Speed Reads

the jolie effect

Number of British women testing for breast cancer doubled since Angelina Jolie went public with her mastectomy

Nearly a year and a half ago, actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie went public with her decision to undergo a double mastectomy. Since then, the number of British women who opt for genetic breast cancer tests has doubled, Reuters reports.

A study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and released Friday showed that across 21 clinics and genetic centers, there were 4,847 referrals for genetic breast cancer tests in June and July of 2013, compared to just 1,981 in that same time period in 2012. Jolie made her announcement in May 2013, leading researchers to dub the statistic the "Angelina Jolie effect."

Jolie's announcement "may have lessened patients' fears about a loss of sexual identity post-preventative surgery and encouraged those who had not previously engaged with health services to consider genetic testing," said researcher Gareth Evans in a statement. "Angelina Jolie... is likely to have had a bigger impact than other celebrity announcements, possibly due to her image as a glamorous and strong woman."

Read the full study at Breast Cancer Research.