Everything We Know About Kate Middleton's Cancer Diagnosis

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Kate's Cancer Diagnosis: Everything to KnowChris Jackson - Getty Images

Kensington Palace announced today that Kate Middleton is receiving treatment for cancer.

In a personal message released by the Princess of Wales, she said, "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."

Here, everything we know so far about Kate's cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.

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What do we know about Kate's cancer diagnosis?

Kate had abdominal surgery in January, and at the time, her condition was thought to be non-cancerous. The surgery was successful, then post-operative tests subsequently found that cancer had been present. It's unclear if the cancer is related to the abdominal surgery.

Here's a full timeline of Kate's health news:

Why aren't they sharing what type of cancer Kate has?

A Kensington Palace spokesperson said in a statement, "We will not be sharing any further private medical information. The Princess has a right to medical privacy, as we all do." This is in line with King Charles, who also has cancer and will not be sharing what type.

Why did it take so long for them to announce that Kate has cancer?

William and Kate wanted to share the news when they "felt it was right for them as a family." Kate, it is understood, wanted the time and space to come to terms with her diagnosis, as she recovered from her abdominal surgery and began cancer treatment. Specifically the timing of the March 22 announcement was due to George, Charlotte, and Louis's Easter break. The Waleses wanted their children to be in private as the news broke to the world.

There has been immense speculation surrounding the Princess of Wales's health for the past month, but the Palace reiterated that "Kensington Palace made it clear in January the timelines of the Princess' recovery and we'd only be providing significant updates. That guidance stands."

What treatment is she receiving?

According to the Palace, "the Princess is now on a recovery pathway having commenced a course of preventative chemotherapy."

She began her treatment in late February, and the Palace will not be sharing an expected end date for the chemo. Kate said she is in the "early stages" of her treatment.

Why didn't the Palace initially say Kate had cancer in January?

In January, the Princess underwent "planned abdominal surgery" at the London clinic. "The surgery was successful and it is expected that she will remain in hospital for ten to fourteen days, before returning home to continue her recovery," the Palace said, emphasizing Kate's condition was non-cancerous. T&C understands that at the time of Kate's surgery, her condition was, indeed, thought to be non-cancerous. On March 22, the Palace shared that Kate learned she had cancer once "post-operative tests had been completed and results reviewed."

What has Kate said about her cancer diagnosis?

The Palace released a video of the Princess in Windsor speaking out about her cancer diagnosis. It was filmed by BBC Studios on March 20. "It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family, but I’ve had a fantastic medical team who have taken great care of me, for which I am so grateful," Kate says near the start, as she sits in a bench outdoors.

You can watch the entire message below, and read a full transcript, here.

Has Kate told her children? What do they know?

Yes, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, have been told about their mom's cancer diagnosis. "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 okay," Kate said in her video message. "As I have said to them; I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal; in my mind, body and spirits."

What has the royal family said?

King Charles and Queen Camilla have released a statement about Kate's cancer diagnosis. King Charles, who is also currently fighting cancer, said he is "so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did."A Buckingham Palace spokesperson added that both King Charles and Queen Camilla "will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family throughout this difficult time."

Additionally, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared a statement: "We wish health and healing for Kate and the family, and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace."

What have the Middletons said?

While the Middleton family is pretty private, Kate's brother, James Middleton, posted on Instagram a childhood photo of the two of them, writing, "Over the years, we have climbed many mountains together. As a family, we will climb this one with you too," with a mountain emoji and red heart emoji.

What does the photoshop drama have to do with the Kate news?

Nothing, honestly. The drama surrounding Kate reached a fever pitch in recent weeks, after a photo released for UK Mother's Day (and Kate's subsequent apology over editing it) did not do much to quell conspiracy theories around the Princess and her health.

When will Kate return to royal duties?

When Kate's surgery was announced, the Palace said "she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter," but now with news of her cancer diagnosis, that timeline has likely shifted, and they are not putting a specific date on her return.

A Kensington Palace spokesperson said, "The Princess will return to official duties when she is cleared to do so by her medical team. She is in good spirits and is focused on making a full recovery." In her message, Kate said, "My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy and I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now I must focus on making a full recovery."

We'll update this as we continue to learn more about Kate's cancer diagnosis and treatment.

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