Charles III, King of the United Kingdom and of the Commonwealth Realms  (ANSA)

By Susy Hodges

Feb 7 2024

Britain’s King Charles, who is 75, has been diagnosed with cancer and has stepped back from his public engagements while he undergoes treatment.

The shock announcement of King Charles’ cancer diagnosis has prompted a flurry of messages of support sent by leading figures across Britain and from many world leaders.  US President Joe Biden expressed his concern about the monarch and said navigating cancer takes hope and courage.  The revelation that King Charles is suffering from cancer came less than 18 months after he acceded to the throne following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

In the statement on Monday announcing the news of the monarch’s cancer, Buckingham Palace said the King has begun a series of treatments following the diagnosis and remains wholly positive and is looking forward to resuming his full schedule as soon as possible.  On the advice of his doctors, the King has suspended his public engagements but will continue to undertake state business and official paperwork during this period. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said thankfully the King’s illness was caught early and that he remained in regular contact with him. 

Buckingham Place says the cancer was discovered during the King’s recent 3-day stay at a private London hospital where he underwent a corrective procedure for a benign enlarged prostate.  It said subsequent diagnostic tests identified a form of cancer. Although the Palace statement did not reveal what type of cancer the King is suffering from, it did make clear that it was not prostate cancer.

The King’s daughter in law, Kate the Princess of Wales and wife to the heir to the British throne, Prince William, spent two weeks at the same London hospital last month following abdominal surgery for an unspecified but non-cancerous condition.

King Charles’ disclosure about his treatment for an enlarged prostate and now his cancer marks a clear break with royal tradition.  Buckingham Palace said the King had chosen to share his cancer diagnosis to prevent speculation and, in the hope, it will assist public understanding for all those around the world who may be suffering from cancer. – Vatican News