Former headteacher turned blogger, broadcaster and cancer campaigner Dame Deborah James has died at the age of 40, her family has announced.
The presenter of the BBC podcast You, Me and the Big C has raised millions of pounds for research and she was made a dame for her tireless work improving awareness of the disease.
She announced in early May that she’d stopped her active treatment and would be living with her parents in England for the rest of her life. Her husband, son and daughter live with her.
Her death was announced in a post on her Instagram page. “We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Dame Deborah James; the most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mummy,” it said.
She passed away peacefully surrounded by her family.
She also launched a new fund, called the Bowelbabe fund, to raise money for research into personalised medicine for cancer patients.
It raised am amount that surpassed £1m in less than 24 hours – smashing her initial goal of £250,000 – and has now raised almost £7m.
What is Bowel Cancer?
A cancer of the colon or rectum, located at the digestive tract’s lower end.
Early cases can begin as non-cancerous polyps. These often have no symptoms but can be detected by screening. For this reason, doctors recommend screenings for those at high risk or over the age of 50.
Colorectal cancer symptoms depend on the size and location of the cancer.
Colorectal cancer treatment depends on the size, location and how far the cancer has spread. Common treatments include surgery to remove the cancer, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Colorectal cancer often starts in the cells that line the inside of the large intestine, where waste matter flows from the body.
You probably don’t want to hear this, but it usually starts out as a small, noncancerous growth of cells on the wall of the
After some time, these polyps can become colon cancers.
What are the symptoms of Bowel Cancer?
The three main symptoms include:
- A persistent change in bowel habit – going more often, with looser stools and sometimes tummy pain
- Blood in the stools without other symptoms, such as piles (haemorrhoids)
- Abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating always as a result of eating
- Loss of Appetite and Unexplained weight loss
What are the causes?
The are no known causes of this cancer but it generally starts when healthy cells in the colon develop genetic mutations.
Your DNA is your body’s instruction manual, telling each cell how to work in order to grow, heal and perform the functions it’s expected to.
To reduce your risk of getting this cancer its important to develop:
- Healthy lifestyles like eating fruits and vegetables
- Taking whole grains and fibers
- Not taking alcohol or taking it in moderation
- Exercising regularly
- Not smoking or quitting it entirely
- Maintaining a healthy and balanced weight
There are some medications have been found to reduce the risk of precancerous polyps but to be prescribed only, however, regular screening is highly advisable.