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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Lisa McLoughlin

Sarah Ferguson reveals how breast cancer diagnosis changed her life: 'I wear it like a badge of honour'

Sarah Ferguson has shared how her breast cancer diagnosis changed her life – and given her the confidence to be herself.

The royal underwent a mastectomy at London’s King Edward VII's Hospital in June after doctors detected the disease during a routine test in the Spring.

Since overcoming her health woes, the Duchess of York said her cancer battle has helped her to be even more herself and encouraged her to urge others to get checked.

Appearing on Tuesday’s Good Morning Britain, she said: “For anyone who is thinking, ‘I can’t possibly do it’, because they might find something, the sooner they do find something and remove it, and if they have to remove it as a lumpectomy or a mastectomy or whatever they have to do, it's okay you've got this.

“And it's okay to cry. It's okay to be terrified. It's okay to say, ‘I really am terrified’, but together we can be strong to get through it.”

Adding: “This hasn’t given me that sort of moment, ‘Oh I’m so lucky now I’m going to go and give’, I have always been like this.

The royal appeared on GMB opposite Susanna Reid and Ed Balls (ITV)

“However, it makes me be able to be myself. I sort of feel like I’m myself talking to you.”

In the same interview, the royal joked about how proud she is of her chest after undergoing a single mastectomy and reconstruction on her left breast.

The 63-year-old even revealed to presenters Susanna Reid and Ed Balls she’s now named her left breast “Derek” and said she “kind of likes them” while gesturing to her chest during the chat.

Apologising for being “bold”, she said: “I'm sorry to be quite so bold, if I may say, but this is Derek, and it could be Dereka or it could be they.”

Reflecting on the moment she knew doctors had found something during her mammogram, she shared: “I could see they moved very quickly.

“They said, ‘Well we'll just do another one’, then ‘Oh we'll just do this’ and I was saying, ‘No, no but you haven't found anything have you? No I'm fine aren't I?’.

“It was like a splat. It was like someone had gone [gestures a splatting action] like that and it was better to have it removed.”

She then started to grin, before looking down at her chest again and saying: “And I don’t know, I kind of, I kind of like them,” before adding: “I’m really proud of it. I feel like my mastectomy is like a badge of honour.”

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