Sharon Osbourne has double mastectomy after finding breast cancer gene

60-year-old had colon cancer

LONDON - Sharon Osbourne says she had a double mastectomy after learning she carries a gene that increases the risk of developing breast cancer.

Osbourne told Hello! magazine that, "I didn't want to live the rest of my life with that shadow hanging over me."

One in 800 to 1,000 women has this gene that puts them at risk for developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

A blood test can determine if someone carries it.

   The 60-year-old former "America's Got Talent" judge, who had colon cancer a decade ago, said that without the surgery, "The odds are not in my favor."

   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."

Osbourne said her decision to have the surgery was a no brainer.

Doctors say it's becoming a no brainer for women with a family history or personal history of breast cancer.

A 2008 study in the Journal of Oncology revealed the rate of the procedure more than doubled between 1998 and 2003.

Dr. Nate Thepjatri, a breast surgeon with Community Health Network, said he is performing more double mastectomies in his practice, but he said going under the knife isn't the only option available for women who test positive for the gene.

Some choose increased surveillance including exams, mammograms and MRI's, while others opt for medication to reduce the risk.

"There are different avenues that can be taken and the right decision is whatever the woman is comfortable doing, and my kind of role is to educate and give all the options that are out there," he said.   

   The magazine went on sale Monday.

   Osbourne, husband Ozzy and children Jack and Kelly became rock's most famous clan thanks to reality show "The Osbournes" a decade ago.

   Jack Osbourne, 26, was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

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