“She is undergoing further investigations to ensure that this has been caught in the early stages,” a rep for the Duchess of York said
Sarah Ferguson has been diagnosed with skin cancer.
In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, a representative for the Duchess of York, 64, says, “Following her diagnosis with an early form of breast cancer this summer, Sarah, Duchess of York has now been diagnosed with malignant melanoma.”
According to the spokesperson, the Duchess of York had several moles removed and analyzed by a dermatologist while she was undergoing reconstructive surgery following her mastectomy, 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,” the representative adds. “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.”
The Duchess is receiving treatment for her melanoma in London, and has taken time to recuperate at the MAYRLIFE clinic, a medical health resort in Altaussee, Austria.
“She is undergoing further investigations to ensure that this has been caught in the early stages,” her rep explains. “Clearly, another diagnosis so soon after treatment for breast cancer has been distressing, but the Duchess remains in good spirits.”
The Sun was the first to report the news.
A friend of Fergie echoes the same sentiment as her rep, telling PEOPLE that a second cancer diagnosis in “a matter of months has obviously been a shock and a blow.”
"[She] is very resilient and in good spirits,” the friend adds. “Her time in Austria helped her gather her strength, and her family is supporting her.”
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Fergie’s eldest daughter, Princess Beatrice, has a connection to her mom's latest cancer diagnosis, as she is a patron of the British Skin Foundation and has previously worked with skin cancer patients.
Last November, the Duchess told PEOPLE that both of her “wonderful daughters,” Beatrice, 35, and Princess Eugenie, supported her throughout her breast cancer journey, calling them her “wholehearted cheerleaders, my devoted champions and my soulmates.”
“They have been as supportive as can be, as they always are,” she added.
Fergie was first diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer last June, a representative told PEOPLE at the time.
"Sarah, Duchess of York was recently diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer detected at a routine mammogram screening. She was advised she needed to undergo surgery, which has taken place successfully,” the spokesperson said.
Fergie then revealed that she “beat breast cancer” in a New Year’s Eve message shared on social media.
After her successful single mastectomy, Fergie maintained her signature sense of humor, revealing on her Tea Talks with the Duchess and Sarah podcast that she had nicknamed her reconstructed left breast “Derek.”
She added that “he’s very important because he saved my life."
Also in the episode, the Duchess of York referenced her father, who had died of prostate cancer, and spoke about the importance of early detection.
“I don't mind if no one wants to hear from me. Because I'm telling you that I am doing this,” she said. “I am telling people out there because I want every single person that is listening to this podcast to go get checked, go get screened and go do it.”
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