The second cancer diagnosis in “a matter of months has obviously been a shock and a blow,” the friend tells PEOPLE
Sarah Ferguson is staying strong amid her skin cancer treatment.
The Duchess of York, 64, was recently diagnosed with malignant melanoma, a representative for Fergie announced on Sunday. She was previously diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer last June.
The second cancer diagnosis in “a matter of months has obviously been a shock and a blow,” a friend of Fergie exclusively tells PEOPLE.
But Fergie is “very resilient and in good spirits,” the source adds.
Following the new diagnosis, Fergie spent some time at MAYRLIFE clinic, a medical health resort in Altaussee, Austria.
“Her time in Austria helped her gather her strength,” the source says. “And her family is supporting her.”
Fergie received the malignant melanoma diagnosis while she was undergoing reconstructive surgery following her mastectomy, her representative said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
She had several moles removed and analyzed by a dermatologist, and one of the moles was identified as cancerous.
“The Duchess wants to thank the entire medical team which has supported her, particularly her dermatologist whose vigilance ensured the illness was detected when it was,” her rep said. “She believes her experience underlines the importance of checking the size, shape, color and texture and emergence of new moles that can be a sign of melanoma.”
In addition to her stay at MAYRLIFE clinic, Fergie is also receiving treatment for her melanoma in London.
“She is undergoing further investigations to ensure that this has been caught in the early stages,” her rep explained. “Clearly, another diagnosis so soon after treatment for breast cancer has been distressing, but the Duchess remains in good spirits.”
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Months after her June breast cancer diagnosis, Fergie revealed in a New Year’s Eve message that she “beat” the disease.
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I beat breast cancer,” Fergie wrote in the 2023 recap, “and now I have got a Derek on my left.” (After successfully undergoing a single mastectomy last July, Fergie nicknamed her reconstructed left breast “Derek.”)
“I am 64 and just getting started,” she concluded the message. “I hope everyone takes time to reflect and to look forward with love and positivity. Happy New Year, #2024!”
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