Never Too Young – Bowel Cancer UK

Never Too Young – Bowel Cancer UK

Dame Deborah James (‘Bowelbabe’) was 35 yearsold when she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Bowel Cancer in 2016, which sadlychanged to Stage 4 four months later. For five years she has campaignedtirelessly to raise awareness for Bowel Cancer and support fellow patients.

The podcast host of ‘You, Me and the Big C’ hasbeen made a Dame by Prince William at her family home after creating theBowelbabe fund, which has now reached over £6m in donations. Dame Deborah hasbeen campaigning publicly for the last 5 years and has supported many peoplethrough her openness in battling this disease.

Dame Deborah explained in an Instagram postthat sadly, her active care has now stopped, and she is being moved to hospicetreatment at home. She posted that she always knew there was one thing she wantedto do before she died and that was to raise as much awareness and money for thecharities that are closest to her - Cancer Research, Royal Marsden and BowelCancer UK. This led to the launch of the Bowelbabe Fund, which has wildlysurpassed all her expectations.

Dame Deborah is a patron of Bowel Cancer UK,who provide support to cancer patients. Bowel Cancer UK are campaigning for policychanges for younger bowel cancer sufferers, which will improve early diagnosis,treatment, and care. Many young people diagnosed with bowel cancer were initiallytold that they were “too young”. This is something that Dame Deborah alsoexperienced.

Over the course of six months, Dame Deborah waslaughed at three times for telling her GP that she believed she had bowelcancer. This was because over the space of a year she had a change in bowelhabits, was losing weight, felt shattered and was passing blood. After beingfed up with being dismissed and waiting for a referral, Dame Deborah went tohave a private colonoscopy appointment where they found a 5.5cm cancerous,ulcerated stage 3 tumour which had a BRAF mutation into the rarest and mosthard to treat tumour.  

Dame Deborah made it her mission to help stopbowel cancer. Bowel cancer can be treatable and curable, especially ifdiagnosed early.

Bowel Cancer, also known as colorectal cancer,affects the large bowel, which is made up of the colon and the rectum.According to Bowel Cancer UK, around 43,000 people in the UK are diagnosed withbowel cancer every year. More than 2,600 of those people are under 50 yearsold.

Symptoms can include: · Bleeding from your bum or blood in yourpoo · A persistent and unexplained change inbowel habits · Unexplained weight loss · Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason · A pain or lump in your tummy

Most people that experience the symptoms abovedon’t have bowel cancer. There are many other conditions that cause the samesymptoms. It’s really important that you don’t ignore any symptoms,especially if things don’t feel right. Don’t be embarrassed, as doctors seepeople with bowel problems often.

If you, or anyone you know is affected by bowelcancer and need support, please get in touch with Bowel Cancer UK.

If you would like to donate to Bowelbabe pleasefind the link here.

Facts and figures

Deborah’s Instagram page

Deborah’s Podcast – You, Me and the Big C

Deborah’s Book – ‘F*** You Cancer’ can be foundin bookshops and online. 

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