Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York and ex-wife of Prince Andrew, the disgraced son of Queen Elizabeth II, underwent a single mastectomy after a breast cancer diagnosis, she said during an episode of her podcast that was released Monday.
She received the diagnosis after a routine mammogram, she said during the episode of “Tea Talks With the Duchess & Sarah,” a new weekly podcast that she hosts with the entrepreneur Sarah Thomson. Ms. Ferguson did not say when the operation occurred but noted that the podcast was being recorded the day before it was to take place. Ms. Ferguson displayed no symptoms and did not find a lump, according to the podcast.
“It’s very important that I speak about it,” said Ms. Ferguson, 63, noting that both her father and stepfather died from cancer.
“I’m telling people out there because I want every person listening to this podcast to get checked,” she said.
Britain’s National Health Service offers routine mammograms to women beginning at age 50. In the United States, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which issues guidelines about preventive care, recommended this year that all women start routine breast cancer screening at 40. The previous recommendation had been 50.
Ms. Ferguson’s surgery was successful and her prognosis is good, a spokesperson told The Associated Press. Ms. Ferguson was released from King Edward VII’s Hospital in London, which has long treated members of the British royal family.
Ms. Ferguson has long been involved with the Teenage Cancer Trust, an organization in Britain that aims to help young people with cancer. Ms. Ferguson opened the trust’s first specialist cancer unit in a London hospital in 1990, according to the organization’s website.
She said she was inspired to become involved with cancer charities after her stepfather died when he was 50.
Ms. Ferguson married Prince Andrew in 1986 at Westminster Abbey in London. They divorced a decade later but continue to live together in Windsor. They have two daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and three grandchildren.
Nicknamed “Fergie,” Ms. Ferguson has long been a fixture in Britain’s newspapers, which have pored over her weight, her love life, her divorce and her exclusion from the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Since then, she has made what can be described as a comeback, publishing historical novels, a children’s book and starting her podcast.
She said on Monday’s episode that she was focused on getting fit and healthy after her recent diagnosis.
“There’s no choice, I can’t make another excuse,” she said. “I have to go through this operation and I have to be well and strong.”