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What Experts Say About The Disease

2024-03-23 10:33:17

Kate Middleton Cancer: What Experts Say About The Disease

Kate Middleton said she is getting “a course of preventive chemotherapy”.

Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, revealed she has been diagnosed with cancer and is in the “early stages” of treatment. Even though it is not known what type of cancer she has, oncologists have said that what she described in her video message – discovering cancer during a “major abdominal surgery” – is all too common. In her public statement released Friday, Kate said the diagnosis came after undergoing abdominal surgery in January. Her condition was initially thought to be non-cancerous, but later tests “found cancer had been present,” she said. Now, without speculating on Kate Middleton’s procedure, here’s what experts say they know about the UK princess’ cancer.  

Speaking to the New York Times, Dr Elena Ratner, a gynecologic oncologist at Yale Cancer Center, described situations in which women will go in for surgery for endometriosis, a condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus is found elsewhere in the abdomen. Dr Ratner said that often the assumption is that the endometriosis has appeared on an ovary and caused a benign ovarian cyst. But a few days later, when the supposedly benign tissue has been studied and tested, pathologists report that they have found cancer. 

The doctors also noted that Kate said she is getting “a course of preventive chemotherapy”. This too is common, they said, explaining that in medical settings, this is usually called adjuvant chemotherapy. 

Also Read | Kate Middleton Third UK Royal To Face Cancer. Here Are The Other Two

According to Dr Eric Winer, director of the Yale Cancer Center, with adjuvant chemotherapy, “the hope is that this will prevent further problems” and avoid a recurrence of the cancer. It also means that “you removed everything” that was visible with surgery, said Dr Michael Birrer, director of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. 

You can’t see the cancer because microscopic cancer cells may be left behind, Dr Birrer added, as per the Post. Chemotherapy is a way to attack microscopic disease, he explained.

Separately, speaking to CNN, Dr Karen Knudsen, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, explained that preventative chemotherapy is often used after surgery as an “adjuvant” therapy, to weaken the chances of cancer returning. 

Notably, Kate Middleton had been mostly absent from the public eye since her surgery in January, causing speculations about her health to swirl. Moreover, the shock diagnosis comes after the UK’s King Charles III was also diagnosed with cancer following a procedure for an enlarged prostate.

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