After news of Patrick Swayze’s shocking diagnosis hit Hollywood on Wednesday, his celebrity friends have responded with an outpouring of love and support.
On Thursday’s “The View,” Whoopi Goldberg expressed her concern and said it was Patrick who insisted that she play the part of psychic Oda Mae Brown in “Ghost.”
“I have not spoken to him, but I will tell you his physician went public and said [Patrick] has got a very limited amount of the disease,” Whoopi said of her former co-star. “I won an Oscar because of Patrick Swayze. So baby… we want you to feel better and we’ll talk soon I hope.”
Meanwhile, stars also expressed shock at the 16th Annual Alzheimer’s Benefit – A Night at Sardi’s on Wednesday night in Los Angeles.
“I just wish him a speedy recovery and hope that whatever treatments he's going through go well,” Michael Chiklis told Access Hollywood.
Even those who have never met Patrick expressed their sympathy and prayers.
“I've never met Patrick, but he's very good friends with my best friends and I’m sure they're devastated. We wish him well and Godspeed,” former “Seinfeld” star Jason Alexander said.
But it may have been “Boston Legal” executive producer David E. Kelley who summed up the reaction in one word.
“Horrifying,” Kelley told Access.
Horrifying indeed, when you take a closer look at the statistics. According to the National Cancer Institute, 37,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year – 33,000 will die from it.
In fact, it has the highest fatality rate of all cancers and the average life expectancy after diagnosis is three to six months.
“Most of the patients, or the significant portion of the patients, die soon after the diagnosis,” pancreatic cancer researcher Dr. Laszlo Boros told Access.
Yet despite the 99 percent mortality rate, Dr. Boros of the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research said the statement from Swayze’s doctor that his patient had “a very limited amount of disease” may be an encouraging sign.
“This probably means that he has a small cancer or small tumor and the likelihood of spread is small at this point,” Dr. Boros explained.
As of now, Patrick is said to be keeping a normal schedule. Recently, he completed a pilot for A&E and the show is still being considered for a series.
Patrick’s breakout role came in the 1987 film “Dirty Dancing” and his co-star, Jennifer Grey, expressed her shock and sadness after hearing the news.
“If I saw him on the streets today, I’d throw my arms around him and love him up,” she told The New York Post’s Page Six.
As the 55-year-old star wages a courageous battle against pancreatic cancer, Access Hollywood would like to give our viewers the opportunity to share their support and best wishes for Patrick.
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