Vanessa Redmond, daughter of local Southport plumber Keith was the 7th woman to cross the finishing line in the recent Crosby lakeside open water swim 1500 metre event held on the 31st August run by Vital Events. Vanessa took part in this event to support her dad who is currently fighting pancreatic cancer which unfortunately was only diagnosed in the late stages of the disease. Keith was well enough on the day of the event to be a spectator and cheer her on to the finishing line.

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Vanessa is now keen to raise awareness of this disease which does not usually give rise to any signs and symptoms in the early stages making it quite difficult to diagnose and detect. Some key warning symptoms of the disease can include abdominal pain, weight loss for no particular reason, bowel problems, nausea, vomiting, jaundice (yellowing of the skin), diabetes, and back pain. If pancreatic cancer is diagnosed when it is possible to completely remove the tumour the chances of survival are much higher. Patients rely on GPs to be fully familiar with these key warning symptoms and exclude pancreatic cancer before it becomes too late.

Keith had tests indicating he was diabetic last August, visited his GP with excruciating back pain, and had on going bowel problems for several months before he was finally diagnosed in A&E at the end of May this year. More needs to be done to educate GPs on the key signs & symptoms of pancreatic cancer so they can be referred for CT scans & further diagnostic tests as soon as possible to increase their chances in their fight against this disease.

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Once diagnosed unfortunately the research and developments of new treatments have been left behind other types of cancer with survival rates been the same as they were in the 1970s. To help raise the voice of pancreatic cancer and support research into this disease please donate to the Pancreatic Research Fund.

Well done Vanessa and best of luck Keith in your fight! His son Karl & nephew Daniel have taken over the running of his local plumbing & heating business.

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