Ian Payne 4am - 7am
‘A shock but I’m in good spirits’: Sarah Ferguson thanks well-wishers as she breaks silence after cancer diagnosis
22 January 2024, 09:29 | Updated: 22 January 2024, 09:33
The Duchess of York has said she is ‘in good spirits’ despite the shock of her second cancer diagnosis.
Listen to this article
Sarah Ferguson, 64, has been diagnosed with malignant melanoma just months after being treated for breast cancer, it was announced on Sunday.
Medical professionals raised concerns after removing several moles from her body during a reconstructive breast surgery last year.
One of the moles tested as a malignant melanoma. The concerning results came just days after Christmas.
In an update shared to her Instagram on Monday, the duchess said: “I have been taking some time to myself as I have been diagnosed with malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer, my second cancer diagnosis within a year after I was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer and underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. It was thanks to the great vigilance of my dermatologist that the melanoma was detected when it was.
"Naturally another cancer diagnosis has been a shock but I’m in good spirits and grateful for the many messages of love and support.
"I believe my experience underlines the importance of checking the size, shape, colour and texture and emergence of new moles that can be a sign of melanoma and urge anyone who is reading this to be diligent.
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. I am resting with family at home now, feeling blessed to have their love and support."
A melanoma is considered the most serious forms of skin cancer and can spread to other areas of the body.
It comes after a friend of the duchess told People Magazine that while the diagnosis was “a shock and a blow” she remains “very resilient and in good spirits”.
It is hoped that the duchess' mole was found early enough before further health problems could ensue, but she will still undergo testing to investigate whether the cancer has spread.
The duchess has since been recovering in Austria as she works towards getting back on her feet.
Her spokesperson said that the "dermatologist asked that several moles were removed and analysed" while she 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 spokesperson reiterated that the duchess' experience highlighted the "importance of checking the size, shape, colour and texture and emergence of new moles that can be a sign of melanoma"
They said that she also wanted to thank her medical team, who are thought to be from the King Edward VII Hospital in London.
It comes amid two other health concerns within the Royal Family which has seen the Princess of Wales hospitalised after abdominal surgery and King Charles set to undergo treatment for an enlarged prostate this week.
Kate is expected to return to royal duties after Easter, but is set to 'work from bed' as she remains in hospital for another week.
Following her surgery, William was seen visiting her at the London Clinic on Thursday. She is said to be "doing well".