Kate Middleton’s Cancer Diagnosis: What Do We Know Right Now?

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Kensington Palace released a video on Friday where Kate Middleton revealed that she was diagnosed with cancer while undergoing abdominal surgery in January. The Princess of Wales disclosed on the video that she has cancer and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. In Friday’s video announcement, Kate did not reveal what kind of cancer she has or which treatment she is taking. The Princess had what was described to be an abdominal surgery on 16th January. The news of this was not announced until the next day as Kensington Palace revealed that Katherine was recovering from a planned operation. Officials also said her condition wasn’t cancerous. They also did not specify what kind of surgery the Princess was going through, they just said that it was successful.

Kate during the video announcement on Friday said, “Tests after the operation found cancer had been present.” She also stated that she was in the early stages of her treatment. Kensington Palace’s statement said Katherine found out about the cancer only after post-surgery tests were done. Dr. Yuman Fong, a surgeon at the City of Hope Cancer Center in Southern California says it is rare to find cancer after surgery, especially for a noncancerous problem. However, it is found in about four percent of such surgeries. “That four percent figure represents someone who’s going to the operating room for what is thought to be benign disease” like a procedure to remove the gallbladder or ovarian cysts, explains Fong.

When asked if it is unusual to find cancer in someone so young, Fong says it is rare in young adults. However, in developed countries, these rates of some cancers are definitely on the rise among younger adults. The Princess of Wales is currently 42 years old. “We hate it when young people get cancer, but at the same time, they are the ones that recover best,” Fong said. Regarding what kind of treatment Kate is receiving, the statement from the palace did not give any details about her cancer or any treatment. “We will not be sharing any further private medical information. The Princess has a right to medical privacy as we all do,” the statement stated.

However, after successful surgeries, chemotherapy is often used for the body to kill any other chemotherapy is often used to as well as to prevent the sickness from coming back. Over time, treatments have evolved. Chemo is now often used for shorter periods or in lower dosages than once it was given. Regarding what kind of side effects chemo can bring, Dr. Monica Avila of Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, says it includes nausea, fatigue, tingling sensations in feet and hands, and sometimes major hair loss. However, the doctor also says there are medications for improving these side effects. “A patient can take anywhere from a few weeks to a month or two to recover from those effects,” Avila said while mentioning that tingling and numbness can take longer to disappear.


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