Sarah Ferguson diagnosed with malignant melanoma | Sarah Ferguson

Sarah Ferguson

Duchess of York remains in good spirits and is undergoing further investigations, spokesperson says

Sun 21 Jan 2024 19.41 CET

The Duchess of York has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of skin cancer months after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

A spokesperson for Sarah Ferguson, 64, said medics had removed a mole on her body, which tested as a malignant melanoma, during treatment for her cancer. Doctors are now working to establish whether it was caught early.

“Following her diagnosis with an early form of breast cancer this summer, Sarah, Duchess of York, has now been diagnosed with malignant melanoma,” the spokesperson said. “Her dermatologist asked that several moles were removed and analysed at the same time as the duchess was undergoing reconstructive surgery following her mastectomy, and one of these has been identified as cancerous.”

The spokesperson added that the diagnosis was “distressing” but that she remains in “high spirits”. “She is undergoing further investigations to ensure that this has been caught in the early stages,” they said. “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, colour and texture and emergence of new moles that can be a sign of melanoma.”

Ferguson had surgery last year after being diagnosed with breast cancer and was treated at the private King Edward VII’s hospital in London, which has treated members of the royal family for decades.

The duchess is a patron of the Teenage Cancer Trust and spoke at a Breast Cancer Foundation gala in 2019. She visited a clinic in Poland in 2021 to address the issue of women recovering after mastectomies.

The news comes days after King Charles was due to attend hospital for treatment of an enlarged prostate, according to Buckingham Palace.

“In common with thousands of men each year, the king has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate,” the palace said. “His Majesty’s condition is benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure. The king’s public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation.”

It is understood that the king was keen to share the details of his diagnosis to encourage other men who may be experiencing symptoms to get checked in line with public health advice. Buckingham Palace is believed to have made the king’s condition public as he had a series of meetings and events that were being postponed on his doctor’s advice.

On the same day, it was announced that his daughter-in-law, the Princess of Wales, was recovering in hospital after undergoing successful planned abdominal surgery, and would remain in hospital for between 10 and 14 days. All her public engagements until Easter have been cancelled.

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