THIS MORNING, Buckingham Palace released a statement revealing that King Charles III has been diagnosed with cancer. The cancer was discovered last week when the King underwent treatment for a benign prostate enlargement. The Palace’s statement said that during this procedure, “a separate issue of concern was noted”, and that, “Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer.”
King Charles had previously chosen to go public about his prostate treatment, aiming to encourage more men to undergo prostate screenings. He has similarly chosen to be public about his cancer diagnosis, “in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer.”
The statement added that King Charles, who has been on the throne for less than 18 months, “Remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.”
What type of cancer does King Charles have?
The Palace’s statement did not reveal what type of cancer the King has been diagnosed with. Although, according to the BBC, it is not prostate cancer.
While the exact type and cause of King Charles’ cancer has not been revealed, his diagnosis is evidence of the importance of regular cancer screenings. Charles’ cancer was discovered during an unrelated procedure, but cancer screenings can identify issues of concern in their early stages so treatment can begin immediately.
How can you get checked for cancer?
Cancer can be diagnosed in a variety of ways. Usually, the process begins with a doctor checking for symptoms to spot warning signs before more extensive tests and examinations are undertaken. Blood tests, x-rays and biopsies, in which a small tissue sample is collected, are all common methods of cancer detection, but cancer screenings are also available for more common types of cancer. In Australia, screenings are available for bowel, breast and cervical cancer. More information on screening eligibility and how to book them can be found here.
King Charles’ decision to go public with his diagnosis brings attention to the need for regular cancer screenings. Even the King only found out he had cancer because it was discovered during a separate procedure. The rest of us are no different. Cancer can affect anyone.
England’s Royal Society of Medicine has already thanked the King for highlighting the indiscriminate nature of cancer and is urging eligible members of the public to make an appointment for a cancer screening. “Please don’t be shy—the more information we have the better to help hopefully—rule out cancer or, if not, put you on the most suitable treatment pathway,” the society’s president, Dr Jay Verma, said.
How is cancer treated?
Cancer can be treated in many ways depending on the type, its location and how much it has progressed. Some types of cancer can be removed through surgery. Others require more extensive chemotherapy to kill cancerous cells. Radiotherapy is another, less common, option. The Palace’s statement announced that King Charles will begin a “schedule of regular treatments”, but it did not reveal precisely how the cancer is being treated.
In all cases, cancer is not something that is easily recovered from. The recovery process is lengthy. As such, King Charles will be taking a step back from some of his duties, as he “has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties.”