"Angelina Jolie effect" IS real: Actress' double mastectomy and reconstruction has raised awareness of cancer treatment

Awareness of breast removal and reconstruction ops increased after Angelina Jolie's experiences were reported in the media
Womens' awareness that reconstruction using a patient's own tissue is possible and that it can take place at the same time as removal, increased
Actress discovered she carries a mutation of the BRCA1 gene
It increases the risk of breast cancer by 87% and ovarian cancer by 50%


The 'Angelina Jolie effect' is a real phenomenon, and has increased awareness of breast cancer treatment and surgery, a study has found.
The actress's decision to undergo a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery has improved the public's understanding of the operations, experts in Austria found.
They said the media coverage of a celebrity's treatment can serve as a tipping point for furthering knowledge about a particular health topic.
In May 2013, Angelina Jolie had both breasts surgically removed after discovering she carries a genetic mutation that dramatically increases the chance of being diagnosed with potentially fatal breast cancer.
The mutation in her BRCA1 gene, left the mother-of-six with an estimated 87 per cent risk of breast cancer and 50 per cent risk of ovarian cancer.
The Unbroken director lost her mother, grandmother and aunt to cancer.
According to Jolie, she had been planning to undergo surgery to remove her ovaries and Fallopian tubes since her mastectomy, but a call from her doctor in March made the procedure more urgent.
A blood test detected potential anomalies linked to the protein CA-125, which is used to monitor ovarian cancer, Jolie's doctor told her, urging the actress to see her surgeon, who also had treated her late mother.
In a piece she wrote for the New York Times, Jolie said: 'I went through what I imagine thousands of other women have felt.


'I told myself to stay calm, to be strong, and that I had no reason to think I wouldn't live to see my children grow up and to meet my grandchildren.'
Jolie's treatment has generated considerable media attention.
But, to ascertain if that coverage had an effect on public awareness, a team of researchers led by David Benjamin Lumenta, from the Medical University of Graz in Austria, conducted two online polls.
They asked 1,000 female participants the same questions, before and after the celebrity's announcement.
They found awareness that reconstructive breast surgery is possible after the surgical removal of one or both breasts increased by four percentage points from 88.9 to 92.6 per cent.
But, they found even greater increases in awareness in other areas.
The number of women who knew breast reconstruction can be achieved with the use of the patient's own tissue increased from 57.6 to 68.9 per cent.
See more news and pictures from Angelina Jolie and her family

And awareness that reconstruction can take place during the mastectomy operation increased by 19 percentage points from 40.5 to 59.5 per cent.

One in five of the women taking the poll indicated that the media's coverage of Jolie's announcement made them 'deal more intensively with the topic of breast cancer'.
Dr Lumenta said: 'This is the first prospective report to prove the media's effect on the healthcare-related issue of breast cancer among the general public, which was based on a serendipitous design - the initial poll on breast reconstruction was conducted a month before Mrs Jolie-Pitt's announcement, triggering a timely repetition thereafter in a second poll.
'Since individual choice will become a driving force for patient-centered decision-making in the future, cancer specialists should be aware of public opinion when consulting patients with breast cancer.'

"Angelina Jolie effect" IS real: Actress' double mastectomy and reconstruction has raised awareness of cancer treatment "Angelina Jolie effect" IS real: Actress' double mastectomy and reconstruction has raised awareness of cancer treatment Reviewed by Ayub Asad on 05:03 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.