Sharon Osbourne has double mastectomy due to breast cancer gene – extreme?

Sharon Osbourne, 60, is a colon cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2002, at which time she was told her prognosis was just 33% given that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. We saw Sharon’s cancer battle on MTV’s The Osbournes, which was airing at the time. (It’s hard to believe that they were the first reality show family, given the torrent of crap that has followed.) It’s 10 years later, Sharon has had many, mostly cosmetic, surgeries since, and she’s had yet another one in her battle against cancer. In a new interview with Hello! Magazine, Sharon reveals that she had a double mastectomy after a test showed she had a mutation in the breast cancer gene. Apparently she didn’t have cancer in her breasts, but a mutation in that specific gene means that she has a 45% or higher chance of developing cancer before age 70. Sharon had breast implants which were removed in 2011 due to complications. In this latest surgery, her natural breast tissue was removed as a prophylactic measure against potential breast cancer.

She said: ‘As soon as I found out I had the breast cancer gene, I thought: “The odds are not in my favour.”

‘I’ve had cancer before and I didn’t want to live under that cloud: I decided to just take everything off, and had a double mastectomy.’

The gruelling 13-hour operation, which can take between three to six weeks to recover from, was approved by her doctor after she made the discovery.

Mrs Osbourne said genetic tests showed she had inherited a gene fault which increased the risk of breast cancer.

Some people with these gene faults, who often have a strong family history of the disease, can have a 45 to 65 per cent chance of developing breast cancer before the age of 70.

She added: ‘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.’

But despite the deeply invasive treatment and gruelling recovery time, the star said she did not feel sorry for herself.

She added: ‘It’s not “pity me”, it’s a decision I made that’s got rid of this weight that I was carrying around.’

Her account, given in an interview with Hello! magazine, also included details about how breast implants to increase her chest size to 34DD had leaked into her stomach wall.

In a 2010 interview she said she regretted having them and said it was ‘like having a waterbed on your chest’. And last year she revealed she had been forced to remove the implants after discovering they were faulty.

The star, who has had cosmetic surgery on her face, stomach and legs, now says it has put her off having further work done.

She said: ‘Sometimes I’ll see a photo and I’ll think, “My face looks plastic”; it can look so unnatural from certain angles. Now I am definitely, definitely done. You can’t buy your youth back, no matter how much money you’ve got. I won’t be going under the knife again.’

Mrs Osbourne has admitted spending £300,000 on cosmetic surgery, earning her the title of Queen of Nip and Tuck in a 2008 poll.

[From The Daily Mail]

The Daily Mail’s excerpt from Hello’s article doesn’t specify whether Sharon had reconstructive surgery yet, or if she intends to, but I’m assuming she will. (This issue of Hello is not yet available digitally or I would check.) I liked what she said about how her face looks plastic and how you can’t buy youth back. At least she’s realistic about it. As for her double mastectomy based on one faulty gene – it sounds extreme to me, but I’ve read that the risk of cancer is very high with that particular gene mutation. Some women who have family histories of breast cancer, and who learn that they have a defective BRCA gene, chose to have their breasts removed. (There are two genes which can predict an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, you can read more facts about them here. Also here’s a link to a first person account from a woman who chose to have a prophylactic double mastectomy at 28.) Sharon knows that cancer can spread and she doesn’t want to take that chance.

Sharon is shown on 9-19-, 10-2 and 10-13-12. Credit: FameFlynet and

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46 Responses to “Sharon Osbourne has double mastectomy due to breast cancer gene – extreme?”

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  1. Sisi says:

    Well, I think either BRCA1 or BRCA2 is more difficult than the other, think it was no. 2 since more tissue can be affected, like, ovaries and sometimse the colon. My sister is a BRCA research analist, she does the dna-tests to verify if families have the gene mutation. She’s the brains when it comes to this subject, not me. The gist of it all is all BRCA sucks. She told me of families where almost every person got some form of cancer due to the gene mutation :(

    Anyway… wether Sharon got 1 or 2, it doesn’t surprise me that she took preventative measures after already having had a serious form of cancer. It totally sucks that she got the gene mutation, but (in a strange way maybe) good for her that she felt strongly about her decision and has such a good attitude about it. She’s a tough lady.

  2. XiuFetish says:

    I was diagnosed with the BRCA2 gene mutation last year. My mother died of breast cancer at the age of 36. I had my ovaries removed last year, as there is a very high incidence of ovarian cancer linked to the BRCA gene mutations. Last week, I had a prophylatic double mastectomy with reconstruction from stomach tissue (which is why I’m currently lying in bed reading gossip sites…)

    I understand how difficult the decision to remove breast and ovarian tissue prophylactically is for any woman, especially women still in their childbearing years, but for me (as Sharon said), it really was a “no-brainer”. I want to be around for my daughter infinitely more than I want to fill a DD cup (which I did – there’ll still be times I’ll miss my “gals”… :) )

  3. Micki says:

    If she has a family cancer history the doctors might suggest themselves mastectomy even before there is cancer diagnosed.
    In her case, having had one type already I won’t risk the same to happen again with unpredictable results.
    It may seem extreme but is just a safe answer to “breast or life” question

  4. Cathy says:

    I don’t think she’s being extreme at all. She’s already had one cancer. I can’t blame her for not wanting to take any chances.

  5. Z says:

    As an ovarian cancer survivor, who tested negative for the BRCA mutation, (I have no history of ovarian cancer in my family, so they thought this might explain why, at age 36, I was diagnosed.) They do genetic counseling before they do the test, so they run down your family tree and tell you what your likely chance of testing positive for it might be. Sharon doesn’t strike me as an idiot–she undoubtedly made an informed decision and if she didn’t want to mess with it, I say good for her.

    It’s also important to note that testing positive for the BRCA mutations doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get breast cancer. It means your body will have a greater chance of not being able to fight it off. That’s an important distinction.

  6. sorella says:

    I’ve always liked Sharon, she reminds me of my own mother, shoots from the hip, says exactly how she feels consequences be damned and has no’s admirable in this day and age when everyone minds their Ps and Qs about everything.

    I would have done the exact thing if I was her, her “living under a cloud” comment says it all, waiting for a potential shoe to drop is not a nice way to live and she knows she has a good chance of getting BC, so why not do a preventative manner (plus at her age, she realizes women are so much more than their breasts).

  7. ladybert62 says:

    What a difficult decision – I am glad she was so proactive and took the bull by the horns so to speak. Hope she recovers without any complications!

    I like that dark dress and even the cost with the ruffle.

    She looks good.

  8. says:

    I would have done the same. I’m 34 and have a 2 year old (and hoping to start trying for a second baby in a few months!) and I would gladly give up my natural breasts for increased chances of living breast cancer-free and seeing my kids grow up.

  9. some bitch says:

    My mother died from cancer five months ago at the age of fifty six. Her first cancer (of three) was breast cancer and it seems to be genetic in my family too, although the province won’t pay for me to get genetic testing until I’m 30. Since Sharon has dealt with cancer before, I think she’s very, very smart to undergo as double mastectomy now. I hope Sharon’s recovery goes as planned, without complication and that she remains in great health.

    Besides, you can do reconstruction and the prosthetic breasts made today are very realistic!

  10. RobN says:

    Not extreme at all, and a decision I’d make. My life, my self-worth, and my femininity, is not determined by my breasts. Playing russian roulette with cancer is not a good way to live.

  11. roxy750 says:

    There’s a lot us women go through and have to deal with. It’s scary out there, and sometimes we don’t get enough credit for how well most women don’t end up in the looney bin with all the drama, sickness, kids, work, marriage, you name it we go through! We are strong, and most times it’s not so easy. I praise her for talking about it. I think it’s important we all learn from each other.

  12. Kim says:

    Her daughter Amy is a breast cancer survivor I think

  13. Celt Lady says:

    Not extreme at all.

    I would have done the exact same thing had I known about my gene mutation prior to my two bouts with breast cancer.

    I wish her a speedy recovery!

  14. kct says:

    I believe she had breast reduction surgery with removal of her implants last year. I applauded her then and applaud her now for being proactive, especially since she can afford the downtime and reconstructive surgery. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that she had it all done at once. At her age (and mine) it would be nice to have new perky girls!

  15. Axis2ClusterB says:

    Not extreme at all, especially with her hx of colon cancer.

  16. telesma says:

    I thought this was what was advised for people who carry the gene? It may seem extreme, but if it can save their lives, I don’t think it’s that extreme. Kelly will likely be tested and if she carries the gene I believe the recommendation is to have a double mastectomy at or before the age of 30. You can have reconstructive surgery and implants after that, but it has to be done from other tissue, not breast tissue. None of that can remain.

    • Rumorhasit says:

      Kelly, Aimee (their other daughter), and the granddaughter Pearl need to be vigilant, proactive, and tested.
      I’ve always loved Sharon. Even more so now. She’s a great example for us all. (Just ease up on the facial reconstructing) she doesn’t need it.

  17. palermo says:

    Good for her, I would have done the same thing. I wish the girls in here a quick healing …

  18. Rachel says:

    CB, when they reported on this on GMA this morning, she had said she was opting against reconstructive surgery. She said she was done with plastic surgery. And after her previous experience with implants, I understand her decision. I also understand her decision to have the mastectomy rather than take the risk. I think after beating the odds once, you do what you have to.

  19. dj says:

    Good energies to all of you with some experience in this painful area of cancer-related exposure. I appreciate Sharon O’s candor and hope it helps others. I also really wish her the best.

  20. Shoe_lover says:

    My friend has the defective BRCA gene as do the rest of her family. Her grandmother and Aunt died from Breast cancer and her mother and sister are fighting it right now. So she decided the best option was a double mastectomy because it wasn’t a question of if she would get cancer but when

  21. Issa says:

    Thank you to all of the ladies that have shared their personal stories. Its brave for you to share your story with us. ..and yes f**k cancer. Wishing good health to all women and quick recovery for those that had mastectomies.

  22. orion70 says:

    I agree with many others when I say, no, not extreme at all. Particularly as she has already had one cancer, the fear is that much greater.

    When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, one of the things my surgeon asked me about was whether anyone in my family had colon cancer. Apparently in families, these two cancers are often linked together, manifesting as one or the other.

  23. UghInsomnia says:

    F**k cancer so hard. My mother is currently fighting stage 4 kidney cancer, and has already lost a kidney, half of her left lung, and now the cancer has spread to her right lung and bones. F**K CANCER!!

  24. Nicole says:

    I’m sort of surprised CB thinks this is extreme. You do point out it is an incredibly painful procedure with a lengthy recovery time (so is the reconstruction). But it definitely sounds like she made a sound decision with her doctor that was right for her. She’s already battled cancer once, and she saw a way to avoid a too big possibility to avoid it again. 45% is f–king high. It might not be the right decision for everybody, but I’m glad she seems happy with the choice she made and hope she stays healthy. What if there was a 45% chance you could get cancer from an organ that serves really no purpose, but is NOT considered your saucy sexy parts; wouldn’t you want to have that removed?

  25. Dommy Dearest says:

    How is this extreme if she’s doing it for her health? Or rather to prevent another cancer from developing when she was at risk?