Finding Support During Cancer
- Sarah Ferguson, the 64-year-old Duchess of York and British author, was spotted in New York City with her eldest daughter after undergoing a stunning makeover. Her daughters have been among her biggest supporters during her breast cancer journey.
- Ferguson revealed she had been diagnosed with breast cancer this past summer. She underwent a single mastectomy, which is the removal of one breast, to treat the cancer.
- Generally, women opt for reconstructive surgery immediately following a mastectomy. This is usually an emotional and personal decision because it impacts how women view themselves with their breasts altered.
- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends women begin screening for breast cancer at age 40. Women should talk with their doctor to learn about their cancer risk and assess a good time to start annual mammograms.
In the wake of her treatment for breast cancer, Sarah Ferguson, the 64-year-old Duchess of York, and her eldest daughter Clarissa wowed many in New York City after undergoing a stunning makeover. The royal duo was glammed up for a night in the town. They wore lavish black dresses full of shimmers and lace and topped off with flawless makeup.
For Ferguson, sharing the luxurious spotlight with her daughter made the moment more special because her children have been among her biggest supporters during her breast cancer journey.
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Supportive fans were quick to shower them with compliments on social media once photos surfaced online.
“They both look beautiful! So nice to see the Duchess happy and healthy!” Instagram user Gregory Benjamin wrote in a caption.
Instagram user Apryl Braun wrote, “Absolutely stunning.”
U.K.-based news outlet “The Daily Mail” reports Beatrice and Ferguson received their “glamourous makeover by a high-profile makeup artist” who remained nameless.
Ferguson, who is battling breast cancer, said to People Magazine that her daughters have been “as supportive as can be, as they always are.”
She also adds that her grandchildren have been “spectacular healers” and emphasizes “joy and laughter” as powerful tools for such healing.
Helping Patients Understand Breast Cancer Treatment Options
The Duchess’ Breast Cancer Journey
Ferguson is a member of the British royal family. From 1986 to 1996, she married Prince Andrew, the father of her two children, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. Her breast cancer journey began earlier this summer after a routine mammogram discovered a shadow area that required further examination and ended up being breast cancer.
She underwent a single mastectomy, which is the removal of one breast, to treat the cancer. There are several factors to weigh when considering a mastectomy; chief among them is whether breast-conserving surgery (or lumpectomy) is possible. Your doctor will look at the size and features of your tumor and your family history to make a recommendation.
WATCH: What to know when considering a mastectomy.
“Mastectomy has very specific indications. Some of the things that would predicate a mastectomy are things like a large tumor size to breast ratio or having cancer in more than one area of the breast, or things like a genetic mutation,” Dr. Sarah Cate, Chief of Breast Surgery, Stamford Hospital, explains to SurvivorNet.
Ferguson remains positive about her prognosis so far. She stresses early detection is one of the key lessons her breast cancer journey has taught her so far.
“Early detection is absolutely key and might have saved my life. It [is] easy to forget to prioritize our health and proactive care. Had my dear sister not urged me to keep the appointment I almost canceled, I might not have caught my cancer early enough to be able to treat it as effectively,” she says.
Breast Cancer Screenings
Mammograms are used to screen for breast cancer. Women who haven’t gone through menopause are encouraged to get a mammogram annually between the ages of 45 and 54. If you have experienced menopause, you can get a mammogram every two years.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends women begin screening for breast cancer at age 40. Women should talk with their doctor to learn about their cancer risk and assess when a good time is to start annual mammograms.
WATCH: Breast cancer screening.
“We all agree regular screening mammography saves lives,” Dr. Connie Lehman, a professor at Harvard Medical School, told SurvivorNet.
Suppose you fit into the high-risk category for breast cancer, meaning a close family relative has been diagnosed. People at higher risk may have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation or had radiation to the chest area when they were young. In cases like this, people in the high-risk category should begin annual mammograms at 30 years old.