The Duchess of York, 63, has joined forces with the Loose Women panel to launch its inaugural ‘Don’t Skip Your Screening’ campaign, highlighting the importance of attending mammogram appointments. The Duchess will join Christine Lampard, Coleen Nolan, and Brenda Edwards on thepre-recoreded one-off special.
Marking the first time Sarah has discussed her experience with breast cancer on television, the mother-of-two will open up about dealing with the disease and undergoing a life-changing mastectomy earlier this year.
Sarah has a personal connection to the ‘Don’t Skip Your Screening’ campaign, as she nearly missed her screening appointment to avoid travelling through London on a hot day.
‘I almost missed the screening appointment that saved my life,’ she said.
Sarah Ferguson (pictured) will make her daytime television debut on Thursday with an appearance on Loose Women
But with the persuasion of her sister, Jane, Sarah luckily attended the appointment and received a timely diagnosis.
She later recovered at home at Royal Lodge, Windsor, where she lives with her ex-husband, Prince Andrew, despite splitting nearly 30 years ago.
Ahead of the show, the mother-of-two said: ‘I almost missed the screening appointment that saved my life.
‘I couldn’t face a journey into London on a hot day this summer, and it was only my sister Jane’s insistence that I went, that persuaded me.
‘My cancer was completely symptom-free – I never found a lump and did not feel ill.
‘My experience underlines the vital importance of getting screened when you’re called in.
‘It’s a matter of grave concern that 1.2 million mammogram appointments have been missed, according to the latest figures, many of them during the pandemic.
The Duchess will join Christine Lampard , Coleen Nolan (pictured middle left) , and Brenda Edwards (far right) on the one-off special
Sarah Ferguson, 63, said she put off getting routine checks until her sister Jane Ferguson, who lives in Australia insisted that she get checked (the pair are pictured together)
‘I am proud to be supporting the campaign by Loose Women, backed by NHS England, to persuade women to catch up on missed appointments and to turn up when they are called in. Don’t skip your screening – it could save your life as it did mine.’
In a move backed by the NHS, Sarah, alongside the Loose Women panel, will encourage women to book the potentially life-saving appointment when invited to.
British charity Breast Cancer Now commended the campaign for the specific focus on the importance of women undergoing routine screenings.
The initiative comes at a critical time because, since Covid, almost a million fewer women have undergone routine screening, the charity revealed.
Breast Cancer Now estimated that around 6,000 women in England are living with undiagnosed breast cancer, with disruption to routine screening being a prime factor.
The Duchess of York (centre) with her two daughters, Princess Beatrice (left) and Princess Eugenie (right)
In discussion of Loose Women’s ‘Don’t Skip Your Screening’ campaign, leading research and support charity Breast Cancer Now said: ‘We’re extremely grateful to Loose Women for shining a bright spotlight on breast screening as part of their ‘Don’t Skip Your Screening’ campaign and highlighting the important issue of tackling the shortfall in women having breast screening caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Breast screening is a vital tool in helping to detect breast cancer at the earliest possible stage, when treatment is more likely to be successful.
‘We encourage all women to attend breast screening appointments when invited and to regularly check their breasts, reporting any unusual changes to their GP as soon as possible.’
‘Checking your breasts only takes a few minutes. It could be when you get dressed, when you’re showering or putting on moisturiser. There’s no special technique, it’s as simple as TLC: Touch, Look, Check.’
On the first episode of her podcast, Fergie insisted she is ‘very shy’ and said she ‘trusts too much’ and ‘too many people’ (pictured with her co-host Sarah Jane Thomson)
It comes after Sarah opened up about her mastectomy recovery and revealed she has a reconstructed breast called ‘Derek’.
Speaking to co-host Sarah Thomson in August, the Duchess explained how she is ‘just coming to terms with my new best friend Derek’.
She said: ‘On my left, he’s called Derek… and he’s very important because he saved my life.’
During their discussion, the Duchess’ friend asked what had drawn her to the name Derek.
In response, Sarah said: ‘I don’t know, it just made me laugh that I now have a friend who’s with me all the time who’s protecting with his shield of armour.’
What’s more, the Duchess joked that she has called her other breast ‘Eric’.
She added: ‘Poor Eric on the right is feeling rather sad because he’s not as perky as Derek on the left, but I’ll get Eric balanced, don’t worry.’
During the conversation, Sarah also said she was ‘proud’ of the team of doctors and surgeons who looked after her.
‘You’re rebuilt,’ her co-host said in response.
The Duchess said: ‘I’ve gotten new wheels and a new engine and I’ll be taking the car for a bit of a run soon!’