Sarah, Duchess of York diagnosed with skin cancer - 6 months after breast cancer treatment

celebrities with skin cancer
Duchess of York reveals second cancer diagnosis Getty Images

Skin cancer rates in the UK are on the rise, and it is currently the fifth most common cancer in the UK, with about 16,200 new cases each year. This is undeniably concerning, but many cases of skin cancer are preventable (according to Cancer Research UK) which is why taking care of our skin is so important.

Skin safety is something that celebrities who've had skin cancer have been vocal about since being diagnosed, urging others to look after their skin and be aware of the signs that might lead to skin cancer. And you may be surprised to hear that some of your favourite celebrities have been diagnosed with the disease, with the list of those who've had skin cancer including Khloé Kardashian and Molly-Mae Hague.

With that in mind, we took a deep dive into all the celebrities who've had skin cancer – or skin cancer scares – as well as how they found out and what treatment they've had. But first, here's what you need to know about the different types of skin cancer.

Skin cancer types

As well as misconceptions when it comes to skin cancer and race (which we've cleared up here), not everyone is clued up about the different types of skin cancer, but knowing these could save your life.

Skin cancer can be categorised as being melanoma (which usually develops from a mole) or non-melanoma. According to the NHS, "melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can spread to other areas of the body" and the main cause of melanoma is ultraviolet light, which comes from the sun and is used in sunbeds. It is often possible to prevent melanoma cases, by being careful in the sun for example, and Cancer Research UK notes that 86% of melanoma cases are preventable.

Unlike melanoma skin cancer which develops from moles, non-melanoma refers to a group of cancers that slowly develop in the upper layers of the skin and include two main types – basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Basal cell carcinoma usually appears as a small, shiny pink or pearly-white lump with a translucent or waxy appearance, while squamous cell carcinoma appears as a firm pink lump with a rough or crusted surface.

Similarly to melanoma cases, overexposure to ultraviolet light is the main cause of non-melanoma skin cancer, but there are other risk factors according to the NHS. These include: a previous non-melanoma skin cancer, a family history of skin cancer, pale skin that burns easily, a large number of moles or freckles, taking medicine that suppresses your immune system and a co-existing medical condition that suppresses your immune system.

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Khloé Kardashian

Throughout the years, Khloé Kardashian has been open with her fans about her health, revealing that she had melanoma at just 19 years old and later needed a tumour removed from her face.

"After noticing a small bump on my face and assuming it was something as minor as a zit, I decided to get it biopsied 7 months after realising it was not budging," she said on her Instagram Story in 2022. "A few days later I was told I need to have an immediate operation to remove a tumour from my face."

Although the reality TV star emphasised how "incredibly rare" this was for a person of her age, she explained that: "At 19 years old, I had melanoma on my back, and I had a surgery to remove that as well, so I am pre-composed to melanomas."

Despite her history with skin cancer, Khloé reminded fans that we should all be wary. "Even those who are not [predispositioned], we should be checking all the time," she said. "I am someone who wears sunscreen every single day, religiously so no one is exempt from these things. Please take this seriously and do your regular self-exams as well as your annual check-ups."

celebrities with skin cancer
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Molly-Mae Hague

Former Love Island star turned business owner Molly-Mae Hague shared an emotional announcement with fans in 2020, revealing she'd had a malignant melanoma removed from her leg.

"I was advised that a mole I had on my leg needed removing," she wrote on her Instagram Story at the time. "I had the procedure done within a few days."

Molly-Mae went on to say that it took her a while to "process" the results that came back after her surgery, which confirmed she had skin cancer. "I was walking around with skin cancer on my leg!" she said in another post.

"I never thought at 21 something like this would happen to me and it's very scary but all I know is that I absolutely need to share my story and what I'm going through to raise awareness of the situation," she added, explaining that the mole developed while she was in the Love Island villa.

celebrities with skin cancer
David M. Benett - Getty Images

Andy Cohen

Bravo legend and housewives-whisperer Andy Cohen is no stranger to the TV screen, and thankfully this high profile led to a fellow presenter spotting the early signs of skin cancer.

"There was a dot on my lip that I had for a while that I was not paying attention to," Andy previously said on Jenny McCarthy's SiriusXM radio show. "Kelly [Ripa] came up to me and goes, 'What’s happening with your lip? Get that checked out today. That is skin cancer.'"

Although he repeatedly put off getting it checked, Andy eventually saw a doctor and found out "it was malignant melanoma."

After undergoing surgery to remove the melanoma, Andy said that his relationship with the sun has changed. "I love to tan," he said, before explaining that he's "not that person anymore."

Speaking about her skin cancer detection skills, Kelly later remarked on Live with Kelly and Ryan: "I’m glad to see that all that money I spent visiting dermatologists was good for something because I essentially, at this point, am a dermatologist. It’s the third time I’ve picked out skin cancer on my friends."

celebrities with skin cancer
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Hugh Jackman

The Greatest Showman star Hugh Jackman is one of the most well-known celebrities to have experienced skin cancer – for which he has undergone six procedures to remove.

Most recently in April, the actor was given the all-clear from skin cancer after having an operation on his nose. "My biopsies came back negative!!! Thank you ALL for the love. I feel it!" he said online, adding: "Please remember to wear sunscreen with a high level of SPF, no matter the season."

He'd previously explained how the cancer was picked up by a doctor who watched one of his videos online. "[This doctor had noticed] little things which could be, or could not be basal cell [carcinomas]," he said.

Hugh – who is from the skin cancer capital of the world: Australia – had his first bout of skin cancer back in 2013 and previously told People magazine that the diagnosis came as a shock.

"It's always a bit of a shock just hearing the word 'cancer'," he said."Being an Australian it's a very common thing. I never wore sunscreen growing up so I was a prime candidate for it."

celebrities with skin cancer
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Caitlyn Jenner

Keeping Up With The Kardashians star Caitlyn Jenner is another celebrity who's shared a warning about the potential dangers associated with tanning.

Taking to Instagram a few years ago, the former athlete shared a photo of herself with quite a bit of skin missing from the tip of her nose. "I recently had to get some sun damage removed from my nose," she said in the caption. "PSA — always wear your sunblock!"

Although Caitlyn didn't specify what kind of sun damage had to be removed or whether it was cancerous, People magazine stated that she had a "cancerous basal cell carcinoma" removed from her nose.

celebrities with skin cancer
Gabriel Olsen - Getty Images

Ewan McGregor

Way back in 2008, actor Ewan McGregor revealed a skin cancer scare of his own that resulted in two moles being removed from his face.

"I had a little skin cancer under my eye," he said in a BBC interview at the time. "I just went to have them [the moles] checked... I went to to see a specialist who thought they were better to be removed and indeed he was correct."

The Trainspotting star went on: "It’s all good now. But it was something that was best to be looked at and kept in check."

Since then, Ewan continues to attend regular check-ups and has remained cancer-free.

celebrities with skin cancer
Mike Marsland - Getty Images

Diane Keaton

Now 77, Diane Keaton was first diagnosed with skin cancer when she was just 21 years old.

"It’s a family history," she told the Los Angeles Times of skin cancer. "I remember my Auntie Martha had skin cancer so bad they removed her nose. My father had basal skin cancer and my brother had it."

Like other celebs, Diane has been vocal about the importance of wearing sunblock, becoming a L’Oreal Paris spokesperson as part of her advocacy.

"Back in my 20s I didn’t pay attention much," the now two-time skin cancer survivor added of the importance of wearing SPF. "I didn’t research and didn’t really care and that was stupid because it’s dogged me my entire adult life, even recently. I didn’t start sun care until my 40s."

Since being diagnosed – and surviving – skin cancer twice, Diane says she carries sunscreen with her wherever she goes, and is rarely seen without a hat on.

celebrities with skin cancer
Theo Wargo/NBC - Getty Images

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