Kate Middleton battling cancer: What is preventive chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a term used for the treatment of someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, however ‘preventive chemotherapy’ is not an official term under the NHS

Written By Arshdeep kaur
Published23 Mar 2024, 09:28 PM IST
File photo of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton
File photo of Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton (AP)

Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, earlier this week announced that she has been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing "preventive" chemotherapy. She said that cancer was found after an abdominal surgery she underwent in January.

In a video, she said, "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 preventative chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment."

Also read: 'I am well...': How Kate Middleton broke the news of her cancer diagnosis to her kids 

What is preventive chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a term used for the treatment of someone who has been diagnosed with cancer. However, Kate specifically described she was undergoing "preventive chemotherapy".

According to a report by The Independent, preventive chemotherapy is not an official term under the NHS. Kate also did not give any further information about her cancer.

Although currently there are treatments like "chemoprevention: which reduce the chances of a person getting cancer. It also lowers the chances of cancer returning to a person after they are healed.

There are some other types of chemotherapy like neo-adjuvant therapy, peri-operative therapy and palliative.

The neo-adjuvant therapy is given before the surgery or radiotherapy to reduce the size of the tumour. The peri-operative therapy is given both before and after the surgery. Palliative therapy is to help relieve the symptoms if cancer has already spread.

However, according to the World Health Organisation, there is "preventive chemotherapy" which is used on people where medicines are administered to prevent some diseases. These diseases include lymphatic filariasis which is also called elephantiasis.

In the video, Kate did not share the type of cancer she is suffering from or the kind of treatment she was undergoing.

"This of course came as a huge shock, and William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family," the 42-year old Princess said.

"As you can imagine, this has taken time. It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment."

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First Published:23 Mar 2024, 09:28 PM IST
HomeNewsWorldKate Middleton battling cancer: What is preventive chemotherapy?

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