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Patrick Swayze with pancreatic cancer


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I am heartbroken to learn that Patrick Swayze has been confirmed to have pancreatic cancer. This particular cancer has a very high mortality rate and short life expectancy once diagnosed. His role in Dirty Dancing was sooo sexy, especially the scene where he is teaching his young protege to dance and finally end up in bed together. Sometimes, I put on the CD just to watch that part of the movie. And in Ghost, I must have watched the scene where he and Debbie Moore are trying to make clay pottery over a hundred times. I wish him the best during the difficult times ahead.

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Guest arbee

His prognosis depends on the stage of his disease.

 

Worst case scenario: stage IV = median survival of 6 to 9 months.

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Guest josephga

i was lucky that they caught my colon cancer in stage 1. 3 or above and your chances really drop. my best friend has lung cancer she has stage 4

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I was diagnosed with prostate cancer last summer about the same time as an old school chum was told he had pancreatic cancer. I had an operation in October and although I lost my prostate, last week my doctor told me my PSA was minus 0.02. I will have to have it monitored for a few years but my prognosis is good. I went to my old friend's funeral four weeks ago.

 

I feel sorry for Patrick Swayze as he has contracted one of the worst forms of cancer. There is no really effective treatment for it and the mortality rate is extremely high. It's a bummer. :-(

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Hmmm. I've never seen anyone with pancreatic cancer live that long. And pancreatic cancer is usually at an advanced stage when found (if it's found before autopsy, that is). Here are the statistics according to wikipedia and the WHO:

Patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer typically have a poor prognosis partly because the cancer usually causes no symptoms early on, leading to metastatic disease at time of diagnosis. Median survival from diagnosis is around 3 to 6 months; 5-year survival is much less than 5%[14] With 37,170 cases diagnosed in the United States in 2007, and 33,700 deaths, pancreatic cancer has the highest fatality rate of all cancers and is the fourth highest cancer killer in the United States among both men and women.[15] Although it accounts for only 2.5% of new cases , pancreatic cancer is responsible for 6% of cancer deaths each year.[16]

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>Hmmm. I've never seen anyone with pancreatic cancer live

>that long. And pancreatic cancer is usually at an advanced

>stage when found (if it's found before autopsy, that is).

>Here are the statistics according to wikipedia and the WHO:

>Patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer typically have a

>poor prognosis partly because the cancer usually causes no

>symptoms early on, leading to metastatic disease at time of

>diagnosis. Median survival from diagnosis is around 3 to 6

>months; 5-year survival is much less than 5%[14] With 37,170

>cases diagnosed in the United States in 2007, and 33,700

>deaths, pancreatic cancer has the highest fatality rate of all

>cancers and is the fourth highest cancer killer in the United

>States among both men and women.[15] Although it accounts for

>only 2.5% of new cases , pancreatic cancer is responsible for

>6% of cancer deaths each year.[16]

 

Oops. I should have replied with quote. I was answering the post:

 

His prognosis depends on the stage of his disease.

 

Worst case scenario: stage IV = median survival of 6 to 9 months.

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>I was diagnosed with prostate cancer last summer about the

>same time as an old school chum was told he had pancreatic

>cancer. I had an operation in October and although I lost my

>prostate, last week my doctor told me my PSA was minus 0.02. I

>will have to have it monitored for a few years but my

>prognosis is good. I went to my old friend's funeral four

>weeks ago.

>

>I feel sorry for Patrick Swayze as he has contracted one of

>the worst forms of cancer. There is no really effective

>treatment for it and the mortality rate is extremely high.

>It's a bummer. :-(

 

Well, prostate cancer is the complete opposite of pancreatic cancer. Prostate cancer is one of the slowest cancers affecting man (I may be wrong, but it probably is THE slowest), whereas pancreatic cancer is one of the swiftest. 19/20 men who develop prostate cancer would never be affected by the cancer had they left it alone. This is why screening for prostate cancer is not recommended. The screening finds cancers, but very large studies have shown that finding these cancers is irrelevant. Note: there are occasional nasty, aggressive prostate cancers, but, unfortunately, screening will not tell you which one you have.

The large majority of prostate cancer surgeries are unnecessary and only lead to morbidity with no benefit (a normal orgasm is out of the question, and other more serious side-effects are common). It is not, in fact, possible to have a negative PSA value, although undetectable levels are the norm after a total prostatectomy (if the procedure was done correctly, that is, since the prostate is the only organ which produces PSA).

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This is why screening

>for prostate cancer is not recommended.

 

By whom??? Men over 50 should be sceened on a regular basis by having a PSA test. It is a simple blood test but it will reveal changes in PSA over time if done on a regular basis. A large jump in PSA over a relatively short period will usually prompt your doctor to recommend a biopsy. This is what happened in my case and the biopsy (relatively painless an an out-patient procedure) revealed that my Gleason score was 8. This is intermediate and given my age, my doctor recommended treatment. I opted for the prostectomy since I didn't like the effects associated with radiation.

 

The screening finds

>cancers, but very large studies have shown that finding these

>cancers is irrelevant. Note: there are occasional nasty,

>aggressive prostate cancers, but, unfortunately, screening

>will not tell you which one you have.

 

Again, age is a very key factor here. My father was diagnosed later in life and his doctors advised no action be taken. He died many years afterwards of old age. In my case, I'm 60 and 15 years younger than my father was at the time his diagnosis was made. During my operation, further biopsies were made and revealed that the cancer had not spread beyond one side of the prostate nor outside the wall of the prostate. This put me in the lowest (i.e. most favorable) level of intermediate category.

 

>The large majority of prostate cancer surgeries are

>unnecessary and only lead to morbidity with no benefit (a

>normal orgasm is out of the question, and other more serious

>side-effects are common).

 

I don't know about the majority of cases but I do know that I feel better having eliminated the cancerous prostate and knowing the precise extent of the disease. Also, within two months I was fully continent and having normal orgasms (normal as in sensation but no ejaculate) and am about to start taking Cialis to improve my erections (a new dosage is now available on a daily basis). The serious side effects were the usual outcome years ago but more recent developments in technology are allowing doctors to spare the nerve damage if the cancer is not wide-spread.

 

It is not, in fact, possible to

>have a negative PSA value, although undetectable levels are

>the norm after a total prostatectomy (if the procedure was

>done correctly, that is, since the prostate is the only organ

>which produces PSA).

 

My reading was so close to zero it was really undetectable but it did register as a negative value.

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Whoopie Goldberg gave a moving testimony on The View crediting Patrick Swayze with her winning the Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for Ghost. She said that Swayze told the producers that he would not do the movie if Whoopie was not cast also. All this without personally knowing her according to Goldberg! She downplayed the severity of his illness posted in the tabloids which have him in a near death condition.

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>

> This is why screening

>>for prostate cancer is not recommended.

>

>By whom??? Men over 50 should be sceened on a regular basis by

>having a PSA test. It is a simple blood test but it will

>reveal changes in PSA over time if done on a regular basis. A

>large jump in PSA over a relatively short period will usually

>prompt your doctor to recommend a biopsy. This is what

>happened in my case and the biopsy (relatively painless an an

>out-patient procedure) revealed that my Gleason score was 8.

>This is intermediate and given my age, my doctor recommended

>treatment. I opted for the prostectomy since I didn't like the

>effects associated with radiation.

 

Prostate cancer isn't recommended by ANYONE who knows ANYTHING about prostate cancer. According to the American Cancer Society:

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_6x_Prostate_Cancer_Early_Detection.asp?sitearea=

No major scientific or medical organizations, including the American Cancer Society (ACS), American Urological Association (AUA), US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), American College of Physicians (ACP), National Cancer Institute (NCI), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) support routine testing for prostate cancer at this time. The USPSTF has concluded that studies completed so far do not provide enough evidence to determine whether the benefits of testing for early prostate cancer outweigh the possible risks.

 

Where did you come up with the idea that prostate cancer screening is a good idea, since you obviously know better that the ACS, AUA, USPTF, ACP, NCI, AAFP, and ACPM???? Maybe from the VA study which came out about a year ago with some 20,000 men over 50 which showed not a shred of benefit on EITHER morbidity OR mortality with a randomized group followed for over 10 years?

 

 

>The screening finds

>>cancers, but very large studies have shown that finding

>these

>>cancers is irrelevant. Note: there are occasional

>nasty,

>>aggressive prostate cancers, but, unfortunately,

>screening

>>will not tell you which one you have.

>

>Again, age is a very key factor here. My father was diagnosed

>later in life and his doctors advised no action be taken. He

>died many years afterwards of old age. In my case, I'm 60 and

>15 years younger than my father was at the time his diagnosis

>was made. During my operation, further biopsies were made and

>revealed that the cancer had not spread beyond one side of the

>prostate nor outside the wall of the prostate. This put me in

>the lowest (i.e. most favorable) level of intermediate

>category.

>

So your father was diagnosed with it and died of old age despite no treatment. Your cancer never spread nor affected you one iota until it was taken out. That convinced me! Sign me up!!

 

>>The large majority of prostate cancer surgeries are

>>unnecessary and only lead to morbidity with no benefit (a

>>normal orgasm is out of the question, and other more

>serious

>>side-effects are common).

>

>I don't know about the majority of cases but I do know that I

>feel better having eliminated the cancerous prostate and

>knowing the precise extent of the disease. Also, within two

>months I was fully continent and having normal orgasms (normal

>as in sensation but no ejaculate) and am about to start taking

>Cialis to improve my erections (a new dosage is now available

>on a daily basis). The serious side effects were the usual

>outcome years ago but more recent developments in technology

>are allowing doctors to spare the nerve damage if the cancer

>is not wide-spread.

>

Uhh.... Not having an ejaculate is NOT a normal orgasm in anyone's book. But I am truly glad that you're no longer peeing in your pants, and have an erection that's adequate to achieve orgasm. Your (good) results are becoming the norm, and I'm happy for you. However, anyone thinking of getting himself a screening PSA test should be aware that, although there appears to be no benefit from the testing, that incontinence and impotence are very real possibilities.

 

> It is not, in fact, possible to

>>have a negative PSA value, although undetectable levels

>are

>>the norm after a total prostatectomy (if the procedure

>was

>>done correctly, that is, since the prostate is the only

>organ

>>which produces PSA).

>

>My reading was so close to zero it was really undetectable but

>it did register as a negative value.

Obviously a lab error. There isn't a single blood test which should ever register a negative value, for obvious logical reasons. However, anyone without a prostate (or a prostate cancer which has metastasized or spread beyond the prostate) will register 0 on a PSA assay (barring another lab error).

All this being said, I do understand the logic that rapidly rising PSA's, especially in the setting of cancers with Gleason scores of 9 or 10, and probably even 8, are quite worrisome. Nevertheless, when I give advice, I like to do so on the basis of facts and evidence. Not only is there no evidence PSA screening is helpful, but as of last year there is fairly convincing evidence that it's NOT helpful. This is why expert consensus opinions do not support PSA screening (even the urologists, who stand much to gain from the screening from a financial standpoint--much to their credit!).

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>

>Prostate cancer isn't recommended by ANYONE who knows

>ANYTHING about prostate cancer.

 

I agree prostate cancer isn't recommended by anyone!!! That's the only thing I agree with you about.

 

On the American cancer Society's website it states that doctors should OFFER their patients beginning at the age of 50 PSA and DRE (digital exam) to men who have a life expectancy of at least 10 years. Men at higher risk should begin these exams at 45 or 40 depending on which of their relatives have had prostate cancer (eg fathers, brothers).

 

 

 

 

 

>So your father was diagnosed with it and died of old age

>despite no treatment. Your cancer never spread nor affected

>you one iota until it was taken out. That convinced me! Sign

>me up!!

 

As I indicated previously, if a PSA reading shows a rapid acceleration, which it did in my case, a biopsy is recommended. If I had done nothing I could have faced a situation where the cancer had spread in a few years and then the chances for a cure are much reduced. Again, if your life expectancy is less than 10 years you might want to let nature take its course. But in my case, I didn't want to roll the dice.

>

 

 

>>

>Uhh.... Not having an ejaculate is NOT a normal orgasm in

>anyone's book. But I am truly glad that you're no longer

>peeing in your pants, and have an erection that's adequate to

>achieve orgasm.

 

What a denigrating remark. And you call yourself a doctor! You should have your license to practice lifted.

 

However, anyone thinking of getting

>himself a screening PSA test should be aware that, although

>there appears to be no benefit from the testing, that

>incontinence and impotence are very real possibilities.

 

I would hardly call detecting a potentially life-shortening cancer by taking a PSA "no benefit".

>

 

 

I do understand the logic that rapidly

>rising PSA's, especially in the setting of cancers with

>Gleason scores of 9 or 10, and probably even 8, are quite

>worrisome. Nevertheless, when I give advice, I like to do so

>on the basis of facts and evidence. Not only is there no

>evidence PSA screening is helpful, but as of last year there

>is fairly convincing evidence that it's NOT helpful.

 

If you like to give advice on the basis of facts, how the hell would you have established rapidly rising PSA scores without having recommended taking the test in the first place, something you apparently wouldn't do. If you wait for symptoms to appear, it is probably too late to take effective remedial action. I'm just glad I don't have doctors like you. In my case, I got good and life-saving advice!

 

I too read about the recent studies suggesting that it was useless to do extensive testing amongst the whole population of males of all ages but that did not apply to men at higher risk. You of all people should have appreciated the distinction!

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>

>>

>>Prostate cancer isn't recommended by ANYONE who

>knows

>>ANYTHING about prostate cancer.

>

>I agree prostate cancer isn't recommended by anyone!!! That's

>the only thing I agree with you about.

>

>On the American cancer Society's website it states that

>doctors should OFFER their patients beginning at the age of 50

>PSA and DRE (digital exam) to men who have a life expectancy

>of at least 10 years. Men at higher risk should begin these

>exams at 45 or 40 depending on which of their relatives have

>had prostate cancer (eg fathers, brothers).

>

I obviously left out the word "screening." The plain fact is that prostate cancer screening isn't recommended by anyone with any knowledge about prostate cancer. No one. Not cancer specialists, not urologists, not internists, not family physicians, not public health specialists. The only person who would recommend screening is an ignoramus who believes he knows better than all the experts.

 

>>So your father was diagnosed with it and died of old age

>>despite no treatment. Your cancer never spread nor

>affected

>>you one iota until it was taken out. That convinced me!

>Sign

>>me up!!

>

>As I indicated previously, if a PSA reading shows a rapid

>acceleration, which it did in my case, a biopsy is

>recommended. If I had done nothing I could have faced a

>situation where the cancer had spread in a few years and then

>the chances for a cure are much reduced. Again, if your life

>expectancy is less than 10 years you might want to let nature

>take its course. But in my case, I didn't want to roll the

>dice.

>>

This recommendation, while making intuitive sense, is not based on hard data. I agree that (although I do PSA screening only in selected cases) when faced with rapidly rising PSA's, I also advise biopsy. The fact of the matter is that Gleason scores cannot fully predict behavior. You have no way of knowing whether or not you would have been just like your father--i.e. the prostate cancer never affecting anything.

>>>

>>Uhh.... Not having an ejaculate is NOT a normal orgasm

>in

>>anyone's book. But I am truly glad that you're no longer

>>peeing in your pants, and have an erection that's adequate

>to

>>achieve orgasm.

>

>What a denigrating remark. And you call yourself a doctor! You

>should have your license to practice lifted.

>

Kiss my ass.

 

> However, anyone thinking of getting

>>himself a screening PSA test should be aware that,

>although

>>there appears to be no benefit from the testing, that

>>incontinence and impotence are very real possibilities.

>

>I would hardly call detecting a potentially life-shortening

>cancer by taking a PSA "no benefit".

>>

How can one argue with someone who not only ignores hard facts, but, for some reason, thinks he knows better than every expert who has taken a serious look at the facts? "Potentially" doesn't mean anything. If you get a letter from Publishers' Clearinghouse saying "You may have won $5 million!" do you go to your boss the next day and tell him you quit??

>

> I do understand the logic that rapidly

>>rising PSA's, especially in the setting of cancers with

>>Gleason scores of 9 or 10, and probably even 8, are quite

>>worrisome. Nevertheless, when I give advice, I like to do

>so

>>on the basis of facts and evidence. Not only is there no

>>evidence PSA screening is helpful, but as of last year

>there

>>is fairly convincing evidence that it's NOT helpful.

>

>If you like to give advice on the basis of facts, how the hell

>would you have established rapidly rising PSA scores without

>having recommended taking the test in the first place,

>something you apparently wouldn't do. If you wait for symptoms

>to appear, it is probably too late to take effective remedial

>action. I'm just glad I don't have doctors like you. In my

>case, I got good and life-saving advice!

>

>I too read about the recent studies suggesting that it was

>useless to do extensive testing amongst the whole population

>of males of all ages but that did not apply to men at higher

>risk. You of all people should have appreciated the

>distinction!

>

Although there is no evidence to support the recommendation, I would suggest prostate cancer screening for young men with a father or brother who had agressive prostate cancer, and this is probably the most common practice among knowledgeable physicians. Merely having had prostate cancer doesn't mean your relatives are at risk for aggressive cancer, since 100% of men will develop prostate cancer if they live long enough.

With rare exceptions, my practice is to follow national guidelines which are carefully prepared by experts in their fields. Since prostate cancer is as common as the cold, I know that I could round up a bevy of patients with prostate cancer, who would fawn on me, convinced that I had saved their lives. The truth of the matter is that I would have just created a bunch of limp-dicked old men. Rather than seek adulation, I would rather give my patients the best care possible, which generally means keeping up-to-date with the latest medical studies and expert opinions, rather than listening to stories of "Dr. Soandso saved Mr. Smith's life by doing PSA screeing!"

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You really are a nasty piece of work! "Kiss my ass" indeed.

 

However, to the essential point. My PSA velocity was much higher than 0.35ng/ml per year. As a result, I was at far higher risk of dying at an early age (a 2006 study established this threshold). The absolute level of PSA is not the deciding factor, the VELOCITY is. As in "aggressive" cancer. Do you get it, Quack??? x(

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Guest zipperzone

>>What a denigrating remark. And you call yourself a doctor!

>You

>>should have your license to practice lifted.

>>

>Kiss my ass.

 

I just KNEW you two were going to kiss and make up :-)

 

>rather than

>listening to stories of "Dr. Soandso saved Mr. Smith's

>life by doing PSA screeing!"

 

Didn't I see them last week on Larry King Live? :-)

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Well, I certainly did not see this coming when I began this thread. How is it possible that the topic of Patrick Swayze having cancer has developed into this quarrel about "my cancer is worse than your cancer" or about who is right and who is wrong? This bickering and bitching among ourselves has no purpose. I would gladly have the moderator (if any) delete the whole thread so these people can get over it! x(

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