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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Daily Dose

Angelina Jolie’s effect on breast cancer screening

Call it the Angelina Jolie Effect: There has been a rapid rise in the number of women seeking to be screened for breast cancer gene mutations after the actress announced last May that she was a BRCA carrier and had a prophlactic mastectomy to prevent breast cancer.

“We’ve definitely had more women coming in to discuss their family history and whether genetic testing is appropriate after they heard about Angelina Jolie,” said Dr. Huma Rana, a geneticist at the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Many, like Jolie (right, with mother Marcheline Bertrand), have had striking medical histories of immediate family members dying of breast and ovarian cancers. Some, though, have been the “worried well” — those who are frantic over a distant cousin’s recent diagnosis with the disease.

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