top of page

Confronting the ‘C Word’

Updated: Apr 30

✦ The recent announcement by Kate Middleton that she has cancer was both genuinely shocking news and a sobering warning to us all.

While the ripple effect the news created was experienced on a global scale, it was arguably only once the shock had been partially digested that a broader concern took hold – if it can happen to The Princess of Wales, a fit and healthy 42-year-old mother of three and a member of the seemingly impregnable British Royal Family, then it can happen to anyone. 


Kate underwent planned abdominal surgery on January 16th, a routine procedure that Kensington Palace said would keep her in hospital for two weeks and away from public-facing duties until after Easter. However, following her successful surgery and release from hospital care, post-operative tests revealed that cancer had been detected, leading to Kate undergoing a course of preventative chemotherapy in late February. While rumours abounded, Kate then made the announcement public via video on March 22nd , without revealing specifics, including the type of cancer.

“This of course came as a huge shock,” she said of receiving the news, “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. It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment.” 

No official announcement has been made on the type of cancer or what stage it is at, similarly no timelines have been attributed to Kate’s chemotherapy treatment and anticipated recovery. As the well wishes continue to flood in from far and wide, the primary focus now is on making a full and speedy recovery.

While the British Royal Family of recent times has very much taken on the guise of a weekly TV soap opera, Kate, husband Prince William and their young family have been widely perceived as a bastion of secure normality. Kate is the ‘girl next door’ who went on to become a favourite at the heart of the Royal Family, someone that most folks could associate and sympathise with. This is why her announcement hit so hard for so many. Celebrities are not superheroes, of course, although they are often pereceived as being all but impervious to sickness or health concerns, as absurd as that notion may be. Of course, Kate’s news came just a month after King Charles III revealed he was being treated for his own unspecified cancer diagnosis. 

No Discrimination

Kate’s predicament is therefore a reminder and lesson to us all that cancer does not discriminate; social status, class, race, religion, nationality, sexual preference, levels of fitness mean absolutely nothing to cancer.

Kate’s age is also telling as traditionally cancer was generally believed to strike those over 50 years old – at 42 Kate is high-profile proof that the age dynamic has shifted in regards to cancer, a trend that has been worryingly consistent for several decades now.

Indeed, a recent oncology study conducted by the British Medical Journal revealed a 79% increase in early-onset cancer in individuals under 50 years of age between 1990 and 2019, with significant rises in breast and colorectal cancers specifically.

While there is no hardline evidence to explain these statistics, poor diet choices including low fibre intake and a preference for high fat, deep-fried, processed foods and sugary drinks were deemed a significant risk factor. Similarly, an increase in alcohol consumption is considered a contributory factor, as are increased toxins and pollution in our environment. The same study also noted that “in low to middle-income countries, early onset cancer had a much greater impact on women than on men, in terms of both deaths and subsequent poor health.” 

Fried and highly processed foods are risk for cancer | Brilliant Online Australia Singapore UK | Brilliant Online
Don't fry away your health!
The Australian Institute for Health and Welfare explains in a recent study that in the past 23 years the number of patients diagnosed with cancer in Australia has risen by a staggering 88%, or from approximately 88,000 cases in 2000 to an estimated 165,000 in 2023.

Of course, an increase in general population numbers and enhanced medical care resulting in people living longer are both significant contributory factors, although these alone do not explain the rise. The same study predicts that by 2033 there will be over 200,000 cases of cancer diagnosed in Australia.

The study also explains that men are more susceptible to being diagnosed with cancer, with prostate cancer the biggest threat. Around 70 men are diagnosed each day with prostate cancer and more than 10 Australian men will die each day from the disease, according to a study undertaken in August 2023 by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, explaining “25,487 Australian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2023 [and] 3,743 Australian men will die from prostate cancer” in the same year. Breast cancer is the biggest cancer threat to women in Australia, with data from Breast Cancer Network Australia revealing that 20,458 women were predicted to receive a diagnosis in 2023, effectively equating to 57 cases each day and a total of 3,255 female lives lost last year to the disease.

Whatever the form of cancer, it can often go undetected for significant periods of time, something once again illustrated in Kate Middleton’s case. While nothing was stated officially, it seems safe to assume that there was no indication of cancer prior to Kate’s routine abdominal surgery, another reason why the diagnosis was arguably all the more shocking in its impact. Her case, albeit high-profile, is sadly very common and therefore serves as a telling reminder for us all to undergo regular health checks, as detecting and dealing with anything sooner rather than later is much more likely to yield a positive outcome.

Getting support through difficult times | Brilliant Online Australia Singapore UK | Brilliant Online
Getting support through difficult times

Resources for cancer

In this day and age, there is a wide range of resources one can turn to and numerous awareness days specific to each form of cancer; Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Cervical Cancer Awareness Week, Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, and Movember are just a few examples.

Cancer is very real and very scary and will affect all of us directly or indirectly throughout the course of our lives. It affects the average Joe in the street and it affects Royalty. As expert medical professionals and researchers continually drive to find finite cures for all forms of cancer, we must in the meantime collectively do our utmost to raise awareness and offer support when and where we can.

Book High Tea on the Rhythmboat Port AdVenture Cruises | Brilliant Online Australia Singapore UK | Brilliant Online

Join Port AdVenture Cruises in Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea on 12th May on the Hastings River to help raise money for the Cancer Council. 

During this 2-hour cruise, you'll get to enjoy traditional high tea with bottomless tea and coffee while gently cruising along one of the most beautiful natural spots in Port Macquarie.

It's Mother's Day, so go ahead, spoil Mum :)

Read more Brilliant stories on health here


Brilliant-Online Magazine: where intelligence finds its voice

Welcome to Brilliant Online Magazine, the digital publication where intellect meets inspiration delivering thought-provoking content to readers of the gig economy.  

To encourage our readers to embrace a mindset of continuous learning, our experienced content creators craft engaging narratives that go beyond the surface, exploring the depths of innovation, culture, and human achievement. From cutting-edge science to captivating art, we deliver a collection of insightful articles that ignite curiosity and stimulate minds.

Dive into the realms of discovery with us as we showcase the brilliance that defines our world. Join our community of curious minds and embark on a journey through the extraordinary. 

Advertise with Brilliant-Online

✦ Brilliant-Online is the only publication that offers a single interactive multichannel advertising package.

✦ The purpose of Brilliant-Online is to push for a better world in the digital era.

✦ Brilliant-Online is an empowering read for progressive individuals and dynamic businesses.

✦ For all enquiries about advertising with Brilliant-Online, please contact us here.

Subscribe to Brilliant Stories


bottom of page