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Emperor Naruhito undergoes MRI for prostate cancer scare

Emperor Naruhito has undergone an MRI test following a blood draw result that sparked some concerns for his health. 

Shortly before 9:30 am Tokyo time on Monday, 7 November, the Emperor entered the University of Tokyo Hospital to undergo the scheduled check. He came out of the facility after 1 pm and was seen nodding to the people that recognised him. 

The Imperial Household Agency had announced on 3 October that the Emperor would have to undergo this procedure, following a “slightly elevated” PSA marker. The acronym stands for “Prostate-Specific Antigen,” and, in some instances, it is connected to the presence of prostate cancer in the individual. 

His Imperial Majesty, who is now 62-years-old, has not changed his schedule following these results and has continued to carry out his regular daily routine, which also includes some light jogging, according to sources. 

It is expected that the results of the MRI will take at least a few days to reach the patient and his staff, but the public can expect to receive news about them as soon as they have been read and analysed by the Emperor’s medical staff.  

Depending on the results of the MRI, the Japanese sovereign may also have to undergo further testing before a decision is made for the best course to follow. 

This is, unfortunately, not the first encounter the family has had with prostate cancer. Emperor Emeritus Akihito was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003. He underwent successful surgery to remove the cancerous tissue and has since fully recovered. 

Because of his father’s diagnosis, the elevated PSA marker raised enough concerns to prompt further testing, the first step of which was this MRI, which, at the time of the first announcement, was said to be scheduled for the beginning of November.