WHEN a Blackpool mum-of-three heard about the latest reason for Sharon Osbourne hitting the headlines, it brought painful memories flooding back.
Katie Keeley, a TV psychic, underwent the same operation – a double mastectomy – as the former X Factor judge as a precaution against breast cancer.
Katie, who lives near Stanley Park, lost her sister Maggie to the illness in 1990.
For her, it felt like there was “no choice” when she made the decision to opt for the surgery in 1997.
She underwent the surgery at Christie Hospital Manchester, as part of a study of 192 women.
Katie, now 53, said it struck a chord with her when she read about Sharon’s decision to have the operation.
Sharon, who battled colon cancer a decade ago, took action after finding she carried a gene which increased the risk of developing breast cancer. She described it as a “no brainer”.
Katie, who regularly appears on Psychic Today TV, said: “I just thought ‘go Sharon.’ It’s not easy and I have had complications and problems associated with it, but really I felt I had no choice.
“I was a guinea pig, back in 1997, we were the first really to have preventative surgery. Of the group, the 96 who opted for drugs – some got cancer and some died. Of the 96 who opted for the surgery, no one was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Obviously, medical knowledge and technology has moved on. The reconstructive surgery is fantastic these days.
“I have no regrets at all. I saw what my sister went through and as a psychic, I had the feeling I would never make 40.
“After the surgery, the biopsy they took showed I would not have seen 40. This way, I controlled my own destiny. I hope Sharon’s story raises awareness and helps empower other women.”