Patrick Swayze passed away Monday at the age of 57, but his 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer showed how tough the disease is -- and how unusual it is for people to survive with it as long as he did. When Swayze was diagnosed, he was given a few months to live.
"There are people who do better than others, even those with advanced disease," said Dr. Suresh Chari, a gastroenterologist specializing in pancreatic cancer at the Mayo Clinic. "Almost all chemotherapy agents ... do benefit some subset of patients."
ABC News by Joseph Brownstein, 09/16/09