‘Angelina Jolie Effect’ On Cancer Gene Testing

‘Angelina Jolie Effect’ On Cancer Gene Testing

By Kathleen Doheny

HealthDay Columnist

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) — In the months after actress and extremist Angelina Jolie revealed last year that she had experienced a preventive double mastectomy because of an expanded risk for breast cancer, the number of ladies referred for genetic counseling went up dramatically, a unused Canadian think about appears.

“When we compared six months some time recently the [Jolie] story to six months after, we found the number of referrals doubled,” said study creator Dr. Jacques Raphael, a restorative oncology individual at Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Middle in Toronto. He is scheduled to show his discoveries Friday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Breast Cancer Symposium in San Francisco.

Raphael and his colleagues evaluated the number of hereditary counseling referrals at their center six months before and six months after Jolie made the declaration in May 2013. Jolie had tested positive for the BRCA1 change, which greatly increases the hazard of breast cancer. She also had a family history of breast and ovarian cancer.

While 487 ladies were referred for testing in the six months before the Jolie declaration, 916 were alluded within the six months after it, the agents found.

Even more important, Raphael said, was that the quality of referrals remained tall — that is, the ladies who had reason to be tested were the ones seeking it and being referred. The increment was not fair due to women concerned about the chance without a family history or other risk factors.

“This is often an example of a positive celebrity effect,” he said.

The Canadian finding echoes those of studies done at other centers, both in the Joined together States and within the United Kingdom, Raphael said.

Of the 916 referred after the Jolie news, 437 qualified for genetic testing. That was generally the same ratio as before, with 213 of the 487 referred qualifying some time recently the news broke.

Raphael can’t say in case the impact will be long enduring. He is proceeding to assess the referrals.

The discoveries make sense, said Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld, delegate chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society.

“It’s what we call the ‘Katie Couric effect,’ ” he said, referring to the rise in colonoscopies after the television news identity had an on-camera colonoscopy in 2000 to raise awareness after her husband kicked the bucket of the illness.

What is additionally important, he said, is that the women at higher hazard get to the genetic counselors. “Genetic counseling may be a limited resource,” he said. A few small towns, for occasion, may not have such counselors.

The Raphael study was financed by Sanofi-Aventis. A co-author, Dr. Sunil Verma, reports consulting or advisory work with a few pharmaceutical companies.

In another consider presented at the assembly, analysts reported that more than half of 150 women recently analyzed with breast cancer considered having a preventive mastectomy on the healthy breast instantly after the conclusion.

The surgery is known as a contralateral preventive mastectomy (CPM). “Many recently analyzed breast cancer patients are undergoing CPM, but we discover numerous more — over half — are actually considering CPM [at a few point] in their decision-making handle,” said study creator Dr. Katharine Yao, executive of the breast surgical program at NorthShore University Health System, in Evanston, Sick.

She is additionally due to present her findings at the ASCO assembly.

Within the conclusion, just 12 of the women chose the CPM.

Those who consider having it, she said, have more anxiety than the other ladies.

Yao said her think about focuses to the need to do an improved job of educating ladies that the chance of developing cancer in the opposite breast is really moo.

Studies presented at medical meetings are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed diary.

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