Chris Evans discusses bowel cancer and Deborah James' death

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Chris Evans has opened up about a bowel cancer scare he experienced following the death of BBC podcast host Dame Deborah James. The radio star, 56, paid tribute to the mum-of-two following her heartbreaking death aged 40 from the disease, before revealing that he experienced a scare almost a decade ago.

I’d been told I was high risk and I was too scared to do anything about it

Chris Evans

The flame-haired star spoke candidly about tragically losing family members to the disease while addressing his own experience.

Chris said: “So because of my family history of bowel cancer, my dad died of bowel cancer and both his brothers did, both my uncles.

“So it got all of them, it wiped them out, so I’m very high risk.”

The father of five went on to relay an incident which led him to urgently seek medical advice.

The radio host continued: “A few years ago I went to have my first colonoscopy following a toilet experience which literally took my breath away.

“So nothing had happened to me or, as far as I was concerned, to do with blood in my stools ever.”

He added: “And then one day I think it was eight or nine years ago now, I wrote about it in one of my books, I looked in the pan and it was like somebody had poured a tin of red paint in there.

“It was so weird, because I’d been told I was high risk and I was too scared to do anything about it

“I don’t know why, I don’t know why, I just was,” Chris explained.

Addressing the experience, he went on: “I sort of didn’t want to know, you know that one, which is crazy but completely understandable, especially for some reason where blokes are concerned.

“But the strangest thing happened, when I saw this, I just went to the telephone, didn’t tell my wife, didn’t tell anybody I knew, phoned my doctor and booked an appointment.

“It was so strange, I didn’t even think about it, it was literally like seeing the light,” he explained.

Chris went on to tell how medical professionals found “a couple of polyps” which they went on to remove in the same procedure.

He said: “But they snipped them out, sent them off for a biopsy and it was ok, but ever since thenI’ve had a regular colonoscopy.

You have to do this, you have to go and sort yourself out,” he urged his listeners on his Virgin Radio Breakfast show.

On Tuesday evening it was confirmed that Dame Deborah had died surrounded by her loved ones following her six year battle with bowel cancer.

Alongside a beautiful picture of the podcast host, the statement read: “We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Dame Deborah James; the most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mummy. Deborah passed away peacefully today, surrounded by her family.

“Deborah, who many of you will know as Bowelbabe, was an inspiration and we are incredibly proud of her and her work and commitment to charitable campaigning, fundraising and her endless efforts to raise awareness of cancer that touched so many lives.”

It went on: “Deborah shared her experience with the world to raise awareness, break down barriers, challenge taboos and change the conversation around cancer. Even in her most challenging moments, her determination to raise money and awareness was inspiring.”

The post ended with “final things” from Deborah and read: “Find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope. And finally, check your poo – it could just save your life.”

You can donate to Deborah James’ Bowelbabe fund here.

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