LIFESTYLE

Sharon Osbourne's Colon Cancer Battle: She Survived Against The Odds And Set Out To Help Others

Date June 19, 2018

Colon cancer can affect anyone: Sharon Osbourne’s story

Colon cancer is one of the top five most common cancers in the United States. Fortunately, the number of deaths caused by the often-fatal disease is decreasing, thanks to early detection and effective treatments.

The disease affects men and women almost equally. According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 150,000 Americans receive the diagnosis every year. Five-year survival rate for the disease is 64.5 percent. One of the thousands of Americans who beat colon cancer is Sharon Osbourne. Sharon decided to make her diagnosis and treatment public, and her struggle was documented on the hit reality TV show The Osbournes.

READ ALSO: 6 Tips To Reduce The Risk Of Developing Colon Cancer

In 2002, Sharon received the dreaded call. The results of her colonoscopy came in, and they revealed what Mrs. Osbourne had feared most: colon cancer. Her three children and husband, Ozzy, were there to support her, and Sharon knew there would be a long battle ahead.

Sharon underwent a surgery to remove part of her colon at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Before the surgery, she was hopeful that the disease hadn’t spread. But her surgeon let her know she should be prepared for anything. Sharon recalled:

In the best-case scenario, he would discover that the cancer had not spread. He would cut it out and I wouldn’t require further treatment. I was feeling optimistic. I was of the mind that I would be fine after the operation.

But Sharon’s ordeal wasn’t over after the procedure. The cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, and she would have to endure several rounds of chemotherapy.

As anyone who has ever had to undergo chemo can confirm, the worst thing about this form of treatment is side effects. Here’s how Osbourne described her experience with chemo:

On the first day you get the chemo, you feel fine but, oh my Lord, the next day you feel absolutely horrible. It’s like your body has been attacked. You deal with diarrhea and vomiting – and that is just the beginning.

Soon, your sense of smell gets distorted and you can’t taste food. Your hair falls out, including your eyebrows and eyelashes. It’s worse than you can imagine.

During her treatment, Sharon also had seizures. She said:

I was having massive seizures intermittently. They came without warning and that was truly frightening.

READ ALSO: You Asked: Is It Just Irritable Bowel Syndrome Or Colon Cancer? How To Tell The Two Apart

How cancer transformed Sharon’s life

Cancer survivors often say fighting the disease made them stronger and changed their whole outlook. To Sharon, it was also a humbling experience. She said:

It made me realize that what I do in the entertainment business is really quite ridiculous – insignificant in the big picture. I know that because my journey opened up my world to people whose work is truly important, people who save lives and help those in need. It was all very humbling.

She added:

During my ordeal, I received thousands of letters of support from people all over the world. Complete strangers reached out to me with their prayers and words of encouragement. It was amazing and it made me realize that people are inherently good.

Since she completed her treatment, Osbourne has remained cancer-free. In 2004, she started Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Foundation to help those diagnosed with the disease.

Source: Personal Health News, WebMD, VeryWell Health

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