COLLEGE PARK, Md. (CBSDC) – According to a new study, Angelina Jolie’s preventive double mastectomy did not improve the understanding of the risk of breast cancer.
Jolie underwent the surgery because she carried a rare genetic mutation of the BRCA1 gene. She also has a history of cancer in her family.
Researchers surveyed over 2,500 adults throughout the United States three weeks after Jolie had her surgery. They found that 75 percent of adults knew that she had the surgery.
“Ms. Jolie’s reach is exceptional,” Dina Borzekowski, lead author of the study and a professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, said in a statement. “Our study confirms that the public became aware of her health narrative. What was lost was the rarity of Jolie’s situation and how BRCA is associated with breast cancer.”
In an editorial, Jolie said her decision to write about her surgery was to inform other women who could benefit from her experience and be encouraged to undergo genetic testing.
Jolie’s mother has been fighting breast cancer for almost a decade. Doctors now say Jolie has less than a 5 percent chance of getting breast cancer.
The study was published in Genetics in Medicine.