A SOMERSET resident is determined to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer in her late husband's memory.

Jane Clapinson lost her husband Colin to pancreatic cancer in 2022, just nine months after diagnosis.

She is joining Pancreatic Cancer UK, the national charity, in drawing attention to symptoms throughout November, which is known as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

Mrs Clapinson hopes to stop others experiencing the grief of a late diagnosis that devastated her.

In 2020, retired probation officer Colin began experiencing symptoms but multiple tests couldn't detect the problem.

A CT scan carried out in 2021, however, revealed he had pancreatic cancer.

Tragically, like Colin, 80 per cent of people with pancreatic cancer are not diagnosed until it has spread – a proportion almost double that of other cancers.

This delay in diagnosis has led to pancreatic cancer having the lowest treatment rate of any common cancer, with over half of patients passing away within three months of diagnosis.

Somerset County Gazette: Colin passed away on September 5, 2022

Mrs Clapinson, 72, said: "We met with the gastroenterologist on the Monday after the CT scan, and he broke the news to us.

"Colin had stage four pancreatic cancer which had spread to his lymph nodes and his lung.

"This was the worst news we could have imagined".

Pancreatic cancer's vague symptoms like back pain, indigestion, and unexpected weight-loss are common in less serious conditions making an early diagnosis challenging.

No early detection tools are available yet, therefore, today almost half of all pancreatic cancer patients are diagnosed via an emergency.

Colin began chemotherapy in January 2022 but started questioning the treatment after experiencing significant pain and weight-loss.

He ultimately decided to stop chemotherapy and make the most of his remaining time.

Mrs Clapinson explained: "Colin had the first round of chemotherapy, and he was dreadfully ill… It was at this point that Colin started to question whether he wanted to continue his chemotherapy.

"He decided not to have any more sessions and to instead make the most of the time he had left, which I fully supported."

Somerset County Gazette: 80 per cent of people with pancreatic cancer are not diagnosed until it has spread

Colin passed away on September 5, 2022.

After his death, Mrs Clapinson shared: "My marriage to Colin was my third.

"We had been married 19 years and he was the kindest, funniest man I’ll ever know".

Pancreatic Cancer UK is encouraging the public to talk about the deadliest common cancer, in hope of preventing future late diagnoses, this Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

The charity also recommends that anyone experiencing persistent common symptoms should contact their GP.

Diana Jupp, CEO of Pancreatic Cancer UK, said: "Tragically, for thousands of people each year their pancreatic cancer goes undetected… we need the public’s help to breakthrough the silence around the deadliest common cancer in the UK."

Anyone affected by pancreatic cancer, including family and friends, can contact the Pancreatic Cancer UK Support Line, which is staffed entirely by specialist nurses.

For more information visit: www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/support.