Referrals to breast cancer clinics have more than doubled since Angelina Jolie announced her double mastectomy in May last year, the BBC reported. The phenomenon has been dubbed "the Angelina Jolie effect".
Jolie made her announcement in an article for The New York Times in which she said that after being tested for a BRCA1 gene mutation, she "had an 87% risk of breast cancer and a 50% risk of ovarian cancer".
"Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimise the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex."
In the June and July following the article, the number of GP referrals for DNA tests and genetic counselling is said to have increased by two and a half times compared to the same months in 2012.
It was also revealed In the study, published in the Breast Cancer Research journal, that referrals stayed at twice the previous year's amount in August through October.