Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, reveals skin cancer diagnosis came as a 'shock'

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York wears white blouse with squares cut out of the fabric as she poses for a photo on red carpet
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, shared her skin cancer diagnosis with her followers on social media Monday. (Andy Kropa / Invision / Associated Press)
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Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, revealed Monday that she has skin cancer. This is the second form of cancer the British royal has been diagnosed with in a year, after confirming she had breast cancer in June.

Ferguson shared her health news Monday in an Instagram post.

"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," she wrote. "It was thanks to the great vigilance of my dermatologist that the melanoma was detected when it was."

Ferguson, 64, noted that she was in "good spirits" despite the daunting diagnosis coming as a "shock" to her and her loved ones.

Read more: Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, diagnosed with breast cancer: 'Go get screened'

The British author and television personality also took a moment in her Monday post to encourage others to check themselves constantly for any signs of skin cancer.

"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," Ferguson wrote.

She closed her message by assuring her 679,000 followers that she is "resting with family at home now" and thanked the medical teams that have helped her through two bouts of cancer.

A spokesperson for the duchess told the BBC that Ferguson'sdermatologist asked that she have several moles removed and analyzed while she was undergoing reconstructive surgery after her mastectomy, and one of the moles "has been identified as cancerous."

The spokesperson added that Ferguson will undergo further investigation to ensure that the cancer was detected at an early stage.

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In June, the philanthropist and ex-wife of Britain’s Prince Andrew revealed that she had undergone surgery after cancer was detected during a routine mammogram, a spokesperson for the duchess confirmed to the Los Angeles Times.

“The Duchess is receiving the best medical care and her doctors have told her that the prognosis is good,” the spokesperson said in a statement at the time. “She is now recuperating with her family. The Duchess wants to express her immense gratitude to all the medical staff who have supported her in recent days."

Read more: My melanoma, my message

Ferguson elaborated on her breast cancer diagnosis during a June episode of her podcast, “Tea Talks With the Duchess and Sarah." The royal underwent a single mastectomy at King Edward VII Hospital in London in June.

While urging listeners to be diligent about checkups, Ferguson admitted that she had been procrastinating until her sister insisted she get her mammogram as soon as possible.

“Don’t say it’s not gonna happen to you,” Ferguson said. “Doesn’t matter if you feel fine because cancer can be so silent. ... Go get screened. Go get checked. Don’t wait.”

Ferguson's diagnosis comes on the heels of announcements from Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace regarding the health of King Charles III and his daughter-in-law Catherine, the Princess of Wales, respectively. Catherine was hospitalized in London last week and will remain there for about two weeks after undergoing a planned abdominal surgery. Charles is set to have a “corrective procedure” for an enlarged prostate this week.

Times staff writer Christi Carras contributed to this report.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.