A medical team from the University of Manchester told the BBC that Angelina Jolie has inspired many women to get breast cancer screenings through her editorial in the New York Times where she detailed her experience with getting tested for the BRCA1 gene and her subsequent decision to undergo a double mastectomy.
“The Angelina Jolie effect has been long-lasting and global, and appears to have increased referrals to centers appropriately,” the medical team told the BBC.
The number of women undergoing the breast cancer screening process in clinics in England, where the data was gathered, has doubled since Jolie announced her own procedure.
“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,” Professor Evans, the head of the medical team, said. “This may have lessened patients’ fears about loss of sexual identity post-preventative surgery and encourage those who had not previously engaged with health services to consider genetic testing.”