The news that King Charles has been diagnosed with cancer is a story that is sadly all too familiar to many families.
The sad truth is that nearly one in two of us will get cancer.
It will impact every one of us at some point in our lives, whether it’s via our own cancer diagnosis, or that of a friend, family member or loved one. As we extend our thoughts and well wishes to the King and the Royal Family during this difficult time, we also applaud His Majesty for sharing the news of his diagnosis.
By being open and transparent, King Charles has helped bring attention to the experiences faced by many cancer patients. Such a generous act can help encourage us all to reflect on our health – to listen to our bodies and ask if everything is OK.
There are many signs and symptoms of cancer, but the key thing to remember is to get in touch with your GP if you notice something that isn’t normal.
Detecting and diagnosing cancer at an early stage means more treatment options and better likelihood of a successful outcome. The good news is that we’ve made huge progress on the number of people who now survive the disease.
In the decade I was born, the 1970s, just one in four people survived their cancer for 10 years or more. Fast forward to now and survival has more than doubled.
Despite this progress cancer remains a huge challenge.
With a growing and aging population, the UK is expected to have half a million new cases a year by 2040. Many could be prevented, and others could be more treatable, with the right approach.
More investment in research is required. We also need to get better at preventing the disease, as well as cutting NHS waiting lists and investing in more staff.
Our fight against cancer has come so far, but moments like this bring home that cancer affects everyone and that more work is required to ensure the patients get the care they deserve.