Sarah Ferguson Diagnosed with ‘Malignant Melanoma’

By: Alec Donaldson | Published: Feb 11, 2024

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, has been diagnosed with malignant melanoma just months after overcoming breast cancer.

A spokesperson for the British royal announced the news this past Sunday.

Ferguson Wins Battle Against Breast Cancer

On New Year’s Eve, Sarah Ferguson, the former wife of Prince Andrew, announced via Instagram that she had defeated breast cancer. 

Sarah Ferguson pictured in a green onesie at the hospital following her procedure

Source: @Sarahferguson15/Instagram

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I beat breast cancer,” she wrote at the time. 

Unfortunate Diagnosis Just Weeks Later

During her mastectomy, Ferguson’s dermatologist asked that several moles be analyzed and removed.

Doctors look over a patient's test results and speak about potential treatment options

Source: Freepik

Unfortunately, the Duchess of York was diagnosed with malignant melanoma shortly after.

Ferguson’s Spokesperson Reveals Shocking News

In the wake of the diagnosis, a spokesperson for Ferguson confirmed the situation. 

A shocked reporter speaks about recent news

Source: Freepik

“Following her diagnosis with an early form of breast cancer this summer, Sarah, Duchess of York, has now been diagnosed with malignant melanoma,” they said (via Hello! Magazine)

Royals Hopeful Illness in the Early Stages

While it’s uncertain exactly when the diagnosis was made, the team around Ferguson is hopeful they caught the disease early enough to treat it successfully.

Two doctors dressed in white coats look over a patient's test results

Source: Freepik

“She is undergoing further investigations to ensure that this has been caught in the early stages,” her spokesperson said.

Ferguson Remains in Good Spirits

Ferguson has now experienced two cancer diagnoses in less than a year. Yet, according to sources, she remains full of hope. 

Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, attends a film festival in Venice

Source: Kate Green/Getty Images

“Clearly, another diagnosis so soon after treatment for breast cancer has been distressing, but the duchess remains in good spirits,” said her spokesperson. 


Cause Behind Malignant Melanoma

Malignant melanoma is a form of skin cancer that begins in the cells that give the skin its color (via Mayo Clinic). 

A woman pictured sunbathing on a lounge chair as she enjoys a holiday

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While several causes lead to this form of skin cancer, most doctors agree it stems from overexposure to the sun’s UV light. If found early enough, it can typically be treated.


Receiving Treatment at Royal Marsden Hospital

Fergie will undergo treatment at London’s Royal Marsden Hospital and under the care of the revered Dr. Andrew Furness.

A woman is pictured receiving treatment from a doctor and a nurse in the hospital

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She will also be looked after by Catherine Borysiewicz, a dermatologist specialist from King Edward VI’s Hospital in London.


Ferguson Encourages Others to Get Checked

Even amid the unsettling news, Ferguson used it as an opportunity to advise others to get themselves checked. 

A doctor dressed in a white coat examines a patient in his office

Source: Freepik

“The duchess wants to thank the entire medical team that 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, color, and texture and emergence of new moles that can be a sign of melanoma,” said her spokesperson. 


Unfortunate String of Events for British Royals

The news of Ferguson’s diagnosis comes amid a tough few months for British royals. The Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, went through a severe procedure that may take her up to six months to recover from.

Queen Camilla, King Charles III, Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales pictured together

Source: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

It’s also recently been announced that following King Charles’ procedure at the end of January, further tests have revealed he has cancer.


Buckingham Palace Breaks the News

On Monday, Buckingham Palace released a statement confirming the king’s illness.

King Charles and Queen Camilla are photographed as they walk through a garden on the way to church

Source: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

“During the king’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted,” they said (via ABC News). “Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer.”


Charles Begins Treatment

According to reports, the king has already begun treatment and has been “advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties.”

King Charles III dressed in a navy suit jacket and silver tie alongside his wife, Queen Camilla

Source: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Yet, he will “continue to undertake state business and official paperwork as usual.”