Sarah Ferguson's Classic Sense Of Humor Shines Through Her Mastectomy Recovery

Sarah Ferguson was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2023, but she appears to be in good spirits after undergoing surgery as part of her treatment. The Duchess of York had a single mastectomy after doctors found a suspicious growth in one of her breasts during a routine mammogram, according to a statement that her rep supplied to People. "The duchess is receiving the best medical care and her doctors have told her that the prognosis is good," the statement read, in part. 

In the time since Fergie has talked a bit about her cancer journey and she had some light-hearted fun during a chat on the August 2 episode of her podcast, "Tea Talks with the Duchess and Sarah," which she co-hosts with her friend, Sarah Thomson, in particular. In a hilarious segment, Ferguson shared that she has given her breasts rhyming names: Derek and Eric. 

"On my left, he's called Derek ... and he's very important because he saved my life," she quipped. "Poor Eric on the right is feeling rather sad because he's not as perky as Derek on the left, but I'll get Eric balanced, don't worry." Clearly, the duchess hasn't lost her sense of humor and is able to look back at the difficult journey and have a laugh. And, as for why Ferguson chose the names Derek and Eric, well, she answered that on the pod, too. 

The duchess chose the name Derek because it made her laugh

As Sarah Ferguson has somewhat of a new lease on life following her breast cancer treatment, she's keeping her head held high. When Sarah Thomson asked why Fergie decided to name her reconstructed breast Derek, she responded, "I don't know, it just made me laugh that I have now a friend who's with me all the time who's protecting with his shield of armor." Indeed, Ferguson can set her mind at ease somewhat after her surgery; according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, patients who undergo a mastectomy have only a 10% chance of cancer recurrence.

Following her diagnosis, Ferguson was treated at King Edward VII Hospital in London, where she underwent a grueling 8-hour surgery, according to the Daily Mail. "It was more involved than people think," a source informed the outlet. The report indicates that doctors found a "shadow" in one breast, rather than a tumor, which is why she wasn't a candidate for a lumpectomy. 

While under anesthesia, Dr. Christina Choy handled the mastectomy before Dr. Stuart James, a plastic surgeon, performed a "DIEP flap," which doesn't involve a loss of muscle, according to And while there can be complications with the procedure, the duchess recovered just fine at home and no setbacks were reported. Three cheers for Dr. Choy and Dr. James — and for Derek and Eric!