Patrick Swayze admits having cancer has been “hell on wheels”.

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The Dirty Dancing actor – who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the beginning of this year – insists the chemotherapy treatment he has been receiving is the most gruelling experience of his life.

He said: “It’s a battle zone I go through. Chemo, no matter how you cut it, is hell on wheels. But I’m still fine to work, I haven’t changed – oh, I have changed, what am I saying?”

Swayze, 56, first became worried about his health last December when he had persistent indigestion and was feeling ill on a regular basis.

He explained to the New York Times: “After that all of a sudden real symptoms started showing up. You see it in the mirror and you go, ‘OK better go get checked out.’ ”

While the veteran actor, who has been undergoing pioneering Cyberknife radiotherapy at California’s Stamford University Medical Center, is making a remarkable recovery from the illness, doctors cannot yet say he is completely free of the cancer.

Swayze is currently shooting TV drama The Beast, and has gained around 20lbs on a diet comprised mainly of fruit and vegetables and muscle-building milkshakes.

When he was originally diagnosed with the deadly disease, Swayze was reportedly given just weeks to live.