Charlie Henson: I wanted to marry Adam after my cancer diagnosis so he knew how much I loved him

Countryfile star Adam Henson’s wife Charlie has revealed how important it was for the pair to be married after her pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

Charlie Henson’s cancer diagnosis

Charlie first noticed symptoms of a “bad tummy” over the Christmas period in 2020, but changes to her diet failed to resolve the problem.

She eventually sought advice from her GP in February 2021 and had to wait another three weeks for an appointment, by which time she had started sharing concerns with pals.

In his new book, Adam, 57, revealed tests on his spouse at the time showed she wasn’t absorbing food properly, which led to her being prescribed Creon.

Told pancreatic cancer was “very unlikely”, she arranged a scan before going about her life for the next five weeks awaiting it’s result.

Charlie Henson’s decision to marry Adam after her cancer diagnosis

Charlie, Adam, and their grown-up children, Ella and Alfie were then “lulled into a false sense of security” believing “no news is good news”.

However, with Adam working away in Scotland, Charlie received the devastating call. “There was no preamble: it was pancreatic cancer,” she said.

She continued: “I was told the scan showed a 4.5cm growth on my pancreas, located in a difficult position and it was very serious. The GP asked if I had anyone with me at home and apologised that she had to discuss this over the phone. I felt I had been hit with a sledgehammer.

“I knew that this type of cancer had a very low survival rate just five per cent. We also knew of a couple of people who had had it, and their disease had progressed very quickly from diagnosis.

I decided not to ring Adam; he was working and what could he do? My mum lives five minutes away, and she and Pete, her partner of many years, came straight over.

I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them, but I was in absolute hell. I couldn’t process it, it was too big to take in.”

Charlie Henson’s cancer treatment and recovery

The couple were later told at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital it was “definitely” cancer, but potentially a neuroendocrine tumour – a rare, slow-growing form of the disease.

They learned that only two per cent of pancreatic cancer is neuroendocrine and, even if it was that, operating would prove difficult due to its size and positioning. The alternative was palliative care.

Charlie’s operation involved removing parts of the pancreas, gall bladder and duodenum and thankfully proved successful.

Her recovery is ongoing recovery is ongoing, and requires her to take Creon with every meal, as well as blood thinners and supplements.

The family is now forced to live in anticipation of her “one six-monthly scan to the next” which is “terrifying” every time the next date looms.

Charlie Henson’s marriage to Adam

Charlie Henson says she asked Adam Henson to marry her after her cancer diagnosis because she wanted him to know how much she loved him.

She said: “It’s ridiculous but I really, really wanted everyone to know how much I love Adam; most importantly, I wanted him to know. It was suddenly such a big thing.”

The couple were married in September 2021, and Charlie had her surgery the following day. Adam said the wedding was “wonderful” and that everyone knew it was “very emotional” because Charlie was going into hospital the next day.


Adam and Charlie Henson’s story is a reminder of the importance of love and family in the face of adversity.

Charlie’s cancer diagnosis was a devastating blow, but she has shown incredible strength and courage throughout her treatment and recovery. Adam has been a supportive and loving husband, and the couple’s marriage is a testament to their love for each other.

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