Applegate sobbed before surgery

Christina Applegate felt sure she'd avoided the emotion of her recent cancer diagnosis, but burst into tears when a surgeon came to remove her breasts.

The 'Anchorman' star admits she had no problems telling her doctor to remove her breasts but when it came to the actual double mastectomy, Applegate was suddenly overcome with emotion.

Speaking during a taping of Oprah Winfrey's US talk show, which airs on Tuesday, the actress says: "I was just gonna let them (her breasts) go...and then, when I met with my doctor and I told him that was my decision and he brought the surgeon in, it was like the floodgates just opened up and I lost it."

She tells Winfrey she'll always remember the moment she was told she had breast cancer: "Right now, I'm sitting here shaking, remembering that moment. As you guys know, you don't think 'it's gonna happen to me'."

But Applegate admits she secretly knew she'd be diagnosed with cancer at some point - because her mother is a two-time breast cancer survivor.

She adds: "There was this part of me that sort of knew that the other shoe was gonna drop."

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