Sarah Ferguson, UK’s Duchess of York, says in shock after new cancer diagnosis

By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) – Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, said on Monday she was in shock after being diagnosed with a malignant form of skin cancer, her second cancer diagnosis in a year and the latest health issue for a member of the Britain’s royal family.

Ferguson, 64, the ex-wife of King Charles’ brother prince Andrew, said on social media she had recently been diagnosed with malignant melanoma.

It comes after she underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery following the discovery she had breast cancer last summer.

“Naturally another cancer diagnosis has been a shock but I’m in good spirits and grateful for the many messages of love and support,” she wrote.

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.”

The duchess, well known by the nickname “Fergie”, added she was now resting at home with her family.

Her cancer diagnosis comes days after Kate, the Princess of Wales and wife of heir to the throne Prince William, underwent abdominal surgery and Charles revealed he would go into hospital this week for treatment for an enlarged prostate.

“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 said.

Since her divorce from Andrew in 1996 she has forged a new career as a successful author. However, she remains close to her husband and they still share the same family home in Windsor.

She joined the other senior royals for the annual Christmas get-together at the Sandringham estate in eastern England in December, a sign she was back in the royal fold.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Sarah Young)