Dame Deborah James 'will save more lives' as NHS sees 82,000 extra visits to bowel cancer page in a WEEK

HEALTH bosses have praised Deborah James for "saving lives" by enthusiastically sharing her cancer journey.

Amanda Pritchard revealed an astonishing 82,000 extra visits have been made to the NHS bowel cancer page since May 9 – when Dame Debs launched her fund.

The NHS England Chief Executive told a board meeting today: "This is very clearly a difficult time for Deborah and her family, but her willingness to share her experiences since diagnosis, and even now, has undoubtedly saved lives and will continue to do so.

"We have seen an estimated 82,000 extra visits to the NHS bowel cancer page.

"For most people who come forward for a check, it’s not cancer, but for those who do get a diagnosis, getting treatment as early as possible is key.

"So to anyone watching this, please do come forward if you’re worried – the sooner the better – it could save your life."

  • Donate here to keep raising money for Deborah's BowelBabe fund

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She added the Sun writer, 40, has done "incredible work" to "raise awareness of bowel cancer.

The mum-of-two was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer just days before Christmas in 2016 – and has made it her mission to educate people on signs and symptoms.

Last Monday, Deborah shared a heartbreaking Instagram post saying she was now receiving end-of-life care at her parents’ home in Woking, Surrey, because the heroic efforts of her team of medics at The Royal Marsden Hospital in South West London were now fruitless.

On the same day she launched the BowelBabe fund, which captured the heart of the nation.

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She said her body “simply isn’t playing ball”, adding: “My body is so emaciated that I have no choice but to surrender to the inevitable.”

The inspiring cancer campaigner was made a Dame last week after calls – led by The Sun – followed an astonishing fundraising effort.

Prince William travelled to her parents' house in Woking, where she is spending her last days, to ensure she got the gong from him.

Deborah told how she had been blown away by the day, posing for a number of snaps with William and having a natter.

He talked with all of her family, who are gathered for her remaining days after she stopped active care at hospital.

The mum-of-two said this afternoon: "Thank you so much for your generosity to the @bowelbabefund.

Symtoms to visit your GP about:

More than 90 per cent of people with bowel cancer have one of the following combinations of symptoms:

  • a persistent change in bowel habit – pooing more often, with looser, runnier poos and sometimes tummy (abdominal) pain
  • blood in the poo without other symptoms of piles (haemorrhoids) – this makes it unlikely the cause is haemorrhoids
  • abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating always brought on by eating – sometimes resulting in a reduction in the amount of food eaten and weight loss

If you have any of these symptoms for three weeks, visit a doctor.

"With gift aid the fund will now be able to give out over £7.5million so far to fund cutting edge personalised projects across @cr_uk @royalmarsden and @bowelcanceruk to ensure more people live longer with cancer."

Last week the Sun columnist said when she realised the end was drawing near, she was determined to use her platform to raise as much money as possible.

"I just knew that I wanted to ensure I could leave enough money for them to do something meaningful, that would mean that we could fund projects that I myself would have benefited from five years ago to give me life," Deborah said.

"Because you just never know do you, when that next breakthrough is going to come, but I know we have the skills and passion in this country to make things happen, but we just need to fund it properly."

Today she also posted about letters addressed to "Deborah James, somewhere in Woking" somehow making their way to her.

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She revealed a snap of a collection of envelopes, all with varied attempts to describe her location at her parents' home, on Instagram.

The mum was clearly both deeply touched and amused at the effort people, and the post service, had gone to to reach her.

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