Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson revealed she was diagnosed with skin cancer shortly after undergoing treatment for early-stage breast cancer.
She said the double diagnosis has “been a shock” but she’s in “good spirits.”
Keep reading to learn more about her latest health update, and the diagnoses that led her to it.
Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, revealed that she’s been diagnosed with skin cancer, just months after battling breast cancer. The star shared the news in an Instagram post, noting that she was in “good spirits” after receiving her second cancer diagnosis in less than a year. Ahead, learn more about the timeline of her cancer journey and the peaks and valleys of treatment and ongoing recovery.
January 2024: Ferguson announces skin cancer diagnosis; rests after undergoing treatment
In a January 22 post, Ferguson smiled over her shoulder, standing on a bridge, with scenic mountains behind her. After revealing her skin cancer diagnosis, she shared that she spent some time at a medical health resort in Altaussee, Austria. People also reported that she’s undergoing ongoing treatment and analyses in London.
“I am incredibly thankful to the medical teams that have supported me through both of these experiences with cancer and to the MAYRLIFE Clinic for taking gentle care of me in the past weeks, allowing me time for recuperation,” she wrote. “I am resting with family at home now, feeling blessed to have their love and support. ❤️🩹”
In the same post, she added that being hit with a second cancer diagnosis has “been a shock but I’m in good spirits and grateful for the many messages of love and support.”
December 2023: She says that she “beat” breast cancer
In a New Year’s Eve post, Ferguson proudly announced that she “beat” breast cancer. And on her podcast Tea Talks With the Duchess and Sarah, she encouraged others not to put off potentially life-saving check-ups. “Go and get checked,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. Don’t say it’s not going to happen to you. Doesn’t matter if you feel fine. Cancer can be so silent.”
Summer 2023: Ferguson is diagnosed with skin cancer
Although the world is just now learning of it, according to People, Ferguson’s skin cancer diagnosis came weeks after she underwent a single mastectomy to remove early-stage breast cancer in June. It was during a reconstruction surgery that several moles were removed and analyzed, revealing one to be cancerous, a representative for Ferguson said.
She was diagnosed with malignant melanoma, which, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, is “a serious form of skin cancer that begins in cells known as melanocytes” and is “more dangerous” than other types of skin cancer “because of its ability to spread to other organs more rapidly if it is not treated at an early stage.”
“It was thanks to the great vigilance of my dermatologist that the melanoma was detected when it was,” Ferguson wrote on Instagram. “I believe my experience underlines the importance of checking the size, shape, color, and texture and emergence of new moles that can be a sign of melanoma and urge anyone who is reading this to be diligent.”
June 2023: A routine screening leads to a breast cancer diagnosis
In June, on a particularly hot day, Ferguson didn’t feel like commuting into the city for her routine mammogram. “It was after a bank holiday…and it was a hot day, I didn’t feel like going to London,” she said on her podcast. “It’s easy to put it off: ‘I’ll do it next week.’”
Thankfully, her sister, Jane Ferguson Luedecke, insisted that she went. “I always normally do what she says because she gets so cranky. She said, ‘No, go. I need you to go. I need you to go,’” Ferguson recalled. And it was that appointment that revealed her breast cancer.
On the podcast, Ferguson explained that an “injection” that “shows the contrast”—likely contrast-enhanced spectral mammography, newer testing in which an iodine-containing dye is injected into a person’s blood a few minutes before two mammograms are taken at different energy levels, per the American Cancer Society (ACS)—exposed a small cluster of cancerous cells.
“If I hadn’t done that…it was only a shadow,” she recalled. “They wouldn’t have found out that it needs to be immediately sorted.”
Well wishes to Ferguson and she continues her recovery journey.
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