April 16th, 2024

Kate’s diagnosis could prompt others to get tested, seek treatment: cancer society

By The Canadian Press on March 23, 2024.

Kate, The Princess of Wales, visits Evelina London at St Thomas' hospital in London, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. Stuart Edmonds, executive vice-president of mission, research and advocacy for the Canadian Cancer Society, says news from the princess, or other public figures, about a cancer diagnosis can help raise awareness and encourage others to be tested early and seek treatment.. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ian Vogler/Pool Photo

TORONTO – The sharing of a cancer diagnosis from Catherine, the Princess of Wales, could be positive for those going through their own cancer journey or people who need to be more aware of the disease, says an executive with the Canadian Cancer Society.

Stuart Edmonds, executive vice-president of mission, research and advocacy for the society, said such news from the princess, or other public figures, can help raise awareness and encourage others to be tested early and seek treatment.

“I think that there are some extreme positives, but, you know, I think that people, when they’re going there on their own personal journey for cancer, the timing of sharing information about that is a very private matter,” he said.

“I’m not at all suggesting that everyone that’s well known should actually tell everyone about their health issues. I think that that’s far too much to ask. But when it does happen, I think it does raise that really important awareness about cancer.”

The princess released a video statement Friday after intense worldwide speculation about her health, saying that following successful abdominal surgery in January, doctors told her cancer had been present and advised that she undergo “preventive chemotherapy.”

She says in the video that she and Prince William are doing everything they can to “process and manage this privately” for the sake of their family.

“As you can imagine, this has taken time. It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment,” she says in the video.

“But, most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be OK.”

The couple’s three children range in age from five to 10.

Edmonds said when talking to young people about cancer, the sense is that they need help to understand what is happening without being made fearful.

He said it can help to prepare for the conversation ahead of time, choose a location that is quiet and private, and possibly bring another adult for support.

Provide information in small chunks and don’t bombard them with too much information, Edmonds said.

“And be ready to answer questions because it’s always likely that there’ll be questions coming.”

Edmonds said he can “completely understand” the princess wanting to make sure her family knew about the diagnosis before it became public.

“I can’t begin to understand the pressure and the anxiety and the fear that she must be going through herself with a cancer diagnosis, and currently cancer treatment,” he said.

“We hope the treatment is successful and we wish her well.”

The princess is the second royal to go public with a cancer diagnosis recently. In February, Buckingham Palace announced that King Charles had been diagnosed with “a form of cancer.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 23, 2024.

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