World News

King Charles: Searches for NHS advice on cancer surge after monarch’s diagnosis

The King’s cancer diagnosis has led to a 51% increase in searches for NHS advice on the disease.

Buckingham Palace announced his diagnosis on Monday but has not confirmed what type of cancer the 75-year-old monarch has.

In the 24 hours following the palace announcement, visits to a web page offering advice on the possible signs and symptoms of cancer jumped to 14,668 – compared with a daily average of 9,737 last week (29-30 January), NHS England said.

Visitor numbers peaked in the hour following the initial statement, with 1,530 visits being made to the page – an average of one visit every three seconds.

The NHS cancer pages include information on lifestyle changes people can make to reduce their chances of getting cancer, as well advice on spotting early signs and symptoms of the disease and treatment options.

The palace said King Charles had been diagnosed with a “form of cancer” after a “separate issue of concern was noted” during treatment for his benign prostate condition.

The monarch was keen to share his diagnosis “in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer”.

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King seen for first time since diagnosis

The King personally called both his sons – as well as his siblings the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Duke of Edinburgh – to share news of his health.

The royal head of state has started his cancer treatment and was visited by his youngest son Prince Harry on Tuesday at Clarence House, where the King had been recovering after receiving treatment.

The Duke of Sussex flew thousands of miles from his Californian home to be at his father’s side for around 45 minutes before the King and Queen left London for Sandringham in Norfolk.

The Queen fulfilled a royal engagement at Salisbury Cathedral on Thursday during which she described the King as doing “extremely well under the circumstances”.

She added he was “very touched” by all the messages of support he has been receiving from the public.

Read more:
King’s health issues over the years
What types of cancer are most common for older men?
Searches for ‘enlarged prostate’ surge after King’s statement

The King has postponed all public-facing duties, but is continuing with behind-the-scenes work on his red boxes of state papers.

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Heir to the throne Prince William returned to his royal duties this week, while his wife Kate, Princess of Wales, recovers from abdominal surgery following a hospital stay of around two weeks.

He was the first member of the Royal Family to speak about the King’s diagnosis when he gave a speech at a gala fundraising dinner in London on Wednesday night.

The Prince of Wales said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you, also, for the kind messages of support for Catherine and for my father, especially in recent days.

“It means a great deal to us all.”

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Prince thanks public for ‘kind messages’

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NHS England’s national clinical director for cancer, Professor Peter Johnson, said: “Talking about cancer helps save lives, and having more people looking at advice like this on how to spot the possible signs and symptoms of cancer is really important.

“One in two of us will develop some form of cancer in our lifetime – but thanks to continued progress, more cancers are now being diagnosed at an early stage than ever before and survival rates are at an all-time high.

“Detecting cancer early gives people the best chance of successful treatment, so I would encourage anyone to visit their GP if they have worrying symptoms, and to take up screening appointments when they receive them.”

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