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Cancer diagnosis sparks 373% surge in NHS website visits

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Public engagement skyrockets following Princess of Wales’s announcement, driving unparalleled traffic to NHS and cancer charity websites

Within 24 hours of the Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton’s, cancer diagnosis, National Health Service (NHS) England saw a 373% spike in visits to its cancer page, highlighting the growing focus on cancer awareness.

Similarly, charities like Macmillan Cancer Support charity experienced increased traffic, with nearly 100,000 visits to their support pages since the announcement.

Traffic to the NHS website’s cancer symptoms page surged significantly, recording a remarkable 4,172 visits within three hours of the release of the Princess’s video message.

This sudden increase translated to an average of one visit every three seconds, a substantial rise from the 1,922 visits recorded during the same timeframe a week earlier.

Notably, visits to the symptoms page peaked immediately after the announcement, with 1,678 visits recorded between 6 pm and 7 pm on the day of the announcement.

The surge in online searches for cancer-related information coincides with record numbers of people undergoing cancer checks in the past year. NHS data reveals that almost 3 million people received potentially life-saving cancer checks in the past 12 months, marking the highest number on record.

Despite facing challenges such as unprecedented winter pressures and industrial action, NHS staff have delivered an exceptional level of care, with over 70% of people receiving all clear or definitive cancer diagnoses within one month since December 2023, another report suggests.

Professor Peter Johnson, National Clinical Director for Cancer at NHS England, highlighted the potential life-saving impact of increased awareness and early detection.

“Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be very daunting,” he said, “but talking about it saves lives. 1 in 2 people will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime and detecting the disease early gives the best chance of successful treatment.”

He emphasized the importance of addressing any unusual symptoms promptly, as early detection significantly improves treatment outcomes.

Macmillan Cancer Support also noted its highest weekend online traffic since the first COVID-19 lockdown.

CEO Gemma Peters highlighted Princess of Wales’s news raising cancer awareness, encouraging others to seek support, with many relating to the royal couple’s experience.

“In sharing her news, the Princess of Wales has raised awareness of these worries and will be helping to encourage others who have concerns, to visit their GP and seek support. ”

“Many will be relating to the Prince and Princess of Wales at this time,” she added.

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