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King Charles: Attending regular cancer check-ups is more important than ever

The calamitous news of King Charles’ cancer diagnosis reminds us all how important it is to attend regular cancer check-up appointments.

In a disastrous turn of events, yesterday evening, 5th February 2024, Buckingham Palace made the devastating announcement that King Charles has been diagnosed with cancer.

gold and blue crown

Although the type of cancer will remain unknown to the public, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said that it has been caught early and that the King will begin treatment in London immediately.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: ‘During the king’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted. Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer. His majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties.

‘Throughout this period, his majesty will continue to undertake state business and official paperwork as usual. The king is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.

‘His majesty has chosen to share his diagnosis to prevent speculation and in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer.’

The tragic news has prompted various cancer charities, including Cancer Research UK, to reiterate how important it is to attend regular cancer screenings as if the disease is caught in the early stages, the chances of survival are much higher.

‘On behalf of Cancer Research UK, we extend our thoughts and well wishes to the King and the Royal Family at this difficult time,’ Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of Cancer Research UK said. ‘Unfortunately, almost one in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime. If you have noticed any symptoms that are unusual for you, get in touch with your GP. It probably won’t be cancer. But if it is, spotting it at an early stage means that treatment is more likely to be successful.’

In addition, Cancer Research UK have also claimed that the chances of someone surviving with cancer have significantly improved over the last five decades. However, recently the charity have recorded that the rate of improvement has slowed. 

Against this backdrop, NHS England and central government are currently working to reduce the amount of time people have to wait to receive a referral to find out whether they have cancer or not.

As it stands, patients shouldn’t have to wait any more than 28 days from referral to finding out whether they have the disease. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis recently caused the cancer patient backlog to reach record-breaking highs.

Since the announcement was released by Buckingham Palace, thousands of people from across the globe have united to show their support for the King.

Rishi Sunak recently took to X (formally known as Twitter) and tweeted: ‘Wishing his majesty a full and speedy recovery. I have no doubt he’ll be back to full strength in no time, and I know the whole country will be wishing him well.’

In addition, Labour Leader Keir Starmer also took to X to showcase his support. He said: ‘On behalf of the Labour party, I wish his majesty all the very best for his recovery. We look forward to seeing him back to swift full health.’

Although, it isn’t just English world leaders who have expressed their concern. Joe Biden, President of the United States, has told reporters: ‘I’m concerned about [King Charles]. Just heard about his diagnosis. I’ll be talking to him, God willing.’

The President, who lost his son to brain cancer in 2015, has also tweeted: ‘Navigating a cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship takes hope and absolute courage. [My wife] Jill and I join the people of the United Kingdom in praying that His Majesty experiences a swift and full recovery.’

Images: Markus Spiske and Samuel Regan-Asante

More on this topic:

Study assesses long term risk of invasive breast cancer after pre-invasive disease

Almost three million people received urgent cancer checks in 2023

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