Kate's cancer announcement causes surge in Brits checking symptoms as health chiefs praise Princess of Wales

26 March 2024, 00:20 | Updated: 26 March 2024, 00:28

Princess Kate announced her cancer diagnosis on Friday evening
Princess Kate announced her cancer diagnosis on Friday evening. Picture: Getty/Alamy/Kensington Palace
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Princess Kate's decision to reveal her cancer diagnosis in a video on Friday has caused a surge in Brits checking symptoms of the disease.

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The Princess of Wales has been praised by health leaders and charities following her video announcement.

Kate's decision to speak out about her health could save lives due to a sharp increase in Brits checking symptoms, they said.

In the 24 hours after Kate's announcement, there were 2,840 visits to the NHS cancer page, around five times higher than the visits in the same period in the previous week, The Mirror reports.

Meanwhile, there were more than 100,000 visits to the Macmillan Cancer Support website over the weekend.

NHS England cancer director Prof Peter Johnson said: “The Princess of Wales bravely speaking out about her diagnosis will help others do the same.

“Thanks to this, we have seen a spike in people visiting vital information on our site about signs and symptoms. Talking about cancer saves lives if it encourages people to come forward sooner if things aren’t right.”

Princess Kate as she revealed she had cancer
Princess Kate as she revealed she had cancer. Picture: Kensington Palace

Gemma Peters, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, added: “In sharing her news the Princess of Wales has raised awareness... and will be helping to encourage others who have concerns, to visit their GP and seek support.”

King Charles' decision to reveal his treatment for an enlarged prostate and subsequently, his own cancer diagnosis, also earned him praised from health chiefs.

Doing so was "characteristic of the man" Charles is, according to LBC's Andrew Marr.

Read More: Sarah Ferguson 'full of admiration' for Kate following cancer diagnosis and hopes she now has 'space to heal'

Read More: King Charles 'inspired Kate to share cancer diagnosis' after he received 'warmth and affection' over his own health battle

Andrew said at the time: "It's interesting that the King has chosen to be so open.

"In his statement, he says: 'His Majesty has chosen to share his diagnosis to prevent speculation and in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer'.

"That is kind of characteristic of the man."

King Charles was praised for revealing his cancer diagnosis
King Charles was praised for revealing his cancer diagnosis. Picture: Alamy

Speaking after Kate revealed her diagnosis in a short video on Friday, King Charles said he is 'so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did'.

In a statement the King said: "His Majesty is 'so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did'.

"Following their time in hospital together, HM has 'remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks.'

"Both Their Majesties 'will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time'."

Andrew Marr reacts as Kate, Princess of Wales announces she is receiving treatment for cancer

On Friday evening, Kate spoke about the "huge shock" of finding out she had cancer following abdominal surgery earlier this year.

She said her family have experienced an "incredibly tough couple of months" in a video released to the public.

The future Queen began a course of "preventative chemotherapy" late in February but is said to have a positive mindset for her recovery and is in good spirits, describing herself as "well and getting stronger every day".

Kensington Palace then released a follow-up statement after the initial announcement, saying the Prince and Princess of Wales were "enormously touched by the kind messages from people here in the UK".

“They are extremely moved by the public's warmth and support and are grateful for the understanding of their request for privacy at this time,” a spokesperson said.

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