Charlene White opened up about her mother Dorrett’s death from bowel cancer at age 47 on Tuesday.
The Loose Women host, 42, appeared on Lorraine to discuss her personal connection to the No Butts campaign which supports raising the awareness of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer, the UK’s second biggest cancer killer.
Charlene revealed she is now the same age as her mother was when she was diagnosed with cancer, and she sadly passed away four years later.
She said: ‘It feels weird to know that I’m the same age as she was when she found out.
‘I was 16 and my younger brother was only three when she was diagnosed and she died before she hit 50.
‘And I am now at that sweet spot from when she was diagnosed when she was 43, which is what I am now or will be this year, and she died when she was 47.
‘Part of the reason my mum didn’t go to that appointment was because she got caught up with parenting. If she went for that early blood test it could of saved her life.’
Charlene went onto stress the importance of early diagnosis urging people to ‘check before they flush.’
The No Butts campaign was set up by Dame Deborah James to raise money for cancer research.
The health campaigner, who died in June 2022 from bowel cancer, at the age of just 40, launched the Bowelbabe cancer research fund to raise money for research into personalised medicine for cancer patients just a few weeks before she died.
Her goal was to raise £250,000, but the fund has smashed that target, raising more than £11 million.
Deborah, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 at the age of 35, spent her final years campaigning to raise awareness of the condition.
Charlene White opened up about her mother Dorrett’s death from bowel cancer at age 47 on Lorraine on Tuesday
The Loose Women host, 42, appeared on Lorraine to discuss her personal connection to the No Butts campaign which supports raising the awareness of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer, the UK’s second biggest cancer killer (pictured with Dame Deborah James)
Dame Deborah James (pictured) died in June 2022 from bowel cancer. She was 40-years-old at the time of her death
Her fund is set to continue to raise as much money as possible to help other cancer sufferers.
Last year Charlene also joined in on the campaign and recalled how she often had to take her younger brother to school as a teen because her mother would be having chemotherapy and her father would be gone to work.
Speaking on Lorraine she said: ‘People find it really bizarre when I say, ‘[I had] a mum that was in hospital all the time, I mean, I was doing my homework sitting on the bed in Greenwich hospital, [that] was our normal and so we didn’t know any different.
‘Me having to take my brother to primary school before I went to school every morning was my normal, because my mum would be having chemo and my dad had to go to work, so that’s all we ever knew during that period in our life.
‘So I don’t know what it’s like to have a normal childhood in your late teens, early twenties, I don’t know.
Charlene revealed she is now the same age as her mother Dorrett was when she was diagnosed with cancer and she sadly passed away four years later
Her mother Dorrett (right) was diagnosed at 42 years old and survived for four years with the diagnosis before dying
‘But what I do know is that I don’t want other families to have to go through that and lose a parent as a result of not spotting the signs and not going to their GP.’
Charlene urged people not to be embarrassed about going to the doctor with bowel-related concerns.
She said: ‘For whatever reason, some people get really embarrassed talking about their bowel movements. Talking about poo people get really embarrassed about it but the reality is, everybody does it.
She said: ‘That’s where we really have to take responsibility for our own bodies. What’s wrong with making sure you check before you flush?
‘Because that is the only way that you can know if there’s something wrong. No one else is in that toilet cubicle with you in that moment… because the reality is, if we don’t, we could end up losing our lives and none of us wants that to be happening prematurely, not at all.’
Charlene went onto stress the importance of early diagnosis urging people to ‘check before they flush’
‘Technology and science have moved on a lot in the last 20 years and the way they treat it and the drugs that are available weren’t available 20 years ago, and when my mum did go to the doctor about it, and they didn’t diagnose it for a while, could that have meant that she could’ve been around for longer?
‘No one really knows, but the reality is you know your body, you are in control of your body, you have to keep an eye on your body, because so many different things could happen as a result.’
Charlene concluded: ‘The reality of it is, if you see these things happening and you don’t go to the GP, your family could lose a mum, could lose a dad. And yes, people think you need to be older for this to happen.’