BBC podcast presenter Deborah James, who has incurable cancer, has shared a post saying she hopes she can restart treatment soon after she marked five years since her diagnosis.   

A former headteacher turned cancer advocate, this mother-of-2, is from London. She has lived with stage four bowel carcinoma since December 2016 when she was first diagnosed. Early on, she was warned that she may not live past five years.

An aggressive tumour had grown around her bile conduit, requiring her to stay in hospital for life. A stent was also fitted to protect her liver. 

She posted this Instagram message to explain how she feels she is ‘on an London hospital tour’. 

BBC podcast presenter Deborah James, who has incurable cancer, has shared a post saying she hopes she can restart treatment soon after she marked five years since her diagnosis

BBC Radio Podcast presenter Deborah James shared an article in which she expressed hope that her treatment can be resumed soon. This is five years after being diagnosed with incurable breast cancer.

The former deputy head teacher turned cancer campaigner, 40, from London , a mother-of-two, has been living with stage four bowel cancer since she was diagnosed in December 2016. Yesterday she shared an upbeat post from hospital, above, but did not share more details

Former deputy head teacher and cancer activist, the mother of two, is 40 years old. She was first diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in December 2016 at age 42. Yesterday, she posted a cheerful post from hospital. She did not give any more information.

Her explanation was that a “quick” replacement surgery had become a nightmare. She added: “I am now at the mercy if some super-magic medicine miracle – but then, I have always been like this, so any chance is an opportunity right?” “All I can say is that I only want hope and possibilities.

Continued she: “At around 4pm today, I truly thought all was lost. But fortunately, a few conversations later with my doctor, and simply talking about the different pathways that we can explore is all I require.

“To have a real glimmer is enough for me to keep my faith. Although I don’t know what the next steps will look like, it is one step at a time. 

“It is ironic because on the same night five years back, I was struggling to put one foot in front another when I heard that you have cancer.”

“If there is anything I’ve learned in five years it is this: You can walk, even when you’re scared, but keep faith.”

Deborah posted yesterday that she had been back at the hospital after receiving a PET scan. She also said, “Went nuclear!” PET scan. Kindly, tell me that you can soon start your treatment.  The doctor did not provide any further details.  

Mother-of-two, the mother of two, has been recovering from an infection for several months. She was admitted to hospital after she developed a fever. 

She shared an update on Instagram last month, writing: ‘Apologies for being quiet on here but it turns out I’m pretty ill at the moment. Thank you for all the messages that brought joy to my life during a very difficult time.

She continued: ‘I’m using all my energy to recover and today is the first day I’ve felt able to give you an update.

The social media star has documented her battle with cancer online since being diagnosed and campaigned for better awareness around bowel cancer diagnosis

Social media celebrity has been documenting her fight with cancer on the internet since she was diagnosed. She also campaigns for greater awareness about bowel cancer.

“Despite my desperate desire to be free from the horrible side effects of cancer treatment, it seems that my body has other ideas. 

“On Wednesday, my doctor admitted me with what I now believe was another septic disease. I was so ill my incredible husband had to blue light me quickly to A&E. 

‘This time all my Bowel issues have come to ahead and I’m currently dealing with a condition called infectious colitis. It’s basically a bacterial infection in my gut that causes colitis. (Bowel inflammation).

“I didn’t know you could puke so many times in 5 minutes!” And, I am 8 months pregnant. I’m being looked after well, pumped continually full of antibiotics and fluids but of course feel incredibly weak and tired from no sleep.’

Last month she revealed how she was rushed to A&E after experiencing 'spiking 40 degree temperatures' on Tuesday (pictured)

Last month she revealed how she was rushed to A&E after experiencing ‘spiking 40 degree temperatures’ on Tuesday (pictured)

She added: ‘Whilst I’ve always wanted to show every side of cancer, right now living through this all is hard and isn’t something I want even my kids to be witness to. 

‘I’m just getting through it day by day, second by second and my family have been incredible at rallying around to support. 

‘I’m making slow progress and hoping things continue to improve.’


Colorectal cancer, also known as bowel or colon cancer, affects the large intestinal tract, made up of the colon, rectum, and stomach.

Pre-cancerous growths called polyps can often lead to such tumours.

These symptoms include:

  • Bleeding at the bottom
  • There is blood in the stool
  • Changes in your bowel habits that last at least 3 weeks
  • Unexplained Weight Loss
  • Extreme, unexplained tiredness
  • Pain in the abdomen

While most cases don’t have any clear causes, there are some people who may be more vulnerable if they do: 

  • More than 50
  • A family history is required
  • Are you a victim of polyps?
  • Crohn’s Disease, inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn disease.
  • Live a unhealthy life  

The treatment usually includes surgery and chemotherapy.

Nine out of ten people diagnosed with stage 1 bowel cancer live for five years after being diagnosed.

If it’s diagnosed later, this drops dramatically. 

Bowel Cancer UK statistics show that more than 41,200 British are diagnosed each year with bowel cancer. 

According to the National Cancer Institute, it affects approximately 40 percent of Americans.

After thanking her supporters, she said: “Keep telling people close to your heart that you love and appreciate them.” Good health is a great blessing. Don’t take it for granted. 

This Instagram post was just days after her announcement that chemotherapy had been successful.

Podcast host and author, who acknowledged that she had suffered through the “hardest three months” of her life, shared her story on social media, saying her fight with cancer was over. She also said, “MY CHEMO IS FAILING!”  The words that I wanted to hear and didn’t think would happen were the ones that I heard.

Elle continued, “I feel like I was preparing for what might happen.” It was extremely difficult to wait for the scan results. My head says I have been to hell and back. 

“These were the first scans I have had since my last drugs quit working. My liver was damaged and my body became sepsis. 

“We have started me on my second line of ‘nuclear cancer therapy’. It’s fair enough to say that it’s a shock. 

“Despite all the smiles and pretty dresses that I share (because these are moments in my day which make me smile), this has been the toughest 3 months of my physical (and mental) diagnosis.

She revealed doctors have said she is ‘stable’, adding: ‘ Essentially the cancer that was rapidly growing and causing my liver to fail, has been halted at least temporarily.

“And my Lymnodes even shrink!” Can I be cured? No. Do I think I will ever become cancer-free? Can I have active cancer? Sadly, yes. 

“But this gives me more time.” At least, until my next scan!

After years of chemotherapy, she added that she was ‘on the knees’ and is now “on the verge of tears”. 

“But it still hasn’t sink in. I’ve been down the loo the past 3 days because of chemotherapy, and have fallen asleep without any brief periods of prancing.

Her post was concluded by her writing, “But cheers to another day, another opportunity, more options and more life that I never thought I would see!” “One day at the time!”   

James revealed in April that her pioneering treatments had not kept her from getting cancer. She was now forced to undergo a 12th surgery.

The West London mother of two, who was a deputy head in the department, was later diagnosed with incurable bowel carcinoma.

It has been said repeatedly that, as a vegetarian runner she was not likely to contract the disease.

Deborah began sharing stories on how she had lived with the disease via social media and was soon known as “Bowel Babe” because she started writing columns for The Sun.


In 2018, Deborah (left) joined Lauren Mahon (front) and Rachael Bland (right) to present the award-winning podcast You, Me and the Big C on Radio 5 Live. Bland tragically died of breast cancer on September 5th that year; her husband Steve Bland now co-presents the show

Deborah, (left), joined Lauren Mahon (front), Rachael Bland, (right), to present the award winning podcast You, Me, the Big C, on Radio 5 Live. Bland, who died from breast cancer in September 2005, was tragically killed. Steve Bland is now the co-host of the program.

  • The West London mother of two, who was a deputy head in the West London police force, was later diagnosed with incurable bowel carcinoma.
  • Deborah was the “Bowel Babe” after sharing her personal experiences with the disease via social media. 
  • 2018 was her first year as one of the presenters on Radio 5 Live’s You, Me and the Big C, which she co-hosted with Rachael Bland. 
  • Bland was diagnosed with terminal cancer in September 2018 at 40 years old.
  • Lauren Mahon and Deborah continue hosting the show. Rachael Bland is joining them as well.
  • Deborah’s experiences with radiotherapy and chemotherapy have been documented on social media as well her columns for The Sun.
Last week, Deborah told followers on Instagram 'By my general lack of being on here (dancing!), that Things have moved (in the wrong direction) very quickly cancer wise.' Pictured: Deborah James undergoing a scan at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London

Deborah shared with her Instagram followers last week that she was unable to dance because of my lack of commitment.It seems that things are moving in the wrong direction (cancer wise) quite quickly. Photo: Deborah James undergoes a scan at Royal Marsden Hospital, London

  • CyberKnife was a targeted radiotherapy procedure that she underwent in 2019 to treat an inoperable lymphoma close to her liver.
  •  The pandemic’s impact on cancer services saw her campaign for care to continue as normal and, earlier this year, she launched the ITV’s Lorraine’s ‘No Butts’ campaign, raising awareness on bowel cancer symptoms 
  • She has been using new drugs since last year as part of a study after her oncology staff gave permission.
  • Deborah explained to August that her recent scans revealed her cancer had spread in a’very rapid’ manner.  
  • Following the scan, she told her followers that she was taking a weekend off from social media to snuggle with her family.
  • A new, rapidly growing tumour was found near the mother of two. It had wrapped around her abdomen. 
  • Deborah turns 40 on October 1. 
  • On October 18, she informed her two-year-old daughter that chemotherapy had been successful.
  • Days later, she was rushed to A&E with ‘spiking 40 degree temperatures’