Angelina Jolie not responsible for steep rise in double mastectomies, claims expert

Ben Hamilton
November 7th, 2016

This article is more than 7 years old.

Offering speedy surgery the main reason behind the increase, contends spokesperson at clinic

Celebrities like Angelina Jolie are shown to have a huge effect, but not according to one Danish expert (photo: AJ Alfieri-Crispin)

A recent report by CPH POST drew attention to how more Danes are open to taking antidepressants to address their condition due to the example set by celebrities.

However, in an interview with Metroxpress, an expert has rejected claims the same is true of the significant rise in the number of Danish women choosing to have both their breasts removed to avoid breast cancer.

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The Jolie factor?
In 2011, just 34 Danish women chose to have a double mastectomy. By 2015, that number had risen to 189.

And during that period, the American actress Angelina Jolie chose to do the same thing, drawing worldwide attention in 2013 to how she was genetically predisposed to developing breast cancer.

About the odds
According to Anders B Bojesen from the Department of Clinical Genetics at Aarhus University Hospital, most of his patients with the same gene defect are unaware of Jolie’s story.

“Most do not know her story and are primarily concerned with reducing their odds of developing breast cancer from 50-80 percent to about 5-10 percent at the expense of losing both their breasts,” he told Metroxpress.

Speedy surgery shake-up
Like Jolie, the women in question were found to have defects in one of their BRCA genes: BRCA 1 and BRCA 2. Several thousand Danes are believed to have the defect.

The sudden rise, contends Bojesen, is because they are increasingly being offered the chance to have immediate surgery.

“We can expect the numbers to further increase,” he said.

“The offer to remove their breasts is one that is being more and more accepted in an attempt to reduce their risk.”


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