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Kate Middleton was diagnosed with cancer after an abdominal surgery. Here's how that happens.

Kate Middleton was diagnosed with cancer after an abdominal surgery. Here's how that happens.
  • Kate Middleton, 42, is diagnosed with cancer and undergoing chemotherapy.

  • She said she was diagnosed after her abdominal surgery in January.

  • King Charles was also diagnosed with cancer after an unrelated surgery.

On Friday, Kensington Palace released a pre-recorded video of Kate Middleton, 42, sharing that she has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy.

On January 17, Middleton underwent abdominal surgery and was hospitalized for two weeks, with the Palace stating that it was "unlikely" she would return to public duties before Easter.

In the announcement, Middleton said that at the time of her surgery, it was believed that her condition was non-cancerous. But following the success of the procedure, tests found that "cancer had been present."

Because abdominal symptoms are common and often difficult to make sense of, "it is difficult to separate cancer from non-cancer," according to Dr. Shivan Sivakumar, an oncologist at the University of Birmingham in the UK. Most of the time, he said, they are not tied to cancer.

Sivakumar said it's common practice for pathologists to screen for cancer through tissue assessments after invasive surgeries, especially if patients have displayed symptoms that can be signs of cancer. "They usually do look out for cancer," he said.

Cancer cells are often spotted before surgery

Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine with the George Washington School of Medicine & Health Sciences, told CNN that the press release "doesn't make a lot of medical sense."

Reiner said that due to intensive imaging technology like CT scans and MRIs, "the surgical team would have a very good understanding of what was likely the problem" before and during the surgery, not after. According to him, pathology would usually confirm the cancer, not find signs of it for the first time.

Sivakumar said it "is still unclear" why Kate Middleton had an abdominal surgery when the Palace initially told the Associated Press that it was unrelated to cancer. "One has to surmise it was for a non-cancer abdominal issue," he said.

In Middleton's case, he speculates that they were able to find cancer once they looked at the specimen more closely, and wouldn't have been able to make that call before the unrelated surgery.

King Charles was also diagnosed with cancer after an unrelated surgery

Like Middleton, King Charles was also diagnosed with cancer after undergoing a prostate procedure.

Similarly, tests after his procedure found cancerous cells, though the family did not disclose which type of cancer Charles has.

Read the original article on Business Insider