An Analysis of the “Angelina Jolie Effect”: Does the Media Influence Patients’ Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy Decisions?
AffiliationThe University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
DescriptionA Thesis submitted to The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.
AbstractFollowing genetic testing and counseling, many women elect to undergo prophylactic surgery to reduce their risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Bilateral prophylactic mastectomy (BPM) can decrease a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer by more than 90%.4 However, contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) does not increase survival for the majority of women with breast cancer, which is contrary to the increasing incidence of CPM.5,7 Angelina Jolie published an op-ed in The New York Times in May 2013 regarding her decision to undergo BPM. She pursued preventative surgery due to her strong family history of breast cancer and positive test for a BRCA mutation. While Jolie’s situation is not analogous to that of women undergoing CPM, it is possible that in many women’s minds, the situations are similar. This study is a retrospective review that examines the relationship between popular magazine articles written about prophylactic mastectomy and the number of CPM surgeries performed.