"Angelina Effect" Doubles U.K. Breast Cancer Tests

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Jolie's mastectomy revelation last year sparked an immediate rise in women seeking tests, according to a new study

Angelina Jolie’s decision to announce her double mastectomy sparked a dramatic rise in women in the U.K. having genetic breast cancer tests.

According to a study released Friday by the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention charity, there were more than double the number of women seeking tests in the months following her revelations in May last year. Across 21 clinics and regional genetics centers, researchers counted 4,647 referrals for testing in June and July 2013, compared to 1,981 in the same period in 2012.

"Angelina Jolie stating she has a BRCA1 mutation and going on to have a risk-reducing mastectomy is likely to have had a bigger impact than other celebrity announcements, possibly due to her image as a glamorous and strong woman," said University of Manchester professor Gareth Evans, who led the study looking into the so-called "Angelina effect," in a statement obtained by Reuters.

"This may have lessened patients' fears about a loss of sexual identity post preventative surgery and encouraged those who had not previously engaged with health services to consider genetic testing," he added.