Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York and the former wife of Prince Andrew, said on Monday that it had been a “shock” to receive a second diagnosis of cancer within a year, after doctors found melanoma, a serious type of skin cancer.
The former royal, 64, had spoken publicly about her decision to undergo a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery last year, following a breast cancer diagnosis in the summer.
A spokesperson for Ms. Ferguson told The Associated Press on Sunday that the melanoma was found after several moles were removed during her treatment for breast cancer and that doctors were still analyzing the situation.
On Monday, Ms. Ferguson said on Instagram that she had received care “in the past weeks” and was recuperating at home with family. “It was thanks to the great vigilance of my dermatologist that the melanoma was detected when it was,” she wrote.
“Naturally another cancer diagnosis has been a shock,” she added, “But I’m in good spirits and grateful for the many message of love and support.”
Melanoma is a particularly deadly type of skin cancer. It accounts for only one percent of all diagnosed skin cancers in the U.S. but causes the majority of deaths. In Britain, it makes up about four percent of all new cancer cases, and melanoma rates have been on the rise, according to Cancer Research U.K., a charity that supports cancer research.
Mr. Ferguson, known widely as “Fergie,” rose to mainstream attention in the 1980s — and became British tabloid fodder — after she married Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, who was stripped of his military titles and royal patronages in 2022 after being named in a sexual abuse case.
The pair divorced in the 1990s but remained friends; they have two daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
Ms. Ferguson has since worked as a television presenter, written children’s books and historical romances and launched a podcast. After revealing her breast cancer diagnosis last year, Ms. Ferguson had urged her podcast listeners to get routine mammograms.
“It’s very important that I speak about it,” she said at the time, adding that both her father and stepfather died from cancer. She is a longtime patron for charities, including the Teenage Cancer Trust.
On Monday, she warned people to “be diligent” about checking for changes in and the emergence of new moles.
Senior members of the royal family were hit by health worries last week. King Charles III was to receive a “corrective procedure” for an enlarged prostate this week, the palace said. Catherine, the Princess of Wales and the wife of Prince William, will take a hiatus from public duties to recuperate from abdominal surgery.