Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, has been diagnosed with skin cancer. The news comes less than a year after she revealed that she had undergone a mastectomy in response to being diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.
A representative for Ferguson told People in a statement that “following her diagnosis with an early form of breast cancer this summer, Sarah, Duchess of York has now been diagnosed with malignant melanoma.”
The new cancer was found when the duchess had several moles removed and biopsied during reconstructive surgery following her mastectomy, and results showed that at least one mole was cancerous.
“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,” the statement continued. “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.”
Ferguson shared on her Instagram account Monday that she is “taking some time to myself” following the news, thanking her medical team for their care and vigilance, as well as urging followers to “be diligent” about checking their moles and noting any changes in their appearance.
“Naturally another cancer diagnosis has been a shock but I’m in good spirits and grateful for the many messages of love and support,” she wrote in the caption of her post, accompanied by a photo of herself smiling and bundled up in a parka, leaning on a railing outside.
Ferguson’s diagnosis is the latest in a flood of health disclosures about senior members of the British royal family and their various medical procedures: Last week, Kate Middleton underwent a “planned abdominal surgery,” the recovery from which will keep her absent from public royal engagements until Easter, following a hospital stay of up to two weeks. King Charles III, too, has surgery planned this week to treat an enlarged prostate.
In an Instagram post celebrating the end of 2023, Ferguson recounted the year’s “ups and downs,” including her breast cancer battle, spending time with her grandchildren, and publishing another historical romance novel, writing, “I am 64 and just getting started.”