King’s diagnosis prompts 51% increase in searches for NHS cancer advice

An webpage offering advice on the possible signs and symptoms of cancer has seen a jump of over 50% in the number of visits since news broke of the King’s recent diagnosis.

Latest figures from NHS England reveal that, in the 24 hours following the Buckingham Palace announcement, visits to the page on cancer signs and symptoms rose to 14,668 compared to a daily average of 9,737 last week (29 – 30 January) – an increase of 51%.

Visitor numbers peaked in the hour following the initial statement, with 1,530 visits being made to the page – an average of one visit every three seconds.

The cancer pages include information on lifestyle changes people can make to reduce their chances of getting cancer, as well advice on spotting early signs and symptoms of the disease and treatment options.

NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Cancer, Professor Peter Johnson said: “Talking about cancer helps save lives, and having more people looking at advice like this on how to spot the possible signs and symptoms of cancer is really important.

“One in two of us will develop some form of cancer in our lifetime – but thanks to continued progress, more cancers are now being diagnosed at an early stage than ever before and survival rates are at an all-time high.

“Detecting cancer early gives people the best chance of successful treatment, so I would encourage anyone to visit their GP if they have worrying symptoms, and to take up screening appointments when they receive them.”

Changes to your body’s normal processes or unusual, unexplained symptoms can sometimes be an early sign of cancer. Symptoms that need to be checked by a doctor include a lump that suddenly appears on your body, unexplained bleeding and changes to your bowel habits.

In many cases symptoms will not be related to cancer and will be caused by other, non-cancerous health conditions, but finding cancer early means it’s easier to treat.

The NHS is seeing and treating record numbers of people for cancer with almost 3 million people receiving potentially lifesaving cancer checks in the last year alone.

Making some simple changes to your lifestyle, such as healthy eating, taking regular exercise and not smoking, can also significantly reduce your risk of developing cancer.

The website is the UK’s biggest health website and receives an average of two million visits each day from people seeking information and advice. It includes over 4,000 pages and provides information about 990 medical conditions.