Celebrity Cancer Deaths – From Patrick Swayze to Eartha Kitt

Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze
Aug. 18, 1952 – Sept. 14, 2009. Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Cancer is an equal opportunity disease, as this list of celebrity cancer deathsreveals. Cancer doesn’t discriminate between the rich and the famous and the poor and unknown. Dozens of celebrities have had to contend with the disease and many unsuccessfully so.

Learn more about 13 celebrities who died of cancer-related complications with this photo gallery.

Best known for his roles in “Ghost” and “Dirty Dancing,” Patrick Swayzeproved himself a true fighter until the end by working while undergoing intense chemotherapy to treat pancreatic cancer. Swayze’s cancer treatment regimen included an experimental drug called vatalanib, a drug that inhibits the enzyme activity that promotes cancer cell growth and proliferation.

Swayze was determined not to let cancer beat or change him; he even continued his lifelong habit of smoking during treatment (something doctors definitely do not recommend). But somehow, he managed to live almost two years with a disease that usually is fatal just months after a diagnosis.

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