Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, gives first update after breast cancer surgery: “lucky to be alive”

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, is giving an update after undergoing surgery for breast cancer.

It was announced last month that “Fergie,” the former wife of Prince Andrew, had been diagnosed with “an early form of breast cancer” that was detected during a routine mammogram screening.

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Ferguson has since undergone a single mastectomy at King Edward VII’s Hospital in London, and doctors described her prognosis as “good.”

Now, the royal is opening up for the first time about her experience on her podcast Tea Talks with the Duchess and Sarah. Speaking to co-host Sarah Thomson about a week after the surgery, she described her thought process as she prepared for treatment.

“From the drive from the Royal Free over to the VII, I sort of looked up mastectomy,” Ferguson said on the podcast. “And then pathology came back a few days later and then, of course, your mind’s already gone racing in every direction. And then I get a text saying, ‘We think it’s mastectomy.’ Then your mind plays more tricks. And then you go and meet the reconstructive surgeon and you suddenly think, ‘OK, we can do this.'”

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“I think it’s scary for any family member out there,” she added. “You really start looking at your own demise. It’s a wake-up call, and then you think, ‘How am I going to deal with this?'”

The surgery reportedly took eight hours. Ferguson said she considers herself lucky, because the cancer did not spread to her lymph nodes, and she does not have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation.

She’s also lucky that the cancer happened to be detected at an early stage. In a previous podcast episode, she revealed that she almost skipped her appointment but was talked into going by her sister. It was there doctors detected a “shadow” that turned out to be cancerous.

“Had it not been for that extraordinary injection in you to contrast—it shows the contrast and it shows them where to go,” she said. “If I hadn’t done that, it was only a shadow, they wouldn’t have found out that it needs to be immediately sorted.”

“I’m so glad that dad did talk about it so I went and got checked.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 18: Sarah Ferguson leaving the Chiltern Firehouse on May 18, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)

Now, the Duchess is encouraging others to get regular mammograms. “We must make people realize, it’s not OK. But if you’re going to get it, then catch it quick,” she said on the podcast this week. “Do the screening, catch it quick and go and say ‘I can do this.'”

“It’s not bravery. It’s not courage. It’s about understanding that you’re not going to feel as you did for a bit. So don’t try and be a superhero. Take many steps, have the cup of tea, trust people. Very important not to be complacent with every single thing now.”

Ferguson is a member of the British royal family by marriage: she was married to Prince Andrew from 1986 to 1996. They have two daughters together, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

According to Daily Mail, Ferguson is currently recuperating from her surgery at Royal Lodge in Windsor with Princess Eugenie by her side. Beatrice also visits her frequently. Her ex Prince Andrew is also said to be helping out, and King Charles reportedly sent a letter wishing his former sister-in-law a speedy recovery.

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A friend of the Duchess told Daily Mail that Ferguson wanted to express her gratitude to surgeons Christina Choy and Stuart James, “who carried out the operation and all the medical team who worked tirelessly to help her.”

“Today, the message she wants to get out is that she is very grateful to those who saved her and she feels very lucky to be alive,” the source said.

“Thank you doesn’t quite cover it to all of my doctors, nurses and medical professionals. I’m beyond lucky to have you,” Ferguson said on Instagram.

Throughout her time as a royal, the Duchess has been known for her charity work helping cancer patients. She is a patron of the Teenage Cancer Trust and the founder of nonprofits Children in Crisis and Sarah’s Trust.

We’re glad to see that the Duchess of York is doing so well after her breast cancer surgery — early detection is key and it’s very important to get screened regularly.

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