A WIRRAL dad is hoping to change the way pancreatic cancer is diagnosed as part of a national month of awareness.

Dad-of-two Rob Thomson has been raising awareness of the disease in memory of his wife Alison who passed away aged 54 on March 15, 2018.

Alison had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just nine months before.

Since June Rob has spoken to many people who have been affected by pancreatic cancer and their experiences with the disease.

He told the Globe: "My wife Alison was diagnosed with this dreadful cancer and sadly passed away early this year.

"Since June, I have spoken to a number of people who have been affected by this form of cancer and their experiences had all been similar to what happened to my wife.

"It appears that in general, GPs are still not picking up the early symptoms and it is common that people end up attending A&E with extreme pain and after further investigation, to be told that they have pancreatic cancer, more often that not, by the time this happens, it is too late.

"As November is National Pancreatic Cancer awareness month, there are more events taking place.

"These events are not about raising money but are to continue the campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms in the hope that GP’s recognise the potential for this disease and make early diagnosis to give a chance for treatment begin at the earliest point and improve life chances.

"If any money is raised, it will go to Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, where work is being carried out to hopefully one day, find what causes this illness and to find a cure."

Rob's month of events began with an eight mile sponsored walk with staff from Wigan Council and Wigan Social Services, where Alison used to work, starting at Leigh Town Hall.

The next free event on Friday, November 16 will be at The West Kirby Tap on Grange Road from 7.30pm featuring live music from local musicians as well as a raffle and bingo.

Rob will be giving a brief talk at the event about the symptoms of pancreatic cancer.

Rob added: "Recently I met a with lovely lady called Pauline, she too has been devastated by losing friends and family to pancreatic cancer.

"She is also committed to raising awareness and is putting four events on in November.

"Her friend was Marvin Ruffin who passed away in November 2017, his cousin was Jimmy Ruffin related to David Ruffin of The Temptations and who had a hit with the famous song 'My Girl'.

"Marvin, also a singer and was famous in his own right, had opened shows for numerous artists including Boyz II Men, George Benson, The Temptations, Dione Warwick, Stylistics and Gladys Night.

"Pauline also lost her cousin Michael Curry to pancreatic cancer.

"Again after numerous visits to GPs, his symptoms were not spotted or investigated.

"I recently spoke to his daughter Ashley who looked after her dad. She is also determined to raise awareness of the illness."

Pauline has organised events across Merseyside in a bid to raise awareness with Marvin's friend 'Motown Dru'.

In Wirral the events will take place on the following days:

  • Saturday, November 24, Dee View, Dee View Road, Heswall
  • Sunday, November 25, The Vineyard Bar & Kitchen, Moreton

Rob added: "All these events have the sole purpose of raising the awareness and profile of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer which is called 'the silent killer'

"I would like to give a massive thank you to Maggie Banks, from Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, who supports all of our events by providing all promotional materials.

"Let’s get the message out there!"

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include upper abdominal pain which radiates around the back, painless jaundice and/or very itchy skin, significant weight loss, pale and oily stools, loss of appetite and severe fatigue.