Thanks To Angelina Jolie, Women Are Checking For Breast Cancer In Record Numbers

Unfortunately, many of us will have to deal with the tragedy of cancer at some point or another.

For women, breast cancer is one of the biggest concerns. It’s the second most fatal cancer in females, next to lung cancer, and, according to the American Cancer Society, it accounted for nearly 40,000 deaths in the US last year.

Since approximately one in every eight females will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, screening is important. Early detection of the disease is one of the most important factors in terms of survival.

Last year, actress Angelina Jolie underwent a screening procedure to test for her risk of developing breast cancer, as her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died from ovarian cancer at just 56 years old.

Jolie tested positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation, indicating an increased risk of developing breast cancer, and decided to have a double mastectomy (a removal of the breast tissue to prevent cancer from developing).

The actress’ courage has apparently served as a source of inspiration for many, as the number of referrals for genetic testing of breast cancer mutations in Britain has increased over two-and-a-half times, compared with the year before.

In nearly all of these cases, the women seeking genetic screening had a family history of the disease and were taking appropriate measures to ensure their safety and health.

Perhaps if more celebrities were open about their health problems (particularly, mental health issues), we could begin to formulate real, effective conversations in the public sphere.

H/T: Independent, Photo Credit: Getty Images