Patrick Swayze Cause of Death: How Did the Actor Die?

Getty Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze is the focus of the new TV documentary I Am Patrick Swayze. The latest installment in Paramount’s I Am series has led many fans to revisit the actor’s legendary career, as well as the details that led to his untimely death in 2009. So how did Swayze die? How old was the Dirty Dancing star when he passed?

According to WebMD, Swayze died of pancreatic cancer. He was 57. He was diagnosed in March 2008, after experiencing a burning sensation in his stomach, and he subsequently traveled to the Stanford University Medical Center for chemotherapy and treatment. By July, the actor made the news of his condition public, and was optimistic about his chances of survival. “My treatments are working and I am winning the battle. I am juicing every day along with other treatments and all I can say is that it’s working fine and really well,” he told the Telegraph. “I’m a miracle, dude, I don’t know why.”

Swayze Died of Pancreatic Cancer In September 2009

Patrick Swayze (cancer) on Barbara Walters SpecialIt's such a wonderful message for all of those people that are fighting the same monster (cancer). I still remember his movies Dirty Dancing and North And South. Not to forget GHOST. Thank you for sharing and may God spare your life so that you can do something about this horrible Cancer. A Barbara Walters…2009-01-09T17:05:04.000Z

In September 2008, Swayze appeared on the simulcast of Stand Up to Cancer, where he urged viewers to send in donations for cancer. research for the initiative. “I dream that the word ‘cure’ will no longer be followed by the words ‘it’s impossible’. Together, we can make a world where cancer no longer means living with fear, without hope, or worse,” he said. The actor’s involvement with these various cancer organizations helped raise their global profile.

“Patrick Swayze is a tremendous source of inspiration,” said Gagandeep Singh, the director of hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. “He continued to work despite being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We don’t want people to close the door when they are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.” Swayze kept up his busy schedule until January 9, 2009, when he was hospitalized with pneumonia.

The Actor Continued to Smoke Cigarettes Up Until His Death

The pneumonia was believed to be a complication of the chemotherapy treatments that Swayze had previously undergone. By April, the cancer had returned and metastasized to his liver, which some believe was exacerbated by the actor’s insistence on smoking. It’s believed that a third of all pancreatic cancer cases are linked to smoking, and Swayze acknowledged as much during an interview with ABC. “I will go so far as to say probably smoking has something to do with my pancreatic cancer,” he said, before saying that he intended on “cutting down.”

Swayze’s wife Lisa Niemi recounted the actor’s final days in her memoir Worth Fighting For.  “My last words to Patrick? ‘I love you,’ and those were his last words to me,” she revealed. “After I brought him home, things went very fast… I cherished our time alone, holding his hand, listening to music, sleeping with my arm around him, my head on his shoulder, wordlessly. In the quiet of Monday morning, September 14, I looked at his face and listened to the tiny sips of air he was taking. There was something delicate, childlike about it. I knew it was time.”

Swayze died on September 14, 2009. His body was cremated, and his ashes were scattered over his ranch in New Mexico. He is survived by his wife and his younger brother Don Swayze.