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King thanked by health professionals for raising awareness about cancer

Health professionals have thanked the King for raising awareness about cancer amid praise of his “openness and honesty” in sharing personal health news, following the announcement of his latest diagnosis.

Announcing the King has been diagnosed with a form of cancer, Buckingham Palace explained Charles chose to share the news to “assist public understanding” for those around the world affected by the disease.

A host of medical professionals from different groups have commended the King’s candour.

Dr Jay Verma, president of the GP section at the Royal Society of Medicine, thanked Charles for using his “unique position” to highlight how cancer can affect anyone.

He said: “We wish His Majesty a speedy recovery and success in his treatment for cancer.

“We have made leaps and bounds in our cancer treatment and survival rates, and the earlier a problem is diagnosed, the more options there are for treatment.”

He continued: “We would also like to thank His Majesty for using his unique position in highlighting how cancer is indiscriminate in who it affects and that there should be no shame or embarrassment in coming forward to seek help and advice.

“The NHS has a system of cancer screenings and if you receive a communication saying you are due for an appointment, it is vital you make an appointment. It could save your life.

“If you have any symptoms which cause you concern, you should get in contact with your GP practice.

“Please don’t be shy – the more information we have the better to help – hopefully – rule out cancer or, if not, put you on the most suitable treatment pathway.”

Professor Pat Price, founder of the Catch Up With Cancer campaign, similarly praised Charles’ honesty, saying: “The King’s openness about his battle with cancer is a powerful reminder that one in two of us may face cancer at some point in our lives.”

February 4 was World Cancer Day, which aims to raise awareness about cancer, and was marked on the royal household’s social media.

Chiara De Biase, director of support and influencing at Prostate Cancer UK, highlighted a 500% increase in people coming to the charity’s website for information and support in the week following the King’s announcement of his enlarged prostate condition in January.

She said: “We are saddened to hear of the King’s cancer diagnosis and wish him well as he starts his treatment.

“Whilst we’re aware that the King has not been diagnosed with prostate cancer, more detail about his condition has not been disclosed and we respect Buckingham Palace’s request for people not to speculate.”

She added: “The King’s openness and honesty in announcing his treatment for an enlarged prostate raised vital awareness about the condition.

“We saw a 500% increase in people coming to our website for information and support in the week following the news, and an impact in men looking to learn more about their prostate and prostate cancer, with an increase in men taking our 30-second online risk checker.”

NHS England said the “enlarged prostate” page on the NHS website received one visit every five seconds on the day the King’s diagnosis was announced in January, with further huge boosts in visits in the days that followed.