King Charles III, the Princess of Wales, and the Duchess of York are all facing health issues at the moment.
Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, has been diagnosed with skin cancer. She is the third member of the royal family battling a health issue at present.
According to Ferguson’s spokesperson, the Duchess has been diagnosed with malignant melanoma after having several moles removed. She was also treated for breast cancer last year and has been an outspoken advocate for early cancer checks as a result.
The news comes after the Princess of Wales’ office announced last week that Kate would be recovering from planned abdominal surgery at a private hospital in London for up to two weeks, and Buckingham Palace said shortly after that King Charles would be undergoing a “corrective procedure” for an enlarged prostate.
The royal family sharing such candid health information with the public is unusual but may be an attempt to normalize medical issues and encourage the general population to be proactive about their health.
Melanoma is a rare but dangerous form of skin cancer because it is much more likely to spread to other parts of the body. According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma accounts for only about 1% of skin cancers but causes a large majority of skin cancer deaths.
This type of skin cancer is mainly caused by sun exposure. Other causes include age, having pale skin, a large number of moles, and a family history of skin cancer.
The main signs of melanoma include a new mole or a change in an existing mole, according to the NHS. While these kinds of moles can appear anywhere on the body, they’re more common in areas that are often exposed to the sun. Some rarer types can, however, affect the eyes, soles of the feet, palms of the hands, or genitals.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
An enlarged prostate, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), simply means a prostate gland has gotten bigger — a phenomenon that happens to almost all men as they get older, according to Mount Sinai. In fact, more than 90% of men over age 80 have the condition. It is not dangerous or serious, and it does not increase the risk of prostate cancer.
While the cause of BPH is unknown, experts believe it may be the result of factors linked to aging and changes in cells, as well as reduced testosterone. Most men with BPH don’t have any symptoms, according to Mount Sinai, but those who do may experience issues with urination.
Treatment options for BPH depend on the severity of symptoms, and they may include "watchful waiting," lifestyle changes, medication, or surgery.
- Reuters. Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, diagnosed with skin cancer.
- Associated Press. King Charles III will have a prostate operation next week while Kate recovers from abdominal surgery.
- NHS. What is melanoma skin cancer?
- American Cancer Society. What Is Melanoma Skin Cancer?
- Mount Sinai. Enlarged prostate.