A&E TV movie The Beast, in which he plays an FBI agent. A movie, "Powder Blue," is also scheduled for release this year.