What type of cancer does he have?

The King’s cancer was discovered during surgery for an enlarged prostate – Shutterstock

The king has not revealed what type of cancer he has been diagnosed with, but the cancer was discovered after he was treated for a benign prostate enlargement.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said that during this corrective surgery, “an isolated area of ​​concern was noted and subsequently diagnosed as a form of cancer.”

The risk of developing cancer increases with age, and more people are diagnosed in their 70s than in any other decade.

Prostate cancer is the most common form in men aged 75 and over, accounting for 25 percent of cases each year, but the palace confirmed the monarch, who turned 75 last November, did not have the condition.

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer, accounting for 16 percent of cancer cases among people aged 75 and older. Although smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, King Charles has not smoked since he tried cigarettes as a schoolboy.

Colon cancer is the third most common form of the disease and accounts for 14 percent of cancer cases in men aged 75 and over. Symptoms include blood in the intestines or stool.

Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer and accounts for six percent of cancer cases in men of the King’s age. The symptoms are similar to those of an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer, including a frequent need to urinate, a burning sensation, and blood in the urine. The reason the symptoms are similar is because an enlarged prostate presses against the bladder and the urethra exits the body from the bladder.

Praise for openness

The monarch was praised for sharing his diagnosis of an enlarged prostate in the hope that other men would get tested. Announcing the King’s cancer diagnosis on Monday, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said the monarch similarly hoped the announcement would “increase public understanding for everyone around the world affected by cancer”.

The palace said the king would receive regular outpatient day treatment, suggesting he will undergo chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy or a combination thereof.

Chemotherapy is administered through the blood and works by preventing the cancer cells from growing, splitting and spreading, while radiotherapy targets the specific tumor site with the aim of killing the cancer cells. However, it can also damage surrounding healthy cells.

Immunotherapies alert the immune system to the presence of the cancer, which otherwise goes unnoticed, and stimulate the body’s defenses to attack and destroy the cancer.

It is also possible that some form of day surgery may be performed depending on the location of the cancer, which can help prevent it from spreading.

The type of treatment varies greatly depending on the type of cancer and at what stage it is diagnosed.

For example, bladder cancer in its most treatable form might involve transurethral resection of a bladder tumor, in which the tumor is cut from the bladder under general anesthesia, followed by a dose of chemotherapy.

This may extend to multiple rounds of chemotherapy, or the use of radiotherapy and even removal of the entire bladder in the most severe cases. However, the treatment plan outlined by the palace suggests this is unlikely.

Bowel cancer can affect both the colon and rectal areas, and in either case, surgery to remove the part of the organ with the disease is most common unless it has spread.

Patients with colon cancer of the large intestine then receive chemotherapy, or a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy if the disease is rectal.

Non-small cell lung cancer is usually treated with surgery, which involves removing the cancer cells. Further surgery may be offered to remove larger parts of the lung if it has spread. If surgery is not possible, targeted radiotherapy is offered.

More and more immunotherapy drugs are being approved for this form of lung cancer.

The more aggressive small cell lung cancer has usually spread to other parts of the body, making it untreatable. Chemotherapy is usually offered to prolong life.

Survival rates

Survival rates vary by cancer. While 80 percent of men in their 70s will live at least five years after a skin cancer diagnosis, this drops to 10 percent of those with lung cancer, and less than five percent with brain, pancreatic or liver cancer.

The average five-year survival rate is almost 60 percent for men in their 70s diagnosed with bladder or colon cancer.

As with all forms of cancer, the sooner the disease is detected and treatment is started, the higher the chance of survival.

In December, the King chose a doctor who advocates the use of homeopathic remedies to lead the medical wing of the Royal Household.

Dr. Michael Dixon is a practicing general practitioner who has argued that traditional medicine can play an important role in patient care. He now heads the Royal Medical Household, the medical wing of the services that provide assistance to the monarch.

The doctor had previously served as the monarch’s medical adviser when he was Prince of Wales, when King Charles’s support for the complementary use of homeopathic medicines alongside other treatments was well documented.

Dr. Dixon has long advocated a complementary or “integrative” approach, writing an article in 1999 saying that being seen by spiritual healers “can be an effective tool for the treatment of chronically ill patients presenting to general practice.”

Where will King recover?

The king began outpatient treatment in London on Monday morning and stayed in the capital overnight, the palace said.

It is expected that he will continue to receive treatment in London and therefore most of the monarch’s time will likely be spent at Clarence House, his home next door to Buckingham Palace.

While undergoing corrective treatment for an enlarged prostate, he was treated at the private London Clinic in Marylebone, central London, but it is not known where he will receive his outpatient treatment for this diagnosis.

Depending on where he wants to recover after his treatment, he may choose to make the two-hour drive to his beloved private home in Highgrove, Gloucestershire.

The king returned to London from his Sandringham estate in Norfolk, where he spent the weekend, having chosen to recover there following his corrective surgery.

He was pictured waving and smiling as he took the short walk to St Mary Magdalene Church with the Queen on Sunday.

The royal couple are known to prefer to spend time at their family home in Highgrove, so he may choose to have a quiet recovery there, rather than in the busy capital.

It is unlikely that he would choose Balmoral, the royal Scottish estate, to recover, but he could decide to visit Windsor Castle, where he would be closer to the Prince of Wales and his three grandchildren.

It’s where the Princess of Wales, who was last seen in public at church in Sandringham on Christmas Day, is recovering from major abdominal surgery, surrounded by a familiar home environment and her children, who all go to school nearby of the Windsor estate.

Wherever the king decides to recover, the public is unlikely to see him as he has postponed all his public appearances and appointments while he undergoes treatment for a cancer diagnosis.

The king previously had a benign growth removed from the bridge of his nose during a minor routine procedure and in 2003 he underwent hernia surgery at the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in London.

The hospital in Marylebone has been treating members of the Royal Family for generations, including the late Queen Elizabeth II and the late Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip.

The Duchess of York recently underwent a single mastectomy and breast reconstruction with King Edward VII after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2023.

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