Sarah Ferguson praises her ‘exceptional’ family amid cancer diagnosis

"I have the most exceptional family and I have an extraordinarily great team."
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MARCH 31: Sarah Ferguson attends the Easter Mattins Service at Windsor Castle on March 31, 2024 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Antony Jones/Getty Images)

Sarah ‘Fergie’ Ferguson, Duchess of York has spoken candidly about the way her family are rallying around her amid her breast cancer battle.

Speaking to Hello! magazine, the Duchess of York said, “I have always brought up my girls to be so honest and frank that they know I’m going to tell it to them straight, however difficult it is.”

“So when they said, ‘Mummy, tell us the absolute truth – have they got all the cancer out?’ and the answer was yes, they knew they were safe.”

“I have the most exceptional family and I have an extraordinarily great team and I have an enormous ability to turn to joy,” she praised in the interview. 

The message comes just mere months after Sarah revealed she had been diagnosed with skin cancer and several months after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, undergoing a mastectomy.

Fergie’s spokesperson shared on January 21 of this year that she was diagnosed with malignant melanoma after having several moles removed.

“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.

“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,” Fergie’s spokesperson said.

Fergie herself then took to Instagram on January 22 to share more details of her diagnosis and to publicly encourage others to get their skin checked.

“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,” the Duchess of York wrote.

“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,” she continued.

“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.”

This isn’t the first time Fergie has urged others to prioritise their health and get regular check ups.

In November last year, she urged other women not to miss their mammograms while also opening up about her breast cancer diagnosis.

THE VIEW-  3/8/23 -  Sarah Ferguson, The Duchess of York is a guest on The View on Wednesday, March 3, 2023. The View airs Monday-Friday, 11am-12 noon, ET on ABC.

“The drive from the Royal Free Hospital, I’ll never forget because, of course, your mind goes into, ‘Oh my goodness, I’ve got to have a mastectomy,’” she said during an appearance on ITV’s Loose Women.

“And you look it up and it’s all so terrifying and this is what’s going to happen, and then you think, ‘I’m not going to see my grandchildren grow up’.”

The Duchess appeared on the program in support of Loose Women’s initiative – Don’t Skip Your Screening – which urges women to get their breasts checked for cancer in light of the alarming statistic that 1.2 million women have missed their mammogram.

The Duchess of York also revealed on the show that she had no symptoms leading up to her diagnosis and that without a mammogram, she would never have known she had cancer.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 03:  Sarah, Duchess Of York, And Her Sister Jane Leudecke  At "tidings For Joy", A Family Carol Concert Presented By Children In Crisis At St. Paul's Church, Onslow Square, London  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

“My experience underlines the vital importance of getting screened when you’re called in,” she shared. 

The Duchess also credited her sister Jane, who lives in Australia, with encouraging her to get screened. 

“I almost missed the [mammogram] screening appointment that saved my life… I couldn’t face a journey into London on a hot day this summer and it was only my sister Jane’s insistence that I went, that persuaded me.”

Fergie was first diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy back in June 2023.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 14: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Princess Eugenie, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and Princess Beatrice attend the wedding of Petra Palumbo and Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat at St Stephen Walbrook church on May 14, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

“Sarah, Duchess of York was recently diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer detected at a routine mammogram screening,” her spokesperson said at the time.

“She was advised she needed to undergo surgery which has taken place successfully.

“The Duchess is receiving the best medical care and her doctors have told her that the prognosis is good. She is now recuperating with her family.”

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