New York

Sarah Ferguson looked sophisticated in navy ensemble as she stepped out for Global Citizen Prize and Cisco Youth Leadership Award on Wednesday. 

In a positive sign that the Duchess is doing well after a series of health woes, the Duchess of York, 64, appeared in great spirits as she posed up a storm with the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Philip Brave Davis, at Spring Studio in New York.

In January, the Duchess revealed that she was diagnosed with skin cancer just months after having a mastectomy for breast cancer.

But in recent weeks, she’s been increasing her public appearances, even travelling as far as Samoa to visit women’s leadership groups last month. 

Sarah Ferguson looked sophisticated in navy ensemble as she stepped out for Global Citizen Prize and Cisco Youth Leadership Award on Wednesday

Sarah Ferguson looked sophisticated in navy ensemble as she stepped out for Global Citizen Prize and Cisco Youth Leadership Award on Wednesday

The duchess donned a chic cropped blazer which she paired with a matching skirt, sheer tights and black pumps.  

The mother-of-two donned a pair of elegant earrings and opted for a smattering of glamorous makeup. 

Her locks were styled in loose curls and she completed the look with a sparkling headband. 

During the event, Sarah beamed for a snap with Lydia Charles Moyo, who was the Citizen Award Recipient. 

The Global Citizen Prize and Cisco Youth Leadership Award honors an individual aged 18-30 who has contributed meaningfully to global problem solving.

The prize winner received a $250,000 (£199,347) grant to enable their organization to continue to grow. 

The outing comes as the Royal Family has faced a bout of health issues, with Sarah, King Charles III and the Princess of Wales all undergoing cancer treatment.

Last month, the mother of Princess Beatrice and Eugenie said she is ‘full of admiration’ for Kate Middleton for revealing her diagnosis.

Taking to social media, Prince Andrew’s ex-wife, fondly known as Fergie, payed tribute to the mother-of-three, saying that ‘everyone is praying for her’.

The mother-of-two donned a pair of elegant earrings and opted for a smattering of glamorous makeup

The mother-of-two donned a pair of elegant earrings and opted for a smattering of glamorous makeup 

Fergie looked thrilled to be attending the Global Citizen Prize in New York, after she has taken some time out

Fergie looked thrilled to be attending the Global Citizen Prize in New York, after she has taken some time out 

The Duchess of York, known for her vibrant character, was in her element as she took to the stage at the event

The Duchess of York, known for her vibrant character, was in her element as she took to the stage at the event

Fergie smiled alongside Lydia Charles Moyo as she arrived at the event

Fergie smiled alongside Lydia Charles Moyo as she arrived at the event

The Duchess of York smiled alongside Philip Brave Davis

The Duchess of York smiled alongside Philip Brave Davis

The duchess donned a chic cropped blazer which she paired with a matching skirt, sheer tights and black pumps

The duchess donned a chic cropped blazer which she paired with a matching skirt, sheer tights and black pumps

The Duchess of York , 64, appeared in great spirits as she posed up a storm with the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Philip Brave Davis, at Spring Studio in New York

The Duchess of York , 64, appeared in great spirits as she posed up a storm with the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Philip Brave Davis, at Spring Studio in New York

In a heartfelt Instagram statement, the Duchess said: ‘All my thoughts and prayers are with the Princess of Wales as she starts her treatment.

‘I know she will be surrounded by the love of her family and everyone is praying for the best outcome.

‘As someone who has faced their own battles with cancer in recent months, I am full of admiration for the way she has spoken publicly about her diagnosis.’ 

Sarah was herself diagnosed with skin cancer just months after having a mastectomy for breast cancer.

Speaking about Kate’s decision to reveal her own diagnosis, the Duchess added: I know it will do a tremendous amount of good to raise awareness.’

She concluded the message, saying: ‘I hope she will now be given the time, space and privacy to heal.’

Fergie revealed her shock skin cancer diagnosis in January. The mother-of-two had a number of moles removed while undergoing breast reconstruction surgery last year, one of which was found to be malignant.

During the event, Sarah beamed for a snap with Lydia Charles Moyo, who was the Citizen Award Recipient

During the event, Sarah beamed for a snap with Lydia Charles Moyo, who was the Citizen Award Recipient

The Global Citizen Prize and Cisco Youth Leadership Award honors an individual aged 18-30 who has contributed meaningfully to global problem solving

The Global Citizen Prize and Cisco Youth Leadership Award honors an individual aged 18-30 who has contributed meaningfully to global problem solving

Her locks were styled in loose curls and she completed the look with a sparkling headband

Her locks were styled in loose curls and she completed the look with a sparkling headband

The duchess was described as being in ‘good spirits’ after the ‘distressing’ news, which was broken to her just days after Christmas.

A melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can spread to other areas of the body, mainly caused by exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun or sunbeds.

People with paler skin, a large number of moles and family history of skin cancer tend to be more at risk of developing this.

Friends at the time said Fergie is the ‘most resilient’ person they know and was already planning to pick up her television career again soon to encourage others to get themselves checked out.

One friend told the Mail that the duchess had been informed she would need ‘further investigations’ to make sure it has been caught at the early stages.

‘Everyone is hoping this is the case and the doctors are hopeful they have got it early, but melanoma is aggressive and they need to double check everything,’ they said.

Friends at the time said Fergie is the 'most resilient' person they know. Pictured with her daughters in November

Friends at the time said Fergie is the ‘most resilient’ person they know. Pictured with her daughters in November

Kate speaking in a video message about her diagnosis

Charles and Queen Camilla pictured at the traditional Easter Sunday Mattins Service this year

Sarah, King Charles III (right) and the Princess of Wales (left) are all undergoing cancer treatment

They added of Sarah: ‘She’s very resilient and she does bounce back from things quite quickly but two diagnoses of cancer in six months, particularly when she thought she had just got over the breast cancer, is a lot for anyone to deal with and process.

‘You hope you’ve beaten it and then get something like this.

‘That’s why she wanted to take herself off to Austria for a couple of weeks, to get her head around everything. She’s back home now and the family have been very supportive.’

They also praised ‘her girls’ – Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie – who they said have been ‘fantastic over the last six months’.

‘They really have been brilliant over her breast cancer diagnosis. And they are already rallying around her,’ they said.

What is malignant melanoma? 

Malignant melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer that begins in melanocytes, cells found in the upper layer of skin that produce melanin, which gives skin its colour.

While less common that other types of skin cancer, it is more dangerous because of its ability to spread to other organs more rapidly if it is not treated at an early stage.

Symptoms

A new mole or a change in an existing mole may be signs of melanoma.

Melanomas can appear anywhere on your body, but they’re more common in areas that are often exposed to the sun.

Some rarer types can affect the eyes, soles of the feet, palms of the hands or genitals.

Check your skin for any unusual changes. Use a mirror or ask a partner or friend to check any areas you cannot see.

In particular, look for: 

  • Moles with an uneven shape or edges 
  • Moles with a mix of colours 
  • Large moles – melanomas often tend to be more than 6mm wide 
  • Moles that change size, shape or colour over time

Causes

Ultraviolet (UV) light is the most common cause of melanoma. It comes from the sun and is used in sunbeds.

Melanoma is more common in older people, but younger people can also get it.

You’re also more likely to get melanoma if you have:

  • Pale skin that burns easily in the sun 
  • Red or blonde hair 
  • Blue or green eyes 
  • A large number of freckles or moles 
  • Had a lot of sun exposure and you’ve had sunburn a lot in the past 
  • Used sunbeds a lot 
  • A history of skin cancer in your family or you’ve had skin cancer before

If you have black or brown skin, you have a lower chance of getting melanoma, but you can still get it. 

 Prevention

Staying safe in the sun is the best way to lower your chance of getting skin cancer (both melanoma and non-melanoma). 

Do the following:

  • Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day (11am to 3pm in the UK)
  • Keep your arms and legs covered and wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses that provide protection against ultraviolet (UV) rays
  • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and at least 4-star UVA protection – make sure you reapply it regularly
  • Make sure babies and children are protected from the sun – their skin is much more sensitive than adult skin

Treatment 

Melanoma skin cancer can often be treated. The treatment you have will depend on where it is, if it has spread and your general health.

Surgery is the main treatment for melanoma. Radiotherapy, medicines and chemotherapy are also sometimes used.

Surgery could involve removing the melanoma and an area of healthy skin around it, swollen lymph nodes if the cancer has spread to them and other parts of the body if it has spread to them.

If a large part of skin has to be removed, a skin graft might be needed which could see kin taken from another part of the body to cover the area where the melanoma was.

Radiotherpay is sometimes used to reduce the size of large melanomas and help control and relieve symptoms.

Targeted medicines and immotherapy are used to treat melanomas that can’t be dealt with by surgery, or have spread to lymph glands or other parts of the body.

Chemotherapy, which kills cancer cells, is sometimes used to treat advanced melanoma when it has spread to another part of the body. It does not work as well as other treatments, but can be used if you are unable to have them.

How dangerous is it?

Generally for people with melanoma in England:

  • almost all people (almost 100%) will survive their melanoma for 1 year or more after they are diagnosed
  • around 90 out of every 100 people (around 90%) will survive their melanoma for 5 years or more after diagnosis
  • more than 85 out of every 100 people (more than 85%) will survive their melanoma for 10 years or more after they are diagnosed

Sources: NHS, the Skin Cancer Foundation and Cancer Research UK



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