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Sarah Ferguson almost skipped doctor’s appointment that led to cancer diagnosis


Sarah Ferguson has revealed how she nearly missed her doctor’s appointment that led to her breast cancer diagnosis.

The 63-year-old spoke candidly about how she received her diagnosis during a new episode of her podcast, Tea Talks with the Duchess and Sarah. According to Ferguson, her sister, Jane Ferguson Luedecke, is the one who pushed her to get checked for cancer.

“Two weeks ago, my sister from Australia said: ‘Sarah, get on with it.’ And she was right,” Ferguson recalled, before adding that she had planned to get a mammogram done.

However, speaking to Sarah Thompson, the Duchess of York confessed that she had considered getting this screening done at a later time.

“It was after a bank holiday, and I live in this area, in the Windsor area, and it was a hot day, and I didn’t feel like going to London,” she said. “It’s easy to put it off, like ‘Oh, ‘I’ll do it next week.’”

She then recalled what her “wonderful” sibling said that ultimately got her to go to the doctor.

“I always normally do what she says because she gets so cranky,” Ferguson added. “She said, ‘No, go. I need you to go. I need you to go.’”

Ferguson went on to say “thank you” to Jane, as going to get the X-ray of her breast led to her diagnosis. As she reflected on her health condition, she expressed her gratitude for the NHS staff at the Royal Free Hospital in London, and said they did “amazing work” in catching her cancer.

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

As noted by the Mayo Clinic, there are many different approaches to diagnosing cancer, such as a physical exam, urine or blood tests, and a computerised tomography (CT) scan. According to the United States Preventive Services Task Force, women between the ages of 50 and 74 are recommended to get mammograms, which screens for breast cancer, every two years.

On Sunday 25 June, a spokesperson for the Duchess, who is the ex-wife of Prince Andrew,  confirmed that she was diagnosed with breast cancer after having a routine mammogram screening.


“She was advised she needed to undergo surgery which has taken place successfully,” the spokesman told The Independent. “The Duchess is receiving the best medical care and her doctors have told her that the prognosis is good. She is now recuperating with her family.”

He continued: “The Duchess wants to express her immense gratitude to all the medical staff who have supported her in recent days. She is also hugely thankful to the staff involved in the mammogram which identified her illness, which was otherwise symptom-free, and believes her experience underlines the importance of regular screening.”

Elsewhere in the podcast episode, the A Most Intriguing Lady author also shared that she was preparing to undergo a mastectomy, a procedure to remove a breast in order to treat the cancer. “Tomorrow, I am going for a mastectomy… a single mastectomy. It’s very important that I speak about it,” she said.

She emphasised how important it was for her to speak about her health, since her father, Ronald Ferguson, was so open about his experiences with cancer in the ‘90s. She continued to encourage her listeners to get their routine check-ups and screening.

“My father died of prostate cancer, and it was very interesting because he went on the radio and he said on the radio, ‘Please, please, please go and get checked,’” she recalled. “It doesn’t matter. Go and get checked. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. Don’t say it’s not going to happen to you. Doesn’t matter if you feel fine. Cancer can be so silent. Such a silent little hiding thing which hides in the cells.”

Ferguson’s father had prostate cancer in 1996 and also had skin cancer. He died in 2003 at the age of 71.


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