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King Charles gives thanks for support after cancer diagnosis

FILE PHOTO: Britain's King Charles diagnosed with cancer

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain's King Charles on Saturday expressed gratitude to well-wishers following his cancer diagnosis, his first public comment since Buckingham Palace announced he would postpone some engagements to undergo treatment.

"I would like to express my most heartfelt thanks for the many messages of support and good wishes I have received in recent days," Charles said in a statement.

The palace announced on Monday that Charles, 75, had been diagnosed with a form of cancer, less than 18 months into his reign.

"As all those who have been affected by cancer will know, such kind thoughts are the greatest comfort and encouragement," Charles said.

The king said it was heartening to hear how his diagnosis had helped to shine a light on the organisations that support cancer patients in Britain and elsewhere.

News of his cancer came after Charles spent three nights in hospital last month where he underwent a corrective procedure for a benign enlarged prostate.

Buckingham Palace has not given any details of his condition other than to say it was not prostate cancer, but said the king was remaining "wholly positive" and looking forward to returning to public duty as soon as possible.

Charles' wife, Queen Camilla, said on Thursday that Charles was doing "extremely well".

With the king undergoing treatment and Prince William's wife Kate recovering from abdominal surgery, the onus is on the remaining royals - especially William and Camilla - to provide the public face of the monarchy.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by Jonathan Oatis)