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Catherine, Princess Of Wales, Is Battling Cancer, Palace Confirms

Catherine, Princess of Wales, has been undergoing chemotherapy after she was diagnosed with cancer, she announced March 22 in a video.

The former Kate Middleton underwent abdominal surgery in January and was not expected to appear in public again until after Easter, Kensington Palace announced on Jan. 17. But speculation over her condition and whereabouts heightened in the weeks that followed, reaching a fever pitch after the palace released an edited photo of the princess with her children.

Now, she’s speaking out about her condition for the first time in a new video shared by Kensington Palace.

“In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was noncancerous,” she says in the video.

“The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present,” she says.

Kate says the news came as a “huge shock,” adding that she and Prince William aim to “manage this privately for the sake of our young family.” She is currently undergoing a “course of preventative chemotherapy.”

“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. “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 princess assures viewers in the video that she is “well and getting stronger every day.” She also asks for “time, space and privacy” as she undergoes treatment.

She says she is focused on making a “full recovery” while thinking of those who are also affected by cancer.

“For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone,” she says.

What type of cancer does Kate Middleton have?

In her video statement, the princess did not specify what kind of cancer she is undergoing treatment for. She shared that it was discovered after an abdominal surgery in January, which she called “major” in her announcement.

The most common types of cancer discovered through abdominal surgery are gastrointestinal, such as colon or stomach, or genital or urinary, Dr. Ben Ho Park, director of precision oncology at Vanderbilt School of Medicine, tells TODAY.com. He was sure to point out, however, that “it could be anything.”

What is preventative chemotherapy?

Kate specified in her video that her treatment involves a course of preventative chemotherapy.” While not a clinical term, Park says it likely refers to a treatment that is conducted after any initial interventions, such as surgery, to prevent cancer from returning.

“Even though the surgeons have removed everything they can see, there could still be cancer cells floating around in the body that, if left untreated, may come back later (and) is then incurable,” Park, who does not have details about Kate’s specific condition, says.

Citing clinical trial results, Park, says chemotherapy conducted after initial treatment can reduce the risk of cancer returning.

A timeline of Kate Middleton’s condition

Kate’s last public appearance was in December 2023 for the family’s annual Christmas outing in Sandringham. Her “planned” surgery took place on Jan. 16 and was “successful,” according to the palace.

“It is expected that she will remain in hospital for ten to fourteen days, before returning home to continue her recovery,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.