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“My dad died just two weeks after his diagnosis.”

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A student at the University of Stirling talked about the devastating experience of his family during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

Earlier this year, Keir Morton raised thousands of pounds to study pancreatic cancer to commemorate his father, Alistair, who died this New Year, less than two weeks after his diagnosis.

According to the latest data from Public Health Scotland, nearly 1000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year in Scotland, of which about 50 come from Force Valley.

It has the lowest survival rate of all 20 of the most common cancers in the UK, with only 5% surviving more than 5 years after being diagnosed in Scotland.

Studies have shown that many of the symptoms are described as “vague” and are often overlooked. As a result, only one in four people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survives for more than a year.

In September 2020, Kiel’s dad, Alistair, began to feel sick and suspected that he might have a stomach ulcer. He did several tests and scans, but no signs of cancer were detected because the pancreas can be very difficult to see due to its location in the body.



(Image: Keir Morton)

Kiel said: “Initially I was convinced that I had a stomach ulcer. But as the months went on, he started to feel much sick. I knew something was wrong, but what was it? Did not know. “

By mid-December, Alistair’s condition had deteriorated and he was in pain in his shoulders and legs. The family called an emergency doctor and soon Alistair was sent to the hospital for further examination.

It was during this visit that Alistair and his family received catastrophic news that they had pancreatic cancer that had spread to other parts of his body.

Sadly, Alistair died on New Year’s Day just two weeks later.



(Image: Keir Morton)

Kiel said: “Knowing the symptoms is very important. Dad had only two of them in the first place, but we didn’t know if what was happening was early stage cancer. “

Together with his sister, Keir raised over £ 8,000 for the behavior of pancreatic cancer and succeeded in funding a highly needed study of the disease.

“The amount and support we got really surprised me. What our experience taught us was that early diagnosis was so important that we told my dad. I wanted to collect money to commemorate.

“Knowing the symptoms is important, but more research is needed on how to test and treat them. People like my dad if the research can find a way to test it earlier. Is likely to be able to catch it much faster and help them live longer or have the opportunity to defeat it. “

Sterling MSPEvelyn Tweed recommends that people with symptoms of pancreatic cancer perform potentially life-saving tests.

Last Wednesday, during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, MSP discussed in Congress what actions need to be taken to improve the incidence of pancreatic cancer in Scotland.

In the debate, Ms. Tweed said: “For the past 18 months, the world has, of course, been in an unprecedented public health crisis. As a result, attention to other illnesses and illnesses has diminished.

“Sadly, statistics show that pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly and difficult to detect, even without the additional burden of medical services across the UK. Obviously more attention is needed.

“The main problem with this cancer is that it is difficult to diagnose. Even the slightest delay between diagnosis and surgery or chemotherapy dramatically reduces the chances of survival.

“Additional funding to our health committee supports better access to diagnosis and treatment, and the establishment of an early cancer diagnosis center is an important step forward. The message is clear. Early detection and treatment are essential. ..

“It’s very important to feel that anyone with symptoms of pancreatic cancer can come forward and see their doctor.”

Helen Upfold, a clinical nurse specialist who supports patients with pancreatic cancer in the NHS Force Valley, said: “Pancreatic cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas, which is a large gland that is part of the digestive system.

“In the early stages, it usually does not cause symptoms and can be difficult to diagnose.

“But the first notable symptoms of pancreatic cancer are often pain in the areas of the back and stomach, unexpected weight loss or jaundice, which causes the skin and white of the eyes to turn yellow.

“As with all types of cancer, early diagnosis gives much better treatment options and results, so it is advisable to be aware of these symptoms and contact the GP to check out as soon as possible. increase. “

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