Sarah Ferguson: Everything we know about the Duchess’ skin cancer diagnosis

After announcing in 2023 that she had managed to beat breast cancer, Sarah Ferguson has been dealing with another concerning health issue.

Sarah Ferguson skin cancer King Charles Kate Middleton Royal Family
© Mike Marsland / GETTY IMAGES
Sarah Ferguson skin cancer King Charles Kate Middleton Royal Family

The Duchess of York was in the spotlight over Christmas due to her unexpected presence at Sandringham for the Royal Family’s yearly church service. At the time, a lot of speculation emerged as to whyPrince Andrew’s ex-wife was allowed back into the fold.

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Prior to that, Sarah Ferguson was seen on This Morning where she co-hosted alongside Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary. Though things seemed very good for the Duchess, on 21 January it was announced she was diagnosed with skin cancer.

Sarah Ferguson’s skin cancer announcement

A spokesperson for the Duchess of York made the announcement. It read:

Following her diagnosis with an early form of breast cancer this summer, Sarah, Duchess of York, has now been diagnosed with malignant melanoma,

This diagnosis came after her dermatologist ordered some moles be removed. As stated, this is the second cancer diagnosis Ferguson has received in a very short time and it is reported that doctors were then trying to establish whether or not the skin cancer had been found at its early stage.

It was reported that the Duchess remained in ‘high spirits’ even though the diagnosis was ‘distressing’.

A very unexpected announcement amongst other health scares

The Duchess’ announcement came at a time when the Royal Family was already dealing with two health issues. Indeed, on Wednesday 17 January, within a timeframe of two hours, it was announced that the Princess of Wales had undergone ‘abdominal surgery’ and that the King would have surgery for an ‘enlarged prostate’ the week of 22 January.

These two announcements sent shockwaves and highlighted the fact that King Charles’ slimmed-down monarchy has its limits as then, three working members were out for the count.

Indeed, while the King was expected to recover from his surgery quite quickly, Prince William chose not to step up, in a statement he explained he would not be working while his wife was in the hospital.

Kate Middleton was expected to remain in the hospital for another week as the surgery was performed on Tuesday 16 January. Moreover, it was announced that she would not be returning to royal duties before Easter.

On her end, the Duchess of York was said to be recovering in Austria, at first, and receiving support from her family.

The Duchess of York receives good news

In March 2024, among other shocking announcements concerning the Royal Family, Sarah Ferguson gave a reassuring update on her cancer diagnosis. As reported by The Independent, there seems to be 'no further spread'.

An anonymous friend of the Duchess spoke to the Daily Mail and said:

She’s undergone further surgery following the melanoma diagnosis to examine the area around the mole that was found to be malignant and her lymph nodes,


The good news is that these have all been found to be free of cancer so it looks like there has been no spread of the disease and the prognosis is good, though she’ll have to have regular check-ups going forward.
It’s a huge relief for Sarah and the entire family after the most stressful time and an anxious wait for results.

However, another source reportedly close to Ferguson has issued caution, specifying that doctors are 'still refraining from using the term “cancer free”'. That cautious friend stated:

She is very lucky that the melanoma was caught early thanks to the vigilance of her dermatologist, who asked for a number of moles to be checked while she was undergoing reconstructive surgery after her mastectomy,

Sarah Ferguson's new found mission

According to that last friend this new cancer scare has awakened something in Sarah Ferguson and she claims that the Duchess will now be 'banging the drum' to make sure that as many people as possible are getting checked by dermatologists regularly.

The anonymous friend, as reported by The Independent, explained:

Her intention will be to get the message out about the importance of being vigilant about checking the size, shape, colour and texture of moles. If melanoma is caught early, it can be treated very effectively,

Sarah Ferguson, taking this approach to her diagnosis directly follows the path of King Charles. Indeed, when in January 2024, Buckingham Palace announced that the monarch was to undergo surgery due to an enlarged prostate, the transparency urged many men to look into the condition.

Following the Palace's announcement, The Guardian reported that the page on the NHS website received '11 times more daily visits'.

Read more:

King Charles and Kate Middleton both in hospital: Who could take over for the monarch if he’s incapacitated?

King Charles: The Palace announces the monarch to undergo surgery, what is an enlarged prostate?

Kate Middleton to be out of action for months after surgery, how could this impact the Royal Family?


The Guardian: Sarah Ferguson diagnosed with malignant melanoma

People: Sarah Ferguson Reveals Skin Cancer Diagnosis Weeks After Announcing That She 'Beat' Breast Cancer

The Independent: Sarah Ferguson cancer ‘hasn’t spread’ and prognosis is good, says friend

The Guardian: Searches for ‘enlarged prostate’ soar after King Charles announcement

Piers Morgan: The presenter urges King Charles to reveal his full cancer diagnosis Piers Morgan: The presenter urges King Charles to reveal his full cancer diagnosis