Hollywood star Angelina Jolie’s decision to go for removal her both breasts by undergoing double mastectomy has encouraged more than double the number of British women for opting for genetic breast cancer tests, a new study that was released on Friday said.
According to the researchers, the so-called “Angelina effect” persisted for a long period and saw more and more women opting for genetic tests for the presence of BRCA1 gene.
The 39-year-old actress had announced about her surgery in May 2013. The actress had decided to go under knife after her test resulted positive for a BRCA1 gene mutation, responsible for significantly raising the breast cancer risk.
Jolie made her decision public hoping that her story would create awareness among women about the breast cancer and its treatments and also inspire them to fight the life-threatening disease.
For the study, the researchers collected data from over 30 genetic screening clinics and services in Britain. During the analysis of the data, the researchers found that there was a more than two-fold rise in the number of those who were referred by their doctors for the tests during June and July 2013 in comparison to the same period the year before.
The higher referral rates continued through last October, the study said.
The study credited the glamorous avatar of the actress and her relationship with Hollywood actor Brad Pitt for creating more awareness about the fatal disease among people worldwide and also lessened the myths and fears about surgery to a larger extent.
The study of the so-called “Angelina effect” was published in the journal Breast Cancer Research on Thursday.