After the recent passing of Dame Deborah James to bowel cancer, her popular podcast ‘You, Me, and the Big C’, has won a top award. Focusing on living with cancer and its treatment, the podcast helped to break new ground by discussing the realities of cancer and the struggles patients go through.
Deborah highlighted her own experiences and urged others to ‘check their poo’ in a bid to catch bowel cancer early. Co-presenter Lauren Mahon accepted The Podcast Champion award and stated she would be continuing to champion the cause.
Raising awareness of bowel cancer
Dame Deborah James was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer in December 2016 when she was just 35 years old. Nicknamed Bowelbabe, she went on to raise £7.4 million for charity and worked tirelessly to raise awareness of bowel cancer, becoming a patron of Bowel Cancer UK.
One of the most common types of cancer in the UK, the exact cause of bowel cancer is unknown. While it typically occurs with older age, it has become much more prevalent in younger patients in recent years. Most commonly affecting the large section of bowel, the odds of beating it rely upon early detection.
NHS see surge in symptom checker use
After the death of Dame Deborah James, the NHS saw a surge in the use of their online symptom checker. Over 23,000 visitors headed to the symptom checker website to look for the symptoms of bowel cancer. This is compared to around 2,000 the day before the podcast host passed away.
Speaking of the impact Deborah had on the nation, former health secretary, Sajid Javid, stated:
Having lost my father to bowel cancer, I know how devastating this disease can be, and we must continue to break down barriers around what she called the ‘C’ word – encouraging people to have open and honest discussions. Our upcoming 10-year cancer plan will build on this with a focus on early diagnosis to help save more lives.
There is no denying that Dame Deborah James helped to educate and raise awareness of bowel cancer. Being aware of the symptoms and breaking down the stigma helps others to spot the symptoms early and seek the treatment they need.
The importance of early treatment
Identifying bowel cancer early is key to treating it successfully. Unfortunately, tests are typically carried out on the NHS for patients aged 60 and over. This leaves younger patients more at risk of developing late-stage bowel cancer before it is detected.
By knowing what symptoms to watch out for, patients can get checked over by a doctor at any age. The main symptoms include bleeding from the bottom, changes in your poo, extreme fatigue, and abdominal pain.
For patients who are concerned about their risk, a colonoscopy can help to detect the early stages of bowel cancer. Undergoing this simple but effective test ensures patients get the diagnosis they need to provide speedy treatment.
To book a colonoscopy, get in touch with Mr Alan Woodward today.