Kate Middleton Is Receiving Preventative Chemotherapy- Here's What That Means

Kate Middleton's Cancer Diagnosis: Everything We Know

Kate Middleton is sharing insight into how she's prioritizing her health.

The Princess of Wales recently announced that she was diagnosed with cancer and is now getting "preventative chemotherapy" to treat it. 

"In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London," she said in a video posted on her and husband Prince William's social media accounts March 22, "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."

Kate Middleton Is Receiving Preventative Chemotherapy- Here's What That Means

Although Kate didn't publicly disclose the type of cancer doctors found, a Kensington Palace representative said she began chemotherapy in late February.

"It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment," the 42-year-old noted, adding, "My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy, and I'm now in the early stages of that treatment."

photosKate Middleton Receives Well-Wishes From Celebs Amid Health Journey

While Kate didn't share any other details about her cancer diagnosis or how advanced it is, preventative chemotherapy—most commonly known as adjuvant chemotherapy—is chemotherapy you get after your primary treatment, such as surgery, per Healthline.

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"There are some cancers," Dr. Ben Ho Park, director of precision oncology at Vanderbilt School of Medicine, told Today.com in an interview published March 22, "where we have to make decisions (as to) who should get additional chemotherapy after surgery and who should not."

He continued, "We base that off things like the stage of the cancer, the type of cancer, and even the age of the patient sometimes to determine whether or not giving chemotherapy after surgery will improve outcomes."

Although the cancer specialist is not involved in Kate's medical case, he said she could be undergoing preventive chemotherapy to maximize what she's already received.

"Even though the surgeons have removed everything they can see," he explained, "there could still be cancer cells floating around in the body that, if left untreated, may come back later (and) is then incurable."

It's unclear how long Kate—who shares kids Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, with Prince William—will need to do preventive chemotherapy for. However, she said in the video that her cancer diagnosis has been challenging to navigate.

"This, of course, came as a huge shock," Kate admitted, "and William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family."

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

BBC Studios/Kensington Palace via Getty Images

Since sharing the news, Kate has received an outpour of love, including from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. "We wish health and healing for Kate and the family," the couple said in a statement to NBC News, "and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace."

Keep reading to see how others have expressed their support for the princess.

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