In UK, the referrals for genetic breast cancer more than doubled due to this “Angelina effect”, as described by the doctors. Last year, in the month of May, Angelina Jolie revealed that she had underwent a double mastectomy for avoiding breast cancer. This decision was taken by her after she was tested positive for BRCA1 gene mutation through which the risk of developing the disease increases greatly.
The impact of this announcement on women in UK has been measured by the study. It is shown that in the month of June and July last year, the number of GP referrals for DNA tests and genetic counseling for breast cancer mutations increased 2 and a half times. Referrals remain double the figure of previous year from August to October. Majority of extra women who sought help had a family history of breast cancer.
Professor Gareth Evans, from the charity Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention and St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester led the study and said that “Angelina Jolie stating she has a BRCA1 mutation and going on to have a risk-reducing mastectomy is likely to have had a bigger impact than other celebrity announcements, possibly due to her image as a glamorous and strong woman.”