Sarah Ferguson has revealed she is being treated for skin cancer, just months after she underwent a mastectomy for breast cancer, and days after the British royal family was hit by a double health scare affecting King Charles and Kate Middleton.
The duchess’ malignant melanoma was only identified after dermatologists carrying out reconstructive breast surgery after her breast cancer spotted suspicious moles. Tests, which only came through days after Christmas, revealed one mole was malignant.
A friend of the duchess told The Daily Beast: “It’s just unbelievably bad luck, really. She has been incredibly brave about the breast cancer, and I’m sure she will be just as brave about this. Hopefully, they have caught it really early.” Her medical team are now trying to establish if the cancer has spread.
A spokesperson for the duchess told The Daily Beast: “Following her diagnosis with an early form of breast cancer this summer, Sarah, Duchess of York has now been diagnosed with malignant melanoma.
“Her dermatologist asked that several moles were removed and analyzed at the same time as the Duchess was undergoing reconstructive surgery following her mastectomy, and one of these has been identified as cancerous.
“She is undergoing further investigations to ensure that this has been caught in the early stages. Clearly, another diagnosis so soon after treatment for breast cancer has been distressing but the Duchess remains in good spirits.
“The duchess wants to thank the entire medical team which has supported her, particularly her dermatologist whose vigilance ensured the illness was detected when it was. She believes her experience underlines the importance of checking the size, shape, color and texture and emergence of new moles that can be a sign of melanoma.”
Fergie’s eldest daughter, Princess Beatrice, is patron of the British Skin Foundation which advocates on behalf of skin cancer patients.
In an interview in November, the duchess said her brush with breast cancer had caused her to worry about the possibility of other cancers, telling the ITV show Loose Women that she had got “four in the morning syndrome” where she would lie awake thinking, “Oh, I’m sure I’ve got cancer somewhere else… I’m gonna go and ring my doctor.”
Fergie married Prince Andrew in 1986 and they divorced in 1996, although they still live together, at Andrew’s palatial home, Royal Lodge.
Although she has not, for many decades, been a working member of the royal family, King Charles allowed her to walk to church with the core members of the royal family on Christmas Day this year. The gesture was widely seen as an attempt by Charles to telegraph a message of family unity, and an expression of gratitude to Fergie from the king for the unwavering support she has given her ex-husband following his ejection in disgrace from the royal family in 2022 over rape allegations.
Fergie posted to social media on Christmas Day: “We are enjoying each other’s company and feeling grateful today. I hope everyone has a wonderful day. Happy Christmas to anyone who celebrates and season’s greetings to all.”
However it now appears that within just days of the happy Christmas outing, Fergie received the shattering new diagnosis.
Her spokesperson told The Daily Beast the duchess is now “recuperating” at the exclusive Mayr clinic in Austria.