What we know about King Charles III’s health history, from COVID-19 to sports injuries

What we know about King Charles III’s health history, from COVID-19 to sports injuries

The news that King Charles III has been diagnosed with cancer has shocked many Britons, largely because the 75-year-old monarch has been in generally good health for years

LONDON — Monday’s announcement that King Charles III has been diagnosed with cancer shocked many Britons, largely because the 75-year-old monarch has been in good health for years.

Royal officials did not specify what type of cancer the king had or how serious his condition was. They simply said it had nothing to do with the King’s recent hospitalization for an enlarged prostate.

Officials said Charles, who ascended the throne after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in September 2022, has begun a regular treatment plan and will postpone public-facing duties.

Here’s a look at Charles’ health history, from contracting COVID-19 to a series of injuries sustained from decades of playing polo and hunting:

prostate treatment

Charles was discharged from a private hospital in London a week ago after undergoing treatment for an enlarged prostate.

Officials said he was in good condition, but the king canceled the event and was urged to rest before surgery.

Enlarged prostate is common in men over 50, affecting thousands of people in the UK. This condition affects the way a person urinates and usually does not pose a serious health threat. It is not cancer and does not cause an increased risk of prostate cancer.

Palace officials said the king released details of his condition to encourage other men to follow public health advice to get their prostates checked.

Coronavirus disease

Charles has contracted COVID-19 twice, but officials said he only experienced mild symptoms both times.

Sports Injury

Charles was a keen polo player who suffered a series of injuries over many years of playing the sport and exercising.

In 1980, at a polo match in Windsor, he was thrown and kicked by his pony, requiring six stitches in his cheek.

In the 1990s, he broke his right arm during a polo match and injured his left knee in another match, subsequently undergoing multiple surgeries.

In 2001, during a polo match, his horse knocked him down, causing him to fall into a coma and be taken to the hospital.

Charles was also injured in a hunting accident. In 1998 he fell off a horse and broke a rib, and in 2001 he fell again and broke a small bone in his shoulder.

In 2005, King retired after playing polo for more than 40 years.

“Sausage fingers”?

There has long been speculation about Charles’s swollen “sausage fingers,” which some believe could be due to fluid buildup, arthritis or other conditions.

Whether the swollen fingers were due to a medical condition remains unexplained, but Charles himself has jokingly mentioned them more than once.

small treatment

Charles has had other minor treatments over the years.

In 2008, he had a non-cancerous growth removed from the bridge of his nose in a minor routine surgery. In 2003, he underwent hernia surgery at a private hospital. When he was discharged from the hospital the next day, he joked to waiting reporters that “the hernia today will be gone tomorrow.”

Charles also spoke about his back pain. He was known to travel with cushions on his royal tours, often including a velvet cushion on his chair during state banquets at Buckingham Palace.

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