Sarah Ferguson, Britain’s Duchess of York, stresses importance of checking moles after skin cancer diagnosis
LONDON — Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York and former wife of Prince Andrew, has said she is grateful for the “many messages of love and support” she’s received since it was announced Sunday that she has skin cancer.
Writing on her Instagram account Monday morning, the duchess, 64, urged others to be “diligent” and get moles checked whenever they change in appearance.
She said the diagnosis was a shock, coming after she was treated for breast cancer last year, but added that she was surrounded by family and in good spirits.
“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,” she said.
She said it was only due to the “great vigilance” of her dermatologist that the melanoma was detected at all.
“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,” she said.
There has been a slew of royal health news in the last few days: Kate, the Princess of Wales and wife of Prince William, underwent planned abdominal surgery last week, prompting a long break from official duties, while King Charles is due this week to have treatment for an enlarged prostate.
Ferguson posted a picture of herself in Austria, where she was recuperating at the Mayrlife Clinic, a high-end health resort favored by celebrities in a picturesque spa town of Altaussee, before returning home to England.
Known simply as “Fergie” to many, including the red-top newspapers that have closely followed her personal life, she has been firmly the public eye since marrying Andrew in 1986 and perhaps even more so after the couple’s split in 1992.