Duchess of York helps launch breast cancer campaign during Loose Women debut

Sarah took a turn as a panellist on the ITV chat show (Ian West/PA)
Sarah took a turn as a panellist on the ITV chat show (Ian West/PA)

Sarah, Duchess of York has urged women not to miss their mammogram screenings as she made her debut on Loose Women, saying she “would not be sitting here if I hadn’t have gone”.

The duchess took a turn as a panellist on the ITV chat show on Thursday to help launch its Don’t Skip Your Screening breast cancer campaign.

Earlier this year, the 64-year-old underwent an eight-hour single mastectomy operation and reconstruction after discovering she had an early form of breast cancer during a routine mammogram, which she almost missed.

It was the duchess’s first time on television since revealing her diagnosis and she spoke openly to presenters Christine Lampard, Coleen Nolan and Brenda Edwards about her initial fears that she would not see her grandchildren grow up.

“I really want to shout about this. Don’t skip your screening appointment, because I would not be sitting here if I hadn’t have gone,” she said.

The late Queen’s former daughter-in-law added: “The drive from the Royal Free Hospital, I’ll never forget, because of course your mind goes into ‘Oh my goodness, I’ve got to have a mastectomy’.

“And you look it up and it’s all so terrifying and this is what’s going to happen, and then ‘I’m not going to see my grandchildren grow up’. That’s what goes through your head.”

Royal visit to University College Hospital
The duchess with her daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie (Ian West/PA)

The duchess, who was wearing a long, pink leather-style coat, was given her own Loose Women mug branded with her name.

Lampard told her: “Duchess, Sarah. You are official now because you have a mug.”

The duchess quipped: “I am very pleased. I quite enjoy being a Loose Woman”.

She recounted her diagnosis, saying she had no symptoms and almost missed her mammogram until her sister convinced her to go, and revealed that the cancer had not spread to her lymph nodes.

“Mine wasn’t a lump. I had a shadow. It was like a splat … Mine was lots of peas … It’s quite extraordinary. Eighteen months before, it wasn’t there so it had come on from the last mammogram to this mammogram,” she said.

“I was incredibly lucky … It didn’t go into the lymph nodes.”