Thanks to the brave efforts of patients like Dame Deborah James, the general public has a much better awareness of bowel cancer…

Deborah, who was known on social media as Bowel Babe before she sadly died in 2022 aged just 40, shared information about the disease with a million followers on Instagram and raised £7.6m for research, clinical trials and awareness campaigns by launching a fund in the last weeks of her life.

Yet despite the increased – and much welcomed – publicity around this type of cancer thanks to Deborah and others with a large social media following, it can still be an uncomfortable topic to talk about.

But early detection and intervention remain essential, so it’s important we all continue to have bowel cancer awareness on our agenda.


Did you know…

More than 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK each year – making it the fourth most common type of cancer.

Sadly, there are 16,000 deaths attributed to bowel cancer every year (only lung cancer claims more lives).


Signs & Symptoms –

When it comes to symptoms, patients are advised to be Bowel Cancer Aware:

B: Bleeding from your bottom

C: Change in normal bowel habits, lasting for more than three weeks

A: Abdominal pain, acute tiredness and/or a lump in your tummy.


Seeking help –

If something doesn’t feel quite right, and this goes on for more than three weeks, then it’s always best to seek professional help. The symptoms could very well be attributable to a number of different factors, but early detection really does save lives 💚

The majority of cases are diagnosed in those aged over 50, but as Deborah and others have sadly proved, bowel cancer can happen much earlier on in life.

If you’re a Paycare Policyholder, you can give MyPocketGP a call if you’re worried about anything. And if you or someone you love has received a diagnosis, then do remember our telephone counselling service which you can reach out to confidentially for a chat 😊📞