Howard’s Story – Duodenal cancer

This Howard's journey with duodenal cancer, as told by his wife, Amanda.

Howard was part of a 4-generation family business as a meat wholesaler. He had a farm shop and café too. He was brought up with a huge work ethic, so was a hardworking man. 

Howard always addressed any health issues, even though he was a smoker. When he was told his blood pressure was slightly high, he adjusted his diet and lost weight.  

One day Howard noticed he had a lump on his right shoulder. We all thought it might be a muscular problem, as he used his right arm repeatedly for cutting up meat. He had no other symptoms. But after further tests this was discovered to be a lymph node.

We were told Howard had lung cancer. He quit smoking straight away. 10 days later after further tests, we were told the devastating news that Howard’s cancer originated in the duodenum and he had secondary lung cancer. 

Duodenal cancer is a cancer that none of us had heard of before. It appears to be a silent cancer, as Howard had no warning. We were told that it would shorten Howard’s life expectancy, but we chose not to find out how long Howard had left. Positivity and hope is what we focussed on.  

Sadly, just three months after he was diagnosed, aged 57, Howard left us. He was surrounded with love from his four daughters and I. 

We had some amazing times together, including getting married in Las Vegas and touring America on a Harley Davidson Bike! His Harley Davidson now sits pride of place in the house, right next to his chair. 

A year prior to his diagnosis, he’d had his regular bowel screening (colonoscopy) where nothing was found, as the colonoscopies don’t reach this area. How can we start looking for these cancers? This is why we’re supporting Guts UK. Their research is vital to find answers. If only one life can be saved through more awareness, then we might have a small reason as to why Howard passed.  

Howard was a very sociable person and a huge part of our local community, so when he passed away we received an influx of support. We asked loved ones to donate to Guts UK, raising almost £5,000 in his memory. We have lots more fundraising plans too. 

Howard was a true gentleman. He was witty, clever, brave, selfless and well respected in the community. He will always be remembered, as he touched so many people. 

Guts UK is a proud founding member of the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce, aiming to double survival rates for the 6 deadliest cancers by 2029. Please support Guts UK today. With your support, we can start to close the deadly cancer gap.

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