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Bowel cancer: Dr Hilary outlines the main symptoms

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The cancer campaigner broke the sad news about her current condition on social media. Posting on Instagram, James said: “The message I never wanted to write. We have tried everything, but my body simply isn’t playing ball.”

Speaking on ITV, Dr Hilary Jones said about Bowel Babe: “She’s an extraordinary person, ranitidine for babies with silent reflux she’s always tried to remove the stigma of bowel cancer, especially, with good humour and by making it fun.

“She’s raised awareness and, undoubtedly, she’s saved many lives.

“Because we have evidence of people calling and saying ‘if it wasn’t for her’…they wouldn’t have been diagnosed early.

“She’s also made it very clear that it isn’t just older people who get bowel cancer.”

James was only 35 years old when diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer in December 2016.

Dr Hilary continued: “She has fought against the odds. She has now exhausted all active treatments.

“She’s at home having hospice care at the loving bosom of her family.

“But she’s beloved by the nation now, she really has made it fun.”

Because James is known as a campaigner for awareness of the condition, Dr Hilary reminded viewers of the crucial symptoms to spot.

He said: “I think she probably would like me to remind people what the cardinal symptoms and signs are.

“Think ‘BOWEL’ – great acronym.”

The doctor explained:

  • B for blood in the motions
  • O for obvious change in bowel habit
  • W for weight loss which is unexplained
  • E for exhaustion and tiredness
  • L for lump, pain or swelling.

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A post shared by Deborah James (@bowelbabe)

The TV doctor added: “If you’ve got any of those symptoms, don’t hesitate, go and see your doctor.

“Don’t be embarrassed – that was one of her key messages.

“She’s always made it fun, she’s always got a smile on her face.”

Dr Hilary also shared a message for James in case she was watching – “we’re with you, we’re supporting you”.

James penned in her latest Instagram post: “Nobody knows how long I’ve got left but I’m not able to walk.

“I’m sleeping most of the days, and most things I took for granted are pipe dreams.

“Right now for me it’s all about taking it a day at a time, step by step and being grateful for another sunrise.

“My whole family are around me and we will dance through this together, sunbathing and laughing (I’ll cry!!) at every possible moment!”

She ended the post with a message urging to “enjoy your life”. “What a great message that is,” noted Dr Hilary.

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