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What Is Preventative Chemotherapy? A Look Into the Treatment Plan Used by Kate Middleton and Ann Wilson

From undergoing surgery to participating in clinical trials or healing through radiation, there are several ways to treat and even beat cancer. However, many doctors these days are recommending preventative chemotherapy — a process targeting cancer cells post-surgery — to their patients. In fact, celebrities and royals including Ann Wilson and Kate Middleton are opting for this treatment plan as well. Keep reading to learn more about preventative chemotherapy and how it can help cancer patients recover.

What is preventative chemotherapy?

Known in the medical world as adjuvant therapy, preventative chemotherapy is typically used with or after surgery to get rid of remaining cancer cells and ensure that the cancer doesn’t come back. It’s crucial during the recovery process because doctors can’t always grab those microscopic cancer cells, and patients don’t want to risk them spreading to other parts of the body.

According to the Moffitt Cancer Center, “The goal of adjuvant therapy is to complement surgical intervention by targeting microscopic cancer cells that might have been left behind after tumor removal.” It’s used to enhance the overall effectiveness of the treatment and helps keep the body cancer-free.

Oftentimes this method is mixed into an overall treatment plan for a variety of cancers. It’s typically done after surgical procedures where tumors are removed, or it can be used as a follow-up to radiation therapy, per the Moffit Cancer Center.

How does preventative chemotherapy differ from regular chemo?

The big difference between preventive chemotherapy and regular chemo is the administration time. Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers says chemotherapy is “delivered before surgery with the goal of shrinking a tumor or stopping the spread of cancer to make surgery less invasive and more effective” while adjuvant chemotherapy is done post-surgery to eradicate any remaining cells.

Side effects from both treatments include nausea, fatigue, hair loss or trouble remembering things at times, so it’s important to understand that when figuring out a recovery plan. Like any health concern or illness, it also varies from person to person.

Celebrities are opting for preventative chemotherapy

Ann Wilson
Noam Galai / Contributor

Ann Wilson, 74, the lead singer of Heart, recently announced that she is undergoing treatment for cancer. The remaining dates of the band’s tour have been postponed for now while she heals and recovers.

The singer posted a statement to her social media on July 2 explaining that she underwent surgery for something cancerous. “The operation was successful and I’m feeling great but my doctors are now advising me to undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I’ve decided to do it,” she said.

Based on her new treatment plan, Wilson is taking time off from the stage for the rest of the year as she works on being properly recovered and cancer-free.

Royal Kate Middleton is also receiving preventative chemotherapy treatment

After not being seen in the public eye for months, Princess Kate Middleton shared a video in March of 2024 explaining that she had been diagnosed with cancer and was receiving care in the form of preventative chemotherapy treatment.

“In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous,” the Princess of Wales said in the video. “The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present.”

Both women are working through the recovery process and are grateful to have the proper support and care during this time.

For more celeb health news:

Fitness Icon Denise Austin Reveals Her Secret to Curbing Cravings + The Minty Hack that Helps You Drink More Water! (EXCLUSIVE)

Legendary Former Olympian Janet Evans Shares Her ‘Gold Medal’ Secrets to Success, Motivation and Self-Care (EXCLUSIVE)

Actress Marcia Gay Harden Journeys Through Grief And Finds Hope in ‘Seasons of My Mother’ (EXCERPT)

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

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