Charles39 long standing support and advocacy for cancer patients The King

Charles' long-standing support and advocacy for cancer patients: The King has been a rock of strength for millions of people over the years and a patron of charities as he helped those battling what he called a “hideous” disease – and now they are rallying around him

King Charles has long supported cancer patients and charities who are now standing by him following his own shock diagnosis.

Charles has met hundreds of people suffering from the disease, which he once described as “hideous” in a letter to someone who had just been diagnosed.

The 75-year-old has been a patron of Macmillan Cancer Support for more than 20 years, during which time he has visited its centers in Glasgow, Glamorgan and Camden, north London.

He is also a patron of two breast cancer charities, the Marie Curie nursing service and several hospices.

The monarch's commitment to supporting cancer patients is echoed by his wife, Queen Camilla, who attended the official opening of Maggie's Cancer Support Center at London's Royal Free Hospital last Monday.

Charles meets Robert Mawhinney on a tour of the North West Cancer Center at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry during a visit to Northern Ireland on May 9, 2017

Charles, as Prince of Wales, chats with Maggie Sinclair at the Sydney Cancer Center at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital on March 4, 2005

Charles, as Prince of Wales, chats with Maggie Sinclair at the Sydney Cancer Center at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital on March 4, 2005

Nurse Karla Graham smiles as Charles signs his autograph on her hospital gown in the liver cancer ward at University Hospital in Liverpool in 2002

Nurse Karla Graham smiles as Charles signs his autograph on her hospital gown in the liver cancer ward at University Hospital in Liverpool in 2002

The cancer charities Charles has supported over the decades were among those who sent him their best wishes today.

Macmillan said: “Our thoughts are with His Majesty the King and his family.”

“We send our best wishes at what we know must be incredibly challenging times.”

Dame Laura Lee, chief executive of Maggie's Cancer Support, said of the announcement: “We are incredibly sorry to hear the news from the King and our thoughts are with him.”

“We also know how challenging and worrying a cancer diagnosis can be for the whole family and our thoughts are fully with our President, Her Majesty the Queen.”

Cancer charities are now rallying around the monarch after he received a shocking diagnosis.  He is seen alongside patient Stephen White as he receives a liver scan at University Hospital in Liverpool

Cancer charities are now rallying around the monarch after he received a shocking diagnosis. He is seen alongside patient Stephen White as he receives a liver scan at University Hospital in Liverpool

Charles in the oncology department at Charing Cross Hospital in Hammersmith

Charles in the oncology department at Charing Cross Hospital in Hammersmith

The monarch's commitment to supporting cancer patients is accompanied by his wife, Queen Camilla, who attended the official opening of Maggie's Cancer Support Center at London's Royal Free Hospital last Monday (where she is seen with Viscountess Marcia Blakenham (right)) .

The monarch's commitment to supporting cancer patients is accompanied by his wife, Queen Camilla, who attended the official opening of Maggie's Cancer Support Center at London's Royal Free Hospital last Monday (where she is seen with Viscountess Marcia Blakenham (right)) .

Professor Pat Price, founder of the Catch Up With Cancer campaign, said the outpouring of congratulations “reflects the collective concern we all share”.

She added: “The King's openness about his battle with cancer is a stark reminder that one in two of us could develop cancer at some point in our lives.”

Judi Rhys, chief executive of Tenovus Cancer Care, of which the Princess is patron, said: “We are saddened by the King's cancer diagnosis and wish him all the best in his treatment and recovery.”

“Our thoughts are with the entire royal family, including our patron, Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal.”

Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of NHS England, said: “Finding out you have cancer can be very daunting – we hope King Charles' treatment goes well.”

“As always, if you have any symptoms or signs of cancer, please come forward for evaluation.”

Chiara De Biase, head of support and influence at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “We are saddened by the King’s cancer diagnosis and wish him all the best as he begins his treatment.”

“While we understand that the King has not been diagnosed with prostate cancer, no further details about his condition have been provided and we respect Buckingham Palace’s request not to speculate.”

“The King's openness and honesty in announcing his treatment for an enlarged prostate raised awareness of the condition.” In the week following the news, we saw an increase in people coming to our website for information and support, by 500%. There was also an increase in men wanting to learn more about their prostate and prostate cancer, with an increase in the number of men using our 30-second online broadcast Risk Assessor.

“It is important to remember that an enlarged prostate is very common in men over 50. It is not caused by cancer and does not increase your risk of developing prostate cancer.”

Cancer Research UK said: “We regret the news that King Charles has been diagnosed with cancer.”

“We send our thoughts and good wishes to the King and the Royal Family at this difficult time.”

The Royal Household is currently conducting a review of royal patronages of dozens of charities and organizations.