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How Deborah James continues to save lives after death as interest rises in post-mortem cancer sites

VISITS to the NHS bowel cancer website have skyrocketed 10-fold after Dame Deborah James died of the disease this week.

Sun writer Dame Debs campaigned hard to raise awareness of the disease before she passed away on Tuesday, aged just 40.

Visits to the NHS bowel cancer website increased 10-fold after Dame Deborah James died of the disease this week

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Visits to the NHS bowel cancer website increased 10-fold after Dame Deborah James died of the disease this weekCredit: Bowelbabe/Instagram
Prince William visited Debs' home in May to give her a damehood

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Prince William visited Debs’ home in May to give her a damehoodPhoto credit: Graham Prentice

On Wednesday, online searches for NHS information about the cancer rose to 23,274, compared with just 2,000 the previous day.

NHS England boss Amanda Pritchard said: “Dame Deborah James is an inspiration to us all and her death this week touched the nation.

“Speaking up boldly about their personal journey has prompted thousands more people to check out the symptoms. There is no doubt – it was life-saving.”

It comes as viewers were “left sobbing” as BBC documentary Deborah James: The Last Dance showed her waltz to Beauty and the Beast’s Their Tale As Old As Time with 14-year-old son Hugo on Thursday.

Grieving friend Lauren Mahon says'there's only one Debs' in devastating tribute.
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She was wearing a yellow ball gown like Belle in the Disney movie when Hugo twirled her around.

It was cut with clips of them performing the same dance shortly after their diagnosis in 2016, when Hugo was eight.

Mum-of-two Debs has been spending her final months with her family, raising £7.1million – which The Sun is putting to £10million – for cancer research.

Around 43,000 Britons are diagnosed with colon cancer each year.

Genevieve Edwards, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said: “Traffic to bowelcanceruk.org.uk has never been higher, with tens of thousands more people searching for information in the last few days.”

Research by digital insights company Creation Healthcare also revealed that Debs was able to inspire millions of people in her most difficult moments.

In April, following her post on home hospice care, mentions from health professionals on social media jumped to 2,237.

Spikes were also seen after Deb launched her book F*** You Cancer, when 253 doctors and nurses were watching the news and after her son Hugo, 14, wrote her column for her 130-plus fiancés.

Spokesperson Mary Kangley said: “The tremendous impact that Dame Deborah James has had is clear. Since her initial diagnosis, her advocacy and awareness-raising mission has touched more than just those living with cancer and their loved ones.

“It also resonates with the countless doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who treat cancer every day.”

BBC documentary Deborah James: The Last Dance on Thursday showed her dancing with 14-year-old son Hugo to Beauty and the Beast's

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BBC documentary Deborah James: The Last Dance on Thursday showed her dancing with 14-year-old son Hugo to Beauty and the Beast’s “Their Tale As Old As Time.”

https://www.the-sun.com/health/5706561/dame-debs-nhs-bowel-cancer/ How Deborah James continues to save lives after death as interest rises in post-mortem cancer sites

Sarah Y. Kim

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