The Duchess of York has praised staff at the Royal Free Hospital for helping to rapidly diagnose the breast cancer she has been receiving treatment for.

Sarah Ferguson was diagnosed with the disease after a routine mammogram screening and has undergone surgery for breast cancer.

She said: “I went to the Royal Free Hospital and had it not been for that extraordinary injection. It shows the contrast and it shows them where to go. And if I hadn’t done that – it was only a shadow – they wouldn’t have found out that it needed to be immediately sorted. Really big shout out for the NHS and for helping me and the hospital staff who are working so hard to help.”

The Duchess will discuss her experience in her podcast ‘Tea Talks with the Duchess and Sarah’ released today.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Duchess said she wanted to ‘express her immense gratitude to all the medical staff who have supported her in recent days’.

The spokesperson added: “She is also hugely grateful to the staff involved in the mammogram which identified her illness, which was otherwise symptom free, and believes her experience underlines the importance of regular screening.”

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK, with around 55,000 women diagnosed each year.

Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50. Mammographic screening, where X-ray images of the breast are taken, is the most commonly available way of detecting cancer.

The NHS Breast Screening Programme invites all women from the age of 50 to 70 registered with a GP for screening every three years. A landmark study out earlier this month found women diagnosed with breast cancer are now two thirds more likely to survive than their counterparts 20 years ago.