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Will the "Angelina effect" strike again?

April 2, 2015

Drs. Maureen Trudeau and Andrea Eisen, both affiliate scientists in the Odette Cancer Research Program, comment on the news that actress Angelina Jolie underwent a preventive surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes to reduce her risk of ovarian cancer. Jolie carries a mutation in the breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA1 that puts her at an increased risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer. In 2013, she announced that she had undergone a preventive double mastectomy after testing positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation. Eisen led a study in 2014 that found in the six months following Jolie’s announcement, there was a 90% increase in the number of women referred for breast cancer genetic testing — a phenomenon dubbed the "Angelina effect". Eisen plans to conduct a follow-up study to see if Jolie's latest announcement will, once again, encourage women to participate in genetic screening.

» Watch Dr. Trudeau’s interview on CTV

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Dr. Maureen Trudeau