What is preventative chemotherapy? Princess Kate says she will start treatment for cancer

What is preventative chemotherapy? Princess Kate says she will start treatment for cancer

Princess Kate announced on Friday she is set to undergo a course of “preventative chemotherapy” following a cancer diagnosis.

The Princess of Wales shared a video to state that she has the illness which was a “huge shock”.

She had spent some time in hospital earlier this year, although it was said at the time that this was for a non cancerous condition.

Kensington Palace released the video on Friday after weeks of speculation about her health. It is understood the film, released on Instagram, was not edited.

The Princess said: “In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous.

“The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventive chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment.”

The term ‘preventative chemotherapy’ has led to a lot of Googling - so here is what it means for the Princess.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

What is preventative/preventive chemotherapy?

No information has been given about the type of cancer that the Princess of Wales has.

“Preventative chemotherapy” is not, itself, an official NHS term.

Chemoprevention, according to the NHS, could be considered by those who have a family history of breast cancer to reduce their risk of developing it.

Guidance reads: “Chemoprevention is considered for people who have not developed cancer but have an increased risk of getting the disease due to their family history.”

It has not been said if the Princess of Wales has breast cancer.

Chemotherapy treatments are used to kill cancer cells and King Charles III is also undergoing it - although his cancer type has also not been made public.

“There are many different types of chemotherapy medicine, but they all work in a similar way,” the NHS states.

“They stop cancer cells from reproducing, which prevents them from growing and spreading in the body.”