Dame Deborah James has urged for supermarket brands to include bowel cancer symptoms on toilet roll packaging.
The You, Me and the Big C podcast host, 40, has been battling bowel cancer for five years and has been under hospice care at home for almost a month after being told she was no longer able to have active treatment for the disease.
She was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in 2016 but was recently told it had become terminal.
Her announcement comes after retailer Marks and Spencer announced plans to add information on signs of the disease to its packaging.
During Tuesday’s edition of Lorraine, Deborah congratulated her friend Cara Hoofe – who was diagnosed with bowel cancer at 32 – who successfully pitched the idea of putting symptoms on loo roll wrapping to her employer M&S, to which they agreed.
‘Congratulations Cara. I’m so pleased that you are talking about the hard work that you have put in, and what you have achieved,’ said Deborah.
‘I know we’ve both gone through bowel cancer and we’ve spoken so many times about getting signs and symptoms on loo roll but you finally did it and I am really really proud of you for doing that.
‘It’s the start of things to come, I think we should now do a big shout out to other companies now, saying come on where’s your signs and symptoms.’
She continued: ‘Forget about the puppies, I’m bored of the puppies. We need actual information signposted on those loo rolls so I’m hoping lots of other big brands will now go “yeah, hang on, this makes massive sense. This is what we need to be doing.”
‘I can’t wait to see that happen,’ she added as she concluded the message.
Dame Deborah revealed that she has thrown her ‘last impromptu party’ as she celebrated her brother’s engagement news with her loved ones.
She also shared an honest update on the emotional struggle she’s faced during her cancer battle, admitting she’d been ‘consumed by anger’ as she faced up to her future and said that she ‘didn’t want to die’.
‘Dying is really hard. I’ve been consumed by anger this week, in all honesty, I’ve been a real b***h,’ she told The Sun.
‘I keep shouting at people and pushing them away. I’m angry at what’s happening to me. I don’t want to die.’
During recent weeks, the campaigner has raised over £6.6million for her Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK, and had a rose named after her which was displayed at the Chelsea Flower Show.
Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV.
Donate to Dame Deborah James’ Bowelbabe fund
You, Me & The Big C podcast host Dame Deborah James has admirably raised money towards cancer charities after announcing that her own bowel cancer was now terminal.
She is now receiving end-of-life hospice care at home due to her cancer treatment being stopped last month.
With the support of Cancer Research UK (CRUK), Dame Deborah and her family established the Bowelbabe Fund, with all money raised to be allocated to funding clinical trials and research into personalised medicine that could result in new treatments for cancer patients, including projects in collaboration with partners such as The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden. Donations will also go towards continued support to raise awareness of cancer, such as Bowel Cancer UK’s Never Too Young campaign.
At the start of June, the fund had so far raised £6.6million to go towards clinical trials and research into personalised medicine for cancer patients and supporting campaigns to raise awareness of bowel cancer.
You can donate via the Just Giving link here.