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Angelina Jolie inspired women for breast cancer tests

Wed, Jul 22, 2015, 12:43 PM
New York, July 22: Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie's decision to get both her breasts removed after testing positive for a gene associated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer has inspired many women to go for similar genetic testing, says a study.

Jolie received widespread media attention two years ago when she told the public that she had tested positive for the gene BRCA1.

"Women who identified strongly with Jolie were more likely to get the genetic testing regardless of whether they had a family history of cancer than women who did have a family history of cancer but did not identify with Jolie," said study lead author Kami Kosenko, associate professor of communication at North Carolina State University in the US.

"The same was true of women who felt they had some sort of parasocial relationship with Jolie, meaning they viewed her as a friend. This means that Jolie's speaking out definitely had an impact," Kosenko said.

The findings suggest that when it comes to a celebrity's impact on the public, that impact depends in part on the extent to which the public identifies with the celebrity.
Agency: IANS

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