Kara Dioguardi says she underwent surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes after being told she was at risk of developing breast cancer.
The 42-year-old American Idol star was undergoing fertility treatment with a view to starting a family with husband Mike McCuddy when medical tests revealed a heartbreaking genetic issue that not only made her a high-risk candidate, but also radically minimised her chances of having children.
“In December 2011 I found out I had a Brca2 gene mutation, which my doctor said meant my chances of developing breast cancer over my lifetime were as high as 80 per cent, and up to 30 per cent for ovarian cancer,” she told People magazine. “My grandmother had breast cancer, and my mother (passed away after she) was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 50.
“So last December I had prophylactic surgery to remove my uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. My doctor told me it could reduce my chances of getting cancer by a significant amount. I took a calculated risk.”
Surgery: Kara Dioguardi had a secret operation to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes after discovering she was at risk of developing breast cancer (WENN)
While the op meant Kara was unable to carry a child, the songwriter and hubby Mike never gave up on starting a family and immediately hired a gestational surrogate, who gave birth to their son Grayson on January 31 – one month after she underwent surgery.
“When I had the surgery, it was helpful to know that this amazing woman was carrying our child – our last embryo took on the first try – and I was taking care of things to ensure I'd be around to see our son grow up,” she said.
With the operation now behind her, Kara – a respected songwriter who has penned tunes for the likes of Pink, Christina Aguilera and Kelly Clarkson – says the long-winded process was worth it.
“When I have my son in my arms, I think about how I'd go through it all again,” she said. “The five years of infertility, the operations – just for him.”
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