Sharon Osbourne has double mastectomy over cancer fears

Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne Sharon Osbourne has been married to heavy metal star Ozzy for 30 years

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Chat show host Sharon Osbourne has revealed she has undergone a double mastectomy.

The former X Factor judge decided to have surgery after learning she carries a gene which increases the risk of developing breast cancer.

"I've had cancer before and I didn't want to live under that cloud: I decided to just take everything off," she told Hello! magazine.

Osbourne, 60, was previously diagnosed with colon cancer in 2002.

The wife of rock star Ozzy Osbourne, she rose to fame on the reality show The Osbournes, and went on to join the judging panel of the UK version of The X Factor and, more recently, America's Got Talent.

She quit the US show - produced by Simon Cowell - in September after a reported dispute with TV network NBC.

What is a mastectomy?

A woman sitting on a bed
  • An operation to remove a woman's breast, usually because it has been affected by breast cancer.
  • After removal, further surgery may be needed to create an artificial breast.
  • Most people recover well after the procedure and do not develop complications.
  • In 2009-2010, nearly 18,000 mastectomies were carried out.

Source: NHS Choices

One of the current hosts of US daytime show The Talk, she told Hello! magazine that she underwent 13 hours of surgery, and said: "The odds are not in my favour."

"For me, it wasn't a big decision, it was a no-brainer."

"I didn't want to live the rest of my life with that shadow hanging over me. I want to be around for a long time and be a grandmother to Pearl.

"I didn't even think of my breasts in a nostalgic way, I just wanted to be able to live my life without that fear all the time."

Earlier this year, Osbourne became a grandmother for the first time, after her son Jack and wife Lisa Stelly had a daughter, Pearl. Jack, 26, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis earlier this year.

In 2004, in conjunction with Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Hospital, Osbourne set up her own cancer foundation, to support people who are suffering from colon cancer but cannot afford healthcare.

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