This blogger's pre-diagnosis pictures show how easy cancer can be to miss
While there are plenty of daunting statistics out there regarding cancer, and the likelihood of getting it - the latest being that one in two of us will experience it in our lifetime - it's important to utilise such knowledge in productive ways.
One blogger who's helping to make this change is Deborah James. Aged 35, the mother-of-two was living her best life. She loved her job as the deputy head of school, however, she didn't pick up on the fact that the change in her bowel habits was indicative of something malign.
After being diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer two years ago, Deborah has been dedicating her time to campaigning and raising awareness about the oft overlooked symptoms of bowl cancer on social media. She also co-hosts the BBC podcast, You, Me and the Big C - alongside Lauren Mahon, who was also diagnosed with cancer at a young age, and Rachael Bland, who tragically passed away from breast cancer in September of last year.
This week, however, the author of F*ck You Cancer took a slightly different approach to the viral 10 Year Challenge that has been making the rounds on social media of late. Posting to her Instagram Stories, Deborah uploaded photos of herself in the minutes, days, weeks and months before she was informed that she had bowel cancer.
"I would have had the Stage 4 Bowel Cancer - including the 6.5cm tumour - inside me in all of these [images]," she asserted.
In every picture, Deborah doesn't "look" like she has cancer, proving just how easy the life-threatening condition can be to miss.
"In all the pictures I looked healthy but I was pooing blood, was tired and had a change of bowel habits," she wrote. "When I look back at old pictures, I wish I had known the symptoms. Pushed to get a referral. Yes I can't change things (and I don't beat myself up about that!" - but it might for you!"
Deborah's 10 Year Challenge certainly reminds us to be conscious about any changes to our bodies. Push for a check up if you're concerned; one day it could save your life.