Page last updated at 08:35 GMT, Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Swayze denies 'deathbed' rumours

Patrick Swayze
Swayze attended the Stand Up To Cancer event in September

Actor Patrick Swayze has denied US tabloid reports that he is close to death, calling allegations "shoddy and reckless reporting".

The 56-year-old star said reports that he is "on his last legs and saying goodbye to my tearful family" were "lies and false information".

Swayze, who has been filming a US TV drama, said his pancreatic cancer was "a battle, but so far I'm winning".

He was diagnosed with the disease in March and had rigorous treatment.

In a statement to People magazine, the actor called newspaper stories "the only thorn in my side", and said he was home for the Christmas holidays after filming police series The Beast.

'Lucky few'

US tabloid The National Enquirer reported that Swayze's cancer had spread to his liver.

The Globe ran a photo of the Dirty Dancing star on its front page with the headline "Swayze Deathbed Secret!"

Some US newspapers initially reported that Swayze had weeks to live when his diagnosis became public in March.

But he returned to work and was able to complete 12-hour days due to his treatment programme.

Swayze said that he was one of the "lucky few" that responds to treatment for the illness.

But he added: "Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive disease and from the moment I was diagnosed, I knew I was in for the fight of my life."

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most virulent forms of cancer which medicals experts say has a 5% five-year survival rate.

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