Former "American Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi, who welcomed her first child in January, has revealed that she had a hysterectomy after she found out she carries the BRCA2 gene mutation, which is linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
The 42-year-old songwriter also told People magazine, which carried the report on Tuesday, April 30, that she suffered a miscarriage while she was on "American Idol." DioGuardi, who left the show in 2010, and husband Mike McCuddy welcomed a son, Greyson, via a gestational surrogate in January.
DioGuardi has discussed in the past how she struggled with fertility issues for years.
"I did a lot of things: I had surgery for endometriosis. I had polyps removed," she told People, adding: "When I was on 'Idol' I actually got pregnant, then miscarried. We tried IVF."
DioGuardi told People that she learned about genetic testing for cancer risks in 2011 by watching a report on WABC Television, the New York-based sister station of OTRC.com's parent company, KABC Television.
She said she then underwent the exam and learned she was a carrier for the BRCA2 gene mutation. Dioguardi's mother died at age 50 after battling ovarian cancer, while her grandmother had breast cancer.
"I have absolutely no regrets"
Women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation have an increased risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer, but are not guaranteed to do so, according to the National Cancer Institute. DioGuardi told People that her doctor told her preventative surgery could reduce her chances and had her uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes removed last December.
"My brother asked me, 'Does removing your uterus and ovaries make you feel weird about being a woman?'" she told People. "And it did make me sad -- the finality of knowing I'd never be able to feel a life inside of me. But I came to terms with it by looking at all the things I did have, and being thankful for those."
"I have absolutely no regrets because now I feel empowered in my body," she said. "I feel like I took back some of the fear, took back control of my life and hopefully enabled my child not to have to go through watching his mother in a chair hooked up to chemotherapy."
DioGuardi has written songs for artists such as Enrique Iglesias and Pink and told Howard Stern in a 2011 interview on his Sirius XM satellite radio show that she has made more from her songwriting than she did from "American Idol." She told People: "I feel that if this had to happen to anyone, I'm glad it happened to me because I had the resources. I was very lucky -- I made a lot of money doing what I love."