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Why Sharon Osbourne chose to have a double mastectomy

Rather than live with the fear that she might one day be diagnosed with breast cancer, Sharon Osbourne elected to have a preventative double mastectomy during the summer.

The television personality and wife of rock star Ozzy Osbourne went public with the news in a Hello! magazine profile, revealing that she carries the BRCA gene mutation that puts her at high risk of developing breast cancer.

"It was a decision I made myself," she said on daytime program The Talk where she appears as one of the regular hosts.

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Osbourne, 60, added that she didn't want to tell people at the time and worry them unnecessarily.

Women who test positive for one of the two BRCA gene mutations face up to an 80 per cent chance of developing breast cancer. They also have greater risk of developing ovarian cancer. While drastic, a double mastectomy can reduce the breast cancer risk by 90 per cent.

In 2002, Osbourne, was diagnosed with colon cancer, which she survived even after it spread to her lymph nodes.

'"For me, it wasn't a big decision, it was a no-brainer,"' she told Hello! of the 13-hour procedure, which involved the removal of both breasts.

'"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,"' she said of her son Jack's daughter.

No stranger to cosmetic surgery, Osbourne also admitted that one of her breasts "was in a really bad state because of the implant." She insisted in the Hello! article that she is done with going under the knife for vanity.

"Sometimes I'll see a photo and I'll think, 'My face looks plastic'; it can look so unnatural from certain angles."

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Following her colon cancer, she founded the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program at the Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles two years later.

An article from ABC News points out that other high profile women – Christina Applegate and Kathy Bates – have chosen to undergo similar procedures.

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