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Angelina Jolie's mastectomy did not raise awareness as she had hoped

By Amanda Stewart,

As many of us know, Angelina announced in February of this year that she had undergone surgery to remove her breasts after she learned that she had the BRCA1 mutation.

Jolie’s mother, aunt, uncle, grandmother and grandfather all died from cancer, and Jolie had the surgery to prevent herself from eventually getting the disease after finding out she had this genetic mutation.

According to Liberty Voice, Angelina had hoped that her announcing her decision would make other women want to go and get themselves checked. She was hoping to be the next celebrity endorsement for Breast Cancer Awareness.

However, a new study has shown that over 75 percent of Americans knew that Jolie had undergone the double mastectomy, but it did not lead to them learning anything new about the disease. According to Johns Hopkins University, only 10 percent of the people that had learned of Jolie’s mastectomy could actually explain what the BRCA1 mutation is and the risk of themselves getting breast cancer.

While many were aware that Jolie got the preventive surgery because of the mutation, many people are still not concerned that they are at risk for the disease. Professor Dina L.G. Borzekowski, who led the study at the University of Maryland, told The New York Daily News that it was certainly a missed opportunity by both health care providers and the media to raise awareness.

The vast majority of the population still believes that the disease is linked through family history.

Borzekowski pointed out that one in eight women would develop breast cancer, but in many cases it is not known why a woman gets it. The problem with this was that Jolie had a situation that was very difficult for others to understand.

 
 

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