“The Angelina Jolie Effect”

BRCA testing for breast and ovarian cancers on the rise after Jolie speaks out

(Todd Heisler/The New York Times)

Rates of genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations among women 40 years old and younger who have been diagnosed with cancer have risen after actress Angelina Jolie Pitt famously had her ovaries and breasts removed after learning the mutation put her at risk, according to a new study published in Jama Oncology that was described by The Daily Mail. The phrase “the Angelina Jolie effect” was first coined by Breast Cancer Research in a 2014 study on the role of celebrities in the provision of cancer related services. Jolie, 40, was found to have inherited the BRCA1 gene from her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who died at 56 from ovarian cancer in 2007.

According to the study, more and more women are falling in line with recommendations from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network that women diagnosed with breast cancer at age 50 or younger be tested for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, as those who carry the mutation have a higher risk of early-onset breast cancer. Those with the mutation were found to be more likely to undergo ovary-removal surgery, also known as a salpingo-oophorectomy. Jolie’s speaking out on her experiences — and the subsequent rise in media coverage with information about the mutations — are said to be a factor in the shift.

Read the full story at The Daily Mail.

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