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Duchess of York malignant melanoma cancer: Commonality and prevalence

Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, diagnosed with skin cancer during breast cancer treatment. High risk in U.S. and U.K. Take precautions.

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, has received a diagnosis of skin cancer while undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The malignant melanoma was discovered after moles were removed during reconstructive surgery following her mastectomy, as reported by The Associated Press. Despite this distressing news, a spokesperson stated that the Duchess remains in good spirits.

At 64 years old, Ferguson, who is the ex-wife of Prince Andrew and the mother of Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 2023 during a routine mammogram. Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer that originates in the cells responsible for skin color, and it is particularly dangerous because it can quickly spread to other parts of the body, posing a life-threatening risk.

In the United Kingdom, melanoma is the fifth-most-common cancer, accounting for 4% of all new cancer cases, with approximately 16,700 new cases of melanoma skin cancer reported annually. In the United States, skin cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer, with melanoma comprising just 1% of cases but leading to the majority of skin cancer-related deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. The society estimates that 100,640 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in 2024, resulting in about 8,290 deaths.

While the risk of melanoma increases with age, it has become more common in young adults, particularly women under 30. However, individuals can reduce their risk of skin cancer by protecting themselves from sun exposure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends shielding the skin from UV rays, tanning beds, and sunlamps, as well as using sunscreen.

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