The news came as a surprise. Sharon Osbourne, the wife of rocker Ozzy Osbourne, underwent a serious surgery.
A double mastectomy -- even though she hadn't been diagnosed with breast cancer. Doctors say she did the right thing.
The feisty talk show host doesn't have breast cancer, but it runs in her family and she carries the gene.
"They have a primary mother, sister with breast cancer or may have relatives on the maternal side of the family, an aunt or cousin with breast cancer," says Dr. Luci Chen, with the Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists.
It's not unusual for women over 50 to have the blood test called BRC-1 or BRCA-2.
"This gene, if you have the mutation… they increase your risk for developing breast cancer."
And ovarian cancer as well. Sharon Osbourne is 60 years old. Women are more inclined to get breast cancer as they get older.
"For women who carry the gene yes, there could be as high as an 80 percent chance, risk eventually of developing breast cancer."
A double mastectomy was a no brainer for Sharon. She's a mother and grandmother. She wants to be around to enjoy them.
The surgery took 13 hours.
"It's not unreasonable to go ahead and do prophylactic mastectomy, remove most of the tissue. It's not a guarantee that you will never get cancer, there is still a small amount of tissue there," says Dr. Chen.
Sharon is not alone. More at-risk women are having the double mastectomies, including stars like Christina Applegate and Kathy Bates.
Many women have so many regrets, and Sharon is one of them.
There are women who carry the gene and choose not to undergo a double mastectomy. It's recommended those women see a doctor every three months for exams.