Angelina Jolie’s mastectomy raised awareness but not understanding of breast cancer

Angelina Jolie’s preventative mastectomy did no more than raise awareness of breast cancer and it did not translate into an increased understanding of the risks.

A survey, which completed by more than 2,500 people in America, found that three out of four were aware of Jolie’s story but less than 10% could correctly answer questions about the gene mutation that she carries which increases her risk of developing the cancer.

Additionally Jolie story has created greater confusion rather than clarity regarding the link between a family history of cancer and an increased risk of developing it.

Researchers suggested that to be an effective educator the actress’s story needed to be accompanied by a more purposeful communication effort to assist in public understanding of the relationship between genetics and breast cancer.

Read more at University of Maryland School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health