- Kristina Kyriacou said the King ‘will be very philosophical and be curious’
- ‘He loves his alternative medicines,’ she told Good Morning Britain today
King Charles may get alternative cancer therapies alongside typical treatments, his former communications secretary has suggested.
Kristina Kyriacou, who advised the monarch for seven years when he was the Prince of Wales, said the 75-year-old ‘will be very philosophical and be curious’ following his shock diagnosis.
‘He loves his alternative medicines,’ she told Good Morning Britain.
‘He will have a blend — he will be receiving traditional treatment but he will use the opportunity to use this to be more enlightened.’
Buckingham Palace last night dramatically revealed that doctors had discovered an unspecified form of cancer during treatment for a benign prostate condition. It isn’t prostate cancer, however.
Kristina Kyriacou, who advised the monarch for seven years when he was the Prince of Wales, said the 75-year-old ‘will be very philosophical and be curious’ following his shock diagnosis
While King Charles (pictured on Sunday, the last time the monarch was seen) has commenced a ‘schedule of regular treatment’, he has long given his support for alternative medicine
No further details on his condition have been shared, other than he remains ‘wholly positive’ and is looking forward to returning to full public duties.
Family and friends were said to be amazed by the King’s determination to carry on with ‘business as usual’.
It is understood his condition has been caught very early and the prognosis is good.
While King Charles yesterday commenced a ‘schedule of regular treatment’, he has long given his support for alternative medicine.
Typical treatment revolves around surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Cancer Research UK notes that some patients also use complementary therapies to feel better, ease the side effects of these treatments and improve quality of life.
Aromatherapy, acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage therapy, visualisation and yoga are among the most common examples, it said.
Meanwhile, alternative therapies are typically used instead of medical treatment.
Some examples include shark cartilage supplements, laetrile (a plant substance) and Gerson therapy, which involves following an organic vegetarian diet and undergoing up to five coffee enemas a day.
There is no scientific or medical evidence that these therapies can cure cancer.
Some might even be unsafe, trigger harmful side effects or interact with medical treatment, according to Cancer Research UK.
King Charles previously voiced his support for Gerson therapy, which also involves drinking up to 13 glasses of fruit juice a day.
In 2004, he told the Royal College of Gynaecology that it should be investigated for its ‘beneficial nature’ rather than being dismissed.
He cited the case of an unidentified patient who had been told she wouldn’t survive her next course of chemo but was ‘alive and well’ seven years later after turning to Gerson therapy, the Guardian reported at the time.
Medics quashed his claims and the therapy was never adopted on the NHS, only being available at specialist private clinics.
Professor Edzard Ernst, an internationally renowned expert on complementary medicine, has built a reputation for calling out therapies that have no scientific basis.
In his book, ‘Charles, The Alternative Prince’, he warned that the only clinical trial on Gerson therapy suggested ‘not a prolonged but a reduced survival time’.
The King is also an avid supporter of homeopathy, which is based on the principle of ‘like cures like’, so materials that are known to cause certain symptoms can also cure them.
Buckingham Palace announced the King had begun a schedule of regular treatments and was postponing his public-facing duties
He lobbied for homeopathy and other alternative medicines via the Foundation for Integrated Health, which he founded in 1993 but closed in 2010 after allegations of fraud and money laundering.
A memo, sent by King Charles in 2004 to the then Prime Minister Tony Blair, urged him to tackle an EU legislation that limited the use of herbal medicines in Britain.
While limited details of the King’s current cancer battle have been detailed, his care is likely being overseen by Dr Michael Dixon, who has been head of the royal medical household since 2022 and is known for his support for complementary therapies.
The King came under criticism from academics and campaigners in December after it was revealed that Dr Dixon had taken up the role, which involves being responsible for the King and royal family’s health.
At the time, Buckingham Palace defended Dr Dixon’s appointment, arguing that the medic believes complementary therapies ‘can sit alongside conventional treatments, provided they are safe, appropriate and evidence based’.
The GP, who has an OBE for services to primary care, has thrown his support behind offering treatments such as aromatherapy and reflexology on the NHS.
In one paper he authored, he referenced an experiment suggesting Indian herbal remedies which had been ‘ultra-diluted’ with alcohol might be able to cure cancer, although Buckingham Palace has staunchly denied Dr Dixon himself believes this can work.
A statement from the Palace at the time of his appointment read: ‘Dr Dixon does not believe homeopathy can cure cancer.
‘His position is that complementary therapies can sit alongside conventional treatments, provided they are safe, appropriate and evidence based.’
Dr Dixon, who has reportedly prescribed plants to patients such as devil’s claw and horny goat weed, has also written papers suggesting Christian healers may be able to help people who are chronically ill.
It is hoped that the King’s healthy lifestyle will stand the monarch in the best possible stead for his cancer fight.
Alongside healthy breakfasts, featuring fresh fruit with plenty of Linseed, the King has said he regularly abstains from eating meat, fish and dairy on certain days.
Meanwhile, a list of facts about Charles on the Royal Family website confirms that, due to his hectic schedule, he ‘does not eat lunch’.
His former press secretary Julian Payne, who replaced Ms Kyriacou, has said: ‘The King doesn’t eat lunch; so, an early lesson I learnt when out on the road with him was to have a big breakfast or bring a few snack bars with you to keep you going.
When he was discharged from hospital last Monday, the King appeared steady on his feet as he walked out of the London Clinic in Marylebone with Queen Camilla by his side
The man who is likely overseeing the King’s treatment at large is Dr Michael Dixon, who has been head of the Royal Medical Household since 2022
‘The working day is pretty relentless. Beginning with the radio news headlines and a breakfast of seasonal fruit salad and seeds with tea.’
In fact, his only break is taken at around 1pm ‘not to eat but to get outside to walk’, according to Mr Payne. He also keeps active with hill walking and gardening.
He has seldom required hospital care, aside from relatively minor ailments, his recent prostate enlargement treatment and accidents from polo and skiing.
Ms Kyriacou, who oversaw communications for the King from 2009 to 2016, told Sky News this morning that the King has a ‘wonderful diet’.
She said: ‘In the morning, if you’re taking breakfast with him and you lift the wrong lid off the wrong breakfast, you’ll find what looks like bird seeds.
‘He really looks after himself. He walks, he keeps active, he doesn’t eat lunch, he’ll take afternoon tea, a very light afternoon tea.
‘He will have done so many things that already stand him in good stead at his age.’
Experts agree that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is both important in the prevention of cancer and during cancer treatment.
Evidence shows it can help manage the stress and fatigue caused by the disease and treatment.
Studies have also found people who get exercise during treatment not only deal better with side effects but also may live longer.
International guidelines recommend patients stay active and get back to their normal activities as soon as possible.