Woman with cancer sitting facing a canyon. She wears a pink scarf on her head.

Cancer Prevention Month: Lessons from King Charles III’s Unexpected Diagnosis

February is Black History Month, but it’s also National Cancer Prevention Month, Self-Check Month and February 4th was World Cancer Day.

The world was shocked this week when it was announced that Britain’s King Charles III had cancer.  This was uncovered during his recent hospitalization and treatment for an enlarged prostate.

In a statement from Buckingham Palace it says, “The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure.” The statement goes on, “His Majesty has chosen to share his diagnosis to prevent speculation and in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer.”

This is a timely message about the importance of regular self-checks and screenings. King Charles’s unexpected diagnosis reminds us that cancer does not discriminate based on age, status or background. His experience highlights the importance of early detection and underscores the reality that cancer can affect anyone, regardless of their position in society.

So what can learn from this and what can we do in our own lives?

Make Healthy Choices, Self-Screen and Have Regular Checkups

We know that early detection and intervention is key. It’s also a good reminder to do a solid reflection on our lifestyle choices and how they impact our overall health. From maintaining a balanced diet to engaging in regular physical activity and getting enough sleep, there are steps we can take to reduce our cancer risks. Drink less alcohol as there’s a direct correlation between alcohol and cancer risk.

Equally important is the emphasis on self-checks and screenings. Regular self-examinations, such as breast self-exams and skin checks, can help detect abnormalities at an early stage when treatment is most effective. Routine screenings for various types of cancer, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and Pap smears, can aid in the early detection of cancerous growths or precancerous conditions.

Check out Health Tests and Preventative Screenings You Need By Age

If you’re anxious about routine health screenings and tests you may want to read this blog that offers seven tips to reduce anxiety.

Look at Your Insurance

Another topic that ties to this is making sure you’re properly covered for health insurance and life insurance. Using the example of what’s happened out of the blue to King Charles, might be a good icebreaker with an aging parent about their own long-term care needs as well. Do they have what they need in case something happens to their health or general life situation? No one wants to be scrambling when a crisis hits.

If you have an aging parent, you may want to read 9 Things I Learned During My Senior Parent’s Crisis That Can Help You Now

Reading what has happened to the King makes us realize how fragile life can be and we don’t know what’s around the corner but knowledge is power. Early detection is so important. By staying informed and being proactive about our own health and that of our loved ones is a lesson worth being reminded about, including what matters most in life.

Want more? Check out our blog, 6 Healthy Habits of Super Agers

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