King Charles' prostate diagnosis: What to know about his enlarged prostate procedure

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King Charles III has been diagnosed with cancer after undergoing treatment for an enlarged prostate.

During the prostate procedure, Charles' doctors noted "a separate issue of concern," according to a Feb. 5 statement from Buckingham Palace. Diagnostic testing later confirmed it was cancer. While the palace is not confirming what type of cancer the monarch has, they did specify that it is not prostate cancer.

"His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties," the statement read. "Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual."

"The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible," the statement added.

Charles, 75, was discharged from the hospital on Jan. 29 after receiving his prostate procedure on Jan. 26.

"The King was this afternoon discharged from hospital following planned medical treatment and has rescheduled forthcoming public engagements to allow for a period of private recuperation," a Jan. 29 statement from Buckingham Palace read.

"His Majesty would like to thank the medical team and all those involved in supporting his hospital visit, and is grateful for all the kind messages he has received in recent days."

King Charles III's coronation in May 2023. (Stefan Rousseau / AFP via Getty Images)
King Charles III's coronation in May 2023. (Stefan Rousseau / AFP via Getty Images)

Here's what we know about the king's prostate procedure.

What is King Charles' diagnosis?

Charles has been diagnosed with cancer. Buckingham Palace did not specify which kind or its stage, but it did share that he does not have prostate cancer.

The cancer was discovered when Charles was receiving treatment for another diagnosis, an enlarged prostate, which Buckingham Palace officials shared in a Jan. 17 statement.

“In common with thousands of men each year, The King has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate,” the statement read. “His Majesty’s condition is benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure.”

The prostate is a gland that surrounds the urethra (where urine comes out) and produces some of the fluid that encompasses the sperm during ejaculation, according to the National Library of Medicine.

An enlarged prostate is common as men get older, and most men who live to a certain age will develop it. The exact cause isn't known, but changes in the cells of the testicles that occur with aging may play a role. The condition is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, and it does not increase one's risk for prostate cancer.

King Charles' prostate treatment

King Charles underwent a procedure for his enlarged prostate last month, which helped uncover his cancer diagnosis.

Buckingham Palace did not specify which prostate procedure the monarch received, but surgery for an enlarged prostate is a common treatment. The most common type of surgery for an enlarged prostate is called a transurethral resection of the prostate, where a scope is inserted into the penis to remove the prostate little by little.

Other options are cutting into the lower abdomen to remove the prostate (prostatectomy) or using heat or laser to destroy prostate tissue.

"The King’s public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation," the palace said in its Jan. 17 statement.

Charles shared his prostate diagnosis with the public in the hopes that other men with symptoms will get themselves checked.

The announcement of Charles' enlarged prostate diagnosis came the same day that Kensington Palace officials revealed that the former Kate Middleton was undergoing a planned abdominal surgery. The princess's diagnosis has not be made public.

Buckingham Palace said that Charles is optimistic about his cancer treatment and hopes to return to public-facing duties soon.

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