Swayze reportedly was diagnosed in January and is responding well to treatment.
"We are saddened to learn Patrick Swayze has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and our thoughts go out to him and his family during this difficult time," Julie Fleshman, the group's president, said in a statement.
"It is unfortunate that it takes the diagnosis of a celebrity, such as Mr. Swayze, to raise awareness for this disease," Fleshman added. "Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer death in the United States, yet it is the most underfunded, under-recognized and least-studied of the leading cancer killers. We hope this visibility will help the public realize the urgent need for research funding to find early detection methods and ultimately find a cure for pancreatic cancer. ... Over 220 pancreatic cancer advocates will be on Capitol Hill on March 11 to seek an unprecedented $170 million in federal funding to support the National Plan to Advance Pancreatic Cancer Research."
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