Portsmouth cancer survivor urges people 'not to be a martyr' and to get checked saying: 'It could save your life"

A MILITARY guard who survived a shock cancer diagnosis has today urged people ‘not to be a martyr’ and to get themselves checked, insisting: ‘It could be the best thing you ever do.’

By Tom Cotterill
Friday, 22nd July 2022, 3:47 pm

After suffering with what he believed was a seasonal cold with a hoarse voice for over a month, Lance Corporal Simon Howell – of the Military Provost Guard Service – was diagnosed with throat cancer in early 2021.

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After undergoing several laser surgery operations to cut away the cancer, the former Leading Seaman was given the news it had been fully removed.

Cancer survivor, Lance Corporal Simon Howell in training prior to his charity row at HMS Sultan in Gosport. He has since urged people not to be afraid of getting themselves checked by a doctor.

Although still undergoing regular checks, Simon is now showing signs of a full recovery and is urging others displaying possible symptoms to get checked out.

The 50-year-old of Eastney – who served 23 years in the navy – said: ‘I was taken aback a bit and it obviously came as somewhat of a shock as I had lost both of my parents to cancer within a short space of time, but I was not going to be beaten by this disease and agreed with the consultants ideas as how best to deal with it with maximum damage limitation.

‘I was lucky that it was caught and dealt with so quickly, it could have been a lot different. I still sound like a poor man’s version of Rod Stewart and I doubt I’ll be king of the karaoke any time soon, but my consultant assures me that I will get my voice back to normal in time.

‘Don’t be a martyr, if you have had something like a cough or a pain for more than a couple of weeks, get it checked out by a professional, it could be the best thing you do.’

Lance Corporal Simon Howell, centre, with Military Provost Guard Service Colleagues Sergeant Paul Porter and Staff Sergeant Andy Gerstel.

Simon completed a 24-hour charity row at Gosport’s HMS Sultan to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

His epic event managed to drum up a whopping £3,200.

Simon added: ‘I never really had any dealings directly with Macmillan myself as everything happened and got sorted so quickly, but it could have been very different, and they also helped my late father with getting the right care and benefits that he needed during his 20-year battle with renal cancer. It really is a fantastic charity to support.’

The charity row at HMS Sultan has already raised over £3,200 for Macmillan Cancer Support.