Cancer campaigner Dame Deborah James has died at the age of 40, her family has said, describing her as an “inspiration”.

She had been receiving end-of-life care for bowel cancer at home and had raised millions to help others affected by cancer.

The host of the BBC’s You, Me and the Big C podcast was given a damehood in recognition of her fundraising work.

Dame Deborah, a mother of two, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016.

A post on her Instagram page read: “We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Dame Deborah James; the most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mummy.”

She passed away peacefully surrounded by her family, the post read.

It said she was an “inspiration and we are incredibly proud of her and her work”.

Dame Deborah announced on social media on 9 May that she was no longer receiving treatment and did not know how long she had left.

“My body just can’t continue anymore,” she said in a post on her @bowelbabe Instagram account.

She also launched a new fund, called the Bowelbabe fund, to raise money for research into personalised medicine for cancer patients.

It surpassed £1m in less than 24 hours – smashing her initial goal of £250,000 and has now raised more than £6.75m.

She was given a damehood by Prince William at her parents’ home, where she had chosen to stay.

Dame Deborah said she was “utterly honoured” the Duke of Cambridge had joined her and her family for afternoon tea and champagne